Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - When are you no longer "fat"




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cosmic wisdom
09-07-2013, 10:02 AM
I wanted to get your perspectives on when you cross that line from "fat" to "normal" weight. Is it by BMI, body fat %, waist circumference, clothes size or something else?

What do you use to evaluate if you are obese, overweight or normal. Is overweight "fat"?


Only Believe
09-07-2013, 10:22 AM
I have no idea. I've been fat so long I don't know what normal is anymore.

Novus
09-07-2013, 11:14 AM
This BMI calculator (http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm) has an interesting feature: it tells you your weight percentile, or how your weight compares to that of other people.

At my current weight, I'm overweight but I'm in the 47th percentile, meaning about half the people in the world are heavier than me and the other half are thinner.

Of course, BMI is a highly subjective (and oft debated) form of measurement. And how you look at certain weight depends a lot on your build, shape, fat-to-muscle ratio, etc. That being said, I find the weight percentile thing very interesting.

Personally, I think I'm going to call this weight loss journey DONE when I no longer feel blobbish and lumpish and jiggly. For me, it's more a matter of fitness and muscle-to-fat ratio than a number on a scale or a size tag.


earthecho
09-07-2013, 11:26 AM
When I was a kid I was told women should weigh 100 pounds at 5 feet and for every inch above that add 5 pounds. This may or may not correspond to ideal weight charts, but for some reason I've never forgotten this "formula".

This is a good website for finding out how your weight compares to other women:

www dot halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm

A good goal would be to be at the 50th percentile or less than other ladies of your age & height.

So, for me I look at ideal weight charts, BMI and percentile rank. All those numbers will vary, but they're in the ballpark.

Emula
09-07-2013, 11:42 AM
The day I'm no longer "fat" is the day I can sit down without my stomach making itself known by jutting out! And when my fitness level doesn't interfere with everyday life!

Sum38
09-07-2013, 11:48 AM
The day I'm no longer "fat" is the day I can sit down without my stomach making itself known by jutting out! And when my fitness level doesn't interfere with everyday life!

^^^^
This :)

Josiee
09-07-2013, 12:05 PM
The day I'm no longer "fat" is the day I can sit down without my stomach making itself known by jutting out! So true:D . This is my mindset and I'm oh so close to being there.

cosmic wisdom
09-07-2013, 12:06 PM
Great inputs...really like that calculator. Looking at all the "tools" they conflict each other.

Im focusing on my body fat percentage vs the scale and clothes sizes. Would like to be about 27%. Im curvy and I want my boobs and butt intact :)

Keep it coming..

belovedspirit
09-07-2013, 01:07 PM
What an interesting question! I'm surprised I've never actually considered it at depth! ;)

I am nowhere near "no longer fat", but I wonder if it might become a combination of factors. That is, personally, I can't imagine it being just one thing, but I think this is something that depends upon each individual.

I just want to know that it will be possible for me to not feel fat. I've been fat my entire life, so I suspect it might be quite an interesting experience...

vintagecat
09-07-2013, 10:40 PM
For me "not fat" will be when I look decent in clothes, wear an easily bought misses size size 10-12ish, when I'm fit enough to do the things I'm already doing with ease, when other people see me and not a fat person. That's what I'm aiming at.

MauiKai
09-08-2013, 10:57 AM
What do you use to evaluate if you are obese, overweight or normal. Is overweight "fat"?


It depends on who you ask. For me, yes, I think overweight is fat. Not everyone will agree.

While BMI is somewhat antiquated and not always the most accurate measure, I prefer (in my case, as I am not a huge muscle bound athlete) to go by it.

Desiderata
09-08-2013, 11:24 AM
Novus, that calculator with the percentiles is really interesting - thanks. I'm stuck right at the 50th percentile right now - which means I'm close to "average" for my height. This is good motivation for me, because I like trying to be better than average. :D

On the other hand, the site notes elsewhere,
Did you know that over half of American adults are overweight (55%)? Apparently so, according to the CDC criteria applied to the NHANES III survey. Thus, it is possible to be labeled as overweight, even if your weight is below the 50th percentile.

Scary that you can weigh less than the majority and still be overweight in this country - that definitely does start to blur the lines of "fat" and "not-fat."

newleaf123
09-08-2013, 08:14 PM
I wonder how accurate the percentile data is. For my age, I'm in the 25th percentile for height, which is just jaw dropping to me. As an "older mother" most of the women I know are younger, so I really have no basis for comparison.

IanG
09-08-2013, 10:12 PM
Trust me when I say that being overweight according to the BMI is not being "fat".

I am still overweight according to that and am aiming for normal.

But I am no longer fat. I am sh!t skinny.

BMI sucks. But I will conquer it, just for the **** of it.

Mrs Snark
09-09-2013, 04:53 AM
I wonder how accurate the percentile data is. For my age, I'm in the 25th percentile for height, which is just jaw dropping to me. As an "older mother" most of the women I know are younger, so I really have no basis for comparison.

I wondered the same thing, mine said 14th and I'm very surprised. Maybe because I live in a beach town, but I see many people in really good shape.

carter
09-09-2013, 07:40 AM
I'm inclined to agree with Ian. I never actually reached the "normal" range on the BMI charts for my height. But I consider myself a formerly-fat person and I say things like "when I was fat...."

It is not a technical designation or a medical one, but a mental one. It's how I feel. I feel so radically different from how I did in my old body - in strength, stamina, desire to move.

And as a matter of course I eat differently from how I did when I was fat. Even though I sometimes slip up, return to binging behaviors, and have partial regains, getting back on plan now feels like getting my eating back to my normal state, rather than getting back on a diet.

It took several years of hard work but the changes I made in my life and my body have become the new normal for me. And along with that, gradually, came thinking of myself as no longer fat. It wasn't crossing a numerical threshold that did it for me.

devadiva
09-09-2013, 07:56 PM
This BMI calculator (http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm) has an interesting feature: it tells you your weight percentile, or how your weight compares to that of other people.

At my current weight, I'm overweight but I'm in the 47th percentile, meaning about half the people in the world are heavier than me and the other half are thinner.

Of course, BMI is a highly subjective (and oft debated) form of measurement. And how you look at certain weight depends a lot on your build, shape, fat-to-muscle ratio, etc. That being said, I find the weight percentile thing very interesting.

Personally, I think I'm going to call this weight loss journey DONE when I no longer feel blobbish and lumpish and jiggly. For me, it's more a matter of fitness and muscle-to-fat ratio than a number on a scale or a size tag.

I checked this chart and am baffeled !!! I weigh 123 am 5' 5" and am 61 yrs old it says I have a BMI of 25 { almost overweight???} and that I am in the 2% of weight range nNOW how can that be??? I have maybe 20 % bodyfat. I run and eat VERY lean???

Novus
09-09-2013, 09:05 PM
I checked this chart and am baffeled...

Because BMI is just a chart that assumes that if you are a certain height and a certain weight, than your fat-to-muscle ratio must be X. It doesn't know your particular circumstances. ;)



Scary that you can weigh less than the majority and still be overweight in this country - that definitely does start to blur the lines of "fat" and "not-fat."

Exactly! And if 55% percent of Americans are overweight, than that certainly skews the data about "ideal weight" and "percentiles" and all that.

Josiee
09-10-2013, 07:31 PM
I checked this chart and am baffeled !!! I weigh 123 am 5' 5" and am 61 yrs old it says I have a BMI of 25 { almost overweight???} and that I am in the 2% of weight range nNOW how can that be??? I have maybe 20 % bodyfat. I run and eat VERY lean???

I checked the calc with your info and I see 20.5 BMI.

devadiva
09-10-2013, 08:44 PM
I checked the calc with your info and I see 20.5 BMI.

well not sure What! I was seeing before But yes your calculation is correct. Which is what most other BMI charts show me at. Was a bit confused as I am at and below my original goal and don't have to much left on me to spare to lose and keep my muscle and energy levels up. have been maintain at this for 4 months.

krampus
09-11-2013, 12:39 PM
I'd say a combination of factors. If you feel your weight impedes you from enjoying your life or physically doing things (wearing swimsuits doesn't count - I mean things like "adventuring outside" or "going on dates," "fitting in seats"), then you might be "fat."

BMI is a crock for many people and clothing size varies so much it's practically impossible to use it as a measuring tool.

Magrat
09-13-2013, 04:40 AM
When I was a kid I was told women should weigh 100 pounds at 5 feet and for every inch above that add 5 pounds. This may or may not correspond to ideal weight charts, but for some reason I've never forgotten this "formula".

This is a good website for finding out how your weight compares to other women:

www dot halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm

A good goal would be to be at the 50th percentile or less than other ladies of your age & height.

So, for me I look at ideal weight charts, BMI and percentile rank. All those numbers will vary, but they're in the ballpark.

That website puts me in the 5th percentile. I should be happy, right? I'm not. That darn formula you mentioned was drummed into my head when I was a teenager and for the life of me I can't shake the idea that I need to weigh 105 pounds or less in order not to be fat.

Vex
09-13-2013, 09:03 AM
Interesting question.

I've had kind of a reverse situation happen to me.

I knew I was fat at 280, but i didn't see myself as fat. That's probably what led me to getting that size to begin with - a lack of truly seeing me.

I wear a 12 right now and FEEL fat, more so than I ever did at 280.

Very strange, this self awareness thing.

cosmic wisdom
09-13-2013, 10:54 AM
I totally agree with what you said Vex ^^

For me its easier to be "fat" be I'm having a hard time determining normal weight (which some people now call thin).

Great inputs -> this is helpful.

happybug
09-16-2013, 01:39 AM
This is a hard one. I didn't believe I was fat and couldn't see it or refused to see it but other people wasted no time in telling me. Since I've lost 7kgs I can't see much of a change, my belly still looks darn fat to me, but other people have commented on my weight loss. I guess you are no longer fat when you can see it or when other people stop perceiving you as fat.

Snoofie
09-16-2013, 12:57 PM
When I was a kid I was told women should weigh 100 pounds at 5 feet and for every inch above that add 5 pounds. This may or may not correspond to ideal weight charts, but for some reason I've never forgotten this "formula".

I've always viewed that theory as complete and utter bullshit, if you'll pardon my French. Going by that formula, my idea weight is 100 pounds (since I'm five feet tall.) I currently weigh 165, but only look as though I weigh about 140. Seriously, I wouldn't even want to try and envision how emaciated I would be at 100 pounds. o_O

kisskiss
09-16-2013, 01:07 PM
I wonder how accurate the percentile data is. For my age, I'm in the 25th percentile for height, which is just jaw dropping to me. As an "older mother" most of the women I know are younger, so I really have no basis for comparison.

yes! that calculator is pretty interesting with regards to percentile, I too wonder the accuracy.

Interesting question.

I've had kind of a reverse situation happen to me.

I knew I was fat at 280, but i didn't see myself as fat. That's probably what led me to getting that size to begin with - a lack of truly seeing me.

I wear a 12 right now and FEEL fat, more so than I ever did at 280.

Very strange, this self awareness thing.

Just wanted to ditto everything you just said.
______
I tend to go by BMI for myself, but I think body fat is probably a better way to determine "fat". I am barely "normal" according to BMI, but most people I meet are amazed that I still want to lose anywhere between 10-15 pounds because I'm not "fat" in their eyes.

BlackLace
09-25-2013, 02:50 AM
I am not fat. I weigh more than my BMI says that I ought to, and I have extra fat on me, but I would not be considered "fat" by most people.

That change happened gradually, over the course of a year. It was not really set by weight, although between 140-150 is when I noticed it the most (I have gained about 8lbs in the past few months).

Underwater
09-25-2013, 04:27 PM
I stopped feeling fat when I could walk into any store and know their clothes would fit me. I'd say that was about 165-170 and I'm 5'6.

Currently I wear a size 10/medium in most stores.

LiannaKole
09-30-2013, 09:25 PM
Hard to say. I definitely still feel fat (I am still fat in that I have excess and unhealthy fat on my person). When I was around 142 briefly I was beginning to not feel very fat. Still felt pudgy (probably because I carry weight around my middle).

For me, I think I won't be fat when I can always find something to wear that I a) fit into easily, b) actually like and c) look nice in. Right now I struggle to find anything that meets all 3 criteria.

Also, I have relatively thin legs (not quite an apple, but close), so also when my thighs no longer rub (I really hate that). I think that's the main thing for me. If I was pear-shaped or an hourglass I wouldn't use this criteria, but with my legs (since I don't carry much weight there) it's more than likely to happen without being emaciated.

Also, when someone else can pick me up without a huge struggle. I always feel incredibly fat whenever anyone does or tries. Blech.

I like the percentiles thing not as a measure of "fat" or even of health, but as a way to see where you are in relation to the population. Also, BMI is something I do use as one tool. I'm not really muscular - I'm average, so it's fairly accurate for me.

Fiona W
11-04-2013, 11:13 PM
I used to be average weight in college, so I figure I want to get back to that same weight. But when I get there, or probably well before that, I want to build up my muscle bulk, Since muscle weighs more than fat, I may end up liking how I feel at 10-20 pounds more than I weighed in college.

As for BMI and what % of the population I'll end up at, I couldn't care less. So long as I get comfortable with myself, and I'm healthy, that's what counts.

rocksplash
11-12-2013, 10:59 AM
When you can take pictures from weird angles and not look horrific.

I, too, am stuck on the 100lbs for 5ft and then 5lbs for each inch, which is why my goal is 150lbs. That, and apparently the most attractive BMI is 20.85.

truehappiness
11-30-2013, 03:23 AM
Even though I have a normal BMI, I still have quite a lot of excess fat on my body in the least flattering areas like love handles, saddle bags, stomach pooch, and bat wings. I think I will no longer feel fat when:

-I have a lower body fat percentage
-When I can wear really right shirts and really tight jeans without having any visible fat showing
-When I don't feel the need to suck in while wearing a tight shirt

SparklyBunny
11-30-2013, 04:22 AM
How funny to see this thread here as I was just thinking about it as I was getting my morning coffee! I was walking by a mirror, so I flashed my belly to myself and stood up straight (not sucking my gut in, but flexing the muscles) and I thought "I'm not fat. I just have a thick trunk!" :-)

I'm completely proportionate, but I just have a bit of extra on the fat layer. Doesn't make me think that I'm fat, especially as I dislike that word (am I expelled from this site now?)

Sure, my stomach comes out when I sit, but so does everyone else's. It's just more visible when there's more fat on it. I'm overweight, but weight schmeight. I don't have a "diabetes belly" (I have had that as well at some point and that got me worried), so I'm not in any kind of danger due to excess weight.

So, I guess the answer would be..."right now"? :-)

StephMar
12-27-2013, 11:22 AM
I reached goal over a year ago and have been maintaining. Didn't actually sink in that I'm normal until I went in for my pre-op screening before my knee replacement surgery a couple of weeks ago. I was meeting with the anesthesiologist and he told me "you are slim so that should make thing easier". Me? Slim? I think that might be the first time I've ever heard that from someone talking about me. I think this is the first time that I've had to concede that I may no longer be fat.

shr1nk1ngme
12-27-2013, 12:43 PM
I have to go by BMI because I have skewed perception when it comes to my body. In my mirrors at home I don't look so bad but then I see myself in pictures (which I avoid like crazy) or in my mother-in-law's mirror. OMG! My mother-in-law's mirror makes me look SOOOO FAAAAAT! I convinced myself it was her mirror and not me; how could it be, since my mirrors at home I look OK? So then I had my teenage son (6'1" beanpole) stand next to me in front of MIL's mirror - and HE looked totally normal. SO then, THIS is how I look to others? I was not a happy camper.

Then I found this web site (What Real Women Look Like):
http://www.mybodygallery.com/photos-2788-body-shape.htm?StartAt=3#.Ur27RrTDu4o

It has helped me tremendously. I can plug in my stats and I can see objectively what my particular weight and build looks like.

When I get to a weight where the OTHER ladies that same height and weight look good to me, then I will no longer consider myself fat. Which, at 5'2" will be around 130 pounds.

Shawk
01-10-2014, 06:15 AM
Well Outside of my BMI I have an Ideal image of what I am trying to Achieve, so even after I hit my BMI I may not be at that point cause there are still fatty area that I would rather muscle replace (lol feel like covering my eyes and running after writing that line lol)

Robsia
01-10-2014, 06:33 AM
This BMI calculator (http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm) has an interesting feature: it tells you your weight percentile, or how your weight compares to that of other people.

At my current weight, I'm overweight but I'm in the 47th percentile, meaning about half the people in the world are heavier than me and the other half are thinner.




I like that BMI feature, but it compares you to other Americans, not everyone in the world.

I'm at 51st percentile.

To answer the OP - I want to be comfortably back in my size 8 UK (size 4 US) clothes. Then I will consider myself slim. Size 10 will do, but size 8 is better.

shcirerf
01-12-2014, 11:06 PM
The whole thing is subjective, or objective, or however you want to look at it and how you feel.

I'm 54, I had twins at 20 years old that were over 6 pounds each! Talk about body destruction!

The only thing that is going to get rid of that last little roll, on my belly is surgery. Partly life, partly genetics, it is what it is.

However, I am strong, I lift, and I power walk, and run now and then. I'm in kick a** shape.

I would not mind getting the girls reduced, but, money is not going to let that happen, so I buy good bra's.

My older son, 5'10", state trooper, and SWAT sniper, is a muscle built guy! BMI, says he's fat?:?::dizzy:

There is not one ounce of fat on him. He's built like a brick s**t house! And he can still run a 400 meter in 55 seconds!

His little brother by 4 minutes, is not far behind!

The point is, there is no one perfect formula to go by.

Do the best you can with what you have, and love it!

I love my big ole manly looking arms. Someone else might have big thighs, or a booty, or in my case, big ole GIRLS! (aka, boobs)

Whatever it is, be positive and love what you have, and make it a positive, not a negative!:D:carrot:

Koshka
01-13-2014, 01:10 AM
This is an interesting topic. I was just posting about it on my blog. When I was child/teenager I always thought I was "fat" since I had a thick waist/tummy overhang. But, objectively looking at my photos I really wasn't fat and looked pretty much normal weight.

When I was in my 30s and joined WW weighing in the high 160s I thought I was horribly fat. Within a short period of time I got down into my 140s and still thought I was fat. And, according to WW at the time I was overweight.
So, I lost until I hit my goal weight of 125.

Now, the WW charts have changed and 146 is no longer overweight. So, the standard of overweight or "fat" changes over time.

A couple of years ago I got down to 161 and I didn't feel fat, although I was surely overweight.

Right now, my goal weight is 146 (I don't think I can realistically get back to or sustain my old goal weight of 125).

I like to think that at 146 I won't be fat any more. But, then I read about skinny fat. Some people say that if your waist is larger than 35" you are obese, while others say larger than 31.5" or a waist/hip ratio more than .85.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/abdominal-obesity/

So, it is hard to know at times. When I lost weight in my 30s I didn't get below a 31" waist until I was in my 130s as a recall.