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    Body Image/Body Confusion
    michelle_1986 posted:
    Hello all,

    In the past 6 months, I have lost 10 lbs. That may not seem like a lot, but I'm also down 2 pant sizes and I've lost over 5% of my body fat (from 30% down to about 25%). So, I lost it the right way, gained lean muscle mass and in my mind, I'm a success story.

    My problem is this:
    I'm 25 years old, 5'5", 140 lbs and I went from a size 10/12 to a size 6/8 pant.

    But when I read these posts, many of our users weigh a lot less than I do! I read a post today that said a woman's highest weight was 140, she's in the 130's now and looking to lose 10 more!!!

    Am I completely in denial?

    According to all the websites, my BMI is in the normal range... but as far as how I actually look, I can't seem to get an unbiased opinion!!

    I guess my question is, how do you know you're in shape? Skinny? Look good? Who's opinion can you trust?

    Will we ever, really, be satisfied with what we look like?
    ploy40 responded:
    It's a matter of personal image. How do you want to look, and also your social circle.

    I've seen a lot of people who are very happy with their body, even though they are a bit chubby.

    Personally, I think to look our best, we should be at the middle point of our normal BMI range.
    3point14 responded:
    I only trust my opinion. The only reason I, at five two and 144 lbs, want to get down to around 130ish lbs is because that's where I like my weight. I have a smallish frame, narrow shoulders, and I don't look emaciated that thin. I still have curves, can still do what I generally do, and don't want to deprive myself to get there.

    I've been told by pretty much everyone I know that I don't have to lose more, and I don't think I "have to". I've gone from a size 12/14 to a 6/8, and I'm pleased with it. If I didn't lose another ounce for the rest of my life, I'd love my body for how it looks and what it can do. But I'm 23 and shallow as hell, and I want to get more tattoos around my hips, and the less excess I have, the better that's going to look.

    I think you sound like you have a wonderful body (not in a creepy way). You've put in some damn good work, and don't seem to dislike your appearance. Only you can make the decision, but you sound like you're just perfect!
    michelle_1986 replied to 3point14's response:
    Thank you for your honesty, Pi.

    I think at our age (early-mid twenties) there is so much pressure on us to be perfect... this is the prime of our lives, we're not getting any younger, yada yada yada.

    I'm constantly telling myself "you're wasting your youth being overweight!" So toxic for my self-esteem.

    I've decided to stop trying to lose lbs, and focus solely on my workout goals:
    decreasing my mile time
    increasing my endurance
    toning my arms, etc.

    ...but I'm not going to lie, I still wish I could get an unbiased appearance about how I look.

    Have you ever seen the show "How to look good naked"? In every episode, Carson Kresley (the host) lines up pictures of women, same height, but all at various weights... the guest has to chose the picture that she thinks looks most like her body type. And, without fail, the women always chose someone 20-30 lbs heavier than they are!

    I wish we could see ourselves the way other people see us!
    Tomato05 replied to michelle_1986's response:
    I'm not fussed by what others think I should weigh or the way they think I look.

    For me what matters, is that I should be healthy, but also happy and satisfied within my body; I want to be able to look at myself without cringing.

    And while I prefer myself skinnier than many others around me, that's OK with me. I have to live in this body 24 hours, not they!
    3point14 replied to michelle_1986's response:
    Well, I agree with that. We're not getting any younger! But, you're not overweight. Your BMI is normal. You wear a small size. You're not super-scrawny, but that does not make you huge.

    Increased exercise is awesome. Screw the scale, get that body looking and feeling it's absolute best. :)

    And not to be a huge creep, and obvs feel free to say no, but if you got a Facebook, throw me a link. We can be weight loss buddies and keep each other grounded. I think it's easy to get into the mindframe of "I just want to get smaller", but getting smaller doesn't necessarily mean better.

    I've never seen the show. It's interesting though. My BF's Mom just gave me her "someday" bikini, one she'd bought too small hoping to fit into one day. It was a medium. It looked cute on me, the bottom was a little tight, but it was good. The BF and I were then talking about it and I said "I feel bad that she feels like she won't ever fit into it" and he said "Well, she used to fit clothes like that". I thought about pictures I'd seen of her when she was slimmer, and how skinny I'd perceived her to be. I'm that size. Obviously there are differences in body shape and how things are proportioned (she's got gorgeous long legs), but it did stop and make me think. I'm the same physical size as someone I perceive as skinny. It really shut up that little voice of self-doubt.
    michelle_1986 replied to 3point14's response:
    I'd like to be weight loss buddies! Do you know how I could send you that info without posting it publicly?
    Less4Best responded:
    I think you sound healthy. What are you still dissatisfied with? What do you celebrate? When my clothes fit comfortably especially my pants then I feel good. I refuse to buy new clothes due to an increase in size. I'll take the decrease in size.
    3point14 replied to michelle_1986's response:
    My e-mail address is

    you can send the info there, or just find me on FB that way :)
    michelle_1986 replied to Less4Best's response:
    I'm dissatisfied with my jiggly grandma arms, the excess inches on my hips, and, of course, my gut...

    I have celebrated the decreases in pants and dress sizes, I wear a "small" in most tops that I buy and I have a few pairs of work slacks that I wore last winter that are now huge on me and unwearable.

    But when I compare myself to other people, I still feel very unhappy with my appearance.

    I guess that's the secret, isn't it? Don't compare yourself.
    Tomato05 replied to michelle_1986's response:
    I agree - don't compare yourself, but look at yourself as a unique individual, with your own potential to be the best you can with your flaws, limitations and all.

    That way you will know when you feel satisfied with yourself, even though you are not perfect - and regardless of whether other people think you are too plump or too skinny. It's a matter of your own preference (and health of mind and body).

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