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Thinner is better...right?

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Old 08-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #1
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Default Thinner is better...right?

I was just browsing mybodygallery.com, and I've decided to change my goal weight. This site lets you plug in height, weight, shape, etc, and see pictures of real women. The more I looked, the more I realized that the women at my original goal weight- 130lbs (5'4") looked nothing like I wanted to look. Most of the ones I admired and thought looked sexy and fit were actually about 15 pounds and one size heavier.

I think that this "thinner is better" mentality is what gave me such a hard time last time. I was 160lbs, happier and more self confident than I had been in ages, but culture all around me was telling me that I needed to be much thinner. I joined an eating disorder group, even though I hadn't binged in over a year (because of my new lifestyle changes), and for some reason stayed even though I was the only overeater there. I was surrounded by women who were unhappy at 130, 120, etc, constantly wanting to be thinner. Then there was the weight loss community, where I would interact online with people who were anywhere from 300+ to 115lbs, all trying to lose weight. I was stuck in this cycle of thinking that I could never possibly be thin enough.

So I got stressed and gave up. 100 pounds gained later, I'm back here, looking to lose again. But this time, I don't think my vision is as distorted. Thinner and thinner is no longer looking as good to me- just happy, healthy, and normal sized. And for me, it looks like that is going to be around 145lbs.

Anyone else had any experiences with distorted vision? Any thoughts on this?
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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I absolutely love that site. I think it is wonderful fir women to be able to set realistic goals. I used it to create my ultimate goal of 155/160. That is on the higher side of healthly according to Bmi but I also worry about the thinner is better mentality.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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It's so nice to look at people rather than numbers. 145 is just under the "overweight" range for me, but it became so clear by looking at the women at that weight vs. the 130s that it was right for me. Almost all of the women that I would say looked really good were around that weight.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
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I totally agree with you. I'm your height, and I set my goal at 135. That's about ten pounds heavier than my youngest daughter who is thin (but not skinny). I may reach goal, and I may not. For me, it's about being healthy, eating better, and exercising for life. The number on the scale is less important than how I feel. Although I do want to be able to buy clothes in regular sizes again!
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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I've toyed around with my goal weight, but I think I've settled on 140—for now. It's actually slightly in the overweight category for my height, but I know that likely at 140 I won't LOOK 140. I've always weighed more than someone of the same dress size (one example - my friend and I were the same size for years and I usually outweighed her by about 30lbs) and quite frankly my goal isn't to be skinny.

I figure I can always reevaluate once I reach goal and decide if I want to lose more. Losing 60lbs total will be quite an accomplishment though!
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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I think that site's a great tool for setting tentative goals, but ultimately you'll know when you get there if it's right for you.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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My "ideal" weight is 140...but that isn't where I want to be. I was 180 before and just fine with it. The people who were around during my weight loss kept asking me how much more I wanted to lose. I told them I was happy right were I was, it felt right for me.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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It isn't about what other people want you to weigh. It's your body and your life. I think you should choose a weight and shape that makes YOU happy and comfortable with who you are! I want to be 100-110lbs. Some people tell me that's not right. But for my frame I know that's where I'll look and feel my best.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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That site is great. Another important thing to remember is that even people who are the same weight and height can have completely different body shapes.

Someone shared this link a while back and I saved it because it's awesome!

http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/...ddicts-part-2/
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:01 PM   #10
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I love looking through sites like the one you mentioned because it helps me realize how much variation there are between individuals. Even people with the same weight/height can carry it very differently and this has helped me let go of the comparisons I constantly want to make between myself and others. My thinking has shifted more toward the way I want my body to look/function and away from getting at a certain number. I don't really know what my goal weight is, but I know I still have work to do to get my body into the shape I want it in. I also realize skinny isn't what I want all; I want to see muscles, baby!
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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I agree. I'm 5 ft 3 & I've set my goal to a comfie size 8. I think that will be about 140.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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Yes it's defnitely all about where you're comfortable! I sometimes feel like I should be thinner, which is kind of silly since obviously I'm in a healthy BMI...but I do think I am distorted in my thinking a little bit. It's kind of crazy really, I was 233 pounds a year ago, and all of a sudden I think 133 is just a bit too heavy. But your perspective changes too I guess as you lose...anyways I try to focus on how I feel and look, rather than the number.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:10 PM   #13
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Well i just had the exact opposite experience. I went to the mybodygallery.com site and based upon the pictures feel that my goal weight is too high for me now

I probably need to drop it by 20lbs but will wait until I get down in range to make that decision.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:24 PM   #14
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After a certain point I don't think thinner is better and then it really does become aesthetic a BMI of 24.5 is considered just as healthy as 19 (for the average population, obviously, since it's statistics we can't necessarily talk about two individuals since there are just too many caveats there).

You also have to consider frame size and how muscular a person is. Someone who has been losing through diet only and another person who has been losing through diet and weigh lifting can look very, very different.

My goal has always been at the upper end of a healthy BMI. In reality if I get to 155lbs (the cut-off between overweight and healthy) I'd be really happy and I could just stop there. I have 140 in my ticker because I'd love to lose a total of 100lbs, so purely for vanity. If it appears that staying at 140lbs takes way more effort than I want to put in I'd be happy at staying at a somewhat higher weight were I could afford to eat a bit more because ultimately I want something that I can maintain.

I understand about the pressure to get thinner when you sees others who are smaller than you trying to lose weight. Eventually you just have to clear your mind and do what works for YOU. I've seen many, many times women on here who are my same height or close to it and are at or around my goal weight for their starting weight. It can be confusing and a bit distressing initially but I remind myself that frame size and the amount of muscles one has plays a big role. Also the way you carry extra weight will make a big difference to your appearance too. There's definitely no one size fit all policy!!!

ETA: This is also one reason that I set measurements as a goal for me too. If I reach a 28 inch waist or smaller I'd be pretty darn happy and probably call it at day even if I was still out of the healthy BMI range.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:34 PM   #15
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The other part of this is that you want to settle on a goal weight that will be comfortable for you to maintain for the long haul and that is more likely to be a little higher than your average runway model's.

For me, the goal is to get to a weight that I can maintain with good food choices and lots of exercise. I don't want to have to be super obsessive or hungry all the time. This is why I've set my goal weight this time for a weight that is a bit higher than my ideal (I loved the way I looked when I was in the 140s with 14% body fat) but which I think I'll be better able to maintain over the long haul.

But in the end, picking goal weights is a kind of silly enterprise. We'll all do our best to lose weight, to make healthy food and exercise choices and we'll know when we feel good about how we look, regardless of what the scale says or how that relates to some abstract weight ideal.
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