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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

Friend:"You weigh *that* much?!"

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Old 01-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default Friend:"You weigh *that* much?!"

I've lost 152 pounds total, with 122lb of that being since March 2011. I've done it through calorie counting, nutrient-dense-whole food eating, and exercise; I've done it in a determined and healthful manner. I'm proud of myself and all I've accomplished.

The problem I have now is that my friends and family have said things that make me so hurt and I don't really know how to handle these things.

Today took the cake. One friend was commenting on how her mother, who hadn't seen my transformation until recently, was amazed by how great I looked. She went on to say that I should be careful because many people who lose weight end up having Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and that I'm fine where I am, and that I shouldn't lose any more weight. She went on to ask, "How much do you weigh, 120lb?" I told her (should have keep my mouth shut) that I weigh 140lb, and she replied, "That MUCH?!" No wonder people end up having body issues when people make comments such as that! I'm the healthiest I've been in years, my inner athlete has been reborn, and I not only look good (if I do say so myself), but I feel great- both physically and emotionally, and I'm by no means underweight- I'm right in the middle of the BMI chart for a woman of my height.

How does one respond to those concerned that that I've lost too much weight and that encourage me to eat and stop exercising now that I'm at goal (really, people, come on!).

Your input will be very much appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your loss! you are amazing!! You should be proud!

Don't pay too much attention to your friend or her comments and remember than muscle weighs more than fat, As long as you exercise you will always weigh more than you look. Big deal! Next time add 20lbs and see if she faints.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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I have a post-it in my cubicle that says, "Thanks for your feedback!" That's what I say whenever anyone says anything disturbing to me. Then I proceed as planned. Good luck ignoring people and doing what you know you need to do.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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"Thanks for your concern."

Then let it go.

Or if you need it stronger "Thanks. But in this case you don't need to worry yourself for my sake."

Or laugh and go "How do you think I GOT this fit? I have to keep doing it to keep it that way."

Hang in there. This too shall pass.

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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I know what you are saying. I had a diet relapse last year, but had made it to 185. Our life insurance agent is a member of my husband's church (we are both pastors). Everyone had been very congratulatory of my weight loss. Our agent finally said to my husband, "I don't mean to pry, but it seems like your wife can get the rider taken off the insurance for being...overweight (he meant obese)." So DH asked me (at the time I had just hit 185 which was my BMI no longer obese, but still overweight number) So he called DH and told him I had to be under 155. and I was like HA HA HA. I was at the time in a size 10 jeans. seriously? And when husband said, "she's not under 155" he said, "She's NOT?" (his wife is 5'1" and the former county fair queen)

I can't help but notice you're 5'9". 140 is of course a perfectly reasonable goal weight...I'm wondering what context she was referencing from--was she a "shortie"?
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #6
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I never tell anyone how much I weigh or how much I've lost (I'm halfway to my goal...72 lbs down, 60ish to goal)...There is no telling what they thought you weighed before - it was probably cartoonishly big or cartoonishly small, who knows.

I just say 'a lot' or 'some, still going'...no matter how much they prod. It's none of their beeswax!
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #7
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I had a friend tell me "you didn't weigh that much" in reference to my heighest weight. Um, I assure you I did. I know she meant it in a "you didn't look that big" kind of way, but it's hard not to take it as "you're exaggerating to make your weight loss sound more impressive."

Generally, I've learned that you just can't judge what someone else will weigh. I'm forever flabbergasted at how much a couple inches in height or just a different body type at the same height can result in vastly different weights at the same clothing size.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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I have to confess to being surprised when I heard how much one of the partners in my firm weighed before she lost 50 pounds. I thought she had gone from 180 to 130 and was gobsmacked to learn she had started at 210. She's just a little taller than me but never looked like she weighed almost as much as I did. And now I weigh a couple of pounds less than her and she still looks much, much smaller than I do. So people's perceptions can be wacky. But at least I know enough to keep it to myself!
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:27 PM   #9
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First off, you've done amazing! Congrats!

I think part of the reason people react oddly when learning of people's true weights is that so many people lie about how much they weigh. It also doesn't help if you happen to be muscular because then you look smaller than you actually weigh.

I answer honestly when people ask what I weigh because I think it helps other women with their body image. No, we don't all have to weigh 110lbs to be healthy, we can still be fine at 140, 150lbs.

When I was 140lbs someone reacted similarly when I told them how much I weighed. They said that I looked much lighter and thought I weighed about 25 pounds less!

I get people telling me I'm too thin now and then they usually shut up when I tell them how much I weigh
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:38 PM   #10
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I had a friend ask me how much I weighed last month.

I told her, "When I get down to 125 pounds I'll let you know how much I weigh, until then it's a secret."

So then the nervy gal asked how much I had to lose.
I told her, "That's a secret too."
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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I'm honest about what I weigh (5'4, 145-150 ish, and I read as about where I should be, definitely not fat) because I'm yet another demonstration that one can be thin and be well over 120 pounds.

And I make the same estimation mistakes other people do. Even first-hand knowledge doesn't prevent me from usually underestimating.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:38 PM   #12
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See, I'm a large built woman, the mere idea of being 140 at even my height is a near impossibility, so to hear someone at 5'9" is 140 and the other person was surprised at that "high" number is flabbergasting to me.

It is so true. People can only figur weight for themselves and that's about it. My mother in law recently - in the same breath, "Melissa, you look perfect. How much do you weigh?". I told her 175 (which was true a month ago). She said, "oh, that's too much.". So.... I'm perfect yet weigh too much? People get stuck on numbers on the scale andnthen is just so damaging.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:18 AM   #13
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It depends on the tone, but maybe she meant to suggest that you look thinner than what she would imagine to be 140 lbs? She probably doesn't fully get that weight is very differently proportioned depending on the body. One girl who weighs 170 lbs may fit into a size 14, while her other friend, of the same height and weight, may fit into a 10, because the friend's weight is mostly distributed in her arms and breasts, or something of that nature. Not even to go into how much muscle weighs versus fat and then, of course, height. Weight is so misleading! I'm pretty sure the sizes of my hands and feet alone adds a few pounds to my weight, haha.

Anyway, I sympathize with the feeling you get when you receive those kinds of comments, but (at least for me) most of my friends & family mean well. So I try to ignore them with love.

But I also receive those "warnings" about developing eating disorders and anorexia. It certainly bugs me, since I've been super healthy about losing weight and have gone the traditional route of eating better, eating less, and exercising more. But again, they mean it from a good place. So many people do have things like bulimia that go unnoticed. Although it is interesting how friends and family offhandedly warn us of these things, as if these comments don't have the same potential to offend as other weight-based comments. Other than mothers, aunts, and jerkish individuals, I don't think many people usually say dangerous statements along the lines of: "Watch out you don't become obese" or "you're getting so fat, I hope you're not stress-eating." It's something to think about.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:28 AM   #14
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I don't know how tall your friend is, but people generally have NO concept of weight ranges being so different based on height. My goal weight is 170, which is well within my healthy BMI range, but my sister, who is much shorter than me, would be obese at that weight. People get so hung up on generalizations, thinking that every woman who looks "normal" must be in the 125 range. It's one of the things you've got to learn to take in stride when you're taller than average.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #15
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As a person who has been overweight her entire life Ive heard it all and nothing bothers me more than insensitive people. Weight loss as we all know is not easy at all. Your accomplishment is AMAZING! People will say things no matter how tall, fat, skinny, short, bald, dark, etc. etc. etc. a person is. Just look in that mirror and be proud. dont let anyone steal your joy.
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