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Since September of 2013 I started on my renewed weight loss journey.  I have gained and lost many times over the years, but I decided this was it-  I was going to get to a healthy weight and maintain it.  Of course it’s easier said then done and while I have had quite a few setbacks, I still have lost 34 pounds so far.

Something I have noted myself doing lately though instead of celebrating has been to tell myself “I feel heavy today.”  It’s the weirdest thing, in the morning I will wake up, go about my routine and then head into weigh myself with this fear and overwhelming feeling of heaviness.  Like I just know I’ve gained weight.  Then I step on the scale and I am the same or have lost some  more.    I have even vocalized this via text to one of my dieting buddies and she pointed out to me this morning that I needed to stop.  I hadn’t really grasped how much I was doing it and I don’t really understand why I am.  I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking and believing in good things, yet seeing my body image in a positive light is evading me.

HLG_PhantomWoman2I googled this mystery and found out that I am not alone.  In a great article by Jacqueline Stenson I found some insight.  One expert on the topic notes  “People who were formerly overweight often still carry that internal image, perception, with them,” says Elayne Daniels, a psychologist in Canton, Mass., who specializes in body-image issues. “They literally feel as if they’re in a large body still.”

Daniels and other experts suspect this may happen because the brain hasn’t “caught up” with the new, leaner body, particularly for people who were obese for many years and then experienced rapid weight loss.  “Body image is a lot harder to change than the actual physical body is,” Daniels says.

“Another contributing factor, especially for yo-yo dieters, can be fear of regaining the weight,” says Joshua Hrabosky, a psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital who studies body image and counsels obese people.  “They’re still in the back of their minds maybe waiting for the other shoe to drop,” he says. People who’ve gained and lost and gained again may be less likely to embrace a new image that they worry won’t last.

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“You have to look at retraining your brain and understanding that you have been reinforcing this negative image for probably a long time,” says Adrienne Ressler, a body-image specialist and national training director for the Renfrew Center Foundation, which has several eating disorder-treatment facilities around the country.

“We become numb to how mean we’re being to ourselves,” Ressler says.

“We need to learn to appreciate our bodies,” she says. “If we could all look in the mirror and say, ‘Hello, Gorgeous!’ I just think the world would be a better place.”

I am going to try this for myself, I am going to say Hello Gorgeous in the morning and every morning after!  Why don’t you give it a shot as well.

Here is the link to the full article if your interested :  http://www.nbcnews.com/id/31489881/ns/health-womens_health/t/phantom-fat-can-linger-after-weight-loss/#.UuCBXLSIbIU

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