You're Probably in Denial About Your Weight

skinny mirrorRemember that episode of Seinfeld about the "skinny mirror" in Elaine's department store dressing room? Essentially, Elaine buys a dress that looks "stunning" when she tries it on at the store -- but her mirror at home tells a very, very different story. ("This is false reflecting!")

It was hilarious because every woman can relate to that feeling, on some level -- not necessarily the feeling of being duped by trick mirrors, but of looking at our reflection and thinking, "What?! I don't look like THAT!"

According to a recent study, the tendency to underestimate our body size is at least partly biological, particularly if you're overweight. Check this out:

Researchers found that "58 percent of overweight people incorrectly described themselves as normal weight. Among the obese, 75 percent placed themselves in the overweight category, and only 10 percent accurately described their body size."

Denial? Wishful thinking? Turns out there's more to it than that ...


Apparently because our bodies are always in the process of changing, the brain is required to continously alter its perception. So scientists are thinking that basically, in the case of people who underestimate their size, what the brain sees hasn't quite caught up to what the body ... is.

Makes sense. But what does it mean? I guess it means we should always keep a back-up judgment system in place, so to speak -- monitor our energy levels, check the fit of our clothes, look at the number on the scale every so often.

And, above all, never trust department store mirrors.

Do you think you under or overestimate your weight?


Image via s-ron mckellar/Flickr

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