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Monday, June 6, 2011

"You are too thin!".

A recent post I read on an RNY board was the following:

HELP! My family is driving me crazy. I've lost about 100 lbs. I still have around 40 more too go but my family is driving me crazy with the "you are getting too thin comments. I don't know what to do. I am not anorexic by any means. I'm not unhealthy. Why do they think I am getting too thin? I don't get it.

I hear this comment alot. Right away, what usually happens is that most people start with the "they are just jealous" responses. I often have a different response to this reaction. Here's what I wrote.


I know that it is an annoying thing when it happens because it happened to me. People often commented that I was getting too thin, looking gaunt when I got down to my lowest weight. At that point, I was just at the top of my "normal" bmi so I was no where near being too thin or anorexic myself. But here's what I think is happening for most people. These are the people that love you (a jealous friend might be different) but when it is people that you love making these types of comments, this is what I gather is happening:

Chances are if you have gone for surgery, that you have been overweight for quite some time. I know that for me, I'd been over 200 lbs since I was out of high school so that was a good twenty plus years.

For twenty plus years, people were used to my face structure and my body structure. My facial fat, especially my fat cheeks were pretty much the essence of me. In every picture over the last 20 years, my face was larger, puffier, cubbier. That's just how I was because of the weight. Although I was an "unhealthy weight" no one was really saying I was "sick at the time" so this to many people was "normal" for me.

After losing a huge amount of weight, the fat disappeared from my face. My face toned, and all of a sudden I went from having chubby cheeks to having dimples, to having facial lines (okay wrinkles), to having the "fat" almost sucked out of my face.

So what people had known as "me" for twenty years changed immensely. I now had cheekbones, collar bones, and the like. I was very different. People hardly recognized me. That's the whole point - what I looked like changed immensely. The features that everyone associated with "me" were now gone.

Talk about a complete change.

I now was much thinner.

Let's face it, when you lose a lot of weight - people often do associate this with being ill. Gaunt.

So how shocking it must have been for people to see me change from this big ol' puffy thing to something with wrinkles, lines, and dimples!! My very essence of me changed. I now looked so thin and pale. So many people started to worry because the change was so dramatic. I am sure that this is a very natural reaction for most. It took 20 years for people to get used to me. Now it might take another 20 for them to get used to the "new me".

It took a while for people to get used to this new me. Luckily it really didn't take them 20 years. A couple of years went by and my hubby often commented saying "I don't really remember you fat". :)


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