All a Matter of Perspective


Well-Known Member
It completely baffles me that a "heavyweights" forum is dedicated to people with a BMI over 55, and that shows me just how skewed my perspective has become, I suppose. My BMI, at my heaviest just nine months ago, would have been approximately 109. Yes... 109. I am 5'2" tall and my highest weight was (I believe) 600 pounds. I can't be sure because even the bariatric scale I got only went up to about 565, and then it errored out. My highest doctor-weighed weight was 585, but I'm fairly certain I gained at least another 15 pounds after that given the quantity and type of food I was eating for the 3 or so months after that weight was taken.

When I see 240 pound people have weight loss surgery, I just can't even wrap my mind around it. I mean, that's my GOAL weight. These people know what it's like to be fat... to have their health affected, sure, and to have to wear plus size clothes and to get called names on the street. But most of them DON'T know...

  • What it's like to be so fat the standard doctor's scales can't even weigh you anymore
  • What it's like to know scales SPECIFICALLY MADE FOR FAT PEOPLE can't even weigh you anymore
  • What it's like to have to buy two airplane seats every time you travel
  • How you feel when you outgrow even the PLUS SIZE clothing stores and have to buy all your clothing online
  • What it's like to have to shop for a car not based on the car's mileage or mpg or features or safety but based on whether there is any conceivable way you can fit your belly under the steering wheel... and what it feels like when you "outgrow" your car
  • What it feels like to have to come up with creative ways to clean yourself after you use the restroom because you can't reach anymore and the inconvenience and potential embarrassment factor every time you have to do it in a public restroom
  • What it feels like when even going grocery shopping is a major physical accomplishment
  • What it's like to have your employer have to get an office chair CUSTOM MADE for you because none of the ones available to order will contain your ample butt
  • What it's like to be concerned an employer will take one look at you and realize all the accommodations they'll have to make for you seating-wise, etc. and say "no thank you."
  • What it's like when concerns about seating arrangements impact you EVERY time you go out in public (and what it's like when seating actually keeps you from eating at a restaurant your friends want to eat at, or keeps you from going to see a show because you know you'll be in so much pain you won't be able to bear it)
This is really just a starter list. Life is SO much different at 240 pounds than it is at 500+. To me, it just doesn't seem comparable. I haven't been under 325 pounds since middle school (and even then I was already over a 55 BMI, which at my height would be at about 300 pounds). And I did not feel "desperate" enough to turn to surgery until I got this far. I think that says way more about me, though I'm not sure exactly what it says. 240 pounds seems SKINNY to me... seriously... and the kinds of freedom I will be able to look forward to at that weight seem immeasurable. Like I said in the title of this thread... it really is all a matter of perspective, I guess!


Staff member
No, I don't know what it was like to be a heavyweight but I knew I was already uncomfortable even at my light BMI. My highest weight that I am aware of was only 250 lbs. My sign into surgeon weight 9 years later was only 205. And while I was smiling on the outside I was miserable on the inside.

Lightweights get:
"Why not just diet and exercise it off". (like we haven't tried most of our life???)
"You aren't fat enough to have WLS" (except by our PCP and/our Surgeon)

Each person comes at this from a different perspective. but there is a commonality among heavyweights just as there is among lightweights. We just didn't want to break it down into TOO many groups cause we each have things we see differently.


Staff member
I can certainly see your point. I can't know the things you listed first hand: but I can listen while you tell me about them and I can imagine.

like Liz, I was a light-weight, and many people told me I wasn't big enough to have surgery - but not my doctor, or my surgeon. we have a really messed up idea of what a "normal" size is in this country.

in the end, what we all have in common is saying, OK, I am taking action - and then choosing surgery as that action. this is becoming more mainstream but it's still unusual and it is definitely stigmatized in our culture.

I was watching a PBS show last week - now I forget the woman's name but she was talking about healthy eating - and at one point she talked about losing weight without..."pills, potions, or surgery" - WTF, you see my choice as equivalent to a POTION? :angry3: get a clue!

but, yes, I have no doubt someone at 600 pounds has it much rougher than I ever did.


Yankee gone south
@more2adore I feel similarly to you, at times. There were points (esp at the beginning of my journey) where someone would talk about their heaviest being 250 or 235 and I would think to myself "WTF?! That's my goal weight!!!". I didn't think I'd ever get down past that number because that was my previous lowest adult weight, before now. It messes with your head, but in the end, you have to acknowledge that everyone has problems, and while they may seem bigger or smaller compared to yours, our frames of reference are all we have to go on and 250 can feel huge to some people. Yes, they may not have had the experiences that you and I have, and I may not have had some of the experiences that you have, but we all suffered in our own myriad ways in order to come to the decision to undergo surgery. Keep your chin up, and just think about how much weight you're going to lose in a short amount of time compared to those lightweights! My sister started out 136 pounds lighter than I did, but I've lost double what she has in almost the same amount of time (not that I'm competing, I actually feel pretty guilty about it, just using it as an example!).


Full of Fairy Dust
No, I don't understand 600lbs but I do understand 400. And 400 had way too many limitations attached for me. Really MOST of the one ones you mentioned.

I always wanted to know where I belong. A top weight of 400 puts me in the heavyweight category. But when I had surgery I weighed 251, technically a lightweight. Personally I always wanted a Postop and Pissed Off that I am Still Fat Forum....


Well-Known Member
Sorry, I wasn't saying we should start subdividing forums by like 50 pound increments, LOL. I was just trying to wrap my brain around the differences in perspective we all have. I find it really interesting. :) I definitely agree we all have a lot in common regardless of where we start, and I appreciate the support from all sizes that's found here. :)

Elizabeth N.

Herder of cats
I've had lots of these same kinds of thoughts over the years....I felt like I'd gotten a new lease on life when I got to 200, 250, 200....Could IMAGINE going through the risks and rigors of WLS (unless medical issues were present) at "only" (insert weight of choice).....

I'm studying psychology, which teaches empathic listening, among lots of other things. That has helped quite a bit for me to "hear" other people's realities at a "felt" level.

But frankly, what helps me the most in understanding those choices is how I feel with some extra weight on my person. If my regain should ever get out of control, not "fixable" with proper DS eating and more physical activity, you bet I'd be thinking about a revision, and it would be LONG before anything resembling my previous high weight. I doubt I'd weight for 100 lbs either--not that I think that will happen, but I know better than to consider it impossible.


Taking a long scenic route!
I understand everything that you have said. Most will not understand our journey....never ever. But if we had a forum for bmi 80+ it would be you and me kid lol. A little lonely lol.

The hardest part for me trying to fit in the WLS was trying to get people to grasp the fact that I HAD to have my op in 2 stages. It wasn't a travesty and it wasn't a disservice. I was too large and carried most of my weight in my belly making any op difficult. But I'm here, people understand the reasons enough, even if they haven't walked in my shoes per se. These are good folks around here, the types you want around who are of sound mind and will call a spade a spade even if it makes you cry.

Make a blog. Thats my advice. That's what I did when I felt like no one would ever understand my journey....and you said it helped maybe you can help someone else ;) You know, pay it forward...something we DSers are proud of.

I'm 4 lbs away from losing 300...THREE HUNDRED POUNDS....and I'm still bigger than most people's starting weights. It used to bug me a lot, but now I realise this is MY journey to walk and comparing myself to anyone else discounts my experience.

So I can fit more places now, but I still have super fat girl brain. For instance I went to a friends for a bbq, Im nearly the same size as her now, but I was afraid to sit on her patio furniture and had brought my 550lb capacity camp chair. My brain still fears fitting and breaking. Im not sure I, you, we, will EVER get over the mental trauma of having to navigate a thin world with 3 peoples worth of weight on us.

On FB Im in a high bmi group, it's uk based so a lot of talk of stones lol, but I can add you if you want. It's a bit quiet but its for bmi 75+ though it is not DS specific. Let me know if I can help in any way.