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Old 10-19-2006, 12:32 AM   #1  
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Question A couple of questions from a different culture..

I'm quite new here and I am not from the US.
I know that its a worldwide thing that being overweight is considered unacceptable. I've struggled tipping the scales all my life.
I live in an Asian country. While being overweight isnt' really thought of as a good thing.. people are either more tolerant or just a bit more reserved in their comments. I do have the occassional people who call out names but for the most part.. its stares that say.. OMG is that a walking whale?

What is it like to be overweight in the US? Is it the same as it is depicted on TV or movies? I even saw a " special " show about how pudgy people are treated unfairly because their size does not fit the standards of society. Are a lot of people really like that? Mean and judgemental? I'm not stereotyping any nationality but what I see on tv and movies.. it worries me.

What is it like for your significant other? Are they also picked on because they choose to be with someone who isn't poster perfect? My ex-husband was embarassed about me being fat. I'm looking forward to meeting someone special when I do travel to the US this january and while he reassures me that everything will be okay.. I'm scared that people will say something about my weight issues and I am not really sure how to handle that.

How is shopping in the US for clothes and shoes for pudgy people? It's really hard here.. like walking through fire. A typical filipino woman is about 4'11 to 5'3 and weighs about 100- 115lbs. I'm so far from that. LOL. Is it difficult to shop?

Lastly, what do you wear during winter time? LOL We only have two seasons here.. stormy and summer. I plan to be in the US come January and I wouldn't know what clothes to bring since it will still be winter right?
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:48 AM   #2  
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I have never lived in any other country, but I do feel the US media portrays over-weight people very poorly. Models and actresses are often underweight and this seems to be valued by many in that industry. I have had a few bad comments about my weight in the past, but unfortunately most of them were from family. Strangers rarely said anything, but I did get "the disgusted "look at times.

I have never had this husband or any of my Ex's complain that they were ridiculed for having an over-weight wife. My first fiancee had a problem with my weight, he wanted a trophy wife and I didnt' fit the bill.

Clothes shopping here can be difficult. There are some shops that cater to the plus size woman, such as Lane Bryant. This is where I used to buy most of my clothes. Many other retailers have a Plus Size section to choose from, but styles and choices are limited.

As for the weather it depends largely upon which part of the US you will be in. Where I live, it gets very cold, with snow, so Jackets and warm clothes are always needed in the winter.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:57 AM   #3  
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Yes, it DEFINITELY depends on where you live. In winter in my area (the Sunny Central Valley of California), it will get into the 30's at night, but never snows. In Minnesota, where I travel regularly for work, I went in February and it was -25 at night and only got up to 10 during the day.

Old NAvy has some great options for plus-sized women now, also, and less expensive than Lane Bryant. But there are very limited options in general.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:44 AM   #4  
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I've read that statistically there are many more overweight people here in the U.S. Something like 1 in 3 Americans is overweight, and it has in recent years been called an "epidemic" by the surgeon general. I may be wrong-but my guess would be that it is more of a stigma to be overweight where less of the population has that problem-but at the least I don't think your size will be any more of an issue here than where you're from. Don't let tv shows take away from your excitement about meeting that "special someone"
While there are many stores here that are size discriminate, the majority of department stores and chains offer plus sizes from 14-26. I've personally never had a problem shopping even at my heaviest.
There aren't many places here that don't get cold at some point. I've always lived in the southernmost and warmest parts of the country, and even here we get weather down into the 20's (fahrenheit). You will probably need some winter clothes, but you can double check at or other websites for climate info in the area you will be in.
I hate to say it, but I don't think that there is a place in this world you can go that there won't be someone who will be judgemental of you in some way. Every country has stick thin people in magazines and on tv, and any of us who don't fit that mold will be looked at differently on occasion. I do know of people here who had spouses who treated them differently after gaining weight, and I know of people who lost weight and treated THEIR spouses differently. I think that body issues know no national boundaries. We all have to find someone who will appreciate us in entirety-and I wish you the best of luck in doing so while you're here. Try not to worry too much about what anyone else thinks or says about you-mean spirited people who would pick on you about a weight issue would only find something else to say even if you were thin-your clothes, hair, etc-there are good and bad people everywhere, but only those with their own insecurities feel the need to insult others for no reason.
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:15 AM   #5  
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I have noticed that area plays a part in how overweight women are treated. If it is a southern area (especially a rual one) for some reason it seems to be more accepted. I have found that in areas like large metropolitan cities in warmer climate areas (California, Florida) people tend to stare more than they do in say Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia etc. This is just my personal experience though. I'm sure others experiences vary. I haven't ever really been treated unfairly because of my weight or had anyone openly be mean to me. I have had a couple of people say something (friends and family) that wasn't really appropriate but never a stranger. The US media (movies, television, fashion, magazines etc) does have a need to changed in the way it portrays beauty in America. They are biased and unfair and they celebrate the skinny "beautiful people". However this is not the way that the typical everyday mature american person views beauty. Our media has in fact come under attack more and more over the years because of this and standards are starting to change with them just not very quickly. Don't let the skewed views and images that you see worry you.
My husband is the only man that I've been in a relationship with since being overweight but let me tell you I've had ALOT of guys try to get with me (some despite the fact that they knew I was married) even though I'm fat. They just didn't care. Hubby hasn't had anyone treat him poorly because of my weight that I know of. His friends all seem to think he's a pretty lucky guy.
As far as shopping there are alot of specialty stores for plus size women. However which stores you have access to depends on where you are going. There are also regular stores that carry plus size clothing. (Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Old Navy, Target, WalMart) Malls are good places to shop because there are so many different stores.
Winter clothing depends on the area that you're going to be in because the climate and conditions vary from region to region. Rebeleagle has a great idea about checking to see what conditions are like for the area. Also I agree with what rebeleagle had to say about people and the way they treat you. Just enjoy your visit and don't let anyone ruin it for you.
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:46 AM   #6  
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Gordie, although I'm not from the US, I'm sure you won't have any problems regarding your weight when you are there. I'm from the UK and currently living in Asia (Hong Kong) ... unfortunately, the locals here are not so reserved as perhaps they are in the Phillipines ... not only do they stare at you, but upon entering a shop, they have been known to promptly shout out "No big sizes here", or "Too fat", etc, even when I'm shopping with my stick thin teenage daughter!! Consequently, I don't even bother shopping for clothes here anymore, except in Marks & Spencer, which is the only high street store to cater for the larger woman. Knowing what the Asian clothes market is like, I'm sure you'll find much more choice in the US.

It's such a nice feeling when I go back to UK, not to be stared at, and not to feel different from everyone else (not that I'm happy with the way I look for course!). The UK & the US both have a high percentage of overweight or obese people, so everyone is more used to seeing people with weight problems, and most people are too busy with their own problems to be concerned about yours.

Don't worry about it, and have a great time!
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:49 AM   #7  
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Where do you plan on living in the US? I live in NY near Canada and the HIGH temperature at some point during January or February can be as low as MINUS high noon! It only lasts that cold for a couple days, but it takes a person that's used to it to handle it, that's for sure. Whereas, I have a sister in law that is from the Phillipines and she had to move from New Mexico to San Diego (Southern California) because she couldn't handle the snow in Albuequerque (NM)!! I never equated New Mexico with harsh winters...but that's because I grew up in Western New York near Buffalo and figure any state that harbors cacti just can't be that harsh in winter weather.

Would love to know where you're moving to..then we can give you a better idea what to expect.

As for being overweight in America...about one half of one percent of people that live her look like the people on the OC or the other fashionable TV shows. And they are all probably all on the TV shows! Most people here are friendly and probably look just like YOU!! Welcome to the US in advance!! :hugs:
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:17 AM   #8  
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You will be fine here. I hate to be blunt but alot of America is overweight! It is no surprise. I second what timmy said. As I have started losing, once I hit 235, I have had men giving me "the look", being all friendly, trying to talk to me, etc. Even had one leave a note under the rose bushes with his name and number wanting me to call him!!! haha No!

Anyhow I had to laugh at "Fat in Hong Kong"'s post. OMG! I can't believe the nerve of some people! I think I would die of embarrassment! I read it to my hubby and he said the guy would be getting a fist in his face. And you are only 186! I don't know how you deal with living there that would drive me insane!
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:28 AM   #9  
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I recently went to China this past year and although I didn't feel too self-concious, I realized that I was the largest person I saw (ok there were some Americans/europeans when I visited Beijing) and I think we got a lot of stares because we were American but also probably because of my weight. I really didn't care though because I'm doing what I can to lose weight.

What is it like to be overweight in the US? Is it the same as it is depicted on TV or movies?

From the statistics, 60% of Americans are overweight. If you watch movies/tv, you will notice that about 5% are overweight, if even that. The depiction is greatly exaggerated. I don't think I've been treated unfairly but I have heard stories from others about being called names in public or other things.

What is it like for your significant other? Are they also picked on because they choose to be with someone who isn't poster perfect?

My fiancee loves me and doesn't care about my weight. I get along well with his coworkers and his friends. I don't believe he is picked on. Also, when I broke up with my ex-bf, he told me that his friends told him that they thought it was a shame it didn't work out because they liked me. I would figure that if they thought about my weight, they probably would've said good riddance.

How is shopping in the US for clothes and shoes for pudgy people?

It is pretty easy until you are nearly 400 lbs. Most department stores here carry large sizes as well as speciality stores carrying large sizes. I am able to wear XL sizes which most stores carry except possibly stores designed for teenagers so even if you are in the mid 200s, you could probably walk into almost any store and find something.

Lastly, what do you wear during winter time?

Depends where you go. If you stay in the southern US, then the likelyhood of snow is very slim. I would recommend a light jacket. If you are going to the northern part of the US, you could get a lot of snow, little snow or no snow. The weather varies so much here you would need to look at the specific place you are visiting.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:31 AM   #10  
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Interesting, my best friend is Filipino and she says that her family/friends are much more likely to point out her weight gain than people here in America.

As far as Asian cultures and weight, I have to tell you my sad story about Singapore. I was there for several weeks and needed to buy underwear. I ended up in a department store and they had packs of panties - each size was represented by an animal. The smaller sizes were bunnies and kittens and birds and such. My size - picture of a HIPPO on the package. I kid you not. HIPPO PANTIES.

As far as what to bring for January, it depends where in the US you will be. Winter in Florida is very different than winter in Michigan.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:44 AM   #11  
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Glory: That hippo thing is so outrageous, it's hysterical!! It almost makes my day!!
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:28 PM   #12  
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My size - picture of a HIPPO on the package. I kid you not. HIPPO PANTIES.
Good Lawd!!!
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:48 PM   #13  
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HIPPO PANTIES!!! How horrible!
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:59 PM   #14  
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You do have to admit...hippo panties are pretty funny!!
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:14 PM   #15  
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Hippo that's what I call a little too much truth in advertising...
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