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Old 06-23-2006, 07:23 PM   #1
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Question How You Perceive Weight of Other People?

This one has intrigued me for ages.

I noticed that when I was obese, my own perception of other women's sizes/weight was different to what my perception is now. I've noticed it in the past, too.

For example, when I was a size 18-20, I thought anyone less than that was 'thin'. If someone was, overall, say a size 10, but had a few lumps and bumps here and there - I wouldn't notice the little bit of flab because I'd think they were 'skinny' overall. But the slimmer I got, the more I realised smaller people weren't 'perfect' either - and the more I noticed things like 'Oh she's got a big bum' or 'She's got a little roll of fat'. And people on TV say, you have seen for ages - suddenly you realise someone you'd always thought of as being 'average' or 'OK' actually is fatter than you thought (I don't mean someone who's gained weight - just that your perception of them changes as you change).

Anyone else, or is it just me? Because it seems to me that as my size has changed, my perception of other people has too. I don't mean I've got cattier I just mean I genuinely do seem to have re-categorised people, size-wise and your perception of size generally seems to shift automatically, even when you're not that aware of your own weight change. Does that make sense to anyone else?
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:30 PM   #2
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I totally agree. There are some people who I used to think were really thin, but now I can't imagine being that big. I always used to categorise obese as "bigger than me" rather than having a realistic idea of what it was, and the same for other "categories" like overweight and normal. And I do notice the little imperfections in thin people more too, which reassures me that there are very few people who are actually perfectly thin!
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Old 06-24-2006, 04:51 AM   #3
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Yes I keep picking out "thin" peoples problem areas! Like skinny peeps with cellulite! I laugh! Mwahahahahah since I have relatively little as long as I make sure I drink my water!

But yes, I know what you mean - people who I thought were perfectly skinny I know see that they're not as buff as I thought.

I don't know, but also big people perhaps seem bigger to me, I know when I went home and the big girls were still big, but I used to be the same size as them, they just seemed bigger than they did before...
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:32 AM   #4
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most people still have problem areas. I am always thinking I'm fat because I have big legs and arms compared to the rest of me but thats just my shape. I've tried all sorts from slimming to swimming to gym to weights to slim down my legs and my gym instructer said they will always be comparatively bigger compared to the rest of me so I give up lol.

I have a friend that I used to think was very skinny but now I don't she is def bigger than me and untoned. I'd rather have a toned look than skinny but never seen exercise look.
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:45 AM   #5
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Phew, not just me then! I didn't want to think I was getting cattier as I got slimmer. I'll never be skinny again - I'm too old and have had too many kdis for that - but I noticed I was getting more sort of analytical recently. Also interesting what I think when I look at folk now who are the size I was at my heaviest. I can't believe I could have looked like that (don't get me wrong I sill have squirrel-like thighs, and stumpy legs, and loads of wobbly bits and cellulite myself but I'm size 12 now so long as the wobbly bits are covered up, I look 'normal'-ish...)

People the size I used to be, look bigger than I thought of myself as looking. Does that make sense? I'm thinking *Blimey, you were deluded!* I wonder if there's an effect a bit like beer goggles, but 'fat goggles'... as I can remember when I was size 20 thinking I could get away with wearing certain things that I now see other people that size in and think *Oh no.... Don't wear that!* Although I knew I was obese, I even knew my BMI but on a realistic level thought I 'carried the weight' OK (I can't have!) I dunno cos I wouldn't let anyone photograph me when I was at my heaviest, so I have no before and after sense of myself...
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:36 AM   #6
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I'm the same - my mental image of 'normal' has completely changed. Maybe 'normal' is whatever we are at the time and anyone larger is 'big' and anyone smaller is 'thin' - if that's the case then heavens only knows what Kylie Minogue thinks of as 'thin'.

Have you noticed that the 'big girls' club is excluding you nowadays? It used to be that I could chat to anyone who was my size or larger, even if I didn't know them - it was like we had something in common (bit like motorbike riders all nodding to each other in passing) but that has really changed now. For instance, in my big days, if DH and I went to a party where I didn't have any close friends then I would almost certainly end up having a conversation with the largest person in the room. It just seemed natural to gravitate towards each other. We might not talk about weight related issues but we felt more comfortable talking to each other, possibly because we wouldn't be judging each other on our size, but that isn't happening nowadays. The change in attitude isn't with me, its with them - I'm not seen as being a member of the big girls club any more. Last night was a good example, we went to a party held by one of DH's work colleagues where I know most of the people slightly but, as usual, I found myself drifting towards the largest woman in the room who was talking to another large woman. Instead of having a nice chat about all kinds of things like we have in the past, she seemed to want to only talk defensively about her weight all the time - almost like she was trying to justify her very existence. How sad. I felt so uncomfortable about it.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:01 AM   #7
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This isn't my usual forum...probably since I'm not from the UK! But I couldn't resist posting to this one because I've been thinking a lot about perception of my weight and other people's weight lately.

My thing is I have a very screwed up view of my own size...when I was thin I thought I was so fat and hid under big sweaters. I recently saw a group photo from when I was in high school and noticed that I was actually thinner than at least three of the girls I thought were so thin.

Now...my mom and a friend of mine have both gained weight around the same time I did. I know for a fact that both way around 10 pounds less than I do but I think I can't possibly look that big. I think I must carry it better than they do. I know that is wrong but thats what I think. Its like reverse anorexia...I think no way am I as big as I actually am.

As for ideas about big and small...definitely changes with my size. I have an Aunt who used to weigh around 200 pounds. I used to think that was HUGE...now that I've been pretty darn close to that myself I still know its big but it doesn't have the same hugeness attached to it as it used to...if that makes sense. Sort of like I can see how it happens now. I also thought that 145 was really big on my way up...now I can't wait to get there again!

I think focusing on your own size as you do when you are losing weight just naturally makes you look at where other people are at too. It helps you to decide where you want to be and where you are by comparing. Like someone else said...its not really about catty its just that you are paying attention.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:30 AM   #8
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I did that I gained weight compared to last year a little too much as I'd like to be in between but what happened is we had an assignment at uni where we had to do presentations and watch them back on video I was really really shocked at how small I looked up front my chest and waist looked too skinny it gave me quite a shock it was like looking at a person that wasnt me at all.

If only I could maintain it at just half a stone heavier than that though instead of more like a stone and a half. A friend of mine weighs more than me but has the most amazing figure hers is all exercise though so thats my new aim I'd love to look that fit.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:16 PM   #9
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Yes, yes and yes. I always thought my Mom was "thin" and didn't have a clue what it was like to be fat (at my age, 22, my mother was like a size 2) but now she weighs about 159 and at my present weight I no longer see her as thin but as a bit chubby (sorry Mama, I still luv ya!) and now I think that she is trying to lose weight more in earnest because I am nearing her size.
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
I did that I gained weight compared to last year a little too much as I'd like to be in between but what happened is we had an assignment at uni where we had to do presentations and watch them back on video I was really really shocked at how small I looked up front my chest and waist looked too skinny it gave me quite a shock it was like looking at a person that wasnt me at all.
Yeah...those darn photos and video. The first time I realized I was fat was in a photo...from behind. I had shelf butt...you know where the shirt sits on top of your bum instead of hanging down...

Glad to hear that your exerpience was in the opposite way and you realized you were smaller than you thought!
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:30 PM   #11
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When I see slender, Normal sized people, I always think they are much smaller than me. When I see larger people, I always think they are not as big as I used to be. Looking closely at myself, I think I see me as bigger than I am. I'm surprised when the smaller clothes fit me now and will buy things too large out of habit. My mind has not caught up with my body.
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Old 06-24-2006, 02:14 PM   #12
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Sarah - I get ostracised from the fat chicks too! A new lass has joined kicboxing in order to lose weight, and she is really friendly and nice, but I know she feels intimidated. I immediately warmed to her though, and would rather talk to her than the annorexic-looking girl!! Thing is, I feel like she's scared of me, like she must see me as some super-fit-freak who kickboxes for two hours in a row and sweats like a horse... Now where did she get that idea?

I want to show her my before pictures, but I haven't got round to it yet. I feel like it would be saying, "Hey I was fat like you once..." but I also want to show her that there's light at the end of the tunnel too. She has lost a bit of weight and is looking slimmer, so I made a point of telling her last week.

Oh and the shelf-butt... I still have that! But I like to think it's because there's muscle in there!
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:23 AM   #13
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2frus - I'd show her the pictures. Hopefully, she'll take it the right way and you might inspire her, and help her get fitter, too!

Sarah I know what you mean about gravitating to certain people. At my heaviest, I wasn't aware of it but thinking back now, I too gravitated towards the fatter people - maybe because I felt less judged. Also, I'd been obscenely thin almost all my life so psychologically, I just couldn't cope at all with being overweight, then obese - I didn't know how to 'do' fat, if you get my meaning! It's a real shock to go from always being the thinnest person in the room (not caring what you eat, not weighing yourself from one year's end to the next, etc), to being the fattest (knowing precisely what you weigh and thinking you will eventually somehow get to grips with it, but maybe tomorrow..... )

When I was skinny, I would have gone for the thinner, medium or fattest people - I really didn't care. Not sure what that says! Nowadays, I also go for any and all again, although I'm never the thinnest in a room full of people, I'm never the fattest anymore, either, and that's cool.

I just couldn't handle it, at all, so if I saw someone my size or bigger, I guess i made a beeline for them.

Tell you what, it's a cliche, but I hated being the fat mum at the school gate. And in my head, I was the fattest - but when I look at them now, the oens I thought of as 'bigger, but not as big as me' - actually some of them were! Again, must have had me fat goggles on.

OOh shelf bum - I had one of them, too! Also, I had no demarcation between my bum and the top of me legs, but now me bum goes out and me legs go in, again! I didn't miss it til it came back, though! Welcome back hip bones, too! How did I manage without you?
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:00 AM   #14
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I've kind of ostracised myself from some of my fat friends. There are some (although not all) of them who I realised that I had little in common with, other than the fact that they were as fat as (or fatter than) me. While I still get on with them, I realise that the don't share what I want out of life any more, and they don't understand that I don't want to drink in the evening so I can run in the morning, or that I'd rather run a half marathon on a Sunday morning than stay over at theirs for a night of drinking and gossiping. I still see them, but we seem to have less in common than we ever did.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:54 AM   #15
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Yes - I'm going through exactly that at the moment. I had what I thought was a very good friend who positively hates it that I'm getting fit and losing weight (especially the getting fit part). Its almost like she thinks I'm letting her down in some way.

I don't talk about what I'm doing anymore because she once told me that when I talk about my food or exercise she feels that I'm being judgemental. Huh? I didn't understand it then and I don't understand it now. Because of that comment the last time we had a meal together I didn't know what to talk about or what food to order because I didn't want to upset her. I can't help but wonder if she ever thinks that her attitude upsets me at all.

DH says he's always thought it was a very one way friendship and he's probably right.
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