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Size 12 and overweight

(69 Posts)
m0therofdragons Fri 30-Jan-15 12:50:14

I am having to accept I'm overweight. Only about 4lbs but over my bmi range. I'm calorie counting so trying to get on top of it but my head struggles to accept I can be a size 12 and that be classed as fat. I've tried size 14 jeans but they don't stay up.
I'm 5foot 4inches and the lower weight I could healthily be is 7 stone 12 - at my lightest I was 9 stone and starting to look drawn.
I just don't seem to know what healthy is anymore . Anyone else feel like this?

GinGinGin Fri 30-Jan-15 12:55:48

What do you weigh now OP?

GotToBeInItToWinIt Fri 30-Jan-15 12:57:54

I'm very similar, 5ft 5 and a size 10-12 and classed as overweight by my BMI (25.1). I do feel overweight though despite the size 10 jeans (I'm bigger on top as I have massive boobs!) as I have quite a small frame. It's quite disheartening though isn't it? I'm pregnant now but aim to get back to a BMI of 22 which is what I was before having DD.

m0therofdragons Fri 30-Jan-15 12:59:01

I was 10st 10lbs but just weighed myself and I'm 10 6 which is the top of the bmi bracket on the nhs page.

GinGinGin Fri 30-Jan-15 13:01:46

There you go! smile

m0therofdragons Fri 30-Jan-15 13:02:02

I have big ish boobs - 32E and curvy hips. I do want to be closer to 9 stone but the bmmi thing has made me question whether everyone around me looks at me thinking I'm massive and I've been in denial.... My sensible head tells me to ignore it but the crazy lady inside is taking over today.

Runningupthathill82 Fri 30-Jan-15 13:04:01

I think it's sometimes easy for a vision of "healthy" to get skewed. With vanity sizing, it's easy to be overweight and a size 12.

Last summer I was getting towards the top of the healthy BMI for my height, when I hit 10st 12 at 5ft 6. I was still a size 12 - size 14s were huge on me - but I knew, if I was honest with myself, that I was getting chubby.

Since then I've lost over a stone and, at 9st 8lb and a size 10, I feel MUCH better. Clothes fit better, I have defined collarbones, and I have a proper waist again.

IMO, if you genuinely want to, aim for the middle of your BMI. Once you're there you may be surprised by how much better you feel.

Also, be honest with yourself. Do you have weight to lose? If so, don't let a size 12 label in your clothes convince you otherwise. IMO, a size 12 at 5ft 4ins is usually on the overweight side, but obviously build plays a part.

Good luck.

sleepwhenidie Fri 30-Jan-15 13:05:19

You can be healthy (and not 'fat') in the overweight BMI zone. How much do you exercise, what is your diet like and do you smoke/drink more than recommended? When you were 9 stone did you diet to get there? When was it and what happened since? What is your waist/height ratio? These are the questions to be asking (IMO) if you are classed as overweight.

Rather than blindly obeying the BMI chart and going on a diet most destined to leave you heavier in the long term than when you started, look at your lifestyle and also how you feel about your body. Statistics show that when you are a bit older, being in the overweight category actually has the best outcome with regard to longevity, but exercise and diet are really important smile.

I think BMI can be useful as a sort of wake up call if you are gradually gaining weight due to poor lifestyle - if that is the case then it typically leads to further weight gain and obesity related health issues - but it's an arbitrary measure that should not be taken as the be all and end all.

sleepwhenidie Fri 30-Jan-15 13:07:55

Oh and 'size 12' is even more abitrary, particularly given the wide range of sizes that actually encompasses. It means nothing with regard to weight or health.

Smartleatherbag Fri 30-Jan-15 13:10:05

Vanity sizing means size 12 on a 5' 4 frame would be at the higher end of optimum weight. You certainly don't sound fat! But yeah, upper end of 'good'. More than half the population are too heavy so between that and very skinny models it is hard to see what is normal!

m0therofdragons Fri 30-Jan-15 13:16:49

I don't smoke, rarely drink. I don't specifically exercise but am active. My lightest was after dd1 was born. I sort of dieted but only healthy eating really and with bfing the weight came off. Since then I've had twins.

Yes I could some weight (it's all on tummy hips and thighs - my waist is defined but lower tummy is a bit flabby/ stretched skin) so I'm not saying im a skinny model but I reall think that 7 stone 6 would be an unhealthy unnatural weight on me. Mind you, at 9 stone I was still just about a 12 on my hips as 10s were too snug. My waist was an 8. Finding dresses that fit was impossible.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Fri 30-Jan-15 13:17:05

I wondered the same m0ther. I know I need to lose a few lbs but am healthy and never considered myself fat but started to wonder whether everyone around me sees me as fat. I think seeing 'overweight' on the BMI calculator can shock you a bit. Like PP's have said, vanity sizing means that it's hard to rely on your clothing size as an indicator and while I know I'm not fat I do know that, despite my size 10 jeans, I'm definitely at the upper end of 'normal'.

m0therofdragons Fri 30-Jan-15 13:17:32

"Lose" some - sorry missed a word.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Fri 30-Jan-15 13:18:56

And yes the BMI calculator says that I'd still be a healthy weight at 7st 8lbs. I weighed that when I was 16 and was bullied because of how skinny I was, people used to call me 'skinny bitch' at school and tell me to go and eat a burger.

mrsnec Fri 30-Jan-15 13:19:23

Hi op, I am the same size as you in terms of height and clothes but I am a bit heavier. I have been even bigger being 15 stone at my biggest.

I lost 4 stone to conceive dd and I am back to my pre pregnancy weight which also puts me at an overweight size 12.

It's a tough one for me because I am happy with my size but don't like being in the overweight category from a health point of view.

In my younger days I too was about 9 stone but I drank more and ate more rubbish then. I have no idea what I did differently.

I lost weight last time using mfp and calorie counting which I have gone back to now but I'm trying not to be to hard on myself as in I am happy to stay the same but would prefer to lose a bit more. It's very frustrating for me though because I feel like I'm always hungry and have to go under 1400 cals to lose anything.

But I do find it frustrating to still be considered overweight when I was a size 18 before! I have been everything from an 8 to an 18 so was quite happy at a 12!

specialsubject Fri 30-Jan-15 13:19:52

labels in knickers (or any other garment) are almost random, no standards at all. Ignore.

BMI is a guide but isn't always right -waist to height ratio is a good one.

m0therofdragons Fri 30-Jan-15 13:23:17

I'm glad it's not just me. That's amazing going from 18 to a 12. I really like having boobs (so does my dh) so I'm never going to get really skinny. Plus none of my clothes would fit and I can't afford a new wardrobe!

sleepwhenidie Fri 30-Jan-15 13:23:50

To be honest m0ther I would first just try taking up some more structured regular exercise 2 or 3 times a week - c25k, Shred, gym, zumba, whatever you think you'd enjoy, and make an effort to cut down on sugar and processed food. See where that gets you in a month or so, without the stress and boredom of counting calories and restricting smile.

Also take a look at this TED talk about dieting, which includes a very interesting chart about weight and health in relation to 'healthy habits'.

Boobz Fri 30-Jan-15 13:31:13

I do think the range of normal is interesting on the BMI scale. I am 5'3, 8 stone 1lb and my BMI is 20.2. I personally feel I am a bit underweight, but I would need to lose a further stone to fall into the underweight category!

SirVixofVixHall Fri 30-Jan-15 13:34:12

A size 12 now is a lot bigger than a size 12 twenty years ago. I kid myself that as a size 12 I am still an ok-ish weight but in reality I am far too fat. I am five eight but I have a very small frame (23" waist pre-babies), and I could easily lose two and a half stone and still not be horrendously thin. I have a thyroid problem that has piled on the pounds and makes it harder for me to lose weight but I have started 5:2 and am determined to get down to a healthier weight. I think the mirror is a better indicator than either scales or clothes size, we all know really if we are carrying too much podge here and there. Mine has crept up around the middle, not helped by now being peri-menopausal, and that is what really needs addressing, a big bum is fine health wise grin.

KnitFastDieWarm Fri 30-Jan-15 13:34:37

I'm a size 14-16 in jeans and a size 10-14 in tops (depending on the cut). My waist is 11 inches smaller than my bust and hips. I have a true hourglass shape. I'm 5'4, 27, and according to my doctor am one of the healthiest people she's ever met. My cholesterol, blood pressure and liver and kidney function are perfect.

If I ask people to guess my weight, they usually hazard around 10 and half stone. I weight at least 14 and a half stone, which genuinely astonishes people. Why am I so heavy? Because a) I am muscular b) I have a huge arse and boobs and c) I like food. I'm extremely healthy, I love my shape, I love clothes and looking my best, I don't 'look as 'fat' as I am.

I say this as someone who spent YEARS trying to be the weight you are now. I achieved this in my early 20s by eating less than 900 calories a day and going running for an hour every day. And I was still at the very top end of my 'healthy' BMI. And then I though 'ah fuck it' and started eating good healthy food and walking and doing yoga - and here my body is. It seems to be happy here. Would I like to be thinner? Yes, sometimes. But do I care enough to diet? Hell no! Of course if my health was at risk that would be a different story, but for now, I'm good.

All I'm saying is, if you want to lose weight, go for it in a healthy way. But every body is different, if you have to force your body into doing something it doesn't want to do, make sure it's worth your sanity.

Of course all of us, fat and thin, should eat well, not eat crap all the time, exercise, enjoy life - but don't fuck your metabolism up and analyze everything that you put in your mouth unless you really, really can't see yourself being happy any other way. Your body doesn't read BMI charts.

(disclaimer - before anyone asks, this is not a reason to go 'sod it' and live on burgers for the rest of eternity, either grin- all I'm saying is that if you eat a good variety of foods, when you're physically hungry, and do a reasonable amount of enjoyable exercise, your body will find its own comfort level. Which may not be your ideal, but you can either fight it or accept it)

Runningupthathill82 Fri 30-Jan-15 13:45:09

I think "normal" on the BMI scale IS healthy in 99% of cases, but our perceptions of normal are skewed.

I've been 6st 12lb at 5ft 6 (BMI 15, underweight) and 10st 12lb (BMI 24, borderline overweight). But even at 10st 12, as I said in my last post, I was a modern size 12.

There were a number of things that made me realise I needed to lose weight, but one of the main ones was borrowing MILs size 12 silk dress from the 60s and it not even going past my knees.

Sizes have changed beyond recognition, but people still think that 12 isn't a big size so, if they can fit a size 12, they can't be overweight.

Shops are so different too - at 10st 12 I was still a size 10 in Gap and Dorothy Perkins. Makes me wonder what genuinely slim people do in those shops - presumably they just can't shop there?!

I think it's also true that in some cases you don't realise how big you are til you slim down. I now look at pics of myself as a size 12 and feel embarrassed. I even have double chins in some photos - I honestly didn't realise how chubby I'd become.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Fri 30-Jan-15 13:48:51

I was also much less healthy when I was thinner. When I first lived on my own I was a size 8 and approx 9 stone but dinner was a slice of toast and 3 glasses of wine. Breakfast a bowl of cereal and I usually had no lunch as I didn't have time for a lunch break at work. I'd be lucky if I had 5 a week let alone 5 a day.

Boobz Fri 30-Jan-15 13:49:57

Good post knit. I wish I had the same outlook as you. I unfortunately fall into the "fight it" category, and have done pretty much all my life. I am extremely fit now, as a bi-product of trying to get a super slim body (daily Insanity work outs and long runs on the weekend), but really it should be the other way around. I love feeling this healthy and strong, but I secretly love fitting into size 6-8 clothes more.

It's sad. But I don't know how to change it - I think I will always be watching what I eat & exercising like a loon!

KnitFastDieWarm Fri 30-Jan-15 13:57:44

Boobz I sympathise, it took me about five years to eat ANYTHING without thinking about its calorie content, whether I had enough 'budget' for that day, even if I was starving hungry. I'd spend evenings out with friends feeling like shit because I'd missed my run that day. I used to swear blind that I just loved being fit - I loved being thin. If I could live the way i do now and look the way i did then, I'd pick then, purely for ease of jeans purchasing (big arses are not often factored into the jeans-making process, it seems grin) - but I look pretty damn good now. Just a bit bigger. I'm still me.

It's so hard because if you are my size people do assume you eat lard all day, just as they look at people who are naturally very slim and assume they must be anorexic (which is just as offensive, I have very petite, straight-up-and-down, slim friends who are constantly insulted and told they're not 'real women'). I think BMI can be really unhelpful to individuals who are otherwise healthy and happy, who then look at a chart and think 'shit, I'm a fat hideous bloater who will die young' because they weigh more than what a population average says they should weigh. Health is a big picture of which weight is only one part, but sometimes a number on a scale is made out to be everything.

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