For most people struggling to lose weight, dropping 100 pounds would be a major feat. But Brazilian blogger Raina Trindade still feels mentally “obese.”
The 29-year-old battled her weight for years after being bullied at school. She often took dangerous measures in an attempt to shed pounds, experimenting with diet pills. It wasn’t until doctors told her she was at risk for a heart attack that she decided to try bariatric (or gastric bypass) surgery.
The surgery was a success and Trindade was able to drop the equivalent of about 103 pounds, completely transforming her body. But in her mind, she still feels like her old self.
“The bariatric is not a miracle cure,” she told the Daily Mail. “I realized that it is down to me to make sure the surgery actually worked. This is like a fight for me. I am at war with my body because even though I’ve had the operation on my stomach I haven’t had the operation on my mind.”
Trinidade’s reaction is not uncommon, and is sometimes referred to as feeling like you’re lugging around “phantom fat” — a reference to the internal perception people still carry with them. A recent Reddit post tackled the topic, with someone posting this question: “People who have lost a fair bit of weight, when did you stop seeing yourself as fat or even when were you happy with how you looked? I’ve lost 40 odd pounds over the past year, but still feel like I look the same, even though people tell me I look completely different.” Many people agreed, with one noting, “I’ve lost over 100 pounds down from 300lbs to 180ish in less than a year. I look in the mirror and see the same exact fat guy looking back,” and another, after noting she had lost 100 pounds, said, “I still instinctively suck in my gut whenever I’m passing through anywhere, like between parked cars or getting into a restaurant booth.”
So while Trindade is happy to show off her new figure, she admits that she still has a long way to go towards changing her mental outlook.
“I still think that I am fat and still think every day about eating the rubbish I used to love. I look slim and I look healthy and fit but in my mind I am still fat and still greedy for the all the bad food that will kill me,” she said. “I still have the mind of a fat person.”