I've been a little chubby for a long time but never too out of shape. People got used to me looking a certain way but after almost a year being Paleo, I'm a pretty skinny version of the old me. I'd say I am the healthiest I've ever been, but my family looks at me like I've been starved or something since they aren't used to me without my beer gut and double chin. Mom is starting to send me gluten-free cupcake cookbooks to fatten me up. Anyone else deal with this? My goal is to focus on building muscle weight and perhaps that will assuage their worries. I am about to take up the flag for the opposite end of the "healthy at any size" movement! It's ok to not carry excess body fat America!
I don't agree that it's other people projecting fake concern onto you or wishing they were that slim. In my personal experience, it was people who clearly had a fixed view of what I looked like after having known me for a long time, and then seeing a newer, slimmer version of me, they simply can't get used to it or just worried I was losing weight through illness. Despite me still being not particularly thin. One of my biggest worriers was also my mother - I think mum's just often have a built-in worry mechanism if you lose weight.
People who met me after I lost weight didn't think I was too thin, so I put it down to simply a failure on the part of people who knew me well to adjust their perception of me.
As to the question - how do you deal with it? - I think it's hard. Building up your muscle is a good strategy, other than that, it's probably just a matter of time until their perception shifts to the newer slimmer you.
It's not that you are in good shape but that those around you aren't, hence the faux concern.
Or in other words you're making them look fat and they resent it.
You might want to read The Four Agreements. Interesting read. Anyway, it is usually that person's problem, so nothing to take personally. They are the ones that need to post for help. Sounds like you're doing great! : )
Someone once half-jokingly asked me if I were sick, but I took that as a compliment. I haven't gotten any negative feedback yet, but the holidays are coming up where I'll see some relatives for the first time since starting the lifestyle. I'll see ow it goes.
The same thing happened with me. My transformation was not even that radical, but many people thought that I was sick. The pictures of my transformation are here:
The questions soon stopped. The reason for the questions may be that losing body fat is not very common, so people often assume that you are sick when you lose a large amount of body fat. Indeed, people diagnosed with life-threatening diseases (e.g., cancer) often lose a lot of weight fast.
You approach of gaining muscle is the right one. It is very unlikely that gaining body fat will be healthy for you. There is nothing like losing body fat to increase your adiponectin levels:
And, the more circulating adiponectin you have, generally the better off you are in terms of health.
People get used to the new way you look soon enough. Then you show them old pictures of you and they comment how unhealthily fat you looked. I'm about an inch over 5 feet tall and about 125 lbs. I used to be 180 lbs. (I'm female and of a somewhat muscular build) Any time anyone says i've lost too much weight i remind them that, BMI-wise, i'd be officially overweight at about 132 but i wouldn't be underweight until i got down to less than 100 lbs.
I know how you feel...everyone is already saying "don't lose too much weight, etc.". Why do people always have to be so preachy. Although I am trying to lose weight it is only to shift the fat into toned muscle mass and feeling optimal. The way I feel trumps the body image.
People may know how you look, but only you know how you feel. If you feel stronger, healthier, and less tired, then you know you're on the right track. I think sometimes people take awhile to adjust to changes they haven't experienced internally. Perhaps when they start to witness the amazing fitness levels you're at as well as your steady level of happiness/balance, they'll back off. :)
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