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To wonder why some people are in denial about their weight?

(663 Posts)

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penciltop Sat 21-Jan-17 08:48:07

Not criticising anyone here but just wondering.

I had a morbidly obese friend who says she is that size because she is muscular and has 'big bones'. I don't comment but she clearly has a lot of fat on her body and she does overeat.

I have come across other people too who say people are healthier these days so are going to be bigger. People say it is because of genetics. Everyone is overweight in their family and that is the reason they are.

I know weight loss isn't easy - trying to lose weight myself! - but surely pretending it is because of reasons outside of your control isn't going to help. People keep telling me I am fine and I don't need to lose weight. Err yes I do according to BMI. I am in the overweight category

Not denying the reasons for people who have real medical reasons such as disabilities or because of medication

CripsSandwiches Sat 21-Jan-17 08:52:30

I think your friend is very unusual, or knows she's obese but doesn't want to discuss it with people (probably because of constant intrusive, insulting or patronising remarks). Every overweight person I knows is fully aware that they're overweight. I've always found it easy to maintain a healthy weight but others don't and if they decide they don't want to or don't want to yet they don't need to justify that decision.

LlamaBananas Sat 21-Jan-17 08:56:11

Well at 10 stone 2 and size 8/10 i was told by my friends to stop dieting and that i looked ill.
I was still in the obese section of the NHS chart.
Even my GP and practice nurse weighed me twice and commented that my weight was a surprise.
I guess if theirs visable fat people are in denial but heavy bones do exist.
I think people see themselves every dsy snd think theyve gained a few pound and sre a little tubby when infact theyre more than slightly tubby.
You often hear dieters say there wss a lightbulb moment such as a photo at a weddingvor something that made them realise how big they'd got.

Then there is the fat shaming society dishes out. Even if someone says "im a fat fucker cos i eat pies", their honesty wont be appreciated, theyll be ridiculed, so why admit to it? Denial is easier i guess.

mambono5 Sat 21-Jan-17 08:57:15

You are going to get battered OP.

On this forum, anyone attempting to mention that being obese is as unhealthy as being anorexic is screamed at, accused of "fat shaming". Posters seem to misunderstand (willingly or not) the difference between being proud of your body, and the danger of promoting an unhealthy one. It's fine to judge and bitch about smokers, but you are not allowed to express anything but admiration for a fat person. They will also tell you that they are fat but the most healthy person on the planet.

I don't get it, promoting anything unhealthy should not be allowed. We shouldn't accept obesity as a positive thing anymore than we should accept that a smoker or an anorexic is happy and healthy. Give people freedom, but don't pretend they are making the right choices. Why must I wear a seat belt but I am allowed to complain if anyone mention that stuffing my face is not a good idea?

The big bone argument is funny. We are still looking for evidence of a skeleton with fat bones, the ones on the internet are fake so far.

JustAnotherPoster00 Sat 21-Jan-17 08:58:39

Why does it bother you OP? Other peoples weight is surely none of your business hmm biscuit

RebelRogue Sat 21-Jan-17 08:59:34

I say it's because of PCOS...when in reality it's because of pizza,chips,bread,cake..well you get the point. gringrin

OliviaStabler Sat 21-Jan-17 09:00:37

I had a friend like this. She was adamant she was overweight due to some medicine she once took as a child. It was rubbish, she ate too much and didn't exercise over many years. I wonder if she actually believed it.

AnUtterIdiot Sat 21-Jan-17 09:01:09

I know weight loss isn't easy - trying to lose weight myself! - but surely pretending it is because of reasons outside of your control isn't going to help.

It's not just "not easy", it's very bloody difficult. Recent research indicates that if you diet, your production of certain hormones increases, making you hungrier than someone who hasn't dieted. At the same time, your body works much harder to retain weight, so that people who have lost weight through dieting have to eat fewer calories than people of the same weight who have never dieted.

95% of people who lose weight will put all of it back on plus more within 5 years. It's not impossible to lose weight or keep it off but "not easy" is a massive understatement because you are literally working against your own body.

Try reading "The Diet Delusion" by Gary Taubes or "The Secret Life of Fat" by Sylvia Tara.

Also, BMI by itself is not a brilliant indicator of whether you're healthy or not, because it doesn't distinguish between lean tissue and fat or how different people carry their fat. Many bodybuilders are classed as obese under BMI. You need to look at body fat percentage and waist/hip ratio too.

VanillaSugar Sat 21-Jan-17 09:01:19

Maybe your friend is deeply embarrassed by her size and by publicly acknowledging it, it's one humiliation too far.

Joysmum Sat 21-Jan-17 09:01:53

Denial or body dismorphia?

I never know how I look. I've been obese and then skinny (a cycle of 4 times) and have no more clue what I looked like at a BMI of 18.5 than I did at 37.5. I even took the hospital (they had to weigh and measure me and I'm 1.5 inches taller than I thought) that they were wrong because I have a big frame and could never therefore have been too skinny. blush

Eolian Sat 21-Jan-17 09:02:16

Oh for goodness' sake. Seriously? People are in denial about their weight, their alcohol intake, their abusive relationship, their kids' behaviour etc etc because they are hard things to face and they have other things to deal with in their lives. And because they feel defensive and ashamed because they know people are judging them for it. So they minimise and make excuses to themselves to make themselves feel less wretched. I don't think that's particularly difficult to understand, is it?

Sirzy Sat 21-Jan-17 09:03:09

Because sometimes it's easier to bury your head in the sand than tackle the issue.

I knew I was morbidly obese, but I also wasn't in a position to tackle it.

Even when I did start to tackle it I was very much of the "i will always be bigger I will just be happy to fit into size 16 clothes" mindset.

Thankfully for me something did click and I have dropped 7 stone to a size 6/8 clothes. However it's not easy and until you are in a position to change things for yourself then it can be close on impossible to lose weight and keep it off so denial is often the best course of action even if deep down you know the truth

LittleCandle Sat 21-Jan-17 09:03:51

I know someone who has very sore feet and has been to the GP about them. She is very large, knows she is very large, but is also proud of that fact. She has said to me that if the GP says the cure for her feet is to lose weight, the GP can 'fuck right off cos that ain't happening!' She also admitted to me the other day that she would have taken weight loss surgery had she been offered it when younger (she's mid-20s now) but wouldn't have it for any money now, as there is nothing wrong with being bigger. Now, I'm not slim myself and don't do as much as I might to try and shift some of the weight, but I am well aware that weight is not helping some of the problems I have physically. However, I really don't condone the people who chose to be very overweight, but I do sympathise with those who are overweight but find it very hard to shift. Sometimes, you have to kid yourself along a bit and admitting you are fat is not an easy thing to do.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:05:27

As a fat person I never ever tell people other than my close family how I feel about it or when I'm attempting to lose weight. I often just joke and say things like big bones and what not. Mainly because the second anyone knows you feel you have a problem then for some reason people feel it's their business to begin commenting on it.

I thought out were on a diet, you never lose weight like that, aw it's so hard isn't it <patronising head tilt>
And repeat as nauseum.

So maybe they aren't in denial. They just don't want their weight to become everyone elses business.

NicknameUsed Sat 21-Jan-17 09:05:56

"People keep telling me I am fine and I don't need to lose weight"

That is because they like to normalise being overweight. Society in general does. I keep seeing that size 16 is the average dress size of UK women these days, so people accept it as this is how it should be. No it isn't.

Just because it is the average size doesn't make it a healthy size. I am 5'7" and if I was a size 16 I would look like the back end of a bus. We have lost sight of what a healthy weight should look like. Years ago I took DD to the GP for something else and mentioned that I was worried about her weight (thinking she was too skinny). The GP pointed out that her ribs could be seen and she was a healthy weight, and that most kids were a little overweight.

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:06:35

One of my friends does slimming world and is very public about it and her meals. She is so very overweight and that has never changed. I once by chance saw her on her car on a car park eating a HUGE amount of junk food. Her issues are well boyond diet sad

BabyHamster Sat 21-Jan-17 09:06:47

I think being in denial is the key to being happy grin

Seriously, look around you, everyone's at it. People find a way to justify anything that's not ideal. They say "I might smoke but it's my only vice, and I can still run 10k so I'm not worried". Or they say "my DD isn't badly behaved, she's spirited. She's just got so much personality". Or they say "yes I enjoy a drink but it's not a problem. I could stop drinking tomorrow if I wanted to but I just don't want to".

It's human nature. If we were all brutally honest with ourselves we'd be miserable.

Rixera Sat 21-Jan-17 09:09:58

Me too Joysmum! I honestly can't tell. I look the same now, with a BMI of 22, as when I was severely anorexic and BMI <14. I just saw more bones, but I didn't see that I was thin? I imagine if I was obese it would be the same. I'd see more fat rolls but not see that my body was fat. It's weird.
It's really hard to get an objective 'whole person' view and if it's an emotive subject like weight denial is even easier.

AssassinatedBeauty Sat 21-Jan-17 09:10:23

LlamaBananas are you very short, under 5ft? You would have to be, to be obese at 10st 2 and a size 8/10.

RebelRogue Sat 21-Jan-17 09:11:15

Seriously now,my biggest issue is that 1. I get bored ..of calorie counting,thinking what the right choice is,exercising etc. (I can be "good" for a month or two but then i lose all interest) , 2. I hate healthy food. I like my food fried,oily,salty and with lots of white bread,brown one tastes like shit and 3. I eat because i like to eat(and want to like what i eat) not because i need to in order to survive.

formerbabe Sat 21-Jan-17 09:14:12

I do believe genetics play a part...

The only time my bmi has been in the 'normal' range (even then it was the upper end of normal) was during my early twenties. I used to eat one meal a day. That was the only way I could stop myself from putting on weight. Despite only eating one small meal a day, I wasn't skinny, I was just normal weight.

Therefore, whilst I do acknowledge eating habits and activity levels are important, I do think genetics play a role too.

confusedandemployed Sat 21-Jan-17 09:15:08

What AnUtterIdiot said.

I am overweight. According to BMI I'm almost obese. I lift heavy weights, train 5 times a week, run about 15k each week. I also are too much between July-Dec last year.

I definitely need to lose 9lb but that would still put me in the overweight category, even though I'd be a size 10 again.

If you saw me you'd never guess what I weigh.

BMI is a crap indicator for many. Although I grant you there are plenty of people who are unhealthily big because of their lifestyle.

confusedandemployed Sat 21-Jan-17 09:15:59

I ate too much.

NavyandWhite Sat 21-Jan-17 09:16:18

Maybe your friend doesn't want to lose weight or maybe she's happy the weight she's at? I'm sure she knows exactly why she's overweight but doesn't want to discuss it?

FizzBombBathTime Sat 21-Jan-17 09:19:34

mambo what are you on about? I'm a smoker and I'm happy and healthy at the moment at least (still young though so there's time...)

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