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Not behind the fitness filter at Ferrett's recommendation [May. 3rd, 2005|05:18 am]
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Don't know if you all saw this, but in case you didn't, it turns out that being a "normal" weight may be unhealthy. According to the article, optimal health may be at a higher weight than the charts tell us.

So what does this mean for those of us far beyond that weight? Certainly not that we should stop striving for a healthier weight. But it's one more way to kick that unrealistic, if-I-can't-be-a-model-then-I'm-a-loser mindset that I know so many of us suffer. Industry thrives on our discontent: diet aids are a multi-billion dollar business worldwide, as are cosmetics, clothing, all those things that tell us that we aren't good enough and need to buy their products to change. Our low self-esteem lines their pockets. And it's not even good for us, it turns out.

It's time to take back our bodies and our self-esteem. It's okay to be a size 14, or 16, or even 18, if you are healthy and taking care of yourself. You don't have to hate yourself for not looking like a wire hanger in a dress. You're valid, and worthy of love, just as you are. And you will be just as valid and worthy when you lose 100 pounds, or if you gain a few next week.

It's about feeling good and being capable and strong. I've lost 46 pounds this year, and have a long way still to go, but I love how much better and stronger and younger I already feel. I don't have to hate myself while I'm going through this.

[User Picture]From: itches
2005-05-03 09:38 am (UTC)
'but the extremely thin also had a slight elevation in their risk of death'

Well I'll add that one to the list, next to "not looking before crossing the road".
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2005-05-03 09:56 am (UTC)
I've pretty much decided that the entire BMI thing is a complete sack of dung. I guess I'd just classify it as insanely unrealistic. I mean, by BMI standards my normal weight is 85 to 100lbs. I just can't even wrap my brain around that shit. Seems unrealistic and unhealthy to me.

Congratulations on your loss, hon, I'm so glad for you. Regaining health is the most important thing anyone with offspring can do. Our sprog need us. :)

I'm exhausted so I hope this isn't too jumbled. Just wanted to congratulate you on your achievement and to tell you I was thinking about you. =)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 10:17 am (UTC)
Not too jumbled at all. Thanks, sweetie.
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[User Picture]From: kythsharrie
2005-05-03 10:10 am (UTC)
I know what doctors would say to me--that being my optimal weight (which is roughly 140lbs and/or size 10) would be considered healthy. But for me, I'd be content being a size 14 'cause even then, being roughly 40 lbs overweight, I looked good. I had firm curves, was in fairly good shape that I could walk all day and not be tired, and I was fairly healthy despite reaching a critical stage of my health problems (as yet unrealized back then).

So... I figure... if I reach size 14 and am not happy, I'll go down some more. But if I'm happy when I reach it and I like it, I'll be content and screw those who think it's unhealthy to even be slightly overweight. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 10:30 am (UTC)
For me, getting a healthy body image as I get down toward my ideal weight is going to be a challenge. Hubby 1.0 had very unrealistic standards for acceptable. Hubby 2.0 (an excellent upgrade) is much more accepting and actually prefers women to be on the zaftig side.

I have to find the right size for me, that makes me happy and comfortable. That's a lot of trust in myself that I'm not accustomed to having.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2005-05-03 10:32 am (UTC)
My best friend in RL, kid_lit_fan wrote a post a while back, that is pure genius. She dared women to speak out about their real weight, because really...people are so used to being lied to about what (especially women) weigh...that we have no solid concept of what a certain weight COULD look like. At the time, I demurred...because I was new in my weight loss process, and it was MINE. Literally three people who know me in RL knew I was doing it...and on LJ I'd only talked about it once in your journal.

But now, I am PROUD to say that I am about 175 pounds. I am proud because I think I am beautiful and sexy, and I am proud that I am down over 25 pounds since the first of the year. As a disabled woman, I am unable to work out. This is a feat I can't stop patting myself on the back for.

But, I'm 5'7"...and I dare say that NO ONE would guess me at 175. I fault the fact that women have been lying about their weight for so long for most of it. (of course, part of it is that no one factors in that I'm a DD...and that adds weight, I and my shoulders assure you)

I was 126 pounds when I was modeling, and I was considered heavy for a model. But I look at those pictures, and I would NEVER want to be that weight again. I don't want to struggle with an eating disorder anymore, I am addicted to my curves. I am currently a size 14, and I would like to be smaller, but if I were to stay here forever, I would be fine. I like that I eat healthier now, and I feel like I am taking back some of the control over my body by treating it so well. And I will never, ever again be ruled by what a scale tells me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 10:37 am (UTC)
I've seen pictures. You look gorgeous.
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[User Picture]From: moon_ferret
2005-05-03 11:14 am (UTC)
When I was young, I was skinny as hell. Had a metabolism like a rabid gerbil. Then...the children. I am anout ten or fifteen over what *I* consider my optimal weight, but there is no way I am ever going to be "thin" again. Hell, I get down to 165 and people ask me if I am ok. At 170-175 I am happy. When I saw the new BMI I laughed my ass off. There is no way, at 5'7", that that weight can possibly be healthy for me.

Plus the little grinning babbling thing in the bouncy seat next to me gives me a pass for a couple more months. It has only been four and a half months. I think I deserve another month to lose the weight...
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2005-05-03 01:05 pm (UTC)
I just about doubled my body weight having children. Sure I have medical issues that make losing weight difficult, but I will say if I had a choice I'd rather be the too thin me than the too fat me.

At least clothes shopping was easier.

Although people are nicer to the fat me than the thin me. People are downright NASTY to thin people -- what with being called 'wire hangers' and all that. ;)

Seriously though I got more rude remarks from both friends and strangers when I was thin. Go figure.
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2005-05-03 01:13 pm (UTC)
The height/weight tables that are traditionally used are actuarial tables. They were created by the insurance industry as a way to identify who was at risk of dying young (so they could avoid insuring them). The tables have been revised downwards at least twice in the last 40 or 50 years.

It's also worth noting that the "normal" levels for both cholesterol and blood pressure have been revised downwards.

Ignore the medical profession, go for what makes you feel healthy. Chances are you know your body better than anyones. The trick is listening to it.
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[User Picture]From: old_hedwig
2005-05-03 01:27 pm (UTC)
BMI is complete crap. It's just a height-weight table with a coat of math slapped on to make it look more "scientific". It completely ignores differences in fitness - 2 people can be the exact same height and weight and one is 3 sizes smaller than the other because muscle and bone weighs way more than fat - let alone normal variation in the size and shape of humans. Getting upset because you aren't as skinny as a fashion model is like suffering low self esteem because you aren't as tall as an NBA star. These folk are genetic freaks. Worrying much about how you look at all is ultimately futile - we are all heading for grey/no hair, sags and wrinkles. Aim for a weight/diet/lifestyle that makes you healthy. How often do you get sick? How tired are you by the end of the day? Can you enjoy a day of reasonable physical activity - say working in the yard all day, or hiking or riding bikes?
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[User Picture]From: elfwench
2005-05-03 01:31 pm (UTC)
I am so proud of you and Ferrett! {{HUGS}}

I wish I could figure out how to discipline myself to do the things I need to in order to lose weight. The thing is, don't normally overeat. Most times I forget to eat, or at least to cook myself something to eat. I had the last of my pizza yesterday, and I finished off a box of crackers.

uh oh, time to get lord_keeper up.

{{HUGS}} Congrats again.
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[User Picture]From: dakiwiboid
2005-05-03 02:12 pm (UTC)

I agree with you

I was a very thin child, adolescent and young woman. I'm back to a normal BMI now, after years of plumpness. I'm not harassed now, but I went through it. I stood up for the thin while I was plump to fat, though. I've noticed that when the fat put up sites touting acceptance of "all" body types what it always boils down to is fat acceptance only. I protested one such site's "Holiday" when it became clear to me that they were excluding most of the population from acceptance, including a group that really needs to have its self-esteem built up, naturally thin people.
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[User Picture]From: dakiwiboid
2005-05-03 02:08 pm (UTC)

I've got an email in to the CDC

I ran across some hints that indicate that the original study was about slightly overweight people over 60 living longer, not people in general. That changes the results a LOT. I'll let you know when they answer me.
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[User Picture]From: adjust_56
2005-05-03 03:12 pm (UTC)
To me the beauty of this is how you are doing this...loosing weight out of love and careing for your body....so may people try to do this to make their self-esteem feel better and that just doesn't work....when you can love where you are at then there is great chance for movement....
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[User Picture]From: idiolecto
2005-05-03 04:06 pm (UTC)
Would you mind adding me to your fitness filter? I am damn impressed by your dedication.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 04:10 pm (UTC)
You're on there now! Feel free to go back and read previous entries.

And thanks!
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[User Picture]From: lordindra
2005-05-03 04:12 pm (UTC)
I wonder how much stress to meet and maintain the "ideal" weight contributes to death. It's proven that excess stress can contribute to health problems, so even if you are at your "ideal" weight, you might be headed to an early death if you stress yourself out too much getting and staying there.
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[User Picture]From: old_hedwig
2005-05-03 04:24 pm (UTC)
What about people who won't stop smoking cigarettes because they are afraid they'll gain weight? Or women who won't work out or do heavy lifting becuase they don't want to develop bulky muscles? Let alone people who do not fall naturally into the "ideal" range, and so are not able to keep that weight and still consume enough food to properly support their own personal body/metabolism.
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[User Picture]From: barelyproper
2005-05-03 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you ever so much!

I needed to hear what you wrote a lot more than I needed to read the article. You are truely a gem.
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[User Picture]From: queeniex
2005-05-03 04:52 pm (UTC)
It's time to take back our bodies and our self-esteem. It's okay to be a size 14, or 16, or even 18, if you are healthy and taking care of yourself.

i agree with that..
however..you have to wait until you get there to decide how far you want to go..
and it's not a looks issue with me anymore...

now that i am around a 12 and have been here for about a year..
i still feel uncomfortable and like i need to get at least another 10 off..
the extra weight on my joints still is a little hard and i know that the more weight i lose the easier it will be to move around because it's a hell of alot easier then when i was even 10 lbs heavier...
i can't imagine being 50 and my hips feeling like they do in the morning that i believe is from the extra weight :/
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 04:55 pm (UTC)
That is a valid health decision. I just remember that when I was a size 8, I hurt all the time. I felt great as a 12, but that wasn't acceptable to Hubby 1.0.
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From: tessbelle
2005-05-03 04:57 pm (UTC)
Well said. You're looking gorgeous, but then you always were. This just makes you seem even more beautiful because there is a radiance about you now that you're putting an emphasis on caring about you. Good for you and you're a fantastic inspiration.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 05:09 pm (UTC)
Aww. [blush] Thank you.

I do feel healthier and stronger and more energetic (in theory - I'm going into finals death mode and can't really judge by the coming couple weeks).
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[User Picture]From: callie_chan
2005-05-03 05:06 pm (UTC)
You know, I don't know what it was my parents did, but even though I could afford to lose twenty pounds I'm almost perfectly happy with my body. I never look at supermodels and think 'I wish I had that figure'. (That face or that hair, maybe, or those eyes, but the weight issue never really comes up in my mind.) And when I look at myself in a mirror, with the small (or large, technically) exception of my thighs, I don't feel ashamed of anything I see.

If I ever feel anything looking at a really skinny girl, it's pity rather than jealousy. I'd rather be able to eat my favorite foods without guilt and to look in the mirror without scales in my eyes than look like a model, and I can never think that highly of a person who would choose differently.

So whatever it was my parents did that resulted in the mindset I have now, thank god for them. ^_^

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 05:12 pm (UTC)
Mother's Day is coming up. Your mom deserves a LOT of thanks. Good for her - and for you!
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[User Picture]From: valarltd
2005-05-03 05:09 pm (UTC)
For some of us a size 14 or 16 constitutes a normal weight, even thinness. 8-10-12 is not the only "normal" range.

I have a medium-heavy bone structure plus curves. When I weighed 155 at 6' tall, I still took a 14 just to get it closed over my hips and around my bust.

I'll be very pleased if I can get back into a 16. I'm 270 lbs, and no one believes it when i say my weight. They all think I'm maybe 220.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-03 05:13 pm (UTC)
At 6' tall, you definitely have room to carry more weight!
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2005-05-03 06:01 pm (UTC)
I agree. Rather than focusing on whether or not we fit into a chart or table that someone came up with---or the media images that someone else came up with---I think it's far more important to be OK with who and what you are. They did a study in Jamaica years ago where they had people pick from a series of outline drawings what their body shapes actually were, and compared them to results from Americans. Jamaicans were found to be much more accurate, and also more content with themselves, even though they tended, on average, to be heavier than their American counterparts.

When you think of the destructive effect of consistent stress, such as from disssatisfaction with yourself, it seems to make more sense to me to start out working on feeling OK with who and what you are rather than trying to mold your outside to somehow make your insides be all right.

Congrats on the weight loss and improvement in your functioning, too. That really rocks. And I'm glad you're liking yourself better as part of the process, too.
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[User Picture]From: darthfox
2005-05-03 07:44 pm (UTC)
my issues with being a size 14-18 (never as low as 12 or as high as 20, but i do run the three-size spectrum there) have little to do with negative self-image etc. and a great deal to do with the difficulty of finding cute clothes that fit. rar.
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From: flcodemonkey
2005-05-03 08:39 pm (UTC)
I see that most of the discussion here involves women, but the same applies to guys as well. I am 5'11" and weigh around 226. FitDay claims that I am "severely overweight" and would have to get down to 175-180 to be normal. And that's the upper limit for my height. I have not been anywhere near that weight since I was about 16 years old and had the teenage beanpole build.

I have A LOT more muscle now (can do sets of 60 push-ups, easily carry my 130 lb daughter), and I am quite barrel-chested, and would drop to under 20% body fat if I got to about 200 lbs (my current goal). I am not sure who sets these BMI guidelines, but they are ridiculous.
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[User Picture]From: leanerbean
2005-05-03 08:57 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you and Ferrett are doing great with the fitness routine. I think I missed when you began the fitness filter. I just started going to a new yoga class and am trying to be motivated to exercise regularly again myself. Do you mind adding me? I need all the motivation I can get! :-)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-04 12:40 am (UTC)
No problem! It's been going since the beginning of the year, so if you want to go back and read you will have all kinds of motivation! [g]
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2005-05-04 12:44 am (UTC)
This reminds me of a conversation that I had with a women last week. She said that she went into a dermatologist office for a skin peel and he suggested to her that she needed botox. She is 33 years old. I couldn't even see any wrinkles on her face. Then she went on to tell me that the girls in her highschool all got nose jobs for their 16th birthdays.

Clearly this society is fucked up, when parents will alter their children's faces to fit some bullshit standard of beauty. BTW these girls had normal noses, they didn't "need" the nose jobs.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-05-04 12:46 am (UTC)
The world is insane - but it has been for a long time. Victorian women had their lowest ribs removed to allow for tight cinching of corsets.
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[User Picture]From: casu_consulto
2005-05-04 01:46 am (UTC)
I dunno if this has already been posted, but I'm thinking of a slogan I saw somewhere: "Healthy at any weight, not thin any cost." Sums it up for me.

Congratulations on your new lifestyle! I'm pleased for you that it is making you feel happy and strong.
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