100 lb. Club - what's the difference btwn fat and slim?




ubergirl
11-08-2012, 01:26 PM
For you old-timers who know me, I'm chipping away at a big regain.

When I lost the weight the first time around, I had been morbidly obese for 20 years. I couldn't even remember what it was like to be fit and slim.

This time around, I lived at a near-normal BMI for close to two years. So I DO remember what it was like to be slim.

Life as a slim person:

1. It's easy to get dressed in the morning. I know that if I pull on a pair of pants and a shirt, I'll look reasonably put together. Because of this, I care more about how I look. I enjoy trying to look good. My kids can't believe that when we go to the mall I want to shop for myself. They're used to me only shopping for them.

2. It's still hard to shop. There is stuff that doesn't look good and me, and I always wish I wore a smaller size. Still, it's as if a whole new world has been opened to me when I shop in the "normal" section.

3. I have to keep reminding myself that I look "normal." I'm so used to living life as a morbidly obese person that I forget that other people don't see me that way anymore.

4. Other people look crazy fat to me. The women in my office? Wow, I can't BELIEVE how fat they are. I wonder how they can stand it. I feel really bad for them because I know how they feel.

5. I have a ton of energy. I walk up 6 flights of stairs in the parking garage everyday because I can.

6. People treat me differently, and I'm not quite sure how to interpret this. People are friendlier, and it leaves me often wondering why people are being so friendly.

7. Men are much friendlier to me. They look right at me. They pay attention when I'm talking. I find that surprising and constantly have to remind myself that they seem to be genuinely interested in talking to me. I'm sometimes not sure if I'm flirting. I am friendly, and this gets a different reaction from what I'm used to.

8. I am not embarrassed as often: being fat to me means chronic worry. Will my clothes look okay? Will I fit in the seat? Will I break the toilet seat? Will I look okay? Will I have to do something that my weight makes difficult? When I'm slim, all those worries fade away, and new ones DO NOT take their place. Life is just plain easier.

9. I don't worry about my health. I know that I'm healthy and taking care of myself.

10. I don't find it hard, on a day to day basis, to stay on plan, although sometimes I'm exhausted and just plain sick of dragging myself to the gym. In general, I feel like I handle stress better.

Since the regain:

1. I don't quite realize how much bigger I am, although I should get a clue since a lot of the clothes in my closet don't fit.

2. I DREAD the days when I need to look put together (I work from home, so it's not every day, thank goodness!) It's so hard to figure out what to wear. I can get dressed, but to really look "pulled together" takes a ton of worry and strategizing. The old embarrassed feeling is back.

3. I worry a lot about my health, and then try to push it out of my mind.

4. I feel trapped inside my mind. I think about food a lot and I feel sort of ruled by it.

5. People treat me differently but I'm not really sure why. For example, when I walk into a store, the sales people are less friendly. I can't understand why. While thin, I got used to being treated "normally" and I'm a bit surprised when people who don't know me seem to treat me as if I'm not very important.

6. Not a single person comments on my weight gain. I realize that my family hasn't really noticed....they suggest that I wear outfits that no longer fit... but I know that friends who haven't seen me in a while look surprised and are unsure what to say. I'm not sure what to say either.

7. For some reason, when I thinking about getting back on plan, I remember the difficult things about it, even though in reality, staying on plan didn't seem all that difficult, once I got the hang of it.

8. The fat people in my office look normal. The thin people look tiny. I realize that I'm now as big, or bigger than the people who looked huge to me when I was thin. I wonder what people think of me, but of course, nobody says a word.

What kinds of differences do you all notice?


Riesz
11-08-2012, 02:50 PM
I feel very uncomfortable in clothes and going out since my 30 lb regain.

I think the hardest part is knowing how accomplished and "normal" I used to feel, so not only am I discouraged with myself, I also feel very, very large. I felt humiliated to have to dig my old "big" (in reality, clothes I had worked very hard for a year to fit into but were bigger than clothes I was wearing at my low weight) clothes out of storage so I'd have something to wear.

Even though I only regained 30 lbs from my low weight, I have the anxiety I felt when I weighed 300 lbs! I know it's mostly mental and in reality I am only about 1.5 sizes bigger than at my low weight, but it's still rough. I've always struggled with body image.

I feel huge when I'm out in public, especially since I live in a big college town. The streets, buses, and shops are filled with thin 18-20ish year old girls and anyone feels like a whale compared to size 0-2 girls taking up only half the bus seat next to you.

Anyway, I'll stop ranting! The main thing is that we're here trying to improve ourselves once more.

As for the question about the difference between fat and slim: At least for me, it's mental. I feel slim, healthy, and fit when I know I'm doing all I can to improve myself, when I fit into a certain article of clothing I love, when I'm confident and smiling and holding my head high. It doesn't have a certain weight or size attached to it, since I felt slim and proud and accomplished after losing the first 20-30 lb and going down a size. I think it's a personal thing.

Elladorine
11-08-2012, 03:23 PM
I loved reading your post, ubergirl. :) Good luck to you with getting it all off again! :hug:

As for my input, I'm in a very weird place right now. I'm currently only 13 pounds away from my lowest weight as a teenager/adult, which will still render me in the obese category. :o I've only been skinny as a child and there's not much I avidly remember about it, but I can still post about certain specific experiences and memories.

In kindergarten, I recall there was one "fat" kid in the entire class. I clearly remember watching her struggle to bend down to tie her shoes and felt sorry for her, wondering how horrible it would be to be teased like she was. She was still overweight when we hit junior high but at that time I was the newly appointed fat girl and found out first-hand how horrible it was. :(

I must have been around 7 years old the one time I was hanging out with my best friend. We were wearing shorts and sitting on her porch, and she looked down at our legs and compared them. She gloated that mine were "fatter" than hers (and I was not overweight by any means). I remember running home and crying over that one. Oh, kids will be kids. :^:

I used to be exceptionally good at Chinese jump rope. I can clearly remember how light I felt on my feet as I went through motions of it, and how quickly I could move. I tried again a few times in junior high when I'd gained a lot and felt completely clumsy and heavy. I still wonder sometimes if I'll ever feel light on my feet like that again, but I don't think anyone could fairly compare their grown-up selves to their grade school selves. :lol:

My "normal" seems to be 250 pounds. And what I mean is that I've spent most of my adult life hovering around that number. In high school that made me practically invisible. I didn't go one one date, didn't attend one dance, and even backed out of field trips when I could. I remember always feeling tired, cranky, and hopeless. As a 16-year-old I was often mistaken as a middle-aged woman. Seriously. When I was babysitting I'd take the kids out for ice cream and the employees would refer to me as their "mom." Students that were unfamiliar with me assumed I was one of the teachers. I totally feel like I lost the chance to be teenager, and even though I'm now 36 I have to admit I still feel a little bitter about it. :stress: I have to point out that it was more than just about the weight, although that certainly didn't help; I had to share frumpy clothes with my mother, who at the time was in her 50's. Fun times for a teenager, right? :lol: She was also strict about keeping my hair short, which totally didn't suit me.

I still felt invisible as an adult at 250 pounds, but at least I was often mistaken for being younger than I was! :dizzy: A lot of it had to do with me finally getting to pick out my own clothes and choose my own hairstyle. :p But the excess weight still sucked. I managed to get down to 220 twice, and even though I was still obese, I felt incredibly thin, energetic, and outgoing. But it didn't last.

And while I say I felt invisible at 250 pounds, I sort of wish I could say the same about being 360 pounds! :o I felt like I was always being stared at, and just in case I wanted to get away with thinking it was only my imagination, there was often a small, innocent child pointing me out to their parent while saying, "Look, that lady's fat!" People never took me seriously, rarely looked me in the eye, and often acted as if I was contagious. I lost out on job opportunities, being told the position was still available on the phone after being told in person that had already been filled (while the employer looked me up and down with a sneer). When seeing the Water World show at Universal the people sitting behind us began joking in Spanish that they were glad someone my size was there to shield them from the splashing, not realizing we could understand them! :mad:

Clothes were next to impossible to find at that size. It hit me pretty hard the day I realized that the plus size store didn't have one pair of jeans big enough to fit me. :cry: Back then all I wore were stretch pants and knit tops (that had to be stretched out over my knees before wearing so they'd even go around my stomach). So what was the point in even trying to look nice? I felt utterly ridiculous even thinking about makeup ("lipstick on a pig") and had next to nothing to wear.

I remember complaining that you'd think places like McDonald's would better cater to their larger customers by offering roomier booths. :lol: I remember my feet just hurting from having to be on them for any length of time. :o Trying to carry my own weight was absolutely horrible! I'd often be out of breath from walking from one room to the other, so you could just forget about stairs. :(

I'm currently close to 230, and it's the most "normal" I've ever felt in my entire life. I'm not thin by any means, but I'm also no longer super morbidly obese with a BMI of 54! People definitely treat me much better now than they did nearly 130 pounds ago, and it's not only from self-confidence like some people insist upon. Our society is biased when it comes to size, and there's really no getting around it. And sadly enough, it's strangely comforting that I'm no longer the biggest person I see. And oh, I hate making that comparison, I really do, but I've never liked standing out for any reason. :o And heck, I can still get a little uncomfortable when I realize people are actually looking me in the eye rather than uncomfortably dismissing me.

It's been a relief that I can sometimes buy clothes from the regular section of the stores, although the selections I can make are still on the limited side. I can fit into restaurant booths easily now with room to spare, climb stairs with ease, and walk for miles at a time with a little jogging thrown in for good measure. Something I'd never taken into consideration before is how much more flexible I am now, and I still have a long ways to go! But I used to have so much trouble bending over, and I never realized how much my stomach had to be getting in the way. It's kind of exciting to know that it will get even easier as I lose more, as hard as it still is to wrap my mind around it.

It's strange to care about my appearance, to care about how clothes fit me rather than only worry about whether or not I can somehow get them to fit over my stomach. The concept of getting even smaller and dealing with this kind of thing more is not only exciting, but scary. I think my self-image will always be distorted. :^:


ubergirl
11-08-2012, 03:53 PM
Awesome post, Elladorine. We're the same height, and I also find that there is a huge difference between 250 and 230. At 250 I still feel HUGE but at 230 I feel a lot slimmer. Can't wait to get back there, and then some. I do not EVER want to see the far side of 250 again!!!!

Elladorine
11-08-2012, 05:21 PM
Awesome post, Elladorine. We're the same height, and I also find that there is a huge difference between 250 and 230. At 250 I still feel HUGE but at 230 I feel a lot slimmer. Can't wait to get back there, and then some. I do not EVER want to see the far side of 250 again!!!!
Thanks! :) And I totally hear ya! I'm not even used to the concept of 20 pounds making any difference at all, because once I was over 300 or so, it all felt the same. I remember having such a hard time being happy about my very first 40 pounds lost, because I literally could not tell any difference in how my clothes fit! :o It also felt like it took ages to get out of the 28's and the 26's, leaving me in my old usual 22/24's when I struggled to get under 250.

I did manage to get down to 243 last year before a family drama-inspired emotional roller coaster and a miscarried pregnancy sort of sent me over the edge. I spent all of last winter eating my way back up to 267 (the only major gain I've had since 2004) before managing to snap myself out of it in the spring. It was hard to look into the mirror, especially when my usual 22/24's began to pinch and hurt in the waist whenever I'd sit down.

I'm rather proud of the past 8-9 months; it's the longest, most consistent time I've ever spent on losing weight and getting healthier. No crash diets, no prescription pills, no starving myself, no hanging on my last nerve on the verge of giving up, just taking things one day at a time, one meal at a time. My aunt gave me a bunch of clothes this summer that were too small for me, but I gladly accepted them knowing that I'd been losing and hoping they'd fit by next summer. Nearly all those too-small clothes fit now; in fact I cried last week when I tried the 16 jeans and they fit perfectly! I don't think I ever wore anything smaller than a 22 in high school (not even my freshman year) and it's felt like I went from a 22 to a 16 practically overnight!

Anyway, you've done this before and you can totally do it again. I think 250 must be some kind of magic breaking point for people our height! :lol: I'm rooting for ya to get down under that again and beyond! :hug: :)

Beverlyjoy
11-08-2012, 07:15 PM
This is a wonderful post. Thanks.

Steph7409
11-08-2012, 10:54 PM
Thanks, uber and Elladorine, for your wonderful posts.

For me, the biggest difference is that I don't hate myself as much when I'm slimmer. Now, I'm just a run of the mill neurotic!

Vex
11-09-2012, 10:03 AM
I think about the 'people being friendlier' when thinner actually quite often, because I have definitely noticed it.

What I really want to know is, is it THEM who have changed, or is it ME? Am I friendlier now? Am I making eye contact when maybe I didn't before? Am I smiling and saying hello more?

I have a feeling it's probably a bit of both.

Judy Lynn
11-09-2012, 10:54 AM
Awesome posts you guys! Keep chipping away at those pounds and you will be back to being slim.

I do remember from my brief times I was in regular size clothes how much fun it was to put outfits together and get dressed for work. Now it just seems like a chore to find something respectable that will cover the big belly.

I also remember when I was slimmer that I didn't hate going out to social functions as much. Right now I hate parties, etc. My self-confidence is so low.

caryesings
11-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Two major things I've noticed about my own perception.

First, I am involved with a competitive singing organization so at least once a year I am watching women on stage singing either in quartets or choruses. When I was fat, my eye always went to the normal weight or thin women and I sat there wishing I was them. Now my eyes are drawn to the overweight and obese women and I'm wishing I could help them.

The second one is my continued surprise that even after more than 2 years at this weight, that I really am this weight. When I pull the summer clothes on, they still fit from the previous summer. When I step on the scale at the Doctor's office, no unpleasant gain in the number.

BTW, I hate when someone says that people treating me better since the weight loss is because of something that has changed in me. Nope, nothing about me has changed. Same personality, same style of dress, same hair style. Now I was never one to notice I wasn't treated well at my higher weight (jn part because I was pretty much the same weight for 20 years), so I didn't even realize the difference until getting the better treatment now.

ubergirl
11-09-2012, 02:14 PM
Two major things I've noticed about my own perception.

First, I am involved with a competitive singing organization so at least once a year I am watching women on stage singing either in quartets or choruses. When I was fat, my eye always went to the normal weight or thin women and I sat there wishing I was them. Now my eyes are drawn to the overweight and obese women and I'm wishing I could help them.

The second one is my continued surprise that even after more than 2 years at this weight, that I really am this weight. When I pull the summer clothes on, they still fit from the previous summer. When I step on the scale at the Doctor's office, no unpleasant gain in the number.

BTW, I hate when someone says that people treating me better since the weight loss is because of something that has changed in me. Nope, nothing about me has changed. Same personality, same style of dress, same hair style. Now I was never one to notice I wasn't treated well at my higher weight (jn part because I was pretty much the same weight for 20 years), so I didn't even realize the difference until getting the better treatment now.

First, I'm SO GLAD that you are still the same weight. I remember when I was right there with you. I absolutely do not think that regain is inevitable. I had nearly a perfect storm of stress for the eighteen months immediately following hitting goal. I almost hung onto it anyway. I can't wait to get back to goal and stay there.

Second, regarding the friendlier thing, I thought I was shy and that I just didn't engage people and occasionally I wondered if my weight had anything to do with it, but I wasn't sure. Now, I'm sure. I stay the same, but when I'm thinner, people I don't know-- shopkeepers, people at social events, etc.-- are friendlier. Men in particular are much friendlier.

Judy Lynn
11-09-2012, 03:02 PM
Well, this brings up an idea I have had for a while that some people, and certainly not everyone, are somewhat fatphobic. I have even caught myself feeling this way - and I am fat! There was a woman in an organization that I used to belong to that probably weighed over 500 pounds. I realized that I was uncomfortable talking to her, and used to avoid it. Why? I don't really know. I am embarrassed to admit it. But, maybe that is why people seem friendlier when we are slimmer.

I know for a fact that my former boss didn't hire a woman once because of her weight. Of course he was an all-around bigot and fat wasn't his only prejudice.

Tell me if I am off-base here.

LaurieDawn
11-11-2012, 12:48 PM
I remember watching one of those fat suit exposes, and realizing that I wasn't being treated like a normal-weight person. It was eye-opening. I have since made a particular effort to engage strangers, and it works most of the time. It's just hard to be okay having to be the one to make all the effort.

ubergirl
11-11-2012, 03:03 PM
I think a lot of the problem with how obese women are perceived is that people jump to conclusions about them... just kind of assuming that they are "a nobody." You can combat this, by being really careful how you dress and style your hair, but if you are just kicking around in stretchy sweats with your hair pulled back in a pony tail AND you are morbidly obese, people just kind of jump to the conclusion that you're probably not anybody important and when people don't think you are anybody important, they tend to treat you accordingly.

Just to give an example, when my kids were younger, I had an experience several times which was totally weird and upsetting. People thought that I was the nanny and my kids' babysitter was their mom. This happened more than once, and with more than one babysitter. My babysitters were young and cute, and had lots of spare money for clothes and stuff because I paid well. I was a professional who made enough money to hire a nanny, but I was morbidly obese. (I was not an older mom, or something else that might have accounted for that misconception.)

Then to make matters worse, one time I was looking for a new babysitter and so I called the nanny agency to say I was coming over to fill out paperwork. When I got there and explained why I was there, the lady handed me an application. I started to fill it out and I said, "Oh, you gave me the wrong application." She was SUPER SNOTTY and said "what are you talking about? I didn't give you the wrong application!!" I said, yes, this is an application to become a nanny and I want to HIRE a nanny.

She looked all surprised and started to apologize, but I strongly suspected that most of the professional women who hired nannies through their agency were little, slim and well-dressed, whereas I was morbidly obese and wearing a big floaty dress because I didn't have a lot of other options. I mean, I'm not saying that all nannies are fat and all professional moms are slim, but I got that reaction so many times that I started to get a complex about it!!!

I mean, we all make judgements about people based on their looks, and I had a couple of professional women in my office who were very obese, but meticulously dressed and made up every day, and you would have never mistaken her for a nobody, she looked every bit the professional and her weight had nothing to do with it, but I'm sure she must have spent a FORTUNE on high end plus sized clothes.

An average weight person can look awesome and put together with a lot less effort and a much smaller investment in clothes.

2times2much
11-11-2012, 08:05 PM
I've enjoyed reading the posts on this thread. I believe them to be correct! I've never been "slim", but I've made some progress, and I see those exact things you talk of even though I'm still well over 200. And, yes, even I like me better thinner!! I probably am a better person, because I don't feel so crappy, and I'm, not so tired all the time!

Thanks for posting!

AwShucks
11-11-2012, 10:16 PM
I have noticed something strange about "feeling slim" this time around. I've always tended to be a homebody, and can happily spend a weekend not seeing a single soul. Now, having relost about 85lbs, when I find myself alone for a day or so, I begin to feel like the old fatter me... hanging out in sweats with messy hair, etc. Of course, I would be mortified if anyone popped in and found me this way, but so far it hasn't happened.

If I get dressed and go out to shop or to another activity, it's then that I "feel" slimmer. It's like I have to be visible and out among others to realize the change in myself.

Funny, but I went to a family reunion recently, and though there weren't very many people there (about 29) NO ONE mentioned my weightloss. I had kind of agonized over how I would look to them, since I was 90 lbs heavier a year ago having regained weight lost several years earlier.

I rationalized things by saying that they love me and don't "see" me as fat or thinner, but it was kind of a letdown --not that I crave attention, but I thought someone would notice - not even my brothers!

Oh well, I'm doing this for me, but it's interesting how losing weight doesn't instantly make your life exciting. In the past, I have been quite the hermit - at 300+ lbs, I wasn't exactly a social magnet. I told myself I didn't have time for many friends, so I devoted myself to work and little else. Now, I want to be out and about and don't have anyone to do things with.

I know you have to be a friend to make a friend. Along with putting effort into eating right and exercising, I need to make an effort to cultivate some new relationships. Just putting that in writing gives me hope!

Radiojane
11-11-2012, 10:48 PM
I'll just about guarantee your brothers noticed. I'd wager they're like mine; either scared to mention weight and offend, or its not wired into their heads as compliment material.

It's not a bad thing to want your accomplishment noticed.

2times2much
11-11-2012, 11:32 PM
Yep. AwShucks, Radiojane is right! Just saw my brother since losing 80 pounds. He never said a word. BUT, I know he noticed, as his wife told me I inspired him! I just talked to him on the phone. He said weight is too touchy of a subject. He doesn't talk about it unless someone else brings it up. So many people with health issues causing WL, and not wanting to hurt any feelings... But from my end, it is sure nice to have someone notice the hard efforts! :hug:

I can relate to this on so many levels!

ubergirl
11-12-2012, 10:47 AM
:dizzy:I think family can be nervous about mentioning weight loss as it sort of implies that they noticed how fat you were before. I'm SURE they noticed.

I've noticed that NOBODY mentions my regain. It feels like the elephant in the room. (no, wait, I'M the elephant in the room, LOL:dizzy:)