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Geographic location and societal pressures

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Old 07-27-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Geographic location and societal pressures

I don't want to start a total debate, but I've been thinking about my reasoning for wanting to lose 5 more lbs and wanting to make sure that I'm doing if for me and not because I can't see my new body or because I'm trying to hard to be perfect or because I'm weight loss obsessed and I started thinking about our geographic locations and the pressures of society. Do you think where you live in the country dictacts what your goal weight is or how you think you should look once you've lost all your weight? I live in Southern California right in the middle of LA and San Diego, so I just wonder what kind of impact that has on me...thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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I live in Ohio and consider us all to be pretty average. I am now on the average end of most weights around here. So I'm feeling pretty good. But I never aspired to be the thinnest, most attractive woman around. I just never wanted to be the fattest. I was very uncomfortable being the heaviest woman in an already overweight society.
Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:11 PM   #3
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I'm in Tennessee. I live in East Tenn now, but was born and raised for the most part in West Tenn...which is very rural and kind of backwoods. Imagine Andy Griffith.

MY opinion is that people in little Southern towns tend to be a little bit heavier than the norm. Women are thick and curvy...men are big and broad. And they also seem to be more accepting of different body types...I've never felt pressure to look a certain way or be a certain weight. It's got to have something to do with the cooking...food is such a big part of the traditional southern lifestyle...we really do celebrate with it, grieve with it, compete with it...everything. And it's all so GOOD. It's terribly rude to go to someone's house and refuse food around these parts.

This is a good and a bad thing. Good because the body image issues that I DO have are ones that I've created myself...I was not raised around supermodel thin people, I was encouraged to eat when I was hungry and to be proud of my curves. Bad because it's too easy to let myself slip when I've got people in my face telling me I'm already too thin and, don't I want another hunk of pot roast???

Just my opinion based on what I've experienced where I live. Good thread idea, I've wondered about this myself!

Last edited by ThicknPretty : 07-27-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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That is a valid concern Ncuneo. I am in a small city in Ontario Canada and we really have people of all shapes and sizes. I am noticing lately that being chubby, if not obese, is getting to be the norm though. Its sad really. I used to feel like I fit in because a lot of people were heavy. Now I find myself noticing heavy people everywhere. I can understand why being thin in a community of thin and "body obsessed" women could be really discouraging.

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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I am in Tennessee and one of my many motivating factors is the constant barrage in our media on how lazy and fat Tennesseans are. It seems like on a weekly basis there is some negative poll or statistic thrown in our faces about how un-healthy we are. Then I look around at my office mates and it sickens me, I am sorry but they don't care about anything except how fast they can get to the soda machine for the Dew or when lunch time is. I have decided not to be a part of the statistic and maybe if people see me eating better and exercising it will get them off their butts...

So to answer your question yes and no, No I don't want to be a part of society here in TN and yes where I live motivates me
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
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NCUNEO you must live very close to me!

From what I have seen in my travels it seems to me that there are more people in better shape where the weather is better...

But there are healthy weight people and over weight folks where ever I go.

I have been noticing your posts and all I can say is relax...you'll be fine! You know what to do...you have done it...

be careful not to over-do things!
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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I live in Columbus, Ohio and like Eliana said,
we're all pretty average. However, I'm transferring to
Paris, France in a couple years where everyone is very
tiny. And I've been talking to my fiancÚ about possibly
moving to Sicily, Italy in the future (my family is Sicilian).
Which is weird considering I speak french even though I'm Italian.

I'm just a big cultural mess!
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An it harm none, so mote it be.

Last edited by Ciao : 07-27-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
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I will say whenever I enter a 5K and see so many runners in great shape it is pretty motivating!
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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I live on the west coast and most people here are smaller, more fit, exercise is king around here.

On another note I teach in a high school and have noticed that while children are in school they stay smaller. Once they leave us and go out into the big world (uni, college, work) they tend to get bigger. Interesting.

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Old 07-27-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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I think there is definitely a difference by region. You always hear those lists of "America's Fattest Cities," etc. I read a thread on another part of 3FC where someone in Houston, who IIRC was over 300 pounds, said that she did not stand out at all there (Houston regularly makes the Fattest City list). Where I live, in a suburb of Washington DC, someone over 300 pounds would definitely stand out. I felt like I stood out at my starting weight but that was probably paranoia.

There are also racial and socio-economic factors. I found this information from the Office of the Surgeon General. I think it describes pretty accurately what I see around here.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #11
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I think regional norms do contribute to our perceptions of our self, but I don't think they dictate or determine them. I was much more the "freak" in my younger years at the same weight as I am now (even at lower weights).

I have a lot more "company" now as the nation gets fatter. I'm becoming "more normal" and ironically, I'm having more success losing weight now, than I did when I was a freak.

Yeah, how we compare to others does effect our goals, but it doesn't determine them. We have choices and a say in the matter.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:30 PM   #12
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I think geographically there are some differences--socioeconomic and culturally as well.

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Old 07-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
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I think geography makes a difference. I'm starting to go the opposite direction of you. I may increase my goal from 150 to 170 because folks around here just aren't that skinny. In my new clothes, I'm looking pretty good already for a woman my age!

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Old 07-28-2010, 12:43 AM   #14
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Up here in parts of the Midwest there's an emphasis on being thin. Not necessarily fit, but thin and pretty (at least in Illinois where I live). I've noticed tho, I used to live in a richer suburb of Chicago, and there were many more thin people there, even normal weight people were in the minority. There were at least 4 gyms in the neighborhood, and the surrounding towns had at least 3-4 gyms a piece as well. You would always see someone out running or biking or walking the park trails. Now that we've moved further away from the big city, to a much less affluent neighborhood there are more people who look like me (ie overweight and obese). There is 1 gym (a Curves) and a YMCA in town and the next nearest town is 20 miles and has no gym. The only people I ever see walking and riding their bikes is the young kids and the old people, and then it's obviously not for exercise but for a way to get around. Interesting really, when you sit and think about it... I think every region has their own issues with body image and weight, whether it's an obsession with fit and thin or a lack of concern for body image...
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #15
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Interesting topic! I know I felt much more out of place when I moved to Uptown Minneapolis, MN last year. This area is considered to be the hip and trendy area of Minneapolis and is filled with many young and fit people. I noticed that most of the people I meet here are vegetarians/vegans and there are many natural food stores in this area that reflect that lifestyle here.

I was already uncomfortable with my weight when I lived out in the Burbs, but this recent move has given me a bit of an extra push into a healthier way of living.
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