300,000-349,999 SparkPoints 323,493

Too skinny??

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Went out to dinner with our best friends last evening. Sadly, they are moving to Oklahoma and we are already missing them! They are responsible for introducing my wife and I on a blind date over 12 years ago, so we are very close!

I was taken back a little by a comment the wife of the couple made. She has been working in Oklahoma the past few months so she had not seen me since Memorial Day weekend, so I'm 10 pounds lighter and have a clean shaven head!

Anyway, after hugs, she said she was jealous of how I looked (that one I am OK with), but then said "you are too skinny now!", which then my DW jumped and agreed as well, making a point to mention that there are others who think that!

I didn't give it too much thought until this morning, but of course now I am. My measurements tell me I am not too skinny -- in fact my BMI is still in the "overweight" category (26), and that has been one of my key guides.

I clearly do not consider myself "too skinny". Maybe when others like my friends and DW look back in their memory banks when I tipped the scale at 287 (BMI was 40 then - morbidly obese!), then I guess I can see how I might now appear to be "too skinny", but it's scary to think we Americans (I personally think this is a US issue, but those of you from other countries can comment) have conditioned our visual senses to look at someone like me and think that is too skinny!

Well, as they say, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But mine is what counts the most and I am determined to reach the goal I set for myself -- to be "normal" on the BMI scale.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A great many people feel they have an open door to comment on others' appearance, behavior, etc. I appreciate that she is a dear friend but would it have been so difficult to compliment you on your weight loss then ask how you did it and what your ultimate goal is? -- Lou
    3124 days ago
    Peoplle are used to seeing you heavier. Congrats on the new you. Remember, it is only your opinion that truly matters. I like the new look. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I had a bad day.
    3127 days ago
  • BBECKER1955
    I get similar comments, I'm sure some folks are expressing genuine concern. They associate losing weight with illness. I guess that's natural enough. I am constantly surprised that those closest to us who know of our health struggles have such reactions.
    You keep going, as others have stated you need to be happy with yourself.
    3129 days ago
  • KARYN03
    Sometimes its just jealousy...I hate to say it but some people are just too envious of others (whom they my feel threatened by for various reasons). As far as I am concerned from looking at your pics, you look like you are at a healthy point. I would just brush it off. Its THEIR problem, not yours. emoticon
    3130 days ago
    I am going to take a different view point. I do think when people diet and lose a lot of weight, they do look like they went too far. Some of it is perception I agree. But I think our bodies don't have the proper amount of hydration to plump out our skin. Once you stop "dieting" and start maintaining, I think you will fill out those hollow spots and not look so emaciated.

    Does that make sense? Just my opinion.... not based on medical science.

    PS: I think you look great Patrick and I'm sure your beautiful Wife of 12 years does too!
    3130 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/7/2012 8:45:36 PM
  • NWFL59
    You are the best judge of your health status and we all are aware that others perception of our healthy appearance is rather dependent on their own experiences, goals and learned responses. You look happy to me. emoticon
    3130 days ago
    Thanks everyone for the positive comments and the heartfelt support!!

    3130 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8746847
    I get the same response, they are just use to us being big that this size makes us look too skinny. LOL, I see it as a compliment...they can't imagine how we could get any thinner and be healthy well just wait and see! emoticon

    When we tone our muscles we actually lose size but gain in weight, yet we are thinner and healthier by doing it! People don't understand...they have to walk a mile in our shoes to really see we are not going to do anything that is's all about health not what size I am!

    I use to be 110 lbs and no one said I was too skinny then because they were use to seeing me that size.....they will come around...but keep doing what is have the right mind set!

    Proud of you....thanks for the blog!

    3130 days ago
    This is 100% about perception! They're not used to the new, healthier you. They are comparing the picture in their head to the way you are now.

    I have a friend I've known most of my life. He's never been a small guy; 6'5, large frame, just big and strong football-player type. After college, he blew up.. probably weighed a good 300 lbs.

    Well, he got fit, lost it all, and now weighs less than he did in high school. And I will admit it... *I* thought he looked too skinny! That's because I was comparing him to the person I've always known. Not who he is now. Compared to the old him, his cheeks looked sunken instead of plump, his neck was too thin, and he just didn't look right to me. I've known him for almost 20 years now.

    I've gotten used to it, and I realize that my initial reaction was a kneejerk one, and not an informed one. He wasn't "too skinny", he was just uncomfortably different!

    NOw, I know how incredibly fit and healthy he is, I think he looks GREAT! He IS healthy. You're fighting decades of misperception and poor health. They'll get used to it. If they doubt you, challenge them to a footrace. :)
    3130 days ago
  • no profile photo HANSBRINK
    I receive the same comments from people I haven't seen in a while. Or they think I'm sick.

    Stick with your plan. You are the best judge of what's going on with your body, health and fitness level.

    Beware that others will now try to "fatten you up." You're too skinny and need to eat more!
    3130 days ago
    I have 40 pounds yet to go before I am at my goal weight and when I tell that to people they just shake their heads and tell me where I was going to lose it? We have to be happy with ourselves, whether it says it is correct by the BMI or any other chart.
    3130 days ago
    This is common for those of us who lost the weight relatively quickly, particularly from people who didn't see us during the process. I only came down 30 to 35 lbs (depending on what I count as the start point) to where I was in maintenance, but several people who didn't see me over last summer expressed concern about my health because I'd lost so much weight.

    Thinking back, most of the people who made comments like that have known me about 20 years . . . and had never before seen me at a healthy BMI. They've also see people lose weight quickly because of serious medical issues, so that's kind of where their mindset is.

    I used to tell them I felt great and could run a 7 minute mile, before I had to stop running because of the foot injury. Now I tell them I can do more pullups than ever before in my life.

    But it does get better. By the time I was six months into maintenance, the comments about losing too much weight had pretty much stopped. People got used to seeing the new me, which is the me I want to maintain.
    3130 days ago
    I got a similar reaction when I was first successful at reaching my target range. The funny thing was the first person to say that to me was a woman who works at the campus fitness center! My target has always been to be in the healthy BMI range and at that time I had just barely gotten below the overweight range so I was certainly not "too skinny". For me I think it has a lot to do with how I lose weight - I tend to lose weight in my face early in the process which is what people notice first.
    3130 days ago
  • BOB240
    Yes.. it started happening to me about 20 pounds ago.UK here so it's a universal old eyes issue.

    Part f the issue is that a man can go up to 20% bodyfat and look very good. It's hard to distinguish between muscle and fat at that range.

    Women have a similar problem - it's the old skinny fat issue. As long as women fit into their dresses then they think they are OK. Truth is very different..

    3130 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/7/2012 12:48:56 PM
    It is always interesting that when I was 250 pounds on my 5' 8" frame no body said, "Michael you are too fat, you are killing yourself."

    I mean, there might have been a valid reason for others to point it out, out of concern for the fact that I was doing myself a harm. However, when I got down to 160 I do have people telling me that I have lost too much weight, even though I could still loose weight without being in danger as far as the experts are concerned.

    3130 days ago
    Stick to your guns Patrick...I'm shooting for the "normal" BMI myself...I think it's just a "comparison" view that they are referring to and will get used to the new you.

    Couldn't agree more on the "conditioned" minds of US society....and it exists in more areas than just weight...but...I won't go there.

    Just know....I'm trying to follow your great accomplishment. Have a great day.
    3130 days ago
    "'. . . scary to think we Americans (I personally think this is a US issue, but those of you from other countries can comment) have conditioned our visual senses to look at someone like me and think that is too skinny! "

    It's becoming an issue in Canada as well, Patrick. And you're right--what we see most often is what we come to accept as standard and desirable. Thank goodness, when it comes to weight, fitness and nutrition, there are empirically-derived independent standards to compare against. I share your concern that close family members are seeing your approaching standard healthy levels of weight as unhealthy. Sounds like you've got a bit of teaching to do : )

    You *are* right to have goals that are supported by health research. Stick to your guns, as GETSTRONGRRR says.
    3130 days ago
  • SOFT_VAL67
    i think when people get used to seeing you, overweight and then you lose the weight, they still have this memory in their heads of how you are supposed to look, or how they recall you.
    i doubt you are too skinney, but maybe it will take time for their minds to recall you as merely, no longer overweight.
    3130 days ago
    I think your assessment is correct, it's in the comparison to your old self that you seem "too skinny" to them. Once they get used to the new you, they will see your good health rather than stick to it, you're doing great!
    3130 days ago
    Stick to your guns.....they're seeing you with old eyes!
    3130 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by PLMITCH