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Allison-Shine
QUOTE(thirteen @ Jul 28 2009, 01:00 PM) *
Though I have not ever been bench pressed either, I get lifted up quite a bit by my friends (male and female alike)-- one of whom recently locked himself out of his house and asked me to come over and climb through a high-up window, so I could unlock the door from the inside. It was funny because perhaps 5 minutes before he got locked out, he had picked me up and couldn't believe how easy it was to do.

I used to be uncomfortable with people lifting me up, grabbing my "bony" wrists, calling me tiny and cute. In elementary school I was always the shortest and lightest one in the class & had to sit in the front row for our class picture or else you could not see me! Until I was 18 or so I was 5'1", maybe 5'2", and then slowly inched up to 5'3", where of course I'm staying (being almost 26 years old). My weight has steadily remained at under 100 lbs.-- 97 or 98-- and it drives me insane when people ask if I have anorexia, because I eat normal portions, very healthy food, and I am small but not sickly-looking!!

Now I've really embraced being petite & see there is nothing to be ashamed of; it's a beautiful thing.
13



Well its nice that you size can be used for good sometimes, lol. I eat normal amounts of food too and have next to no worries of gaining a lot of weight. Maybe someday though that could change for the worse, my metabolism changing or whatever. I do count my blessings at times for being the weight I am. Weight control can be elusive to many people.
hellotampon
QUOTE(Allison-Shine @ Jul 21 2009, 09:57 PM) *
Well, you certainly belong in this thread then, lol.
Like you and stereotypical, I'm 5'3" as well and have filled out more since my teen years, I'm 115 now. I was 100-108 in high school/early college.

I have never been bench pressed surprisingly, hahaha. But my 16 year old sister lifted me up as I held her hands and balanced my feet on hers as she raised me up, she's a good 20 pounds on me and got pretty strong in the past few years. Doesn't always take a guy to lift me either.


I'm 5'3" and 115 too.

I can lift and move 150 lb people though! I have old ladies my size or smaller than me get all awed at how "strong" I am- it's funny because I lift people way bigger than them.
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(hellotampon @ Aug 4 2009, 11:18 PM) *
I'm 5'3" and 115 too.

I can lift and move 150 lb people though! I have old ladies my size or smaller than me get all awed at how "strong" I am- it's funny because I lift people way bigger than them.



That is impressive, do you work out or do you have natural strength? There are smaller, slimmer people who are like you and have amazing strength for their size.
KeraBear
QUOTE(thirteen @ Jul 28 2009, 01:00 PM) *
Though I have not ever been bench pressed either, I get lifted up quite a bit by my friends (male and female alike)-- one of whom recently locked himself out of his house and asked me to come over and climb through a high-up window, so I could unlock the door from the inside. It was funny because perhaps 5 minutes before he got locked out, he had picked me up and couldn't believe how easy it was to do.

I used to be uncomfortable with people lifting me up, grabbing my "bony" wrists, calling me tiny and cute. In elementary school I was always the shortest and lightest one in the class & had to sit in the front row for our class picture or else you could not see me! Until I was 18 or so I was 5'1", maybe 5'2", and then slowly inched up to 5'3", where of course I'm staying (being almost 26 years old). My weight has steadily remained at under 100 lbs.-- 97 or 98-- and it drives me insane when people ask if I have anorexia, because I eat normal portions, very healthy food, and I am small but not sickly-looking!!

Now I've really embraced being petite & see there is nothing to be ashamed of; it's a beautiful thing.
13


UGH... i am also get the "tiny and cute" references a lot- (5'2'', 105 pounds, 16 years old). In fact, i mostly despise the word cute. Little girls are "cute" you know? I totally know what you mean about the elementary pictures. I had to go through that, too! I was 5'0'' until 9th grade. I didn't even get my first period until 15 and a half. I wonder how much that has to do with low body weight?

I also so feel you on the anorexia comments. It is maddening. If anything i want to gain weight, but my body doesn't seem to be wired that way. But you are right, 13, there is nothing to be ashamed of. These are our bodies, the way we were meant to be. And it's a beautiful thing. Deep down, I do believing that. But I still have a long ways to go.
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(KeraBear @ Aug 5 2009, 11:08 AM) *
UGH... i am also get the "tiny and cute" references a lot- (5'2'', 105 pounds, 16 years old). In fact, i mostly despise the word cute. Little girls are "cute" you know? I totally know what you mean about the elementary pictures. I had to go through that, too! I was 5'0'' until 9th grade. I didn't even get my first period until 15 and a half. I wonder how much that has to do with low body weight?

I also so feel you on the anorexia comments. It is maddening. If anything i want to gain weight, but my body doesn't seem to be wired that way. But you are right, 13, there is nothing to be ashamed of. These are our bodies, the way we were meant to be. And it's a beautiful thing. I do believing that. But I stioll have a long ways to go.



I'm 23 and still get the cute label a lot. It's like gee Ive been an adult for five years and I am a college graduate. I know I look younger for my age but I don't look 12 or anything.

Maybe its better than being called a fat cow or a dog but still I'm not some little girl.
Aithinne
Oh boy, CUTE. I've talked about that word before, I tell ya! It's hard to not be seen as an adult when you are one. You aren't taken seriously and I think you're less apt to be approached by men because they think you're illegal. Or you wonder if you are approached if they came up to you because they thought you were jailbait. So frustrating to be sure of someone's intentions unless you're at a bar and have a drink in your hand, which clearly puts you over 21.

I've had a hate relationship with the word cute too. I think because all I get is 'cute'. If I knew someone thought of me as 'sexy', 'hot', 'beautiful', etc, then being 'cute' every once in a while wouldn't be a bother. As long as you know that the person knows you are an adult and sees you as one, then cute loses much of its offensive, condescending, i-don't-see-you-as-a-sexual-being, power.
KeraBear
QUOTE(Aithinne @ Aug 6 2009, 10:51 AM) *
I've had a hate relationship with the word cute too. I think because all I get is 'cute'. If I knew someone thought of me as 'sexy', 'hot', 'beautiful', etc, then being 'cute' every once in a while wouldn't be a bother. As long as you know that the person knows you are an adult and sees you as one, then cute loses much of its offensive, condescending, i-don't-see-you-as-a-sexual-being, power.


Oh yes, this! I guess i am sorta self conscious because i already look really young (the AA cup breasts don't help) I know i have a different experience, being younger (and actually "jailbait" and al, ha ha) and all, but i desperately want to be seen as a young adult. Sometimes people treat me like a junior higher, and I'm almost 17!
ketto
Hehe, this reminds me of something funny my boyfriend told me when we were first dating.

He showed my picture to a woman he works with and she said, "Oh, she looks so cute and innocent...but I bet she's not." Too funny. I've never met this woman, but I like her.
Eris_Sweetleaf
I have something that may be worth some thinking;

I know this 'all natural' movement is still going on but what I don't get is that when a slim woman has something proud to say about herself, why do some people knock it for vanity? If this is supposed to be about respect and whatnot what does all this hostility towards smaller women supposed to do? Is it not disrespect to constantly belittle someone just because you THINK they have an eatting disorder and is it not disrespect to imply that everyone has the right to feel good about themselves UNLESS you're a thin woman?

Why am I asking this?

Because I was told that I don't have the right to feel good about myself because I'm a skinny bitch.

Natural movement and love your body my ass. The only thing this 'movement' has done is allow people to be more vocal about their hyprocritical bullshit. I can understand that larger women get shit but I think its rather sad that they actually try to block out my insecurities only because they want more people to feel sorry for them, because I guess I've had it easier or something, never mind I've gotten shit for being small most of my life, especially when I got older into 'womanly' territories. I guess I got the 'easier' of being insulted or something.
angie_21
*bump* for Aithinne
Aithinne
Thanks angie for the push.

I'm not lying when I say I have about a million reasons why 'cute' makes me insecure. I think I'll stick to the short of the current manifestation of my insecurity of the word. Basically, I was looking at pictures and found one of my half-sister and I that was taken about a year ago. Let's just say that if I wanted a picture that made me look pretty, a picture with my sister would definitely make it so I might as well not be in the picture at all. My chipmunk cheeks make me look like a cute 5 year old, and her stunning self carves my own name in the plain jane block.

If anyone has any makeup tips to make my cheeks look smaller and my face less round/more angular, it would be greatly appreciated. I would very much desire to break out of the 'cute' pigeon hole somehow. Unfortunately I don't know any other way to stop looking 12 with my face shape, without going under some type of cosmetic surgery, and the idea of that is not appealing at all. Besides, most facial plastic surgery ends up looking VERY bad.
spot-on
Aithinne, to get to your cute vs sexy debate: I come from England originally, moved to the US in 2001. I had never heard the word cute used in the way it is here in the US. We have a single guy friend that we used to go out with occasionally (he's attached now) and we'd mention any unnattached women in the restaurant/bar and he often says "yeah she's cute". I took this as he wasn't that interested when in fact he was. I associate cute with 'nice but not for me thanks I prefer ...' . I don't know why, I just don't associate 'cute' as a come on. I'd never heard the term before I came to the US though
ketto
Athinne, I'm going to forever be 'cute' myself. I used to hate it, but now I've sort of settled into it. I think it has a lot more with how you see yourself than how other people see you. I'm only 4'11, fairly petite, round face and I'm 24 but I look about 14-16 (I've gotten as young as 13 with an average of 16). When I was 22 I was even accused of being under 18 and playing on a women's soccer team. When I was younger, I found that going out with friends made people think i was younger than I was and i got ID'd constantly. Oddly, whenever I went out on dates I almost never got ID'd no matter who I was with.

I don't think there's any way to make the shape of your face look different. I think you need to accept what you have and work within that. I found that by changing my hair and doing my eyes a little more dramatically I felt a lot sexier. People still call me cute, but I see myself as sexy and beautiful (and a little cute) and I know that's how my partner sees me too. People find confidence sexy, it's true. The more confident you are in yourself, the more attractive you tend to come off. I really do think it's all in how we see ourselves. My mom was getting ID'd on her 35th birthday when she had 3 kids and no sleep, so I expect people to find me 'cute' and youthful for many many years to come. I like how I see myself and I care less about how others do.
angie_21
I don't know if what I have to say will be helpful to this conversation or not. I'm not a tiny girl by any means, but I have been slim most of my life (teetering on the brink of being a bit chubby now I'm afraid) with a small chest, the voice of a 12-year-old, and giant round cheeks with dimples. I've been described as cute very often.

I'm very comfortable with my physcial cuteness, and often use it to my advantage. Having a cute, flirty smile is a guaranteed way to get what you want in the world, from both men and women. And in my experience, guys tend to find it very sexy. The key, in my view, is to realize that if your personality is more than cute, if you're sassy or sexy or a bit bitchy in your actions, all those things show through and make for an awesome combinations. Being cute, you can get away with a lot, and it's very easy to be sexy without coming off as slutty. You come across as being likeable and sweet, which makes people want to help you out, and guys loooove to help girls. Another thing I like is that it makes you seem less threatening, and people can underestimate you, which often gives you an advantage. Some of these things may not make you feel sexy, but they can and should. Just remember - cuteness as a physical trait can always be used to your advantage, while cuteness as a personality trait is much more difficult to swing. Don't mix up the two, and never underestimate the power of cute!
Persiflager
If I describe an adult as cute, it means I think they're hot. My male friends use it in the same way, in that people can be hot without being cute, but not cute and un-hot. Cuteness is a sub-set of sexiness!

I do understand your frustration, though - it's extremely annoying to be stuck with a look that doesn't suit your personality, especially if people make assumptions based on your physical appearance.

How about a funky pair of glasses? Bold, angular frames look great on rounder faces. Or a different hairstyle? Something short and sassy, or with a heavy fringe, would probably make a big difference.

I'm rubbish at make-up but try asking in the make-up thread.

((Aithinne))
spot-on
Hmm maybe it's our own interpretation of the word cos we're smallies Aithinne? I think you're right, we should take cute back and make it sexy. I like the suggestions of the funky glasses etc, sometimes changing the smallest thing can make you look totally different!
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(spot-on @ Nov 4 2009, 03:10 PM) *
Hmm maybe it's our own interpretation of the word cos we're smallies Aithinne? I think you're right, we should take cute back and make it sexy. I like the suggestions of the funky glasses etc, sometimes changing the smallest thing can make you look totally different!



I have taken to wearing plaid skirts and dark stockings. I get great feedback from my boyfriend and other guys I know. It's a great way to make cute real sexxy.
auralpoison
Five pages of "cute" discussion from Vanity Fair.
MariCat187
Hello everyone. I mostly lurk around the "small breasts" thread, and this is actually my first time posting in this one. I'm a very petite young woman too. I'm 22 years old, and I am 4'11", about 100-ish lbs.

For the most part, I'm quite fine with how I look. I'm not bothered by my height too much. I think I dress well, I put on make-up well, and I do look around my 20's. I mean, maybe sometimes I look young when I'm just in sweats and stuff, but not so young that I look 10. But sometimes - SOMETIMES - someone just says something that hits it on the nail for me and I become depressed again.

Over Thanksgiving, I was at my brother-in-law's aunt's house with him and my sister. I was about to pour myself a glass of wine, and the bro-in-law's uncle was like, "Are you 21?" My sister and I said, "She's/I'm 22." Sister inserted, "But she LOOKS like she's 16." Uncle: "I would have guessed you're around..... 7." Then he said he was just joking and we all just laughed it off, and I plastered a smile on my face and laughed along with the joke like I always do, but it still made me sad. sad.gif

My family keeps making jokes on how I have to get my license ready whenever I go to a casino, because most likely the security will "think I'm 15" and ask me for my ID. I feel that's so ignorant. I told my parents that the last time I was at a casino, I didn't get carded. At all. And usually when I go out for drinks, I don't get carded either unless it's on or near my university's campus, and in that case, they card EVERYONE who comes in, because you never know who's actually over 21 and who isn't.

And then on Facebook, I was replying to a friend's status about something, and I said something around the lines of, "Being an adult sucks." My friend replied, "M, I'll always consider you a non-adult because of your size." REALLY? Really. Augh. The way I deal with stuff like this is joking around it. For example, I normally cook at this friend's apartment, and I told him, "But you can't have any food because APPARENTLY I'M A NON-ADULT." And we all laugh it off. But behind at laugh, stuff like that really does hurt me. Anyone else feel this way?

Sigh. I don't feel like I look that young by any means. If someone says something about how short I am, I normally retort, "Look. My dad is 5'4", and my mom is 4'11". What do you expect? tongue.gif" I really hate ignorant people sometimes. Height isn't necessarily proportional to age. Why don't people understand that?

Wow, I didn't think this would turn into this big lengthy thing lol. I apologize if this is the inappropriate thread for this, but people have been putting me down for my size lately, and I can only hide behind smiles and retorts for so long, and I was hoping the lovely people here would understand. smile.gif
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(MariCat187 @ Dec 2 2009, 11:33 PM) *
Hello everyone. I mostly lurk around the "small breasts" thread, and this is actually my first time posting in this one. I'm a very petite young woman too. I'm 22 years old, and I am 4'11", about 100-ish lbs.

For the most part, I'm quite fine with how I look. I'm not bothered by my height too much. I think I dress well, I put on make-up well, and I do look around my 20's. I mean, maybe sometimes I look young when I'm just in sweats and stuff, but not so young that I look 10. But sometimes - SOMETIMES - someone just says something that hits it on the nail for me and I become depressed again.

Over Thanksgiving, I was at my brother-in-law's aunt's house with him and my sister. I was about to pour myself a glass of wine, and the bro-in-law's uncle was like, "Are you 21?" My sister and I said, "She's/I'm 22." Sister inserted, "But she LOOKS like she's 16." Uncle: "I would have guessed you're around..... 7." Then he said he was just joking and we all just laughed it off, and I plastered a smile on my face and laughed along with the joke like I always do, but it still made me sad. sad.gif

My family keeps making jokes on how I have to get my license ready whenever I go to a casino, because most likely the security will "think I'm 15" and ask me for my ID. I feel that's so ignorant. I told my parents that the last time I was at a casino, I didn't get carded. At all. And usually when I go out for drinks, I don't get carded either unless it's on or near my university's campus, and in that case, they card EVERYONE who comes in, because you never know who's actually over 21 and who isn't.

And then on Facebook, I was replying to a friend's status about something, and I said something around the lines of, "Being an adult sucks." My friend replied, "M, I'll always consider you a non-adult because of your size." REALLY? Really. Augh. The way I deal with stuff like this is joking around it. For example, I normally cook at this friend's apartment, and I told him, "But you can't have any food because APPARENTLY I'M A NON-ADULT." And we all laugh it off. But behind at laugh, stuff like that really does hurt me. Anyone else feel this way?

Sigh. I don't feel like I look that young by any means. If someone says something about how short I am, I normally retort, "Look. My dad is 5'4", and my mom is 4'11". What do you expect? tongue.gif" I really hate ignorant people sometimes. Height isn't necessarily proportional to age. Why don't people understand that?

Wow, I didn't think this would turn into this big lengthy thing lol. I apologize if this is the inappropriate thread for this, but people have been putting me down for my size lately, and I can only hide behind smiles and retorts for so long, and I was hoping the lovely people here would understand. smile.gif


Welcome MariCat, nice to see you de-lurk and post, a very good post indeed !

Looks like igorance at its pinnacle once again. And yes, many times it comes from family and freinds. Oh and those aunts and uncles especially, they tend to check their tactfulness at the front door. "Seven"?? Talk about a poor attempt at humor, he didn't feel stupid afterwards, LOL? A "non-adult", what the hell?

Normally I suggest taking the high road an being tactful in return but in both of these cases I would have found a hole or a flaw in them or their lives and shot back. Usually it takes a little bit of shock value to put people back in their place. I am a year older than you and still get comments myself, despite the fact that I am on the larger end of the "petite spectrum" (I'm 23 5'3" 116 lbs). But its not my size in general that gets the unwanted comments and attention, its my still youthful looks and my size in comparison to my bigger 16 year old sister, younger female cousins, and even younger daughters of my Mom's freinds and younger daughters of my own older female freinds. I used to take it on the chin but now I am fighting back, much to my Mom's chagrin but my Dad's delight, he thinks highly of what I have accompished in life and my "rugged individaulism" and loves it when I "stand tall", no pun intened, lol.

If you are as tall as you mom, that's not really abnormal. My dad is 5'10" and my mom and sis are 5'6", I'm more the freak at 5'3". I would have given anything to be as tall as my mom and sis.

I still get carded, but I am only 23 so it does not rattle me too much, my 32 year old BF still does from time to time, and nobody would mistake him for a boy, lol.

Hopefully other Busties will chime in and have some advice as well, we are a great bunch when it comes to these things, we hope to hear more from you !
issy
Being tiny isn't that bad, I guess. I recently discovered I wear a size 8 in children's underwear and at $7 a pack for 10 instead of $5 a pair, it pays to be tiny. Haha

But seriously, I took a sewing class in 4th grade because I have always been extra tiny, as in chest high stick. I used to get put in the ballbox when I was a kid by my friends and I was always the 'squeeze in through the cracked window to get the keys out of the locked car' person. Usually a dart up the sides at the seams does the trick but buying those dresses with the tie sashes at the sides of the waist are a blessing, I can yank those fuckers tight and get an xxs in a flash. I'm glad Dior's 'new look' (high tight waist and flared hips) is coming back in style because those bubble dresses that were popular for a while didn't do my tube body any favors.

For the record I am 5'3" and 94 pounds. I find that applying blush with a BIG round soft brush and then sweeping regular foundation powder under my eyes to create the illusion of sharp high cheekbones usually gives me the definition I crave. Smiling really wide and applying blush or bronzer to just the bottoms of the apples of your cheeks works well too
discowombat
I am going to be a bridesmaid in a friends wedding at the end of May, but my chest looks so bony in the dress. I can get alterations and some padding sewn in to fix the small bust issue, but I'm not sure what to do about looking so bony. Like most of you in this thread I don't gain weight easily. The little bit that I have has gone to my stomach and hips instead of my chest area. Are there any exercises that could help in this short amount of time? Any other ideas? :-/
anarch
You might get more responses if you re-posted your question in the small breast support group. Some of the regulars in there have talked about exercises for filling out the upper torso (pectorals were of particular interest, I think).

I'll bump it for you, in case you want to try that.

(going to the climbing gym 3x/week in the months leading up to my wedding nearly resulted in my not being able to be zipped up in it due to muscle expansion, and it didn't take long for that to happen, maybe 4 to 6 weeks. Probably it was more back muscles than front though. I ended up cutting back to 2x/week and the dress seemed ok with that.)
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(anarch @ Mar 15 2010, 04:39 PM) *
You might get more responses if you re-posted your question in the small breast support group. Some of the regulars in there have talked about exercises for filling out the upper torso (pectorals were of particular interest, I think).

I'll bump it for you, in case you want to try that.

(going to the climbing gym 3x/week in the months leading up to my wedding nearly resulted in my not being able to be zipped up in it due to muscle expansion, and it didn't take long for that to happen, maybe 4 to 6 weeks. Probably it was more back muscles than front though. I ended up cutting back to 2x/week and the dress seemed ok with that.)


As a former "skinny beanpole" I have made excellent progress on shaping and toning my legs and butt but I am still lacking in upper body strength, I think I am headed more towards a pear shaped figure but I still look pretty good. I would love to be able to build up and fill out my upper body more without looking like a female bodybuilder where her breasts look more like a man's pecs. Any good advice would be appreciated.
nbdx0645
Bump, because something has been in on my mind for a few months. It's a very touchy subject, and I'm hoping that my language and tone can be received favorably.

I work at a company that has a fair amount of women who are in the "diet culture." Restricting, working out, calories, and points get talked about a lot. A LOT. Also, women who are losing weight quickly to fad diets receive praise and positive reinforcement from others. I don't know if I should feel this way, but I feel very sad, for a few reasons.

I have limited participation in any diet or 'healthy eating' conversation. Sometimes, the conversation turns sour (you don't have to worry about this stuff) or I worry that I'll be hurting others with my diet and exercise habits. This conversation creeps up 1-2 times a week, and the women really bond over it. I'd like to work toward a goal with them, but I can't. I want to be supportive, but it doesn't feel like things are safe from a mental or physical standpoint. I also can't diet.

Their words of "being healthy" should sometimes be replaced with "looking better." The fasting and weird diets are not healthy, simply put. One of my coworkers has a weird habit of taking food that was offered to her and threateningly throwing it in the trash. It really upsets me. Another is a voluntary nutritionist; telling me how much sodium is in a pickle or noodle bowl, or that you can eat everything in small portions. The sad thing is that I don't see how they can look better through weight loss. I see that they'd look different, but I really and genuinely love how the women have such soft skin, full cheeks, glossy hair and curvy beauty. I'm not just saying this for the sake of calling everything beautiful. These women are lovely. I cannot stress this enough.

The mental strain these women endure cannot be promoting a positive and healthy life. It's hard to pinpoint if they're doing it for health or for appearance (and if it's only for appearance, is that vanity? Is vanity a good trade for body autonomy? The need to be thin...is it constructed for the individual by others, or does the individual create her own destiny for thinness? These questions always trip me up.) It's a constant confession of "I can't do this" "I can't have that" "I need to go to the gym" "I had this last night" and it takes up so much effort, energy and brainpower that I feel tired listening to their routines and rituals.

I've told my coworkers that I have a very hard time congratulating someone on losing weight. I worry that they'll fear going back to their previous weight, like they're no longer the butterfly they worked so hard to become. I worry about women hiding dangerous dieting/exercising practices. I wish there was more I could do, but I feel that my body doesn't allow me to help break down this complex situation of fat-shaming and phobia. I don't really know what to do, and my efforts to promote Health At Every Size seem to fall flat because I'm not acknowledging their accomplishments, or that I'm completely alien to their situation because of thin privilege. It's really hard to tell who is being safe about weight loss, and who is hiding an eating disorder really well. Should I just back off?

Can anyone please help me on this? It's starting to strain some of my work relationships. Please forgive any potentially off-camber phrasing; it's such a touchy subject that there's bound to be some language that could be misconstrued as ill-will.
strongirl
Hi nbdx, that was a very well-written and thoughtful post and hits at the heart of a cultural phenomenon that has caused a lot of pain for women. I cannot recommend the books of Susie Orbach highly enough for anyone who wants to explore the dynamics of weight, dieting, and body size. I stumbled upon "Fat is a Feminist Issue" when I was in college, at 3 in the morning at the 24-hour grocery store where I had driven to buy more cookies and ice cream while in the middle of a multi-day eating binge. While walking to the counter, I paused in the book aisle, saw the title, grabbed it, and put it in my cart. I think that move might have saved my life. Prior to reading it, I had been struggling for a couple years with an eating disorder and binge/purge cycle that went as far as forced vomiting, laxitives, electrolyte imbalances, etc. My weight swung from 97 lbs to 134 lbs...multiple times (normal for me is 110 give or take a few). Over the course of a year, I read and re-read that book and more important did the mental exercises, and got my mind and body healthy, truly healthy - and that has lasted throughout the decades of my life (I'll be 50 next year). I'm a cynic, so to say a self-book changed my life sounds funny, but it truly did.

The issues of appearance, control, ambivalence about body size, self-punishment, and power are addressed in Orbach's books in a way that always feels like a lightning bolt to me - it's like I feel the pull of the issues without fully understanding them, then I read her, and go "OMG!!!! That's it!!!!". Even her older books still hold up over time (sad that our culture has changed so little). And she has updated the material in her newer ones. Google her or check Amazon. I've shared her books with other women and they've gotten similar "eureka" moments and genuine help from them.

While you sound like you really have your head together on this stuff, nbdx, the books could help you put these women's behaviours in perspective and make it easier to manage. And if there is a book exchange or magazine rack in your workplace, maybe you could put a couple of her books there and see if anyone takes them. Who knows, you might even be saving a life!
nbdx0645
Thank you so much for this post, and talking about your personal history. (((big hug)))

I had a brief heart-to-heart with one of the women a while back, since an old photograph of her came up at work (when she was near her highest weight) and she made a sour face and said "I can't look at it." I was by her and I said "I see one of my closest friends. I love that girl." and after I was at my cube area, I looked over to her area and saw a tear or two fall.

I'm going to check out Susie Orbach, definitely. I put The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf on my Amazon wishlist, too. Thanks again for your words, strongirl. It's weird, when you're thin, you feel like you're unwillingly advertising for the diet industry. I want that to change.
spot-on
If you watch the documentary "america the beautiful" you'll find a LOT of the pressure to be thin comes from TV. studies were done on tribes (I thinki it was Haitians?) and 3 years after getting TV their girls went from no eating behaviors to 11% of them showing signs of eating disorders, dieting etc. So 'role models', and advertising do have a lot to answer for. But also much of it comes from our peers, relationships etc

Getting women to lose weight and exercise healthily is part of my job. Sometimes I really thing Personal Trainers should have psychologist training as part of our certifications (thankfully I do have a cert in psychology that helps). For me what works is education. It's unfortunate that the word "diet" has such negative connotations now as it doesn't mean weight loss, it's original meaning was simply eating plan. However over the last couple of decades we now associate the word diet with losing weight sad.gif I try to switch womens thinking around to health, eating for healthy life, nurturing our bodies, builiding strength and at the same time, enjoying ourselves. I've pretty much been 'thin' my entire life until I hit my 30's and I took a sedentary life for a while and put on 30lbs. I tell women this to show that *I* got HEALTHY, not thin, not lost weight, but HEALTHY. I burned fat, but I built muscle. Too many women are losing WEIGHT as opposed to losing fat and gaining muscle. I educate women by telling them my story, showing pics, cos even though I weigh slightly more now than in my 20's, I LOOK thinner, because I have more muscle. That sometimes helps switch their thinking.

However as much as I preach this, I know there are some women that I will not get through to. Some will take my advice, take my history, my story, my education, my knowledge, and they'll roll with it. Others will continue to restrict, binge and purge. I don't like it, but all I can do is be there for them, continue to educate and let them know I am here, and when they are ready to ask for help I will.

spot-on
forgot to add:

On the subject of going back to previous weight:

I had a client around 15 year ago, obese. As I recall she was around 250lbs. I was doing some exercise classes, we got to talking and she toldme her story. 3-5 years prior to that she found weight watchers, went on their 'scheme' and lost a ton of weight, she was "weight watcher of the year" had her photo in the paper, in the ads etc. Got surgery to remove the excess skin folds from the weight loss. Then she spiraled, put the weight back on. Can you imagine how she felt? Educating her was tough, she loved the exercise part, but getting women to realize that we need strength training, carbs are not the enemy etc is tough.

I don't know what happened to her as I moved about 6 months after that. I hope she found her balance.

For some clients you need to get them to throw out the scales. It's a sad fact but it's there. As a whole women are too obsessed with weight numbers which pisses me off. A number on a scale doesn't define you! How you FEEL should be more important than how you look. I have to accept that women want to lose "weight" though, and that is MY inner battle.
KeraBear
QUOTE(nbdx0645 @ Jan 1 2011, 11:23 AM) *
I had a brief heart-to-heart with one of the women a while back, since an old photograph of her came up at work (when she was near her highest weight) and she made a sour face and said "I can't look at it." I was by her and I said "I see one of my closest friends. I love that girl." and after I was at my cube area, I looked over to her area and saw a tear or two fall.


This is such a beautiful and sad story. Thank you for sharing it.

And thanks to Spot-on, toooo - The things you learn as a result from what you do for a living provides us with a valuable perspective... yeah, being healthy and feeling good about ourselves is really the most important thing for sure.
strongirl
Good stuff, Spot-on - you and I have really similar outlooks re. weight and fitness. And interestingly one of the key tenets of Susie Orbach's books is "throw out the scales". The number doesn't matter - it's how you feel within your body that matters. So I literally threw mine in the trash can when I was in college and have not owned one in the three decades since. I only get weighed during my annual physical, or occasionally if I suspect there may have been a larger than usual shift in one direction or the other, then I borrow my bf's scales just to get a data point in case I have cancer or something.

Ironically, my bf weighs himself every morning and adjusts his food intake that day accordingly. We have opposite approaches to weight and fitness in some ways and he is much more the "feminine stereotype" than I am - watches his weight like a hawk, works out as much for vanity as health, etc. I'm very Zen in my approach - it's how I feel more than anything else. I eat, and exercise, for pleasure and health.

nbdx, your comment to your friend really did bring tears to my eyes. What a kind, loving, sincere response. All women should have - and be! - friends like you. ((((Big hug back atcha))))
spot-on
Yep I use the scale as an indicator when I like you I feel that I am edging one way or another, mostly for me it's an indicator of weight and body composition. For me having muscle is important to reach my goals. Being in fitness there is a HUGE difference between being thin and being fit, and being healthy. I see women all the time doing cardio and dieting to maintain a 'skinny fat' physique. Yep it even has a name. It's the thin girls you see with very little muscle mass. They don't understand when I test their body fat % why they are so high cos they do "all this cardio". They don't get they have to strength train for health. This is one reason I maintain muscle mass.

Too many women are obsessed with being thin, sad but true.
Eris_Sweetleaf
In all honesty, I'm more annoyed at some of the comments tossed at me because of the way I look instead of being annoyed at the way I look. I am what I am but some people are just rude.

One of the things that bothered me the most was the notion that being the size that I am, when I do have children, I won't be 'comfortable' to them, as I don't have any 'extra padding' or whatever just I'm not 'plus' anywhere. :|

Yes, that's a wonderful thing to tell young mothers; your child will not love you right from the moment of their birth because of the way you look.
strongirl
"One of the things that bothered me the most was the notion that being the size that I am, when I do have children, I won't be 'comfortable' to them, as I don't have any 'extra padding' or whatever just I'm not 'plus' anywhere. :|

Yes, that's a wonderful thing to tell young mothers; your child will not love you right from the moment of their birth because of the way you look."

I really worried about this too, before my son was born. I'm 5'2", thin, and small-breasted, and I come from a family of plump maternal types. But you know what? It didn't matter. He just saw "mama". Even though the world might see me as small and weak, when he was a baby he saw me as omnipotent, like all babies see their mamas. He loved snuggling with me, skinny or no. And my little breasts made enough milk to feed an army!
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