This is an article written by me, the Quirky Qonfidence Qoach, in Feb 2017, reflecting on my realization that losing weight had actually hurt my body image.
How do you lose weight without hating your body?
This is what I'm currently trying to figure out, as I'm working on re-losing some weight I regained.
I'm not trying to lose it because I don't like my body. I've mostly gotten over those demons (that is, I can mostly silence the body shaming thoughts when they come).
Instead, I'm trying to lose it because the gain came largely from mindless overeating. I don’t want to mindlessly undo what I worked hard to achieve. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that I'm trying to get my eating under control than to say I'm trying to lose weight.
(Also so I can fit into these purple pants and purple jacket I bought!!)
Nevertheless, progress pictures can be helpful. There's a strong disincentive to take "before" pictures because usually people are ashamed of their body as it is before they try to change it. But it's helpful to be able to visually track progress. It's certainly superior to tracking the number on the scale, which is a function of fat, muscle, AND water.
Ideally, you could learn to love your body as it is before or while you change it. May seem impossible but it's a better solution than hating your body for the whole time you're trying to lose weight, hoping you'll love it once you do lose the weight, and then being terrified of ever regaining any weight because then you'll go back to the body you hate.
It's at least necessary to know that there's no guarantee that losing weight will result in you loving your body. It certainly didn't work that way for me, and that situation wasn’t one that any of the fitness magazines had ever prepared me for.
I don't know what the solutions are, but I'm going to figure some out and share.
First step: none of this gloominess that people always have in their before pictures. I put on a big smile. (I also was aware of stomach-sucking and took pictures of both how I'm used to standing (stomach sucked in), a more relaxed pose, and the bottom right one of the 1st collage that's shows how easy it is to make yourself look more "before" than you really are.)
Please write any thoughts, experiences, struggles, advice, pictures, or anything else below :)