Weight Loss Support - Supporting underweight goals?




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TwynnB
08-06-2008, 10:22 PM
I really like this site. A lot. I never expected to lose the weight I did...and the support on here (known or not) has really helped. The recipes, seeing other people go through it, help when you slip a bit, etc.

The only thing that concerns me sometimes is....seeing people who have ambitions to be underweight. I know I'll probably get jumped on for this, but I frequently see...for example...a 5'8" woman having a goal weight of 120 lbs. WHAT?!?!? MY goal, as a 5'4" person is not even 120 lbs. Not that I depend on BMI scores, but that even says that's underweight.

So, when I see people that want to be that thin, my first reaction is to not reply, because I feel like I'm supporting that goal. I assume I'll get jumped on saying it's their own business, every body is different, etc. etc., but some of these are SO low for any body type at their said weight!

Any other opinions?


mandalinn82
08-06-2008, 10:42 PM
I'm not a Beacher, but I wanted to respond to this.

When people have goal weights that put them into a medically defined "underweight" category, I generally say something to them about it, particularly if they are asking for advice or help in getting rid of the "last few pounds". I just make sure they are aware that the goal they've set isn't medically considered an appropriate one. I find it is near impossible to get to an unhealthy weight without some kind of unhealthy means...your body puts a stop on you at some point that you have to WORK to overcome...and so I have trouble encouraging people in getting to a goal that low. I DO try to provide as much support as I can, though, in establishing better eating and exercise habits.

When people have goal weights that I consider low, but still fall into that healthy BMI range, I remind myself that we're all different, and the fact that a number is low by MY standards doesn't mean it is low by the standards of anyone else. If someone is working toward something considered medically appropriate, it isn't any of my business what they would like their body to be. I control only my own body and my own goals.

chickybird
08-06-2008, 10:44 PM
I promise not to jump on you!
I've seen a few weight goals that seem a little....little. But, like you said, everyone's bodies are different. Also, sometimes people pick a goal weight, and realize they are happy at a weight that is not as low as they first hoped for.
When I joined WW, I was told that 155-184 pounds was a healthy weight range for me. Well, I was pretty gung ho about getting in shape, so I aimed for 155 pounds. By the time I got to 165 pounds, my DH and I both realized it wasn't a good weight for me; I looked too skinny! I know now that I look my best between 170-180 pounds. That's considered high to some people I know, but I am a muscular, 6 foot tall woman. It works for me. I know there are supermodels my height that weigh in the 140's and they look okay, and some look too thin.
Whether we agree with the posted people's weight goals or not, we just have to hope that they visit their dr.'s, nurses, or other health professionals, and that they are making informed decisions about their goals. The moderators on this site are great about informing the posters about any health issues they may notice. I'm sure if I posted my goal weight as 120 pounds, I'd get dozens of concerned pm's!
Hope this helps. I hadn't seen this topic yet. I hope I don't get jumped on either!


chickybird
08-06-2008, 10:47 PM
mandalinn, what a beautiful wedding picture in your profile!!!!

GradPhase
08-06-2008, 10:54 PM
I've noticed, and felt, the same way. I just assumed that my 125 lb goal would still be a bit more 'cuddly' than more muscular women at my height who wanted to be 115 lbs - but at the same time, the idea of being 115 for me, personally, reminds me of those supermarket tabloids and the "Scary thin" comments, so I'd been feeling uneven about my goal for a while. It's a very healthy bmi range for me though, so I'm sticking with it. But nope, you're not alone.

ladybugnessa
08-06-2008, 10:54 PM
i know that I have to remember there are some people that really will look good at 115 pounds at the same height i am. I know that if I was 140 i'd be skin and bones... (i'm 5'3").... hard for me.

kaplods
08-06-2008, 11:01 PM
I know what you mean, but it's a touchy subject, and a slippery slope as well. Is the stated goal a dangerous weight, or just unreasonable or unrealistic.

If it's the latter, it's harder to say when or if it's appropriate to say something. What is unreasonable to one person is perfectly reasonable to someone else. It also depends on the person's other goals, are they training for athletic competition or wanting to become a model or actor/actress.

I've often seen people make a make a polite comment or question regarding how the person has decided upon their goal, or stating their opinion that the weight seems a bit low/unhealthy. But I think in borderline cases, it is best to keep one's mouth (or fingers) shut.

Most of us don't need other people second guessing our goals. Polite questions and concerns are one thing, but judgements or unwelcome advice completely another - whether we're seen as setting goals too high or too low.

For example, I have a stated goal weight of 150 lbs. I've been told that that is too high. I've also been told it's too low. I've listened to the opinions and considered them, and it's still pretty much my goal. Although my goal slip for my TOPS chapter is much higher, and I've thought of changing it here, but I decided against it for fear it might cause unwanted commentary from well-meaning folk - you see

when I had my doctor sign my goal slip for TOPS (required by the club sometime before reaching goal) he asked me what I wanted him to set as my goal weight. At the time, I told him 200 lbs, and he asked "are you sure."

I knew it was still obese, but I told him that I thought I would want to try to maintain 200 lbs for a while before trying to go lower, but I had mistaken his meaning. He meant that I should consider setting my goal higher (especially since he was thinking of the financial break that reaching goal sooner would have, assuming that TOPS was like WW). There are some perks for KOPS (TOPS members at goal - keeping off pounds sensibly), but TOPS is so cheap, that this isn't much of a concern.

I compromised and we settled on a goal weight of 250 lbs. I haven't changed my ticker here, as I still consider 150 lbs my ultimate goal. But reaching 250 lbs will be a huge milestone, as will reaching 200 lbs. So in a sense, I have at least three "goal weights."

In that sense, I think that many people may start out with a goal others would judge unreasonable, and maybe they're right. However, it's very possible that as a person loses weight, they very well may come to that realization on their own (and it will be a much better and easier decision because they came up with it themselves, rather than hearing it as criticism, especially if they're just starting out).

Some people may have a healthy appearance in mind and just don't know what that appearance translates to on the scale. If they don't have a dismorphic body image, they'll realize that it's time to work on maintenance when the mirror reflects that image (even if the weight doesn't match).

Then there are those with not only unrealistic, but dangerous expectations for themselves. Those with eating disorders and distorted body image. When there is evidence of that, it is very common (and appropriate in my opinion) for people here to try to address it appropriately (gently and nonjudgementally).

That's my two cents on the matter, at any rate.

Barb0522
08-06-2008, 11:25 PM
I agree with you, Nessa. I'm 5' 3" as well and I've seen many different goal weights here for people my height. Personally, I asked my doctor what she thought my weight should be and she suggested 130-135. Perhaps if I was younger it would be different but I know that when I got down to 140, I knew that I was getting close to a good weight for me.

On the other hand, there are those who have a smaller bone structure and do well with lower weights. I have in the past questioned some peoples goals but I have tried to do it gently and usually only if it seems way too low. I've seen some who are 5' 8" or taller who want to be less than 120 and that just seems way too low to me.

betsysunqueen
08-06-2008, 11:45 PM
As somebody who has a rather low goal weight, I wanted to add my two cents.

I've been on my weight loss journey for about eight years now (combining more active periods with maintainence periods) and staying healthy is a priority for me. Although I could "stop" right here and be healthy and happy, I've made the personal choice that I'd like to see if I could go further. I've got a small bone structure and I've got aunts, sisters, and grandmothers who weigh even less than my goal weight and don't have to follow disordered behavior to do so. I eat--sometimes a lot--(yesterday my mom brought me cupcakes and I had three!) and I work out like a pretty normal person. For me, wanting to weigh 110 pounds is a long term goal, one that I work on every day, but not at the expense of pleasure and leisure and health.

If I was making posts about my frustration at my slow rate of weight loss or giving any indication that I was using disordered behavior to reach my goals, I'd appreciate somebody reaching out to say something to me. But I don't think having a healthy low goal weight is, in and of itself, a sign that something is wrong.

Within the context of a healthy and balanced life, I think I can look better. I think that's as valid a goal as wanting to lose 100 pounds. :)

mandalinn82
08-06-2008, 11:55 PM
Chicky - thank you!

Betsy - 110, though at the low end for your height, is still considered healthy. So if anyone starts giving you crap, just point 'em toward the BMI tables.

tater tash
08-07-2008, 12:04 AM
I'm only 2 pounds away from my goal weight which is 125. No one thinks I'm too thin, they think I'm becoming more proportionate and I still have plenty of curves. I don't starve, I eat 6 times a day, get all my vitamins and so forth. Realistically I know that I won't stay at 125, especially since I'll be increasing my strength training but I'll be heavy with lean muscle =]

I was beginning to think this morning that 125 wasn't low enough because I'm still holding a lot of weight on my outer thighs (i'm a pear). But I'm not wanting to go any lower, instead I'm having a trainer help my smooth out these areas with strength training. blah blah blah.

Me23
08-07-2008, 03:58 AM
Hi

I haven't been around for a while as I've been without internet access and have been travelling, as well as taking care of two puppies who are v. demanding. But I've been reading when i can and want to jump in on this thread. like betsy, my natural/goal weight may be considered low by some (5"3/105lbs) and is at the bottom of the BMI healthy range. This is where my weight goes when my eating is not disordered (too much or too little). But i would like to say something about BMI. One thing that annoys me is that it is thrown around as a standard for everyone without considering race. I am half-Iraqi and physically follow that side of my family very much. Arab women are very often naturally smaller than Westerners. As far as I know my grandmother never weighed herself or dieted in her life, and I would bet she weighed no more than 100lbs, probably less. Conversely, at my highest weight, I was not that far into overweight onto BMI charts, but I was really quite fat. I had far too much body fat and couldn't run up the stairs. I think we should be very careful about judging people's goals. Charts are not the be-all and end-all, how people look and feel is much more important.

That said, there are people who have distorted body image. I know because I used to have one. If someone's weight goal seems very low, i would ask some questions (tentatively) about how fit they are and what they see when they look in the mirror. If someone is 110lbs and says 'I look fat', then I would worry.

IrishRover
08-07-2008, 06:21 AM
I dont think its possible to judge whether or not a person is too thin by reading a typed stat on a website. I also dont think its fair to say that they're going to be unhealthy by losing a certain amount of weight; its exactly the same as criticising an obese person by saying theyre damaging themselves, and im sure if someone did that it wouldnt go down very well as that person would probably realise this already, or have medical reasons for being overweight, or is just about to start on their weightloss journey.
You cant apply your own standards of health and fitness to people you dont even know, who youve never seen and you have no idea of their motivations or personal struggles. I am 5 foot 10, started at 167, currently 158 pounds and my goal is 140. I have no idea how I'm going to look at that weight and if i still dont feel good im going to go lower, because the reason im losing weight in the first place is to feel good about myself and to conform to my own standards of beauty, which are to be fairly thin.
Personally, I would be very hurt if I knew people were intentionally not offering advice or support, like TwynnB said "my first reaction is to not reply, because I feel like I'm supporting that goal." Think of it the other way; would you like it if someone didnt bother supporting you because your goal wasn't low enough, because it didnt conform to their standards?
This is a weight loss support forum, and if youre going to pick and choose who you support based on their weight loss goals it kind of defeats the purpose.

ladybugnessa
08-07-2008, 07:39 AM
This is a weight loss support forum, and if youre going to pick and choose who you support based on their weight loss goals it kind of defeats the purpose.


oh no i disagree.

i have every right to choose who I support. if someone wants to eat gummy bears and drink coffee to get to goal weight should I support them just because it's a diet support forum?

I think not.

if someone 5'8" age 18 wants to weigh 110 pounds, should I support that?

If someone 5'2" age 45 who weighed 105 at age 16 and thinks that's appropriate now 30 years, 3 kids and menopause later, should I tell her YAY GO FOR IT.... KNOWING what I know about life and age and metabolism and body changes? knowing that more than likely she'll NEVER get there.... do i encourage her to set her up for failure or do i suggest that manybe she take it 5 pounds at a time and see how it goes and maybe just maybe 115 might be better......


sorry... I can't support someone who has a goal or a method not in keeping with healthy standards (and healthy means both mental and physical)

GradPhase
08-07-2008, 07:50 AM
like TwynnB said "my first reaction is to not reply, because I feel like I'm supporting that goal." Think of it the other way; would you like it if someone didnt bother supporting you because your goal wasn't low enough, because it didnt conform to their standards?
This is a weight loss support forum, and if youre going to pick and choose who you support based on their weight loss goals it kind of defeats the purpose.


That's not what TwynnB is saying at all. Your reverse example implies that she's judging it based on superficial opinion (Ie: Ohhh, Eskinomad would look MUCH better at 120 instead of 127, ugh, if she doesn't care enough to do it right I'm not wasting my time supporting her), which, from my interpretation of her post, is not the case at all. She's simply saying that she worries about some of the poster's goal weights being underweight and unhealthy. Weight loss support forum or not, I would feel extremely guilty if I encouraged someone to take weight loss to an unhealthy extreme, whether it was what they wanted or not.


You're comparing her concern for eating disorders to vanity about looks and calling them equals. In my opinion, if anything she'd be selective out of care - not wanting to make someone's situation worse in the long run... and I don't think that's a bad thing.

Schmoodle
08-07-2008, 08:17 AM
I love that 3fc members as a trend support and encourage healthy weight loss efforts (at least the subforums that I frequent).

TwynnB
08-07-2008, 09:12 AM
Wow, at least this has drummed up some nice conversation!

I don't think it's wrong for me not to comment as one poster said, but quite honestly, I only comment on 10% anyway. I remember when I first looked at this site, there was a young girl that wanted to do a (wayyy long) fast, and she was shot down. Good for you guys!! (although I would bet she just got ticked and left and found someone supportive)

I think my concern is that a lot of the people that state their goals has low for their height (and I'm sorry, even allowing for ethnic differences, etc, there are still some goals that can't be healthy) is that they are driven by today's standards put out by Hollywood, etc. It is sad to me that 5' 10" women think they have to be in a size 0 or 2 to be pretty.

And you really can't judge things on this site too. My goal is 122 (I picked a number, honestly). I may think I look good there, you may think I look too fat (or too skinny).

I'll try to write more later...gotta get to work!!

Me23
08-07-2008, 10:09 AM
"I'm sorry, even allowing for ethnic differences, etc, there are still some goals that can't be healthy"

Yes, but without seeing the person it's hard to say what they are in terms of weight. Perhaps it's safer to say there are some sizes that can't be healthy. Now, as a small-framed young woman, I'm UK size 8-10 at 105lbs (I think that's American 4-6). Now, I can concede that a five-foot or five-foot one woman might be healthy at American size two (British six I think) but I can't conceive of anyone being healthy at size zero.

zeffryn
08-07-2008, 10:56 AM
Call me crazy, but I refuse to support unhealthy means to lose the weight as well.

There are many people who have unrealistic views of themselves....some women think they are thin (and wear the clothes that support it) when they are quite heavy and others continue to think they are heavy when they have lost the weight. The latter can lead to different eating disorders and unhealthy ways to "drop those last few pounds".....abusing diet pills, laxatives, simply not eating....these are very unhealthy for your body, and for me to support that just so they can meet their "goal" would be extremely irresponsible.

I've responded to amibitions such as these in the past and have been met with much resistance. Why should I continue to respond when most of the time, the well meaning posts are met with animosity and excuses?

PhotoChick
08-07-2008, 12:31 PM
I tend to agree with Nessa on this one.

There have been people here who I started out supporting ... offering suggestions and advice along with many other 3FCers. But it soon became obvious that they didn't want reasonable advice. Several times I've seen someone post a question and when they didn't get the answers they wanted, repost the question in another area of the forum ... as if they'll hear what they want from someone else.

At that point, I quit supporting that person. I avoid their threads, I don't answer their questions, and I move on to someone who is going to be receptive. It's not worth the time and frustration to me to "support" someone who doesn't really want real support - they just want to hear what they want to hear.

.

kaplods
08-07-2008, 01:38 PM
Supporting unhealthy weight loss "because this is a weight loss support site," makes no sense to me. That would make this a pro-eating disorder site, not a weight loss support site.

For support to be valid, it has to truly represent the feelings of the giver. I don't want anyone supporting any of my goals that they disagree with - that's not support that's lying. If I couldn't trust that for the most part, people are giving their honest opinions here, I would leave. At least in the real world, I can use body language and inflection as clues to whether a person is lying to me. Online I usually just have to take their words at face value.

Sometimes our posts here can get "too honest," in that the cues that keep us from telling everyone what we think, as soon as we think it - are gone. We have to take that extra step. When DO we step in and when do we keep our opinons to ourselves? There's no one answer that fits everyone and every situation. Making comments on people's decisions down to the minute detail - not generally productive. Not commenting on dangerous intentions or behavior? That can be irresponsible too. We're a REAL community here, and we really care about folks, so we have to use a similar level of care we would in our daily in-person lives, but just like "real life" there are rarely one-size-fits-all solutions, and attempts to make them usually backfire.

Ruthxxx
08-07-2008, 01:52 PM
Hmmmm....I'm moving this thread to Weightloss Support since it really doesn't apply just to South Beach.
Good thread. I bite my tongue a lot when I see very low goals.

Me23
08-07-2008, 02:31 PM
Supporting unhealthy weight loss "because this is a weight loss support site," makes no sense to me. That would make this a pro-eating disorder site, not a weight loss support site.

I agree 100%, but I believe that unhealthy weight loss is more reliably judged by people's attitude and methods than by a number. Unhealthy weight loss = laxative abuse, starvation, vomiting, and/or general obsession. I usually refrain from comment on people's stats, but if I ever saw someone say "I'm really happy cos I took laxatives and lost 2lb" I would definitely have to object. Vocally. Or e-vocally, as it were.

yoyonomoreinvegas
08-07-2008, 02:36 PM
Wow, at least this has drummed up some nice conversation!

I think my concern is that a lot of the people that state their goals has low for their height (and I'm sorry, even allowing for ethnic differences, etc, there are still some goals that can't be healthy) is that they are driven by today's standards put out by Hollywood, etc. It is sad to me that 5' 10" women think they have to be in a size 0 or 2 to be pretty.

That's exactly what I was thinking. Everyone chooses their goal for different reasons. Sometimes they may be totally clueless as to what a healthy range is (or where to look to find out) and just throw out a number because they saw someone's picture in the Star who they think looks great and their bio says they are 5'10" and weigh 110 lbs; or they may have picked a number they thought they were happy at in the past (raises hand).

I do think we need to be a little bit careful with how we respond to someone who we feel is striving for a *too low* goal weight though. I think most of us would agree that an awful lot of people with weight issues also have trouble with self esteem and if we just jump in and are overly critical from the get-go we risk making them feel even worse as in "I'm too stupid to even know what I should weigh". We might unintentionally send them off to some other forum that will support less than healthy habits. Certainly, if someone is already in a healthy range and asking for help to get to one that is considered underweight, there is nothing wrong with pointing that out in a gentle manner but, if someone is starting out at a fairly high weight, and we give them a chance (and they stick around 3FC long enough to learn some new things) they might decide for themselves that they don't need to go quite as low as they first thought (raises hand again :D ).

mandalinn82
08-07-2008, 02:40 PM
I also try to remember that, as much as we all like giving and receiving support here, none of us is obligated to respond to, support, or give advice to others. So sometimes, if I think someone is being unhealthy but think that opinion is best kept to myself, I remind myself that the best policy may be to not say anything at all, positive or negative. At the end of the day, we're obligated only to ourselves and our own goals.

The issue of BMI charts being the end-all is interesting, though...plenty of us have goal weights in the technically overweight category (myself included) and I'd never criticize someone for having a goal that was out of normal bounds in THAT direction. Maybe that's because a formerly obese person that gets to "overweight" is statistically likely to be healthier than they were before, whereas someone who was overweight and gets to the "underweight" category, again statistically, may not be?

Fat Melanie
08-07-2008, 02:55 PM
I am over 5'8 but not quite 5'9 and my 'goal' is 150, which could change, depending on how I feel at a higher weight, or maybe a slightly lower weight. But I recognize people of my height trying to be 110 or so is rather ridiculous and probably unhealthy. Sometimes, though, I don't think these people are borderliner eating disorders, just unrealistic because they don't know exactly what that sort of weight would look or feel like. They could get down to 160 and feel great and feel thin and realize that 110 or 120 was underweight.

I used to think I wanted to be like 120, like the hypothetical poster mentioned in TwynnB's original post, but after doing my research, realized that 120 is not for me, and even when I was at my thinnest, I wasn't 120. I didn't have a scale then, but I'm sure I was not 120, I would have appeared emaciated. So I can understand how some of these people are just being unrealistic and don't yet realize it.

It's scary though, the others who do fall into the category of thinking that they're not good enough unless they weigh x amount of weight at x height, and there has been a person or two I can think of, recently, speaking of how little they've been consuming and how they don't feel hungry. When people explained to them it's probably because their metabolism is slowing down and going into fat preservation mode.... they kind of just left the conversation and deleted their comments and I don't want to see anyone, anyone at all, feeling like they have to starve themselves to lose and be healthy.

That's not the case. We do have to eat to be healthy.

Not everyone is on this website for the right reasons but it's hard to weed them all out, some are just merely unrealistic.

Anyway, just my two cents, and TwynnB, this was an excellent discussion thread! :)

JayEll
08-07-2008, 02:57 PM
I think it's good to keep in mind that the BMI, although a useful rough tool, is just that--rough! It does not take into consideration gender differences, race differences, body build, etc. I think it's quite possible for someone who has a delicate bone structure to come in as underweight on the BMI chart but still be healthy at that weight.

A case in point is my partner. When she was in college, she was about 5'5-1/2" and weighed 100 lbs. She was not an eating disordered person in any way--she was just very delicately built. She also never dieted, never tried to keep her weight down! Now, many years later, she weighs 130, a normal weight according to BMI. She eats pretty much anything she wants, including a lot of carbohydrates (to my way of thinking. :eek:).

When I see someone setting what looks like a low goal weight, I usually ask them how they arrived at that number. Sometimes their doctor set it for them, sometimes it was what they weighed long ago, sometimes they just pulled it out of the air. So then we can discuss that.

The one thing I try not to do is jump on someone right away. It helps to remember that we don't get the whole story in a single post. ;)

Jay

Fat Melanie
08-07-2008, 02:59 PM
Mandalinn, I was curious and checked out your profile based on Chickybird's comment, and was surprised! But pleasantly so, as I think what California did was awesome. It really is a beautiful picture, and congratulations! CA rocks!

tater tash
08-07-2008, 03:02 PM
I agree with all the posters who say you can't judge someone on their height and weight goal. Everyone has different body types and people of the same height just weigh differently. Some people have more muscle than others and so on.

Lets all just agree that this is a diet support forum. We must all support each other and our goals WHILST we are achieving that goal through HEALTHY dieting and exercise. We do not support anorexia, bulimia, or any form of harmful diet.
Don't get upset with someone if their 5'10 aiming to be 110 lbs.. if their eating HEALTHY, exercising and all that jazz.. most likely their body won't let their weight get that low and by then that person will be in the shape she or he wants to be and be happy. If for some freak reason it is that low, then that's how their body was built and as long as their healthy, it should be okay.

We here to help people through their struggles and help find their happiness and confidence.

lets stop picking on each other =]

ps. eat healthy, exercise, be happy!

Tomato
08-07-2008, 03:28 PM
Hi TwynnB,

I understand what you mean because I used to think that way myself. Not necessarily that "I don't want to support" but more in terms of "sheesh, that is a REALLY low weight for somebody who is x'xx'' tall". But that has changed over the months since I have been on this forum. The final goal is just a number and it really is hard to judge whether it is a healthy target or not (again, depending on many factors, e.g. is that person a marathon runner? or perhaps is she planning to become one, etc.). We really are all different and even though the weight may be the same the shape / body type can be very different. I do remember that in much leaner days [I am talking like 25 years ago] people always seemed to very surprised at how much I weighed - it was always a higher number than they would have expected based on my appearance (and I have never been very toned or athletic). So I suppose one can presume I am of a heavy build or I have heavy bones or whatever is the correct term.

When I was setting my goal weight, I had NO idea how much it should be because I have been chubby for quite a few years. All I remembered that I was about 2 pounds higher when I arrived to Canada 17 years ago. I set the goal to 175 with the intention to re-evaluate it once I make it there.
I, too, have been surprised at times to see people's goals (I mean people of comparable height) to be lower than mine, but that is fine. There is one example I am going to mention - Josephine aka Tyler Durden. I do know her height and goal weight because we often post in the same exercise forum - she is 5'10" and her goal weight is 140. I am measly 5'8" and barely a half (I was crushed when I recently found out that I am actually NOT full 5'9" and I haven't adjusted my profile yet) and I think that once I make it to 175, I will set another goal of 160 and then again I will reevaluate it once I am there.
That would still make me 20 lbs heavier than Jo and she is taller {I hope Jo is ok with me quoting her specs here :D}. But I also saw her pics and I know she runs long distances, so why not.
Maybe it also has something to do with some people (like myself) preferring to set a bit more conservative goals while other people ..... boldly go where no one has gone before (to quote Jean-Luc Picard :D).

Also, I often wondered what part of one's psyche makes people eat ... and then purge. I often thought "I would have never done that to myself". But you know what, I also realized that I come with my own personal problems (my father really messed me up for life, although he never sexually abused me he was extremely controlling and as a kid, I was beaten up on a daily basis) so purging actually may pale up in comparison with the problems I bring into my relationship with men and other people may think the same "Why on earth would she say/do this, act like this?". We each carry our own cross.

So 3FC adjust my thinking in lot more respects than just only re weight loss and healthy eating!

mandalinn82
08-07-2008, 03:49 PM
Melanie and Chicky - thank you both. Our ceremony was actually before the CA ruling, but now we can be legal also...that's my favorite pic.

JulieJ08
08-07-2008, 03:57 PM
Maybe that's because a formerly obese person that gets to "overweight" is statistically likely to be healthier than they were before, whereas someone who was overweight and gets to the "underweight" category, again statistically, may not be?

Also, someone who was obese and gets to the overweight category is a lot healthier than someone going up that chart. The chart is presumably based on the general population, which is not so full of losers & maintainer, and there are more and more gainers all the time. Whereas as here on 3FC, we have more losers & maintainers.

So you will find a lot more people at 3FC who are still overweight according to BMI charts, but who are very healthy, compared to people from the general population who have the same overweight BMIs.

I hope that wasn't too convoluted :dizzy:

kaplods
08-07-2008, 03:58 PM
I've been trying to lose weight most of my life (with varying degrees of success, mostly short term), and after three plus decades of dieting, my views are a lot different now then they were in the past.

Mostly, social and cultural views haven't changed all that much - thin = good, valuable and beautiful and fat = bad, worthless, and ugly.

While lip service is paid to losing weight in a healthy manner, fad and crash diets are still popular, as reflected in the popular women's magazines.

What does any of that have to do with this discussion? If it were not so - and people never felt that their worth was wrapped up in their weight and appearance, then unreasonable goals would be much less of a problem. Ideally, health and fitness would always be the primary goal.

But weight loss is complicated. For most people, especiallyl women, it's not like deciding to eat more oatmeal to lower your cholesterol - a practical and pragmatic decision without judgement attached. Instead we wrap it in judgements and emotions, which make drastic and even irresponsible methods of weight loss more attractive. That we often expect our lives to become virtually perfect at a certain weight, makes the process even more of a mess.

I LOVE that for the most part, 3FC members (especially those who have been around a while) encourage a more positive approach to weight loss than is generally available in the "real" world. Acknowledging that obesity and overweight have negative social, emotional, and physical consequences and yet refusing to judge a person's worth by the scale, and refusing as a result to endorse weight loss "by any means." That to me is true SUPPORT.

In that sense, I think that mildly unrealistic goals (rather than physically dangerous or life threatening ones) tend to fix themselves the more a person becomes a part of this community. Many of us here learn that we need to build self-confidence and self-esteem (if we have those issues) as we lose the weight -rather than assuming or expecting we will feel better about ourselves, or learn to after we lose weight.

In some ways, this arena has incredible advantages over face-to-face support groups like WW and TOPS and such. I'm not discounting the benefits of these groups, as I NEED the accountability of face-to-face. However, the advantages here are that (at least for me) I can more easily learn from people with vastly different experiences than my own. I don't bristle when someone who is half my age, or someone with less than 10 lbs to lose, gives me advice -- mostly because I read and contemplate the advice before (or whether or not) I notice their age, or current weight.

And yet, my experiences do affect my advice and my evaluation of another person's perspective. To a degree, I cannot relate to someone with only a few pounds to lose, because that has never been me (God willing, one day I will). I also can't quite comprehend unrealistically low goals, because I can't quite envision becoming just "obese" and not "morbidly obese."

And on the other hand, I feel so badly for people who deny themselves the joy of swimming at any weight, because I never have. Sometimes the walk to the water felt like a death march, with all eyes upon me, but once in the water I felt safe and covered (which is ironic, since I realize that water is transparent), and free from the constraints of gravity, I could push my body to the limit in ways I couldn't on land. Even very overweight, I could often surpass the swimming ability of normal weight friends. I so want to spread this joy to others, and I'm horrified that some people are so traumatized by a few pounds (be it five or 200) that they won't even purchase a bathing suit or consider getting in the water.

Soapbox? Yes I get carried away, but there are so many ways to express our opinions without telling people that theirs are "wrong." In fact, directly disagreeing tends to put a person on the defensive, and they become more attached to their opinions (there's even been research to prove this). Offering our experiences, asking questions, telling stories and jokes, ranting and crying on each other's shoulders - they all may seem insignificant when taken individually, but all and all they add up to persuasive, powerful stuff.

We have something here that exists no where else. A positive, safe "haven" of people of wide-ranging experiences and goals, but all here for a common purpose, to lose weight (safely and responsibly). Now, the safely and responsibly part isn't always part of each of our individual goals, but the group as a whole, and many of it's members DO stress it, so that tends to start to rub off on people who stick around for a while.

Ok, I've done it again and gotten FAR, FAR off-topic; to the extent that my original point may have gotten lost. I may even have forgotten what it was.

Ah, yes: Our responsibility here is primarily to ourselves, using the forum as we need to in order to accomplish our goals, and yet by sharing our experiences and all the other stuff, the side benefit is that we are likely to help others accomplish their goals, too. The value of 3FC cannot be calculated, it's truly priceless.

yoyonomoreinvegas
08-07-2008, 04:16 PM
If it were not so - and people never felt that their worth was wrapped up in their weight and appearance, then unreasonable goals would be much less of a problem. Ideally, health and fitness would always be the primary goal.

I LOVE that for the most part, 3FC members (especially those who have been around a while) encourage a more positive approach to weight loss than is generally available in the "real" world. Acknowledging that obesity and overweight have negative social, emotional, and physical consequences and yet refusing to judge a person's worth by the scale, and refusing as a result to endorse weight loss "by any means." That to me is true SUPPORT.

In that sense, I think that mildly unrealistic goals (rather than physically dangerous or life threatening ones) tend to fix themselves the more a person becomes a part of this community. Many of us here learn that we need to build self-confidence and self-esteem (if we have those issues) as we lose the weight -rather than assuming or expecting we will feel better about ourselves, or learn to after we lose weight.

there are so many ways to express our opinions without telling people that theirs are "wrong." In fact, directly disagreeing tends to put a person on the defensive, and they become more attached to their opinions (there's even been research to prove this). Offering our experiences, asking questions, telling stories and jokes, ranting and crying on each other's shoulders - they all may seem insignificant when taken individually, but all and all they add up to persuasive, powerful stuff.

We have something here that exists no where else. A positive, safe "haven" of people of wide-ranging experiences and goals, but all here for a common purpose, to lose weight (safely and responsibly). Now, the safely and responsibly part isn't always part of each of our individual goals, but the group as a whole, and many of it's members DO stress it, so that tends to start to rub off on people who stick around for a while.

Our responsibility here is primarily to ourselves, using the forum as we need to in order to accomplish our goals, and yet by sharing our experiences and all the other stuff, the side benefit is that we are likely to help others accomplish their goals, too. The value of 3FC cannot be calculated, it's truly priceless.


Please pardon my cutting and snipping of your post, and please forgive me if I snipped something that changed the context you meant to convey, but these particular points really resonated with me and I just wanted to say well put :bravo:

Mrs Snark
08-07-2008, 04:37 PM
There is one example I am going to mention - Josephine aka Tyler Durden. I do know her height and goal weight because we often post in the same exercise forum - she is 5'10" and her goal weight is 140. I am measly 5'8" and barely a half (I was crushed when I recently found out that I am actually NOT full 5'9" and I haven't adjusted my profile yet) and I think that once I make it to 175, I will set another goal of 160 and then again I will reevaluate it once I am there.
That would still make me 20 lbs heavier than Jo and she is taller {I hope Jo is ok with me quoting her specs here :D}. But I also saw her pics and I know she runs long distances, so why not.
Maybe it also has something to do with some people (like myself) preferring to set a bit more conservative goals while other people ..... boldly go where no one has gone before (to quote Jean-Luc Picard :D).

Actually, 140 WAS my "conservative" goal setting! So you have to let me stay in the Conservative Club with you, I'm NOT turning in my badge! ;) Lol. I expect I'll end up closer to 130 when all is said and done -- at the low end of the CDC's stats for a normal BMI for my height. Is that "too thin" or "unrealistic", nope. Nor am I bowing to the "celebrity cult of personality" when setting my goals. I have things I want my body to do, and it will do them better at that weight. :)

I can't say what is right for another person, particular someone I know only from posts on an internet forum, but I know what is right for me and I'd certainly hate to think someone looked at my stats and thought I was setting unrealistic or unhealthy goals! But I guess that could happen, and I'll live with that. That being the case, in general I'd advise people to be very careful about making blind judgments about other people's goal weights!

PhotoChick
08-07-2008, 04:43 PM
Honestly I rarely look at weight goals ... I mostly look at start weights and current weights when giving advice. It's more pertinent to the advice I'm giving most of the time. I tend to think that most people choose their goal weight as a rough guideline or even a guess ... at least at first. So I rarely base my advice from that standpoint.

Most of what I respond to is what is written in the posts by posters. I guess from that perspective, goal weight is irrelevant from *my* support stndpoint.

.

ladybugnessa
08-07-2008, 04:47 PM
goal weights dont' concern me as much as a person's attitude.

someone who's 5'4" and wants to weigh 110 pounds (and currently weighs 125) and is struggling at 1200 calories and 2 hours a day of exercise to get the weight off concerns me.

someone who is 5'4 160 pounds and wants to weigh 110 and just starting not sure yet... i'm more inclinded to let them learn for themselves what their weight should be

weight needs to be about life too. a quality of life is important. if a person's entire life is focused on a specific number, there may be some concern warranted.

Mrs Snark
08-07-2008, 04:54 PM
weight needs to be about life too. a quality of life is important. if a person's entire life is focused on a specific number, there may be some concern warranted.

I agree, but it can hard to make that judgment only based on what someone posts on a weight-loss forum! I mean, this is where we talk about WEIGHT, and well, losing it! Someone may seem obsessive about their weight on our forum, but may sound just as obsessive about knitting on their Let's-All-Knit forum. :)

clibrarian
08-07-2008, 05:16 PM
This is a fantastic post-- thanks to TwynnB for starting it. I know I'm not the only one that was kinda wondering the same thing. I am on this forum with a good friend and we talk about this issue a lot. I'm glad to hear that when someone is truly sort of going into the realm of the unhealthy that the moderators try to gently reign them in.

I think that overall,we all try to be sensitive to everyone's goals, and the vast majority of us realize that there is a lot more to weight than a number.

I love the 'accountability' of my 'ticker' on this site, it keeps me on track. And I love to look at others 'tickers' and see how they're progressing-- its all very inspiring. And while I know that my goal of 165-160 is still technically still 'overweight' (I think 159 is 'normal') I know that that is a good goal for me personally. But I realize that that might be way too big for some, and small for others. But gee, that's always how its going to be. But I can still try to be sensitive to others that have very different goals than I have.

Very interesting post. All of you ladies are so inspiring.

ladybugnessa
08-07-2008, 05:20 PM
I agree, but it can hard to make that judgment only based on what someone posts on a weight-loss forum! I mean, this is where we talk about WEIGHT, and well, losing it! Someone may seem obsessive about their weight on our forum, but may sound just as obsessive about knitting on their Let's-All-Knit forum. :)

true but i think it goes both ways.

i feel judged as a failure because my final goal is so high...

bananapancakes
08-07-2008, 05:21 PM
I agree, but it can hard to make that judgment only based on what someone posts on a weight-loss forum! I mean, this is where we talk about WEIGHT, and well, losing it! Someone may seem obsessive about their weight on our forum, but may sound just as obsessive about knitting on their Let's-All-Knit forum. :)

A fellow Josephine I see. Great point btw.

I don't personally don't focus on the persons goal weight but, more so what they are doing to meet the goal. If it's quite apparent that they are using unhealthy methods (what some see as unhealthy may not be considered unhealthy to the next person though) to accomplish their goal then I'd possibly offer a little friendly advice, maybe hint a little at first, if the person becomes highly defensive then I wouldn't say anything else.

Like someone else stated, nobody is obligated to post.

:)

txsqlchick
08-07-2008, 05:35 PM
When I was in HS I struggled with ED. I developed anorexia and went from 170 lbs to 110 lbs in a year. My lowest weight was around 90 lbs. That's a BMI of 14.5.

Even 110 lbs is underweight for someone who is my height (5'6"). However, I was continuously cheered on and encouraged by those around me (including my family) to keep losing. At 110 my BMI was 17.8 and I was getting to the very low end of sizes at my favorite shops. At 90lbs I found it difficult to find clothing that fit; childrens' sizes were out of proportion to my height and in many items, sizes 2 and 4 were too large. It wasn't easy to find size 1 or 0 back in those days.

Fat Chick B Gone
08-07-2008, 05:45 PM
true but i think it goes both ways.

i feel judged as a failure because my final goal is so high...

I've never seen someone on this foum suggest that someone needs to lose more then their goal? Hey I have a goal weight of 160 which puts me on the higher end for my height also but I don't see lower weights and think man I need to get there? If you're happy with your goal then you cannot let what others think bum you out.

Back to topic - I think the rules specifically state in the forum that UNLESS ASKED we don't really need to criticize others, their goals, and diet. The mods reserve the right to delete or edit any posts that seem unhealthy. I know what works for me and will share that with those that ask. For stuff I see that I don't think is healthy - I just hope that person gets a clue soon.

meowee
08-07-2008, 05:45 PM
I honestly believe that we should not get too excited about goal weights in the earlier stages of weight loss -- often your body will decide where it wants to be and hopefully most will listen to it.

When I think of all the time I spent during my twenties (about 40 years ago) trying to get from 125 to 110 and all the long term damage I did to my metabolism with weird diets, I could kick myself. I think I actually achieved that 110 for about a 2 week period, once . . . and then never looked back until recently. NOW . . . that same 125 would be a dream come true . . . I'll be happy (at 65) to just make it down to "overweight" instead of "obese" :dizzy: But I don't really know what I'll feel like once I get there. :shrug:

Having said all that -- I definitely agree that 3FC should encourage good eating habits as much as possible, but definitely not dwell on start weights or finish weights too much -- this is a journey to better health and fitness, and most of the participants around this big place fully realize that, at least IMHO.

kaplods
08-07-2008, 05:52 PM
Quote: true but i think it goes both ways.

i feel judged as a failure because my final goal is so high...
__________________
Nessa

__________________________________________________ ________


I've often felt this way too. Not so much that my stated goal weight has been criticised, but statements made directly or indirectly that seem to judge or criticise my decision not to put every ounce of my energies into losing weight, or sometimes even my deciding not to ever judge myself as "bad" for having eaten a particular something or not losing weight on the fast track, and especially for not regretting choices I made in the past that might have interfered with my weight loss.

During graduate school, I discovered "fat acceptance" philosophy and stopped dieting. It was one of the BEST things ever for me. I learned to really like myself, and didn't gain (or lose) weight. I put my energy and focus into my degree program and didn't give a thought to my weight except in passing. WOW, what a wonderful glimpse into a normality I'd never known could exist - if only I had found it at 160 lbs instead of 308.

I don't regret it a bit. That experience made me who I am, and in looking back at a lot of my choices, the idea that "fat and lazy" are so often linked is rather ridiculous. It's only been when I haven't been busy doing many, many other things I felt were more important that I've ever been able to lose weight.

So now, I really am lazy (well, maybe just exhausted) being on disability, and am finally having the luxury of taking care of myself as a full time job.

The thing is that I may NEVER be anyone's idea of successful at this, except my own. If I decide to change my goal weight to 200 lbs or even 250 lbs, and decide to stay there, and even if it takes me 10 years to get there, or I never get there, there will be plenty to judge and criticise. There's not much I can do about that. I have to ignore it, and do and want what I know is best for me.

Generally, when people are harshly critical, they're ignoring huge parts of their own lives that could just as easily warrant the same level and severity of judgement. Not casting stones, is VERY, VERY important here. We can share small bits of each others' journeys, but we can't walk in each other's shoes.

srmb60
08-07-2008, 06:20 PM
I have a few random thoughts in no particular order ...

I wish I could come up with the perfect thing to say to the poster who wants to be unhealthily slight. Something that would encourage her to stay long enough to learn healthier, wiser ways.

Although I care, it's not my responsibility to attempt to correct those I deem to be wrong.

About celebrites and their stated weights ??? Why would we believe what anyone prints?

If I get blown off once ... I shouldn't bother going back.

In order to have a ticker or even one of those s/c/g thingies ... you have to post something, some number. It's not necessarily one that's been carefully considered.

A few posters have touched on this one .... we have no idea what we will look like at a given weight. So what if your goal is 145 but when at 152 you fit perfectly into Levis 619's a size 10??? You can change a goal.

Nobody believes how much I weight anyhow.

I answer if I have something to say that has not been said.- OR- If something already said is fabulous enough to repeat.

Nessa? Nobody with a brain in their head thinks a 70 lb weight loss is failure. You're doing excellent work.

Josephine and Alena touched on this one ... pounds are easy to count and compare. Goals are hard to assess any other way. I just want a stable weight that fits in nice clothing. No rolls please! No control top hose if I can help it.

If you see a thread that is disconcerting ... alert the mods. Everybody knows about that little red exclamation mark, yes?

Yup, no particular order and that's all I've got right now.

JayEll
08-07-2008, 06:40 PM
SusanB, I like how you put that!

I believe that one of the forum guidelines is, don't criticize a member's program unless that member has asked for feedback. Of course, most members post in Weight Loss Support because they want feedback.

But, to make up an example, if someone says they are eating 1200 calories a day and exercising 6 times a week, and they ask how much water should they drink and how much protein, then the response would be about water and protein. It would not be about their calorie level. See what I mean?

Having said that, though, if someone says they are eating 800 calories a day and asks the same question about water and protein, a member might respond to the question and also ask whether the poster is on a medically supervised program because the calorie level seems low.

The less acceptable response would be, "OMG! That's way too little! You're starving yourself! You're wrecking your metabolism! etc." Like, who asked? ;) On the other hand, if the poster says, "This is what I'm eating, 800 calories, what do you think?" then it's fine to tell them as long as you're respectful.

Jay

ladybugnessa
08-07-2008, 07:07 PM
Jay I love you. you are so moderate... ha that's why your a moderator and I get my hand slapped now and again by Ruth!

sometimes when we are excited/passionate we tend to forget our OUTSIDE THE HOUSE manners.

I'm guilty of it. I admit it.

bananapancakes
08-07-2008, 07:14 PM
SusanB, I like how you put that!

I believe that one of the forum guidelines is, don't criticize a member's program unless that member has asked for feedback. Of course, most members post in Weight Loss Support because they want feedback.

But, to make up an example, if someone says they are eating 1200 calories a day and exercising 6 times a week, and they ask how much water should they drink and how much protein, then the response would be about water and protein. It would not be about their calorie level. See what I mean?

Having said that, though, if someone says they are eating 800 calories a day and asks the same question about water and protein, a member might respond to the question and also ask whether the poster is on a medically supervised program because the calorie level seems low.

The less acceptable response would be, "OMG! That's way too little! You're starving yourself! You're wrecking your metabolism! etc." Like, who asked? ;) On the other hand, if the poster says, "This is what I'm eating, 800 calories, what do you think?" then it's fine to tell them as long as you're respectful.

Jay

I couldn't have put it better myself if I even tried. This is exactly how I feel.

:carrot:

JulieJ08
08-07-2008, 09:30 PM
You can't be here very long before you see many people, same height and weight as you, posting that they wear a couple sizes bigger or smaller than you. Put another way, you'll see people the same height and size as you, but 20-40 pounds heavier or lighter. I would expect some variation, but I still can't get my mind around that big of a variation. But I see it a lot anyway.

So to think, wow, I would be skin and bones at that person's goal weight, it is so unhealthy for that person .... you really just don't know.

But I think that consciously or subconsciously, our response is influenced not just by the goal weight posted, but by the attitude. Most of us here are becoming much healthier, not just losing weight; and also learning to treat ourselves better in many ways. It is hard to watch someone ignore their health and subject their happiness to demeaning standards and expectations.

junebug41
08-07-2008, 09:51 PM
The only time I have felt inclined enough to comment was A) when someone was shooting 10+ pounds below the lowest "healthy" weight on the bmi and was called "amazing" and B) when someone with a very low goal weight created a thread about only consuming water for 2 days and someone with a scary-low goal weight decided to try it too. These were both posted in the 20-something section.

But just as they are allowed to dismiss my posts with barely a glance, I can certainly comment on something that in my opinion is blatantly unhealthy. I see people with lower-end goal weights and I think "good for them". Perhaps they have a small structure or know that to be a good weight for them. However, very young women with extremely low goal weights talking about how to get the last few pounds off by fasting, colonics, etc... red flags go up.

kaplods
08-07-2008, 10:15 PM
I do flinch when I read the borderline (and not so borderline) eating disorder behaviors discussed. I had a bulimic friend and housemate in grad school who endangered her life and was hospitalized many times (she drank ipecac to the point that it had stopped working). I learned of her bulimia when I had to drive her to the hospital when she couldn't throw up after taking ipecac (it's toxic, in itself, so failing to throw up after taking it is an emergency).

In the midst of the ED thinking, I don't think any advice "sinks in," but a comment that is ignored when it is given, may resonate with them later on, or maybe at least stick with someone else reading it who might otherwise have gone in that direction.

There can be a fine line, between helpful advice and unwelcome meddling - but for the most part I think most people walk that line pretty well. And for those of us who don't, the moderators sometimes have to step in and keep the balance. I'm always amazed at how well 3FC generally does so, in comparison to some other sites I've been on.

junebug41
08-07-2008, 10:22 PM
In the midst of the ED thinking, I don't think any advice "sinks in," but a comment that is ignored when it is given, may resonate with them later on, or maybe at least stick with someone else reading it who might otherwise have gone in that direction.

I just think that for all of the 3FC members that post, there are that many, if not more, that lurk or who read and don't even sign up for a membership. While I don't consider what I say to be the end all be all, I think where those 2 threads were concerned there needed to be a voice of dissent (I didn't speak up in one of the threads, but that's because you and others beat me to it;).

I agree that 3FC does a great job at it and I would rather we be overly concerned than not at all because I have visited the "other" sites and I wouldn't want 3FC to get a rep for promoting ANY of that business.

txsqlchick
08-07-2008, 10:26 PM
The only time I have felt inclined enough to comment was A) when someone was shooting 10+ pounds below the lowest "healthy" weight on the bmi and was called "amazing" and B) when someone with a very low goal weight created a thread about only consuming water for 2 days and someone with a scary-low goal weight decided to try it too. These were both posted in the 20-something section.

But just as they are allowed to dismiss my posts with barely a glance, I can certainly comment on something that in my opinion is blatantly unhealthy. I see people with lower-end goal weights and I think "good for them". Perhaps they have a small structure or know that to be a good weight for them. However, very young women with extremely low goal weights talking about how to get the last few pounds off by fasting, colonics, etc... red flags go up.

They should; you're right for saying something, too. I used to abuse diuretics and laxatives to get the scale to display what I wanted to see. After I stopped taking them, I was diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia. I'm not certain it's related, but it could be. I also once ended up in the hospital with seizures after refusing to eat for three days straight. I think they were provoked by the large amount of alcohol I drank on the third night.

Basically I was obsessed with being thin and was cheered on every step of the way by family and friends. Not one person told me I was too thin. Not one. Luckily, college intervened and I was too busy to continue the time-consuming regimen I'd established. I gradually fell out of the habit and slowly gained weight over the years. Now I'm too big.

I can see myself falling back into those old habits very easily. Over the years I've occasionally used diuretics and laxatives to take off extra pounds, like before my wedding. Right now not only am I trying to lose weight the healthy way, I'm also struggling against the temptations of starving myself and abusing medication again. Right now I have enough willpower to resist it. If I see myself slipping back into those old habits, I hope I'll have the strength and courage to seek help before I do permanent damage.

So yes, people need to be told when their goals are unhealthy. They need to be told over and over and over, and to be helped. Sometimes by force.

frieden
08-09-2008, 03:14 PM
I really enjoyed reading this thread. When I first got here, I was aiming for a weight that would be the low end of normal for my height, and was looking for advice on reaching my goal. A couple of members did politely ask how I came by my goal and recommended having my body fat measured. At the time, I wasn't that receptive, but did eventually take the advice and found out that they were right. I'd underestimated the amount of muscle I had.

I probably would've figured this out on my own, but if someone is asking for advice, it seems fine to ask someone how they chose their goal weight, and to share tools that can help set a realistic goal.

thelish
08-09-2008, 04:12 PM
I have to say that this thread has helped me gain some perspective...I have been worried for a while that my goal was too high, I have it set at 150 (thats whats on my weight loss contract) and actually want to get to about 145/140. Anyway, I think its important to remember that everyone is different...I think that is a weight I will be happy at and ultimately thats whats most important to me.

BlondeAmbition08
08-09-2008, 04:55 PM
A few things:

- BMI is not a rule and law that everyone has to fit into. It's an average. Depending on body type ones normal might be slightly outside the the table, in either direction.

- If someone is unhealthy, yes they need help. But looking at a number on the screen is a really bad way of telling if someone is unhealthy.

- Aiming for a number that seems too low to your eyes is one thing. Posting about fasting, taking laxatives and doing other unhealthy things is a completely different thing. You can't just bundle these two together. Not being happy being "moderately overweight" or at least at the high end of "normal" BMI does not mean one has an eating disorder. It just means the the person has different goals from you.

Me23
08-10-2008, 04:52 AM
Body fat measurement is an excellent idea, but if that's not available, many doctors consider that a woman's menstrual cycle is a good way to tell if she has enough body fat. If you don't, you won't ovulate regularly (notice how many Hollywood stars adopt children?) Of course this only works if there are no other issues affecting your cycle. I knew that had finally reached a healthy weight, neither over nor under, partly because my periods settled into a regular cycle. In retrospect, also because I could eat around 1800 cals a day, keep active, and keep my weight reasonably stable, but when I was ill the fact that 'hey, I can eat at this weight' might not have seemed a good reason to keep it.

CousinRockingChair
08-10-2008, 10:41 AM
Eh..I see peoples' goals weights as strictly their own business. And as someone who had/has an ED for 7 years, if a goal is too low because someone has an ED/body dysmorphia, it's pointless to call them out on it because frankly, when you're in an ED there is no messageboard out there that can help you. You have to look within.

KLK
08-10-2008, 10:52 AM
I remember those threads too. I don't remember if I commented, as so many people may have already said what I would have said, but I think it's perfectly reasonable for forum members to say how unhealthy not eating is or to point out that at 5'10" tall, 100 lbs is an unhealthy weight.

I could be wrong, but I feel a lot of times people with these kinds of unhealthy goals tend to be on the younger side -- 20's or teens -- and I kind of think that either 1.) A lack of life/weightloss experience leads them to have unhealthy/unrealistic goals or that 2.) Maybe they're more desperate to look a certain way than older posters, which leads to unhealthy goals. In any event, I think that if they post here with a question and reveal that they want to do something ridiculous to achieve their goal or that they want to weight 60lbs, the forum members have a responsibility to politely point out that, according to current medical science, those methods/goals aren't advisable.

The only time I have felt inclined enough to comment was A) when someone was shooting 10+ pounds below the lowest "healthy" weight on the bmi and was called "amazing" and B) when someone with a very low goal weight created a thread about only consuming water for 2 days and someone with a scary-low goal weight decided to try it too. These were both posted in the 20-something section.

But just as they are allowed to dismiss my posts with barely a glance, I can certainly comment on something that in my opinion is blatantly unhealthy. I see people with lower-end goal weights and I think "good for them". Perhaps they have a small structure or know that to be a good weight for them. However, very young women with extremely low goal weights talking about how to get the last few pounds off by fasting, colonics, etc... red flags go up.

CandyKisses0204
08-14-2008, 06:46 PM
WoW... So many things i want to say my brain is going crazy

First, i think that if a poster is going to post about them doing something unhealthy for the sake of losing i think the members have every right to warn them/ advise them not too. I know there is one particular person on here that everytime they post i just cringe. This person asks for advice then gets defensive when people say less than 1000cal a day esp. for someone who weighs 200lbs is unhealthy. Im sorry if you didnt want to hear the truth then dont ask. Also posting it in every single forum more than likely is not going to get you the answers and support you want.

On the other hand, if they didnt ask for your advice on their weight/eating/why they arent losing then dont comment. If they ask about an exercise video saying man i think your goal weight is too low is way OT and prolly not wanted.

Also i think as a weight loss community we have to be careful of what we say. There are many people on here with or recovering from an ED and scolding them on what they are doing can just make them leave here and do it their own unhealthy way. Yes being concerned and asking or pm'ing with some advice is fine. Saying "what your doing is so unhealthy and ridiculous and stupid" well thats not productive and wont get anywhere.

Sometimes i feel people might think im crazy for having my goal at 160. There are plent of people my height that their goal is 130 or lower. But we all have to realize what is right for me maynot be right for the next person. Now no one has said anything to me like you need to lose more. Some people are comfortable being 180 others feel great at 120 so unless they are being super unhealthy i dont think we should judge. Now i will say that sometimes i catch myself rolling my eyes when someone wants to get down to a certain weight that i might think is too low, but i will not criticize them. We are here to support eachother and if i dont support their goals i keep my mouth shut. I dont have to agree with what they are doing, but i dont have to comment either.

Starrynight
08-14-2008, 07:33 PM
Hi, I was directed to this thread after I created a thread about my doubts about my goal after seeing some posters' goals or even current weights..

It is a very sticky subject, as someone pointed out, we can't tell much from just the numbers, it comes down to frame, shape, and over-all health...
This thread is interesting though, it has helped me too confirm that I want to stay at my goal of 130.
Everyone has a different body, as many have mentioned before, it is more alarming if the person is trying to get to their weight based on unhealthy tactics. That being said, losing weight can really mess with your body image and sometimes I think people with lower goals haven't been assured by others that they don't NEED to go that low. Also, we all have different perceptions of beauty and size.. some people beauty is proportional to size, while others find all sizes beautiful.
There's SO many factors that go into it.. I mean, we really DON'T know if the person who has an underweight goal is really doing a disservice to their body or if it actually goes well for their body type.. on top of that, we don't know whether or not they realize how they look or not..

I think it is only out of concern if someone politely questions their goals and we SHOULD because while there may be people where their goals really are still healthy and fine for their bodies, there are still going to be those whose goals really ARE unrealistic/unhealthy for their bodies.
It's better to take a risk of slightly offending someone than letting a person who may never know how they truly look continue on an unhealthy path...Either way, it is a risk that we may offend someone which is why we should question politely and not force ideas upon them. We might find out the person doesn't work out and doesn't understand the value of building muscle to get a shape and stay healthy.. so they might think the only way to get that "build" they are aiming for is to continually lose.. and that could lead to weight-related disorders..

I think if we question it politely, the person may initially get offended but they might really think about it and examine their bodies and goals a bit closer.. of course we shouldn't constantly barrage them about it, just put the question into their heads, because you don't want to risk anyone moving towards an unhealthy goal because of something you said..

I know personally, it is VERY unrealistic for me to try and fit into a size 4 or below (and I don't WANT to go below a size 6, I'm aiming for an 8), I do have a shapely build with decent muscle from when I'd play tennis and do crunches a lot.... and I'd lose my curves if I went down that low.. Some people WANT that look, and believe in that.. which I also think is something that should be addressed, is what motivates a person to lose weight.. especially if it is unhealthy.. it could turn into an ED because their motivation is rooted deeply in an unrealistic view of model-thin women. I know there are many models that ARE at healthy weights for their body and some that aren't but the idea of being that thin can become obsessive for some people and it can lead them to ignore what their body is telling them. It could also be that the person's motivation to lose weight is very negative and maybe that needs to be addressed too, we all have a love-hate relationship with our bodies but sometimes people lose with a very very unhealthy and negative motivator in mind that is an issue altogether in itself.

I think it's a really messy thing.. but we have to be careful of what we say and keep all those factors in mind before we do.

NishKitten
08-14-2008, 07:55 PM
that i'm one of the people you might be referring to. On one of my posts a few of the ladies very politely informed me that my goal weight of 112lbs at 5'8" was underweight by 9lbs on the BMI chart, etc.

Yes, it is very slender, but it's a weight that I have been before (and healthy at that) and didn't have to struggle to maintain. I've always been tall and thin until a few years ago. Even my mother is 5'10" and has never weighed over 130lbs during an off-season. We're both sinewy and very slender normally, but we put on a ton of muscle very fast when strength training. Like we have natural steroids or something. She was a professional runner up until recently when she finally blew her knee out, and when she was prepping for races and cross country runs she could easily pack on 30 lbs of muscle in a few months just by moderately increasing her workouts. She's 46 this year, eats like a goat, has had two kids and had a full hysterectomy at 26 due to cancer. We're just like that. The number might look shocking, but at that weight an actual body composition reading on me always comes up perfectly normal. I've just got delicate bones despite my height and while I bulk up easily, once I lessen the intensity of my workouts I shrink right back down to where I was fairly quickly. Hence my losing a little over 50lbs in about four months. Some of it was fat since i'm trying to tone up a few pudgy parts, and some of it was getting off of the Prednisone I had been taking for almost a year for stress fractures, but 90% of it was just muscles shrinking back to normal now that i'm not doing heavy lifting, hardcore strength training, or running 30-40 miles a week since I got out of the army. I'm not doing a single thing different except eating better (i've got a historic sweet tooth) and strength training and running a lot less. I run two days out of the week no more than six miles (which is an easy little 30 minute jog for me), strength train with no more than five pounds and only to tone my arms or do squats, and the rest of the time I do yoga and ballet. That's it.

Clearly if someone is doing dangerous or unhealthy things to themselves you should say something, or at least PM them to let them know your concern with their methods, but for most you have to take personal preference, and their particular build into account.

I don't think I look bad at all as a tight and athletic size 8 like I am currently, but once I start getting over 150lbs, my bones start cracking and straining under the weight. I'm not built for it. 112 may be alarming to some people and it wouldn't be right for everyone, but it's great for me. I'm a healthy, toned, athletic size 4 at 112 and even better, my knees don't creak and my body doesn't hurt.

yoyonomoreinvegas
08-14-2008, 08:18 PM
Another little P.S. from me :D I've said a couple of times (in a couple of places :o ) that I am very probably going to adjust my goal a little higher. However, the reason I haven't changed my ticker yet is because I want to use that lower number as kind of a little mental "trick" on myself to make sure I don't go "whew, I'm done" and fall into that old "OK I'm at goal, I can eat whatever I want now" trap that's always ended up bouncing me right back up the scale in the past. My thinking is that if I have in the back of my mind that I'm still working on losing, I'm hoping it will help the front of my mind stay on track for maintaining. One of the many things I've learned here at 3FC is that I almost never have an *original* idea :lol: so there are probably lots of chickies out there with what looks like a too low goal weight who've already changed their minds and don't really intend to actually go that low.

I know that's a slippery slope in itself because a person could set themselves up to feel like a failure (I have serious discussions with myself in that vein fairly regularly :dizzy: ) so I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone who didn't already think of it themselves. :D

junebug41
08-14-2008, 08:40 PM
Nishkitten, you've clearly explained why you are aiming for the weight you are aiming for, and while you certainly don't owe anyone any explanation, I appreciate the fact that you've explained that this weight is correct for your genetics, lifestyle, and build.

The reason I pointed it out in the other thread is that with younger women in particular, there seems to be this idea that you have to get to the lowest weight possible while not necessarily paying attention to what is right for your body. I just got the vibe that the one who said that was amazing or inspiring or whatever rubbed me as that "be as skinny as possible" attitude. And I think that's kind of the opposite of what 3FC is about.

I certainly hope that I didn't offend you in this thread or the orginal one and I apologize if I did... thank you for offering your point of view!

kaplods
08-14-2008, 08:51 PM
I'd love to see all of us so confident, honest, open, and well-meaning that we don't mind making or receiving comments or questions about anything. Wouldn't that be great?

That we'd never assume that a person was being rude, condescending or judgemental, and that we'd never second guess ourselves because someone shared an opinion that was in opposition to our own.

Wouldn't that be great?

I do try to live that way. In many ways, my life is an open book, and I'll answer almost any question, no matter how personal, as long as it's politely asked. In fact, on the other extreme, I share way too much sometimes - more than the person WANTED to know, but that's just me. I've made my share of mistakes, but I don't feel the need to hide any of them. I'm secure and self confident, and mostly unconcerned as to how others perceive me. Most people like me (and I do like that, I admit that positive attention is an ego boost), but I don't really worry about people liking me, so I can be who I am. If someone disagrees with me, (particularly when it's advice they want to give me) I acknowledge that they may be right, though honestly confessing that I still don't think so.

I think far too many subjects - important subjects - are taboo. We aren't supposed to discuss, at least not in "polite" company things like fat and weight and dieting and sex; and yet there are so many myths and misinformation out there on the taboo subjects - that they need discussing all the more.

For example, I think it's ridiculous that we're supposed to act as though we don't know that someone is fat (often even ourselves). I'm not saying we go around saying "Hi, you're fat, want to be my friend, 'cause I'm fat too," but little things like asking a friend or aquaintence (obviously about my same size, or at least within no more than a size or two) where they found their lovely outfit (not even saying directly that I wanted one for myself) and the person reacting as if I was the rudest person on the planet for even possibly, maybe assuming they were plus sized, let alone that I would fit into anything from a store at which they might shop. I mean, what the heck is up with that?

I just feel that really talking about the "hidden" and "closely-guarded" parts of weight loss might open up the door to healing a lot more than feeling it's one of those things "polite people" don't talk about.

junebug41
08-14-2008, 11:25 PM
I think that was directed at me, but I dont know... I think this topic is "taboo" (although that wouldn't be the word I would use) because deciding on how much to way is a very personal thing (at least to me) and when someone questions that it can put someone on the defensive. I know for me weight was always a sensitive, off limits topic and I have only been comfortable with it for a short while. I thought that Nishkitten was very honest without being defensive (as I had brought up her post in a different thread) and I appreciated it. This is the internet, after all, and warmth and compassion may not have been conveyed in my post, so I had to put it into words.

kaplods
08-14-2008, 11:39 PM
No Jen, it wasn't in any way directed at you. It wasn't meant to criticise anyone, just to say how wonderful I think it would be if we were all so confident in our choice that we could say so without feeling threatened if someone (without ill will attached) asks us about it.

If someone I'm dining with says "are you sure you don't want beef," when I say I want chicken I don't feel threatened or feel I've made a bad choice in wanting chicken..... and I don't think the person is rude for asking (but yet I'm not going to change my mind).

I wish that weight was that much of a non-issue. I wish we could discuss our weight and weight related goals as we would the career we've chosen, or the band we like. Just a topic to discuss, not a social "booby trap." That's all I was saying.

The problem is that weight ISN'T like that in our culture, it carries all sorts of hidden and unstated judgements and values, that MAKE it a personal, private, and forbidden topic. I just think that it would be a better world, if that weren't so.

junebug41
08-14-2008, 11:51 PM
The problem is that weight ISN'T like that in our culture, it carries all sorts of hidden and unstated judgements and values, that MAKE it a personal, private, and forbidden topic. I just think that it would be a better world, if that weren't so.

It's sort of how in different cultures, it ISN'T taboo, such as being referred to as little "gordita". it isn't supposed to be condescending in any way, but in our culture it is. There are many many cultures like that where weight isn't about shame, just an observation and only an observation so I definitely see where you're coming from there...

kaplods
08-15-2008, 02:42 AM
Exactly! We don't scold a child for saying "that man is really tall," but I've seen parents slap their child for saying "that lady is really fat!," which only teaches that "fat" is so BAD it can't even be said.

I don't want to be so horrible and disgusting that people need to pretend they don't see me. Geez, being fat isn't THAT bad. I'm not a leper, you won't "catch" fatness by talking to me.

I'm fat. I'm not going to deny it, or pretend it isn't so, and I don't want anyone else to either. When I referred to myself as "fat" (as in someting about how hard it is to find flattering, affordable clothing when you're fat), a friend and coworker blurted out "you're not fat." I started laughing so hard, I nearly peed myself (and she turned so bright red, and felt so bad), but I'm sorry it was funny (on what planet is nearly 400 lbs, not fat).

She said defensively, "well you know what I mean."

And sadly, I did. Fat was so evil and disgusting and horrible, that a smart, funny, generous person couldn't be something so awful - she must be something else (and if she'd have said fluffy, I would have smacked her - ok I wouldn't have smacked her, but I would have glared at her hatefully).

I am fat. I don't want anyone to pretend it isn't so, but some people seem to feel that they have to see me as "not like a fat person," in order to like me.
I find it disrespectful and offensive to "pretend" I am not fat.

It's sort of like when my mother (don't think she realized what she was saying) when she told my black BIL that he wasn't like "most" black people, and she meant it as a compliment. The fact is, she only knew two black people ever, and she had no idea what "most" black people were like.

Or when my MIL bought an obviously too small nightgown for me as a gift. I'd chalk it up to ignorance, but there is absolutely no way anyone with eyeballs would have thought that nightgown was going to fit me.

JulieJ08
08-15-2008, 11:08 AM
Exactly! We don't scold a child for saying "that man is really tall," but I've seen parents slap their child for saying "that lady is really fat!," which only teaches that "fat" is so BAD it can't even be said.

I don't want to be so horrible and disgusting that people need to pretend they don't see me. Geez, being fat isn't THAT bad. I'm not a leper, you won't "catch" fatness by talking to me.

I agree, and I think that's great, but I also don't think the majority have that self-confidence and would not be so comfortable about it. It's tough. It's hard to know how one person wants to be treated and how another wants to be treated, ad infinitum. But I agree it's primarily this society's stigma about fat that makes it such an issue. And also because the way people treat you often has far more to do with their own issues than with you.

txsqlchick
08-15-2008, 03:12 PM
Or when my MIL bought an obviously too small nightgown for me as a gift. I'd chalk it up to ignorance, but there is absolutely no way anyone with eyeballs would have thought that nightgown was going to fit me.

My ex-MIL used to do that, but she did it on purpose to make me feel bad about myself. She'd always chip in with "well, it would fit ME."

Er, no. It wouldn't. She had about 50 lbs on me, easy. I did once snap at her and say, "Gee, I guess that's why you're wearing a (UK) size 28 and I'm in a 22? Because you're slimmer than I am?"

kaplods
08-15-2008, 03:31 PM
I have very little patience with people who want to play the "who am I kidding anyway games."

Whenever the subject comes up of hiding, lying, or being sensitive about age; I say, "if I am ever tempted to lie about my age, I'm going to lie UP," so that people tell me how young I look rather than think I'm lying or just look incredibly horrible for my age."

I've never really been tempted to lie about my age or my weight, because I've never seen the point. If anything, telling people my weight has been liberating. Most people have no idea what 300 lbs looks like, so ever since I reached 300 lbs I've had people accuse me of lying about my weight saying there was no way I could weigh that much. I guess they thought I was lying up in order to get the "you can't possibly weigh that much," compliment.

I've had a couple people (one a family member, and one a date of a family member who knew I didn't like him very much) try to "get my goat," by asking me "how much do you weigh, anyway?" They obviously meant it as an insult, because when I matter-of-factly answered with my weight, they didn't know what to say. I hadn't taken the bait and gotten upset or defensive or angry.

I'd like to give everyone with a few pounds to lose that kind of POWER, because when you take the power away from others to affect and control you THAT is real power.

Do I ever let it bother me? Well, yes, I'm not perfectly in-control and that strong, but the truth is I seem to be a lot stronger in that area than many people with far, far, far fewer pounds to lose, so I know it's possible. And I feel so badly for anyone whether they're gorgeous-thin or morbidly obese who is holding back, living a too-small life because they feel they're not thin enough - not good enough to have everything they want.

Fat can physically prevent us from doing some things, but we should never let it prevent us mentally or emotionally from doing things. That's the ideal, the reality (even for super-confident me) is often very different. When I bought a bicycle two summers ago, I thought everyone was staring at me when I rode it in the neighborhood (maybe they were, it really wasn't MY problem if they were, but it made me self-conscious anyway). It took some serious "talking to myself" for me to build up my confidence, but I can no longer say that it was my fat preventing me from getting on a bike. It was my fear of being a fat person on a bicycle that prevented me from doing so.