I posted this on my Facebook page this week and thought it was so interesting that I wanted to bring it to the blog. The video is 3 minutes long.
In case you didn’t have time to watch it right now, the video features a forensic sketch artist who sketches women he cannot see based on two descriptions:
1) The first time he sketches them he is using their own descriptions of themselves.
2) The second time he sketches them he uses an acquaintance’s description (an acquaintance they just met).
In every case, the women being sketched describe themselves in relatively unflattering terms, whereas the acquaintance uses a more positive description.
When the woman being sketched sees the two resulting sketches, in each case, she actually looks much more like the sketch the acquaintance described rather than how she described herself.
I actually felt a bit emotional about this because it brought up a lot of feelings that I recognized when I was overweight and even today.
I think that we often have a hard time actually seeing what we look like and instead focus on all the negative things about our appearance. And for me, focusing on the negative things about my appearance often led me to judge my personality, my abilities, and even my worth to society in addition to my appearance. It just did.
Now, I know this video was from a corporation that ultimately wants to sell product, but I think we can take a lesson from this in terms of self-worth, self-appreciation, and self-love.
The weight loss process is rarely easy and as we talked about earlier, fraught with emotions. Emotional reasons for eating, emotions resulting from our obesity/overweight, emotions resulting from our perception of ourselves, etc.
We have so many messages from the media that make us feel inadequate no matter our weight. They often sound like this: You aren’t good enough, you aren’t thin enough, you don’t workout enough, you don’t dress well enough, you don’t wear the right kind of makeup, you don’t look beautiful.
I began my weight loss journey not from a position of acceptance with who I was, but instead from a position of frustration with myself on many, many levels. Although I was a normal weight as a child, I think those messages began very early. (This is me little!)
I think it would have been easier to lose weight before I tipped the scale at 300 pounds if I had been able to look at myself more objectively and do three things:
1) Acknowledge that I had some good physical characteristics, even if I was obese.
2) Acknowledge that I was worth the effort it took to lose weight.
3) Acknowledge that I was not defined by my weight.
That’s one of the things I took away from this video. We are so quick to judge ourselves that we sometimes find it difficult to make those changes necessary for our health and for our life. We define ourselves by one thing and sometimes get so hung up on that one thing that it paralyzes us.
What do you think? Does being critical of ourselves make it harder to lose weight, easier, or does it not matter? Diane