Friday, August 5, 2011

Today's Topic: Weight loss, and how thin is too thin?

I got some very nice comments about my weight loss on my blog.  Thank you. :)  I am happy that the scale is going in the right direction finally - I've always had success with Weight Watchers in the past.  But the first time I lost weight (57 lbs) in 2002 the plan was different than it was in 2008 (when I lost the baby weight).  And it's different again now.  So it always makes me nervous, especially as I get older.

I even updated my "goal weight" from 128 (where it's been FOREVER) to a more realistic 132 lbs - where I can maintain it pretty easily, once I get there.  You see, my husband and a couple of friends think <130 is "too thin".

What is "too thin"?  Well, that will depend on the person.  For each individual, I recommend looking up a BMI chart and/or height weight chart for your height - and be totally honest about your "frame".  There are many ways to figure out your frame size.  One way is to look at the size of your elbow or wrist.  Here's the problem: I've got small bones.  But a big butt and thighs.  The size of my wrist says nothing about the massive muscles I'm toting around.  For that reason, I put myself in "medium" frame.

And then be honest about your age.  People gain weight as they age.  Until recently, it was thought that this is bad for you.  However, recent studies note that your hips get wider as you age - your actual bones (true for men and women), so you almost cannot avoid gaining weight due to that alone.
If you are at a healthy weight for your height and frame, and you are fit, try to avoid hitting that magic "number".  It may be a number you had at 18 (and now you're 40).  It may be a number that your best friend has (YOU ARE NOT YOUR BEST FRIEND).  It may be that elusive number that you  never saw.  Is that number a healthy number for you?  If not, don't do it.  Is it those jeans you used to wear that don't fit?  (Remember, your hips get wider as you age!  You may never see those jeans again!)

Now, there are a lot of people, as you lose weight, who will tell you that you are getting "too thin".  I experienced that when I lost the 57 lbs in 2002.  I find that these people fall into four categories:

1.  The overweight people who are jealous of you for losing weight.  (I didn't know any of these people.  I was the fat one.  But I've BEEN one of those people.)
2.  The thin people who look at you as the "fat friend" and feel threatened that you are no longer that person.
3.  The friends who are just USED to you looking a certain way.
4.  The close family/friends who really think you are getting too thin.  Like, my friends who point out that I am starting to look a little too gaunt as I get to 130 lbs. 

I didn't always have the "gauntness" problem - it has happened as I have gotten older.   Less plumpness in the cheeks.  The trimmer the face, the older I look.  I guess I'd prefer to be 41 and look 30-something at 132 lbs than be 41 and look 41 at 128 lbs.

So, if you are trying to lose weight, and someone tells you are getting "too thin", consider the source.  And if a friend is trying to lose weight, and you are thinking of telling them that they are getting "too thin", think FIRST about why you think that.  THEN, if it's REALLY because they are getting too thin, and NOT because of any other reason, go ahead and say it.  Nicely.  Gently.  With a smile.  And if they disagree with you, drop it.

(For a little while anyway...if there's a risk of an eating disorder - bring it up again!)

3 comments:

fitandfortysomething.com said...

love this post marcia! so true about who says you are too thin.......and i agree about carrying an extra 5 pounds if it means your face looks better :)

Roz @ weightingfor50 said...

Hi Marcia, this is a wonderful post. I have experienced those saying "you've lost weight, don't lose ANY more..." but I still have a good 20-25 lbs to go. Hope you have a great weekend.

Joanne said...

I always get irritated when my parents say I'm too thin because...well...my dad is about 150 lb overweight so he probably shouldn't be telling ANYONE that they're too thin. But I know what you mean. Everyone has a weight that they look GOOD at and whether that's the weight they actually want to be...is a whole other story. Great post!