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How does one deal with low self esteem in regards to lifting?

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  • How does one deal with low self esteem in regards to lifting?

    I feel like I put a ton of effort into lifting and eating well, I've lost 80 pounds and I'm steadily dropping more. I've been lifting and losing the weight for about three years and nobody has once said I look strong or noticed any progress. Thanksgiving yesterday put this into contrast, seeing some people I haven't seen in years, and they didn't say anything. I know it's unhealthy to expect anything from anyone, but it still kind of hurt. This has been a constant problem with my lifting. I understand the overall goal is health outcomes, but it still stings knowing I have no immediately obvious aesthetic changes. I know it's not a training issue either, as my numbers are pretty decent and I'm consistent in the gym. Also because I've lost so much weight I'm seeing a little pouch of loose skin forming and I feel legitimate anger when looking at it. I was embarrassed to post this here but I assume I'm not alone feeling this way.

    On a more positive I'm running hypertrophy 1 and it's the most I've ever enjoyed training.

  • #2
    b_,
    Glad you're enjoying training. I took a few months a did the Bodybuilding program and that change was a blast! Even if I didn't get stronger haha.

    I'm sorry your family and friends haven't mentioned your great progress. We all want to be able to stoically progress without needing other people's validation, but we're not islands unto ourselves. 80 pounds is something to be proud of - and I wouldn't assume that because they didn't say anything they didn't see it. They could have been afraid that mentioning something would have been insensitive about your previous weight.

    Keep putting in the work, and good luck.

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    • #3
      We live in an age where people care less and less about the physical. Bodies are now viewed as just things that take the brain from place to place so said brain can be stimulated and entertained. And most people are just thinking about their phones, and what so-and-so said on Facebook, or what so-and-so posted on Instagram, or that one guy that commented on their photo, or whatever social media BS. Life revolves around their phones, and their brains. As the physical deteriorates more and more in the developed world (people getting fatter, developing diseases, etc), the physical becomes less and less important to people. They pretty much want to block out the physical and just let themselves be nothing more than brains to be entertained.

      I've had experiences like you're describing. Put on a few pounds of lean mass, lose a lot of fat (confirmed by DEXA and BodPod), and pretty much everybody is non-plussed. The people that do comment just say I look skinny. Gee. Thanks.

      You have to just keep on trucking. Keep lifting hard and smart, and keep losing fat. That's really all you can do.

      I think doing things like DEXA, BodPod, or underwater weighing on a periodic basis are important, so that you know you've gained lean mass and lost fat, and you know what it took to do it. You put in a hard 6 months of work, and one of these measurement methods says you gained 3 lbs lean and lost 5 lbs fat. At that point, you begin no longer caring about anybody else's input, because you know objectively what you have accomplished.

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      • #4
        Hey, great job on your progress, hope you are really proud of yourself! I like the old adage: "People are seldom for you or against you, but preoccupied with themselves."

        Not sure if you took before and after pics, but the "loseit" forum over on reddit seems like a very supportive community. Maybe think about posting your story over there for some positive online acknowledgement.

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        • #5
          I understand the desire to have others notice and compliment progress, but what I've noticed is that most people who don't train or dedicate themselves to a craft don't really know and can't appreciate the work it takes to improve. What's more important imo is that fact that you're enjoying training and continuing your self-improvement and caring for yourself. The satisfaction and pride you can get from noticing progress that you had to put the work in for is something no one can take from you.

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          • #6
            Hey everyone, thank you for the replies. I didn't notice this was moved.

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