Weight Loss Support - PSA: Your Goal Weight Is Too Low




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joyra
02-16-2009, 06:11 PM
Hi, I'm on my soapbox. :soap:

Yesterday I noticed a few posters whose goal weights were very low for their heights. I punched in the BMIs and they were about 16.5.

I realize some people are naturally thin. Many models say they eat whatever they want and never exercise and are just naturally underweight. Fair enough. I've known people to be extremely slim without trying. I understand.

But I think the key word here is naturally. If you are 20 lbs overweight and you are trying to be 20 lbs underweight... that doesn't seem like your natural weight would be in the underweight category. My boyfriend is slightly underweight, eats more than me, very little exercise. If he put on a bunch of weight and needed to lose, why would he try to go back to his underweight weight? His metabolism has shifted so that he can no longer naturally maintain it.

Anyways, I have worked with people with eating disorders for a few years AND I've had an eating disorder myself. My goal weight up until recently was 99 lbs which is a BMI of 18.6 on the nose. Every person I've worked with an eating disorder had a goal weight well below the healthy level. They were never allowed to see how much they weighed which was lose-lose. If they saw their weight, they felt too fat and wouldn't eat. If they didn't see their weight, they assumed they were gaining and wouldn't eat. And many of them had been overweight too. It seemed that while they were overweight, they glamourized the thinnest people and figured out how to get there. To get to these unhealthy weights, you need A LOT of calorie reducing.. like consuming 500 calories or less a day.

I just think that for some of the posters with underweight goal weights--you'll reach a healthy weight and be unhappy and frustrated with how you look... THAT'S not healthy. In fact you'll spend the whole time you're at a healthy weight being unhappy and unsatisfied. That to me is disordered thinking.

So if your goal weight is below the healthy BMI... please reconsider. You'll spend a long time being dissatisfied with your body and your goal might be impossible to achieve or maybe only achievable through unhealthy means.


Suzanne 3FC
02-16-2009, 08:04 PM
I think most people choose goal weights that are perhaps based on their high school weight or some other number they think it would be nice to reach, but I also think most people reevaluate those goals as they move closer to them and choose more realistic goals in the end :)

Lori Bell
02-16-2009, 09:17 PM
And then you got people like me who's goal weight is in mid-overweight range...lol My goal weight is many peoples starting weight... Hopefully we'll all work it out in the end.


joyra
02-17-2009, 12:33 AM
I think most people choose goal weights that are perhaps based on their high school weight or some other number they think it would be nice to reach, but I also think most people reevaluate those goals as they move closer to them and choose more realistic goals in the end :)

That's probably right... it's just hard to read about people suffering to lose X number more lbs and I think--you're already at a healthy weight! Plus working in a hospital, I saw many eating disordered people come in at their worst... and it all started off that they just wanted to lose some weight.

For me, raising my goal weight to something more middle of the road helped my extreme thinking that is indicative of disordered eating.

MariaMaria
02-17-2009, 01:31 AM
I think most fat women have heard WAY more unsolicited opinions than they ever wanted about what size their bodies should be and what they should eat and all that.

"For your own good" doesn't go as far as some maybe well-meaning but ultimately interfering and disrespectful folks might want it to.

IcassiopeiaI
02-17-2009, 01:50 AM
this was nice to see

i like you.

hah. i belong to a board where a 99% of the girls have an eating disorder and was surprised at some of the posts at this board. its supposed to be dieting and healthy weight loss and sometimes, it makes me sad to see how obsessed some 'normal' people get

freshmanweightorbust
02-17-2009, 02:06 AM
Joyra. OMG. We're like, psychically connected or something. I was just thinking the exact same thing about a 5'7'' poster whose goal was 115 or something equally excessive, like, yesterday. OMG.

LOL, seriously though, I strongly agree with this thread, here. My goal is actually still technically overweight. I set a goal that is the thinnest I remember being, so that it wouldn't seem quite so unattainable. I also wonder if maybe some women on this site are setting goals for the thinnest they remember being, but forgetting how young they were, like maybe these weights were before they developed hips and breasts?

I hate to see a person sabotaging themselves by setting goals that discourage more than inspire.

Glory87
02-17-2009, 02:10 AM
I started at 200 lbs. I originally set my goal for 150. It was a comfy, size 14 size (pre vanity sizing!) weight that I had maintained for several years in the mid 90s. It seemed attainable, I never thought I would weigh less than 150, I had managed small dips into the 140, but never swam any laps in THAT pool. I eventually revised my goal downwards twice - ended at 130. I weigh LESS than I did in high school (but I was never a slim-hipped, skinny girl like so many of my high school friends). The whole goal weight subject is pretty interesting to me - just remember, it's not written in stone!

joyra
02-17-2009, 02:42 AM
Yes I realize this post could be controversial, but then again, not really. What's controversial about suggesting someone stay within a healthy limit? It was a suggestion, not a demand. And places like Weight Watchers won't let you set your goal weight below a certain point, even if you intend to lose more.

MariaMaria, you're right, this was unsolicited. Also, I'm sorry you felt I interfered with and disrespected you. That was never my intention for you or others.

I was just basing this all on my personal and professional experiences. Cassiopeia, you're right.. there's a lot of obsessive talk around here that I would think implies disordered eating or even body dysmorphic issues. I once read a post that was like "I can't wait to be thin!" and the poster was 5 lbs from goal weight. I wanted to be like: You're already thin! There's nothing wrong with wanting to lose those last 5 lbs or even 5 lbs beyond it but to talk like 5 lbs is the difference between being thin and not thin? It seems so unhealthy!

Sometime between when I joined and now, I raised my goal weight. Part of me does want to lose beyond that. But I was just looking at pictures of me where I was 10 lbs above goal from a few years ago and thinking how unhappy I was because I still wanted to lose 25 lbs and 25 lbs is so much weight and I was just still so fat. I wish I'd had some perspective.

I've gained a lot from this site from the advice I didn't necessarily ask for and from people's experiences that they were nice and brave enough to share. And I raised my goal weight because of this site, not because of a specific person, but because there is such a focus on health and lifestyle cumulatively, not a focus on how to be skinny or get skinnier (like some dieting sites).. and because of it I feel like I'm on the healthiest weight loss plan I've ever been on.

Glory87, you're right too. Goal weights are not set in stone. I have no idea why someone would choose an underweight goal weight, maybe it was a weight they once were like Suzanne said. I'm just suggesting that a higher goal weight might make a person feel better about their body and their weight loss--it did for me. Extreme goals can lead to extreme thinking and extreme measures to reach them. I know it, I've done it, and I've watched many women's minds warp to the point they had to be hospitalized. But yeah, most of us our adults, we can do whatever we want with our bodies and we can read things on the internet and ignore it if we please.

heather88
02-17-2009, 02:50 AM
This is an informative post, and I don't have a problem with it :].

I have my goal weight set at 199. I have so much to lose and I don't even remember what I looked like when I was under 200lbs . . . I think that this way it will help me judge on a weight that I can maintain and be happy with.

recidivist
02-17-2009, 03:32 AM
Joyra, I agree with your assessment, but try to remember that you too have shifted your goal from when you started. I am changing too, from just last December. I joined for support, not because I thought I had the wrong plan...I thought I knew what I was doing, but it turned out I learned so much here, I realized I didn't know what I was doing at all...and I expect to learn a lot more before I'm through. So, I'm not just here for emotional support anymore...I'm here to learn from other's experiences and knowledge.

So I'm not too worried about the posts that seem a bit extreme to me, because they are usually from new posters, and I suspect their attitudes will change some too as they start to travel this journey.

Also, this site is huge and will attract all kinds of people...many with eating disorders (like me) and sometimes it just takes time to slowly absorb what we hear...because we aren't just losing weight, we are healing our minds as well.

So, while I understand your frustration and desire to fix everyone...you can't. And it's not your job to fix anyone but yourself. You can, however, teach by example...and by sharing your knowledge and experiences. :D

flatiron
02-17-2009, 04:12 AM
And then you got people like me who's goal weight is in mid-overweight range...lol My goal weight is many peoples starting weight... Hopefully we'll all work it out in the end.

HA! for my height 5'8" when I get to my goal (200lbs) I will still be considered overweight or maybe even obese! LOL!

I doubt if I will want to go much below that because I am big boned and have more than average muscle on my body. My BMI says I need to get down to like 160 lbs to have a normal BMI and I haven't weight 160 since I was about 14 years old, I think this would be an unrealistic goal.

I'll be OVERJOYED to get to 200lbs! :D

MissVitality
02-17-2009, 05:25 AM
You are right to be concerned Joyra, some of the goal weights posted are basically unhealthy and are going to take a lot of sacrifice to attain and this could do a lot of damage along the way - mentally and physically.

I do hope Recidivist is right - that most come from new posters who will reassess their goals as they progress along their weight loss journeys and gain knowledge and experience.

My own goal weight is the heightest point in the recognised 'healthy' range for my height and believe me, if I make it there, I will be singing from the treetops!

Joyra, hopefully your post will help some people reassess their goals now to something more reasonable - thanks for posting.

saef
02-17-2009, 06:30 AM
Even the BMI charts aren't always much help. I'm 5'3". At the height (or should I say, the very depths) of my eating disorder, I was at 115 pounds, which is considered a healthy weight for my height. But I know for me it wasn't sustainable. To stay there, I worked out nearly two hours each day & was afraid to eat a slice of whole-wheat toast at breakfast. I hadn't had a period in two years. I had terrible difficulty attending any social event because I wouldn't eat 95% of the food available at any place we might go to. I wore really beautiful clothing -- but in the end, that allure wasn't worth it. The tradeoffs in daily life just weren't worth it. I told myself I was willing to, in effect, spend my life in training, like an athlete, to stay in those clothes, but I couldn't do it.

I'm willing to be heavier if it means being healthier & having a more balanced life, with more time for friends & for other interests. I've set my goal weight at the very start of the healthy range, just past overweight. Maybe I can make it a little lower. I don't know. But I am very careful about that kind of thinking because of my past history. Sustainability is key for me this time. And humility. I'm just not willing to be superwoman. A commitment to being healthy is one thing. But the days of unrelenting will & iron self-control are over. That, I see now, was when the disordered thinking kicked in.

MissVitality
02-17-2009, 06:42 AM
Saef, thanks for a brilliant post - it just about sums it up - it's about happiness and sustainability - not achieving a really low weight at a price - that's just not worth it. Well done you for overcoming a difficult time and coming out stronger at the other end.

LucyFM
02-17-2009, 07:42 AM
Joyra. OMG. We're like, psychically connected or something. I was just thinking the exact same thing about a 5'7'' poster whose goal was 115 or something equally excessive, like, yesterday. OMG.

I saw that poster too, and it's so unnecessary, not to mention bad for your body. But then I guess if you start off only marginally overweight anyway they feel the need to set a low goal in order to see such a noticeable change.

saef
02-17-2009, 09:46 AM
Thanks, MissVitality. I really do think it's a balancing act. But what really helps this time around is to think about health first, appearance second. I may be healthy, even if not hot. I'm older now & I am willing to take it. ;-)

I also think that once you start losing weight, and you have a tendency toward an eating disorder, you have to watch yourself about moving the goal posts, in effect. You get so good at losing weight, you're rewarded so often with compliments, that it's tempting to keep going at this new thing you've become so excellent at. You think: If I just add on 15 more minutes of this exercise, if I just cut down a little bit more on my food ...

It's the old problem with equating happiness with a number. With thinking: If I hit this particular weight, I will know it because I will finally be completely satisfied with my appearance, with my life. My dissatisfaction is solely because of a number on a scale.

We know that's crazy, but it's so easy to think that way. People do it all the time with numbers. You can do this with your salary, with the address of your real estate. If only I had this thing, I'd finally be happy. Easy to fill in that blank with a particular weight.

Added to this is our general inability to see ourselves as we are. When I was really heavy, I had difficulty acknowledging just how heavy I was. That was why photographs of myself made me uneasy: Who was this woman? I didn't feel that big. This carried over weirdly, into the period when I became much thinner. I never saw myself as thin. I'd look down along the length of my leg & see a huge hamhock. But my leg wasn't really like that. Someone handed me a photograph from my good friend's wedding, in which I'd been maid of honor, and I was all neck tendons & deep eyesockets & a brace of bared teeth & my arms were scary thin. I hadn't wanted a photo taken of someone putting a garter on my leg (I'd caught the bouquet & had to be publicly be-gartered) because I thought my leg was fat. Well the leg in that photograph was far from fat. But that morning, I'd thought it was this big ham hock. I was thinking, "Maybe if I hit 110 pounds, my leg will look all right." I don't understand why we really can't see ourselves -- why some of us can't -- but I heartily recommend measuring or photographs to counter with some kind of reality check.

I was fascinated by a post here in which someone who had the same problem wrote that she used to play a game. She would ask her partner: "Am I as big as this [random person walking by] or smaller?" She was generally surprised at how she overestimated her own weight compared with other people's. She always thought she was much bigger & it turned out not to be so.

MissVitality
02-17-2009, 10:29 AM
Saef, we can easily get a distorted view of reality. You spoke about being thin and thinking you were fat. I had the opposite distortion. When I was at my heaviest, I spent years not consciously realising how obese I was in comparison to others and how much damage I was doing to my welbeing. I honestly thought I was a perfectly normal weight. Perhaps I was in denial, who knows? But I was obviously aware at a sub-conscious level as this manifested itself in some of my behaviours (reluctance to get into relationships etc)

A wise man once taught me that I am amazing NOW. Not when I weigh a particular weight, earn a particular salary, get a bigger house, drive a flashier car - NOW. He said a lot of people are guilty off putting of happiness and have the mindset "I will be happy when....." It's a self-defeating thing, of course, because when we do achieve whatever the goal is, are we truly happy with that or do we just reset our goals and further delay our happiness?

I think we need to be happy with who we are now and what we have, set ourself realistic goals for the right reasons and recognise that we are not and never will be perfect. And do you know what...? That's allright! We are amazing anyway. Our bodies are these wonderful vehicles that do so much each and every second of the day to keep functioning and we should value them rather than putting them under unneccessary pressure in the pursuit of an illusion of happiness.

rachinma
02-17-2009, 10:56 AM
I'm surprised anyone was offended by this post.

Daimere
02-17-2009, 11:05 AM
I agree with this.

At the same time, what about the opposite direction? My mother has always been gung ho for my weight loss but she told me I could only reach 180. Barely 170 if I work hard. I want to be at the upper BMI healthy though. I always told myself that I will go for 170 but work a bit more and see if 164 is sustainable. Now, that I am at WW, I have to go to 164 if I want lifetime. I want to have a healthy BMI but everyone around me says I shouldn't.

JulieJ08
02-17-2009, 11:16 AM
Also, just because someone says something in a post, it doesn't mean they are obsessing about it all day. I only have 7 pounds to goal, but I still whine and moan on the daily 5-Pound Challenge thread. The truth is, I'm happy. I'm only working on establishing life long eating habits, not "dieting" to lose more weight. My final weight will choose itself. But every morning, I can weigh, moan (or cheer) about it, and then I leave it there and go on about my day without it.

zinkemomx2
02-17-2009, 11:57 AM
And then you got people like me who's goal weight is in mid-overweight range...lol My goal weight is many peoples starting weight... Hopefully we'll all work it out in the end.

When I first joined this site I figured out my BMI. In order to be 'healthy' I would need to be under 153 pounds. I think it was Sportmom who pointed out that was probably unrealistic for me after we had a discussion about body fat %'s. I have since changed my goal to under 180 which according to my body fat would put me in a healthy range.


I'll be OVERJOYED to get to 200lbs! :D As of this exact moment though this statement says it all. I've always been heavy and I cannot remember the last time I was under 200 pounds. I vaguely remember being 180 sometime in junior high or high school and I was wearing a size 18 jeans from Fashion Bug. But thanks to vanity sizing I can probably wear a size 18 now at around 220.

aneleh
02-17-2009, 12:02 PM
I'm generally happy with myself AND at what is considered a 'healthy weight', but I still want to lose about 15lbs. I shouldn't have to settle for this weight just because I'm not considered overweight by some chart. I want to reach my potential physically, not only nutritionally, but physically in the peak condition. I have to work at it though, it won't just come magically, and it is a lot of work!

moonkissed
02-17-2009, 12:39 PM
Great post. IDK I think the numbers themselves are scary. It is so hard to even imagine what 160, 145, 120, etc.. looks like on different people ya know? It is hard to put it in a perspective that fits just us.

When I first started the whole thing about losing weight and I looked at the charts to see where I am now and where the healthy range for me was. I was like omg that is still so high! The numbers seems so big eek.

But finally I decided to stick with it. I chose my goal weight to be 165, the very highest weight in my healthy range. I figure let me hit that and reach that goal and then see where I want to go with how I look and feel.

Somewhere in my head I know I wish I would be like 110-120 but I don't think that would be healthy or even possible lol.

Heather
02-17-2009, 02:46 PM
I'm surprised anyone was offended by this post.

I can see why people might be offended. Remember that these posts you are writing are not in a vacuum. I see cases on this thread where people write as if the person they are writing about isn't here (e.g., "the poster who was 5'5 said such and such"). Please remember that those people can read your posts, recognize themselves, and that's one way they might get offended...

MariaMaria
02-17-2009, 03:06 PM
I can see why people might be offended. Remember that these posts you are writing are not in a vacuum. I see cases on this rhead where people write as if the person they are writing about isn't here

This, plus the idea that you don't know personally the overwhelming majority of the active posters here. You've never seen photos of most of them. And yet you know better than they do what size their bodies should be?

Moreover, I'm seeing a gender issue in the sense that straight men just don't generally get told by uninformed third party experts what they should look like--but women do. And that's not cool even when it's another woman who's the self-appointed expert.

joyra
02-17-2009, 05:35 PM
I'm no expert. I'm not a doctor, a psychologist, or anyone's mother. Just someone who's worked with eating disorders, experienced them myself and has had some terrible self image/depression related to my weight.

JulieJ, I hear ya! If I had 5 lbs left to lose and it took me 6 months to reach it I'd probably ***** and moan too. After a long journey, a goal is the finish line! But just some comments, like I won't feel thin unless I lose 5 lbs seem a bit extreme to me. And also if those last 5 lbs that just won't come off are in the underweight zone, then is it worth it? I just know the frustration with stalled weight... many of us say "Help, I'll try ANYTHING!" And when you're already at a healthy weight trying to be underweight... what's "ANYTHING"?

saef, you said everything more eloquently than I could.

I guess I posted this because I wanted to get a dialogue going (and it has!). People could never post that they purge for weight loss... or severely restrict. That's too unhealthy. But you can post that you're aiming for a BMI of 16. I just wanted to talk about it. People differ in their opinions on this subject, and why wouldn't they? It's all good.

As for having a goal weight above healthy--well, you can always go further down if you choose once you reach your goal! But if your goal weight is already below what's healthy...? You either give up your goal or you do whatever it takes to get there. At my thinnest, I spent a lot of time hating myself because I wasn't the right number on the scale. I don't think I thought someone was going to say "I read your post and changed my goal AND my life!" But maybe they would just add it to wealth of positive information that's on this message board that will slowly steer people towards a healthier lifestyle... it has for me.

mandalinn82
02-17-2009, 05:54 PM
Normally, if we see a poster with a BMI goal in the underweight range, most of us point it out. It can take some time to notice, and no one reads all posts. I, at least, try to mention it to the poster.

But I feel, sometimes, that even that is a bit of a double standard. After all, my current and goal weights are both OVERweight. Yet no one would dream of telling me "you need to aim lower!" Many of us here have goal weights that take into account BMI, but also take into account what we know about our own bodies and what is possible for them. I can feel OK about this double standard because the health risks of having a slightly overweight BMI are far less than the health risks of having a slightly underweight BMI, but when you think about it, they're both goals past the bounds of "Normal"

I do believe most people adjust unreasonable goal weights upward as they approach them. I also believe that most people adjust DOWN unreasonably high goal weights as they approach them (I know I did...I started with a goal of 190, then 180, then 170...etc). So it ends up working itself out in the end.

I think the best way to support people with unhealthy weight goals BMI-wise is to respond gently and positively in their threads. I normally say something like "According to your stats, your goal weight would give you a BMI of (#), which is medically classified as underweight...have you checked on your goal with a doctor? It might not be a reasonable goal for you".

sacha
02-17-2009, 07:05 PM
Posted by freshmanweightorbust
Joyra. OMG. We're like, psychically connected or something. I was just thinking the exact same thing about a 5'7'' poster whose goal was 115 or something equally excessive, like, yesterday. OMG.

I saw that poster too, and it's so unnecessary, not to mention bad for your body. But then I guess if you start off only marginally overweight anyway they feel the need to set a low goal in order to see such a noticeable change.


I'm certainly not offended as I know that I am very healthy, BUT... I have chime in that 115lbs and 5'7 is not excessive, unrealistic, or unhealthy.

I belong to 2 different forums. This one (which is very supportive and motivating) and another one, that is geared towards women who compete in fitness contests, police officers, army girls, etc... women who lead a very active and healthy lifestyle. Most of them would come in at about 115-120 at 5'7. These are girls who can and will compete in fitness or physical contests. They certainly aren't unhealthy or unrealistic.

Yes, 5'7 and 115lbs without exercise would probably lead to a "wimpy" looking girl, but with low bodyfat and strong muscles, that is not an unusual size for your typical "fit looking" girl.

FB
02-17-2009, 07:26 PM
It's funny how we dismiss the BMI charts as utter BS when we're classified as morbidly obese, obese or overweight but raise holy **** at someone falling on the lower end without knowing their story.

IcassiopeiaI
02-17-2009, 08:10 PM
It's funny how we dismiss the BMI charts as utter BS when we're classified as morbidly obese, obese or overweight but raise holy **** at someone falling on the lower end without knowing their story.

heh.

i still think this was a good thread, if one person can reevaluate and think NO i dont need to be a number, then great. its not a fine line between obsessive dieting and an eating disorder- its a ****ing cliff you fall off of when you didnt even see it coming.

for the record- i'm not judging anyone gw be obese or underweight, i just think this was a thread that needed to be started :smug:

jahjah1223
02-17-2009, 08:25 PM
I think they chose that weight because they think there is no way i can gain all that weight back again when i'm this small!

Ive thought of it before :S

Lyria
02-18-2009, 06:13 AM
I like this post. I think it has many valid points.

I'm certainly someone who re-evaluated!

I definitely fell into the "obsessed" end of the spectrum and was felt absolutely driven and compelled to lose more and more weight. I went from 180 odd pounds to about 110 - and i'm 5'6.

It was totally unsustainable *for my body* - my period stopped, my hair fell out, I was permanently freezing and achey. I was still fit - could lift decent amounts of weight and run all day but I was underweight.

These days (after gaining quite a bit back...muscle AND fat) I am settling for a comfortable 140-145 pounds.

I am currently an australian 8-10 (about a 4-6 in US terms) and have well defined muscles - I can run 30+kms (19 miles) and I love lifting heavy...I also know I LOVE my food lol.

For me re-assessing my goal weight meant taking into consideration my body shape, composition, my love of good food (and wine) and being happy with a sustainable weight.

I hold happily and naturally within 1 kilo or so of where I am currently without stress and I like it. I'm more focused on how I look and how my clothes fit than the scale.

Though I admit I do still have "fat" days lol. I guess I will always have those!

Pandora123a
02-18-2009, 02:30 PM
The other issue about those BMI charts, for those of us who have been overweight for some time, is that we have permanently changed our bodies. I was stunned to get body fat measurements and discover that my BMI, based on caliper measurements, was much lower than the number I get by plugging it into the online calculators.

The exercise physiologist explained to me that years of obesity have actually strengthen my legs and bones (walking became a "weight bearing exercise" and that even losing, my legs will retain some of that muscle.

The BMI charts can be a guideline but not a Bible.

My goal has been 140,the number on my driver's license (from age 16) and near the top of a healthy BMI per the charts. Based on the most recent assessment of a 38% fat...I have 134 pounds of lean muscle, bone, and organ weight. Do I really think I could have only 6 pounds of fat? Hardly.

I'm not changing my goal for now...but I suspect you will see it edge up....

aware210
02-18-2009, 04:29 PM
My goal weight was originally 99lbs. Why? Because its a flawless double digit number in my head. But i had to re-evaluate. While 99 technically is a healthy weight for me according to my bmi, i also have to take into account that im not a small boned girl. I have wide hips and big boobs. And when i was 12 years old.. with alot of muscl, and very little fat, i weighed 104. So getting down to 99 isnt realistic for me. I realize that. So i chose 110. Because its in a healthy weight range. and when i was 115, i still felt i had quite a bit of flab on my *** to loose. But when i was 115 i didint exercise. So who knows, if i have themuscle tone that i want at 115 or 120.. i will stop there, but for now my goal is what is, and 110 is where i think i eed to be to look the way i want to look.. wich is smoking hot lol.

kaplods
02-18-2009, 05:27 PM
I can understand why someone might be offended at being told their goal is inappropriate. Some may have aspirations in the fields of entertainment, modeling, or ballet, and know their weight has to be in a competitive range. Or an overweight amputee may have a goal weight in mind that adjusts for the missing limb, yet not want to go into the fact that they're an amputee every time someone asks why their goal weight is so low.

I think that's why we have to be very careful about what we assume and how we voice our concerns for each other. Discussing how we chose our goal weights, or very politely asking if a person has spoken to their doctor about their chosen goal weight, and even a generic PSA as in this first post can be appropriate - but we have to step carefully on both ends.

When I needed a goal weight from my doctor, for my TOPS group he asked what I had in mind for a goal weight, and I suggested 200 lbs. Obviously trying to be diplomatic he asked if I possibly might want to reconsider. Realizing that 200 was still quite overweight, I explained that I would try to maintain 200 before deciding if I could lose more, and he told me that I'd mistaken the direction he meant. He suggested that I raise my goal higher (concerned that I might easily get discouraged). We settled on 250 lbs as my "first" goal weight.

I didn't change my goal weight here for several reasons. 150 lbs was the weight goal my pediatritian set for me in 8th grade for me to reach in high school (I only made it to 155), so it's still my fantasy goal weight. It's also a "normal" weight, and I hesitate to put the goal I suspect I may be satisfied to maintain (200 lbs) and especially the doctor's recommendation (250 lbs), because I don't want to invite comments that my goal weight is still in the obese range. In essence, I don't put my "real" goal in order to protect myself from criticism (I'm not saying that anyone here would criticise, it's just a precaution I felt the need to make).

I would hate to think there are women (or men) here who would do the same on the other side of the spectrum, but there probably are. Those who list a "healthy BMI" weight, but secretly want to lose more (or perhaps exagerate their height to masquerade the fact that their goal weight is atypical).

I think if we're too unaccepting or confronting of people's nonaverage goals, we just force it underground.

It's difficult to walk that magic line between appropriate discussion and uncalled for judgement. So, I think in any conversation on this topic, the topic of the ethics and appropriate way of discussing the topic go hand in hand with the topic itself.

daydreamer
02-18-2009, 08:03 PM
Oh wow. This is an interesting conversation. While I understand the motivation behind it, I think it could have been handled a little bit nicer- not that it was incredibly mean or snarky, but because tone and intent is VERY difficult to read on the innerwebs.

People go to message boards such as this, looking for a place to get support, but generally speaking, most do not want unsolicited advice. Meaning, unless someone specifically asks "Is my goal too low?" They don't want to hear it. That being said, when you post to a board, you do leave yourself open to being given that unwanted advice.

I guess what it boils down to, is that we keep ourselves in check, and always ask "Would be offended if a perfect stranger said xyz to me?"


Oh, I also think if there is someone you (general you, not aimed at anyone specifically) feel has an unhealthy goal, a PM might be a more tactful way to voice your concern, rather than a PSA. A thread like this can easily be interpreted as a personal attack, rather than concern and information sharing.

JMHO

Thighs Be Gone
02-18-2009, 08:14 PM
When deciding my own I look at the BMI charts from multiple internet sources. Most of those charts say that 120 is the lowest you should go if you are 5'7". Five pounds isn't that big of a deal in my book. I could probably lose another 30 actually but am not going to. But I definitely am going to lower my goal. I am a mom, have had two children in two years and am in my late 30's--for ME 115-120 isn't realistic to sustain.

SASCHA--would you please send me the name of the other website you are on. I would love to have a look there! :) Thx.

Thin4Good
02-18-2009, 09:58 PM
I see how unsolicited advice can be unwelcome. However, when I see women that are so frustrated with no loss, feeling like they are a failure because they just can't seem to get to their, what seems to me an unreasonably low, goal weight I DO feel the need to say something. I don't know if my current goal weight is too low for me , I may find it to be once I get closer but right now I couldn't say. I hope that if I become so wrapped up in my weight loss that I don't realize I am doing something unhealthy that someone here would do the same thing for me. I already feel like I may need that given my current body image issues but that is for another thread. ;)

frieden
02-18-2009, 10:50 PM
My goal weight was originally 99lbs. Why? Because its a flawless double digit number in my head. But i had to re-evaluate. While 99 technically is a healthy weight for me according to my bmi, i also have to take into account that im not a small boned girl. I have wide hips and big boobs. And when i was 12 years old.. with alot of muscl, and very little fat, i weighed 104. So getting down to 99 isnt realistic for me. I realize that. So i chose 110. Because its in a healthy weight range. and when i was 115, i still felt i had quite a bit of flab on my *** to loose. But when i was 115 i didint exercise. So who knows, if i have themuscle tone that i want at 115 or 120.. i will stop there, but for now my goal is what is, and 110 is where i think i eed to be to look the way i want to look.. wich is smoking hot lol.
We're the same height, and I was the same way with 100 lbs. I still think it would be the most perfect round number to weigh. According to my body fat measurements, it's right out though, so I upped my goal.

I like this thread though. It raises a good point, and no one was singled out. Some people aren't familiar with bmi or body fat calculators or other tools, and it's a good thing to share things that can help people choose and reach healthy goals.