When a Pound is Gained in the Woods, Does Anybody See it?

Posted on January 16, 2012



Have you gained weight in the last six months?

According to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, the more compelling question is, “How much have you gained?”

I’m not telling.

In a study group of 466 women with an average age of 25, 33% failed to recognize almost five extra pounds (within a six month period) while 25% refused to acknowledge nearly nine additional pounds. Participants were followed over a three year period.

From my own experience (and even at my age), I can see where five pounds could be easily dismissed. The clothes most likely still fit and there’s always salt and water retention to explain the “tighter” days.

Ten pounds is a different story. That’s when I need to go up a size. It doesn’t mean I do. It just means I should.

One point of interest is the same researchers in a previous study found that about 25% of overweight people believe they are of normal weight. Did you read that? They are overweight but they don’t think they are. With this new study, if those same people don’t “see” a sizable weight gain on top of their already-skewed body view, then it’s a double-denial weight-whammy.

I might be a card-carrying member of this group.

I suppose this is one time when perception is NOT reality. There is a lot of talk about how the media manipulates women into believing they are fat when they aren’t. On the other hand, there is NOT a lot of talk about how some of us might manipulate ourselves into the opposite view.

How weight-aware are you?