T Nation

You Just *Think* You're HUGE!


I thought this was interesting. And it might explain why I'm not really a huge beast at 180 lbs.

[center]Fat or thin 'is all in the mind'[/center]


Feeling fat or thin really is all in the mind, scientists claim.

Researchers scanned the brains of volunteers who were given the sensation that their waists were shrinking. Each had a vibrating device placed on the wrist which created the illusion that the joint was flexing, even though it was not.

When the volunteer touched his or her waist it felt as if the wrist was bending into the body, giving an impression of getting thinner. During the exercise, all 17 participants felt that their waist shrunk by up to 28%.

At the same time, their brains showed high levels of activity in a region called the posterior parietal cortex - an area that integrates sensory information from different parts of the body.

Volunteers who reported the strongest shrinking sensation also showed the strongest activity in this brain region.

Dr Henrik Ehrsson, who led the research at the University College London Institute of Neurology, said: "Other studies have shown that people with injuries in the parietal cortex area of the brain experience the feeling that the size and shape of their body parts have changed.

"People who suffer from migraine with aura can sometimes experience a phenomenon called the "Alice in Wonderland syndrome" where they feel that various body parts are shrinking. This could also be linked to the same region of the brain.

"In addition people with anorexia or body dysmorphic disorder who have problems judging the size of their body might similarly have a distorted representation of their body image in the parietal cortex."

To process information about body size, the brain appeared to create a "map" bringing together signals from relevant body parts such as skin, joints and muscles, as well as visual cues.


Well, why do you think we have measuring tapes and skinfold calipers?


If you lived in Japan you would think you were huge too.



The extemely distorted view that anorexics and those with body dysmorphia have is interesting though tragic. It's just amazing that the mind can have such a misperception of reality. The people in the study where just stupid. Obviously, nothing can 'shrink' your waist or make you thin in a period of time like that. But our mind affects our perception of our body heavily even in us 'normal' people. In my sesmester abroad in Austalia, I didn't think about my body at all. I just ate good, did a lot of boozin, was active, a little bit of actual training. I wasn't thinking of being at all fat. And let the beergut hang out surfing and chillin out at the beach. And got more hot girls with less effort than anywhere ever. But when I got home, even after losing some fat, I felt chunky because it was on my mind and I was thinking about it. I do think that what you actually see in the mirror is heavily affected by your expectations and current mindframe.


I dunno there are some big guys in Japan where I live. Sure they dont get as big as western body builders but some of them are big. Especially now that their diet is changing.

Take a look at Mr Japan 2005.



If I lived in Japan I would be huge too.


I'm 5'7" 160lbs. I'm huge!


i just walk into Abercrombie and i KNOW im huge!!


i can't read japanese, but the girls that look like they're in the fitness show just look like random people they found walking down the street.


I was thinking the same thing. They look like average, thin Japanese women, although I'm only basing this observation on what I've seen in the media since I've never actually been to Japan.


Haha! Yeah or Hollister. An XL t-shirt cuts off the circulation to the rest of my arms, and my arms are all of 16".




Haha, seriously, it's like they came up with a clothing line for teenage girls and sell the surplus to college boys who want to feel like they're huge.


Haha, this picture off that site cracks me up. It's batman.


I agree completely. It's also affected by who you're comparing yourself to. I train at a uni gym, with lots of 150lbs, 18-year-olds, that look at me funny for OH squatting. I feel quite biggy next to them, but if I take a tape measure and use it...then I discover exactly how small I really am.

I know OH squatting had nothing to do with anything, but I just thought I'd plug it in. Long live Dan John!


Christian Bale is looking good these days...