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Body Shaming Sucks

I come from a heavy family. It's either in a our genes or our culture (or both). But I have managed to get down to a healthy BMI. Or I was two years ago. The last two years I put on 20 lbs. I recently shared with my sister that I am tracking calories again to get back to where I was 2 years ago. She said that back then I looked "anorexic." WTF?! My BMI was 22.6 and I am a fit person but not crazy muscular. Where do people get off commenting like this on someone else's body? I am tempted to think it's her personal shame projected on me. I dunno. Maybe it's just how expectations are set in a country where fewer than 20% are at healthy BMI. Where "normal looking" is actually in an overweight category.
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Replies

  • Xerogs
    Xerogs Posts: 267 Member
    I come from a heavy family. It's either in a our genes or our culture (or both). But I have managed to get down to a healthy BMI. Or I was two years ago. The last two years I put on 20 lbs. I recently shared with my sister that I am tracking calories again to get back to where I was 2 years ago. She said that back then I looked "anorexic." WTF?! My BMI was 22.6 and I am a fit person but not crazy muscular. Where do people get off commenting like this on someone else's body? I am tempted to think it's her personal shame projected on me. I dunno. Maybe it's just how expectations are set in a country where fewer than 20% are at healthy BMI. Where "normal looking" is actually in an overweight category.

    When I was growing up it wasn't the norm to see a lot of people overweight and these days its more common even in kids. People get used to seeing other people in this overweight state as well as in themselves so losing weight comes off as out of the ordinary to them . It's not something people like to talk about but a lot of times people will knowingly and unknowingly try to sabotage others. It could be anything from weight loss to relationships, sometimes misery just loves company. My best advice is just to ignore the comments and do what works for you. Hopefully you will be an inspiration for your sister and others.
  • theGreatPondero
    theGreatPondero Posts: 16 Member
    Frank19556 wrote: »
    I was just told by a friend that I should stop losing weight or I will start to look too thin. I said it was in my stomach and is hard to see. She goes, well can you just lose it in your stomach and not your face? LOL. At another time I was close to goal when a few others said the same thing...
    They just are used to me at a certain weight, and of course the norms have changed.

    Unfortunately, I have a narrow face that shows when I lose weight. I think you're on to it here. People get accustomed to how are faces look and dramatic changes are unsettling. I sure wish one could target fat loss to certain areas.

    I get all the advice above and it's good. I'm really aware that the problem here is my problem. But I still have trouble with how some people feel okay commenting on someone's weight loss. I don't imagine those same people would also say "Oh my god, stop gaining weight - you look so --!

  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,177 Member
    Well that works both ways - we've had posts about people being upset because nobody noticed or commented on them losing weight.

    I think if people are commenting out of genuine, if misplaced, concern or a genuine attempt to be complimentary, cut them some slack.

    I also notice your OP started with ' I recently shared.......'
    If you have conversations where you share about your weight loss, then you are inviting comments on it.
  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 898 Member
    I've noticed that people who lose a lot of weight can look really gaunt in the face. There's a guy where I live that had weight loss surgery and lost a ton of weight this year. He is normal weight now, but people keep commenting on how sick he looks. I don't really think he looks sick, it's just that he lost over 100 lbs in a relatively short period of time and people aren't used to seeing him at a healthy weight. He also still wears clothes that are too big for him, which doesn't help, and a long, ugly, scraggly beard that ages him, which also doesn't help.
  • Frank19556
    Frank19556 Posts: 28 Member
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    I've noticed that people who lose a lot of weight can look really gaunt in the face.

    Do you think some people look gaunt in the beggining, and then fill out later?
  • Frank19556
    Frank19556 Posts: 28 Member
    edited October 6
    But I still have trouble with how some people feel okay commenting on someone's weight loss. I don't imagine those same people would also say "Oh my god, stop gaining weight - you look so --!

    I remember my morbidly obese aunt commenting that my sister looked too thin. "She should put some meat on those bones" she said to me and few others (not my sister). One week later my aunt died from a heart attack. My sister is older than my aunt was when she died, and is still very healthy.
  • coryhart4389
    coryhart4389 Posts: 65 Member
    I find it rewarding when people say I'm to thin and I remind myself what a fit person really looks like. Have a goal and don't let others deter you and keep working.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 22,350 Member
    edited October 7
    Frank19556 wrote: »
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    I've noticed that people who lose a lot of weight can look really gaunt in the face.

    Do you think some people look gaunt in the beggining, and then fill out later?

    I thought I looked somewhat haggard (not sure about gaunt) in the face immediately after loss, but that that improved fairly quickly after going to maintenance calories - within 90 days, possibly faster.

    ETA: I hadn't been losing very fast, in the final few months, but had been losing steadily for quite a while at that point.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,943 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Frank19556 wrote: »
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    I've noticed that people who lose a lot of weight can look really gaunt in the face.

    Do you think some people look gaunt in the beggining, and then fill out later?

    I thought I looked somewhat haggard (not sure about gaunt) in the face immediately after loss, but that that improved fairly quickly after going to maintenance calories - within 90 days, possibly faster.

    ETA: I hadn't been losing very fast, in the final few months, but had been losing steadily for quite a while at that point.

    I have gone through periods of looking a bit gaunt in the face through this process. But then it settles. I am still on a relatively small calorie restriction, currently averaging 1 3/4 pounds per week.

    I also think it can be a bit of a shock if someone hasn’t seen a person in a long time, if they’re really obviously much smaller than the other person is used to.

    I definitely agree body shaming is wrong. I generally associate the term with people making nasty comments, or worse, about fat people.
    I’ve experienced that, and it absolutely can hurt. Not downplaying how disconcerting it can be when someone makes comments about someone too skinny. And I do agree with others that we (the US) have a skewed idea of what healthy looks like.