Trusting the Mirror, Photos or Your Heart?

Laurie in sports bra and yoga pants in the mirror
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I’m pondering how my mirror image makes me feel. How much is real and how much comes from our own self-image?

Comments on Day 85 from Stéfanie and Cheryl really make think about my self-image

Stéfanie writes … I just had an ah ha moment. I never thought that some people could prefer not getting ANY kind of feedback about their weight loss. I never thought that because I am the complete opposite. I litteraly CRAVE the comments. To me, they are the best of rewards. So, thanks for making me aware and sensitive to this.
It made me realize once again that I need to shed this obsessive need for other people’s approval. Why do I crave this feedback so much? It’s not just with weightloss, it’s all over my life. My older lady friends and family say I will grow out of it as I get older. That what other people think of you gets less and less important. If it’s so, then, I’m eager to age

Cheryl writes – I think that’s sort of true for me. I’m 63, and the older I’ve gotten the less I’ve cared what strangers and acquaintances think about me. It does feel different with good friends and family, though. Maybe there’s always that need for their approval. The weight loss issue is really one of those “hot button” issues for me. My mind doesn’t grasp the positive in a compliment, it goes right to the reverse — so did I look that bad before?…

Part of what I write – Hi there dear, Stéfanie! Rachel posted to me on Day 58 just the other day that I shouldn’t apologize for asking for feedback as

  • According to Transactional Analysis we need positive strokes to help us ‘open the heart’. Stroke starvation can lead to physical, emotional and physical illness according to Claude Steiner.

And I think there is a lot of truth to that. I know myself, I grew up pretty much believing I was not good enough in any way, or if I WAS good, I ought not mention it, or make any fuss about it. This led to an emotional starvation that was partially at the root of my stuffing myself with food to soothe these needs. It’s not the only reason, for sure, but a big part. So for example, if Diane the Champion was doing another Body for Life course and I KNEW she was working hard to shed fat and build muscle and I saw her progressing, FOR SURE I would mention it. It is very hard work. And I think when I was in Weight Watchers I LOVED when my WW friends mentioned my progress too. But lately, I’ve been thinking about “Why is it ALWAYS a good thing to have lost weight?” Since my body type is not slender, and I come from endomorph stock on both sides of my family, we were taller, stockier and fatter. I don’t mean in the sit around eating all day fatter, I mean our bodies, from every photo I’ve ever seen, had more fat over the muscle than in other families. AND both sides of my family were physically hard workers. Farmers, laborers etc. This is a legitimate body to have. Just one of the rainbow of possible body types. So why am I so happy when I lose weight, or when people notice? Because for ME (and I’m talking only me here) it means I’m FINALLY one of the rest. I FINALLY fit in (chairs and emotionally).

Trouble is, that’s not who I am. It’s like dying my grey hair. I do it, but I really have greying hair. So when people compliment my hair, I also get a little cringe as I know this is my stylist they are complimenting and I feel a bit of deceit. But is it? Almost nobody my age has hair free from grey. Almost everybody in my area dyes their hair as in LA, youth is valued. It makes you listened to at work more. It’s just like when I lost all the weight and people started to respect me more. Really? My brains were non-active under fat? Really? My ideas and heart didn’t function? That was my anger about weight loss. That people only accepted the thinner package and it hurt to know that. Then I regained some, and noticed the opposite. Most didn’t say, “Wow, you’ve gained some weight!” but as they sure had mentioned it on the way down, I know they noticed on the way up. And as I said before, the more I weighed, the less I fit in.

Until now. Now some chairs are still a struggle, but *I* feel I fit in and my size isn’t as relevant. I still hope my body stabilizes at a lesser weight, because functionally, I don’t feel optimum yet. And I have flashes of familiar shame, as I told on Day 85 about my well-intentioned friend.

Laurie in the dressing room wearing slacks and printed top

This is the flattering photo my friend saw on FB and posted to me that I look thinner.

My friend intended to celebrate with what she thought was progress on my goal. Why wouldn’t she? Weight loss has ALWAYS been my goal, for as long as she’s known me. When I started this show and I tried to explain what I was doing, she literally could not understand any of it other than I wanted to lose weight. Then she said,”Oh you want to eat HEALTHIER”, I said, “Not really”. THAT one floored her. It makes no sense to state your goal is not to eat healthier. Well, I do, but not in the way she meant. I want to emotionally eat healthier. I do value my health, but without my emotional strength and health first, the rest is like frosting on a cardboard cake. My friend is not an emotional eater, so she cannot process my weird statements. So when she saw my photo, she said what she did to connect with me and celebrate me. My reaction is on me. Long story here, friend, Stéfanie, No? Short story. Celebrate yourself and others, and let the intention be your guide xoxoxoxoxoxox

Do you trust photos, the mirror, or your heart?

Now, Brave Companions, I am the same size in both of the photos on this blog post. The top photo in my yoga outfit was taken at home in my bathroom, and the legs are cut off since my mirror is not full length. This tends to focus on my hated trouble spot. The clothing in the dressing room photo still fits the same as when that photo was taken. Note, I’m turning at a flattering angel to snap my photo in the dressing room. Also, those slim fit slacks hold my tummy in a bit better than my comfy old yoga clothing. The dressing room photo made me feel REALLY good about myself, the yoga photo not so much.

Why? I am the same size.

  1. Even though we have an actual size, our brains interpret data though our own world view. So one woman’s size in a particular time in history and culture may be considered pleasing, and in another, horrific (yes, I know Suz, one of THOSE drastic vocabulary words).
  2. What is our social norm at my place in time? Despite mighty ongoing social media driven efforts for body acceptance, big breasted, thin and young seem to be our optimal beauty standard where I live.
  3. So it would seem that the flattering photo is closer to that beauty norm. But even so, I’m not any of those physical things.
  4. My inner view also colors my lens of acceptance. I had a GREAT day when I snapped the dressing room pic.
  5. The last week has been a bit tough on me. I’ve been over tired, feeling blue, and wondering if this show still serves a purpose for me or you? So many Brave Companions have left or gone silent. I’m still over 200 pounds and dealing with demons from my past. As Alen say, Progress, not perfection. But my progress this week seemed to stall and self-doubt abound
  6. A bright spot was the Halloween show. It was fun to work with Mark again and to have the contributions of Suz, Cheryl, Dawny and My friend Max. It was creative to edit that one all together, and I was proud of how I worked the eating topic into the theme.
  7. I also received a heart-felt email letter from a brave companion, who again said how much listening to all of the episodes has meant to her. This pulled my head out of my ass
  8. My size is the same, yet is feels different from day to day. Isn’t this why I gave up the scale?
  9. We all know I weigh more than 200 pounds, so why am I surprised by photos or unexpected mirror glimpses?
  10. I think partially that my actual size ballooned and plummeted so much and so often in the past, my internal size never stuck
  11. I think I still have strong ties to equating big/fat with bad/shameful. So if I feel bad for any reason, I feel fat. Period
  12. If I feel physically fat for any reason, water retention, tight clothing, actual weight gain, I feel bad about myself as a human being
  13. This is what I’m working on. I can be huge and it doesn’t make me a bad human being. I can be thin and it doesn’t make me a good human being. I can be any physical size and it doesn’t add or subtract to my heart or my character. Only my own thoughts, reactions, instincts, wisdom,and experience can guide my own self-worth, and I have a problem with this.
  14. Photos can be photoshopped (I’m actually quite good at that, though none of my photos in this blog are photoshopped beyond brightness adjustments). Photos vary by light, pose, angle etc. Photos capture one second through the lens of the photographer (in the case of selfies, yourself)
  15. Mirrors can be manipulated with light, your pose, your expectation etc. (Mirrors capture how you are looking to yourself during the moments you gaze into them. This varies by how you feel.)
  16. Hearts cannot tell physical size. They can be influenced by emotions and negative or positive thought.

I’ve written this list to ponder and think through all of this today. I conclude that hearts are best for judging our inner worth, photos are best for making artistic statements or capturing times of our lives, whatever our sizes, and the mirror is best for smiling in and telling ourselves, “I love you as you are.”

Laurie, I love you in your yoga pants

Comments box:

20 thoughts on “Trusting the Mirror, Photos or Your Heart?

  1. Dawny

    OH MY GOODNESS.. Laurie, Im sorry that you have to question if this show is doing anything for anyone, I can only speak for ME, but PLEASE, I love you and this show, and connecting with other BC’s as they are here, or not… and I think that it helps you to ‘talk’ life out too, BC’s or not, this satisfies your heart, youve said it many times, being able to talk (if even to yourself)..
    I hope you don’t go away
    Great job making a list and checking it twice (DOH)… but seriously, lists are good, and I REALLY like yours, im relating to it RIGHT now..

    sending you a big HUG

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks Dawny! Sorry there, I didn’t mean to sound any alarms, I’m just posting my feelings instead of “heading for the chips”, and I have been feeling a bit down lately. It’s kind of like having 100s of first dates when BCs first find the show and they are so excited, but after a time, life gets in the way or the show isn’t relevant to them any longer, or for any number of reasons, they disappear. And I truly do care about each and every one of them, and it takes a bit of a toll. And at this point there have been many, many, BCs go that route. That is MY issue though, and not theirs. Any number of things are weighing on my mind lately. I know YOU know what it is like to go through the IE process. It doesn’t make sense to most people. And to most people I’m not a success as I weigh what I weigh. And it is SO HARD to keep explaining it and to keep getting food and exercise recommendations from well meaning people. It would be EASIER to be on a diet, and then off again, as everyone understands that process. But it’s not for me. And I wonder if my struggles through this process make the show no longer relatable. Maybe I’m not fish nor fowl. I still like to do it though, so for now I’m still on track. Luckily there are still enough of active participants like you to give me topics to consider. So hugs right back at you. My weight has been bothering me lately even though my clothes are the same. This unfunny piece was me trying to work through it. Thanks again for posting, it really does help to know you’re out there in my corner. xoxoxoxox

  2. Cheryl

    For me, I NEVER like photos of myself because no matter how good they might be, they just don’t live up to MY standard. There’s no one as hard on me as I am. That goes for appearance and behavior both. And yet when it comes to other people, I don’t give a d*mn what they look like. That is SO not the first thing I notice. First thing I notice? Hands and eyes…

    I love your picture in your new outfit, but I love the way your hair is down in the first pix. You have LOTS of hair. I’m so envious.

    You said such a mouthful up there. I’m not sure how to process it all. Do you feel, Laurie, like the podcast is bogged down because you’re not losing the way you thought you should be? Do you enjoy doing the podcast? If so, maybe it’s time to change the focus of it like Alen did if you want to continue. Whether folks are talking about weight loss or other issues, people seem to really gravitate to you.

    1. Dawny

      I’m struggle the same. The last couple days have not been real ‘intuitive ‘. Ever since I saw my weight. You’d think that is go the other way n reel it in. I want to. And ZM trying. But it’s hard. I’m sad I guess.
      I did find some ‘places’ that I’ve been not realizing excess caloric intake. I had a little ‘sit-down’ with the barista at the coffee shop wow!!! Also realize a lot of little habits I have of non-hunger directed eating. I’m trying to be concious of it

      You like me are very ‘attachable ‘ to people etc and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. So I understand what you mean about ppl come n go etc. It’s hard. N sad.
      Today I felt sorry for myself two ‘play date’ coulda beens didn’t happen cuz I wasnt ‘thought’ of before my two different friends were both doing domething they felt compelled to tell me about WHEN they were doing it rather than before with an invite lol. Of course I told them so Too. But lol.

      Hugs friend. I wish I could help you out

      Do you feel like your eating too much? Lost in the ie process? Yesterday being nov 1 I almost jumped on the diet bus!!! I was REALLY close.

      1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

        I think I have been eating a little too much, but nothing like my “I’m not on a diet” days. I also think I’ve let my mindfulness slip quite a bit with the busy schedule and letting myself get too hungry etc. The last few days I’ve been doing really well and feel much better in my body (as you can see from my BBs lately), but I’m worn out with explaining myself over and over again. It is stressful. People keep apologizing for having food in my presence (like because I’m big, they shouldn’t tempt me), or they tell me about another food plan I should try, or another food I should eliminate, on and on. It feels so lonely sometimes to be doing what I’m doing. I guess that’s why I’ve been especially missing the input and support of some of the BCs who used to be around. I’m sorry about your play date buddies being so insensitive. Nothing like getting the postcard “We’re having a GREAT time” when you’d like to have gone too. You are right I do wear my heart on my sleeve and get attached pretty easily. Probably another attribute we have like creativity, people pleasing and running away 🙂 Since I *am* a runner away-er, I should understand it more! For you Dawny, it must be so impossible to be in the WW culture and to practice IE. It seems so tough. I support you whichever way you need to go. IE is a long road, and it does usually mean letting go of weight loss and often a gain. For me, if I can work through my issues, it is worth it to me, even though I will most likely need to tolerate my body being as my body is for a very long time or forever. In fact, I think I need to really, really, REALLY work on actually appreciating it and loving it as is. I think I may have been faking that, waiting for the magic “no diet” fat melt away to happen. I believe my body will settle at a weight we can both enjoy (weird how I think of it outside of myself) eventually. I don’t have answers, but I’m glad you’re with me for the questions.

        1. Dawny

          I LOVE what you’ve written here… I think I too have been hoping for that ‘non-diet-fat-melt’ to come, even lying to myself and trying to believe I wasn’t hoping for that, your post kind of makes me realize that I am.. and I think I need to let go of it, but how? it’s hard

          Im terrified of going ‘back’.. the statistics say that 90-95% of lost weight returns depending on what statistic report you read

          Working at weight watchers hasn’t been quite as difficult as it may seem. For one thing I don’t work that often, and when I do I am a receptionist, I get ‘basic’ questions or pleas for ‘guidance’ and I really just utilize guidance/input from an IE standpoint, and if you really think about it, the weight watchers approach is quite similar to IE (aside from the ‘forbidden’ food philosophy, and the points plus system basically giving food ‘power’ and as well ‘good/bad’ reputations (based on points values) and ‘counting’) especially if you look at the ‘simply filling’ plan.
          I tend to just utilize my IE knowledge, and it really applies/fits.. I am able to assist people I think in a better way, example some-one talks about struggling with non hunger directed eating, or the fact that their points plus values are ‘gone’ for the day, I would then suggest they honor their hunger, if they are hungry eat, choose power foods that will offer satiety etc.. they should NOT be hungry and not eat, and then may suggest to them that they might need to look at their choices in the respect that maybe they are not satisfying them and they could make a more satisfying choice.. if that makes sense
          Im getting closer to ‘letting go’ of that part/chapter of my life I think.. Im just not quite ‘there’ yet, if that makes sense at all? Im still on the fence about it.. I don’t do change all that well, and that has been a HUGE part of my life

          I too struggle badly with acceptance, and feeling like I am questioning myself, and I want to go back to counting, tracking dieting so bad to get to a number.. then I ask why? what number? why? says who? and I also remember how miserable I was and I don’t want to go back to diet hell prison, I enjoy my life right now and the food, and the experiences, but im not enjoying where my body is really, I am not talking about the number on the scale either, im talking about how I feel, I feel a little fluffy, and I dont like it, that’s sort of motivating..

          I had 2 ‘heavy-er-ish’ eating days, that’s not helping with my thinking/feeling and mentality either..

          one day at a time, progress not perfection

          1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Oh Dawny, I’m so glad you took the time to talk about how you use IE principles along with WW. That makes perfect sense and I bet in the end you will be able to figure this all out (if you can stand it). It is totally scary to see that hard won weight come back. I still feel that fear of 300 breathing down my neck again. But the truth is, I don’t eat enough on my worst day to get there again, and I bet you don’t either. I also didn’t exercise at all on my way to 300. I also didn’t think a thing about all of the emotional pain I was feeling at that time. I’ve learned a ton about myself and how my body feels. So in reality, I don’t think my fear of gaining everything back is realistic. I bet the weigh-in for you was a huge trigger event. It would have been for me. Part of our binge/diet cycle is the negative feeling of a bigger scale number that triggers us to punish/soothe ourselves. That’s why I’m staying off. It’s not that I can’t face my nemesis, it’s that I want to interrupt that cycle. Since you work for WW you have no choice about stepping on the sucker. I guess you’ll have to figure out how to step back and think of it like I do my BB number. Oh crap, my BB is 3 today, WTF? What can I learn from this? And the hardest part will be to avoid the automatic diet mentality that thinks calorie deprivation can fix it. From what you describe, you’ve been having some “yahoo isn’t life grand?” eating behaviors. That’s kind of fun and cool. But your body isn’t feeling well from the amount of it. So, my friend, I think we both need to practice balancing our yahoos and treats (and enjoy them mightily) with the times our bodies just don’t want to eat so much. As you say, it’s progress not perfection. And I know the body feeling you are describing. I’ve had that too heavy, tummy in my way feeling for about a month. And that is just about the amount of time I’ve been feeling a lot of stress. This last week has been better and Mark says I don’t look nearly as puffy today as I have been. I also haven’t eaten anything past satisfied for several days. So I hope it will balance out. This experience threw me for a loop and shook my confidence. But now, I’m feeling stronger from it. I am more committed, and I have my eyes opened to my unrealistic wishes that were causing me to flirt with eating in a non IE way. Hugs again. xoxoxox

          2. Dawny

            Thanks laurie. This is great!!! I needed this today. You’ve got into my head in good ways with a lot of points here. Yay. Today is a new day

            As with the Weight Watchers wi… I can not look at the scale if it really comes down to it. They can input my wi without me seeing a thing at least there’s that.
            I’m debating on doing my wi again this wed for the month of nov because then I literalky would not have to step on the scale until dec 31st. Again not looking if I so choose

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks Cheryl for stopping by today. I don’t know what’s up with me at the moment. Your point about photos is so true. To people who see me all of the time, any photo, even one I hate, is just another photo of Laurie to them. That’s one reason I take photos of myself, to get used to seeing myself. I have a lot of body image issues that I’m working through and the longer I am successful at not eating over all of these feelings, the deeper and stronger the feelings are that bubble up. I won’t lie, this is a whopping tough process. I’m already feeling better after writing and I took myself for a walk at Descanso to take photos and get out of my head. That was really effective. We’ll just have to see what happens to the show. It may morph eventually, or close shop, or thrive on for years. To me, it is where I do the work on myself. Like the scales I practice to sing. What I realize through this blog and podcast is what I then apply to the rest of my life. The whole lonesome feeling I get when comments and calls trickle down is a long time issue. And as I posted in reply to Dawny, it is emotionally tough to invest in so many people who disappear. I am getting better and developing more of a thick skin about it, but it’s still hard for me. Hope this makes sense. Thanks again GF for stepping up to support me today.
      Hugs xoxoxoxo

      1. Cheryl

        About the show. I think it’s just fine that you say what’s on your mind, even in regards to the show. I mean it’s there, whether you say it or not, so go ahead and say it so it doesn’t take hold of you and run amok.

        As to the validity or importance of the show, I know you’ve heard this quote: “Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.” ― Flavia Weedn

        Seems like we’re always feeling that way about people who wander in and out of OUR OWN life and make such a difference to us. But consider this, perhaps YOU are the one who wanders into someone else’s life and then enables them to learn and move on. Maybe what you need to do is learn to hold these gifts (for that’s what your BC friends are to you) in an open hand so that when they leave, it doesn’t hurt so much. (That’s a paraphrase of something Corrie ten Boom said: “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”)

        Can you envision yourself as a stopover on the eating underground? A safe house for people who are making that journey to freedom? (Or at least are trying to.) Can you be happy functioning in that kind of role? It certainly isn’t what the original intent of the podcast was. But if you’re questioning what to do with the podcast, it might be worth thinking about that. Mainly because it takes the focus off of you and your intent and puts in on those who are listening. You become a conduit for them to their own understanding, in a way. Just a thought.

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Your approach has much wisdom in it my friend. Basically, I need to not take things personally. This is true with many parts of my life. Also, I need to develop the same professional distance that all those in any caregiving profession need. I needed this as a teacher and it was tough then too, honestly. As to my show’s direction, it will always be about me as that’s all it is, my diary and what others in my life, online or offline, have to say. If BCs stop saying anything, then the conversation will be sorely limited, but it will be what is. Much of what you describe, I think I’ve done. This is a safe place to stop for a moment or several days. To pop in and out or to become a regular, as you are at the moment. My highest pleasure is seeing comments between BCs because I know a connection of ideas and sharing has grown without my dirct input. My life will inspire, frustrate, delight, and flummox myself and others as I live my truthful feeling. But I’ll never know exactly to what extent it impacts others. You are right I have no control over how others respond. I also have no control over how my heart reacts. Only my behavior. Today I chose to post about feelings that in the past I may not have. That’s how I processed them, with all of the kind thoughts and support I also received today. If that helps BCs in anyway, I’m happy. But in the end it helped me and I’m the only one I can truly be responsible for. I know myself and I will always worry and wonder and wish well to the missing BCs. They will always hold a special place with me, whether they are here or not. It’s how I’m made. I accept it. Being this way gives me a lot of joy even if there is a fair share of pain, as Dawny says, I wear my heart on my sleeve.

          1. Cheryl

            Well the important thing, then, is that you continue to get something out of the podcast yourself. It’s all about learning and growing. I’m just sorry it makes you ache so much when folks drift away. You know what, though? I think when push comes to shove it’s THAT quality that makes for a good teacher or anything where folks are in the helping fields. It helps, probably, to learn to not take things so personally, but it’s your vulnerability that makes the podcast work, your transparency.

  3. Stéfanie

    Fascinating. Both Cheryl and Dawnie and I read through all of your wonderful post and our focus was brought straight back to this number 5 of your list – letting go of the show!!! (I’ll comment the rest of this wonderful post in a minute…) I wonder if you quietly let it slip in here to gently prepare us (or yourself) for a possible decision in that sense. Hmmm. Is it the blue mood? The very busy schedule? The topic? The lassitude? Girl, I just want to offer you a big hug of acceptance. I hope you won’t let go of COED, but I totally, TOTALLY, respect you if you do….

    As for the main topic of this post…

    As I scrolled down on your post, I saw your picture of you looking at your back in the mirror. The first thing that came to my mind is that I’ve never seen that expression on your face. Your usual pictures are peaceful, joyful, funny, smily. We can all relate to that. The pictures I display of myself are like that to. Or should I say… the only pictures that I allow myself to display are of that kind… Maybe it’s not just our (big) bodies that we dislike. Maybe we dislike anything that is not ‘socially healthy’, for a lack of better words. Socially healthy is thin, but it’s also happy, successful, etc. I’m not sure I’m making myself clear as it’s still a little blur in my own head. Anyway. I wanted to say thank you – you inspire me. You dared to show us the real you. The real you sometimes giggles, is sometimes zen, is sometimes happy. And this is you, sometimes sad… Now that’s a truthful reflection.

    And this

    ‘hearts are best for judging our inner worth, photos are best for making artistic statements or capturing times of our lives, whatever our sizes, and the mirror is best for smiling in and telling ourselves, “I love you as you are.”

    is absolutely beautiful. I’ll be carrying that around of a while.

    Thank you. xx

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Oh you have it so right, mon amie! I thought this was interesting too.

      Fascinating. Both Cheryl and Dawnie and I read through all of your wonderful post and our focus was brought straight back to this number 5 of your list – letting go of the show!!!

      My list came out in the order of my thinking, and as I expressed my doubts about the show’s value, I never meant to imply I was going to stop it. After I re-read the post, I wondered if I should delete number 5, as to not worry any BCs, but let it ride as it was part of my feelings in the moment.

      Thank you too for getting the bravery it required, NOT to show my ass (after all I’ve shown worse in photos), but to show my FEELINGS about it. For one who is used to being funny, bright, helpful, and “on” to cover up low self esteem, it is very hard and very brave to show you all what is behind the mask visually as well as from my words. As an artist, I know you get how this is a very intimate communication. I’m actually a bit proud of the photo, as it shows exactly that moment artistically. And as all moments, it passed. I made a great choice to take myself on a photo safari to Descanso for Instagram to get me out of my negative headspace and back into a place of gratitude and wonder. It was fun to see new things in a place I’ve been to so often. I wonder if this is a good metaphor? To discover new wonders inside ourselves, even though we’ve been poking around in there so long.
      Hugs, hugs, hugs. xoxoxoxox

  4. Stéfanie

    Ahhh I’m happy you are feeling better. It must sometimes be hard to manage that discrepancy between when you write/record your feelings and when you receive the comments and that original feeling has passed… (is discrepancy the right word in this context? french lady wonders…)

    Yes, the metaphor is very good! and no, don’t take the number 5 away, because that, also, is the truth, although it’s the truth of one moment that passed by. I’ll go check your instagram pic soon, as soon as I’m done with the dreadful marking (I HATE marking student work). (I had to promise myself one tiny, little minute on this website to motivate me to get at least one pile of marking done haha)

    Stéfanie xx

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Discrepancy is a great word in that context. It is strange sometimes. Today the feelings are still fresh, even if not as strong as when I wrote them. When BCs comment on what was happening with me months ago, it can be very odd. What I do then is re-listen to remember and it’s fun to learn something new from my past experience. I treasure every comment and opportunity to ponder more. BIG HUGS for having to mark papers! That is something I do not miss at all from being a teacher. I got a big kick out of this website being a “reward” for doing that chore. 🙂

      1. Dawny

        I too happened to have thought the same Stéfanie, that maybe there was a decision coming, since you laurie are not feeling adequate, or that it is/was your doing (or lack of) that’s making the BC’s not stay here, or stay active etc. and really, as you have said before Laurie, we don’t know their story, or what may be going on right now? I know I have a lot of ‘friends’ that tend to only talk to me, or want to partake in life with me when they are either on a diet, or wanting kudo’s for losing weight, OR need help/guidance.. I thought I had a lot of friends, and then thru time I learned, I didn’t have what I thought were friends, I had weight loss companions, who only associated me with weight watchers, and still to this day, I’ll get a random text message, fb post, or email from some-one “back on weight watchers” or “I lost 5#” or “I need help, im not doing well”.. Im seriously replying “congratulations, Weigh to go, etc” and then saying “im so glad to hear from you and that you are still alive and well, and Im very thankful you remember my phone number” and most often, I never hear anything else from them.. well until ‘next time’ and they forget that I called them out on the fact the only time they talk to me is with the above reference

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          You make some great points Dawny. In a way, the podcast is so intimate it is easy to forget that really I’m just a convenient voice folks like to listen to from time to time, like I watch survivor reruns. There are those folks who get excited like I “know some answer”, and I’m sure are disappointed that I really don’t. And there are folks who love what I do, but life gets busy. Then there are folks who just never get to the point where they feel comfortable communicating in public. If I had a dollar for everyone who emailed or called, but not for public use, I could run this show for months. So I miss the public BCs who are busy or who have left, and many BCs who were communicating privately who also stopped. Especially the person I called Gracie who wanted our input about anorexia. She was someone whom I had heard from quite a bit in the beginnings of the show over a regular period of time. I really cared about her, and after that show, when she emailed me her replies to the BCs who had supported her, I never heard from her again. I still wonder if she is ok and if she got the help she said she was going to get. This is just one of the stories that weigh on me at times. Even though I also have many, many stories of BCs who absolutely have seen the show and the comments on this blog as a lifeline of companionship and understanding that has caused them to feel hope and to reach out in their own lives to make positive changes. It is pressure for me as I am just a regular person. It sounds like your WW success also made you into a success symbol for many in the program who were looking for inspiration. And sometimes the inspiring person is not seen in the same light as peers – hence the emails for weight advice vs. getting to know you emails. You, Dawny, reach out so much from your huge heart. I think I do too. That’s a good thing. But it can be aggravating when we feel like. “Hey, What about ME? I have my things too.” That’s why I appreciate your care and concern so much. I know you know where I’m coming from.

  5. Nola

    Laurie, at the time I’m writing this I already know that you’ve decided to continue with the show and I am grateful. As other BC’s have stated, you are valued and you are helping us along our journeys. Also, there are probably many BC’s out there who have not even found your show yet and who will be helped and encouraged in the future.

    As far as photos, I don’t know how many times I’ve been inspired to go on a diet after coming back from vacation and looking at photos. Nowadays we don’t even have to come home before I see the photos. A few years ago I had a meltdown during a vacation after seeing photos of myself in a bathing suit, crying about how I looked so disgusting, how I tried so hard all the time and how unfair it was that nothing seemed to work. My poor husband didn’t know what to do or say because the person he saw in the photos was the same person he saw in real life every day, cellulite and all. If the photos are flattering I can fool myself that other people don’t see how I really look. My friends and family have known me at all shapes and sizes and I am trying to convince myself that my size has nothing to do with how they feel about me. Easier said than done as I am projecting my own feelings and thoughts about myself to them! In the meantime I am not ready to let go of the control over which photos are posted to Facebook or shown to the world. Maybe someday, but not yet.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Nola, I could have written word for word your paragraphs about photos. It is hard, hard, hard to separate our own body image from self image. Some folk MAY indeed judge us (especially on the internet..yikes, am I INSANE?) but most in our lives do not. As you said, for them, the photos are just what THEY see every day anyway. It was toughest when I hadn’t seen someone in a long while and I was on the gain side of my cycle. I always felt they would judge me harshly for being bigger (since in my mind fat = bad and the fatter I was the badder I was). And some did! I now eliminate contact with these types or limit contact if I can’t remove them entirely. Life is too short to be worried about the reactions of others (at least that’s where I’m aiming for). I still want to be kind and thoughtful, but I just don’t have the emotional energy to be a people pleasing hamster on that wheel anymore. Hugs for you Nola, and for me. It is tough to work all of this out. xoxoxoxoxo


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