Manipulating One's Body Size
- POSTED ON: Aug 11, 2017

It is very difficult
to manipulate one’s body size.

Most obese people find this to be
a laborious task in the short-term.
(short-term = a few years)

As a long-term task,
it is so eternally grueling
that it is almost impossible
for most reduced-obese people.
(long-term = many years). 

Weight-loss is HARD.
Maintaining weight-loss is HARD. 
Being fat is HARD. 

Everyone, … very thin, normal-weight, over-weight, fat, or super-fat, … has the Right to Choose which HARD they can best manage to live with.

I’ve found this past 12+ years of maintaining a very large weight-loss to be a consistently grueling task that has become more difficult each and every year so far.  Keeping my reduced-obese body at or near a “normal” size still requires continual ongoing vigilance and sometimes almost super-human willpower.  Maintaining weight-loss is the HARD that I am currently choosing, but that doesn’t make me superior to other people who choose to live their lives differently.

Here’s an excellent article written from the perspective of someone who has made the choice to Stop Dieting and to Accept and Live With their Body’s Fat.

“It’s Not a Diet,
It’s a Lifestyle Change” is Bullshit.

by Ragen Chastain, danceswithfat

You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it. Back in my dieting days - before I did my research  - I believed it.

The secret to lasting weight loss, they say, is that you can’t go on a diet, you have to make a lifestyle change.

This is total, complete, utter bullshit. It’s a lifestyle change alright – you change to a lifestyle where you’re dieting all the time, and it still doesn’t work. 

One of the big issues that the weight loss industry has created is a world where any weight loss claim said with authority that sounds even remotely plausible is accepted and repeated as proven fact.  Even in the world of peer-reviewed research, incredible liberties are given to weight loss research when it comes to not having to support their assumptions with evidence.

I was on a panel at a very prestigious school for their Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

At one point the school’s dietitian who was on the panel said that the reason people don’t maintain weight loss is that they lose the weight too fast, that you you should lose 1/2 pound a week and then you would keep the weight off.

I wasn’t surprised to hear it, there have been versions of this going around since I was a kid.

I knew that the students at the school were super smart and data driven so I said “I must have missed those studies, who conducted the research?”  She stammered for a moment, then said “Oh, there isn’t any research.”

Had I not been there those students would have heard only from a professional dietitian employed by their school, authoritatively telling them that they could achieve lasting weight loss by losing 1/2 pound a week -- as if she was stating a fact, despite having not a shred of evidence to back up her claim.

I think that one of the hardest things we have to come to grips with (as we get off the diet roller coaster and start a non-diet path), is the sheer number of times we’ve been lied to, and the extraordinary breadth and depth of people who have done the lying.  

Some Lie because they Believe the lies, some because they Want to Believe the lies (despite that fact that they’ve been weight cycling for years), and many, many of them for Profit.

I hear about far too many people who, on their death bed, regret having spent their entire life dieting.

In order to break free of the diet and weight loss paradigm that holds us down we have to see it for what it is – a lie, created on lies, supported by lies, and perpetuated by those who lie for profit

It’s a Galileo issue. = The idea that

"anyone who tries hard enough
to lose weight can do it"

s widely believed, supported fervently
with religious zeal, and
not at all supported by the evidence.

My life got better immensely and immediately
when I stopped buying the lies that I could manipulate my body size,
and that doing so was a worthy pursuit in the first place

When it comes to diet culture, that’s the only lifestyle change that I’m interested in.

Never Regret
- POSTED ON: Aug 10, 2017

What Size Are You REALLY?
- POSTED ON: Jul 05, 2017

What Size are You, REALLY?

.....It Depends....

In what Store?
In what Style of clothing?
In what Brand of clothing?
In what Year of Time?

I’ve been a female wearing clothing all of the years of my life. 

I was born in 1944, and it is now 2017, and during those many years, my body has fit into many different sizes of clothing.  Sometimes this was because I was fatter or thinner, and sometimes it was because of the extreme size variations involved in manufactured clothing.

I’ve spent the past 60 years dieting, and hanging around other dieters, and am very familiar with how women use the size of an article of clothing to track their weight progress.  Frequently, I've heard women about 5’4” tall, age around 50, weighing about 185 pounds say:  “This is the first time I’ve been in a size 10 pants for years.” 

I shake my head, remembering ….. It was 1959. I was 5’2” tall, 14 years old, weighing 113 pounds, and was incredibly excited because I was able to find a pair of size 10 slacks that my body fit into.

Using clothing to track weight-loss is a very subjective method. It concentrates on how we feel.  This method relies heavily on our opinions of ourselves.  Our opinion of how we look often changes from day to day, regardless of how much weight we have lost or gained. A shirt that we love one day may seem either too long or loose … or … too short or tight on another day. 

Another problem is that sizes are often different depending on the store.  What is a size 0 in one place may be an 8 in another. The article below gives some fascinating details about this.

The Absurdity of Women’s Clothing Sizes
                by Christopher Ingraham, Aug 11, 2015, The Washington Post.

Here are some numbers that illustrate the insanity of women's clothing sizes: A size 8 dress today is nearly the equivalent of a size 16 dress in 1958. And a size 8 dress of 1958 doesn't even have a modern-day equivalent — the waist and bust measurements of today’s era size 8 come in smaller than today's size 00.

These measurements come from official sizing standards once maintained by the National Bureau of Standards.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that the average American woman today weighs about as much as the average 1960s man. And while the weight story is pretty straightforward — Americans got heavier — the story behind the dress sizes is a little more complicated, as any woman who's ever shopped for clothes could probably tell you.

Today's women's clothing sizes have their roots in a depression-era government project to define the "Average American Woman" by sending a pair of statisticians to survey and measure nearly 15,000 women. They "hoped to determine whether any proportional relationships existed among measurements that could be broadly applied to create a simple, standardized system of sizing."

They failed. Not surprisingly, women's bodies defied standardization. The project did yield one lasting contribution to women's clothing: The statisticians were the first to propose the notion of arbitrary numerical sizes that weren't based on any specific measurement — similar to shoe sizes.

The government didn't return to the project until the late 1950s, when the National Bureau of Standards published "Body Measurements for the Sizing of Women's Patterns and Apparel" in 1958. The standard was based on the 15,000 women interviewed previously, with the addition of a group of women who had been in the Army during World War II.

The document's purpose? "To provide the consumer with a means of identifying her body type and size from the wide range of body types covered, and enable her to be fitted properly by the same size regardless of price, type of apparel, or manufacturer of the garment."

The standard included the first modern women's clothing size charts,
and it provides the first
data points in the charts above.
Women's sizes ranged from 8 to 42.
A size 8 woman had a bust of 31 inches,
a 23.5 inch waist,
and a weight of 98 pounds

The government updated these standards again in 1970.
But already, manufacturers were getting restless because it was apparent that the "representative" women measured for the standard weren't representative at all. Non-white women were excluded. The group of women from the Army were almost certainly fitter than the average American woman. By 1983, the government ditched the standard completely. Manufacturers were left to define sizes as they saw fit.

Enter the era of vanity sizing. Clothing manufacturers realized that they could flatter consumers by revising sizes downward. The measurements that added up to a size 12 in 1958 would get redefined to a size 6 by 2011. And different manufacturers defined sizes differently, too. In 2011, a size 8 waist measurement could differ by as much as five inches of cloth between different designers.

The American Society of Testing and Materials, a nongovernmental international standards organization, began trying to restandardize women's sizes in the 1990s. But if you've dealt with the frustration of buying or trying on women's clothes recently — particularly if you're short, tall, or in any way idiosyncratically shaped — you know that most manufacturers ignore these standards.

So women are left to navigate the chaos of arbitrary sizing on their own. So much for enabling women "to be fitted properly by the same size regardless of price, type of apparel, or manufacturer of the garment," as the government's 1958 standard loftily envisioned.

Forever Young
- POSTED ON: Jun 12, 2017

Am I Satisfied With My Appearance?
- POSTED ON: Jun 10, 2017

I will never be 100% satisfied
with the way I look.

In general, I like the way I look, but in reality we all have an ideal picture in our heads of what “thin” should be.  No matter how successful I am on any diet, my individual body will never match that ideal image.

The truth is that women come in all shapes and sizes, and women of all shapes and sizes can be attractive.

However, we have developed unrealistic expectations from a lifetime of being continually told, and shown, the type of body image we are supposed to strive for. 

There is an enormous discrepancy between our culture’s recommended fantasy, and bodies that actually exist. 

If we buy into the idea that the perfect body is based on the average fashion model, a perfect woman would be about 5’10” and weigh less than 120 pounds.  However, the average American woman is about 5’4” and weighs about 169 pounds.

Our culture’s current female ideal body is a D-cup breast, tiny waist, sculpted abs, big butt and thigh gaps inches-wide—all in one.

Of course she should also look young and somewhat athletic with no visible flaws or physical disabilities, but as long as she is physically attractive, she doesn’t need to be very smart.

Many people discredit their weight-loss progress because of loose skin, stretch marks, or other features they don’t like. 

I’ll admit that I’ve been strongly influenced by a lifetime of exposure to our culture. Many times I’ve wished my body looked like the body of a Victoria’s Secret model. 

I didn’t look anything like that image at age 16, and I resemble it even less here in my 70s; but I’ve worked very hard to get the best body I can have. 

I appreciate the body I now have, including my wrinkles, scars, loose skin, and current size.  Even if plastic surgery were painless and inexpensive, it would not be a option of interest for ME, personallly.

No … I’m not 100% satisfied with how my body looks all of the time, but it’s okay to live in that space of semi-dissatisfaction.

While my body isn’t as attractive as I wish it were,  I remember how my body used to be when I was super morbidly obese, and I’m grateful for the size it is now, and the way it looks now.

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