Friday, March 27, 2009

Backwards body dismorphia

I know people who think they are fat, even when they are thin. They look in a mirror and the image looking back is big, but in reality, they are normal sized.

I am pretty much the exact opposite. My body size is much larger in reality than it is in my head. When I look in the mirror, I see round, yes, but mostly I see myself as a fabulous babe. :-)

It often comes as a shock when I see someone on television who is my size. To me, they look so much fatter than how I see myself. I have a hard time connecting the dots. And I wonder if this is one of the reasons it has been hard for me to maintain a healthier weight.

In any case, this week my doctor has stated, gently but firmly, that my weight is a health issue. He has suggested I should do something about it.

So today, I joined Weight Watchers and hope that I am able, for today at least, to eat a healthier (and smaller) diet.

And maybe it will be cool to have a body that actually reflects my self image.


Anonymous said...

Being round and fat and a fabulous babe aren't actually incompatible :-)

Rachel Nguyen said...

True that, Liz. I have known plenty of fabulous babes who were fat.

When I went to Mali, it was really extraordinary because, for the first time in my life, men were noticing me. West Africans LOVE women of all sizes. Suddenly I was in a place that thought I was gorgeous. It was great fun.

But be that as it may, I still need to do this for my health, according to my doc.

Thanks for swinging by the 'Dunk!

libraryperson said...

All the best with Weight Watchers - it is a good program.

Urban Mermaid said...

You have never not been stunning! And will always be, no matter what form you take!

John Michael Keba said...

Every so often, Rachel, I look at the old calisthenics program I used to follow back in the dark-day, thinking how nice it would be to be fifty and "ripped."

Then reality sets in and I realize there is no need, and that the program would likely kill me now. I then go out and work in the garden - nice, low-impact exercise.

It is all about health, and I am glad you are seeing it that way.

SingingOwl said...

I am the same way. When I see myself on a video I am always shocked. Or catch a glimpse in a large picture window, etc. Weight Watchers....hmmmmm....

Rachel Nguyen said...

Hey Singing Owl,

You are a hotty for sure, LOL!

Emily, thanks. I appreciated your emails, too.

And John, yes, health first and foremost. Today I realized that I felt more energy than usual. That is a minor miracle!

I am on day 4 of Weight Watchers and it is a good program. Very helpful so far.

Rom said...

I have a colleague here at work who joined Weight Watchers. She lost 80 pounds in less than a year. She used to dress always in black. Now she is pretty in pink most of the time.
For lunch yesterday, I saw her prepare a bagel with cream cheese. She was also having celey and strawberries.
We're going to lose her soon because she has decided to move to her homeland, bikini country, Greece. I'm told she circulated some of her last vacation beach pics in the office a day when I was not there.
Go figure...

Rachel Nguyen said...

Hey Rom,

Thanks for the inspiration! Maybe I will set that as a reward for myself: Lose 80 lbs and go to GREECE!!!! :-)

Actually though, I think fitting in the airplane seats for the trips to Vietnam and Mali would be great too.

Rom said...

Maybe I can help you to get rid of some symbolic weight. Care to discard some of the old decks in your back drawer ? I have a friend here in Montreal who is dying to lay her hands, temporarly or permanently, on the... Bicentenial.
Ouch !

Rachel Nguyen said...

Ouch, indeed.

Of all the decks I have been willing to sell and/or give away, that is the one that I have hung on to!

I'll think about it, though. I have seen it come up on occasion on ebay, and the last time I saw a copy, it went for a ridiculously low price, I think.

Phil said...

I have recently discovered that people are more than their physical size. I now see people more for who they think they are, rather than who they look like. You see yourself as a fabulous babe, and I do too!

Lose weight for your health, and you'll still look as good as you see yourself now.

Rachel Nguyen said...

Shucks, Phil, thanks.

I think my big goal is to be able to dance in Mali without dying next time, LOL.

Urban Mermaid said...

Rachel, Geneen Roth is amazing to read on this topic. Checkout her books or her blog. Her writing inspired me to write.
Dance the Polka! It induces mania in me! LOL. Walking meditation and gardening are great too.

Jenn said...

Hi Rachel,

I had a heart to heart with my girlfriends from college tonight and admitted to them that I have this very messed up self image. for example I look at one of my girlfriends and think we're roughly the same size (I found out tonight she's between a 6 and 8, me I'm around an 20 right now). I just don't see my weight, it's like I'm startled when I catch a glimpse of myself. This has been going on for years and I don't know why or how it started. In high school I remember lying in bed and having my ribs and hip bones sticking out and I thought I was fat, I tried "hiding" in baggy clothes. The only time I really can kinda see it is if I pass a mirror and see the profile reflection on my face, neck and upper body. I've know this self image thing has been screwed up for quite sometime. In my self image I just don't see myself as a "big" girl, though I know I am. I've often thought if my life was made into a movie I'd be played by a Bridget Jones type actress who when she looks in the mirror she see Sarah Jessica Parker looking back at her with her hair blowing in a breeze. Maybe in the end of the movie I'd really see myself for who I am and be ok with it. I joined weight watchers 19 weeks ago and have lost 28.8 lbs. I'd like to loose about 100lbs in total. I hope to become a life time member and even a mentor or meeting host or whatever their title is. I live in the Toronto area and have bought a cruise around the Greek Islands for the end of April 2010. I decided that seeing as I am flying to Greece I might as well go back packing too. So I now have a goal to weigh 150 lbs by April 2010 so my backpack will be light and fuller with smaller clothes than I would have to carry right now. I read your blog here and realized that I'm not alone in this journey. I wish you nothing but success, and perhaps I'll see you in Greece.