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Old 12-30-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
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balancing what's real

https://medium.com/human-parts/bf5111e68cc1

"Let us honor and respect our bodies for what they do instead of despising them for how they appear. Focus on living healthy and active lives, let our weight fall where it may, and consign our body hatred in the past where it belongs. When I looked at that photo of you in the white bathing suit all those years ago, my innocent young eyes saw the truth. I saw unconditional love, beauty and wisdom."

How do you balance for yourself the need to lose weight and also the need to be content with what's real?
Do you agree that everyone should let their weight fall where it may?
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:37 PM   #2
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Thanks for the link.

Absolutely. I believe people should pay attention to feeling good and living the life they want to live.

Just read "Metamorphoses of Fat: A History of Obesity", and it is apparent that our idea that thinness or fitness is healthy is just a contemporary social construct. (I've only read excerpts of this book so far. I ordered it and plan to share interesting ideas from it after I've read it completely.)

I also believe we are barraged with images of ourselves nowadays - in mirrors and in photos. I don't know if this is good for the psyche. It makes the majority of the western world obsessed with their outer appearance, which can become quite narcissistic.

But I'm not trying to offend anyone - this also applies to me. Most days I wish I could just wake up and be free from mirrors and be free from superficial thoughts about my appearance.

I think finding a diet like NK, for me, was the first step to feeling "free" - as a high carb diet makes me ravenous and leads to weight gain given my prior obese state.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Unna's last line is how I feel. We didn't use to be a society that needed to focus on excess weight. This is modern Western society that has developed because we were getting fat and we don't like it and don't know what to do about it. Not just because it doesn't look good but because we understand that it is unhealthy and doesn't feel good.

I understand the author's point and think it is valid but she is also describing a child discovering her Mother has metabolic disease. It is the social implications that have been read into this condition and that is because the experts didn't know what it was and what to do about it.

Very sad statement of the condition of the world when it comes to disease. Blame the patient for their disease if you don't know why or what......

Great topic!
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:55 AM   #4
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I also believe we are barraged with images of ourselves nowadays - in mirrors and in photos. I don't know if this is good for the psyche.
I think you're right. There are times I feel absolutely oppressed by my own image - I see mirrors in every building I go to anymore; my office alone has three. My happiest times in life were at summer camp, where I saw a mirror maybe once a day, and most of the time didn't bother with makeup. I was just me.

I've had a particularly hard time with balancing the need for weight loss with self acceptance because I'm single and get the constant message that women need to be as thin as possible to attract a man. I wish I could turn back the clock and lose the weight at 18 instead of 43.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:54 AM   #5
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I think you're right. There are times I feel absolutely oppressed by my own image - I see mirrors in every building I go to anymore; my office alone has three. My happiest times in life were at summer camp, where I saw a mirror maybe once a day, and most of the time didn't bother with makeup. I was just me.

I've had a particularly hard time with balancing the need for weight loss with self acceptance because I'm single and get the constant message that women need to be as thin as possible to attract a man. I wish I could turn back the clock and lose the weight at 18 instead of 43.
One time I went on vacation and the hotel room was covered with mirrors. It was so uncomfortable, being confronted with my own image constantly, that I covered them up with sheets!

Last night (New Years), people were taking so many pictures - and then they automatically "force" you to look at the picture right after they take it! I thought I was looking pretty hot, but after enough photos, I started to hate the expensive dress I was wearing!

Next time I'm just not going to look at the photos at all.

To be honest, last time I was in America (and even here in Europe, where people should be healthy because they walk everywhere), most people - men including women - are failing at being thin because of the high carb sugary foods everywhere.

I think you are being too hard on yourself about needing to be skinny to attract a man. Also, from experience, I notice that my husband loves me the same at 155 or 195! He barely notices if I'm on the high end of the scale. In fact, I think he only cognizes it fully when I tell him.

So, don't "overrate" a man's ability to judge how much extra weight you have. While women may be able to tear apart another woman and all her flaws, most men don't really know how to do this. Instead, men just tend to focus on your positive, sexy parts! They won't fixate on your love handles, but will instead admire your nice butt or boobs or legs or hair or nice skin, etc.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:43 AM   #6
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Unna I think you are right about men! When I married my husband I was about 150lbs and got to my highest weight of 206lbs after our third child. If it did bother him, he said nothing and I know he still loved and desired me. I am at 134lbs now, a weight he has never known me to be and although I know he is proud of me and makes comments about my "little clothes", nothing else between us has changed. We still love each other the same.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by unna View Post
One time I went on vacation and the hotel room was covered with mirrors. It was so uncomfortable, being confronted with my own image constantly, that I covered them up with sheets!

Last night (New Years), people were taking so many pictures - and then they automatically "force" you to look at the picture right after they take it! I thought I was looking pretty hot, but after enough photos, I started to hate the expensive dress I was wearing!

Next time I'm just not going to look at the photos at all.
Same thing happened at our house last night. We have a photo bug pal who ALWAYS has her phone cam clicking on everyone. Then she sends us all the pictures, and I can so identify with deciding I didn't like what I wearing AFTER seeing those photos, even though I felt good about it when I put it on.

It is not a myth that the camera adds 10 pounds. It absolutely does, so that doesn't help. But I agree with you and others here---I don't need to see pictures of myself at every turn, and the mirror is good for getting ready, and after that I'd just as soon not see one.

When we are feeling good about how we look, we feel better. And being bombarded with images of ourselves and mirrors, is just not good for the soul, imo, for many reasons.

I think there's a balance between setting a goal for a healthy weight and being obsessed with a diet, or every pound that pops up or drops down. I do think there's a sweet spot where you are responsible to your goals, but still enjoying life. And I know for me, I'm enjoying life more minus the 37 more pounds I was carrying around last year at this time. And not just because I look better, but because I FEEL better.

To the OP---I found this piece you linked to be very poignant, particularly with the picture. It is a thought provoking essay, and I'm glad I read it. Thanks for sharing it w/us.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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More than once in the past few years, I've gotten rid of clothes I was wearing in certain photos! Not really the fault of the clothes, but more of seeing someone other the person I thought I was at the time. Sad, but true. It's partly weight, but also my aging face that others see everyday but I only see from the limited view of the few mirrors in my house.

I accidently turned on the webcam on my new laptop, and my god who was that old lady on the screen? Really, how dare she!!
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:01 AM   #9
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Patience, you made me literally laugh out loud because I have had that happen as well and had a similar reaction! I prefer my little dimly lit, good angles, delusional world!
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:55 PM   #10
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Laughing is probably the best medicine, eh?
I am losing weight and getting healthier while still growing older.
Two out of three not so bad, eh?
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:04 AM   #11
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More than once in the past few years, I've gotten rid of clothes I was wearing in certain photos! Not really the fault of the clothes, but more of seeing someone other the person I thought I was at the time.
I sympathize! I had a new "favorite" shirt from Lululemon that I wore to Crossfit one day. Of course they took photos of me in it and posted in on their website. I now hate that shirt!

Anyway, the lesson I learned here is: stop looking at photos of myself!
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:28 AM   #12
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I hate photos of myself...hate them...I look so damn fat, even fatter than I think I actually am :/ but I am also reminded of an article I read about never being in photos, especially with my kids....if I were no longer here, they would have very very few photos of me from the last few years. How awful would that be, those that love us don't judge us as we judge ourselves. They wouldn't look back at photos of us and go ' jeez, she was fat!' They would just see us, the mother, wife, sister, best friend, girlfriend etc that they love. I need to remember that when I cringe at pics of myself!
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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I try to remember that I am the only one ever surprised by photos. Everyone else already knows what I look like.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:31 PM   #14
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More than once in the past few years, I've gotten rid of clothes I was wearing in certain photos! Not really the fault of the clothes, but more of seeing someone other the person I thought I was at the time. Sad, but true. It's partly weight, but also my aging face that others see everyday but I only see from the limited view of the few mirrors in my house.

I accidently turned on the webcam on my new laptop, and my god who was that old lady on the screen? Really, how dare she!!
I think our aging faces does tend to bother us. I knew a woman a few years ago, who told me, "I feel so young, but when I look in the mirror in the morning, I am surprised that I look so old." I think as I get older, I really do not want to look in a mirror that often.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:07 PM   #15
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That is my experience. I feel better and younger than I did 15 yrs. ago.... I should look the better then we I did then too!
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:29 AM   #16
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I have now reached the weight I was in 2004, as a result of better eating for the last 9 months. Not bad. Then I was exercising a lot, and now only moderately. Not bad.
Can't do much about the face, except get a facelift (not going there). Smiling does seem to help, though.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:10 AM   #17
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I feel better and younger than I did 15 yrs. ago.... I should look the better then we I did then too!
I agree. I feel younger and fitter than I've ever been. It is a bit unfair!

I think this is because I have avoided eating fat my entire life. As I began to embrace fat (including fermented cod liver oil), I feel like my body literally started to thank me for doing so!
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:23 AM   #18
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That is my experience. I feel better and younger than I did 15 yrs. ago.... I should look the better then we I did then too!
I second the motion...but that only applies to my face, which sadly is showing the tracks of time marching across it.

I had an interesting experience this week in looking at old pictures. I got rid of most of the photos of me at my heaviest years ago, but I'm applying to be part of a study on weight loss/maintenance (gotta get our licks in for the low-carb WOE) and I have to prove my weight loss with photos. I pored over my travel photos to find pics of me at my heaviest, and after finding a few, I was relieved to look at myself in the mirror afterwards and see myself as I am now. I was shocked to realize how masculine I looked at 250 lbs....or maybe sexless is the word. I was just round. I may not be at my goal weight yet, but thank God I'm not where I was 15 years ago!
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:50 PM   #19
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I appreciate your insights ladies. This article hits me personally for several reasons.
Our culture is biased against being heavy. My mother is heavy- always controlling others especially my dad to eat her low fat diet that has never worked- spray butter, tasteless sugar laden low fat yogurt. It has affected her health in a negative ways affecting her mobility. I feel ashamed that I have such negative emotions around my mother's weight. I look around and see many beautiful people of all sizes and I wonder why I let myself worry about it. One reason is my husband is tall and thin and I haven't wanted to be Jack Sprat's wife who eats no lean. (haha now I can eat fat and maintain my weight.)
My daughter insists that on one occasion I called her fat. She had maybe 20 extra pounds after returning from an extended trip when I suggested a plan to help her lose that. I wish I hadn't said anything.
So I struggle with the balance of being real with myself and others, living in an all too obsessive culture that values thinness while still trying to educate myself in being happy in my own skin, knowing that my pear shape will be me and I need to strive to be attractive and healthy.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:00 AM   #20
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My mother is similar, always looking at and talking about people's different weights in a critical manner. As I was growing up, she always tried to control my weight. She was always proud of me when I was thin, and silent when I was not thin. Of course I knew what she was thinking.

She thought about her own weight and the weight of others somewhat obsessively. My sister and I now realize this and are able to laugh about it! My mom even laughs at herself a little bit too, as she is aging and learning to take herself less seriously.

Because of this, I have made it "a rule" to not talk about the way my body looks or the way other bodies look at all. Even if I notice that someone has gained weight, I don't say anything. My sister is quite a bit heavier than she used to be, but when I see her, I only tell her she looks good, her hair looks good, etc.

I guess I think we are our own harshest critics. We don't need extra input from other people.

But I haven't always been like this, I had to make a conscious effort to learn not to gaze at others and criticize them for their appearance (in opposition to what my mother taught me). I think this became easier for me after I really learned why most people are terribly overweight = processed food and sugar; they are not overweight because they have a weak moral character.

My husband, who is also naturally quite lean like your husband, used to think that "fat" people were lazy and had no self-discipline. He believed that if they just "moved more" that they would be cured. But after many conversations, I have finally convinced him that being fat does not have anything to do with personal character, but is due to an external environment that makes people sick.

I hate shows like the Biggest Loser, where they ask the contestants "How could you let yourself get to this weight?", with a disapproving tone. This stupidity really angers me, deep down!!
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:22 AM   #21
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Unna, I enjoy reading your view of things. Thanks.
Quote:
I hate shows like the Biggest Loser, where they ask the contestants "How could you let yourself get to this weight?", with a disapproving tone. This stupidity really angers me, deep down!!
I agree. And the TED talk y Sandra Aamodt on why dieting doesn't work didn't really fly with me either. She encouraged mindful eating rather than dieting- nothing wrong with that, I agree that most diets don't work. I just think our modern diet of highly refined foods with hundreds of carbs won't help anyone eat very mindfully. My kids have heard more than once my saying to "listen to your body". I'm thinking now that when one eats in a higher carb way- your body is going to be telling you to eat more of those rich carby foods whether your body really needs them or not.
Quote:
I think you are being too hard on yourself about needing to be skinny to attract a man. Also, from experience, I notice that my husband loves me the same at 155 or 195! He barely notices if I'm on the high end of the scale. In fact, I think he only cognizes it fully when I tell him.

So, don't "overrate" a man's ability to judge how much extra weight you have. While women may be able to tear apart another woman and all her flaws, most men don't really know how to do this. Instead, men just tend to focus on your positive, sexy parts! They won't fixate on your love handles, but will instead admire your nice butt or boobs or legs or hair or nice skin, etc.
Quote:
Unna I think you are right about men! When I married my husband I was about 150lbs and got to my highest weight of 206lbs after our third child. If it did bother him, he said nothing and I know he still loved and desired me. I am at 134lbs now, a weight he has never known me to be and although I know he is proud of me and makes comments about my "little clothes", nothing else between us has changed. We still love each other the same.
I particularly like these two quotes because they are very true at my house too.
My hon does not want me to gain a hundred pounds but honestly, he's never critical I think this is a good reminder for us not to focus too much on where we wish we were rather enjoy and take our time to improve ourselves.

I'm in my 50's now and life just keeps getting better and better! Behind my eyes I still feel very young. A strong motivation for me to find a healthy eating lifestyle that works or me is so that I can continue to enjoy many adventures in the years to come.
What motivates all of you?

Question for finally losing or anyone that has ideas about this- How did you stay with your plan to your goal weight even though your husband thought you were fine much heavier? Once you hit your goal, does your body want to go back to its previous set point?
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:37 PM   #22
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Dahliz, I stuck with the plan because I found out I had diabetes and I have three children who will need me around for quite a while yet! My initial goal was to be healthy and get my sugars under control and when I did that the weight started coming off and I felt fantastic so it was actually very easy to continue with it. I was one of those people who followed the "proper" diet and could never understand why I was always hungry. Now I really understand what healthy hunger is.
I have maintained this weight for a while now and find that my body is happy here. It doesn't take much effort to keep it at this weight as long as I don't go over in my carbs. But I rarely do that because my sugars will go up and then I feel horrible. I think in a way it is easier for me because of the diabetes, I know I have to keep my sugars level!
I know way deep down that I would like to lose a bit more weight but I am comfortable right now and not willing to start cutting calories and watching every bite I eat. To me, that's when it becomes work and like you, I just want to really enjoy my life.
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