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

eating habits, eating healthy, obesity, nutrition, weight loss


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kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

Soooo basically if ur fat u see urself as thinner than u actually are? Grreat. Just what i need to worry about!

nonmember avatar Cookie

Ugh. Gonna go workout again...

nonmember avatar Amanda

I have had those moments, but now I am hoping that I shouldn't be having those moments more frequently. The idea that I am actually bigger than I think means trouble.

mamaj... mamajen82

The reverse is true as well. I was thinking I was still big but in reality I was verging on underwent. Took looking at a couple pictures to realize the truth.

nonmember avatar Emme

My hubby tells me I overestimate how much I weigh. I always see myself as being chubby or fat and while the facts say I'm not and that my hubby is right about me, I don't see it. I'm 5'5" and even when I was 116lbs, I thought I was chubby. Over the years though, I've definitely noticed that a lot of people underestimate how much they weigh - especially women. They think they're average instead of chubby or chubby instead of fat. Then they use that impressive euphemism "curvy".

prplecat prplecat

Look up body dysmorphic disorder.


I weigh around 180. At 5'6" my bmi is 29.5 which is considered obese.

Celia... Celiacelia

im 5'5'' 157lbs and i feel like a total cow and id love to be 135 at least

Kritika Kritika

I started a job where I sit all day 8 months ago and have since gained around 10lbs. I can't imagine if this continues where I'll be at. At 5'5 and 120 I feel like a cow because I have a very small frame. I'm starting to eat less to make up for the lack of activity since I don't really have time to work out in the evenings. Oh well. Typical American cubicle jobs are making us fat!

Desti... DestinyHLewis

Kritika, you have issues if you think you are getting fat at 5'5 and 120! OMG girl! LOL Maybe the job is just sucking the life out of you, and your brain. Not sure. But honey seriously, I am sure you look fabulous, and I bet those10 extra pounds were needed given your height. <3 Don't be so hard on yourself!!

I think I am more likely to overstate what I look like. I am NOT happy with myself right now, and when I see women in the store that are unappealing to me "body wise" I say to my husband. THAT is how big I feel I look. He usually just gives me a "dumb look" and rolls his eyes. I refuse to post pictures of myself right now because of how I feel. I know it's my own deal, but I certainly don't underestimate it.

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