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Have your perceptions of the general population changed?

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Old 10-19-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Have your perceptions of the general population changed?

Lately, I have become more aware of the physical shape of other people. I was in a meeting a few days ago, and I happened to pay closer attention to the other participants in the room.

I was surprised to see that not everyone was thin and perfect. In fact, most of the participants were facing the fat-and-flab battle just like me. I saw muffin tops, missing collarbones, cherubic faces, bottoms that fit tightly into their chairs, and chunky thighs and tummies. For the first time ever, I realized that I was more toned than most other people. Not that I am Twiggy, far from it, but I am much more aware that I am not the only one facing the battle of the bulge.

In fact, I would say more than half of us are. I guess I have just been so inwardly focused on my own imperfections that I failed to notice that I am surrounded by others who have the same weight issues. Maybe even bigger ones.

I don't know why I'm posting this; I'm not picking on anyone or trying to be superior. I still have a lot of my own weight issues to work through. I guess that I didn't realize or notice until now that I have been very hard on myself, thinking I am the biggest one and the only one with a big gut, when I am only one of hundreds of people in the same boat. I actually felt like I was normal, like I fit in for a change.

Since you have been on a weight loss plan, have your perceptions of other people's sizes changed?
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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I don't know if my perceptions of the population have changed, but my perceptions on the way our society (I'm American) deals with food have changed dramatically. I used to think nothing of the five or so fast food restaurants that ring the Target near where I live (I can go to which ever one I want!), but now I see them and cringe a bit (So many ways to eat bad things).

It's the same thing about people who drive insanely short distances especially when that distance is artificially inflated through grandiose entrance drives and unnecessary fences and the like.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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You are not alone in this Lord knows I have MANY pounds to go . Some people I wish I could recruit along to join me. NOT in a mean way whatsoever to help them . If they just knew how good it feels to get some of this weight off.... I feel sorry for them. Now that I type this I wonder if anyone looked @ me that way. I have a co worker that carb loads everyday each meal & ALOT of them. I don't feel like I'm better than her in anyway..... she wonders why she can't get rid of her stomach. I would like to tell her in kind way ...she wouldn't take it well & would never speak to me again so i keep my mouth shut (not easy for me) . I had to eat by myself the 1st mo into this seeing other people eat & how much kinda made me sick....plus I didn't trust myself to stay on the wagon.

Another thing I asked for a small combo meal can't recall where they said its a Md or Lg no wonder so many of us are in trouble.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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not really.
what I've been thinking for the last few years is that we all need to start eating healthier and workout more..
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:06 AM   #5
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i think i understand what you mean. we're SO quick and skilled at zooming in on our flaws when we look in a mirror. we've had a lifetime of practice. if im wearing a tank top, my eyes go straight to the arm flab, if i have a few gray roots, zoooom, its the first thing i see. im usually so busy being self conscious that i dont even think about how "normal" a lot of my problems are.

if my chubby friend is wearing a tank top im not going to notice her arm flab in a million years. occasionally, if you do take a minute to think about it and inspect people around you, youll probably find that they have MANY of the imperfections you do. and you know what? other people dont notice them on you either. whatever you're obsessing about, you are seeing it at least ten times more than anyone else.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:27 AM   #6
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I used to only be aware of my shape and size, and now I look around me and realize that a) I'm not the fattest person in any room I walk into and b) the population is, by a large, getting a lot bigger!

Maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the people I walk past on a given day in Costco are anywhere near a healthy size for their height and frame (just by visual evaluation, of course). Most look fairly wan and sick, pudgy and unhappy. Some are extremely obese, as bad or worse than I used to be.

I NEVER used to be aware of that because I just didn't notice, I only thought about me! I don't really care about their size, but when they look ill and miserable it makes me sad. I wish they could hit their groove and choose to improve their health, if only because I'm convinced that, like me, they don't realize what they're missing. If I'd known back then what I know now I'd have probably committed to changing my life sooner. Then again. Maybe I wouldn't have. The readiness of each individual is SO key.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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I've always looked at others body frames but mostly because those who I saw were fit and healthy, I was jealous of them. Now I look at them and can see myself slowly becoming more fit and healthy. What I have noticed I do a lot more is watch the way people eat. I used to love my junk food - chocolate, jellies, crisps and fizzy drinks. Now, not so much. While I still have the days where I will have something sweet, it's not that often now. I watch how my friends eat and anytime I've gone into their house, I'll be faced with something. One will always grab a packet of something out of her bag and put them on the bed to eat or the other one will have a 2L bottle of fizzy drink beside her with a glass and making her way through it. I would never comment on how the eat - that is entirely up to them, but I have become a lot more aware of how others eat around me.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:14 AM   #8
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OP - I think I can relate. When I was 100 pounds heavier I would see acquaintances, coworkers, friends or family who were thinner than myself and feel envious of their figures. The old 'I'd give anything to have her figure' type of thoughts. Strangely, now that I'm a normal BMI and 100 pounds lighter, those same people don't look thin to me anymore. They don't look huge but I can suddenly see that they too have flaws. Some are probably carrying an extra 15-30 pounds that was blind to when I was obese - a few would complain about being overweight and I'd shake my head in disbelief. My obesity was definitely distorting my perception of healthy weights.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:54 AM   #9
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Well I deffinately view food differently, and how people eat it so 'whatever' like. How I use to eat it. A part of me finds it disgusting, another part is jealous. Yet another part of me is annoyed that the people I notice eating like that want to lose weight and they tell me they do, yet they eat this or that way.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogdaysofdiets View Post
OP - I think I can relate. When I was 100 pounds heavier I would see acquaintances, coworkers, friends or family who were thinner than myself and feel envious of their figures. The old 'I'd give anything to have her figure' type of thoughts. Strangely, now that I'm a normal BMI and 100 pounds lighter, those same people don't look thin to me anymore. They don't look huge but I can suddenly see that they too have flaws. Some are probably carrying an extra 15-30 pounds that was blind to when I was obese - a few would complain about being overweight and I'd shake my head in disbelief. My obesity was definitely distorting my perception of healthy weights.

Oh my gosh, these are similar to my thoughts. I remember thinking that so many people were "thin and perfect" and I wanted to gouge their eyes out for saying "omg I need to lose weight," but now they don't look thin to me anymore.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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I think that I have always been actually hyper aware of other people's size even before I had weight issuses, because somewhere along the way growing up I learned to associate being thin with being beautiful and desirable... And I think that has left me with a somewhat distorted perception of reality when it comes to people and their weight.

Growing up and living in Manhattan makes it difficult for me as well... Because even though the vast majority of people that I encounter on a daily basis pretty much fall into the "normal" looking body type... It seems every time I turn around I'm running into someone who is not only thin, but drop dead gorgeous as well... And of course that's who I compare myself against... Which I know is completely pointless on so many levels... Thankfully now at least I realize that I'm doing it and I understand where it's coming from...
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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Unfortunately, It is quite common for me to look at the weights of people around me. This started in college where I believed absolutely everyone was thinner than I was, and most honestly were. Now I mainly only compare myself to people that look to be a similar age to mine. This is a huge flaw of mine that I should seriously work on. I don't judge the other people at all - it frankly has nothing to do with them. It's exclusively my messed up brain repeatedly telling myself that I am not normal and I am bad/fat/ugly/etc. On a rational level I know that. while I could stand to lose another 40 lbs,I am actually quite attractive (not that the boys notice) and that I have a skewed vision of what I look like.

To answer your question, I don't think my perceptions have changed, but they tend to be directed at myself more than the population.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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growing up I learned to associate being thin with being beautiful and desirable
^yep^. i dont want to say that my mom had an eating disorder.. but when i look back its just the facts. we shared clothes when i was in 5th grade (and i wasnt chubby). i remember being in high school and weighing about 112 and complaining that i was fat. she helped me go on a 1000 calorie/day diet. she ended up with 3 daughters who struggle with weight and body issues because of it.

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running into someone who is not only thin, but drop dead gorgeous as well... And of course that's who I compare myself against.
i am guilty of being a constant envy-er and body/face comparing. if i had a running count in my head of how many times a day i do it.. im sure id be shocked AND embarrassed.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:07 PM   #14
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I always like to look at other people's figures. I have a distorted body image and so I try to fix it by having my husband tell me which women's bodies most resemble mine. I think this has helped because I see beautiful women who look good in their clothing who also weigh as much as I do. I definitely still want to lose weight but fixing my self esteem by feeling like I can look attractive at my current weight is something that is really important for my weight loss success.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:17 PM   #15
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How I feel about food and the food industry has completely changed!! Watching people eat fast food- I want to run over and say 'Please stop- you have no idea what you're doing to your body!!'
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