Tag Archives: body image

anorexia vs phantom fat distorted body image

Distorted body image: anorexia vs. phantom fat

Not being able to see your fit body image after weight loss and still seeing the fat body or as we are starting to refer it as “phantom fat” is not anorexia.

anorexia vs phantom fat distorted body image
[Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Anorexia is basically an eating disorder while being obsessed with having a thin body, and an irrational fear of gaining weight. The person who has anorexia has a distorted body image of themselves.

After significant weight loss there is this condition referred to as phantom fat. Phantom fat is when a person after a significant weight loss is unable to see their new fit body. All they see is their old fat body image, and not the new fit body staring back at them from the mirror. Although phantom fat is not an acknowledged mental condition, it is clearly a temporary mental disorder that needs to get more attention.

Phantom fat or not being able to see your fit body after weight loss is a temporary mental disorder that needs to be addressed. [Tweet this!]

Anorexia is usually coupled with a distorted body image that changes how the person perceives and thinks about their own body. A person with anorexia sees themselves as overweight when in reality they are being underweight.

Being unable to see your fit body after significant weight loss is also due to a distorted body image that a person has of their body after weight loss. However, a person with phantom fat see himself or herself as overweight when in reality they are being in the normal weight range. Or in case we are talking about weight loss while being obese, phantom fat will result still seeing oneself as obese when in reality one will be overweight. 4 steps to healthy life mindset even if you are lazy

It comes as no surprise that phantom fat is not considered yet a mental disorder, while anorexia is accepted as a serious illness. Think about this: we haven’t really accepted the fact that carrying around excess weight to the point of being obese and overweight are not just usual conditions but serious health issues that need to be addressed.

How can you tell if you have anorexia or you are experiencing phantom fat after weight loss?

Here is a quick comparison on how to tell anorexia and phantom fat apart:

Characteristics of anorexia vs phantom fat
Anorexia Phantom phat
Eating disorder Temporary mental disorder
Distorted body image Distorted body image
Obsessed with having a thin body Obsessed with having a fit body
See own body as overweight when in reality body is underweight See own body as overweight when in reality body is normal weight

If you think that you or someone you know has anorexia, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it. Get help, because anorexia is a serious condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Don’t confuse seeing yourself fat while being fit for having anorexia. Please, educate people around you that looking fit now while being overweight for a long period of time before that does not mean that you have anorexia. Struggling with accepting your new fit body image after significant weight loss is not what having anorexia is like.

Do you think that you are experiencing phantom fat after significant weight loss? Click here to find out in a few easy steps if you are suffering from phantom fat >>>

How to find time to exercise if You are too busy

How to find time to exercise if You are too busy

Friends and coworkers compliment my new found good looks and fit body - they all want to know my secret. When I reveal that my fit body is due to regular exercise 5 times a week, they instantly become uninterested. They claim they have no time to exercise.

Everyone is searching for a quick fix for looking good, and are not interested in hearing that in order to achieve their goals, they need to sacrifice time, change old habits and work hard for a longer time period.

Exercising is good for the well-being of your body and your mind as well. We all know that regular work out is highly beneficial, however not many of us make the effort to make time for it. The most frequent excuse that people have of why they don’t work out regularly is that they don’t have time for exercise. What I really hear is when someone says to me that they don’t have the time to exercise is that they don’t think that exercising is important enough for them.

If it’s important enough, you’ll make time for it. If it is not, you’ll make up an excuse. [Tweet this!]

So it just means that other things are more important in their lives than being fit, feeling healthy. Many of the benefits of regular exercise are more than weight loss itself.

Excuse #1: I have a busy schedule I can’t fit in an hourly exercise each day!

Fix: The trick is to plan ahead your exercise sessions for every day of the workweek just like you plan any other activities in your busy schedule. So plan that 1 hour exercise for the 5 workdays ahead of time. The secret to maintain a regular exercise for a longer time period is to have a plan B at hand: if working out at a planned time fails because of some unexpected and unplanned happening, you need to have a second option.

How to find time to exercise if You are too busy
Missed gym time today so I’m gonna work out in the kitchen instead

In my case I plan my gym exercises right after working hours, so that way I have plenty of time for other things in the evening. However, if there is an emergency I need to take care of right after work or I unexpectedly stay in late at work, I set plan B in motion. That is to go to the gym in the evening. Being a planning freak as I am, I also have a plan C, in case plan B fails too. That is to get my dose of exercise done on an additional day (usually on a weekend when my rest days are). If I can’t make on time to the Zumba class for any reason, my plan B is to have my cardio elsewhere that day or later that week.

Planning is important, because it will help you achieve greater consistency. [Tweet this!]

Get started by planning your exercise session by making a detailed schedule of your weekly activities, and find time to exercise.

Excuse #2: Cooking / cleaning the house / washing and ironing / household chores are taking up too much of my free time!

Fix: These all are household chores that we all have to do. Unless you have a maid that does all this instead of you, chances are you have to do them by yourself – and you must do chores for every day. The real trick here is to decide for yourself if having an always clean house is more important to you than having a healthier and fit lifestyle. It bothers me too to look at that dusty shelf every morning for days and promise myself that I’ll clean it right after I get back from work, but because I made it clear to myself and to my husband that daily exercise is on high priority. So looking at dirty shelves for 3 days should be bearable. The good thing about regular exercise is that it has many benefits, one of them being more energetic. This means that many times when I get home from the gym, I shower, eat and start cleaning/washing/ironing! I could have never imagine doing this back at the days when I was fat and low on energy all the time!

How to find time to exercise if You are too busy 2
Exercise first, then clean!

Also you could think about delegating chores to family members as well. Let go believing that  you are the only one who can complete things perfectly. I too had a hard time while learning to delegate. The secret formula is: if someone can make it 80% as good as you can, then delegate that task immediately!

Need more help in motivating yourself to start working out regularly?

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4 things my personal trainer wishes I didn’t do

Hang in there girls! You can do it! *They will never be fit*
Hang in there girls! You can do it! *They will never be fit*
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Have you ever caught yourself between your sit-ups looking up to your personal trainer and thinking to yourself what it is that they secretly wish you didn’t do but they are not telling you? Well, I treated my personal trainer to a healthy fruit snack after one of our sessions and started an honest conversation about the things she wishes her clients didn’t do.

Here is the top 4 list of things my personal trainer wishes I didn’t do:

1. Make excuses

Making excuses is actually just simple complaining.

An excuse is an invented reason you create in order to defend your behavior, to neglect taking action. You are placing blame on an external condition instead of addressing the internal problem.

When I say: “I didn’t stick to my diet meal plan on the weekend because my sister had a party” or “I’m too tired to do crunches because I stayed up late,” I am just complaining about the workout exercise. What you are actually saying by coming up with an excuse is that the issue at hand is not important enough for you to make an effort. The truth is, your trainer doesn’t care about the “because” part. The thing is, You failed to do it.

Why didn't she tell me that I am an a**hole?
Why didn’t she tell me that I am an a**hole?
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Making excuses is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational way to avoid the true explanation. Making excuses is damaging for yourself. It also demotivates you and people around you.

Don’t forget that you hired a personal trainer because you want to change and now you’re saying that you can’t. You are not paying the personal trainer to listen to your excuses, they are there to make you work out. Listening to you making excuses puts your trainer in a hard situation, because you are expecting results, yet it is frustrating that you’re making a minimal effort while getting lunch in a drive-thru!

You have to start taking responsibility for your actions.  If you find yourself making excuses – just stop. Quit making excuses now! [Tweet this!]

2. Wear baggy exercise clothes

Stretchy clothes, stretchy people!
Stretchy clothes, stretchy people!
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Wearing baggy clothes can be dangerous: long, baggy pants can catch on stationary bikes or elliptical machines. However, this is not the only reason why you need to start wearing slim-fitting pants and stretchy T-shirts. Your personal trainer needs to see your body to be able to ensure that you are doing every movement in the proper way. If you’re hiding your body under an oversize T-shirt, your trainer can’t adjust your pose: you can’t see anything under a baggy shirt. It may feel comforting to know that you are hiding your oversize body under it, but for your trainer it is crucial to get you to perform an exercise correctly. Fixing the posture is important because you are risking an injury.

Try it, close-fitting exercise clothing is actually more comfortable than the baggy ones! If you are uncomfortable wearing shorts, try slim-fitting long pants or capris. Plus, wearing tight clothes helps you notice the changes on your body more quickly. You can follow closely how those inches melt away from your hips from week to week, and it will help you accept the new fit body more easily!

3. Withhold personal health information

This should be a no-brainer, but your personal trainer needs to know about your medical history in order to prevent injuries. It’s critical that you inform your trainer and ask if they have experience working with them. Share every important medical information about yourself:

  • previous surgeries – don’t forget to mention if you had surgeries involving your joints or muscles,
  • medications that you are currently taking or stopped taking  – because some medications affect heart rate or respiration rate so that is why they need to know what kind of medication you are taking
  • mention any recent muscle aches, strains or pulls too

Exercise can help with symptoms of medical conditions, however, if your trainer is unaware of your problems, working out can make an existing issue worse. Don’t worry, a good trainer will be able to adjust the training technique to match your physical state.

4. Talk too much during exercise

Incessantly talking about your personal issues during training sessions sends your trainer a message that you are confused about what they can do about you. If you notice that your workout is paused by your chat or rant about your significant other, crazy friend or frustrating coworker, then it is an issue that both of you need to address. It may be hard for your trainer to interrupt these stories, especially if they are emotional ones. You may be unaware of this, but this may be frustrating for your personal trainer, because you are risking reaching your fitness goals and their reputation may be on the line. Most people want to see results overnight and if it doesn’t happen, they blame the trainer. You paid for results, however you are yet again finding excuses to slack. Limit your chit-chats to the warm-up and cool-down stretching period.

Want more? Click here to find out more about what Your journey will be after weight loss>>>

The struggle with body image distortion after weight loss

The struggle with body image distortion after weight loss
You’ve won the battle – time to enjoy!
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You’ve lost significant weight. You have become healthier and stronger.
The body you see in the mirror is everything you ever wanted.

But it still feels strange? Still surprised when you see a photo of yourself?
We offer tips for accepting this new you.

Get 9 great tips to help with mental obstacles with your body image

The biggest struggle wasn’t losing all those pounds as you thought it would be, because once you change your habits and introduce regularity in your life, it’s all easy as a pie. The real disturbance is what you’re experiencing now, after the weight loss: the image of a body you see in the mirror staring back at you feels foreign. It looks good, attractive, but it is not you.

You thought that with losing weight you will gain a higher level of self confidence and a healthy level of self-esteem. You were wrong. You are more self aware than ever before.

You are used to watching beautiful bodies everywhere around you and wishing you had that flat tummy/toned arms/defined thighs/sexy booty. That’s what get you started on your journey towards healthy weight. But now you can’t believe you already did it – your body looks good! You thought you’ll never have that body, but now it’s yours. But the biggest problem you face now is accepting it. You are used to being overweight, it is familiar, and you learned to live with it.

Why am I dissatisfied with my body after weight loss?

Weight loss in itself is a major life change, much like getting married or moving to another country.
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Especially if the weight loss happened fast: your brain and your neurons are not as quick catching up to your new persona as your body is changing. The older you are the harder it is. Children are freely accepting changes in their bodies because they are still laying down images and views of themselves. Your view of yourself is more deep-seated when you become an adult, so it can be difficult to resolve changes with who you are as a person. This is due to the fact that the person you think you are is tied in to the body that you have. So body image after weight loss becomes a troubling and confusing experience.

A holistic approach sees this psychological trauma of being fat in the past as a disorder in the energy field. Everyone who ever experienced being shaped differently in the past go through this.

Acceptance of the problem

Also, you are used to focus on the negative things, the things that draw your attention and make you go “Ugh” about yourself. That’s exactly what kept motivating you throughout your voyage to Slim Town.

The struggle with body image distortion after weight loss
She runs everyone over on her way to Slim Town.
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So the first step is to admit that you have a problem with accepting the new you. You might not even be aware of it yet; it might just come to you as a seldom thought when you see your reflection. Your mind can’t make the connection. That reflection is not you, it can’t be: You are bigger than that; your thighs are wider; your belly is huge and looks like a beach ball. That mirror is lying to you. Then a friend notices the change, and tells you that you look great. You don’t believe them. Then other friends and family notice that too and compliment you on your looks.

First you think they are lying; then you start doubting yourself and your judgment. Then you start looking for your reflection and start seeing what they are talking about

But that new body is you, however your brain has not caught up with the weight loss yet.

How to overcome body image issues

Having the body of your dreams is new: your mind will need time to accept it. It will happen in time, I assure you there is nothing wrong with your mental health. How to speed up the process of your brain accepting your new body image? Here are my tips:

  1. Put a photo of yourself on the fridge or another visible place where you think you look better than perfect
  2. Get yourself a pair of skinny jeans or colored pants that make you keep thinking “Girl, you are small!”
  3. Take pictures now & compare them to old pictures
  4. Ask a friend or a significant other you absolutely trust what they think about your looks after the weight loss
  5. Look yourself in the mirror while you work out and compare the body you see with other bodies in the gym
  6. Go window shopping! Pick something out that you would never have dared to wear before and try it on just for the fun of it!
  7. Try on your old over-sized clothes! This way you will get a clear perspective of your progress and your current body size.
  8. Ask a friend or your significant other to point out someone from a crowd of people who has a similar body size as you. You’ll be surprised! Also, seeing other people who are similar to you in size will not trigger the same emotional response as seeing a picture of yourself would, therefore it’s helping you rationalize your new body size.
  9. When getting a positive comment on your new body from others, don’t ignore it or dismiss it. It’s a bad manner and you come off as being rude. Say thank you for the compliments! You’ve just earned somebody’s respect and admiration. After all, you’ve worked hard for it, right? So don’t try to shy away from compliments about your looks. The other person sees something regarding your body size and lower weight that you don’t.

For best results, do all of the above!

Accept responsibility for your own success!  See your body for as it is – don’t allow your old fat identity to ruin the new you!

You have problems dealing with your new body image? Share your story in the comments section!

Interested in facts about your body after weight loss? Click here to find out more>>>