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Double chin and family misundertanding

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:51 pm
Hi all,
This isn't going to be a long or very important post, but for some reason it feels important for me to bounce it off y'all's. Yesterday I noticed that I have a double chin (worse when I'm looking down obviously) and I was lamenting to my sisters. At first they both sort of laughed. They laughed more when I said I was going to try to do exercises to correct it too. It wasn't mean spirited, I was laughing with them.Then one was like "Well if you're eating a good amount for yourself then it's fine." But my other sister was like, "You know if you want to lose it really quickly just start eating half of what you would normally ear. That's what Julie Andrews did to lose weight." I kind of just graoned to that remark and my other sister was like "Looks aren't important." And then the sister (who said I should lose weight) said, "Yeah, I think you're beautiful, you look fine as ever to me." I don't know why but the whole conversation was just really hurtful. My sisters weren't trying to be mean at all, but I guess just the implications that my weight (and my bmi is only 21.9) was a problem and that I needed to slim down made my already low self esteem even lower. I mean, some days ya just feel like crap about yourself and yesterday was one of those for me. Also, I've never told my sisters about my weird overeating/binging compulsions so they don't know that I can't diet like a normal person. Which made me feel pretty bad too. Just another reminder that I had an eating disorder. It can really make me feel like damaged goods sometimes. And then of course I'm a little envious of my sisters because they can seemingly eat whatever they want and still be quite small. Oh dear. I'm vain as a peacock, no denying, and you wouldn't be wrong to tell me to get over myself, but some days are just so much harder than others.

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:09 pm
by Larkspur
I think this may be more about where you were at the moment than what they were saying--? Does that sound right? In other words, your sister said, "you're beautiful, you look fine," and another suggested a method to lose weight since you were feeling unhappy about your chin. People respond to stimulus-- you say things, they say things back, trying to help. And you were not in a place where that help was doing you any good. If it's any comfort, I would love a BMI of 21 something! But the subjective sense of being good enough is not just about a number. Best wishes and I hope you feel better!

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:36 pm
by eam531
Larkspur's post is very insightful, I think. It sounds like your sisters inadvertently tweaked you in a sensitive spot--one they didn't know was sensitive. However, I do have to say that unasked-for dietary advice is a big no-no in my book.

Also ... I don't know how tall you are or how big or small your frame is, but the BMI charts I have seen all say that a number between 18.5 and 24.9 is healthy. Yours is well within that range. You aren't anywhere near the top end of the "healthy" range. Do you have unrealistic ideas about how much you "should" weigh?

Best wishes, and I hope you feel better having told us about this incident.

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:26 am
by oolala53
I'm sorry you felt hurt. It's really a shame how much we feel our identity and ability to be accepted by others is so tied to our appearance. It's probably a pretty old biological program that runs deep even though it's not actually very important any more.

It's hard to accept that when we bring up complaints about our bodies, people are likely to give suggestions, especially family.

A BMI of 21. 5 is one about 70% of people in this country would be very happy with! But it must be hard to be small and have elements of your body that don't fit that. I'm not sure what could change that. A friend who has also lost weight like I have is still thick through her waist but has legs I can never hope for.

Your sisters must be REALLY small! I know it's said that slim people actually do have to exert some effort to manage their appetite, but I know they don't have to do what most of us have done. I can only think they have other burdens that I don't have. (Don't they? :shock: )

I hope you feel things have smoothed out a bit.

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:42 am
by breeze94
Maybe it is just the way you described the interaction but it seems you brought up the discussion of losing weight so I think it is natural for your sister to try and "help". Once prompted I think most people will bring up whatever the latest greatest weight loss program they've heard about. Have you shared the NO S plan with them?

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:30 pm
by oolala53
Honestly. I'd steer clear of talking about No S, especially with people who don't have to do much for their weight maintenance. It just invites criticism and more attention to your habits. Divert!

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:10 pm
by breeze94
I agree with you but i would then also suggest avoiding the topic of weight/weight loss altogether. If you bring it up, people will discuss it and give advice(most of it lousy).

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:48 pm
" but it seems you brought up the discussion of losing weight"

breeze94, you're right, I did. It was my bad, I guess I was just looking for comfort and a listening ear in the wrong place. Of course my sisters don't understand the whole messy, complicated situation and I knew that. I guess I was just wishfully thinking! :roll:

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:21 pm
by breeze94
I totally understand. It's impossible to get the whole context from a forum post but I would try to interpret your sisters response as trying to help you with the problem as you presented it. "Lose double chin=lose weight= julie andrews lost weight this way". Now if my sister came to me and said "When are you going to do something about that double chin" well then we are going to get into it!

I have a medical condition that generates a lot of "unhelpful" comments but I try my best just to take them as trying to help because most of the time the people making them don't have "all" the information and I don't want to make myself fight battles that are not necessary to fight.

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:28 pm
by MaggieMae
I know it hurts when your family says something like that, even if it wasn't intentionally hurtful. Some people have chins that aren't well defined even though they aren't overweight. I've seen it run in families. Your BMI is so so healthy! If your chin is bothering you, try using contouring makeup techniques. I'm like you....vain as a peacock. Haha. I intentionally hold my chin up when talking to people so my double chin isn't obvious. If I look down it's super noticeable!

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:04 pm
by jenji
This is late, but I wonder if you could share with your sisters (if they might be supportive) that you have disordered eating, and that x, y, z would support you in staying healthy. I know it can be scary to be vulnerable, and I'd only do it if you think that they could be supportive.

I'm picturing you saying something like, "I'm sorry I never told you this, but I have an eating disorder. It manifests like xxx for me. Things like comments about my body can affect me more than you might realize. Even if I'm saying something about my body, can you just remind me to be gentle with myself?" or whatever would be the thing that you wish they would say. Sometimes even loving people need to be told how to behave.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:14 pm
by TunaFishKid
People like to help...especially those who love you. If you made a comment about your double chin, then your sister who suggested you slim down was not necessarily criticizing you, she was agreeing with you and (in her mind) supporting you.

As hard as it is, try to avoid discussing your appearance at all. And if you do, then try to take any and all comments as intending to be helpful. If you take all comments as loving (whether they are or not) you'll be much happier, lol.