Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - changing your self-image

Here's the deal - I was skinny when I was a kid. My dad used to tell me if I turned sideways, I'd disappear. Then I gained 30 pounds in 30 months after going on birth control pills (I was 19 and getting married). After that, I remained 30-60 pounds overweight, yo yo dieting and never being able to keep the weight off.

Five years ago I gave up dieting and hired a nutritionist. She taught me how to eat, factoring in my food allergies and sensitivities, likes, dislikes, etc. I'd lost 50 pounds and this last year, another 13. I am now skinny. But my mind doesn't think so. It still thinks fat. So when I go shopping, I still look for the larger sizes and when they swim on me, I am quite shocked.

Accepting such a huge change in one's appearance isn't easy. Yes, I am delighted at how I look and especially how I feel. Yes, I love putting on clothing and have it look good. But how am I to get my mind synced with where my body really is? It's almost as if I'm afraid to believe it - probably because I did it so many times before and always got fat again. But this time I've maintained for 5 years, so I think it's time I accepted this is it. Never going to go back to eating the way I used to. And I'm really into strengthening and toning my body as well.

Is your image of yourself accurate?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Someday it will sink in! Think that's awesome though, Karen.
I'm in better shape (stronger, more muscle) than twenty years ago and sometimes that surprises me. Especially when I look at other men my age.

Tonja said...

Thanks for reminding me today is the day I'm going to start exercising. I keep forgetting. :)

I've noticed something's definitely wrong with my mirror. There's a pudgy person in it. That can't be me.

Christine Rains said...

That is awesome! I admire that you can lose the weight. I'm trying to get myself to do the same thing, but I yo yo too. Your mind will catch up with your body. Usually it takes a little while, but it'll get there. That's why most of us always feel younger than we look!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ten years ago my husband and I both adjusted our eating and exercise habits and lost weight. I've mostly maintained it (was down to 115 pounds, but my ribs start to show at that point, so 120-125 looks healthier) but there are days I still feel fat.

And then I go out in public for five minutes and realize "Oh no, I'm really skinny!" LOL

Talli Roland said...

Wow, well done, Karen.

That's a tough question. Mr TR is always saying I look beautiful, but then when I look in the mirror... ugh! I'm glad beauty is in the eye of the beholder! :)

Karen Walker said...

Alex, so true - most of the country is considered obese.
Tonja, just take it one day at a time.
Christine, ah yes, I still feel 25 till I look in the mirror.
Diane, that's so funny - I had a friend accuse me of becoming anorexic, but I think she was just jealous.
Talli, your hubby is so right.

Emily said...

I've dealt with issues like this too. I recall a time in my life when everyone was asking me if I was anorexic. I was always so confused by those questions because I was eating all the time, and not necessarily healthy foods. I suppose my metabolism was through the roof and didn't gain any weight despite how much I was eating.

All the while, I never, ever thought I was thin.

Years later, I saw a picture of myself during that time and oh my gosh I was so skinny. I couldn't believe that I looked like that AND that I didn't realize how thin I really was. In fact, I thought the opposite.

It's so crazy!

Tracy Makara said...

Karen, I am so happy for you that you've been able to maintain a healthy weight for five years! That's wonderful.

My weight has been a yo-yo for pretty much my entire life. In the past year and a half I have managed to lose forty pounds and still have some more to go. This time, I hope that once I get it all off I keep it off for good!

As far as viewing myself realistically...I'm not sure. I have plenty of people tell me that I am pretty/attractive and I just do not see it when I look in the mirror. It isn't as though I see hideous when I look in the mirror either...but pretty...not very often.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Congratulations on maintaining your weight loss (and experts still say the pill doesn't cause weight gain!!)

I'm exactly the same when buying clothes - I always take a larger size into the changing room because that's what I used to wear. I can't stop myself, but I've learnt to pick up the smaller size too.

DL Hammons said...

Oh....my self-image is perfectly formed. It's the real thing that seems a bit stretched! :)

L.G.Smith said...

Ha! What DL said. I think my butt is finally catching up with my ego in terms of size. :P

Suze said...

'But how am I to get my mind synced with where my body really is?'

This is SUCH a wise post, Karen. Wish I could adjust everyone's self image to best-case scenario!

Liz Fichera said...

That is an excellent question, Karen, and I don't know how to answer. How is that we women have become so screwed up about body images?

Helen Ginger said...

Congratulations for becoming healthy. How did you find your nutritionist?

Arlee Bird said...

My mental image and what I see in the mirror certainly don't jibe. I'm pretty sure there is something wrong with my mirrors.

I think you are doing a great job and deserve congratulations.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Your story is similar to mine. I didn't gain weight until after I had my fourth child but now I've gotten back to my previous exercise habits and have taken most of it off. I'm having the same trouble with clothing.

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