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Calorie Count Blog

Misperceptions About Weight and Size


By Mary_RD on Oct 26, 2010 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Perception is everything in the way we see our weight.  Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are based a private reality.  Some fat people think they are thin and some thin people think they are fat, which shouldn't be a problem except that perception influences the way we take care of ourselves and our self-care, in turn, determines our likelihood of staying healthy.

Assessing Weight Perception

In research settings, when clinicians assess satisfaction with weight and body image, they use instruments to gauge the way individuals think about their appearance.  For instance, Stunkard’s 1983 classic Figure Rating Scale (shown below) is commonly used to assess body image perception in studies.  Research subjects would be asked to select the figures that represent their current, actual, and ideal size, which would then be compared to figures selected by the research scientists.  This scale and others are appropriate for initial screening of whether perception is off at either end of the range.



“I'm not fat; I'm < fluffy, big-boned, etc.>”


A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine last week showed perception is off for a subset of the obese population.  The study consisted of a survey of more than 2000 men and women who participated in the Dallas Heart Study between 2000 and 2002.  Everyone in the survey was in the obese range with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. (At 5’4”, BMI 30 is 174 pounds and at 5’11", it is 209 pounds.) 

The participants were asked to look at images of nine figures that varied in size from underweight to overweight (like Stunkard’s Figure Rating Scale) and to chose the figure that looked most like them. Eight percent of the respondents saw themselves at a normal weight even though they were actually obese and two-thirds of them said they were at low risk of ever becoming obese.

Most Likely to Misperceive

This study concluded that underestimation of body size is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, and heavy people who are active. It’s easy to see how we could miss a weight problem when everyone around us is overweight. Other studies have shown that, in general, people with more education and higher earnings have a more realistic view of their appearance, and that women, are more likely to see themselves as heavier, regardless of size, presently or in the past.  Likewise, people living in societies that put a premium on thinness commonly express the opposite misperception, seeing themselves as fat when they are thin.  How often do we hear people say, “I can’t stand my body,” when their bodies are perfectly functioning and normal in every way.

Ignorance is Bliss

Reuters reports that, in the Dallas survey, people who misperceived their body weight were happier with their health and felt healthier than those who did recognize their obesity. They were also more likely to think they would not develop high blood pressure or diabetes or have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetimes.  In addition, they were less likely to see their doctors or seek out screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, and their potential for stroke.

The Bottom Line:  It’s great to have a positive body image regardless of weight and size and, in the short run, one is only as healthy as he or she feels.  But it is also naïve to think that the complications of obesity don’t apply to any of us. It's not a good idea to be blind to risks down the road.  For ourselves and our loved ones, it is best to use objective health determinants like height for weight, BMI and body composition to identify impending problems and to nip them in the bud.


Your thoughts...

Is your body perception on target or is it better or worse than it really is?



Comments


I wish this article had touched more on the perception that one is still fat no matter how much weight you have lost or for how long you have been at your goal weight.  I always thought if I could be 135 I would be happy.  Now I am 135 give or take 2 pounds (for the past 3 months).  I am 5'3" , 53 and still not happy.  I have lost 50 pounds.  My doctor has told me that I am at the correct weight for my height and bone structure.  (I really DO have large bones).  She has said no more weight loss for me.   I am always thinking about my weight, looking in the mirror, comparing myself with other women, getting on the scale, chastising myself for eating something with too many calories, etc.   I keep thinking if I just lost 5 or 10 more, I would be perfect.  My daughter says, give it up Mom, you are nuts.  

Anyway, when do I start to enjoy the way I am?  When do I stop wanting to lose more and just enjoy my status?  When do I accept that I will never be Jennifer Anniston, who has small bones instead of me with a larger frame, but still just fine?  

I guess when I read other posts from people at my height and weight that say they are just starting and need to take of 15 or 20 pounds that doesn't help :)  Any suggestions?



Wow Shauna...I am 50 yrs old...haven't reached my goal weight yet,but have been on a weight loss regimine since Aug.  I am obcessed with my weight, how I look, how others see me.  If I don't workout I feel like I've put on 10 lbs over night.  I don't think there is a minute out of the day that I don't think about weight, what I eat, or getting upset with myself about what I've eaten and not being careful with calories!  I don't know what I'll be like when I get where I should be with my weight, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if I'm never satisfied.  I just want to be comfortable in my own skin, is that too much to ask?  I'm terrified that I will never know that feeling.



Well, over all, I am realistic about my current size and my goal size. Ah! when I was 28...I'll never look like that again!

Some days I can lie to myself about how heavy I am, but most days I look in the mirror and recognize the truth.

Still I do get frustrated with the numbers on the scale! It's hard to change them at my age and size. I'm still learning to wait for hunger and stop when full.



If you asked me what my ideal weight is I would immediately say 7stone because I have programmed myself to think like that when in all honesty I have no idea what 7 stone would look like for my height.

I recently found a link to a height/ weight chart like the BMI but using pictures http://cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/heightweight.shtml I think it's really helpful. There are some women who weigh more than me who I would still consider pretty thin (even though I still see myself as overweight)

It's a bit of a reality check really...



I've battled with self-perception and esteem issues my whole life.  It took a long time for me to realize that all my negative thoughts about my external appearance were just the manifestation of how I felt about my internal self.  If I cannot be happy with who I am, then I won't be happy with what I look like.  It took me 30 years to embrace this, and still I have problems with it on occasion!  I'm never going to look exactly the way I want to look.  I have lost a significant amount of weight and this makes me happy.  My skin now sags on my body and this does not make me happy.  But then, I have a choice.  I can have supple skin filled with fat to keep it plump, or I can do my body a favor, be at a healthy weight, and just deal with the skin the best I can.  I've gone down two bra sizes; consequently, I've also gone down four waist sizes in my pants.  Which do I care about more?  

I can observe myself in the mirror and always find flaws.  I am human; I AM flawed!  This is okay.  I am worthy of being loved by myself.  I should be my most staunch supporter, not my own worst critic.  

Ultimately, you have to look at what motivates you to make lifestyle changes.  Are you trying to lose weight because you love yourself and your life and you want to be healthy so you can live as long as possible in a most fulfilling manner, or are you trying to lose weight so you'll appear more physically acceptable to others?  Because there will always be someone who will find something wrong with you, you cannot please everybody, so you should work on pleasing yourself.  Learn to be happy with who you are.  Pick what you like most about yourself and focus on that.  Instead of thinking how far you have to go, what you have to fine tune to achieve perfection, think about how far you've come, and what you've had to do to get to where you are today.  

Also, please remember, food is not a reward, and exercise is not a punishment.  They are both tools that you must use to have a happy, healthy body.  We must cultivate good relationships with both, and learn to love the food we eat, and the exercise we do.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying food- but there is something wrong with the gluttonous, borderline hedonistic relationship many Americans have with it!  We can enjoy food, make positive choices both nutritionally and taste wise, and occasionally indulge in things that are not so positive, as long as they have their time and place.  Instead of feeling guilt with every bite we take, we should feel joy that such good and healthy food is available to us, allowing us to prolong our lives and our ability to enjoy them.  When we exercise, we shouldn't think 'I have to do 20 extra crunches or 10 extra minutes because I ate that cookie', we should think, 'If I do five extra crunches three days in a row, soon it will no longer be extra.  I will be expanding the boundaries of my own limitations.  I will be making myself stronger, healthier, and longer lasting.  These extra 20 crunches (or 10 minutes) are not a punishment, but rather a gift to myself, a symbol of what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.'

Everytime you look in the mirror, make sure you give yourself a smile.  Before you know it, you'll learn to love (and believe in) the smile you get back!



Original Post by: shaunajoy

I wish this article had touched more on the perception that one is still fat no matter how much weight you have lost or for how long you have been at your goal weight.  I always thought if I could be 135 I would be happy.  Now I am 135 give or take 2 pounds (for the past 3 months).  I am 5'3" , 53 and still not happy.  I have lost 50 pounds.  My doctor has told me that I am at the correct weight for my height and bone structure.  (I really DO have large bones).  She has said no more weight loss for me.   I am always thinking about my weight, looking in the mirror, comparing myself with other women, getting on the scale, chastising myself for eating something with too many calories, etc.   I keep thinking if I just lost 5 or 10 more, I would be perfect.  My daughter says, give it up Mom, you are nuts.  

Anyway, when do I start to enjoy the way I am?  When do I stop wanting to lose more and just enjoy my status?  When do I accept that I will never be Jennifer Anniston, who has small bones instead of me with a larger frame, but still just fine?  

I guess when I read other posts from people at my height and weight that say they are just starting and need to take of 15 or 20 pounds that doesn't help :)  Any suggestions?


Hah! We could be sisters! I'm 5'3", wide caged, 58 yrs old, and lost about 55 lbs.  I still look in the mirror and often see a size 16, even when I know I buy a size 8-10.  I also have that "just 5 more pounds" (I'm at 127-ish) syndrome.

I suspect that it will be a long time, if ever, that I see my reflection in the mirror like other folks see me.  I find that really bizarre, but it is true.

All that being said, it is important for folks like us to step back and take in the process much like an obese person.  Look at the facts on the ground.  Normal weight range.  Regular exercise.  Healthy food choices and portions.  

We ARE fit -- and staying fit needs to be the focus, because I am pretty sure the mirror will always lie.

 



I live in Dallas. Came from old continent 13 years ago and was amazed of people lifestyle here. It is so true that everything is bigger here in Texas. Cars, portions of food, clothing and people. I quickly adopted to that and in course of next 10 years gained 50 lbs. Last year I visited home in South Europe and they called me true American pointing out my overweight. Now I am proud to be actually naturalized American and everything that this Nation stands for, but that was a blow to my ego. I realized it was time for a change. Lost 40 lbs since New Years, my BMI is back to 22 and I have 10 lbs to go. I do want to represent this great country but not with my pants size 14. America is on the move and I am with it:)



I encourage others to LOVE THEMSELVES WHERE THEY ARE AT ON THE WAY TO WHERE THEY ARE GOING!!! 

I am still 24lbs from my goal, but I have lost 102lbs.  I refuse to not celebrate that and enjoy life!!!  Life is too short to spend days not loving yourself and focusing on the negative.  I focus on the fact that;

I have made a lifestyle change - I feel 100% better - I have improved health - I enjoy activities now that I did not enjoy 100lbs ago - I know that I have added years to my life - SO THEREFORE I WILL ENJOY THEM!!!

If I never lose that last 20lbs, I will still LOVE ME & MY NEW LIFE!!!

I am



I encourage others to LOVE THEMSELVES WHERE THEY ARE AT ON THE WAY TO WHERE THEY ARE GOING!!! 

I am still 24lbs from my goal, but I have lost 102lbs.  I refuse to not celebrate that and enjoy life!!!  Life is too short to spend days not loving yourself and focusing on the negative.  I focus on the fact that;

I have made a lifestyle change - I feel 100% better - I have improved health - I enjoy activities now that I did not enjoy 100lbs ago - I know that I have added years to my life - SO THEREFORE I WILL ENJOY THEM!!!

If I never lose that last 20lbs, I will still LOVE ME & MY NEW LIFE!!!

 



I read somewhere once that once you have been overweight, you will always struggle with seeing yourself that way.  I was normal weight as a child, but when I hit puberty I started gaining weight.  As a 15 year old I was around 5'7" and 150's and by the time I graduated I was 5'8" and 180's.  My mother, trying to help me, talked to me about losing weight and bought me some sort of meal replacement bar (I think Carnation was the only one out there at that time) and I have been on the diet roller coaster ever since.  I realized I had a problem when I was in my late 20's, had dieted myself down to 147 and still used diet pills, laxatives and occasionally a little diuretic here and there AND WAS NOT HAPPY WITH HOW I LOOKED!  I look back now at pictures of myself and see a young, strong, beautiful woman, not the fat slob I thought I was.  Why is it so hard to look in the mirror now and see the truth? 

I have recently made the decision to give up the diet mentality, hopefully forever.  I realize that counting calories, eating "light" or diet foods, logging nutrition info and measuring everything scrupulously is following the same path I have always followed--that if I stick to the rules some day I'll have the body I want.  Well, almost 40 years later I still don't have the body I want and I think "fat" whenever I look in the mirror.  I am abolishing the word "fat" from my head, and I am no longer restricting myself to "good" foods, or calorie limits, or strict portions.  I am listening to my stomach, and if I am not hungry, I don't need to snack!  I don't have to stuff myself because I know when I'm hungry I'm going to make myself something with tasty, wholesome and nutritious ingredients that will SATISFY me.  And I heard a phrase recently in a class that shook my foundations--"allowing our bodies to be the shape that nature intends them to be".  I had to relinquish that control, and that was hard but I think I'm finally ready.  Control has not made me happy, it's made me harder on myself, and it is not my friend. 

So although I don't know where this latest journey will take me but my advice to you would be take the pressure off yourself; stop judging yourself and ask yourself "what would I look like if my body was the way nature intended it to be?"  And finally realize that you are not your body--you inhabit the flesh but the important stuff is all inside.   



 Hi Folks..

The following "coincidentally" came in my mail this same morning. It sounds alot like what we need to hear and know as relevant to feelings of imperfection about our weight and body image:

October 26 

The Burden of False Guilt

John 14:26-27

 

 Guilt is an emotional response to wrongdoing. We experience it when we break man's civil law or God's commandments. But what about those times when no law was broken, and yet we feel as if we did something wrong? That is false guilt, an unnecessary and often crippling emotion.

False guilt may come from a traumatic childhood in which the young person blames himself for problems over which he had no control. This pattern of blaming oneself can carry over into adulthood. Perhaps we face criticism for failing to meet the expectations of employers or family. Their verbal abuse can wear us down until we see ourselves as unworthy or useless. We end up feeling guilty for not meeting someone else's expectations.

Some of us are perfectionists who try to do everything right the first time. Since no one can always do things flawlessly, guilt is a frequent companion. Yet we have not violated any scriptural law. If we find ourselves thinking, I should have done more or I could have performed better, we may be falling into the perfectionism trap. There are instances when our efforts are not what they should be, but that isn't a reason for guilt. If there is no breaking of God's law, then our negative feelings are not based in fact.

Christians will make errors in judgment and experience conviction as a result. First John 1:9 tells us to turn to God and confess our sin. If there's no biblical or civil basis for guilt, then ask the Lord to help you disconnect from the feeling of false guilt and replace it with the peace Jesus promised.

 



Wow Sticky, what a great website. Something I've been thinking about for some time, although I basically have been asking people whom I consider to be thin to tell me their height weight and waist size. Would love to see a recreation of this with everyone wearing well-fitting trousers and a t-shirt.

I'm 5'11" and 154/11 stone and have a really distorted self-body image. I'm always surprised when someone tells me they are the same size as me and I think they are much thinner than I.

 



Two people very close to me in my family have different types of anorexia, I on the other hand am very overweight. We all agree -- same problem different outcome. I like so many of your comments about a good personal relationship. Here is a poem I have found helpful.....

i commit to me, myself, today

i vow to listen to and follow and believe in

my goodness,

to recognize my strength and wield it

with the added power of compassion

to know my heart and trust it and not

turn to outside expectations to feed it,

but rather turn to my own inner

guidance to lead me,

to know that i am the person i want

to be and to work to uncover more

of my beauty daily,

and to be gentle with myself when

i slip --- loving myself even in

the darkness,

to me, myself, i give my love ---

and it is from me, myself, my

love is returned.

                    ~Terri St Cloud



The biggest problem occurs when we allow others to tell us how or what we should be or look like.  This is especially true of doctors and scientists who try to put everyone in the same box.  My personal trainer tells me I need to lose another 45 pounds, my doctor and the scientific community say I need to lose another 85.  I am 55 years old, all of my blood work and other tests from the Mayo Clinic say, in the words of the doctor, "this is an extraordinarily healthy individual, BUT all the indicators are there for me to become unhealthy.  Give me a break!  Talk about conflicted.  What has become apparent to me is the need to be happy with who I am at the place where I am in this journey.  I did not become obese in a short period of time - I understand that some parts of this journey will be a part of me the rest of my life.  Might I encourage all of us to be content (but maybe not satisfied) with where we are in life - and continue to make the adjustments necessary to meet our goals.



okmusic - good comment and good for you! A personal trainer has helped me finally get it all together, too. I especially like your last sentence

"Might I encourage all of us to be content (but maybe not satisfied) with where we are in life".

Awesome! Satisfaction indicates completion, and you suggest we continue to make adjustments. Very well put!



Original Post by: stickybicky

If you asked me what my ideal weight is I would immediately say 7stone because I have programmed myself to think like that when in all honesty I have no idea what 7 stone would look like for my height.

I recently found a link to a height/ weight chart like the BMI but using pictures http://cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/heightweight.shtml I think it's really helpful. There are some women who weigh more than me who I would still consider pretty thin (even though I still see myself as overweight)

It's a bit of a reality check really...


Stickybicky, thank you for posting that link and verifying something that I think a lot of people lose sight of.  BMI is an imperfect tool and there is no standard ideal weight, IMO.  

At 5'4", I weighed 130 pounds (in high school), I was a very lean, athletic size 6, I was at least 15-20 pounds heavier than my friends of comparable size and fitness level.  Right now I weigh 180 and I have finally noticed and been bothered by my weight gain.  I wear either a size 10 or a small size 12 and carry it pretty well.  A lot of the women on that chart who weigh 20-30 pounds less than me look larger and I would wager, wear a larger size than I do.  

The point is, weight and BMI is not everything.  One woman who is 5'4" might achieve her ideal weight at 115 pounds, another woman at 150 pounds.  When I weighed 150 I was technically (according to the BMI charts) "overweight", but my doctor didn't think so, neither did anyone else.  I was wearing a size 8, had good muscle tone and a small amount of fat, but I looked pretty darn good.  I would like to get back to the 130-140 range, but I would never try for 120, I would look like a skeleton.  We all have different body types and metabolisms.  The standardized tools for BMI and calorie intake, never seem to serve me well ...



Shawna,  I am 39 years old and in the last 5 years have maintained a 60lb weight loss.  I am 5'7" 163 and wear a size 8 and I have a curvey figure.  I have two sides of my brain that battle at this all the time.  There is the rational, mature, emotional stable side that says;  "Wow.  Funny how you could weigh the same in High School and hate yourself but nearing 40 you look pretty good and feel ok wearing a bikini on vacation.  You are lookin' pretty good"!  Then I have the other side.  The one that will never be satisfied.  That questions myself every time I attempt to be satisfied and accepting of myself.  Just yesterday and cute teen brings me clothes  to try on in the mall and when I asked her about shrinkage she replied that SHE wears a 10-12 and bought a medium.  When I went into the dressing room I wondered at that as I would have rated her smaller than me and I wear an 8.  That happens all the time when I see people then find out what size they wear and then wonder why I feel bigger when I am actually smaller.  There is a part of me that always sees the size 14 in the mirror.



today I turned 53- and have lost 115 lbs in the last year or so- I was never a small person- from childhood on-- NEVER-- now I am 5'5" and weigh 132 pounds and wear a size 6  jean.  I feel fabulous and love myself fully for the first time in my entire life-No matter how hard I tried I never could get past being fat- and how I was not good enough  that way-- all my life! what a terrible shame. It took until nearly 1 year out from weight loss to finally stop having body dysmorphia-- now I know the real me-- is the one I see in the mirror today-- I thank God everyday for the tool of Weight Loss Surgery-- a tool- a miracle- but still I did the work!



I am 5'3 (sometimes I give myself 5'3 3/4!) and weigh 250 pounds. My ideal weight, according to most search results, is between 115 and 140. That's 25 pounds difference, and I'm wondering why such a spread? I have lost 30 pounds in the past and couldn't really tell a difference except in my clothes. If I were at an ideal weight of 115-120 and GAINED that 30 pounds, I think I'd be able to tell it in the mirror. I feel, at least for myself, that weight loss is not as noticeable unless it's a large amount weight.

I perceive myself to be overweight, because I am. My doctor says something to me about my weight every time I go to visit her, no matter if I'm there for a physical or there because I'm sick. She even put me on a drug to "jump start" my weight loss. I lost six pounds the first week, and not a pound more. I've kept off a few of those pounds, but I mostly stay around my current number regardless of what I eat or my activity level.  I've never had any problems with high blood pressure or cholesterol, but do have a history of those and diabetes in my family. I want to lose more weight for this reason, but I cannot imagine myself weighing less than 200!

 

 

 



Thanks Stickybicky for the reality check and the link and thanks to lindsey11 cause we are about the same height and weight - I feel FAT but I've always felt FAT even at 118-125 #'s I'm going through menopause now and the weigh gain is unreal but I'm not going to give up..... this month I finally accomplished 10,000 stepsSmile and I quit smoking 6 mths ago so I know I can get a handle on the weight I am aiming for 150 right now cause I looked pretty darn good @ 150 #'s

It is nice to come here and see that I am not alone.....Cool



i really struggle with this as well. i have lost 120 lbs over the last 2 years. Good, right?  unfortunatley, i am left over with a lot of.....skin. people tell me to stop losing weight now (i still want to lose another 15 lbs) but its hard to see how great you look when you see yourself naked.



You know what the biggest problem with dieting is? The fact that it is dieting.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle that is active and filled with whole, fresh and varied foods is far more important in this life than dieting. Because when you feel healthy, you look healthy, and then suddenly 5 pounds doesn't matter.

If you have every worried about your weight, if you have ever thought that your weight loss was not "good enough", it will be, when the numbers don't matter and all that matters is that the delicious bowl of rose wholegrain pasta made with real cream and butter with a dash of local parmesan cheese topped with home grown vegetables, will taste so very delicous, especially since you've made it yourself, and you're sharing it with your family around the dinner table. And that after dinner, when you take your dog for a walk, and stop to smell the flowers, you'll still understand that being outside -even smelling flowers - is embracing an active and healthy lifestyle.

Don't let image consume you. Those numbers on the scale can be so miniscule that it is almost embarassing, and yet they still won't be good enough. As much as I believe that it is good to be aware of what we put in our bodies, I think that we have lost sight of real food, and real life. Life is not a weight loss journey, and it's not a constant game of numbers. Life is learning to live, love and laugh - mind body and soul.

I'm certainly not advocating eating an apple each time you feel like snacking, but why not make the muffins, or make the doughnuts and cookies yourself? And then go for walk, or dance around the living room to the music of your youth. John Lennon sang, "Life is what happens to you whilr you're busy making other plans" (not a direct quotation) and yet, here we are, so desperately worried about a number on a scale, that in a lifestyle embracing wholesomeness, doesn't denote who you are, nor how much you love your family, or even if you can or cannot have that last homemade cookie with freshly churned ice cream, and a glass of red wine.

Live for the moment, and share the love. Ask your heart what it wants to do today, not your stomach, your brain, or your bathroom scale, or even some set of drawing created long ago, designed to compare yourself to others...You are you, and when you are truely happy, healthy, and connected to your heart, you are absolutely perfect.

 



I'm 52, 5' 6" tall and am small boned.   I lost 21 lbs. over the summer, but every time I get on my Wii fit and weigh - the avatar grows large and the damn voice says "YOU'RE OVERWEIGHT!"  I currently weigh 168, and am working to get to my BMI which is 136 (ya right!).  My problem is I feel really good and have always felt good.  It felt even better, though, to grow out of a size and into a smaller size this summer.  When I think about how I look, I am content.  However, this is about my health - and the reprocussions of continuing to age overweight.  So, I'm going to do this until the avatar quits with the trash talk when I weigh myself.



One of my many doctors(I'm in transition while the doc's away on hiatus)told me that the obesity scale we use was derived from a test they did on an Asian woman in Mongolia or northern China somewhere and that's the model they use for everyone. Hmmmm??? I've also seen many thin, healthy-looking people who look sickly and have a host of health problems and the reverse: portly people who have normal blood pressure, look radiant and have endless energy.While I'm not excusing obesity and bad eating, I don't believe that "one size fits all" on the fatness vs. fitness scale. If there's one thing I've learned from doctors it's that they're trained to do two things: cut people up and prescribe drugs. Everything else you gotta find out on your own.

I started the Abs Diet about a month ago and I'm already seeing dramatic results. I used to get frustrated after a week of 50 miles of cycling, no alcohol or processed foods and three intense weight training circuits to see the scale barely budge and in some cases go up slightly. But a trainer at my gym said that's normal when your working out like Schwarzenegger to see increased weight...it means you're gaining muscle. And if I go to my doctor tomorrow he'll probably put me on the scale and say I haven't lost any weight, using the obesity model that he's been taught. But as far as I'm concerned, aesthetics aside, is that if you feel great and energetic and your health is optimal, that's all that really counts. I prefer to make my calories count instead of counting calories, which, I know, goes against everything you all are trying to achieve.



I've lost 95 pounds in the past year and I waver constantly in feeling that I'm either bigger or smaller than I actually am.  I think that the bottom line is that I will probably never feel happy in my own body.



Shauna, with all do respect, I must tell you that you probably are obsessing.

Something that you need to remember is that muscle weighs more than fat.  Therefore, if you are not working out with weights, you probably need to.  As you build muscle it will burn more calories while resting; you will also probably not "lose" weight according to your scale; but you will lose inches, and look smaller and your clothing size will also be smaller.  I know this from experience.  Aerobics, while healthy for your heart, are not enough.  You must work with weights.  Do not worry about looking like a man....lol That will not happen.  As an example:  Until I was 30, I weighed 105 pounds and wore a size 5.  During my pregnancy I gained a lot of weight (I am 5'2) and had about 45 pounds to lose.  I went to a gym that promoted aerobics only with very little weight and resistance training.  I worked out deligently (5 times per week)  for a year and lost weight; but my body had not returned to its original state.  One day I stopped by another gym and the owner immediately told me that I needed to be doing weight training - with the emphasis on weight training and a minor emphasis on cardio training.  I did NOT believe him.  But, I joined his gym, and within 4 months of following his program, I was now a size 2 - 4 but I weighed 125 pounds.  I was actually 20 pounds heavier (muscle weight) than my original weight before my pregnancy and a smaller clothing size.

Over the years my weight has crept up on me again, and now I am back to walking three times per week and weight training again.  At 60 years old, I do not have as much time to devote but I do what I can.  With healthy diet and exercise, I have already lost 20 pounds in the last 6 weeks.  I am so happy to have found this site.  It is very helpful.

 

 



You will be happy when you quit comparing yourself to others, AND stop judging yourself based only on your weight. Our weight is only a small part of who we are. We need to love ourselves regardless of what the scale says. Congratulations on your weight loss. I wish you luck on your self image. Take it from someone who is just getting over chemo, operation and radiation! Love yourself, soul search and find out what would really make you happy! 



After having put on more than 15 pounds in less than 5 years, I hadn't really noticed, other than my clothes were a little tighter than usual. It only really came up when I saw the occasional photo of myself and noticed my mid-section was wider than it had been. Still, I felt healthy and happy. It was only after seeing a video of myself and noticing that I had developed jowls that I decided I needed to nip the weight gain in the bud. First, I can't really afford to buy a whole new wardrobe, and second, I'm a performer and need the agility and strength that comes with a fit body.

Now, I've lost that 15 pounds again (and am aiming to lose another 5 to get back into my favorite clothes comfortably), and I FEEL better. I don't see the jowls anymore, and my jeans are fitting better again. I'm also better able to perceive my muscle strength and where I need to improve that. I have much more energy than I did even 6 months ago. I have been depending on the scale somewhat, and yes, I still want to get rid of that extra 5 pounds if I can, but it's becoming less important than the fact that I'm feeling healthier.

Honestly, I haven't always been well able to perceive how big I look, except in the occasional detail. But how I feel is making a HUGE difference to me. That's the goal to aim for. For me, that's the best indicator of health.



Okay, I hope somebody reads this cause I just had to sign up for an account to write this. I realized that when I started losing weight I compared myself to others (big mistake). Everybody's body structure is different and what I mean by that is you can be the same height and weight as Kim Kardashian and your body look nothing like hers and never will no matter how much you lose or gain. For weightloss I compare Myself now to old pictures of me to determine what I should look like and how much more to lose. I know this isn't going to work for those of us who have never been thin :)



Original Post by: pushbuttonkitty

I've battled with self-perception and esteem issues my whole life.  It took a long time for me to realize that all my negative thoughts about my external appearance were just the manifestation of how I felt about my internal self.  If I cannot be happy with who I am, then I won't be happy with what I look like.  It took me 30 years to embrace this, and still I have problems with it on occasion!  I'm never going to look exactly the way I want to look.  I have lost a significant amount of weight and this makes me happy.  My skin now sags on my body and this does not make me happy.  But then, I have a choice.  I can have supple skin filled with fat to keep it plump, or I can do my body a favor, be at a healthy weight, and just deal with the skin the best I can.  I've gone down two bra sizes; consequently, I've also gone down four waist sizes in my pants.  Which do I care about more?  

I can observe myself in the mirror and always find flaws.  I am human; I AM flawed!  This is okay.  I am worthy of being loved by myself.  I should be my most staunch supporter, not my own worst critic.  

Ultimately, you have to look at what motivates you to make lifestyle changes.  Are you trying to lose weight because you love yourself and your life and you want to be healthy so you can live as long as possible in a most fulfilling manner, or are you trying to lose weight so you'll appear more physically acceptable to others?  Because there will always be someone who will find something wrong with you, you cannot please everybody, so you should work on pleasing yourself.  Learn to be happy with who you are.  Pick what you like most about yourself and focus on that.  Instead of thinking how far you have to go, what you have to fine tune to achieve perfection, think about how far you've come, and what you've had to do to get to where you are today.  

Also, please remember, food is not a reward, and exercise is not a punishment.  They are both tools that you must use to have a happy, healthy body.  We must cultivate good relationships with both, and learn to love the food we eat, and the exercise we do.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying food- but there is something wrong with the gluttonous, borderline hedonistic relationship many Americans have with it!  We can enjoy food, make positive choices both nutritionally and taste wise, and occasionally indulge in things that are not so positive, as long as they have their time and place.  Instead of feeling guilt with every bite we take, we should feel joy that such good and healthy food is available to us, allowing us to prolong our lives and our ability to enjoy them.  When we exercise, we shouldn't think 'I have to do 20 extra crunches or 10 extra minutes because I ate that cookie', we should think, 'If I do five extra crunches three days in a row, soon it will no longer be extra.  I will be expanding the boundaries of my own limitations.  I will be making myself stronger, healthier, and longer lasting.  These extra 20 crunches (or 10 minutes) are not a punishment, but rather a gift to myself, a symbol of what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.'

Everytime you look in the mirror, make sure you give yourself a smile.  Before you know it, you'll learn to love (and believe in) the smile you get back!


This is a wonderful comment, thank you for it.



Original Post by: caitlinsummer

i really struggle with this as well. i have lost 120 lbs over the last 2 years. Good, right?  unfortunatley, i am left over with a lot of.....skin. people tell me to stop losing weight now (i still want to lose another 15 lbs) but its hard to see how great you look when you see yourself naked.


This is so true! Everyone tells me I am "skinny" enough but then again they don't see me naked. I have stretch marks and loose skin everywhere, thankfully Pilates along with the cardio has helped tightened it up but it's taking a long long time.

 



Original Post by: mommag29

I'm 52, 5' 6" tall and am small boned.   I lost 21 lbs. over the summer, but every time I get on my Wii fit and weigh - the avatar grows large and the damn voice says "YOU'RE OVERWEIGHT!"  I currently weigh 168, and am working to get to my BMI which is 136 (ya right!).  My problem is I feel really good and have always felt good.  It felt even better, though, to grow out of a size and into a smaller size this summer.  When I think about how I look, I am content.  However, this is about my health - and the reprocussions of continuing to age overweight.  So, I'm going to do this until the avatar quits with the trash talk when I weigh myself.


Yeah that wii fit is a real nag!

I also had that reaction, and eventually got to where it stopped nagging, and when that happens your avatar gets to show a little "belly!"  Now THAT ain't gonna happen in real life!

I think my daughter tried to outsmart it once by claiming some ungodly weight to her clothes.



I will be 40 years old next year and have finally reached a point in my life that I am happy with who I am. I am 5'4.5" and weigh 172 lbs. My goal is to reach 155-160 lbs. The ariticle states that African-American women have a misperception of their weight, well not true for most of us. I've battled with my weight since age 9. I lost down to 135 lbs back in 2001 managed to keep it off till 2006. I wore a size 4-6 during that time period and now wear a size 12. This is much easier to maintain than a single digit size. I don't think about food all day long. My family medical history consist of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity and for this reason alone is why I want to lose weight, but otherwise I am happy with myself. Overall I think we must learn to accept how we are built and not compare ourselves to anyone. Be determined to enjoy life no matter what size we are. Getting to this point is a daily process.

 



Original Post by: naco2222

Shauna, with all do respect, I must tell you that you probably are obsessing.

Something that you need to remember is that muscle weighs more than fat.  Therefore, if you are not working out with weights, you probably need to.  As you build muscle it will burn more calories while resting; you will also probably not "lose" weight according to your scale; but you will lose inches, and look smaller and your clothing size will also be smaller.  I know this from experience.  Aerobics, while healthy for your heart, are not enough.  You must work with weights.  Do not worry about looking like a man....lol That will not happen.  As an example:  Until I was 30, I weighed 105 pounds and wore a size 5.  During my pregnancy I gained a lot of weight (I am 5'2) and had about 45 pounds to lose.  I went to a gym that promoted aerobics only with very little weight and resistance training.  I worked out deligently (5 times per week)  for a year and lost weight; but my body had not returned to its original state.  One day I stopped by another gym and the owner immediately told me that I needed to be doing weight training - with the emphasis on weight training and a minor emphasis on cardio training.  I did NOT believe him.  But, I joined his gym, and within 4 months of following his program, I was now a size 2 - 4 but I weighed 125 pounds.  I was actually 20 pounds heavier (muscle weight) than my original weight before my pregnancy and a smaller clothing size.

Over the years my weight has crept up on me again, and now I am back to walking three times per week and weight training again.  At 60 years old, I do not have as much time to devote but I do what I can.  With healthy diet and exercise, I have already lost 20 pounds in the last 6 weeks.  I am so happy to have found this site.  It is very helpful.

 

 


So true! I have been going to the gym consistently for the last 4 months (never in my life did I believe I could commit for longer than a month :P) and the scales only show a minimal amount of pounds lost. However, in the weekend I tried on two pairs of, what I considered 'small for their size' jeans, and I had to ask the shop assistant to get a size smaller in both. Yusss!

I judge my progress by the clothes I fit.
The scales are no way to determine muscle, weight training / exercise all the way.



Shauna - when do you get to enjoy your body? When you decide to. 

Here's a very good suggestion - stop flooding yourself with imagines of Hollywood's thin. Those women are photoshopped to death. Unless you've met them in person, you have no idea if they truly are as thin as they appear on t.v. and magazines.

Either way, that's them and you are you. Seriously, your doc says you're fine. Your daughter says you're fine. I bet anyone you run into would say you were fine. You know what you need to do? Go out and buy some clothes that fit your figure and make you feel good. This may mean you need to get something tailored (pretty much everyone - including Hollywood - have to have it tailored to get that perfect fit). But, do it because you earned it. 

Think about it - what was the point of losing weight if you aren't going to enjoy your body? Stop trying to look like someone else and just work on looking like you. Smile and accept that you accomplished something a lot of people never do. Congratulations! 



Hilarious.  I'm 10 pounds away from "obesity," but I wear I size 10.  Was this a take home test where obesity was merely based on BMI or did someone have a look at these people to decide if they're actually obese?



Original Post by: car0line

Hilarious.  I'm 10 pounds away from "obesity," but I wear I size 10.  Was this a take home test where obesity was merely based on BMI or did someone have a look at these people to decide if they're actually obese?


...LOL, Caroline, you may no tbe old enough to remember when the height and weight charts were such that the medical association declared that anyone who was 20 pounds or more overweight was obese.  Obviously things have changed because we live in a country that although women seem to be obsessed about their weight - the fact is that we have more obese children and adults now, then we ever have had.

Could you be a size 10 and be obese?  Strange as that sounds, yes you could.

Because based on my original bone structure and height, when I was a size 10 I looked heavy; and based on the old standards I was obese at 135 pounds.  Why?  Because by old standards I had gained 45% of my original body weight.  After weight training, I could carry 135 pounds easily with no fat; and I was a size 6.

Don't know if this helps but hope you are well and can follow your own path to good health and a weight and size with which you are comfortable.

 



My Goodness!  I started something here.  I had no idea I was in such wonderful company.  Thank you all for your lovely comments.  They help me and I'm sure, each other.  It is true, I only do aerobics.  I am a size 8 which is much smaller than I have been since I was about 30.  Yes, I do obsess.  No, I don't live life to the fullest as much as I should although I have little spaces where I do.  I feel blessed to have people out there who are on the same journey that I am.  I am going to copy all these responses and refer to them when I get down.  They are better than any self-help book!Laughing



Hey, Shauna-
     Personally, I think you make a lot of sense.  It's hard for folks around you to know how you feel especially when you look normal.  I'm also 53 but male.  I started out last year to just drop 10-20 lbs but wound up losing 45.  I'm now 155 lbs at 5'10" but I still want to lose 5 more lbs.  It sounds picky but I can definitely say at this weight just a few lbs makes a huge difference!  If you want the kind of energy levels where you can chase kids all day long or play sports or work 12 hours w/o being tired, then I'd say to go for the extra weight loss.

     Plugging in your current stats of 135 lbs at 5'3" in the BMI Calculator (http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/weightcalculator/index .aspx) shows you have a BMI of 24 in the range of 18.5-25.  I.e., you're near the heavy end of normal.

     I also obsess over foods and calories.  I don't think there's any other way.  OTOH, I'm definitely enjoying my new body and all the stuff I can do now that I couldn't just last year.  You should really be enjoying yourself, too, and respect yourself for the great job you've done so far in handling your figure.

     I'm actually pretty skinny looking for a man and my arms are puny looking compared to others in the gym but I want it that way.  I do regular weight training but I still control my personal weight but what goes in my mouth, lol.  What really keeps me fit and happy and why I was able to lose so much more than I anticipated is in the magic of high intensity running.

Regards, Ron 



Original Post by: ron6788

Hey, Shauna-
     Personally, I think you make a lot of sense.  It's hard for folks around you to know how you feel especially when you look normal.  I'm also 53 but male.  I started out last year to just drop 10-20 lbs but wound up losing 45.  I'm now 155 lbs at 5'10" but I still want to lose 5 more lbs.  It sounds picky but I can definitely say at this weight just a few lbs makes a huge difference!  If you want the kind of energy levels where you can chase kids all day long or play sports or work 12 hours w/o being tired, then I'd say to go for the extra weight loss.

     Plugging in your current stats of 135 lbs at 5'3" in the BMI Calculator (http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/weightcalculator/index .aspx) shows you have a BMI of 24 in the range of 18.5-25.  I.e., you're near the heavy end of normal.

     I also obsess over foods and calories.  I don't think there's any other way.  OTOH, I'm definitely enjoying my new body and all the stuff I can do now that I couldn't just last year.  You should really be enjoying yourself, too, and respect yourself for the great job you've done so far in handling your figure.

     I'm actually pretty skinny looking for a man and my arms are puny looking compared to others in the gym but I want it that way.  I do regular weight training but I still control my personal weight but what goes in my mouth, lol.  What really keeps me fit and happy and why I was able to lose so much more than I anticipated is in the magic of high intensity running.

Regards, Ron 


Ron,

 Plugging in your current stats of 135 lbs at 5'3" in the BMI Calculator (http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/weightcalculator/index .aspx) shows you have a BMI of 24 in the range of 18.5-25.  I.e., you're near the heavy end of normal.

The problem I have with what you wrote to Shauna is that, if you only use the garden variety BMI index that calculate everything for you, you are not getting an accurate picture of the general health of a person and the true BMI.  For instance, using the standard BMI index you plug in your weight and height and in the case of Shauna, it calculated that her BMI is 24; and from that, you have determined that she is at the "heavy" end of normal.

Now, may I suggest to you, that if you made this same calculation about someone else you did not know, who was the same height and weight, but had dense muscle - the BMI calculation index you used would show the same number?  And obviously that would be very inaccurate because 25 pounds of muscle is NOT the same as 25 pounds of fat.  But using these types of indices can be very misleading.  The body mass index (BMI) was originally designed to measure fat mass - and the correct measure of BMI is to also use Calipers.  When calipers are used, a true reading of BMI is obtained.  For instance, a person could be 20 pounds UNDER weight, and still have a BMI of 30 or over showing they are not healthy.

It sounds as if you have been successful on your journey and that is wonderful.  Did you know over exercise; a compulsion to over exercise and the compulsion to lose just 5 more pounds can also be a sign of anorexia.

Please be healthy and safe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Original Post by: naco2222

Original Post by: car0line

Hilarious.  I'm 10 pounds away from "obesity," but I wear I size 10.  Was this a take home test where obesity was merely based on BMI or did someone have a look at these people to decide if they're actually obese?


...LOL, Caroline, you may no tbe old enough to remember when the height and weight charts were such that the medical association declared that anyone who was 20 pounds or more overweight was obese.  Obviously things have changed because we live in a country that although women seem to be obsessed about their weight - the fact is that we have more obese children and adults now, then we ever have had.

Could you be a size 10 and be obese?  Strange as that sounds, yes you could.

Because based on my original bone structure and height, when I was a size 10 I looked heavy; and based on the old standards I was obese at 135 pounds.  Why?  Because by old standards I had gained 45% of my original body weight.  After weight training, I could carry 135 pounds easily with no fat; and I was a size 6.

Don't know if this helps but hope you are well and can follow your own path to good health and a weight and size with which you are comfortable.

 


Right - that's my point - BMI doesn't mean anything if you're muscular.  That's EXACTLY what I'm saying.  If this study is based solely on BMI, there are probably people in this study who are not fat, even if they have a high BMI, and therefore their perception wouldn't be wrong.  I just wanted to know how this study was carried out - as in, was there someone with a measuring tape getting inches (waists, thighs, etc, in relation to height and bone structure) into the stats, or was it the ridiculous BMI all the way?

I suppose if you're 4'9 and a size 10 you might look large, but that's not me. 

Of course, people might not see themselves as they truly are, but does this particular study prove it?



No, I don't think this study proves or disproves it.  In my opinion the article was truly about how individuals perceive their body.  Different cultures have different standards.  Thus, an African American, who is heavy by the standards of another culture; and even the standards of the AMA, may most likely not perceive themselves as being heavy.  Because culturally it is an accepted norm and even found to be very attractive. 

So, I think we each need to work as a team with our medical advisors to determine first the state of our health.  Then to determine if the weight we carry, be it more than the height/weight charts indicate; or less than the charts indicate - is healthy for our individual body type; age; and medical conditions, if any.  And we all need to stop allowing the media to make us believe that the AIR BRUSHED photos of these young women who model; and who are in the public eye, are realistic and a benchmark of what ALL women should be.  The reality is that the average size woman today is size 12 - not zero - 4 as we are made to believe.  And a woman who is size 12 and in good shape, meaning they are active; toned; and they have good self esteem, is probably more sexy and attractive to everyone then you think. 

We need to shut out the media and return to what we know to be true for each of us.  We are good people, we all do not look like models when we are naked........(lol) but when we are with the one we love.....there is nothing better.  And the one who loves you is going to love all your imperfections.  That said, let's all strive for being healthy of mind, spirit, and body - and when we achieve that, we will ALL be beautiful.

 



I read the Weight Misconception article posted. I am 65" tall, medium build and 53 years old. I am at 200 lbs from 250 lbs. Yes, I still think I am fat, but with the exercise and weight training, i am told that I am looking much better. I feel great and keep up or pass the 18 year and+ people in my class(s). My body mass is larger now due to the training. They say I look like Mighty Mouse now, (old cartoon character). I have put on a lot of muscle. My trainers said they do not want me to get any lighter than 180 lbs. I am pushing for 170 lbs. If I get to the 144 lbs per the index, I was told that I might look like I am sick. I think that someone needs to set the index to look at muscle mass, toning etc... Isn't that index a little outdated? WIsh we could look at all of the variables at this age and time. ;0]  



Original Post by: rag1957

I read the Weight Misconception article posted. I am 65" tall, medium build and 53 years old. I am at 200 lbs from 250 lbs. Yes, I still think I am fat, but with the exercise and weight training, i am told that I am looking much better. I feel great and keep up or pass the 18 year and+ people in my class(s). My body mass is larger now due to the training. They say I look like Mighty Mouse now, (old cartoon character). I have put on a lot of muscle. My trainers said they do not want me to get any lighter than 180 lbs. I am pushing for 170 lbs. If I get to the 144 lbs per the index, I was told that I might look like I am sick. I think that someone needs to set the index to look at muscle mass, toning etc... Isn't that index a little outdated? WIsh we could look at all of the variables at this age and time. ;0]  


Yes Rag1957, that was precisely my point when I responded to a gentleman who made a comment to Shauna that she was on the heavy side of the BMI scale for her height and weight.

In my opionion, it is not the BMI index that is outdated..... it is just an index that is supposed to give the "average" person, who does not know how to calculate BMI with calipers, a general idea.  But it is not accurate by any means and muscle mass vs fat mass is a perfect example of this.

Sounds like you are doing well and that your body is strong.  Keep up the great work.  Donna



I blame it all on Ancel Keys and the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. And also Madison Avenue.



Congrats on your goal weight!!    Honestly I always say go shopping. :)    Buy yourself some new clothes.  You're a beautiful woman and you deserve a reward!  It always makes me feel better when I know I finally fit into clothes that before would never even attempt.  

 

 

Best of luck!


I am 5'3", 50 years old and weigh 121lbs. Before I quit smoking almost 10 years ago, I NEVER weighed more than 115lbs. I have been struggling and struggling for 9 and half years to get back to 115. I do yoga and run 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 50 minutes, as well as 50 minutes of walking evry day and try to keep my calorie intake at 1200 to 1400. I write down everything I eat and all excercise trying to to the" caloie in vs calorie out" technique. But inspite of careful calculations it seems almost impossible to make the scale go down so I then give up, cheat and devour far more food than I mean too. I feel obessed with losing this weight yet it seems impossible because I keep slipping, starting over, slipping.... I do not feel that I can accept myself like i am either and am food obsessed.On the other hand  I think that if I just totally give up my weight will go up to 125lbs or beyond! What am I doing wrong?

Neversatisfied



Original Post by: edweena

I am 5'3", 50 years old and weigh 121lbs. Before I quit smoking almost 10 years ago, I NEVER weighed more than 115lbs. I have been struggling and struggling for 9 and half years to get back to 115. I do yoga and run 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 50 minutes, as well as 50 minutes of walking evry day and try to keep my calorie intake at 1200 to 1400. I write down everything I eat and all excercise trying to to the" caloie in vs calorie out" technique. But inspite of careful calculations it seems almost impossible to make the scale go down so I then give up, cheat and devour far more food than I mean too. I feel obessed with losing this weight yet it seems impossible because I keep slipping, starting over, slipping.... I do not feel that I can accept myself like i am either and am food obsessed.On the other hand  I think that if I just totally give up my weight will go up to 125lbs or beyond! What am I doing wrong?

Neversatisfied


I do not feel that I can accept myself like i am either and am food obsessed.

That's the problem!  Until you accept yourself as you are, you cannot change.  That's the first step!



Edweena.  gosh, your height and weight are perfect for you.  Smile

I do not think you are doing anything "wrong" except for the fact that you are not accepting and loving yourself.  The yoga and the running are excellent and if I might suggest moderate weight training.  You may not lose weight because weight training will increase muscle and muscle weighs more than fat.  However you will decrease your clothing size.  And do not worry about bulking up like a man - than cannot happen without great amounts of testosterone.

In my humble opinion, I do not think it is your weight that is the issue because your weight is great for your height and your age also.  Not many of us have the "perfect" Barbie Doll body.  So if you are not happy with the shape of your body in certain areas, just focus on doing exercises that will enhance and modify those points that you would like to change.  What is important is that you have quit smoking; you exercise and you do yoga.  Those three components are EXCELLENT!!!  I  know first hand how frustrating it is when you do not see the results you expect in the time frame you wish.  But binging is not the answer.  Stay focused and always keep in mind that tomorrow is a new day.  Drink lots of water to flush your body and understand that our bodies do change as we age.  I just turned 60, and I  know I will never have the body I had at 20, or 30 or 47!!!! lol

But is my body, I keep it healthy, and well groomed; and GOD gave me this body and I am thankful for it; and for each day that I remain in good health. And I pray that you will find the peace to accept yourself and your body so that you may live out the remainder of your life in a happy, peaceful and calm state of mind.Smile   Namaste

 



Original Post by: shaunajoy

I wish this article had touched more on the perception that one is still fat no matter how much weight you have lost or for how long you have been at your goal weight.  I always thought if I could be 135 I would be happy.  Now I am 135 give or take 2 pounds (for the past 3 months).  I am 5'3" , 53 and still not happy.  I have lost 50 pounds.  My doctor has told me that I am at the correct weight for my height and bone structure.  (I really DO have large bones).  She has said no more weight loss for me.   I am always thinking about my weight, looking in the mirror, comparing myself with other women, getting on the scale, chastising myself for eating something with too many calories, etc.   I keep thinking if I just lost 5 or 10 more, I would be perfect.  My daughter says, give it up Mom, you are nuts.  

Anyway, when do I start to enjoy the way I am?  When do I stop wanting to lose more and just enjoy my status?  When do I accept that I will never be Jennifer Anniston, who has small bones instead of me with a larger frame, but still just fine?  

I guess when I read other posts from people at my height and weight that say they are just starting and need to take of 15 or 20 pounds that doesn't help :)  Any suggestions?


My experience has been that self esteem is what allows you to feel happy, no matter the number on the scale.  No number on the scale is going to MAKE you happy, if you are not healthy emotionally.  Reaching that place of emotional, mental health will allow you to find peace and satisfaction (even JOY!) in today, in your body-no matter what size, and in your life.   To get there, I find that you'll have to take your eyes off the scale, and look yourself in the eye in the mirror.  You have work ahead of you, and it might be harder than losing the weight.  But the achievement will be sweet.  You're worth the effort!  Deep down, your inner self is trying to tell you that you are.  That little voice inside you helped you climb the mountain and drop those pounds.  This is wonderful!!!  I think you have to put that weightloss battle aside, and focus on nurturing your little voice, your inner self, and bringing it out - teaching it that it is worth the work and effort to nurture it to its full wonderful potential.  You are beautiful and valuable!!  Your daughter loves you, and now YOU need to love you!!  Go for it!! Life's short-you're worth it!



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