American Perceptions?

So I have binged twice this month and it has made me reflect on things. First off I AM NOT blaming anyone or anything but myself and my free will for these binges, I am not looking for advice onhow to avoid a binge, I know how, my give a darn was just broken is all.

I noticed a trend around my binging. People lately have been telling me I am "too thin" and they can "see my bones" ( I was wearing a tank top and you could see collar bones).

I had a rutured brain anuerism in Nov 2013 so I see specialists and Drs quite frequently right now.

I asked my neurologist and my primary care dr if I was "too thin" (5'3'' 125 lbs) and they both said NO. They both explained to me that the rise of obesity in America is obscuring our perceptions of what a healthy fit weight looks like on people. People that are a healthy weight have collar bones.

So do fellow Americans agree with this theory? That obesity (just the term being overweight in general) is so rampant in America that normal weighted people may look "too thin" to us now?

And yes it hurt my feelings, and cycled me into a binge. After talking to other people, that wont happen again :)


Butt hurters feel free to respond as well........


  • greengoddess0123
    greengoddess0123 Posts: 417 Member
    I'm American, and most people I know are shocked that I want to lose another 20-something pounds. But you're so skinny! they say. Um, I weigh 187 and am quite a ways from a healthy BMI.

    Also, American clothing sizes have changed dramatically. Recently I pulled out an old pair of my skinny jeans from 10 years ago. They said size 13/14. Well, I took of my brand new size 12 pants to try them on, and could barely get them past my knees!

  • beckytcy
    beckytcy Posts: 135 Member
    I understand your concern if people are telling you you are too thin, but if your doctors tell you you're healthy, then you are fine. I also have prominent collar bones and you can even see my upper ribs in certain positions when I'm raising my arms, etc., but I know my BF% and BMI are well within the healthy range. In fact I could stand to lose a few more pounds; hopefully that won't make the ribs/collarbone more prominent. You can't spot reduce, as you know... Anyway, you are doing great. Try not to listen to jealous people who say you are too thin. Your doctors are the authorities in this realm.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
    I agree. As far as collar bones....I always thought it was completely normal for them to be visible. I've always been at a healthy weight, though.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,696 Member
    Hang around fitness models and body builders, 15%-20% body fat would be considered overweight. Hang around obese people, 25% would be considered fit.
    Like most perceptions, it's usually going to be how you view things personally.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • ValGogo
    ValGogo Posts: 2,168 Member
    I agree. 5'3" and 125 too thin? I think not! That's right on target, if you ask me.

    Yeah, Americans are so used to seeing lardbottoms (my own fat *kitten* included) that it's become commonplace if not "normal."

    Remember 4 Non-Blondes? Their album was called Bigger, Better, Faster, More. When I first saw that album cover I said to myself "Yep, that's America all right."

    I'm not going to say anymore becasue then it will turn into a rant. But, I hope your aneurysm issue is better.
  • chocolatexxmintt
    chocolatexxmintt Posts: 85 Member
    Hun, I am 185.6 lbs and even at 250 you could see my collar bones!! Do yourself a favour and don't let anyone else tell you how to look, feel, or be!
  • nilbogger
    nilbogger Posts: 870 Member
    Yes, I would say a lot of people don't understand what is overweight. I could lose 40 pounds now and still be at a healthy weight, but I imagine if I told people I wanted to lose 40 pounds (which I don't) they would say it was crazy.

    On the other hand you have people who are obsessed with thigh gaps, bikini bridges, size 0, etc. It's a very strange dichotomy we have in the US.
  • RINat612
    RINat612 Posts: 251 Member
    I don't know. I'm not sure it is an American thing. If you look back in the 20-50's, curviness was desired. And even further back being overweight meant you were better off since you were getting more food. I do believe we humans are coded to desire plumpness. I think it is only recently that being thin has become the ideal.

    Personally, I find bones that stick out to not be attractive (I also don't find overly-muscular women attractive - Just my opinion, not hating on anyone). But I fully understand that some people's anatomy dictates how and when bones are visible despite the BF% or how healthy the individual is. Heck I may find out my collar bones stick out once I get close to my GW.

    This reminds me of something Ellie said in The Last of Us:

    Ellie: That girl is so skinny... I thought you had plenty of food in your time.
    Joel: We did. Some just chose not to eat it.
    Ellie: Why the hell not?
    Joel: For looks.
    Ellie: Pffft, that's stupid.

  • MomTo3Lovez
    MomTo3Lovez Posts: 800 Member
    I do think that the way people view what a "normal" weight is, is quite different now because there are so many overweight/obese people, way more then when I was a kid. I am tyring hard to lose the weight and yes I slide every now and again but I know it won't kill me and I just have to do better, which I am working on.

    As for the clothes yep they have changed the way that they make them as well and it varies from company to company and you don't know waht is true anymore.

    As long as your doctors aren't concerned with your weight and you are comfortable with it then don't worry about anyone else.
  • F00LofaT00K
    F00LofaT00K Posts: 688 Member
    I absolutely agree. I'm around 150 right now and I have people telling me that I'm getting too skinny, my bones are sticking out (sorry I don't store weight in my abdomen and you could already see my ribs at 170?), and asking me if I'm eating enough. I am still about 10-15lbs overweight! I have very few people in my life at work, school, through friends and family who are actually a healthy weight. I am incredibly active at work and I eat a LOT of food while still losing weight steadily. People at school see me snacking all the time, often on higher calorie aliments, and they see that I'm losing weight and they're convince I'm bulimic. Then they feel that they have the right to question me about my eating habits. It's cool that they care and all, but if anybody had the slightest idea of what "healthy" looked like, they'd leave me alone.
  • 4legsRbetterthan2
    4legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 19,507 MFP Moderator
    Yes. In addidition (I am assuming at this point you have lost weight previously, apologies if I am wrong) I think it is more likely for someone to be though of as "too skinny" after a weight loss journey. When you look fit/thin/ whatever you want to call it your entire life people are used to it. The first time they see you that is what they see and their brain accepts it. When you go through a change people have to adjust to that. They were used to seeing you bigger and now you are smaller. Someone who does not know you would see you and just accept you but someone influenced by historical images of you might be impacted differently.
  • dopeysmelly
    dopeysmelly Posts: 1,411 Member
    I've always assumed body shape, bones structure etc is largely genetic. There will be some people who have prominent collar/hip bones when they are overweight, and others won't. Judging your weight, let alone your health by one set of bones seems silly.

    I do agree that I, like most Americans (and Brits and other nationalities too - don't forget obesity is rising in China!), have lost my sense of what's "normal" or healthy, but for me that's meant that I just don't judge people as much on appearance as I used to (and even then, I never really did). I don't know what's normal for others, so I just wouldn't comment, and I focus more on the person than what size they are or how they look.

    Now, the whole dress size thing is another issue, and incredibly frustrating. I'm petite so I basically have to order EVERYTHING online, which means that I'm guessing big-time when I place my order. Sizes seem totally random, and it seems stores have tried to accommodate the need to make size 8-12 bigger by adding more zeros at the other end of the scale - size 00? WTF is that?
  • agrafina
    agrafina Posts: 128 Member
    I think we do have a misperception about what is healthy. I was talking to someone once and I referred to myself as fat. At my height and weight, I'm morbidly obese. He protested, saying I wasn't THAT big, and held his hands out to indicate what he thought was fat (huge) and then mentioned people at Disneyworld as his reference point for what fat looks like. Apparently a lot of very very obese people go to Disneyworld? It was odd. But anyway, yes, I think we have a skewed perception.
  • dopeysmelly
    dopeysmelly Posts: 1,411 Member

    people dont understand how saying your "too thin" is just as hurtful to me when they told me i was fat!

    I want to say STFU and worry about YOU

    This is actually why I haven't told my family in the UK that I've lost weight since it will basically give them an excuse to nag me about not losing too much (after years of nagging me to lose it).
  • 4legsRbetterthan2
    4legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 19,507 MFP Moderator
    I personally like the look of my collar and shoulder blades, my back muscles are gorgeous, my arms are lean and well muscled,
    my legs are firm and strong with muscle.

    It sounds like you have a pretty posative self image, keep embracing that. Everyone has an opinion (ugh!) so sometimes you just gotta ignore them.
  • ColeCake292012
    ColeCake292012 Posts: 247 Member
    Sounds about right! :smile:
  • attackhamster
    attackhamster Posts: 58 Member
    I am obese according to my BMI but people tell me I look just fine when I tell them I'm trying to lose weight. No I don't!