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Old 05-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default Our perception of overweight

A previous post has got me thinking about how skewed our perception of being overweight has become. I mean really what is overweight? I mean I know that my BMI says I'm overweight and at 5'5" 162 lbs and a size 12 society says I'm overweight. So when will I no longer be overweight? I know that at 148 lbs my BMI will no longer be overweight but I'm curious at what dress size do you all consider no longer overweight? I honestly don't know anymore...I thought it would be a size 10 because when I was at my ideal weight that is what size I was and I certainly wasn't overweight at the time. But I know so many girls that strive for those single digits and it's really sickening that we feel the need to do that and not just love ourselves. So let the debate beging at what dress size will you no longer consider yourself overweight?
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:53 PM   #2
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It is sickening to strive for single digits. I have been about 119-120 lbs at 5'3 up until about 2 yrs ago and now I am at 161 at 5'3. I am considered over weight and I know I am which is why I am trying to lose weight so desperately but I know that wearing a size 3 or 5 in juniors again might not be realistic. When I first started to gain weight (yes I watched myself gain) I remember being 138 and thinking to myself "Omg look how fat I have gotten" but I wasn't fat I was within range and I think that is what we should strive for, being within range!

When I was wearing a size 3 and 5 I was a smoker and I drank almost every weekend! I ate crap like burritos before bed at night or milk shakes and I wouldn't think twice about sitting on the couch with a bag of chips and eating the whole bag. How unhealthy I was and didn't even realize it because I was wearing a size 3.

Now I am working to be in range and that might not be a single digit, it might be a 10 or a 12 but I no longer smoke or drink and my foods are all solid and healthy! I watch what goes in and I exercise everyday. I think I am a lot healthier now then I ever was 2 yrs ago. So when I can get into a 10 comfortably I think I will be satisfied.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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I honestly think that overweight depends less on the number and more upon how I feel and look. Right now I am 154 pounds, a size 8 on the bottom and a medium on top, and I am roughly 9 pounds away from being no longer considered overweight by the standards of BMI, but I still feel as though my body has a long way to go before I am comfortable with it. And an even longer way to go before I am ready to start maintaining it. As for a number, I'm going to say once I reach the 130s, I will stop feeling like I am 'overweight'. However, this could also happen in the low 140s. It will be interesting to see how my opinion towards my body changes as I lose more weight and reach new lows because I have always been the type to criticize myself no matter what size I am. Even as a child, when I was definitely way too young to be worrying about these kinds of things (and was at a perfectly healthy weight for my height) I always saw myself as bigger than everyone else and therefore overweight.

It is strange because I feel like my clothing sizes should have been great moments in my life, getting back into the single digits and into a medium, but like most things, the moment you get there you want something smaller or better. I'm hoping that in time I'll be able to see my body as it is, and hopefully once I reach a 'normal' weight for my height, I'll have come to terms with what normal is. I also should say that on other people my numbers look perfectly fine. I think we are always more critical of ourselves when it comes to weight.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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I think my perfect size would be a 6. I am a rather bottom heavy kind of girl. A size medium on top.. large if its a button down. and occasionally a small. On the bottom i am a 12. I am 5' and 158 lbs at the moment. All my weight is stored in my lower body. Even at 115 lbs i was only a 7/8 (i think) But i was not toned at all. I want to get down to 115 again and be really tones in my lower half so im hoping a 6 will be a doable size. Lol Ive never been smaller than 7. I went through puberty and went from a size 13 in kids to a size 7 in juniors.

what i dont like is when people think because their bmi says something they automatically think its true. My bmi says i could weigh 100 lbs and not be underweight, but with my muscle structure and bone density, at 100 lbs i would be nothing but bone. It also says at my weight now, that i am obese, but looking at me you wouldn't think so at all. I look chubby for sure. But obese, not even. I have a 27 inch waste? Anyways what im trying to say, is that you should make your own standard, as long as your comfortable and healthy then thats all that matters. Weather that's a size 6 or a size 10 or any size
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:24 AM   #5
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Seems to me we are bombarded by billboards, magazines, mannequins, and tv, all telling us if we don't fit into size 0 pants we are grossly obese. What have we done as a society, but teach our daughters that size 0 is a realistic goal. I was very happy to see Queen Latifah when she was doing ads for Jenny Craig, she was more concerned about getting healthy and that it looks different on everyone.
This time around I am going for health, not what someone thinks I should look like and when I get there I will know.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:52 AM   #6
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I agree that overweight probably depends on where you are coming from. If you have always been 200+ and then get down to 160, you`ll probably feel slender, sexy and definitely not overweight.

If you`ve always been 120 and then get up to 160 you`ll feel awful and possibly not always overweight but obese!

To me personally, overweight starts where my health and energy levels suffer. I`ve been a BMI 27(ish) for a long time, but I could run and do everything I wanted to do. I then gained a few more pounds and noticed that the running became harder, and that made me want to slim down enough to actually do it!

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Old 05-03-2010, 03:55 AM   #7
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Stella that is very true! I remember when I was about 115 (a long time ago) lol, I was completely mortified if I got up to 120/122, now, if I got back down to 122 I would be such a happy bunny and never complain again lol! It's all personal perspective of how comfortable you feel
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:00 AM   #8
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I don't think single digits is a bad thing. It depends on your body image. Granted there are going to be people that have a distorted body image and they will never be happy no matter what size they are. For me I think a size 10 is where I want to be. I may change my mind when I get there and head for the single digits. Then again I may settle in at a 12. Even though by the doctor's standard I morbidly obese, I'm healthier than most normal weight people. Never had any health issues. So this is just a bonus for me. I don't like generalizations, or community think stuff. I think if you as an individual want to be in a certain place great. But don't try to make me fit in it with you because I will rebel.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:46 AM   #9
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You do realize that vanity sizing plays a part in this, right? Those single digit sizes are using a different system than the older size 10, 12, 14, etc.

Clothing sizes are a meaningless measure, because they are manipulated by the clothing industry. Why would one want to base success on whether one's pants have the "right number"?

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella View Post
I agree that overweight probably depends on where you are coming from. If you have always been 200+ and then get down to 160, you`ll probably feel slender, sexy and definitely not overweight.
See that's funny - I was almost 200, and when I got down to 160, I still felt overweight! I'm one of those who lose weight, and for while I feel really good, but then I start noticing how at 160 I'm still larger than most females my age I'm around. Heck - at 142 I still feel overweight - and I hate to say this - but until I completely get into the single digit sizes (I'm in between an 8 and a 10 on the bottom, 8 on top) I'll still feel that way! I know, it's sick, but I think for women my age (24), it's been drilled into my head that anything over an 8 is considered "plus size."
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:54 AM   #11
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Also - being surrounded by thin friends growing up - I rarely heard them say their weight, but being a girl and going shopping - I would frequently hear or see their size, so I think that's why I always compare myself based on size.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:09 AM   #12
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That's an interesting question. I used to think I wouldn't consider myself "overweight" if I made it to a single-digit size - but that's not the case anymore. I'm currently somewhere between a size 14-16. I was once a size 24. I've been as small as somewhere between a 12-14 as an adult. I'm working towards that now, and I'm not sure how much smaller I could get!

Now, I'm trying to get my eating habits under control and back to a lifestyle that incorporates regular, healthy eating. I'm assuming that will make me lose weight, tone up and be healthier. I'm working toward a mindset in which I just accept wherever it is that my body settles as the right weight for me. It's tough - I've always been fat, even as a kid, so "skinny" or "thin" doesn't seem like a possibility.

The other thing is, I have a fair bit of lose skin that skews my perception of my body. I'd love to get it removed through plastic surgery ... mostly the flap under my arms and also adjacent to my armpits, and my inner thighs. I think that would really change how I see my body, because then I could really see what's going on, you know?
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:09 AM   #13
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While I do think our society puts too much emphasis on being slender, the fact is that the healthiest people I know--the ones that can climb mountains, run 10 miles, rough-house with their kids for hours--those people are lean--single digit lean. That's not the same as skinny, obviously, but it's still pretty thin. Now then, I know of plenty of people that are carrying around a lot of fat but still do all those athletic things, but think how much better they would be at them if they weren't carrying extra weight! If they are happy with that, it's fine, but I don't think there's anything wrong with "lean" as a cultural ideal.

Furthermore, for all that we glamorize "super-skinny", there's no doubt that "actual normal" is creeping up. Food is just too delicious and too cheap these days, compared to even 20 years ago. While I think a lot of women would like to be super skinny, as long as they are about the same shape as their friends, there isn't that much pressure to change: we just feel bad and buy more products to compensate, but we don't change our lifestyles. If anything, actual, real-world normal getting heavier (which it has) encourages people NOT to change, because, as Erma Bombach said 30 years ago, "A real friend doesn't go on a diet when you are fat".
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:27 AM   #14
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I'm confused as to why single-digit clothing sizes, especially for the US, are so bad, especially because dress sizes are getting bigger all the time. I was a size 10 in some shops (US size 8) when I was about a stone and a half heavier (around 145 pounds) and there's no way I was too skinny.

Please also don't forget that some of us have much smaller bones, or are shorter, etc. I would love to look fantastic at a heavier weight/higher dress size, but the fact remains that it's all proportional to your frame.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:59 AM   #15
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I guess I should clarify that I don't think that single digit sizes are necessarily a bad thing, especially for those of small frame and height. I guess my point being that when I was at my ideal body weight I was a 10 and now I don't feel like a 10 is going to be good enough anymore, and I'm just curious as to why that is. I'm not even sure that I can get below a 10, I'm a medium frame and I'm 5'5" so that may be an unrealistic goal, but lord knows I'm going to try...probably if nothing else because of Jay's point...vanity...
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