Big Barb was a friend of the family when I was growing up. She dated my older brother for a while until he left, taking her bank account with him. My mom felt sorry for Barb and let her move in with her. Barb was a nice lady and helped my mom a lot, but she weighed about 450 lbs. I can’t tell you the number of chairs that she broke. One time when she lay down on the bed, her weight cut such a groove in the floor that it had to be replaced.
But Barb eventually became part of the family and she celebrated all of the holidays with us. After a number of years, she had to quit her job at the hospital and go into an assisted living home.
While she lived with my mom Big Barb knew that she was overweight (she had been so since she was a child) but she never realized just how much she was eating. Sometimes we marveled at the amount of food she had on her plate when she celebrated the holidays with us. My mom always knew to prepare extra food when Barb was coming over.
Most overweight people just don’t realize how much they are eating and how much overweight they really are. This applies to the marginally overweight as well. There are also a lot of very thin women who think that they are overweight. When this condition becomes severe, it’s called Anorexia.
According to Medical News Today: “A new study found that nearly 1 in 4 overweight American women “misperceives” her body weight as normal, while conversely, around 1 in 6 normal weight women regards herself as overweight. The study is published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, “
The women were between the ages of 18-25 and had filled out questionnaires asking how they perceived their body weight. The women fell into several categories:
There were those who were overweight, but thought of themselves as being normal weight. There were those who were overweight and knew it. Some thought that they were overweight, while actually their weight was normal. And finally, those who were normal weight and saw themselves as being underweight.
Out of the 52% in the survey that were actually overweight, some 235 of them thought that their weight was normal.
So why is this self-delusion so? Do they actually think that they are of normal weight, or is because they are conditioned while they are growing up to think that being slim or at least of normal weight is far better than being a fat girl?