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"Unrealistic" body goals

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,096 Member Member Posts: 7,096 Member
    noel2fit wrote: »
    I've seen a lot of threads refer to a healthy BMI range as unrealistic.

    I've seen posters with weight to lose saying it would be in their case (and in some cases guys in really good shape saying that, likely correctly).

    What I've never seen is what OP seemed to be suggesting -- a bunch of posters jumping in and telling someone who said she was 5'3 and had a goal weight of 115 (within the healthy range) that such a goal would be unrealistic. Not only haven't I seen that, but I honestly would be shocked to see it on MFP, as it is not at all how the conversations I've seen go (and none of the regular posters are likely to think a weight in the healthy range is unrealistic when the poster herself or himself does not).
    I've also see a ton of people put quotes around the words overweight and obese as though they were part of the marginal body builder exception, when in reality they're overweight or obese.

    Same comments as above, except it seems even more clear that you aren't really talking about community reaction, as I think OP was, but an individual who doesn't think he or she (it's usually a he) is overweight at a particular weight. If someone has a lot to lose, I think they are likely to change their mind as they lose, and there are a number of in shape men on this site who are technically overweight but have other evidence (BF% measurement or waste measurement) that makes me think they are right. It's not all that uncommon for men to be at a decent BF% despite having an overweight (rarely obese) BMI -- I recently listened to an interesting Sigma Nutrition that discussed the issue.

    Bigger point is that if some guy says I'm 15% BF and happy with that and don't care about my overweight BMI, it's not an issue -- as OP claimed -- of the community being discouraging.
    As a woman who is 5'6" the ideal range is 115lbs-154lbs. So at 120lbs and 5'6" a person would be a healthy weight and I bet they'd have a flat stomach- nothing unrealistic about it.

    Whether it is unrealistic depends on the person and what they mean by flat stomach, but just being a healthy weight hardly means you will have a flat stomach. Often it is going to depend on when the fat comes off your middle vs other areas, loose skin (from weight loss or pregnancy), age, and may require strength training. And for some it may not be realistic given their other goals (i.e., if it leaves them too thin for their taste in other areas) or stuff that really can't be fixed without surgery (loose skin).

    Typically, though, I don't see people being discouraging (again) if someone says she wants to work on her stomach. There's even a great thread called "So You Want a Great Stomach" or something similar that gets recommended (and is inspiring).
  • JcmhfpJcmhfp Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    noel2fit wrote: »
    I get what the OP is saying. I've seen a lot of threads refer to a healthy BMI range as unrealistic. I've also see a ton of people put quotes around the words overweight and obese as though they were part of the marginal body builder exception, when in reality they're overweight or obese. As a woman who is 5'6" the ideal range is 115lbs-154lbs. So at 120lbs and 5'6" a person would be a healthy weight and I bet they'd have a flat stomach- nothing unrealistic about it. Of course losing 50lbs in 2 weeks is unrealistic or gaining muscle mass while refusing to workout is unrealistic, but most things I've seen referred to as unrealistic are actually entirely possible, although difficult. Difficult to attain and unrealistic are different in my book.

    As you yourself point out with example of losing 50lbs in 2 weeks, unrealistic doesn't necessarily mean impossible. Unhealthy, impractical, and/or varying degrees of unlikely? For sure. Some goals are unrealistic because they are impossible without medical intervention - like getting rid of cellulite or stretch marks. Other goals are unrealistic because they are generally unhealthy and impractical (hard to maintain long term) - like losing 25lbs/week. Depending on the individual asking, and how they define the goal, the flat belly goal could be all three (impossible, unhealthy, impractical).

    In my experience, most people who specifically ask how to achieve a flat belly (including myself) are looking to magically lose fat (and water bloat) in one area, or spot train. You can't chose where, when, and to what degree the fat burns off, or will away certain physiological or health conditions that hinder achieving an idealized look. Focusing on one body part like this, and expecting that body part to consistentally adhere to an arbitrary standard that has no bearing on your unique history, physiology, and needs, is what makes this an unrealistic goal.

    In comparison, a goal to become slimmer from healthy fat loss, or developing abdominal muscle strength and quantity through a steady body building regime (two separate goals working in tandem) are realistically achievable and more honest than the plea for a fat stomach.

  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 347 Member Member Posts: 347 Member
    noel2fit wrote: »
    I get what the OP is saying. I've seen a lot of threads refer to a healthy BMI range as unrealistic. I've also see a ton of people put quotes around the words overweight and obese as though they were part of the marginal body builder exception, when in reality they're overweight or obese. As a woman who is 5'6" the ideal range is 115lbs-154lbs. So at 120lbs and 5'6" a person would be a healthy weight and I bet they'd have a flat stomach- nothing unrealistic about it. Of course losing 50lbs in 2 weeks is unrealistic or gaining muscle mass while refusing to workout is unrealistic, but most things I've seen referred to as unrealistic are actually entirely possible, although difficult. Difficult to attain and unrealistic are different in my book.

    I’ll take that bet, since it doesn’t have a thing to do with reality.

    At one point when I was about 20 I was 112, and 5’8” - underweight. I was a catalogue model at the time. I did not have a flat stomach - not even close. I have always had a pooch of fat on my lower belly, and I have no idea how much weight I would have to lose to get rid of it.

    Yep, i was going to specifically say 'go ask women about their pooch', specifically that word, or their FUPA (https://www.healthline.com/health/weight-loss/how-to-get-rid-of-fupa#:~:text=Excess fat over the area,also called a “panniculus.”&text=For many people, having a,part of their body shape.) , even women heavily into fitness Is that what these women asking are referring to? I don't know. But I bet most women asked about it in either of those terms? Would groan deeply and tell you they hate it.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 347 Member Member Posts: 347 Member
    noel2fit wrote: »
    I get what the OP is saying. I've seen a lot of threads refer to a healthy BMI range as unrealistic. I've also see a ton of people put quotes around the words overweight and obese as though they were part of the marginal body builder exception, when in reality they're overweight or obese. As a woman who is 5'6" the ideal range is 115lbs-154lbs. So at 120lbs and 5'6" a person would be a healthy weight and I bet they'd have a flat stomach- nothing unrealistic about it. Of course losing 50lbs in 2 weeks is unrealistic or gaining muscle mass while refusing to workout is unrealistic, but most things I've seen referred to as unrealistic are actually entirely possible, although difficult. Difficult to attain and unrealistic are different in my book.

    I’ll take that bet, since it doesn’t have a thing to do with reality.

    At one point when I was about 20 I was 112, and 5’8” - underweight. I was a catalogue model at the time. I did not have a flat stomach - not even close. I have always had a pooch of fat on my lower belly, and I have no idea how much weight I would have to lose to get rid of it.

    Yep, i was going to specifically say 'go ask women about their pooch', specifically that word, or their FUPA (https://www.healthline.com/health/weight-loss/how-to-get-rid-of-fupa#:~:text=Excess fat over the area,also called a “panniculus.”&text=For many people, having a,part of their body shape.) , even women heavily into fitness Is that what these women asking are referring to? I don't know. But I bet most women asked about it in either of those terms? Would groan deeply and tell you they hate it.

    A flat(ter) stomach is one of my goals, but I have no illusions about what "flat" means in my case. It's a relative term. I know I'm never going to look like I haven't had kids (even without the pooch I have stretch marks, though they're faded). And I am 100% OK with that. It's also about functionality - I have never had diastasis recti, but I know women who have and it's killer on the back. My muscles have a job to do and I want them to do it so I can do my life.

    Maybe it isn't surprising that it's like this, but one of the things I don't like about standards today is how much we're supposed to look like we've never experienced life - that we've been carefully cocooned in a bubble where nothing difficult has ever happened to us. Maybe it's a worshipping youth thing. I moisturize, but my hands still have calluses because I do a lot with them. I don't cover my gray hairs. I'd rather have people assume I look really good for my real age, than like I'm trying too hard to be 20 again. And I was really dumb when I was 20, so, I don't aspire to return to that, anyway.


    Yep.

    Most of my fat is right around my middle/spare tire kind of thing (stomach, hips, above my butt but not my butt), and I'd like to see that go down some and I'm sure as heck working on my core muscles but. It's not gonna be a 20 year old's stomach - or someone who's never been fat, or anyone but mine's and it's sure as heck not going to be FLAT.

    I'm okay with that because I earned my gray hair and stretch marks.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member
    Maybe this is unfair, but in my mind I definitely separate goals like this into two categories:

    1. Goals about what one's body looks like
    2. Goals about what one's body can do

    The first, it seems to me, is much more likely to have problematic elements involved than the second. Not that the second can't be problematic, because there are limits to human strength and endurance, and we see in the news with some frequency issues with performance enhancing drugs, weird therapies, etc. But I don't think, generally, that the typical person is setting *truly* unrealistic goals about the second, more about the first.
  • HungryasFuarkHungryasFuark Member Posts: 455 Member Member Posts: 455 Member
    I would stay away from the instagram body goals because the models take steroids ( for men) tits and butt injections (for women) social media now has a huge effects on body expectations/self image some people think its possible to achieve such bodies naturally which is impossible
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,759 Member Member Posts: 5,759 Member
    I would stay away from the instagram body goals because the models take steroids ( for men) tits and butt injections (for women) social media now has a huge effects on body expectations/self image some people think its possible to achieve such bodies naturally which is impossible

    not to mention camera filters....
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,002 Member Member Posts: 39,002 Member
    J72FIT wrote: »
    IMO, there is a fine line that separates unrealistic body goals and simply managing ones expectations...

    Very good way to put it.
  • mom23mangosmom23mangos Member Posts: 3,055 Member Member Posts: 3,055 Member
    noel2fit wrote: »
    I get what the OP is saying. I've seen a lot of threads refer to a healthy BMI range as unrealistic. I've also see a ton of people put quotes around the words overweight and obese as though they were part of the marginal body builder exception, when in reality they're overweight or obese. As a woman who is 5'6" the ideal range is 115lbs-154lbs. So at 120lbs and 5'6" a person would be a healthy weight and I bet they'd have a flat stomach- nothing unrealistic about it. Of course losing 50lbs in 2 weeks is unrealistic or gaining muscle mass while refusing to workout is unrealistic, but most things I've seen referred to as unrealistic are actually entirely possible, although difficult. Difficult to attain and unrealistic are different in my book.

    I’ll take that bet, since it doesn’t have a thing to do with reality.

    At one point when I was about 20 I was 112, and 5’8” - underweight. I was a catalogue model at the time. I did not have a flat stomach - not even close. I have always had a pooch of fat on my lower belly, and I have no idea how much weight I would have to lose to get rid of it.

    When I had my DEXA I was 7% BF on my torso....and still didn't have a flat lower stomach IMO.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 347 Member Member Posts: 347 Member
    You know addressing realism, along the lines of social media and just media representation.:

    Other things a lot of women are not aware of are things like... the impact of clothes on the appearance of how flat stomachs are.

    Ie: If I go up a size in jeans from my waist size, and/or wear shape wear my stomach appears pretty flat, too.

    Put me in my waist size jeans and/or skip the shape wear - LOL NO. Naked? WAY BIGGER lol no.

    And we don't usually see that many other women naked in order to be able to judge.

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