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Style & Beauty

Losing weight is the ONLY way to look good :(

192 replies

Mrcpy · 18/03/2023 17:01

I’d describe myself as fairly style-conscious, I’m into skincare and beauty, health and well-being, and I know how to put together a polished outfit.

Sadly I’m coming to the realisation that I never feel as good - no matter how much effort I’ve put into the above - I NEVER feel as good as I feel when I’ve lost weight.

When I’ve lost weight, it doesn’t matter what I wear. I could be completely casual but still feel like I look amazing. When I’ve gained weight, it doesn’t matter what I wear. I could be in the best clothes / designer bag / jewellery but still feel scruffy.

I had a severe eating disorder in my teens and twenties, and I feel sad that it’s still with me in some way. For context, I’m late 30’s, and BMI fluctuates between 23-26 so nothing dramatic. Have a good job, family etc so I know there’s more to life.

Just feel sad really.

OP posts:
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Cottagecheeseisnotcheese · 20/03/2023 17:39

@Bamboux you arre not carrying excess weight at BMI 20 neither is anyone else with that BMI, maybe you feel better at 18.5 and that is absolutely fine and a healthy weight, there is no need for you to increase it to 20; however objectively BMI 20 is not an excessive weight I do not need to see your body to know that anyone with BMI of 20 is not overweight ( the meaning of excess weight)
Excess weight is not a subjective term it is used specifically to mean weight above which is healthy it does not mean weighing more than or having a different shape to what I would like,

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TennisWithDeborah · 20/03/2023 17:56

THisbackwithavengeance · 19/03/2023 13:02

Being slim looks much better than being fat. It's obvious. Some women carry weight better than others but no one is going to argue that a size 22 woman looks better than a size 10 woman unless the bigger woman is exceptionally beautiful and well dressed. Particularly nowadays when even the most mediocre looking women can transform her face with decent make up and straighten her hair easily etc.

But a lot of women on this thread are arguing black's white that they don't look good at <low BMI> and they need to be <even lower BMI> to look anywhere near acceptable.

I think that's where the eating disorder accusations have come in.

Yes, I agree with this I think.

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Bamboux · 20/03/2023 18:31

Cottagecheeseisnotcheese · 20/03/2023 17:39

@Bamboux you arre not carrying excess weight at BMI 20 neither is anyone else with that BMI, maybe you feel better at 18.5 and that is absolutely fine and a healthy weight, there is no need for you to increase it to 20; however objectively BMI 20 is not an excessive weight I do not need to see your body to know that anyone with BMI of 20 is not overweight ( the meaning of excess weight)
Excess weight is not a subjective term it is used specifically to mean weight above which is healthy it does not mean weighing more than or having a different shape to what I would like,

I am aware I'm not overweight in terms of my BMI, but there are specific parts of my body which are 100% definitely carrying excess weight. There is no need for my body to cart around bags of fat that does nothing.

Fat on my belly or thighs is completely non-functional - it adds nothing at all to the functionality of my body - it is simply a drain on my body's resources.

It makes me feel uncomfortable and look awful. In that sense it is excessive - it exceeds what my body needs.

It is not a coincidence that this has happened since covid - I lost my daily gym habit, have been drinking etc. far too much, and at the moment I don't feel like I will ever again reach the levels of health, leanness and fitness that I had before the pandemic.

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Usernamen · 20/03/2023 19:31

Bamboux · 20/03/2023 18:31

I am aware I'm not overweight in terms of my BMI, but there are specific parts of my body which are 100% definitely carrying excess weight. There is no need for my body to cart around bags of fat that does nothing.

Fat on my belly or thighs is completely non-functional - it adds nothing at all to the functionality of my body - it is simply a drain on my body's resources.

It makes me feel uncomfortable and look awful. In that sense it is excessive - it exceeds what my body needs.

It is not a coincidence that this has happened since covid - I lost my daily gym habit, have been drinking etc. far too much, and at the moment I don't feel like I will ever again reach the levels of health, leanness and fitness that I had before the pandemic.

What’s changed since the pandemic? Gyms have been open since April 2021 - surely you’re able to get back into things now?!

You know you will feel and look better, so just do it! :)


(Unless there are other things going on in your life which are getting in the way.)

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TrinaLowsln · 20/03/2023 19:35

What a batshit thread. Peak mumsnet 🤣🤣🤣

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Bamboux · 20/03/2023 19:39

Usernamen · 20/03/2023 19:31

What’s changed since the pandemic? Gyms have been open since April 2021 - surely you’re able to get back into things now?!

You know you will feel and look better, so just do it! :)


(Unless there are other things going on in your life which are getting in the way.)

I've been back to the gym since the day they reopened (and then when they closed and reopened again), even when there weren't any classes.

Yes, there are other things going on in my life too, but I manage to go now roughly 3x a week, whereas pre-covid it was 6-7x a week.

That's why I said I lost the daily habit. I did do online classes for a long time even during lockdown.

I was at my absolute thinnest somewhere in the middle of the first lockdown, just a combination of everything led to a really bad relapse of my ED. Weight dropped well below healthy.

Then I started doing other (unhealthy) coping mechanisms to stop the ED, and then work started back up with a vengeance, family responsibilities, etc. I do still go to the gym but I feel like my mental and physical health took a really hard hit during covid.

Going to the gym makes me feel briefly better but it's not the panacea it was.

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Usernamen · 20/03/2023 20:21

Bamboux · 20/03/2023 19:39

I've been back to the gym since the day they reopened (and then when they closed and reopened again), even when there weren't any classes.

Yes, there are other things going on in my life too, but I manage to go now roughly 3x a week, whereas pre-covid it was 6-7x a week.

That's why I said I lost the daily habit. I did do online classes for a long time even during lockdown.

I was at my absolute thinnest somewhere in the middle of the first lockdown, just a combination of everything led to a really bad relapse of my ED. Weight dropped well below healthy.

Then I started doing other (unhealthy) coping mechanisms to stop the ED, and then work started back up with a vengeance, family responsibilities, etc. I do still go to the gym but I feel like my mental and physical health took a really hard hit during covid.

Going to the gym makes me feel briefly better but it's not the panacea it was.

Could it be a hormone imbalance?

Exercise doesn’t make me feel as good as it once did too, and I am looking into whether it’s my hormones.

I recommend cutting out sugar and if possible go keto, as you will feel lighter (less water retention) and it will make exercise easier.


Good luck, you’ll get there :)

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MistySkiesAreGone · 21/03/2023 03:25

I think a good way to switch it up if the mentality of weight focus is draining is to focus on fitness, strength and body composition (% fat and muscle), doing a normal amount of exercise sessions, good diet. Muscle weighs more so it becomes less relevant.

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Advancedpie · 21/03/2023 05:00

determinedtomakethiswork · 18/03/2023 17:26

I think you're absolutely right. It's a very sad fact! Clothes looks so much better on a slimmer body. What I find interesting is that when I diet, particularly a low-carb diet, I feel absolutely fantastic after a few days and yet I can't seem to keep it up. I just don't understand that.

I wish I could feel absolutely fantastic like this. What I found is I feel shite eating bad stuff but only 'ordinary' eating very well & low carb. I never hit the fantastic feeling.

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Catspyjamas17 · 21/03/2023 06:04

Good muscle tone and fitness are just as important for me. My limbs would never be skinny unless I was severely ill, it's just not my build. I could do with losing some weight in terms of BMI but every single other measure - waist measurement v height, cholesterol, blood sugar, iron, blood pressure, resting heart rate is healthy, and I know my diet is a healthy balance and I take plenty of exercise and drink alcohol moderately so I've stopped worrying about my weight or counting calories, other than to have a quick nutritional balance check by logging food on Nutracheck every now and then. I've made long term positive lifestyle changes over the years which are sustainable and realistic. I'm 47, a size 12-14 and feel very confident in clothes or swimwear. If anything when I was younger and lighter my BP was so low that I'd get light-headed and dizzy from time to time, and that doesn't happen at all now as my BP is normal.

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TrinaLowsln · 21/03/2023 09:22

Hand on heart I looked awful at a size 8. I prefer my body at a size 14. That is the honest truth. I am hourglass shaped rather than apple.

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BusterGonad · 22/03/2023 04:33

FlosCampi · 20/03/2023 17:37

When I am bigger (size 18 hourglass with a decent face) I feel i have to have good hair, make up, accessories in order to appear well-dressed. When I'm a 12 I can dress more casually and look atrractive. I think what I'm trying to say is, when overweight I substitute smartness for attractiveness, it's harder to dress casually at a size 18 and look attractive.

When I lose weight but wear my larger, and now baggy and shapeless clothes, I look worse than when I fill them up! Clothes that fit well matter at every size.

Weight in proportion to height signifies youth and health, of course those things are attractive, but they don't guarantee attractiveness. There's a thing online ( insta I think) ' is it fashion, or are they just skinny?" - or something along those lines. Slim women wearing hideous outfits that look good on them, but like hideous potato sacks on larger people.

But it's demoralising, in terms of motivation to lose weight, that we are tuned to " read" fatter people as unattractive: disgust and self-hatred and low self-esteem are not motivating. I need to feel that I look passable at an 18 and therefore how much better I would look at a 12! That's why slimming success photos are so motivating. The plus size models on Pinterest were a revelation to me: it's v motivating to get down to a healthy weight because I start from a place of acceptance and self esteem.

I realise my post is contradictory, just thinking aloud really.

Your post is completely right. Once you've accepted your bigger self, and you are feeling good and happy, only then are you able to change things and move forward. Losing weight when you are sad and depressed nigh on impossible. For me anyway. I fall right back into binge eating etc. I need to be a happy place to get to my natural healthy weight. Dieting never works.

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surrenderdorothy · 22/03/2023 05:29

Fat on my belly or thighs is completely non-functional - it adds nothing at all to the functionality of my body - it is simply a drain on my body's resources.

Woah! Absolutely not true if you're a woman.

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Tutulechapeau · 22/03/2023 07:07

surrenderdorothy · 22/03/2023 05:29

Fat on my belly or thighs is completely non-functional - it adds nothing at all to the functionality of my body - it is simply a drain on my body's resources.

Woah! Absolutely not true if you're a woman.

That comment is actually concerning.

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TrinaLowsln · 22/03/2023 07:31

Tutulechapeau · 22/03/2023 07:07

That comment is actually concerning.

This whole thread is concerning.

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HeavyHeidi · 22/03/2023 08:02

so it is OK to say that 'I prefer to be a size 14 and not 8' but not the other way around?

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HairyBiscuitGobbler · 22/03/2023 08:11

Bloody hell, it's like the twilight zone in here!

[backs out slowly]

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TrinaLowsln · 22/03/2023 08:35

HairyBiscuitGobbler · 22/03/2023 08:11

Bloody hell, it's like the twilight zone in here!

[backs out slowly]

Right 🤣🤣🤣

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mightymam · 22/03/2023 09:11

Fucking hell at most of the replies on here!!! Did you all miss the point in the OP when she says she was previously anorexic?! You've all just come on and confirmed her deepest fear about weight gain and looking shit. Dickheads.

OP, I was previously anorexic and maintained a 'beautiful' figure with exercise being my drug. After a lot of therapy and self-reflection, the previous me can fuck off! I look back at photos and realise how terrible I look! Everyone was too polite around me to tell me the truth but I constantly looked gaunt and my already sharp features were exaggerated and looked sharper. I've gained weight since and realised that there are different clothes for different lifestyles/shapes/sizes and brands that prioritise one or the other. Yes, I'll never look good in clothes from the top brands that are designed and cut for people with a lot of money who are image conscious but then I'm not those people and definitely don't have that lifestyle! Think about what you like doing most (genuinely- not what others think you like) and what you'd be wearing in those situations and go from there. Also, please go for therapy if you already haven't. I tend to have days like your OP where the grass would be greener if I was XYZ when things around me are going to pot.

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Zuyi · 22/03/2023 09:11

"Body fat is so much more than storage. Adipose tissue interacts with your entire body to maintain your metabolic homeostasis. Through chemical signals and adaptive responses, adipose tissue could even be said to function with intelligence — at least in the sense that other body systems do. And like other body systems, it can also function imperfectly, leading to a breakdown in various chemical processes that depend on it. The more we understand how interdependent all body systems are — including body fat — the more we understand how each one deserves our respect and care."

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24052-adipose-tissue-body-fat

Adipose Tissue (Body Fat): Anatomy & Function

Adipose tissue is otherwise known as body fat. In addition to storing and releasing energy, adipose tissue plays an important role in your endocrine system.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24052-adipose-tissue-body-fat

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MarieRoseMarie · 22/03/2023 09:18

Look, I’m currently a size 16 and I look better as a size 12 but most women over 45 who think they look better extra thin… don’t. They look haggard and old. That’s my non PC answer. Sorry.

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Mercurial123 · 22/03/2023 09:40

MarieRoseMarie · 22/03/2023 09:18

Look, I’m currently a size 16 and I look better as a size 12 but most women over 45 who think they look better extra thin… don’t. They look haggard and old. That’s my non PC answer. Sorry.

Why are you sorry? People can either agree or disagree.

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TrinaLowsln · 22/03/2023 09:47

mightymam · 22/03/2023 09:11

Fucking hell at most of the replies on here!!! Did you all miss the point in the OP when she says she was previously anorexic?! You've all just come on and confirmed her deepest fear about weight gain and looking shit. Dickheads.

OP, I was previously anorexic and maintained a 'beautiful' figure with exercise being my drug. After a lot of therapy and self-reflection, the previous me can fuck off! I look back at photos and realise how terrible I look! Everyone was too polite around me to tell me the truth but I constantly looked gaunt and my already sharp features were exaggerated and looked sharper. I've gained weight since and realised that there are different clothes for different lifestyles/shapes/sizes and brands that prioritise one or the other. Yes, I'll never look good in clothes from the top brands that are designed and cut for people with a lot of money who are image conscious but then I'm not those people and definitely don't have that lifestyle! Think about what you like doing most (genuinely- not what others think you like) and what you'd be wearing in those situations and go from there. Also, please go for therapy if you already haven't. I tend to have days like your OP where the grass would be greener if I was XYZ when things around me are going to pot.

Agree. Can't believe the thread has been allowed to stand tbh. It's dangerous.

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Evelynbrown · 23/03/2023 11:26

Personally, I think it s more about your confidence first rather than body type. If you are not confident with your body then no matter what your body type or branded clothes you are wearing. So it is better to have confidence in your body and to lose weight and being fit is also beneficial health-wise.

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CherryPosset · 19/06/2023 16:24

There's something odd about this thread. It certainly isn't about not wanting to be overweight. It seems more about wanting to be underweight. I would go so far as to suggest most of the posts are quite disordered, or possess a good deal of self loathing.

I just put my info into the NHS BMI calculator and got this result (pic), at 18.4 it says I am underweight.
I am 5'4 tall and a very slight build. I look healthy and don't have any medical issues, but have tended to linger around 7.10 stone/8.2 all of my life, and I am now 49 yrs old.
8 stones seems to be my set point as i always end up there somehow.
I have also never dieted and most of my family are a similar build.

What I cant understand for the life of me is why so many people on this thread WANT to be at a BMI of 18.
I am already wary of bone loss in my future (I am in meno) and make sure that if I dip below 8 stone I will eat more protein and fat to get back up again. I also do a moderate amount of strength fitness and yoga a few days a week.

Unless suffering from a mental illness, I have no idea why so many women on MN would desire to be underweight.
Do I look better in clothes? No. Perhaps through the lens of self hatred someone might presume me to look better. I find most clothes to be cut badly and this translates at any weight. Clothes have won the race to the bottom and we accept this to keep the prices down. I still struggle whilst slim because I'd rather have meatier thighs, firmer breasts, olive skin, sleek hair. We are rarely, if ever, content in a world which love to separate women from their rmoney by inventing issues we can pay to fix!

I could understand this thread if people wanted to get into a healthy weight range, but on the whole that's not what it reveals. It reveals some seriously screwed up perceptions of self, flimsily masked by a 'concern' for health. This is one of the most disordered threads I have even seen on MN, and would advise anyone struggling with mental health issues or obesity to AVOID. This is not how mentally healthy people think.

Losing weight is the ONLY way to look good :(
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