One of the hardest parts of changing how you see yourself, is getting other people to change the way they see you.
I lost 15lbs in 2.5 months and no one said a word. Sure, the scale told me I made progress, and I felt happier and healthier than ever before however, it was tough to put on a smaller size pant, or fitted style shirt because I assumed that since no one noticed or commented on my weight loss, I must still look 15lbs heavier - bummer. I've kept the weight off for a following 2.5 months (and counting), and yet I still find myself wondering if my body looks as good as I hope it does.
Is it only because I know how flabby my belly was before that I think it seems so flat now? Is it really flat? Am i really any more toned? Do I have defined muscles?
I'm currently 5'8.5", and I weigh on average 138lbs. I workout (variations of HIIT, cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, and stretching) minimum 5 days a week, I play volleyball twice a week, and when I look in the mirror, I feel good! (Well, of course, if I'm being completely honest, I will always have my "problem" areas that I'm not sure I will ever feel good about, but overall I feel good, and am so proud of the changes in my body).
I know since I feel so much better than I did 8 months ago that I shouldn't care so much whether other people have noticed my fitness improvements (I'm really only doing it for my own health benefit-eating cleaner and working out consistently improves my outlook tremendously) but, I find I keep hearing a little voice in my head saying "It's not enough. People will let you know once you've really made progress."
So I am stuck in my brains twisted dilemma of trying to change perspective. How do I teach my brain to stop desperately hoping for approval from others that I've done a good job, when deep down I already know that I have because I feeeeeeel so much better. How do I tell myself to believe that I am fit and not just because I'm stronger than 6 months ago by comparison, but because I can see and feel that I actually have gained and toned muscle?
Have any of you had body image struggles? How did you overcome your negative perceptions?