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hyperlexian
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10 Apr 2011, 3:51 pm

(this isn't just for women to respond, but i didn't know where else to post it really, as it relates more to self-esteem than health.)

so, i have been steadily losing weight for about 3 years (no more than 2 or 3 lb / 1 to 1.5 kg per month). it definitely happens in fits and starts, to a certain degree, as my body naturally has to adjust and wants to plateau or maintain homoestasis or whatever.

anyways, i am having a curious self-esteem problem. i am healthier and everything, but i struggle with accepting my new body in some ways. to put it frankly, there is sagging and wrinkles that i did not have before, in lots of places. also, i am covered in stretch marks, and so i feel like my scarred skin looks to be a terrible texture in some places without as much fat under the skin.

basically, i feel like i looked better when i was fatter. i get tons of exercise, and when my body adjusts then things do improve slightly. but some wrinkles and sagging remain and i feel like i don't look as good as i did when i was bigger. it even seems like the more weight i lose, the less i am able to bounce back.

external validation does not seem to really help me with this. i know i need to find some way to love my new body as much as i loved my old body (or as much as i loved my thinner body from before i got fat). my biggest worry is that this speedbump will derail my weight loss efforts, and i need to keep losing weight for my health.

has anyone else struggled with something like this, either after weight loss or other changes?



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10 Apr 2011, 6:47 pm

Some peoples skin naturally loses elasticity as they grow older. I see that you are approaching your forties. You will find that your skin will not spring back automatically as you lose weight. Also, heredity has a factor in this. I happen to have very resilient skin. For most of my life, I was told that I looked about 15 years younger than I was. Now I hear more like ten years younger. Since I am in my fifties, my skin is finally showing signs of aging; especially on my legs and arms. This is just a fact of life. Take fish oil or flax seed oil capsules and drink lots of water. That will help your skin. :)


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hyperlexian
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10 Apr 2011, 7:11 pm

great advice, thank you hartzofspace. i think maybe i've heard good things about fish oil - supposed to have other health benefits maybe? i think my skin has never been very elastic, hence the many many stretch marks. and my skin isn't rubbery or stretchy, sorta like you can't really pinch a bit and pull it up very much, if that makes sense. i look youngish too, but i think people overlook the wrinkles on me or something. well, i'll try th oil capsules for sure (i drink 2 to 4L of water a day)



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10 Apr 2011, 7:26 pm

Overhydration won't really do anything besides put your kidneys to extra work.

The omega 3 fatty acid which is from fish oil has health benefits definatly worth taking. Don't think it will do your skin much good though. It's main health benefits are the brain, heart and your joints.

The other omega fatty acids are easier to come by and you can actually have too much if you take capsule supplements which contain omega 6 an 9. The only one we usually are defficient of is 3 unless your eating loads of oily fish species on a weekly basis.

Weight loss does have this undesired effect sadly. You do hear of people who lose a tremendous amount of weight who then have exactly the same problem your experiancing. It appears the solution for such people is to have corrective surgery but I find it odd that surely the body is not capable of adjusting even if it takes a period of time?

For the record i'm not even 30 yet and i've got crows feet around my eyes :lol:


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hyperlexian
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10 Apr 2011, 8:50 pm

Laz wrote:
Overhydration won't really do anything besides put your kidneys to extra work.

The omega 3 fatty acid which is from fish oil has health benefits definatly worth taking. Don't think it will do your skin much good though. It's main health benefits are the brain, heart and your joints.

The other omega fatty acids are easier to come by and you can actually have too much if you take capsule supplements which contain omega 6 an 9. The only one we usually are defficient of is 3 unless your eating loads of oily fish species on a weekly basis.

Weight loss does have this undesired effect sadly. You do hear of people who lose a tremendous amount of weight who then have exactly the same problem your experiancing. It appears the solution for such people is to have corrective surgery but I find it odd that surely the body is not capable of adjusting even if it takes a period of time?

For the record i'm not even 30 yet and i've got crows feet around my eyes :lol:

i eat salmon or another fish once or twice a week, but i don't know if that is enough..

i am hoping my body will eventually bounce back, but each time i go down a kilo or something, it takes a little longer to firm up, and i never completely bounce back by the time i take off the next kilo.

i think it's partly an issue of aging, like hartzofspace noted. somehow, i need to get used to the idea of getting older and accepting myself in this new form. i suppose that i subconsciously hoped that i would be back to looking like i did when i was thinner before, but i was 22 years old the last time i was this weight. it's also fear of the unknown - as in, how much worse will this get as i drop more weight? i don't have a specific weight loss goal, but i am probably only 60 to 70% of the way to a healthy weight for me.

surgery wouldn't be an option, though i know lots of people go that route. honestly, it wouldn't fix the real problem, which is inside of me. if it wasn't sagging and wrinkles, it would surely be something else bothering me. in the grand scheme of things, i probably should worry less about cosmetic matters, but sometimes vanity gets me in its grip.



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10 Apr 2011, 9:46 pm

hyperlexian wrote:
i think it's partly an issue of aging, like hartzofspace noted. somehow, i need to get used to the idea of getting older and accepting myself in this new form. i suppose that i subconsciously hoped that i would be back to looking like i did when i was thinner before, but i was 22 years old the last time i was this weight.

Yes, I am still struggling with the aging thing myself. I got rather spoiled by the all the compliments on my youthful complexion and now I am having a hard time loving the aging skin. But it's only going to age more, so I may as well deal with it. I, too, wish that weight loss would regain me the body I had at 20, but that is not going to happen. There's been a lot of wear and tear since then!
hyperlexian wrote:
surgery wouldn't be an option, though i know lots of people go that route. honestly, it wouldn't fix the real problem, which is inside of me. if it wasn't sagging and wrinkles, it would surely be something else bothering me. in the grand scheme of things, i probably should worry less about cosmetic matters, but sometimes vanity gets me in its grip.

Yeah, vanity gets me in its grip too. I was lamenting about my abdomen to my physical therapist while having a treatment, and she, upon being told that someday I hoped for a tummy tuck, told me horror stories about scar tissue and pain. It was at that point that I realized I would have to learn to live with it. One thing I want to try is gentle yoga stretches and Tai Chi. I have fibromyalgia so I can't do aerobics.


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hyperlexian
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10 Apr 2011, 10:22 pm

hartzofspace wrote:
Yes, I am still struggling with the aging thing myself. I got rather spoiled by the all the compliments on my youthful complexion and now I am having a hard time loving the aging skin. But it's only going to age more, so I may as well deal with it. I, too, wish that weight loss would regain me the body I had at 20, but that is not going to happen. There's been a lot of wear and tear since then!

have you had children? i did, and i try to be proud of my body because my body helped create someone really wonderful. but i envy women whose bodies didn't change much after pregnancy. i gained 70 lb and just kept packing it on for 8 years afterward.

hartzofspace wrote:
Yeah, vanity gets me in its grip too. I was lamenting about my abdomen to my physical therapist while having a treatment, and she, upon being told that someday I hoped for a tummy tuck, told me horror stories about scar tissue and pain. It was at that point that I realized I would have to learn to live with it. One thing I want to try is gentle yoga stretches and Tai Chi. I have fibromyalgia so I can't do aerobics.

a physical problem like fibromyalgia seems like it would really interfere with some kinds of exercise. that must make it hard. i think tai chi sounds like a good idea because it has the added benefit of being a calm or meditative activity. i get hooked on an exercise for a few months, then abruptly get extremely bored of it. currently i am climbing stairs, though i think i will wear out my knees if i am not careful.

i feel guilty when i become vain about my looks, because for many years i didn't care at all. but not caring at all led to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. i suppose the pendulum needs to swing closer to the middle again, so i can be in balance.



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11 Apr 2011, 9:15 am

Let me see if I can explain this in how I feel. When I lose weight (recently lost 30 lbs) everyone is always like "WOW you look so good" and it really sinks in how terrible I looked all along. I didn't even know it but people pointing out how good I now look now basically tells me how bad I looked then and so I get even more critical and feel fatter than I did before!! ! Ahhh! This was not the point of losing weight! It's exhausting.



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11 Apr 2011, 11:23 am

Chamber wrote:
Let me see if I can explain this in how I feel. When I lose weight (recently lost 30 lbs) everyone is always like "WOW you look so good" and it really sinks in how terrible I looked all along. I didn't even know it but people pointing out how good I now look now basically tells me how bad I looked then and so I get even more critical and feel fatter than I did before!! ! Ahhh! This was not the point of losing weight! It's exhausting.

i understand what you mean! i don't like having too much attention on my weight loss like that, because at the time i felt like i looked pretty good. i am healthier now, which was the point of the weight loss for me, but people focus so much on the difference in my appearance. now i even feel a little ashamed of how fat i was, but at the time i felt good about myself.



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11 Apr 2011, 11:24 am

Chamber wrote:
Let me see if I can explain this in how I feel. When I lose weight (recently lost 30 lbs) everyone is always like "WOW you look so good" and it really sinks in how terrible I looked all along. I didn't even know it but people pointing out how good I now look now basically tells me how bad I looked then and so I get even more critical and feel fatter than I did before!! ! Ahhh! This was not the point of losing weight! It's exhausting.


I feel like that too. I lost 30 pounds recently and people comment on looking better. Not "good" but "better." So I'm like..."gee, thanks." I'm better-looking but not good-looking. Maybe after another 30 pounds I'll be "good looking." I read too much into what people say but I can't help it. I'm more critical now than I was before I lost the weight. D:



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11 Apr 2011, 12:13 pm

Erisad wrote:
Chamber wrote:
Let me see if I can explain this in how I feel. When I lose weight (recently lost 30 lbs) everyone is always like "WOW you look so good" and it really sinks in how terrible I looked all along. I didn't even know it but people pointing out how good I now look now basically tells me how bad I looked then and so I get even more critical and feel fatter than I did before!! ! Ahhh! This was not the point of losing weight! It's exhausting.


I feel like that too. I lost 30 pounds recently and people comment on looking better. Not "good" but "better." So I'm like..."gee, thanks." I'm better-looking but not good-looking. Maybe after another 30 pounds I'll be "good looking." I read too much into what people say but I can't help it. I'm more critical now than I was before I lost the weight. D:

yeah, i do the same thing. our society is so hyper-focused on being thin that we are sort of disentitled from feeling good about ourselves if we are fat. so every nice comment about my weight gets kind of scrutinized by me and evaluated for hidden messages.



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11 Apr 2011, 12:14 pm

hyperlexian wrote:
Erisad wrote:
Chamber wrote:
Let me see if I can explain this in how I feel. When I lose weight (recently lost 30 lbs) everyone is always like "WOW you look so good" and it really sinks in how terrible I looked all along. I didn't even know it but people pointing out how good I now look now basically tells me how bad I looked then and so I get even more critical and feel fatter than I did before!! ! Ahhh! This was not the point of losing weight! It's exhausting.


I feel like that too. I lost 30 pounds recently and people comment on looking better. Not "good" but "better." So I'm like..."gee, thanks." I'm better-looking but not good-looking. Maybe after another 30 pounds I'll be "good looking." I read too much into what people say but I can't help it. I'm more critical now than I was before I lost the weight. D:

yeah, i do the same thing. our society is so hyper-focused on being thin that we are sort of disentitled from feeling good about ourselves if we are fat. so every nice comment about my weight gets kind of scrutinized by me and evaluated for hidden messages.


Yeah, doesn't it suck? I wanna feel pretty and not question every positive comment that comes my way, dammit. D:



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11 Apr 2011, 12:36 pm

Erisad wrote:
hyperlexian wrote:
Erisad wrote:
Chamber wrote:
Let me see if I can explain this in how I feel. When I lose weight (recently lost 30 lbs) everyone is always like "WOW you look so good" and it really sinks in how terrible I looked all along. I didn't even know it but people pointing out how good I now look now basically tells me how bad I looked then and so I get even more critical and feel fatter than I did before!! ! Ahhh! This was not the point of losing weight! It's exhausting.


I feel like that too. I lost 30 pounds recently and people comment on looking better. Not "good" but "better." So I'm like..."gee, thanks." I'm better-looking but not good-looking. Maybe after another 30 pounds I'll be "good looking." I read too much into what people say but I can't help it. I'm more critical now than I was before I lost the weight. D:

yeah, i do the same thing. our society is so hyper-focused on being thin that we are sort of disentitled from feeling good about ourselves if we are fat. so every nice comment about my weight gets kind of scrutinized by me and evaluated for hidden messages.


Yeah, doesn't it suck? I wanna feel pretty and not question every positive comment that comes my way, dammit. D:


Sometimes I wish people would just shut up! They make me more self-conscious than not saying anything at all. I know they are perhaps trying to pay me a compliment but MAN, enough ! ! You should hear my mother in law with how much better I look now and hearing her say it to others. OUCH. I didn't know the size of my a** determined my success in life, lady!



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11 Apr 2011, 12:38 pm

Erisad wrote:
Yeah, doesn't it suck? I wanna feel pretty and not question every positive comment that comes my way, dammit. D:

agreed.



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11 Apr 2011, 12:48 pm

Chamber - I know right? Some people have nothing else going on in their lives so they gotta focus on how everyone looks. I know that since I lost weight at school this year, my graduation party is going to be all about "oh, you look so great!" So I didn't before? Thanks b***h. :roll:



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11 Apr 2011, 3:34 pm

hyperlexian wrote:
have you had children? i did, and i try to be proud of my body because my body helped create someone really wonderful. but i envy women whose bodies didn't change much after pregnancy.

Yes, I've had children. I once told an ex friend off, because he kept going on about how women's skin didn't look so nice with all the stretch marks and things. I told him that at least I got stretch marks from bringing life into the world. And I asked, what's the excuse for your pot belly? :twisted:
hyperlexian wrote:
a physical problem like fibromyalgia seems like it would really interfere with some kinds of exercise. that must make it hard. i think tai chi sounds like a good idea because it has the added benefit of being a calm or meditative activity.

Fibro sucks. I used to take dance classes, go running, or for long walks. Now I have to be careful not to overdue any physical exertion because of pain flare ups. Tai Chi doesn't hurt, because it's so gentle and can even be done while sitting.

hyperlexian wrote:
i feel guilty when i become vain about my looks, because for many years i didn't care at all. but not caring at all led to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. i suppose the pendulum needs to swing closer to the middle again, so i can be in balance.

You sound as if you have a healthy mental attitude at least! That's the first step. :)


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