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1544507 tn?1293634965

Maybe everyone is wrong?

I can't make the "topic" work for me.

I truly feel that we as overfed, under-exercised adults in America (and elsewhere) have lost sight of what "normal" weight is.

If we go back to our parents, and their parents, and look at their pictures, they are slim - very slim.  The notion of "average" weight in the US seems to have taken on a stranglehold to health and medical practitioners.

I believe that in the 19th century, an adult woman weighed a short 100 Lb.  These women were extraordinarily active (compared to us), details can be provided.  

Why is it that now, in 2010, shortly 2011, it is normal for a woman of average height (5'4" or so) should weigh 140LB?  It's just not true.  

Well, I have chosen to be tough and slim as were my ancestors.  My height doesn't change - 5'5" and my weight is currently 104 LB.  But this has to be muscle!  Work, work and work some more.  Your body needs work and so do you and your environment.  

I'm 71 years old and hoping to keep slim, tough, full of P&V, and I hope someone picks up on this.

This discussion is related to low weight  .
15 Responses
1530342 tn?1405020090
Wow!!! you've just motivated me:-)
649848 tn?1534637300
If I go back to my parents and their parents, they were *not* all very slim, in spite of the fact that they were as active/worked as hard as your parents....... don't forget that a lot of genetic factors help determine our weight, as well as height and possible health issues.......

In your case, I can only say that for 5'5" and 104 lbs, you are under weight, but if it works for you and you don't have health issues; go for it........... I'm only 5' and if I weighed only 104, I would be very ill........

Keep in mind, also, that there are those of us who have health issues that cause weight gain/ prevent us from losing it.........

1544507 tn?1293634965
Judy again.  
I was not referring to my own set of elders - but more to the pictures we have of the early 20th century and the people who were adults then.  They were smaller, thinner, sturdier (which doesn't preclude early death due to disease, gunshot, whatever...)

If you look at pictures of our soldiers taken in WWII, you will find systematically young, lean men (now I am referring to pictures taken by my father).  

I don't say the being lean and muscled is a miracle cure for every ailment today's Americans face.  I do believe, however, that we have become complacent about "being heavy" (a euphemism) as well as accepting an extra 20, 30, 40 LB. of fat as inevitable.

It's really a mind set.  

Just an after-note:  It so happens that my passion in life has always been horses. At my age most riders are content to reminisce, but I am lucky enough to still own and ride two horses.  It stands to reason that hoisting 130 Lb. into a saddle is a lot harder than 25 Lb. less.  

No critique is intended to anyone. I'm far too un-proud of myself to criticize people I don't even know.  However, I do truly believe what I have set out here.

649848 tn?1534637300
I didn't mean to sound critical and if I did, I apologize; I agree with a lot of what you say, particularly, that we have become complacent with being heavy or carrying to much weight, or the inevitability of gaining weight as we age.

I look at young girls on our elementary school campuses (4th/5th grade) and see the rolls of fat hanging over the jeans; I can't help wonder: if they look like that in elementary school, what will they be like when they get to middle or high school?  What will they be like when they are my age?  Or your age?  

Some people are lucky - like you.  My mother-in-law always had a passion for horses, too, and was still riding when she was in her 70's, which I thought was great. Unfortunately, she struggled her whole life to keep her weight in check, in spite of the fact that she was on the go (cooking, riding/showing horses, working in the fields, etc) from early morning, till late at night.  

We all know the health benefits of carrying less weight and being active - ranging from lower blood pressure to less incidence of depression.  We also know that everyone's metabolism and needs is different.  

When I began gaining weight about 3 yrs ago, the first thing my doctor said was "that's a normal part of getting older, and you're going to have to accept it".  I did not accept it and after gaining about 30 lbs in 3-4 months, I insisted on having some blood work done; that's when it was discovered that my thyroid had stopped working, and since the thyroid regulates metabolism, my metabolism had slowed to nearly nothing, so the fact that I have a very physically demanding job and was working out every day, made no difference at all.  

Please note that I am not criticizing you or saying you are wrong; merely pointing out that we are all different, so what works for one person, very possibly won't work for someone else.

1544507 tn?1293634965
And right you are! BTW I'm not "lucky" because I have also battled "the pudgies" all my life, usually wandering around 130 Lb. more or less.

But about a year ago I decided that if I could stop smoking (I did) years ago, I could and would stop "eating" - read:  anything that comes close to my mouth...:)

So, with no fanfare I simply stopped eating anything that smacked (pardon the pun) of "fun food", anything with industrial preservatives, colorants, etc., actually anything packaged, transformed, or with a shelf life of more than a week.  Believe me it cut out about 90% of what is for sale in a supermarket.

Also, there is one rule I never transgress.  I NEVER eat because it's polite, social, or whatever. When I'm hungry, I eat.  

Long story short, #1 the less I ate the less I was hungry.  When I hit 110 LB I thought, OK that's fine. But the weight kept sloughing off until I got to 102 + and then stabilized at about 103/4...

My attitude drives a lot of people crazy,  but sorry folks, my body - my life.  My horses are happy - less weight to cart around.  My closet is happy - I threw out my "fat clothes" - my ego is happy - I did it!  So, it can be done if the motivation is there.

I abhor all these articles about dieting, because they usually are filled with complete nonsense and mislead people deliberately.  Most of the diet products on the market are utterly useless except to make money for the manufacturer. The word "diet" really *****.

I too am amazed and astonished at the number of young people who schlep around 50 - 60 - 70 extra pounds.  Other than the rare exception, their condition is self-induced, but not necessarily their "fault".  Social environment, ethnic food habits, finances, can all be factors.

Unfortunately for them, their life span will decrease as their weight increases.  
649848 tn?1534637300
Now we're on a level we can both identify with. I knew we'd get here eventually.  

My thoughts on grocery shopping are this:  shop only around the outside perimeter of the store......... think produce, meat, dairy -- all along the perimeter...... the closer you get to the center of the store, the more processed (translate: fattening) the foods are.......  

I, too, don't like the word "diet"........ most people think of the word "diet" in relation to losing weight (i.e "I'm going on a diet"); they don't consider that their "diet" is what they eat; may be good, bad or indifferent, but it's their diet - koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves - that's their diet; cows eat grass, grain, etc - that's their diet; horses eat grain, hay - that's their diet.  

Our goal here is to help people lose weight in a healthy manner.  We do not advocate "diet" pills, etc.  

Maintaining a healthy weight (which varies from person to person) is what we are about here........

I stopped smoking 3+ yrs ago........ it was about that time that I began gaining weight - think going from 110 to 140 in 3-4 months......... my doctor insisted that I gained because I stopped smoking.  I insisted that wasn't the cause because I had begun gaining BEFORE I stopped smoking........ I "won" out when I insisted on thyroid tests that showed major issues......... I continue to struggle.  

For those who have no medical issues, I totally agree with your ideas of eating 'well' and work, work, work/exercise......... worked for me all my life until my thyroid stopped working and my metabolism went down the tubes........

I have been searching for the motivation to get beyond the fatigue of being hypothyroid and the frustration of eating right, with no success.  
1544507 tn?1293634965
Your doctor doesn't help you with the thyroid condition?  I had a hypothyroid condition as a youngster, my Mother had Grave's disease, - mine corrected itself but she was on Synthroid for the rest of her life.  BTW when she did have this condition she gained about 25 Lb (very small woman) and topped off at 156 LB!  But with tweaking the synthroid and very good diet - in the sense of eating good food and not much - she got back to her normal weight.  No exercise - my Mother wouldn't consider anything that smacked of hard work!

You might consider seeing an endocrinologist.  If your thyroid is out of whack it makes a huge difference.  

And from what I hear, stress (job, kids, etc.) can generate cortisol which in turn can cause a person to gain weight - go figure.

I could suggest putting your kids in boarding school for 15 years and quitting your job and living on welfare, but I'm pretty sure you would take that wrong...:)

Anyway, power to you.  Think about finding another doc - I changed from a grouchy old coot to a really super duper lady doctor who has helped me immensely.  Just a thought.

649848 tn?1534637300
I do have an endocrinologist who does all the proper testing, etc.  I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditits, which is an autoimmune disease, like Graves, in that they both produce antibodies that attack and eventually destroy the thyroid.  

Unlike your mother, I was raised to work hard and don't mind it.  My problems are mostly related to primary care doctors who considered my symptoms as a hypochondriac, when it turns out that I have, both pernicious anemia AND Hashimoto's/hypothyroidism......

My endo treats me very well and my thyroid levels are at the point where I "maybe" could lose weight if I worked at it....... I just got discouraged before dx that I gave up and haven't been able to get motivated again.........

My kids are both grown and "supposedly" on their own, but call Mom whenever things go wrong.... I still have to work for a living - 11 months to go on that one....... so, yes, I'm sure the cortisol has an influence there; not to mention that my blood sugars run high most of the time.  Both type I and type II diabetes run rampant in my family......

In spite of everything, I just have to kick myself in the butt and make it happen............

Thanks for your comments.  Maybe you will stick around to motivate us all?  
1544507 tn?1293634965

Hey, if it helps...:)

The one thing I have learned during my many years of ups and downs (actually, more downs than ups) is the hand that helps the most is the one on the end of your arm.

Most people I know will nod their heads as you tell your tales of woe, but most of them are just waiting for you to stop talking so they can tell YOU their tales of woe.  

So, anything you can do to make YOURSELF feel good (and damn the torpedoes, as they say) I say go for it.  

Happy New Year!
649848 tn?1534637300
LOL            Right now, the hand that's doing the most damage is the one at the end of my own arm............. I'm simply getting too much "hand to mouth exercise"......   :-)

With a new year beginning, and end in sight for some other medical issues, I'm hoping for a whole new attitude.  

Happy New Year to you also.
1346429 tn?1303878454
I would like to add that it doesn't seem like body structure is being taken into account here. I was told by a doctor and physical trainer both that 135 was the ideal weight for me. This would account for a low body fat percentage and strong muscle tone. 105 for me is not only unattractive but dangerous. Your analysis, though not entirely incorrect, is not exactly accurate. Saying that all it takes to achieve your ideal weight is motivation is very condesending as some of us are extremely happy with our body types, muscles tone, and weights. I for one do not need to be a size zero to be healthy or beautiful and wouldn't want to be.
649848 tn?1534637300
You are absolutely correct that body structure was not being taken into consideration.  

We know that it takes more than motivation to achieve a certain weight.  In your case, you are happy the way you are, and I find that very refreshing because very few people are; in my case, the motivation is there, but the health issues place huge stumbling blocks in front of me.  

As with you, 105 would no longer be healthy (or attractive) for me either.  I was a size 0 for a good share of my life, and it's not all it's cracked up to be.
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649848 tn?1534637300
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