Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
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Have you been both overweight and underweight?



  • beckyrplbeckyrpl Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
    I've been both overweight and underweight. Growing up I was underweight - I was active, I ate healthy. After college I taught in a bad part of NYC - hated my job, hated my commute - ate my emotions. Several people commented on how great it was that I was pregnant - I wasn't pregnant - I was was devastatingly embarrassing. My Mother-In-Law asked me to join Jenny Craig with her - I lost all of the weight plus some - and for about 15+ years suffered from anorexia. I got many comments about how great I looked - you could see my ribs. I did get many comments out of concern - I disregarded those comments - at that time, I really felt all-powerful over my eating (or lack-there-of). I'd have to say the pregnant comments when I was overweight were more hurtful to me - but you have to understand, when I was anorexic, I didn't have a logical way of processing people's comments who were concerned over how thin I was (if this makes sense).
  • MotorsheenMotorsheen Member Posts: 19,589 Member Member Posts: 19,589 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    @jellyybeanz, you can never know what sort of history, insecurity, or personal baggage someone is carrying to broad-brush state that fat-shaming is "worse" than skinny shaming. Being insecure about one's body and having others comment negatively isn't fun, regardless of the circumstance. You're gatekeeping being body shamed as something only a problem for fat people and that's simply not the case.

  • mavivaldimavivaldi Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    Skinny shaming can be just as hurtful as fat shaming (I speak from experience). Often-times, skinny or underweight people are told that they are “sick” or “unhealthy”, when in reality they may have a perfectly good relationship with food and be in perfect health, but their metabolism and genetics make them thin. In any case, it’s wrong to fat or skinny shame unless the person is clearly unhealthy (ie. a morbidly underweight or obese person).
  • FibroHikerFibroHiker Member Posts: 336 Member Member Posts: 336 Member
    I was both overweight and very skinny as a teenager (probably not underweight). Entering into puberty I was 5' 3" and weighed 145 pounds. Overtime, through participating in PE and dancing I lost quite a bit of weight. Plus I grew in inches. At the end of puberty when I reached my full adult height of 5' 7" I weighed 120 lbs. That's pretty skinny.

    No one remarked when I was overweight. I did get lots of people who remarked when I was thin. It only bothered me because at the time, I'd hear all these people telling me I was so skinny, but I had the typical teenage girl thoughts that I wasn't skinny enough.

    Later in life it's been pretty much the same. There have been times in my life when I have weighed as much as 185 lbs. and times when I have weighed 128 pounds. No one says anything when I have been overweight but they sure comment when they have noticed I have lost weight.
  • Spite70Spite70 Member Posts: 15 Member Member Posts: 15 Member
    I had been overweight throughout my whole childhood and I must say that the comments I received when I was overweight shaped the entire way I viewed my body.

    Now, people tell me to stop losing weight or to eat some food because I'm "too skinny" or they ask my friends if I'm anorexic, even though I'm at a normal bmi (20.7) and don't have much muscle mass, so I look kinda pudgy too. I look heavier than many of my peers but since I used to be a lot bigger, I get to be called names like "walking board" and "beanpole".

    I don't mind the comments now because I have worked to lose weight so that I can be proud of the body I am in now. I would have to say that it affected me worse when the comments were about me being overweight. This may be down to the fact that I was younger and more impressionable when I received these comments though.
  • Lynzdee18Lynzdee18 Member Posts: 501 Member Member Posts: 501 Member
    In 2017 I lost just over 60 pounds, getting to a BMI of 20-21. I’m 5’10, now 63 years old. I’d struggled for years and folks were used to me on the fluffy side. When I saw acquaintances after returning to our winter home, sizes smaller, some asked if I was ill. Others, mostly the guys, told me to eat a sandwich. Needless to say, my thoughts were MYOB. Because I am a nice person I didn’t say the things I wanted to say..... but I was boiling inside. Thankfully my husband was quick to the draw, saying I think she looks pretty fine!

    I’m not sure why some people think they have the right to talk about issues like a person’s weight.... to me it’s sort of like talking religion and politics....
  • psychod787psychod787 Member, Premium Posts: 3,946 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,946 Member
    Yes I have.....
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 6,166 Member Member Posts: 6,166 Member
    When I was underweight as a teenager (BMI about 17, naturally thin due to being very active) I was regularly praised for my appearance and was a catalog model and local trunk show model. The only negative comments about my body I received when underweight was from one guy telling me I needed to lose more weight if I wanted to wear a bikini and that my stomach was too flabby. In fact all my normal weight friends felt they were fat and that the one girl in our group of friends who actually was anorexic looked the way they wanted to look.

    When I was morbidly obese I never received any negative comments, although in my opinion they would have been warranted as I feel that I looked pretty bad. Obesity doesn’t look good on me as my facial features lose any structure. My mother sometimes expressed a desire for me to lose weight, but that was based on her concern for my health, not my appearance. Despite being very heavy with a giant belly I had guys hold doors for me and otherwise act approving of my appearance.

    I don’t think I’m unusually attractive, but I am fairly tall and I’ve been told other people find me intimidating. Maybe that’s why people don’t usually make rude remarks about my appearance to me.
  • rednote49rednote49 Member Posts: 124 Member Member Posts: 124 Member
    I've been on both ends of the scale. I remember getting comments from family members that I couldn't wear certain clothes because I was too skinny. But the level of criticism I get for being overweight is worse. Because random people and family members think it's ok to discuss my weight. like fatness gives people freedom to comment about another person's body.
  • blue_killenblue_killen Member Posts: 26 Member Member Posts: 26 Member
    i realise i didnt finish my sentence, but that was to say as someone who has heard all that, i personally dont think thin privellage is always the case
    edited May 2020
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,198 Member Member Posts: 1,198 Member
    I've never been underweight. I've technically only even ever been normal weight, rather than overweight for a few months when I was at single digit body fat.

    That said, I did have a stranger once approach me in the parking lot at a Sam's Club when I was similarly lean (technically overweight at the time) and tell something like I have too small a stomach and all those vegetables I'm buying won't let me get a power gut like he has. I suppose it qualifies as what some would call skinny shaming - I didn't really feel shamed.

    I find the reactions to that story kind of interesting. I was actually kind of amused and touched by the interaction, having been obese most of my life. When I tell the story to other men, they tend to think it weird but amusing. Women I tell the story to seem horrified or offended on my behalf.

    As compared to any of the abuse I ever had being shamed over being obese? Oh it was not even the tiniest of fractions in comparison. As a child I've had adults not even take it serious that I was teased for being obese or been punished for reacting to it. I had other boys grab and honk my chest.

    Thinking about it, it is a bit different being an adult, but I don't think I would even close to that shame if someone were to rub or pat my abdomen with even the most lascivious-seeming intentions against my will - I think my predominant emotion would be surprise.
  • yirarayirara Member, Premium Posts: 6,141 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,141 Member
    I've been overweight, but my fat distribution was such that it didn't really show. I just looked curvy. Nobody ever commented on it. Then I lost weight and went a bit too far. Nobody ever commented either, because why should they? But I didn't feel good because my blood pressure was constantly crashing and my face looked extremely thin and unhealthy. I'd rather stay in the middle of BMI than on the lower end.
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,124 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,124 Member
    mavivaldi wrote: »
    Skinny shaming can be just as hurtful as fat shaming (I speak from experience). Often-times, skinny or underweight people are told that they are “sick” or “unhealthy”, when in reality they may have a perfectly good relationship with food and be in perfect health, but their metabolism and genetics make them thin. In any case, it’s wrong to fat or skinny shame unless the person is clearly unhealthy (ie. a morbidly underweight or obese person).

    I realize this comment was made a year ago, but uhh, NO. Why would body shaming be ok, ever? Would you shame a cancer patient for having cancer and looking like a cancer patient? Chose this example because there are many lifestyle choices like smoking or tanning that increase cancer risk, although the link between personal choices and the medical issue is not as strong as between eating habits and weight.

    Other people's weights and body shapes are none of our business unless explicitly asked, we're their healthcare provider, or they are immediate friends/family members who need a loving no-shame intervention. None of these situations require shaming, and it's not very productive for moving forward, either.
  • netitheyetinetitheyeti Member Posts: 538 Member Member Posts: 538 Member
    I've been between (i'm gonna go with lbs vs kg for convenience) 205ish lbs and 105ish at 5'3. I was *technically* not underweight by BMI but I'm not a small frame, I had loose skin that made some parts of me look bigger, and I was very physically active, you could count my ribs through my shirts and I was in XXS clothes. Honestly, I'd get a lot of comments of "you're so pretty, what's your diet? oh, YOU don't need to watch what you eat, you're one of those athletic types" - especially from people who didn't know me when I was bigger... family would grab my arms and joke about how bony I was. BUT - when I was bigger I'd get comments such as "you're not gonna find a man/love if you stay fat" and just feeling.. kinda invisible. People were NICER when I was thinner. It wasn't healthy weight loss so it really messed with my head (I lost a lot intentionally, then had dental issues for months that made me drop another unintended 15lbs)... like, yes, at my thinnest I did get comments about "what do you eat, rabbit food?" etc but it was a lot more joking vs when fat.. though I'd say both are wrong
  • lucidchromalucidchroma Member Posts: 57 Member Member Posts: 57 Member
    My mother is overweight and always fed us bigger portions. I was chubby, ate a lot of take out because she did not like to cook. Then puberty hit and everyone had a boyfriend and I was the nerd playing computer games, drawing anime characters and sulking and flushing my food down the toilet or giving to stray dogs. I lost 40+ lbs in less than four months and became anorexic. It was very visible. But I refused to go to doctor and later for many other reasons I and my brother emancipated. We moved to Miami and with him helping me, slowly I started building healthy habits of eating, life in general. I am 30 now, and have been maintaining a healthy weight for about 13 years now.
  • SwolehouseBrotownSwolehouseBrotown Member Posts: 196 Member Member Posts: 196 Member
    I feel like people are faster to say something about you being "too skinny" over "too heavy" for some reason that's more acceptable.

    I say do you boo.
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