Should I accept my body weight or not? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 03-16-2009, 08:35 PM
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Okay, so I'm at the higher end of the normal range for my height and have been for quite some time. I was this weight while omni and it hasn't changed (but for small fluctuations) since I went veggie about 9 months ago. My question is, should I accept myself as I am or should I do something more extreme than my current regimen to lose weight? (I will give more details, but wanted to get the main question out there).

So, I am 5'4" and 140 lbs and medium boned according to my wrist measurement. My shoulders are roughly the same width as my 6'1" ex-boyfriend's though (though admittedly he's rather thin/ small framed for a guy). My figure's a sort of large hourglass (39-29-39). I definitely have excess fat around my hips, thighs, and upper arms and hate the way I look in the mirror unless there's really soft lighting and I don't have to look at my thighs. But technically I'm within my normal weight range.

Thing is, I was on a medicine a couple years ago that reduced my appetite and increased my metabolism. I lost about 20 pounds and definitely felt better about myself at that weight. While I wasn't a stick even then, it felt great. I don't need the medicine now though, but having been that weight I have a really hard time accepting my less than ideal figure now. Should I, given the eating/exercise routine I am about to describe?

So, in terms of my diet and exercise routine...About 2 months ago, I started a new regimen and have not seen any results. In fact, I've gained about 2 pounds (though that's within my normal fluctuation, being female and all).

So, I have been eating a nearly vegan diet. Most days I eat almost the same things. Breakfast consists of a good amount of Bob's Red Mill oatmeal to which I add banana, blueberries, and ground flax seed. For lunch I have half a can of lentil soup, a piece of seed bread, carrots and hummus and sometimes a glass of light soymilk. For dinner I have whole wheat spaghetti, marinara sauce (sometimes I put in a couple of meatless meatballs or mushrooms), and bunch of broccoli, and another piece of seed bread . Later, I often have an apple with a little peanut butter and cinnamon for dessert. I also take a multivitamin and calcium supplements and drink a lot of tea. Okay, and once or twice a week I'll have a mozzarella tomato sandwich or a latte or some kind of indulgent beverage.

My exercise routine consists of walking 2-3 miles probably 2 out of every 3 days. I also play about 45 minutes of DDR every night. Go ahead and laugh if you want, but it's serious exercise. I play a range of 6-9 foot songs (I probably average around 7 though because I get worn out on the higher ones and am still learning patterns). I have no idea how many calories this burns but I definitely sweat. And I think my calves have gotten bigger (sigh).

So, what do you all think? I don't want to be bullied, but I do want to know honest opinions. Do I need to suck it up and try harder/ any suggestions for what might work? Or should I be happy with how I am as long as I am healthy and spend my time on other pursuits?

I really appreciate anyone who's managed to make it this far.
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#2 Old 03-16-2009, 10:18 PM
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Well, let's see. 5'4" and 140. I'm 5'3" and was 140... I'm about 135 right now. I'm trying to get down a little farther, but I dont need to, I'd just like to lose a little more fat and gain a little more muscle. You also said you're 39-29-39. I'm 39-31-39. So your figure is nicer than mine

If you're truly unhappy with your body, then sure, work on it. Just don't try to go for something unrealistic, you know? If you're trying for something unrealistic and can't do it, then even if you make some progress you'll still feel like you failed because you didn't meet this unachievable goal.

It sounds to me like, with that exercise and diet, your body may just naturally like this weight. Also, please keep in mind that BMI is a flawed calculation. If I remember correctly, it doesn't take into account that we are 3D people, not 2D. Body fat is a better measure.

Hips and thighs are supposed to carry extra fat. That's where women often deposit fat. As for arms, how many people do you know that don't have some extra fat on their upper arms? Goodness, I'm only 22 but I've already got a little of the turkey wobble thing happening on my arms.

I guess my point is, if you want to change something, go for it, as long as you don't go overboard. But I think it's important to love your body, even if you do want to change something, too. I love my body, but I do want to lower my fat percentage and gain muscle. I still love it, though. It's the only one you're gonna get, so might as well not waste energy on hating it! Change what you can if it's important to you, and be happy about all the great things it can do
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#3 Old 03-16-2009, 11:56 PM
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I am 5'4" and have weighed up to 152 pounds, but spent much more time at the 140 range. Right now I'm at 130 pounds and I am much happier. Thing is though, I became a happier person, and the weight just fell off, making me in turn happier. I found peace with life and with my body, and stopped eating out of boredom or stress.

I started listening to my body, eating only when I was hungry, and if I was craving something, I would eat it (this includes indulgent things). I also started drinking more water and tea, and I really slowed down on the alcohol, going from one or two drinks 5 times a week to maybe one or two drinks a week. I started getting messages about really being in my body, reveling in it and loving it when I was meditating and it's really helped.

Basically, it just happened when I was happier, when I was just being instead of trying to do something specific. I hope that makes sense.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavanto

'May everyone everywhere be happy
May the whole world be joyous'
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#4 Old 03-17-2009, 06:31 AM
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You sound like you are unhappy about your weight. And if that is the case, I think you should do something to make yourself feel better. As long as you go about it in a healthy way and stay within a healthy weight for your body, you should be fine.

What I noticed is that you eat the same thing and do the same exercises each day. Our bodies can get accustomed to the same thing and then we won't see the changes that we desire. I'm not saying that the food and exercises that you're doing are bad, but it might kick start your metabolism to switch it up a bit.

You could try jogging instead of running, or taking a yoga or kickboxing class. You'd be surprised how sore you feel when you use some different muscles. I recently started jogging and I thought I was in decent shape, but the new exercise really pushed me in a way that exercises my body was used to didn't.

In terms of your diet, there are lots of different fruits and vegetables out there! Give some new ones a try. Also, whole grains like quinoa, barley, millet and bulgur are great. A more varied diet will include vitamins and minerals that you might be missing now.

If you do decide that you want to lose some weight, I hope you come join us in the March Weight Loss Challenge thread. There's lots of very friendly and supportive people there and we'd love to have you join us!
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#5 Old 03-17-2009, 08:14 AM
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Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far! I feel better just hearing from others who've faced similar challenges. And good advice all around!

Rockin Dancer-- thanks for reminding me that women are supposed to be 3 dimensional. I wish I could get my bodyfat measurement, but don't have the funds to do so at this point in time. In any case, there is wisdom in appreciating my body even whilst trying to change it a bit. I guess I've just gotten frustrated with it because not only does it not match societal standards, but it hasn't changed regardless of the fact that I've been a lot healthier in the last 2 months than in the previous several months.

Which brings me to Synergy. What you said did make sense to me. There is definitely something to be said for happiness. I think some of my previous weight loss was because of the medicine I was on, but I think some of it was because I was in a happier place. Right now I've got a lot of stressful life things going on, but that doesn't mean I can't meditate and work on being happier in the moment. That helps not just me but everyone around me. And it might help lead me to feed my body just what it really needs if I can listen to it more.

Which leads me to 3LB...I think you may be right. Variety is the spice of life and I'm not getting much right now in the diet or exercise arenas. There are a couple reasons for this. One being that I'm living with a friend until I get a new job (lovely economy we've got ourselves). Unfortunately, he doesn't have a microwave or a blender/food processor and he likes to eat the same things every day. And I'm not a very adventurous cook...though I did manage to make a delicious tofu scramble a couple nights ago. Perhaps I will work on this. One of the other reasons is because of said lack of job I am quickly running through my remaining funds and oatmeal and pasta are cheap. Though I suppose some of the other grains and veggies you mentioned might not be any worse.

As far as the exercise, I think I will try to get in some jogging rather than just walking. I did that for a few months right around the time I went veggie. While I didn't lose weight then either, my legs did seem a bit more toned. If past experience is any indicator, it will take me a little while til I can work up to more than interval jogging. But I imagine it would be worth it. And someone on here recommended a free yoga website, so I may check that out too. I liked yoga.

Once again, thanks everyone! M'already feeling a lot better/ more empowered.
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#6 Old 03-17-2009, 05:09 PM
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Here's a body fat calculator.

I can't guarantee perfect accuracy, but I tested it with my measurements and it was pretty close to the last time I had my body fat tested (about 0.5% different, which wouldn't surprise me if that was correct, anyway)
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#7 Old 03-17-2009, 05:21 PM
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Ah, thanks! And Happy St. Patrick's Day
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#8 Old 03-18-2009, 08:25 AM
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Hey, I am 5'4 and weigh about 135. I am trying to drop 10 pounds for the reason you said. According to BMI, both of us are within a normal weight, but I totally understand and share your desire for a slimmer figure. I've just been trying to live a healthier lifestyle, and I'm hoping that will get a few pounds off.
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#9 Old 03-18-2009, 01:24 PM
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Hi dormouse! Thanks for chiming in. It's really nice to know m'not in this boat alone. And it's a good, strong boat and I'm sure we will Right.
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#10 Old 03-18-2009, 04:17 PM
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I think everyone gave really good advice - only you can really decide what's worth working towards and changing and what should be on your priority list to make you happier. But try not to let society dictate what's beautiful and what isn't. The ideal is so narrow these days.

But I think you do need to eat a more of diverse range of foods to both for your health and pleasure! I think if you're bored with what you're eating, you tend to eat more to make up for it.
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#11 Old 03-19-2009, 10:06 AM
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At 5'0" and 117 pounds I'm supposed to be "normal" but because I had anorectic sisters and managed to get down to 95 pounds when I first went veg, I still wish I were back there. What's bothering me is that I managed to regain half of the weight I lost, and if I don't limit my carbs and continue to eat them late at night I might gain more. But the darned things TASTE SO GOOD! Who can eat only one itty bitty 2 oz. slice of HOMEMADE MULTIGRAIN VEGAN BREAD, HUH? Or vegan samosas, or kasha/felafel burgers?

Are any of you people married to (vegan) chefs who aren't on diets?

Would anyone like to hire him? (Halfway serious question.)

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#12 Old 03-19-2009, 01:33 PM
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jAded, yeah...societal ideals was one of the reasons I got to the point of posting this thread. They're very narrow and even when I was thinner I didn't really meet them. It's strange how knowing that the ideal is not healthy or even possible (i.e. no matter how skinny I am I will never have long legs), still doesn't keep me from wanting to be it. But m'not going to focus on that ideal. I am going to put some focus on being healthier with more diverse food and exercise habits. And I really want to lose weight, but if I don't, so be it. There are more important things in life. Like writing and painting and getting a good job (I don't have those three in the wrong order at all...hehe). And right at this moment, doing laundry.

And foguiera, sounds like you have more temptation around than I do and a similar experience with having been thinner before. That's got to be frustrating. I mean...the smell of fresh-baked bread...mmmm....
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