Body dysmorphia

Discussion in 'Cambridge Weight Plan' started by fatpossum, 16 December 2007 Social URL.

  1. fatpossum

    fatpossum Silver Member


    Hi Chaps,

    I think I am suffering from a case of body dysmorphia in that eventhough I can fit into 'normal' size jeans and tops I still feel as though I am far larger than the size on the label.

    I know that some people may scoff at my "problem" but it is really affecting my ability to stay on track (maintenance). Eventhough my jeans are size 10 I think I have a big a*** and tum and look generally fat. My daughter is a size 12 and I try to gain perspective by looking at her. She isn't big by any means (little bit of 'puppy fat' given her age) and she looks lovely but I can't believe that I am smaller than she is eventhough she can't wear my jeans and her jeans hang off me!!!

    The effect of this is that I tend to self sabotage - I look and I think "fat - the size 10 jeans have obviously stretched over time and that is why they fit"!! The other day I was feeling a real bloater (having had a biscuit-fest at work the previous day) and so when my daugher was out I got a pair of her school uniform trousers and tried them on - they were really big on me. But my mind got around that by telling me that she "must have a different body shape".

    At this stage I feel as though I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth - I tend to think "**** it"!! I may as well eat what I like because it makes no difference"!! My husband (who is not the greatest for encouragment) has even told me categorically that I am no longer fat but I get around that by rationalising that he has just become used to looking at me!!!!!!!

    I have put on a few pounds over the past 6 weeks - that is true. I am a 'stress-eater' and I have been seriouly stressed of late due to a new job. I had been off work for about 3 months prior to that having been the victim bullying in the workplace and that made me very ill. But work is okay now and I dare to say that I am even enjoying it but this constant nagging thought that I am still fat gets in the way of enjoying what I have achieved. Even with the few extra pounds on (I don't know how many as I don't own a scales) I can still wear my size 10 jeans but I am afraid that I am going to spoil it all over Christmas and end up making a "fat start" to 2008.

    Has anyone managed to overcome "fat brain syndrome" - I really need help!

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  3. SoonToBeGorgeous

    SoonToBeGorgeous Loving the Cambridge Diet

    Cambridge Plan
    Your mind will catch up with the new body eventually.

    As a practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist I can tell you that you are not suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder - I have had a few clients with this problem in the last year.

    You are suffering from a lack of confidence brought about by the bullying and stress at work.

    What about taking some time out to find yourself and your new figure? Have a lot of photos taken of yourself in different outfits and have a good look at them.

    Look at yourself naked in the mirror and find your good points. We all have good and bad figure points regardless of weight.

    Watch 'Look Good Naked' and see how Gok Wan works his magic.
  4. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Was Cambridge, now maintaining
    It's a very common 'problem' after this kind of diet. It takes time for the head to catch up.

    The way I dealt with it was to accept that what I see and think isn't real. It's just an illusion. My mind playing tricks.

    I am not the big person my brain believes I am. It helps to do what you did and try on clothes that can't possibly fit a bigger person.

    It's also helped when I can my reflection in a shop window. Interestingly, my reflection in a mirror (which I very rarely use), still confirms my belief that I am big.

    The reflection in a shop window usually happens unexpectedly. I catch myself off guard and it always surprises me:confused:

    I think that when I look in a mirror, I see what I am expecting to see. Whereas my mind isn't prepared when I go past the shop, so doesn't have a chance to 'prep' :D
    FatFairNForty(ish), Lil K and kopcat like this.
  5. Lilly

    Lilly Full Member

    Cambridge Diet
    Hi hun! I'm just the same. Won't accept that a size 10 jean in Next is really fitting me, I even asked for a tape measure to check, the woman must have thought I was mental. I've always been bigger 16/18 and can't get used to being a (I would say by measurement) a standard size 12, I feel like a fraud when i'm buying things. I even did the monthly photo thing and people are like Oh My God I just don't get it, can't see it! Bizarre! My bezzy mate said I should be running around excited and dressing up etc she doesn't understand how i'm so passive about it all thinks I should be on cloud 9, but i'm not and that makes me feel bad/guilty too like I need to be grateful! Confused?? so am I. Lets hope we get there eh. Sabotage is one of my worries too, but sooooo aware of what i'm eating i'm hoping I don't! Anyway, i've been no help, just wanted to let you know your not on your own!! Good luck.
  6. botozi

    botozi Full Member

    I know exactly what you mean. In a far past i lost 50 kg and was a total other person. I could buy all the nice clothes i wanted but when i was in a shop i still kept looking at the big sizes. I think it's normal that you have to get used to the new you.

    Maybe it helps if you go back to the time you decided to do CD. What was the reason that you wanted too loose weight? Are you mentally the same person? I don't think so. Be proud of yourself!!!!!

    You wanted a change and that change has happened. Learn to love your self for such a great and big achievement.

    It would help if your HB would be more supportive. Mine is and that makes it all a little "easier".

    Succes with accepting the new you!

  7. rovesne

    rovesne Member

    Hi! I was just out Googling and reading up on related topics and this came up.

    I've got my story, pictures, etc out there. I suffer with the same thing that you are.

    And I have to agree with the post above. The more research I do on BDD, the more I realize the we don't have it. I feel it's mis-diagnosed due to very similar symptoms and how we "present". Regaless of what we want to call it, it's been over 5 years now and I still struggle.

    So, check out my site and ask questions if ya got 'em! I'm glad to help :)
    Last edited by a moderator: 16 December 2007
  8. JodieJoJo

    JodieJoJo Silver Member

    I so know where you are coming from. I have only got my head around it during the past week or so and I still don't seem to be all the way there. As I need loads more new clothes I have been buying a few bits in the charity shops - i got a pair of size 8 jeans the other day and they looked really small on the hanger. Got them home and they fit fine - I have told myself and anybody else who has commented on my nice new jeans, that they must be faulty, cant possibly be an 8, and that is why the original owner put them in the charity shop! lol
  9. rovesne

    rovesne Member

    Ok! So I cant post links...I just uploaded my photos to my gallery on the left and I've attached my story below:

    After giving in to obesity for approximately 2o years, I decided to change some things.

    My heaviest weight was between 380 - 400+ pounds. I remember wearing a size 52 waist in High School.

    About 5 years ago, I made a decision that has changed my life forever. This was a decision that had done more damage than good, even though the outcome was indeed what I was looking for.

    After losing a job that I loved, I have time to spare, and weight to shed. I made the decision to go on (what I know now as) a VLCD - Very Low Calorie Diet. My caloric intake would range between 300-500 calories per day.

    I also started a crash exercise plan that included 15 - 30 miles per day of intense road / mountain biking.

    After doing this for about 9 months, I was able to bring my weight down from approximately 400LBS, to 198LBS. In the process of losing almost 200 pounds, I became under weight, lost most of my muscle, became fatigued and created more internal damage than I would have imagined.

    I was able to keep pushing though my weight loss until my body finally gave up and could not go any further. I couldn’t even get out of bed without feeling dizzy and having breif "white-outs".

    After seeing a medical doctor to get my back on my feet, I noticed the real damage that occurred. Mentally, I had caused a complete mix-up / reset that I am still recovering from today.

    I've got a skewed self image and have a hard time with "fitting in", as I still feel as though I'm different. Socially, I feel as though I still don't belong with the "in" crowd, and when I do associate them I have nothing in common.

    I have been diagnosed with symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder - a self image issue where you are never happy with your body, and you don't see what other people see. I work on this every day, and it's becoming easier.

    On the up side, I make progress every day. I've learned to work around these issues until I get things to the point where I have overcome them. I work hard at this every day.

    I also have found a new passion for helping people with the struggles of obesity, eating disorders and image issues. The psychology behind these disorders is fascinating to me as I've experienced all of them and for the first time in my life - able to view them from the out side, in.

    I hope to turn this work into my future and do the best I can to assist in the fight!
  10. FatFairNForty(ish)

    FatFairNForty(ish) Gold Member

    Goal Weight:
    Cambridge - Sole Source
    Intersting thread this... my head hasn't caught up with my body yet either. Not a bad thing for most of the time, but I find it somewhat amusing when people call me titchy or tiny... not the way I see myself at all. I hate when they call me skinny though. Never thought I'd ever have anyone call me that!!

    I do not want to be a size 8... (to me that means underweight).. I currently wear clothes that vary from 10 to 14 (labels are so different) so it's little wonder I can't get to grips with what size I truly am! I do know that I'm not fat anymore, I know because I have a record of it and the person looking back at me in the mirror is not fat. However, it doesn't stop me 'feeling' fat. There's the rub.

    I have no idea how long it will take for me to adjust, I had no idea I would feel this way. I don't think I have that Body whatsit problem, I think for me it is a matter of time and once the excess skin's gone, the acceptance of the 'new' me.

    I hope that others who feel similarly don't worry too much about it and just let time work it's magic and I for one appreciate the hints on what to do to help things along (ie the clothes tip earlier...).
  11. Deb G

    Deb G Silver Member

    Start Weight:
    Current Weight:
    Goal Weight:
    Yeah - I'm finding it hard to get my head round it. I don't always recognise myself in the mirror at the moment, and I sat in the bath last night bemoaning my HUGE stomach, which actually disappeared when I stood up. I have 2 pairs of size 10 skinny jeans, but I told everyone that the sizing MUST be generous! Also tried on an old pair of my jeans that looked little on the hanger, but slipped straight on.

    I still head for medium (which is good because it used to be XL or large) when the small is the one that fits, and when people who don't know me from before say "Ooh aren't you lovely and slim", I think they are taking the mickey.

    I'm hoping once I reach goal (9 stone) I'll be able to start seeing what is THERE rather than what there is still to lose!
  12. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

    very interesting post, and good to see that many people see the same as me when they look in the mirror, I like many have a problem with the mirror, yet as KD says, the shop window is a very good one, I actually like getting a quick glance and am always pleasantly surprised.

    I too can be a self sabbotager, I think a Im having a bad day so why not go the whole hog and have a horrendous one, but, slowly, very slowly, Im sorting my head out, I experiment with different leels of hunger, one of my main panics is if I dont eat when I should then Ill pass out and die or something, sounds daft?? Well maybe I am, but hey at least I can admit it to myself now!!!

    There is so much more behind staying slim than not eating, took me about a year to realise, but at least Im getting there.

    Stick with slim thoughts x
    FatFairNForty(ish) likes this.
  13. shrinking violet

    shrinking violet Full Member

    I can really identify with much said in this thread. In my case, people who know me in real life find it odd when I say I can see my weight loss on the tape measure but not in the mirror.

    Rovesne, well done on your loss - pics are great. Reading your story I am left wondering if your daily exercise regime was suitable for a person on a VLCD? On the other hand, I take my hat off to you. Not many people of a healthy weight would / could do that much exercise.
  14. bunnycd

    bunnycd Full Member

    I am really sorry to hear that. I hope you have fully recovered from this awful ordeal. Glad that you are now at goal. Don't worry your feelings will not last... it is natural to feel fat when you are not. It will take time. I don't know what we expect... a perfect body? Even at size 8 or 10 lumps and bumps show up. At the end of the day, I guess over eating was comfort to what is happening at work. So.. WELL DONE for changing this and your body. You WILL get back to normal, but PLEASE don't loose anymore. Give it 6 months and the fact you can't get into any M&S or Wallis clothes will mean that you are slim. WALK PAST EVANS AND PUT 2 FINGER UP! Love Bunny x
    p.s. I don't do any exercise as I hate it... I just walk the dog for 30 mins every day... that is enough!
  15. Deb G

    Deb G Silver Member

    Start Weight:
    Current Weight:
    Goal Weight:
    This struck a chord with me - and it came up in Gillian Riley's book "Eating Less" which has pretty much become my Bible!!

    Most overweight people have a real fear of being hungry! Rather than thinking...."oh well, I may get hungry later, so I'll deal with it then, or eat as soon as I get chance afterwards", they eat tons before they set out (ie I'll be driving at lunchtime, so I'll have something at 10am instead to carry me over), or (like most dieters the night before they start the diet) have a 'last supper'.

    When I got my start date for LL I ate as much of everything that I liked as I could BEFORE. How ridiculous!! Like that food would have carried me through 4 months anyway?? One thing abstinence has helped me with is not to fear hunger. OK, so I may be hungry now, but I'll be eating again in an hour.....where's the panic!?;)
  16. Lilly

    Lilly Full Member

    Cambridge Diet
    Rovesne - you look like a different person! Thanks for your post. At least we've got this site guys imagine how alone we would feel without the internet! None the wiser but there's comfort in not feeling the minority weirdo!!
  17. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

    ive just bought this book off ebay, Ive never bought a self help book before, but this seemed really sensible to me.

    The fear of hunger is certainly a nasty one, its better than it was, but deffo not sorted yet;)
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  19. Sweetpea

    Sweetpea Full Member

    Cambridge Diet
    This is me too. People want me to be realy excited about my weight loss but although I've had to get rid of ALL my clothes I look in the mirror and don't see a size 10 person. I went out the other day to buy new clothes and I held up the clothes and had no idea what size to try on. When I hold something up I tend to think the 16 looks like it will fit.
    OH told me they will be too big so I thought I'd give a 12 a whirl but thought they'd be too tight. They were too big. In fact a lot of 10s are too big on the waist. I know they've changed sizes over the years but shopping is just as much a nightmare right now as it was when I was bigger - it takes ages because I tend to try the bigger sizes on and work my way down.

    I am pleased but I do hope my brain catches up with my body soon - I'm driving hubby mad.
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