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The Fat Friend Eats Less

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:36 PM   #1
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Default The Fat Friend Eats Less

Last night I went out to dinner with a friend. She's a teeny-tiny little thing. I have recently had a couple of scuffles with her over food, where she was insinuating that I was trying to force her to eat more than she wanted (which I have never done and would never do, because I grew up with that and make a point to not do it to others). I recently confronted her on her comments and asked her to point out when I have ever done that to her directly or indirectly.

Last night made me really angry.

We were at a sushi boat restaurant, where you sit at a counter and little boats of sushi float by. You take the plates you want.

Throughout the eating, I noticed that my friend was paying close attention to how many plates I took. When I stopped taking plates, she asked several times if I was done already? At first I said I'm not sure yet, and the truth is I said it to see if she would continue asking.

Then she made some comment about me eating less than her in a weirdly disapproving and "concerned" way, and said she still wanted more--but the tone was that she couldn't believe she could possibly be eating more than me. I firmly asked her why how much I ate mattered to her. She mumbled something in response that made no sense, but she clearly got the message.

I am really angry at realizing that I am the fat friend that she could compare herself against to feel better. It's making her uncomfortable that I am breaking out of my role. I'm upset because I didn't know I was in that role. Also, it seems to me that she is the one who was trying to get me to eat all this time, not the other way around.

Last edited by BattleAx : 12-21-2007 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
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Oh man - this is a rough lesson to learn - that people have been using you in this fashion and you were never aware of it. My parents did this - I was the "fat female", so they all felt better about themselves. Now my mom makes sure she eats less than me, and that treats surround me at all times when I'm at her house. I love her, but it is maddening.

There is little you can do but persist in your new lifestyle despite the obstacles. Eventually, people adjust, and it isn't so much of a big deal. Until then, you just have to ignore it and continue on your merry path.

to you. It is frustrating to know people had put you in that role...but think how good it feels to break OUT of it!
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:20 PM   #3
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Wow, does she actually mean she feels like you are encouraging her to eat more because you are eating less in comparison??? Seems like people can be so weird about this issue, and I'm sorry it's making you feel uncomfortable with your friend. I haven't come up against this yet, and I don't think I will, but who knows? Funny because even as a big person, I had a friend who was very slim, but she would eat me under the table every time we went out! I've never seen anybody eat that much food. She had a lot of nervous energy, so maybe that's how she kept her metabolism revved. Anyway, I guess you guys will figure out if she was friends with you so that she could be the tiny one, or if you really have a sound friendship.
By the way, I've got to find a sushi boat restaurant, that sounds so fun!
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:48 PM   #4
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I'm so sorry your friend has been treating you this way. Good for you for calling her on it, though!!
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:43 PM   #5
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You know, I have a friend who just had a baby and she's over 200 pounds now. She knows I'm dropping pounds and continually tell me that she has to do something about her weight because I'm going to catch her. wtf? I'm not chasing her. I don't care what she weighs.

She might have been saying to herself all these years ..."as long as I don't get as big as..." very sobering. I told her if she wants to drop weight, great but don't do it because you're scared I'll be smaller than you because that's stupid. It took her a moment to get what I was saying. Women have got to wake up and stop hating on each other and their bodies.

So Battle ax is not your problem, it's hers. She has the self esteem problem. I always say if you delight in the misery of others your self esteem must be pretty low. I'm sorry she made you angry. Listen to mandalinn and keep moving toward your goal and your happiness.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:16 PM   #6
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I would be infuriated. People who act like this do not deserve your friendship! You deserve to have supportive friends who encourage you to succeed - NOT the other way around. What are you going to do? (I'd be pretty near cutting her out but I'm kind of harsh)

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by valpal23 View Post
I would be infuriated. People who act like this do not deserve your friendship! You deserve to have supportive friends who encourage you to succeed - NOT the other way around. What are you going to do? (I'd be pretty near cutting her out but I'm kind of harsh)
This isn't the first time changes I'm making upset others. I lost a marriage over it (not about weight loss, but other changes). My feeling is that my friends can accept and adjust to my changes, or we need to move on. I'm able and willing to withstand the loss of any relationship over doing what I need to do for myself--up to and including close friends and family. It's been done before, and if I have to do it again, I will.

This friend has been a very good friend to me in other ways, and I doubt that our friendship will end over this. She helped and supported me when I was down, and cheered for me when I was up. My guess is that she will respect my boundaries and stop trying to involve me in her own insecurities and food issues once I talk with her further and draw my lines clearly. If I am wrong, I will know soon enough, and will act accordingly.

I feel what's so upsetting to me is that I thought I had already made many changes and had healthy relationships with everyone in my life. Come to find out, there is more work to do. I am very angry and hurt over discovering the role I was filling for her.

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:57 PM   #8
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Oh my! How can she act like that and call herself your friend?

I would most definitely pin her down and have a very seriously talk with her about why she is acting this way, why it affects you, and why it needs to stop immediately. It's not fair to use others as a "checks and balances" system for ourselves, especially when it's done in such a way that makes them feel negatively about themselves!

I just want to say that I greatly admire your steadfastness; being willing to push aside relationships to better yourself is something I greatly respect in people. When I was battling back from my cocaine addiction, I had to cut many, many ties, with both "friends" and even close family members. It's far from easy, but I know it helped me in the long run.

You aren't defined by the roles that other people try to place you into. No matter WHAT she tries to use you for or what she tries to make you feel, you're a beautiful, successful, strong woman, and NO ONE has the right to take that from you.

tell me goodnight and let it go
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:22 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure I have been other people's gauge, and the one that walks into a room and people are saying to themselves, "Well, at least I'm not as fat as her." Whatever. It hurts but well, that's human nature and I can't say that if I were in their position I wouldn't be feeling the same way. However, having BEEN (and you know, I still am right now) that person, I will be much more sensitive about these matters for the rest of my life. I believe that nothing happens to you by accident -- everything has a purpose and a reason. If I had not been fat, then I would be a totally different person. I like who I am, and if meant that I needed to spend most of my childhood overweight and obese, then so be it. Weight is something you can change a lot easier than your personality. I feel like I am more compassionate to people with the same struggle and I feel like sharing what I know and helping others. I am doing something that's difficult to do and requires a lot of self-discipline -- so this experience is making me a stronger, more determined, and more confident person, so I feel less like a failure and more like someone who can overcome anything that comes my way. There is always something positive you can take from a situation... at least that's how I feel!

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Old 12-21-2007, 08:37 PM   #10
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This really isn't about you, it is about her insecurity. All friends have their strengths and their weaknesses. Yes, it was a wake-up call as to how she really feels - but again - it is more about how she feels about herself.

You handled it well by confronting her when you realized what was going on. Now that you know, you can be on the lookout for similar behavior and confront her immediately.

I agree with you about keeping the friendship. Friends are precious, and all of them have their faults. Just be thankful that you know where she stands on this issue. And - just maybe - you can help her grow and mature

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Old 12-21-2007, 09:03 PM   #11
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I haven't read the above responses, so sorry if I repeat.

In many cases, being the *token fat girl* is a role that many people expect us to play--so they can be condescending. It is a fact of life. Just another reason to lose it.

I am sorry your friend didn't treat you better. Hugs.
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:41 PM   #12
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Just my two cents... maybe it's no so horrible as it seems. Like other people has said, she is proyecting her insecurities, in this case on you,but who knows, maybe she is doing the same thing with all the females she knows. I tell you this because one of my best friends always tries to eat less than all of us when we go out. Maybe she thinks we are going to call her a pig just because she wants to eat a little more? Who knows. But in her case, I can tell you that it has nothing to do with my weight, or the weight of any of our mutual friends. She has a normal weight, but she is one of those people that says that she can't lose weight no matter what she does (she doesn't need to drop any weight, by the way...) so maybe eating more than the others is kind of... going against her own theory .
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:01 AM   #13
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Ah, the woes of fatwomanhood! Unfortunately, I think many of us have dealt with this situation. I have a friend who's never been larger than a size 2 until she moved in with her boyfriend and now she's a whopping size 6 at 5'9. We've known each other for ages and she's always been naturally thin. When I reached my 50lb weight loss, she said "that's so much weight to lose. Is that healthy?!?! I love her to pieces, but she had absolutely no frame of reference for the kind of weight I needed to lose. It wasn't insensitivity as much as ignorance. She had no concept of what it meant to be overweight, my needing to lose well over 50lbs made no sense to her.

If this woman is a good friend, work it out.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:15 AM   #14
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I'm new to this board, but I just wanted to say that I couldn't help but laugh at this thread -- not because it's funny or anything, but because I thought I was the only one that had this problem! Always being the fattest one in the room - I think it makes people feel so much better if they are not *that* fat. Every class I took in college I was always the fattest one in the room. I've been taking karate for 3 years and I'm always the fattest one in the class (41 years old so I'm in class with the skinny AND the young).

And yes, I've lost 20 pounds so more people are bringing their treats by hoping that I won't get down to "their" weight. And yes, when we spar in karate class I detect that feeling that I'm the one they have to beat - no one can be worse than the fattest one there...
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Last edited by jay41 : 12-22-2007 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:25 AM   #15
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I am sorry that your friends comments hurt you but can I say how wonderful it is to have a friend so close that she is comfortable enough to comment like that? It does not sound as though she was being outright rude - crass, yes, but I wouldn't say rude from what you have said about her. It also sounds as though you value her friendship and you will get over her comments. Then she will make another one! Someone said in an earlier post that she will grow into the changes in you and I believe that, too! Hang in there and try to laugh at the situation - it is kinda funny, really. I mean your thin friend uses you as a guide to what she should eat. Maybe you should use her as a guide ~ without the comments, of course.

I had a coworker - a nice person but not a friend - who had a post at her desk that read, "Dear God: If I cannot be thin please make all of my friends fatter than me." Nice.

Best of luck to you!

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