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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 03:22 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Body image frozen in time

"You can be intimidating."

Thats what my girlfriend said to me. Not about her. I don't know if I could do anything to intimidate her nor would I want to. But she said I could intimidate others.

"Well you're a big guy. All you have to do is look at someone the right way and it can be intimidating."

Me a big guy? Never enters into my mind. In the mirror I can see that years of weight lifting has added mass and muscle. And age and quitting smoking has added some padding over that (working to lose about 15 lbs of that). But in my head I'm still that 125 lbs kid that graduated high school. I haven't been that in a loooong time. But my body image is that of a little guy who happens to be in a bigger body now.

Am I the only one? Is your body image frozen in time or accurate to what you are now?
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2012, 03:43 PM
DeepLiquid DeepLiquid is offline
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In my head I'm still 25, athletic, and hot.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:21 PM
Figaro Figaro is offline
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I can sympathize. I am 6' 3'' and currently weigh about 190 lbs., but for most of my adult life I weighed in at about 155-160 lbs -- light enough for my height that I used to get questions about anorexia.

I still feel like a physically insubstantial person, and I don't have a good awareness of the way I am perceived by others. A coworker recently asked me to walk her to her car in the dark because "you're imposing and no one will bother us," and it really threw me for a loop.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:36 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Figaro View Post
I am 6' 3'' and currently weigh about 190 lbs.
Thats still skinny for 6-3.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2012, 04:47 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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My body image is spot on, give or take 30 pounds and a few wrinkles.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2012, 04:50 PM
The wind of my soul The wind of my soul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Is your body image frozen in time or accurate to what you are now?
I have no idea how accurate my body image is. I feel fatter than I would like (not grossly so, I'm not a plus-size but I know when I looked my best I was 20 lbs. skinnier). I have had people reassure me that my body looks fantastic and I don't need to lose any weight.

But I have also seen fat people who clearly did need to lose weight reassured that they look fabulous. So it's a cat's game.

Last edited by The wind of my soul; 04-26-2012 at 04:50 PM..
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:04 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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I was very short for much of my childhood; I recall how a tiny girl who was in the same class as me for years was the only kid shorter than me. I had a late growth spurt and am about average for a male now, but I'm still occasionally surprised to look around and notice that most women are shorter than I am.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:17 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Der Trihs said just about exactly what I was gonna say. I got my growth late in life (grew four inches in my freshman year at college!) and yet, in my mind, I'm still the "small kid" I was until then.

Mentally, I still think of myself as a "college kid."
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:18 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepLiquid View Post
In my head I'm still 25, athletic, and hot.
This.

Granted, I'm the same height & weight I was when I was 25 and, in certain circles (well, points...) I'm considered hot. The important thing for me as far as body image is concerned is that in my mind's eye, I see myself as not having aged, so that it always comes as something of a surprise when I'm not as flexible or strong as I used to be, or a flight of stairs kicks my ass. Then again, maybe I should just start working on that "athletic" thing and that'll go away...
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:40 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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OP needs to post a pic so we can judge for ourselves.
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  #11  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:55 PM
Lord Il Palazzo Lord Il Palazzo is offline
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I'd say my body image is pretty up to date and I almost wish it wasn't. It turns out that four years of working a desk job with little regular physical activity and poor eating habits doesn't exactly work wonders on one's physique. (Who could have guessed?) I'm trying to work on it, but I'm very much aware of how far I have to go and what an uphill battle it's going to be.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:04 PM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Thats still skinny for 6-3.
Huh? No it's not. It's about right.
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:17 PM
Arrogance Ex Machina Arrogance Ex Machina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Thats still skinny for 6-3.
Is BMI over 23 skinny these days, really? I guess that makes me a skeleton, but I don't feel like one so my body image is completely off as well.

I'm 6'6 and 180 lbs, but with my family all being tall I don't really feel especially big. When people say things like "oh, but I bet they wouldn't dare to harass somebody of your size" it just doesn't feel right, but I suppose it might be true. Other than that, I don't feel like the young kid I used to be, since I have sort of hazy memory of those days. I'm also in better shape now, so instead of getting surprised of what I can't do any more I'm surprised of what I can do now that I have a bit more muscle.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:34 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I've been called intimidating by a lot of people. I don't think about myself as being larger than average most of the time. As I lose weight I just look more muscular, so that doesn't help. I wish people would be more intimidated by the bulging abdominal muscles I have now, but that doesn't seem to impress. Now that I look like an old chubby guy I have to pick up something really heavy to impress people. That's hard on my knees, intimidating looks were better.
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  #15  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:49 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrogance Ex Machina View Post
Is BMI over 23 skinny these days, really? I guess that makes me a skeleton, but I don't feel like one so my body image is completely off as well.

I'm 6'6 and 180 lbs, but with my family all being tall I don't really feel especially big. When people say things like "oh, but I bet they wouldn't dare to harass somebody of your size" it just doesn't feel right, but I suppose it might be true. Other than that, I don't feel like the young kid I used to be, since I have sort of hazy memory of those days. I'm also in better shape now, so instead of getting surprised of what I can't do any more I'm surprised of what I can do now that I have a bit more muscle.
BMI is pretty useless except as a ballpark estimate. It only measures height and weight. It does not take into account anything else including muscle mass. A healthy reasonably athletic 6-3 should easily carry 190 lbs and more. Just lift something heavy now and then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
OP needs to post a pic so we can judge for ourselves.
Yeah not a chance.

Last edited by Loach; 04-26-2012 at 06:50 PM..
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  #16  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:52 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I've been called intimidating by a lot of people. I don't think about myself as being larger than average most of the time. As I lose weight I just look more muscular, so that doesn't help. I wish people would be more intimidated by the bulging abdominal muscles I have now, but that doesn't seem to impress. Now that I look like an old chubby guy I have to pick up something really heavy to impress people. That's hard on my knees, intimidating looks were better.
I can see how carrying around a boulder all day could get old.
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  #17  
Old 04-26-2012, 07:01 PM
Avarie537 Avarie537 is offline
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I'm constantly shocked that I'm not 21 anymore when I look in the mirror. There's not much difference in my face, except for a few crow's feet and some brown lines, but I'm also 20 pounds heavier and after two kids a lot of things are softer and saggier than they once were.
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2012, 07:08 PM
Dr. Woo Dr. Woo is offline
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Yes and no. My immediate, instinctive reaction always reverts to "me at age 18", but then I remember that was 40 years ago, and that adorable sun dress in the window at Forever 21 is not going to look good on my grandma ass.

So I walk by, look at the dress (or shorts or whatever) and think, "want!", and then remember that I need to toddle on out of the Juniors section.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:21 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Judging by the clothes I keep buying, I still think I'm stuck at 38, back before that extra 30 pounds showed up one month and never left.

And judging by those same clothes, that don't fit but are in bags waiting for me to lose said 30 pounds...my image of my mental state is not just static but waaaay off base. (I *will* lose them, damnit!!!)

Last edited by Taomist; 04-26-2012 at 07:22 PM..
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  #20  
Old 04-26-2012, 08:25 PM
Gleena Gleena is offline
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My head still has a fat girl in it. The first things I pick to try on are always too big. I can't wrap my head around the size I am now - which is not tiny by any means but is sort of average to large. I shopped in a store the other day, sure nothing there would fit me, but most things did. I'm also amazed when I do things like sit on a bus seat next to someone and I'm not squeezing in, or when I was on the airplane yesterday and not only fit my seat but had room on each side and plenty of play left in the seatbelt.

Someone called me athletic the other day, and I was all GTFO, except maybe I am. Where I don't have tons of lose skin I do have definition. Plus I do things athlectic people do - ride my bike, run, hike. But that's weird, because in my head I'm still a WoW playing, fat homebody.

Sneak brag? Probably. But my head also still thinks I'm 18, so when I see my crows feet and my edge of mouth wrinkles, I'm really surprised. I also have to remember to dress my age - or at least within 15 years or so of my age - probably printed tights and Docs are not what I need to be seen in!
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  #21  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:03 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Figaro View Post
I can sympathize. I am 6' 3'' and currently weigh about 190 lbs., but for most of my adult life I weighed in at about 155-160 lbs -- light enough for my height that I used to get questions about anorexia.
You used to be exactly my type.

As for me, I've always been somewhat overweight, but my belly has only recently grown because I'm on insulin. When I catch a view of myself in a reflection, I'm surprised at my belly. Cannot get used to it (and trying damn hard to get rid of it, in spite of the insulin).
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  #22  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:19 PM
Arrogance Ex Machina Arrogance Ex Machina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
BMI is pretty useless except as a ballpark estimate. It only measures height and weight. It does not take into account anything else including muscle mass. A healthy reasonably athletic 6-3 should easily carry 190 lbs and more. Just lift something heavy now and then.
It is exactly as useful as looking at the weight and height and then proclaiming somebody "skinny" when in fact they are at the upper end of normal weight for people with average amount of muscles.
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  #23  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:47 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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I have a mirror, and it is pretty convincing. Add to that, other peoples' reactions in areas where age and attractiveness are a factor, and it's hard to maintain illusions.

I used to feel taller, and I don't know if that's because I've lost about 1-1/2" from my max height, or if other people are taller.

I used to feel like I walked faster than anyone, that doesn't seem to be the case any more. Maybe I've stayed the same and other people are walking faster than before.

Emotionally, I feel more mature, which I think is a good thing. But it took a lot longer than it probably should have to get there.


Roddy
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