Well, I s'pose as the instigator of this all I should tell my story, but its kind of long, so I'll tell it in bit posts. But I think I'll comment on Emily's, because I've been there. I've been 175. And it was awful then. I've never been down at 175 from over 200, though, so it’s a story I hope to tell sometime next year. But in the meantime, being 175 was somewhere the middle of the story, and like a Quentin Tarantino movie, it’s a good place to start.
The reason I feel for Emily right now is that I admit (just as she predicted) that when I read 175, the first words in my head were "You don't have a problem! You're not even in our league." (her post later confirms that she is). But not for the numbers reason. The problem with being 175 is that people don't see the fat there. I didn't. Emily lives local to me. I see her when we're dropping our kids off and prior to this blog, I wouldn't have put her past 140 -- and that's a muscle-weighs-more-than-fat-140. But when I weighed 175, people didn't believe me either. "Oh, well then it must be muscle, I wouldn't have put you at more than 140. TOPS," people would say. I thought they were just being polite. They weren't. They really didn't see the fat.
Why not? Because when you're 175 or thereabouts, you've been overweight for awhile, but not morbidly so. Just long enough to learn really well how to hide the fat. You're not even conscious that you're doing it. You just start to gravitate toward black in the stores, (my late 20's goth phase notwithstanding). You find those pants that swing just below the beltline, you find those shirts that are cut perfectly to accentuate the positive and deemphasize the negative. If helps if you're a blonde with big tits: that sort of draws attention away from the fat. (And I have to cheat on the blonde part these days. Just not as blonde as I used to be). You know that if you sit up straight and not act fat, people won't see you as a fat person. You still do thin things: you exercise for the fun of it, you still think you're sexy, you still carry on like you're thin, and people say: "She could stand to drop a few, but she's not fat." You start believing your own denial: "I'm not fat. I'm like Gabrielle Reese, it's all muscle. Well, OK, I have this little bulge here, but I don't have to stop eating enchiladas every freakin' night."
And then one day, when you've told youself that particularly bad period bloat is the reason you can't get into your pants, you step on the scale and its over 200. End of the denial party.