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Have you been both overweight and underweight?

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  • springlering62springlering62 Posts: 455Member Member Posts: 455Member Member
    Oh crap. That was a thread killer, wasn’t it? Like I said, no off switch, in so many ways, lol.
  • mom23mangosmom23mangos Posts: 2,763Member Member Posts: 2,763Member Member
    zylkm4 wrote: »
    I have never been overweight. My highest weight was 132 lbs at 5'5.5" in 2007 at age 35, but most of my adult life I weighed between 116-122. However, I was very underweight for six years, from 2008-2014. Lowest weight was 90 lbs, and stayed under 100 lbs for years. People openly asked if I had cancer as if somehow that is perfectly acceptable to ask. In truth i had anorexia nervosa and later with binge/purge subtype and orthorexia as well as exercise addiction. I'd have rather said I have cancer as it's more "acceptable" and people understand it and feel bad for you. Anorexia is seen as a vanity problem which is so far removed from the truth. People just don't think that someone in their upper 30s and 40s can have anorexia as it is still seen as a teenagers problem. I used to get compliments on how tiny I was for a while and comments like "I wish I had your problem". What you can't SEE is I have very very low bone density, fractures, had heart arrhythmias and electrolyte imbalances, muscle loss (including from heart), anemia, vitamin deficiencies, and constant mental anguish. I exercised very hard and long but due to not eating enough and low weight it damaged my body instead of helping it. So now I am healthier but paying the price with constant joint issues, bone issues, hormone problems. I go to the gym but feel ashamed at how little I can do compared to others because my knees are so bad and it's too risky for my back to lift heavier weights now. Last year I hauled several 40 lb packs over wilderness terrain and had painful back spasms for weeks after. I have to fight to keep my bones from crumbling further and I am only 46.

    I used to get so mad when people would compliment me when I was starving myself and a low weight. All they want to see is thin and it doesn't matter if it's healthy or how you got there. Honestly I got to 90 lbs on 1200-1300 calories per day, more than many people here eat to lose weight (and I am post surgically menopausal with hypothyroidism), but was exercising 2-3 hours per day intensively six days per week. Exercise is so highly valued that no one sees how that much exercise can damage a person when they are restricting intake and have so little to burn. I'd have done better if more people told me I looked awful and to gain weight, instead of reinforcing my beliefs that thin was desirable. I was seen as disciplined, full of self control, fit. Such a joke.

    And yet here I am at 112-113 lbs for the last four years, terrified of gaining more weight so I stay strict with diet but try to be healthy. I rarely get compliments anymore but no one criticizes my body either so I guess I shouldn't complain. I still have a huge perception problem with my body, see a whale staring back, while logically I know I have to keep fighting to do everything I can to be healthier because my life is already cut short by osteoporosis at such a young age. I'm not going to be one of those people in their 90s running marathons.

    And as a dancer, I still experienced fat shaming even when barely 100 lbs when I was a teen. I was told to lose 10 lbs and that I was getting hips and a butt (I was hitting puberty late at age 16) which is a no no for a ballet dancer. It was awful. I had the "wrong body type".

    I also watched my mother who was obese for years get shamed in front of me when I was a child and I am sure that rubbed me the wrong way deep inside for years to come.

    This is so heartbreaking. I'm so glad you were able to get help and hope that you continue to make progress repairing your body. Even though this thread is about people making unwanted comments, I think so many people are AFRAID to make any sort of comment on someone else's body that people like you fall through the cracks. Just this week alone both myself and another MFP friend noticed women runners in the gym that looked anorexic. But there's no way I'm going to go up to a stranger and tell them they look sick and need to gain weight. I would hope that person's loved ones would have a sensitive, caring talk with them however.

    I've never been overweight, but I have been underweight for very short periods of time. I hung out for most of my life barely on the normal side of the underweight/normal weight BMI. That meant that in times of sickness, like food poisoning or something, I would dip down into the underweight range. I felt I looked sickly and too thin in those instances, but no one ever commented. And I went back to my normal weight fairly quickly.

    I've never really had people comment on my weight, but I'm very oblivious to most things and also assume the best of intentions from people's remarks, rather than the worst. I think the most I've ever gotten was from a coworker with no filter who would tell me that tight jeans are not flattering on my big thighs and that I look better in skirts. Or my husband trying to diplomatically tell me I have a lot of muscle and he prefers less.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 3,165Member Member Posts: 3,165Member Member
    I would be careful to separate between concern and being "skinny-shamed."

    I recall in college (when most of us were normal to thin and admired thinness) being quite concerned about a suitemate who lost a lot of weight rather rapidly (to a point of being scarily thin). Other suitemates expressed concern that she might be having some troubles and nudged me to talk to her too. I was uncomfortable doing so -- basically I was uncomfortable getting into what seemed personal -- but I was worried and felt guilted into it rather than be uncaring, and asked her if she was okay, and got a sharp and angry response. It taught me that it was better to mind my own business unless it was someone closer (I'd still try to talk to a sister or daughter or close friend or so on, of course), but she acknowledged later that she had been struggling with a relapse of an eating disorder.

    None of us were shaming her.
  • Liamsm0mLiamsm0m Posts: 102Member Member Posts: 102Member Member
    When I was underweight people talked about my body.

    When I was overweight people talked about my body.

    It felt the same. Just different kinds of comments.
  • MaintainInTheMembraneMaintainInTheMembrane Posts: 24Member Member Posts: 24Member Member
    I've been both obese and underweight. When I was obese, I would get compliments from women and picked on by men. When I was underweight, I would get compliments from men and picked on by women.

    Such a great way to put it.
  • stricklee11stricklee11 Posts: 185Member Member Posts: 185Member Member
    I have been both underweight and overweight. When I was underweight, I constantly got comments I needed to gain weight, eat more, etc. Then, I became overweight and when family members I had not seen in 3 years dcame to my wedding, they became very concerned for my well being. So the comments were not as mean as they were when I was skinny. It was more like complete shock and them trying to wrap their minds around me being overweight. Now that I have started to lose weight, my mother is back with the "don't lose too much weight" comments. My goal weight is actually the range at which I got complimented for (145-150 lbs).
  • jlgmfpjlgmfp Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    I’d say that it’s impossible to say one is worse as a blanket statement as it depends so much on different factors (e.g your own values or perceptions, the context it’s being said in, societal values, life stage etc).
  • qpmomma1qpmomma1 Posts: 218Member Member Posts: 218Member Member
    I have been underweight, healthy and I'm currently obese. When I was underweight and healthy people were constantly telling me to eat. When I was in high school teachers would monitor my food intake and call my parents to let me know if I ate or not. It caused me to spend the lunch in the bathroom and it did not encourage me to eat.

    Now that I'm obese no one has said one word to me. I am looking at getting to a healthy weight again, but I would say both underweight and overweight are unhealthy. One just is more accepted, from my experience. Maybe because being overweight is more common?
    edited May 28
  • hesn92hesn92 Posts: 5,491Member Member Posts: 5,491Member Member
    I think as a general rule it is rude to comment negatively on someone's body in any way. It can be hurtful, it can be awkward and it can make that person uncomfortable. Also you don't know anyone's specific situation. It is not always easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight.
  • PineAndSaltPineAndSalt Posts: 22Member Member Posts: 22Member Member
    During high school and most of college I was underweight. After graduating I moved in with my in-laws a few states south, while we saved for a house. They are all overweight, and I was expected to eat meals with them and clean my plate. It wasn’t a healthy environment, and I gained about 35lbs, putting me into the overweight category. I will attest that I received way more comments from in-laws and acquaintances about being “too skinny” than being overweight. I think it is more socially acceptable to comment when someone is thin vs overweight, the latter being viewed as rude. The comments didn’t bother me really, as I would rather be skinny than fat. Since moving into our own home, I’ve dropped 25lbs. Few more to go, but happy to be a normal weight again.
  • stinkyfungusstinkyfungus Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    Lean or fat...

    no one has been dumb enough to get in my face about one or the other.

    Probably for the best.

    (For them) 😉



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