Me-but-not-me feeling 44lbs down?

I don’t know if this is a normal experience, I’m 44lbs down and I keep feeling like I don’t look like myself. I look down at my body and it looks normal - I’m still overweight and have a tummy, etc. But I’ll catch myself in the mirror or in photos where my shoulders look sharp, or my waist looks defined, and while I like that it also creeps me out because I don’t look like me! I don’t recognize it. It feels strange. I don’t identify with these features and it feels very very weird sometimes. I see these things and feel proud, but also like I am not in my body if that makes sense.

Did this happen to you? Did it pass?
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Replies

  • Jasdramaqueen
    Jasdramaqueen Posts: 55 Member
    Kiela, firstly, congratulations on your weight loss! And secondly, YES, I feel exactly the same! I've lost about 21 lb and although my clothes fit now, I don't 'see' any difference. Everyone is commenting but all I see is a huge stomach and the need to lose another 10 lb before I will be at my 'target weight.' Then yesterday, I wore a dress that, in the mirror, made me say 'wow, that can't be me!' It's odd but we're so used to seeing ourselves in a certain way and running ourselves down, it’s difficult to change the mantra. Also, the fear of being comfortable and then losing the drive (or piling the weight back on!) is also a factor in not wanting to like what we see.

    All I can say is, love yourself, acknowledge the fact you’ve come on an incredible journey, one you’re still on and enjoy the comments! You’ve worked hard for them! I'm personally still waiting for the feeling to pass but would also love to hear from others who are farther along the road.
  • RelCanonical
    RelCanonical Posts: 3,883 Member
    I know how you feel. I've lost 25 on a 5'1'' frame, but somehow I feel that instead of getting thinner, I've just gotten "smaller" - as if I'm proportionally the same, just shorter? It's not logical at all, but it's my gut reaction when I first look in the mirror. Usually I'm better after a second look.
  • Kimmotion5783
    Kimmotion5783 Posts: 417 Member
    Congrats on your weight loss, that is fantastic! Way to go! And yes, it's totally normal to feel that way. I've been on my weight loss journey for two years now, down 125 pounds, and it still seems a little odd to me to see my arms so skinny, a defined waist, collar bone at the neck, etc. All good things of course, but it still doesn't quite feel like 'me'. An important component in weight loss is the a mind-body connection, and in time your mind will catch up to the rest of your body. We are still getting used to our smaller improved selves.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,488 Member
    Congrats! And, yes.
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    Congrats on your weight loss, that is fantastic! Way to go! And yes, it's totally normal to feel that way. I've been on my weight loss journey for two years now, down 125 pounds, and it still seems a little odd to me to see my arms so skinny, a defined waist, collar bone at the neck, etc. All good things of course, but it still doesn't quite feel like 'me'. An important component in weight loss is the a mind-body connection, and in time your mind will catch up to the rest of your body. We are still getting used to our smaller improved selves.

    Thank you. I don’t want to feel so disconnected like this, even at my largest when I felt encumbered by my body, like there was extra hanging off me, I still looked like ‘me’ to me. I felt like me+fat. Now it looks not-me, which can be more upsetting sometimes even if I like the look and I also feel proud of myself. It’s a weird combination of feelings, and I don’t like not recognizing myself. 125lbs is a lot, wow!!

    I do hope my mind catches up.
  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,931 Member
    Yup, took me a good year to accept my new face and body. It's kind of weird at the beginning. I lost a little over 100 pounds. Hang in there it gets easier.
  • Kimmotion5783
    Kimmotion5783 Posts: 417 Member
    @kiela64 - don't worry, your mind will catch up. I can understand the weirdness of the feeling, but in time it will go away. I speak from experience. I'm glad to know it's not just me that feels this way sometimes.
  • JustinAnimal
    JustinAnimal Posts: 1,335 Member
    I've never had any idea, not ANY idea of what I looked like. When I was down to 178 (incredibly low weight relative to me and my personal history), I still saw me being fat. When I went back up to 245 lbs., I was able to tell myself I looked more like where I was at 200. When I start losing weight, I no longer think I look good (as opposed to when I was heavier); instead, when I start losing weight, I feel fatter and fatter. Wifey says dysmorphia, but maybe it's more like ambigumorphia or something like that. Grass-is-always-greener-morphia. Something.

    Anyway, you're not alone. Happy for you that you're losing weight.
  • dhiammarath
    dhiammarath Posts: 832 Member
    edited October 2018
    I get this in my face these days. I'll feel like 'me' and when I look down at myself, I don't feel different (which is a different problem -- I have a lot of issues seeing me as a smaller me) but then I'll be making an expression and happen to catch it in a reflective surface and be startled. That's not me... is it? Sometimes, I make faces at myself to try and acclimate my mental image of me with chubby chipmunk cheeks and the new image of me with a more defined jawbone. I'll never have a sharp chin and always have a little extra baby chin hanging out under my small jaw, but.

    It's weird, there's all these shadows and contours to my face now. And the expressions I make startle me as if I am staring through the glass darkly.
  • manderson27
    manderson27 Posts: 3,509 Member
    This seems to be quite common. A lot of people on MFP have posted that they feel this same disconnect between how the feel and what they see after losing weight.

    Strangely I am the opposite. When I was really overweight (280 lbs) when I was in my early 30's I couldn't believe what I saw in the mirror and struggled with it on a daily basis. I couldn't reconcile how I felt (thin) with how I actually looked. I think it was because I gained the weight over a relatively short period of time after being a healthy weight up to that point. I would buy clothes that were too small because I just couldn't believe I was that big, it was a real disconnect (denial) in my head of how fat I had become. It wasn't until my brain caught up with my eyes that I was mentally ready to lose that weight.

    Once I had lost the weight I felt like me again. Then years later I gained back some of the weight and yet again was surprised sometimes when I saw the fat lady looking back. Not quite to the same degree though. My brain was a bit more honest with me this time around.

    The brain is complex and strange and can trick us in all kinds of ways. I am sure it will catch up at some point.
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    Thank you ❤️ I hope I will catch up. It’s very weird. But maybe I will adjust over time. @manderson27 you reminded me that I did feel quite weird when I put on some weight quickly in 2015. I was that size for 2.5+ years. So I had time to adjust. Maybe this will be similar.
  • manderson27
    manderson27 Posts: 3,509 Member
    I am sure it will. You have done an amazing job 44lbs is a lot of weight to lose. Remember you are still you. Just a slimmer healthier version. Embrace your new shape as a part of who you are now, healthier, stronger, fitter. B)
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,777 Member
    This seems to be quite common. A lot of people on MFP have posted that they feel this same disconnect between how the feel and what they see after losing weight.

    Strangely I am the opposite. When I was really overweight (280 lbs) when I was in my early 30's I couldn't believe what I saw in the mirror and struggled with it on a daily basis. I couldn't reconcile how I felt (thin) with how I actually looked. I think it was because I gained the weight over a relatively short period of time after being a healthy weight up to that point. I would buy clothes that were too small because I just couldn't believe I was that big, it was a real disconnect (denial) in my head of how fat I had become. It wasn't until my brain caught up with my eyes that I was mentally ready to lose that weight.

    Once I had lost the weight I felt like me again. Then years later I gained back some of the weight and yet again was surprised sometimes when I saw the fat lady looking back. Not quite to the same degree though. My brain was a bit more honest with me this time around.

    The brain is complex and strange and can trick us in all kinds of ways. I am sure it will catch up at some point.

    I'm right there with you! I know what I see in the mirror, but it's like I keep expecting to see the "old" me (which was me for the vast majority of my life).

    The odd thing, however, is when I do something, like, put a hand on my hip, THAT's where the weight LOSS feels weird, or like it's someone else's body.

    So, I never did adapt to seeing "fat" me, but I adapted to how this/that body felt, and now that I'm losing again, the differences between those two things I find really odd!
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    Thank you for sharing everyone, I feel less weird! ❤️❤️❤️
  • workinonit1956
    workinonit1956 Posts: 1,043 Member
    Congrats on your loss! I can definitely relate. I’ve lost a total of 53 pounds at 5’2.5” (183-130) and I’m in the process of wrapping my mind around how I look now. There are times I don’t think I look all that much different, but other times where I look at the sagging skin, flat almost nonexistent tush, and tiny shoulders and honestly get a little freaked out. I still suck in my stomach, then have to tell myself it’s not necessary anymore.
    I’m glad to read others have similar reactions and that it gets easier.
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    Congrats on your loss! I can definitely relate. I’ve lost a total of 53 pounds at 5’2.5” (183-130) and I’m in the process of wrapping my mind around how I look now. There are times I don’t think I look all that much different, but other times where I look at the sagging skin, flat almost nonexistent tush, and tiny shoulders and honestly get a little freaked out. I still suck in my stomach, then have to tell myself it’s not necessary anymore.
    I’m glad to read others have similar reactions and that it gets easier.

    Thank you! Also- same height! My shoulders are definitely what looks the most different to me. I look like a hanger with saggy balloons attached lmao. My stomach looks the most familiar until it’s in something waist cinching....in a lot of ways it’s weird. I realized I was overeating for about 2 weeks, and I think part of me is rejecting this “new” body as not connecting with my self image. It’s jarring and that part wants me to return to “normal” 😐 I’d rather not.
  • Vonny198334
    Vonny198334 Posts: 178 Member
    Congratulations!

    100% I totally understand. Still not used to myself but it's getting slightly better now the changes aren't coming so thick & fast...it's more gradual.

    Found what helped me was changing my profile photos on everything quite frequently. Social media, phone wallpaper, laptop, fitness tracker...here...
    Sounds quite vain, but I honestly feel it's necessary to help the brain catch up. My hubs & I hadn't taken a photo together for about 8 months so phone wallpaper me & REAL me were about 40-50lbs in difference. I saw that picture everyday countless times & though it didn't register consciously, it seeped in & was how I still saw myself. That really wasn't helpful! Neither was having older photos peeking at me from twitter etc. Once changed them, I began to get fewer "shocks" haha

    Getting used to bones & angles is quite difficult but there will come a time where we don't even think on it. Well done on your success again!
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,152 Member
    I think it may depend on how long a person has been overweight. For me, I was thin most of my life..when I lost my weight recently I could see the good old me back in the mirror. Perfect? no. But there she was..the me I was used to.

    Maybe for someone who has been heavy most of their life ..it has to be weird to dip down in weight where you've never been as an adult. Of course that takes getting used to.
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    I think it may depend on how long a person has been overweight. For me, I was thin most of my life..when I lost my weight recently I could see the good old me back in the mirror. Perfect? no. But there she was..the me I was used to.

    Maybe for someone who has been heavy most of their life ..it has to be weird to dip down in weight where you've never been as an adult. Of course that takes getting used to.

    Yes! I haven’t been this size since I was 17/18. That was nearly 7 years ago.
  • workinonit1956
    workinonit1956 Posts: 1,043 Member
    kiela64 wrote: »
    I think it may depend on how long a person has been overweight. For me, I was thin most of my life..when I lost my weight recently I could see the good old me back in the mirror. Perfect? no. But there she was..the me I was used to.

    Maybe for someone who has been heavy most of their life ..it has to be weird to dip down in weight where you've never been as an adult. Of course that takes getting used to.

    Yes! I haven’t been this size since I was 17/18. That was nearly 7 years ago.
    This is me, also. I’m 62 and haven’t been at this weight level since high school.