Right now, I kind of have a dilemma. Over the holidays, my family was pushing the idea that I should gain about 10 pounds back. According to the charts, my weight falls into a healthy range, and my BMI is normal. I don't know whether they are just fixated on what I used to look like, and so that might be clouding their vision and making me seem ultrathin in their eyes now. According to the charts, being 5'4" and 121 pounds is not underweight.
I feel like if someone who didn't know what I used to look like in the past saw me now, they wouldn't think that there was anything wrong with my weight. Prior to them saying this, I didn't think that I was too thin at all. I keep my calories relatively low to maintain this weight, so maybe that is feeding into their thoughts of me being unhealthy -- They no longer see me overeating or indulging in sweets and fried foods. I'm not feeling deprived/hungry or anything, though.
Now I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience with family members or friends. Do you find that people who knew you before the weight loss think you're too thin when you're a normal weight? My BMI was in the overweight category before I lost weight, and now they're saying that I didn't seem overweight back then, and I didn't need to lose any weight! I'm not sure they would have said the same if I had asked them if I was a little heavy back then, though!
I don't know if I'm wrong or right. If they are right, I fear that the need to gain weight could transform into a "license to eat" whatever ...and a slice of pie here, and an extra snack there could send me back to 157 again. However, I know that with some conscious actions, I could potentially gain weight in a controlled manner.
Anyway...Anyone had this experience? How do you know if you are too thin?!
Tara, I had some similar reactions from my family. I'm 5'7 and 140 lbs. Which is right in the middle for a healthy BMI. My family was used to me being a lot heavier. Some of them told me "I wish you'd quit losing weight, you are getting too skinny". I don't think so. I feel healthy and comfortable at this weight and feel that I eat plenty of food. Yes, I do LC but get 1500 calories a day. I don't intend to try to gain. I don't want to lose more. I'm maintaining and that is where I want to be. Go by what you think feels right for you. In time our families will get used to the way we look now. I think if my face looked gaunt, I'd feel too thin. But, it doesn't. I think I look "normal" sized.
My family did that to me too. I was down for a visit in July and they all said that I'd lost enough weight. I've been plateaued for some time, but I want to lose another 10-15 pounds. However, they were all quite adamant that I'm "thin enough" and shouldn't want to be any smaller than I am.
As you can see by my tracker, I'm not exactly in danger of being mistaken for a stick anytime soon. I don't like to go by the BMI chart because I'm very stocky and muscular, but even so, I feel like I could lose a bit more and still be very healthy. It's a little infuriating when loved ones don't see it that way, and I confess that part of me wonders if they're not just uncomfortable with my not filling the role of "the fat girl" anymore.
You can put me in that group, too. I started to get the "too thin" inquiries at around 145 pounds. I guess they figured that I could lose 80+ pounds, so why couldn't I just lose a whole bunch more? HA! I think once they realized that it had trailed off considerably they eased up, but it was very hard to convince them until then.
As far as you being "too thin", I think more often than not your body tells you. I was hoping to maintain at 125-130. It just didn't happen. My body is very comfortable where it's at and it would be very difficult to maintain much lower. I have been as low as 126, but it did not feel good at all. Then, I've been back at 142 and that didn't feel good either. Of course, I look at your stats and think that's perfectly acceptable, but you know what it's like in your own skin and you know where you are most comfortable.
Man, this is an epedemic (as far as families/friends go). This is one of those topics that comes up more than any other, I think. You certainly shouldn't feel alone
You're absolutely right. There's a big difference in perception between people who are seeing you for the first time and those who knew you when you were heavier.
When I first got down to 130, my bf at the time thought I was getting too thin and said I should stop. I got down to 121 (I'm 5'4" also) and then the bf responded, "I think you're perfect at 125, but I can see how you're a little chubby at 130."
Just give everyone some time to get used to the "new you." It sounds like you have a healthy mindset, so you're the best judge of what the best weight for you is.
I've gained a bit recently, but at 5'4", I was really happy at 121.
"Act as if it were impossible to fail." - Dorothea Brande
This is really common... people are accustomed to relating to you in a certain manner and viewing you in a certain way. Thin friends/family can feel threatened by the new thin you... overweight friends/family can be jealous or find that you serve as a reminder of their own bad choices. When you reached a healthy weight it has forced everyone to change how they relate to you and think about you. You have a new role... you are a new person! Its much easier for them to try and convince you to revert back to the old you than to change themselves. As long as your BMI is acceptable, your weight falls within normal ranges according to height/weight charts, you feel good, and your doctor doesn't express concerns I would chalk it up their problem, not yours. Certainly a visit to your doctor wouldn't hurt and then you can use this as a response when they pressure you. Congratulations on your success!
Tara--how difficult is it for you to maintain your current weight? If you are having a really hard time maintaining, perhaps it is your body telling you that you are too low. If you are having a normal time maintaining, you're probably right on for your body. Don't fixate on what everyone else is telling you--this is your decision. Several years ago, I got down to 128 and it was HARD to keep it there. I got back up to the 132-136 range and stayed there for several years without incident. I think it was my body telling me that 128 was too low, so that's why I chose 135 as my goal this time. (Now if I could just make goal! LOL)
It is all perception. to a short person I am tall to a tall person I am short. To a person is larger than myself I am skinny. To a skinny person I am large.
So if people are use to seeing you a certain way it will take awhile for them to get use to you.
dream the impossible and then make it happen
Iv'e had that problem lately too..I'm currently at 155lbs & my mom says I need to quit losing weight..she says I look at thin as I was in high school,(I wish)LOL... I weighed 125 in h.s....I told her that was a long time ago & I'm nowhere near 125...now my goal is around 140...also get lots of comments about losing too much weight in face...I just tell everyone that I can't help where I lose it...I work out 5 days a week & do my best to eat healthy,but I come from a long line of cooks & bakers so I guess there just having trouble adapting to the new me...
I don't have that problem yet, but what I do get a lot of is "How much more do you want to lose?" and then "That's way too much!" when I tell them. My answer is always "Unless I have unusually heavy bones that is where I will be healthy" and to walk away. We have to be happy with ourselves first and foremost, what other people think or say is secondary to that!
If you do what you've always done you'll get what you've always gotten.
Yep, add me to the list of people who has heard the same thing from family.
"You really should put back on a few pounds, you look too skinny."
"Your face is too thin."
Blah blah blah.
That's because they're used to seeing me FAT. However, I was talking to a girl not long ago, someone that DOESN'T know what I used to look like and we got on the subject of weight issues and she freaked when I told her I'd lost like almost 90 pounds. And she was like, "You're kidding!" and I said, "No, but people I know seem to think I've lost too much weight, they think I look too thin."
She said, "What? You don't look too thin, you look perfectly normal to me."
So family and friends are going to judge you NOW by the way you looked THEN.
As long as you're healthy and comfortable with your weight, PLEASE don't let them talk you into putting back on pounds. It's how you feel about YOURSELF that matters.
Thanks for all of your advice. To answer whether it is difficult to maintain this weight, I'd have to say more no than yes. I live on my own so I'm not confronted with lots of temptation, and I've come to view food as more of a source of nourishment than an emotional fix. I do like the food I eat, and don't eat things that I don't like. There are definitely moments when I think about what I used to eat, but for the most part, I'm ok with my intake.
I really think that this does have something to do with the fact that my family remembers me as I was. The fact is, I really didn't think of myself as overweight on a daily basis before I lost weight (until one day I saw a picture and that's what showed me I had put on a little bit), but now that everyone is commenting on the "drastic" change, it makes me wonder if I must have really been a bit chunky before! Kind of weird reverse psychological thoughts.
Anyway, I probably haven't been the weight that I am now since the 8th grade or so, so it must be a little odd for them.
I lovingly refer to those people who take issues with my weight loss as "haters". I am by no means a stick figure as I still have alot of flab to tone but as I continue on my weight loss journey there are several friends and family members who feel the need to throw their two cents into what my "healthy weight" should be. To many, when I was at my heaviest that was acceptable to them. Never mind the fact that I was short winded, out of shape and was well on my way to type II diabetes. After dropping ten pounds it was... you're looking good, don't lose too much weight.. as if! After losing 20 pounds it was... slow down girl! you're melting away... now that i'm 30+ pounds down I'm anorexic. It's ridiculous the way change affects those around you...