Is This Normal: Reverse Body Image
Dr. Phil talks with guests about whether their behavior is normal.
When Angie looks in the mirror, she sees a very thin person, even though she knows she's overweight. "I have a reverse body image. I can read the scale. I know what size clothes I wear — I'm a size 18 — but I just tell myself, 'You're a big-boned girl.'"
Angie has gained 60 pounds in the last 2 1/2 years, and thinks her reverse body image has kept her from losing weight because she doesn't see herself the way others do. She cringes when she sees herself in photos or home videos, because that image is not what she sees in the mirror. She wants to know if this reverse body image is normal.
On stage, Dr. Phil asks Angie what she thinks of herself in her video segment. "Does it look like you?" he asks.
Dr. Phil explains that body image is a matter of perception, and he feels that Angie has a clear perception of what her body really looks like. "Is there anything wrong with you accepting your body image at this weight, feeling good about yourself and being proud of the way you look? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong, perception-wise and appearance-wise with you being OK with weighing 235 pounds. Now, I have a problem with it health-wise," he says.
"If you're in denial about something that is change worthy and is putting your health at risk, then there is a danger to misperceiving what is going on," says Dr. Phil. "Because at 235 pounds you are substantially more at risk for a number of disorders that could be life threatening." Dr. Phil tells her not to be in denial about health issues because from a health standpoint, he believes she should lose weight.
"There's a really good book out there you could read," hints Dr. Phil. "You want some tools, I wrote a few of them down for you. It's not about going on a diet, it's about changing your lifestyle," he says.
Angie's daughter, McKinsey, is worried about her. "My mom's body image is not normal. I'm very concerned about her health," she says.
"No. Actually, it looks like my daddy in drag," she says. "I don't think it looks like me at all."