Weight Loss Support - If being fat were acceptable...

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02-16-2006, 03:51 PM
would you still be losing weight?

If so, would your goal be the same?

Personally I would still be working on it just because I got to the point where I was out of breath from a flight of stairs. I think I'd still be in the gym and working hard but I don't think I'd be obsessed with the pounds coming off. I'd just be looking to get fit and more muscular, but I'd probably be happy, weight wise, with where I'm at now.

02-16-2006, 03:54 PM
Hmm. Maybe because of the blood pressure I would still try to lose weight. I don't know though.

02-16-2006, 04:09 PM
I would still be working on getting fit and healthy. It took me so long to figure out that that was where I wanted to be. I am not so obsessed with losing weight this time. My first priority is to get healthy so I can move and live to see grandchildren some day.

Eating right and exercise are things that are going to be lifetime goals for me.

02-16-2006, 04:09 PM
I'm losing weight for health reasons, not looks. I've got a good body image. But with a family history of heart problems, cancer, and diabetes (among other things), so I have many reasons to get healthy.

02-16-2006, 04:10 PM
If being fat was "acceptable", I think that I would still want to lose about 100 pounds. I wouldn't want to be susceptable to all the diseases/problems that being overweight can cause you as you get older. And I would still want to be able to shop at a "normal" store. But as you said, I don't think I'd be as obsessive about it as I am now.

02-16-2006, 04:25 PM
I think being fat - or at least overweight - *IS* acceptable now. With 2/3 of American adults being overweight or obese, it's certainly the norm. Being a normal weight is being a member of a minority group these days. :dizzy:

Regardless, I lost the weight for my health and happiness. When 90% of people are overweight/obese (a day not too far off, I'll bet), I'll still be working every day to keep the weight off. It's that important to me. :)

02-16-2006, 04:26 PM
Interesting question and responses so far!

As I approached 40, I had already made peace with my body and its size. Looking at the (very large) women on my dad's side of the family, I figured it was genes and I was destined to be a big gal. I had made some new friends who did not judge me by my size and everything else in my life was going well, so why worry about 40 extra pounds??

But a visit to the doctor in August showed creeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels (I am also a cancer survivor). I got scared so I started exercising and making baby-step changes to my diet in an effort to improve my health. I feel so much better now and want this to be a life change, so I decided to set a goal -- my size and weight in my early 30s -- just to see if I can do it, but I'm not in any hurry to get there.

02-16-2006, 04:28 PM
I wish I could say I'd still be trying to eat healthy and all that...but I probably wouldn't. It's not so much that being fat is 'acceptable' but more the ideals of female beauty, and it's not purely leanness that I'm striving for in that endeavor. However, if being fat was the ideal beauty (or fat-ter than the stick-thin one it is now) I'd probably have let my weight get away from me more than I did...and at that point, *maybe* I'd be tempted to become more fit...but honestly, I was ignorantly happy with myself at my highest weight. I couldn't have gone on eating like I did though and maintain it, it would have skyrocketed.

02-16-2006, 05:04 PM
It's hard to say. The first time I lost the weight, I was 23, and my family doesn't really have any history of cancer, heart-conditions, high blood pressure, etc., and most are overweight. In fact, my great-grandmother was probably pushing 300 when she died at 96.

I'd always been overweight my entire life, starting as a baby with the nickname "Buddah-belly." All the kids at school made fun of me, sure, but as I grew older, it didn't bother me so much. As far as I was concerned, I was "destined" to be fat.

I was turned away from donating blood because I was iron-deficient, so I took this as an invitation to eat more steak, not more broccoli. It didn't occur to me that I was eating too much of the WRONG stuff - I just thought I wasn't eating enough to get the nutrients I needed. I was rejected when I tried to enlist in the Air Force, because I was too fat (I thought that's what boot-camp was for?) My blood-pressure was 116/60, so I figured it didn't matter if my face was red, my heart was racing and I was out of breath at the top of a flight of steps.

It didn't occur to me that putting on weight was more than an inconvenience that caused my uniform to not fit anymore. It didn't occur to me that I'd have to hitch a ride back to my car at the beginning of a parade with a police-officer because the band was afraid I'd fall over and have a heart-attack (because my face was so red by the end of a parade). It didn't occur to me that the arches of my feet hurt in the morning because they're straining under my weight. It didn't occur to me that oak toilet seats don't usually break. It didn't occur to me that clothes actually fall apart if you wear them long enough (because I never had them that long before I was shopping for the next size up). I look back and wonder, "How could I have been so stupid and blind?"

The one and only reason I decided to finally lose weight was because I wanted to look good at my wedding. Pure vanity. I figured, "He's stuck with me at this weight... maybe I can give him (and me) something better."

This time, it's for fitness reasons and some health reasons. I've been having back issues lately from sitting at the desk too much. I haven't been sleeping well, and I felt like crud most of the time. The arches of my feet are starting to hurt again, and I'm having the issues of uniform fittings and red-face at the end of parades. Last year when we played in Switzerland, the heat was unbearable, and moreso for me, because my body didn't KNOW how to deal with it. I wasn't sweating, and I was retaining water and bloating up. I was never so miserable with heat in my life, and I've been through some pretty bad heat. My feet hurt from walking everywhere, and I realized that the reason we ate out so much was because it was an excuse to talk to eachother without being plugged into the t.v. I miss being active, and looking for things to do on the weekends. I miss being ABLE to be active and do things on the weekends. I miss the meditative-de-stressing-quality of counting your reps and going through the motions of the gym. I miss hanging out in the sauna with nothing but my thoughts. I miss... ME.

So, I think it's more about hind-sight for me. If I'd never known what being a "normal" weight felt like, I'd probably still be content breaking chairs and shopping for the next tent size. :(

Now I'm depressed. :cry:


Kim R
02-16-2006, 05:16 PM
Health is a strong motivating factor for me. There is type 2 diabetes on both sides of my immediate family. Also, high blood pressure and cancer.

However, the kick in the pants that re-started my plan to lose weight was the knowledge that it could seriously impact future plans to adopt. So, I guess the "un-acceptability" of being fat was the deciding factor.

02-16-2006, 05:21 PM
Good question.

If the aesthetic ideal were much heavier than it is now, I might not have lost as much weight as I have, but it still would have been close. I just feel so much better at my current weight. I refuse to be a size 0 for fashion, but I won't be a 24 for fashion either :lol:

I think Meg brings up a really good point too. I felt more like one of the masses when I was overweight. Being a "normal" bmi isn't that normal anymore.

02-16-2006, 05:39 PM
To be honest, I probably wouldn't have started. I weighed 286 lbs. in February 2003. I made a conscious choice to lose weight then because I was tired of not having a Valentine's date. I've lost over 100 lbs. since then (of course, I didn't have a Valentine's date this year either! :) ).

After I lost the first 15 or 20 pounds or so, the process became less about vanity and more about how much better I felt with the extra weight gone. Vanity is still at least a little bit of the incentive, of course, but my own personal health (physical and mental) has become a much bigger motivating factor!!

02-16-2006, 05:48 PM
I think being fat - or at least overweight - *IS* acceptable now. With 2/3 of American adults being overweight or obese, it's certainly the norm. Being a normal weight is being a member of a minority group these days. :dizzy:

While this is true, I still believe that fat people are looked down upon. Even by other fat people. I still don't think overweight and obese people are really 'accepted' in today's society. They're not accepted, they're simply tolerated. There's a big difference there.

Fat people are looked at as lazy, dirty, stupid, disgusting, poor (both in money and in health), uneducated, ignorant, and a host of other things. Fat people get their plates peered at in a restaurant and their carts peered into in a grocery store to see what this "fat person" is eating. When a fat person orders a pizza, you can bet the person taking the order is thinking that this fat person doesn't NEED the pizza.

Yeah, babe, you need that pizza like I need another hole in the head.

Etc etc etc.

Again, I don't think it's acceptance, but tolerance.

02-16-2006, 05:58 PM
I would still keep going, for lots of reasons.

02-16-2006, 06:29 PM
I agree. Just the other day my b/f and I were looking at a rather large woman, belly hanging to the knees, large husband and grossly obese 10ish year old daughter at Subway. Not being a skinny-minnie myself, I made a comment quietly to my b/f about "there's teaching your kid to eat right!" She ordered this young little girl a foot-long bacon-ranch chicken.

I blame a lot of my poor eating habits and obliviousness on my mother. She'd always go on about eating healthy and the 4 food groups and such, but she'd give adult-sized portions to us and insisted we didn't leave anything on our plate.

She'd hoarde the cookies to herself, and we'd have to "compete" with her to get any by eating as many as quickly as possible (just like she did) as soon as they were home from the store.

Now, I can't say it's entirely her fault - not even close, as I was plenty guilty of stashing cookies, going to MacDonalds with my friends on the sly, and trading my good sandwich for cupcakes at lunch-time. (And I discovered that instead of using the money given to me for the hot school lunch, I could save some money if I bought soda and a hostess pie).

But I feel badly for this girl at the subway, because this is the example set before her, and she's going to struggle with morbid obesity her whole life, based on what I saw in her parents. I made poor choices on top of the poor example, and ignored the parts about veggies being healthy - but this girl hasn't got ANYTHING going for her. To her, bacon-ranch chicken IS the healthy food mom wants her to eat, and in foot-long portions.

Maybe it bothers me (being overweight) because it makes me look at my own self closer and self-critically. :(

I agree about society, too. I had a really hard time getting work when I was really overweight. A lot of people were looking for excuses to lay me off, and told me I was lazy, uneducated, etc. But I was putting in 12 hour days, am working on my Master's Degree, and at a recent evaluation (since I'm up for a promotion) to see what it would take to fill in my current position, they've found it would take 5 full-time people to replace me. So obviously my ability, efficiency, education and work-ethic aren't the problem here...

I used to hunt and hunt for jobs, getting turned down. This job I have now, is the longest one I've had, going on 4 years. When I interviewed for it... I was a fit and healthy size 12. As much as it made me proud that I finally broke the fat-barrier, it also pisses me off, too, that such a thing was an issue as to whether I was qualified or not. I don't usually bring it up, because it sounds like a "the world is out to get me" kind of excuse thing, but I honestly think it was a legitimate concern, and I was being discriminated against. And only someone else who's been there can understand that it's not just made up in my head. :(


02-16-2006, 06:35 PM
Yes, I finally realised that there are things that I want to do that I want to be fit to do. I always say that I started trying to get fit and then realised that I was losing weight as I did it, rather than the other way round. I have as many fitness related goals as I do weight related ones, and regardless of whether my weight is socially acceptable or not, I'd still want to run a marathon.

I never felt like society made me want to lose weight. I made it to 26 without ever attempting to go on a diet or lose weight. I started doing it when I decided to do it, for me. Society had nothing to do with my decision in the first place, so I doubt it would have changed a thing.

02-16-2006, 08:17 PM
I think being fat - or at least overweight - *IS* acceptable now. With 2/3 of American adults being overweight or obese, it's certainly the norm. Being a normal weight is being a member of a minority group these days. :dizzy:

I think Meg brings up a really good point too. I felt more like one of the masses when I was overweight. Being a "normal" bmi isn't that normal anymore.
I agree about overweight Americans, but to some extent I think it varies by location. Where I live, being overweight I am definitely the minority. However, I used to travel a lot for work and was struck by the higher percentage of overweight people in many other regions. Away from home, I felt a little more "normal."

02-16-2006, 11:32 PM
probably not :o

im so young i dont feel the health risks... and at 138 i dont think i am putting myself at risk (im in the healthy bmi range)

at 170 i wasnt though.... so that was good motivation to lose.

however i think i have struggled so long between 145-132. i keep bouncing around because i feel okay. its like sheesh- im a size 6.... why do i still feel this pressure to be a 2-4?? even though i know i def have some extra wieght on me (small frame) and would look more esthetically pleasing if i lost 10 ish lbs.... i dont feel that bad where i am so the motivation is just... eh.

but if i didnt feel like i would be more esthetically plasing (as in there werent socital norms that dictated that) i think i would have 0 motivation.

of course thats impossible for me to completely imagine because our cultural norms are all i really know.

02-17-2006, 12:02 AM
I agree that being at a healthy weight is a minority in America, but it's definitely hard to feel that way when you spend your days on a college campus-- surrounded by tiny blonde girls wearing their hair in those messy buns and wearing shirts that expose their flat stomachs with ultra-low-rise jeans... and this is winter! I mean, I'm only a few pounds overweight but I am definitely considered fat here: in every single one of my classes I am either the fattest girl or in the top 3. It doesn't feel good.

To answer the question, I think I still would have wanted to lose weight even if society appreciated a bigger size... when I gain weight I get really barrel-y, and apparently the inches around your waist are very good indicators of health. (However, I probably would be content staying at the weight I am now, or even a bit bigger!)

02-17-2006, 08:37 AM
I'd still do it.

Partly for health reasons (I freaked out when my blood work at 25 mentioned "significant rise in LDL colesterol"--no kidding, what *would* it be in 5 or 10 years then?).

And partly because no matter what society dictates, "being fat" is not acceptable *to me*. It's not acceptable for me to be short of breath when walking a little fast or carrying the laundry in the stairs... and not acceptable to feel blob instead of firm flesh and muscle under my skin *lol* No, seriously, accepted or not, it'd be painful all the same.

02-17-2006, 10:27 AM
I always thought that was kind of the problem, I mean that we (everybody) think about it and discuss it in terms of "fat" and "thin", rather than say healthy and unhealthy, fit and unfit. I can think of plenty of thin people, who conform to society's dictates on what is acceptable or beautiful but actually look like they're about to drop :soap:.

02-17-2006, 11:40 AM
I would have wanted to lose weight - being heavy was so uncomfortable. I used to hate cutting my toenails because it was so painful to bend in the middle and crush my belly against my thigh. It's so blissfully wonderful to just prop my foot up casually and cut my toenails without any shortness of breath! I also hated the chafing - I remember one time walking around Vancouver with my boyfriend on a warm, summer day. I was wearing a sun dress and I got so sweaty that I rubbed huge painful welts on the inside of my thights. I was in such pain, I could barely walk (I waddled, with my legs apart!) and he wasn't very sympathetic :\ After that, I always carried talc in my purse.

I do a lot of travel for work - I'm always so pleased how ROOMY airline seats are now. Plenty of space :)

Yeah, even if being fat were celebrated in every movie/magazine, I think I would have wanted to be thinner. It just feels better.

02-17-2006, 01:13 PM
I was quite happy with myself at my largest size, and in my workplace and peer group was not the biggest. My workplace has more fat managers than skinny ones (quite scary when you consider we are britains largest health insurer)

For me there were two motivating factors. My family history was the first, both parents with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and a sound history of ischaemic heart disease. Being my weight and height at 32, an accident waiting to happen.

The second was that I wanted a job in our clinical division, and I honestly felt at my weight being a representative of a company with the slogan "the health and care people" was quite fraudulent at my weight. I even put my weight loss goals on my personal development plan!!! Much to my managers amusement. Who was crying when review time came and I had exceeded my goal to lose 50 lbs in year one, as well as meeting my goal to get a job in the clinical division.

The only pressure I felt was from myself. Sure I would look at nice clothes shops somewhat wistfully, but if I cared THAT much about pretty clothes, I wouldn't have got in this state in the first place!

02-17-2006, 01:41 PM
Being overweight in this society will never be acceptable again, despite a little news report I saw that said we're becoming more accepting. But who determines what "overweight" is? We're so used to admiring women who wear size 4, 2, and 0s, that size 12 is considered enormous. (Even Meg Cabot entitled her new book "Size 12 Is Not Fat." It's not a declaration of acceptance, but a plaintive cry by the protagonist.)

If it were acceptable, I would feel under less pressure to lose weight quickly. I could learn to live with my body as I go along.

While health seems to be a driving factor for a lot of repondents (which is the best reason I can think of), I think the majority of us, whether we admit it publicly or not, are doing it for vanity, because we feel unloved as we are, and we have bought into the fantasy that "thin" equals "happy."

I learned something from watching the dog show the other day. I don't think St. Bernards ever waste time and energy trying to be chihuahuas. They seem perfectly comfortable with being St. Bernards and there are people who love St. Bernards for what they are. I've got to start thinking like a St. Bernard.

02-17-2006, 02:11 PM
I can't do what I want physically with extra weight. Eating "whatever I want" is a lousy trade-off for walking around or even sitting comfortably. My back hurts, my knee is acting up and my ankle is a mess... and that's just the obvious. I can't see my heart. There's no way this will ever be acceptable to ME!

I think being overweight requires fooling yourself into thinking it's not that bad. No one is that good of a liar!

02-17-2006, 08:59 PM
I would want to be skinny. I used to be skinny, but on weight do to poor choices and now I want my "old" body back. I felt much better and had more energy. I can say I never liked being over weight and would never choose to be so even if it was acceptable.

02-17-2006, 09:50 PM
I'd still want to lose the weight. I've always been overweight, so I don't know what it's like to be able to just jump up and go do something on a whim, I don't know what it's like to be able to shop for clothes at a mall, I don't know what it's like to not be out of breath when I go up 4 flights of stairs.

I know what it's like to be unhealthy, because I am very unhealthy right now. Now, I want to know what it's like to be fit, healthy, and happy with myself. Yes, I have a weight loss goal, but my ultimate goal is so much more than just losing weight.