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Old 02-11-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Angry How to deal with Sabatour's ...

OK... I need some advise people.

I have a husband who is 5'7", 297 lbs, and just fine with the way he is. I have a daughter (age 13) who is overweight, and a mother who is overweight.

My mother and daughter aren't as overweight as I am... but they are overweight.

I have been doing this is Oct. 2010. Everything has been ok with the occasional bumps in the road... but I am on a downward cycle.

I have been training at the gym 1 day per week, taking classes at the gym 3 days per week, and walking on a treadmill 1 day per week.

I have been busting my butt trying to get my weight off.

My husband, daughter and mother do nothing but constantly try to sabotage me.

Examples: Coming home from work and finding my husband has brought home my favorite chocolate bars..... my mother calling to say she has baked me my favorite: chocolate pound cake.... my daughter begging me for fast food... planning on eating healthy and my husband finding every excuse for us to have to eat out every night. My husband buys sweets when we go out (he doesn't even like sweets)... and then pretends he's too full to eat it and gives it to me.

Also.... going shopping with my mom should be a good experience, but every time we go... she has to make sure that I know that she is still smaller than me. She makes little remarks like... oh here's a 3x.. that one will fit you.... and then everything I try on, even if she doesn't like it, without getting one in her own size... she tries the one I got on and says oh this is way too big for me.... really really hurts my feelings that she does those things and I don't understand why she does it.

And.... what's up with friends calling me "skinny" now that I've lost a little weight.... I am FAR from skinny... are they just trying to rub that fact in?

I know that they are not holding a gun to my head and force feeding me, and I know that my mother is smaller than me so maybe I'm just being too sensitive, but I'm telling you ... they make my road so much more difficult than it could be if they would just try a little....

So.... what to do? How do you deal with these types of situations? I love all of these people with all my heart, and don't want to hurt them... but they have GOT to STOP!


Sorry that was so long.... Thanks.

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Old 02-11-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Oh Girl - My heart is going out to you! YOu have done fantastic anyway - let alone dealing with that type of behavior around you!

I usually don't reply unless I have something to add to a topic, I really don't (I can't imagine!), I just want to give you a *KUDOS!!* and a hug!

Shame on your mother for that. All I can offer is shrug, let it roll of your back and just shut it out. Come HERE when you need support, open 24 hours and always happy to see you succeed!
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:33 PM   #3
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Wow that's rough! Things I might try...If your husband brings home stuff like that , throw it in the trash - after stomping on it, and if he orders it in a restaurant and then tries to feed it to you because he doesn't want it, drop it on the floor, or accidently dump your water on it - he'll get tired of wasting his money. My sister pulls the same stunt with the clothes -I'm a size 18 and she's a size 1 ( yes 1, that's not a typo) no advice there- I just don't shop with her anymore. As for your Daughter - just say NO! You are doing a fantastic job in the face of some difficult challenges! Never give up!!!
"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace" Albert Schweitzer

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Old 02-11-2011, 11:56 PM   #4
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Wow! Don't blame the kid so much -- just a kid after all. But the mom and spouse? Sheesh!

How long have you been at it? Just a few months. It's still new. I remember the hazing I got when I first went veg. The only person who DID NOT drive me bonkers was my chinese mom. Who calmly said, "Well, it won't kill you. Buddhists have done it thousands of year."

I quietly carried on and eventually everyone else got used to it, got bored or got over it but it took a long, long time.

Hang in there. Be flat, neither positive nor negative. I think they may be trying to get you to react. So don't. Just go with a flat "That's nice" and move on to something else.

And if the changes you made were "too healthy too fast" consider "looking the same, but secretly healthier."

I had to do that with my DH. He was not keen on LESS. But BONUS was ok. So the same spaghetti? That came with an extra side of veggie marinara sauce and a big salad plus fruit/yogurt for dessert. What he saw was abundance at the table. It didn't matter to him how I cooked it or that it was generally lower cal. He just wanted to see lots of familiar looking stuff.

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Old 02-11-2011, 11:58 PM   #5
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A handful of people at work have taken to calling me "skinny" now, too. At first I was embarrassed, especially if there was anyone around who didn't know me 45 pounds ago. Now though, it doesn't bug me. I know these are people who wish me well and think I look great. To them, it's the equivalent of calling me "hot stuff." There are plenty of days when I think I look exactly the same and am down about my appearance, so I'm hoping ultimately the compliments help me see the light. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping your friends fall into the same boat....

As for the family, I don't have any great advice there. I'm a fan of the line "I'm not sure if you're doing it accidentally or on purpose, but you're being rude and hurtful, and I'd like you to stop." I tend to say it this way even when I know that they are doing it completely on purpose. Or, "You seem to be trying to make yourself feel better by making me feel like $hit...maybe you could find someone new to beat to a bloody pulp." Whenever food's being forced on you by loved ones, maybe something along the lines of, "Good to know you're hoping I die young and pretty." (Insert glare or grin depending on if you want to go the serious route or the funny route).

Aside from that, know you have tons of support here
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:54 AM   #6
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You've really done an outstanding job so far--you and I started at about the same time, but you've been far quicker to lose. I hope you're as proud of that as you deserve to be!

Kids will always beg or prod for something--fast food is just one of many things. If she wants a Justin Bieber CD, it doesn't make you want one (I hope), so try to think of FF burgers the same way (after all, both are cheap, mass-produced, and overly slick ).

Your mom and husband should know better than to sabotage, though. I love Spixiet's suggestions on what to say; flat-out telling someone that they're being rude or hurtful and that they should stop works wonders, especially if you can manage it in a calm tone of voice.

Can you refuse to shop with your mom, or is it something you feel obligated to do or something you enjoy whenever she isn't pointing out the stuff that is clearly too large for the new you? Maybe Mom is a bit uneasy that her daughter's going to pass her up and become the thinner one and that's why she's stuck on "fatten" mode with the favorite foods and the "oh, get the big shirt, it'll be more comfortable" routine.

Your husband needs to have a talking-with to find out why he's so set on feeding you. Insecurity about how you're looking now? Fondness for well-upholstered figures? Incredibly forgetful? How you get him to stop depends on why he's doing it. Until he does stop, though, I love the idea of tossing the stuff in the trash as he watches. "Honey, I love you and I appreciate the thought, but this does me no favors--so out it goes!"

Good luck; you've done so well, I know you'll continue to have success.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EvilGidget View Post
My husband, daughter and mother do nothing but constantly try to sabotage me.
When you say this, it makes it sound like these people have it in for you, they're out to get you, they intentionally want to make sure that you stay fat. It's all they dream about. It's their only goal in life, to make you miserable. They're selfish monsters. They can't possibly just be making mistakes. They can't have good intentions, or just not know how to help you. Nope, they're evil. That must be it.

(Yes, I'm being sarcastic, but only to make a point).

I think we throw around the word "sabotage" too carelessly. We assume intentions that I don't believe are there. I don't think most people are intentionally or even unconsciously trying to sabotage us at all. To say that they're "trying to sabotage," means that they don't want you to succeed. They're trying to keep you fat for some selfish reason.

I think sometimes there is real sabotage, but I think it's far rarer than we think. I think more commonly, people are just doing what they're used to doing, and most of it has no harmful intent behind it at all.

In this culture, we're all taught that food is a way to express love and celebration. And it isn't unlearned easily. They all have their own issues with food that they may or may not be dealing with. The problem isn't that they're trying to hurt you, it's that they haven't put your weight loss on their list of priorities (and that feels unfair, but I think it's unfair for us to expect others to make our weight loss a priority, when they haven't even made their weight loss a priority).

My husband and I are both on weight loss journeys and we've learned that we can't look to the other for support. We try, but we fail.

When I believed in sabotage, I saw it everywhere.

If hubby offered me food, it felt like sabotage.

If he didn't, he was controlling and playing food cop, just another form of sabotage.

Or he shouldn't have been eating that food in front of me - that's sabotage (but I didn't feel I was sabotaging him if I chose to eat an off-plan food as a planned treat - and he was being "food cop" if he commented on me eating it).

You can try to tell your family what you'd like to see them say and do instead of what they're doing. Every time they say or do it (whatever it is) tell them why it bothers you AND what you want them to do or say instead. Remind them as many times as it takes for them to start doing it, or for you to realize they're never going to be able to.

They may never be able to put your needs at a priority level that you want them to. They may always forget, or put their needs first. You have to put your needs first, because only you can. You can't expect others to do for you, what they're not even yet ready to do for themselves.

And even if they are willing to meet you half way, or willing to be on the weight loss journey together, you all will still make mistakes. You all will make mistakes my doing and saying things that don't help. Sometimes no matter how much you all try, you will still get it wrong. There often is no way to be what others need us to be.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
When I believed in sabotage, I saw it everywhere.

If hubby offered me food, it felt like sabotage.

If he didn't, he was controlling and playing food cop, just another form of sabotage.

Or he shouldn't have been eating that food in front of me - that's sabotage (but I didn't feel I was sabotaging him if I chose to eat an off-plan food as a planned treat - and he was being "food cop" if he commented on me eating it).

I eat in dining halls at college, which has been great for giving me perspective on (1) how unhealthy common food options are, and (2) how I really need to take control of my own diet. EVERY meal includes brownies, cupcakes, burgers, french fries, ice cream... if I choose to take it. But there is always the option to choose clean salad, whole grains, lean protein. My friends go on eating what they always eat in front of me -- and they'll talk about how delicious it is. And that's their right.

My roommate just had her birthday and offered/pushed cake, wine, cookies on all of us. And it was her right to want everyone else to join her celebration... my responsibility to be careful and moderate my intake and stare at that cake and NOT binge.

Your husband and mother might be a bit insensitive and unhelpful, but at the end of the day, your weight loss journey is your responsibility -- and that doesn't just mean their behavior is excusable, it also means that it's sort of inevitable. No matter how much they love you, people are not going to be thinking about saying the most sensitive thing. (And as for your daughter... I'm 100% sure she just wants the fast food.)

I think everyone else is right in their advice. Tell your husband not to offer you anything unhealthy; smile and thank him and toss it immediately if he does. If he brings it home or eats it himself, that's his right, too. Stop shopping with your mom if it's stressful. Don't let your daughter eat fast food because it's crap for her, not because it could make resistance more difficult for you.

I know it's stressful to deal with personal pressures when it's already SO hard to even lose without them. But thinking about it as a source of drama will only stress you out more, while just ignoring the comments either way, tossing the bad food, and taking charge of healthful grocery shopping for your family could actually turn around their weight loss, too. You can get there first and inspire them.

... It is never too late to be what you might have been.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:00 AM   #9
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firstly, congrats on your progress- you're doing a great job!!!!!
also, i'm sorry your family is giving you a bit of a hard time

i think a couple of things may be coming into play here.

They all have their own issues with food that they may or may not be dealing with. The problem isn't that they're trying to hurt you, it's that they haven't put your weight loss on their list of priorities (and that feels unfair, but I think it's unfair for us to expect others to make our weight loss a priority, when they haven't even made their weight loss a priority).
as kaplods said, this really maybe their own insecurity about them not facing their own issues with food/weightloss/body image. you taking the bull by the horns here and making changes is putting it more to the forefront for them, and may be causing them to behave in certain ways which are not so pleasant or seem sabotaging to you. they may not want to deal with it yet, or avoid it. your husband may say he's ok with it, but now that you're getting fit and looking good, he may start to feel threatened (by you attracting other men, etc).

-your role is now different.

as your changing, your role and the dynamic of your family may (or they might fear it changing) change, and perhaps with some friends. your mom/hubby may not feel comfortable eating in front of you in a certain way, or your mom might feel weird with you being smaller than her. as your weight changes, you'll feel better about yourself, and certain things about you might change.
i have a friend who weighs about 250 now. when i lost weight in the past, she pulled away from me and our relationship changed, because she thought i was different because i looked different. i fulfilled a certain role for her when i was as heavy as she was- and it was "gone" once the weight was. make sense? funny, i told her recently that i've lost almost 30lbs. she hasn't called me in week. i talk to her almost daily. and i've called/texted her numerous times.

as far as your daughter goes, she's little and prolly doesn't totally understand. honestly, i wouldn't say anything to anyone. i would just continue with what you're doing, pay no mind for a little while longer. and if shopping with your mom is too much, go less often.
i would say something if it continued. you could tell your husband that if you want something off his plate or something sweet, you can get it yourself, and that you would rather not have it in the house not only for you, but also to set a better example for your daughter. for your mom- just let her know that her comments are discouraging to you. she probably doesn't even realize she's been doing it.

*be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle*

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Old 02-12-2011, 06:24 AM   #10
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Just have a frank and open conversation with them, and ask them to stop whatever behaviors you think are "sabotaging" you. Assuming they truly love you, they'll get the message if it's made clearly but nonjudgmentally. Far better to give this a shot than to continue to be resentful, get upset, etc etc.

If DH is nearly 300 pounds at 5'7" and feels like he is fine the way he is, he has some of his own food issues to work out. Would he go for a couples weight loss challenge? Assuming you both give it 100% effort, you'll probably lose this challenge: he is not only heavier to begin with, but men's hormonal balance make it easier for them to lose weight. (Their bodies didn't evolve to horde fat in order to survive pregnancy even in periods of limited food resources...) But if a little friendly competition helps you keep junk out of the house, then it's worth it.

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Old 02-12-2011, 09:24 AM   #11
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That's a lot to deal with and I see why you are frustrated!

I couldn't help but recognize my younger self in some of the behaviors of your family, however. I remember my own mother developing healthier habits when I was about 13 and it was very difficult for me. We were both overweight, bordering on obese, but as I watched her get closer to my size (and then smaller than me!), I'm ashamed to say that I felt threatened by the changes and even resented her for being able to do things differently. I was too embarrassed about how I looked to join her on walks and would always complain about the time she took to do so. I can see now how discouraging that must have been for her and I wish I had been more supportive.

I'm sure you have probably thought about the possibility that some of their actions might be rooted in fears of being left behind (especially if they are not ready to change yet). It's sad how we can take so much comfort in seeing other people stay 'underwater' with us, you know what I mean? A few years ago, I was meeting a friend I hadn't seen in months and at first, I mistook a slimmer woman for her. At that moment, I was panicky at the thought that I could no longer count on her to share the overweight world with me. Then I saw her, looking like she usually did, and was so disappointed with myself at the relief that flooded me.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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I would get the stuff that is unwanted out of the house. A sink garbage disposal works great on candy bars and stops me from digging through the garbage to retrieve something I had thrown away.

I decline offers from others such as your mother saying something like not today thank you.

Most of all I try not to get into an exchange of words. That only gets me upset and I may binge. I think to myself "I DON'T HAVE TO JOIN EVERY ARGUMENT THAT I AM INVITED TO" keeping calm prevents a lot of problems for me.

When casual aquaintences try to offer high calorie items to me I decline saying I would love it but I am allergic to it. After all I have decided that I truly am allergic to high calorie foods. Everytime I eat them I break out in fat.

Never give in... never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force... never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:08 AM   #13
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You poor thing. First of all you should be proud of yourself for loosing the weight that you have and staying focused, thats not easy.
Regarding your mom, I would sit her down and explain to her how I feel, she may be offended at first but tell her its about respect and that you would like her to be on your side. There are two things that could happen, she will either feel terrible for her actions and stop or she will get angry. Either way you need to get your point accross. Its not being selfish or mean its about making your future a better one.
As for your DH, well he may not realise what he is doing. Some men just don't think the way we do. My husband and children are skinny so when they want to go out for Chinese or something like fast food I tell them to drop me off at the gym, 99% of the time they change their mind! But they do have their Saturdays that they can go and eat all they want cause that's my day to do my thing. I get really mad if my husband brings home things I like and it makes me feel bad but it gets my point accross and sometimes thats the only way to do it. For us its wine, he knows I love wine but I cannot drink it because then all my hard work goes out the window. He still gets mad at me for always saying no and there are nights he won't talk to me, but then he gets over it! My kids one the other hand eat really healthy and know that mommy does not eat any junk food or candy so they try to imitate me.
As for your daughter, well you need to explain the whole concept to her, she is young now but in a couple of years she is going to be kicking herslef for not joining you at the gym. Perhaps you two can do something fun once a week at the gym so she can enjoy exercise. Or if you cook you can make meals ahead of time and that way going out to eat would mean wasting all the food you made and your hard work. I cook every single day, thats the way I get my DH to have to eat home and never go out.
I feel for you, nobody likes change, nobody but you can make the change slowly for your family and it won't feel so bad for them. Making healthy steps for your future it a plus.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:37 AM   #14
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Gidgit - Congrats on the 40# in 4 mo!!!! YOU did that in spite of what the people around you do and say!! It makes it more difficult but YOU still did it!!!

Lots of great wisdom in the previous posts and I have nothing to add but encouragement to continue on your path to better health.

You can ask them to do or not do certain things but its up to them to comply. It isn't that they don't love you or support you.

This always helps me when dealing with the darnedest things people say and do:

It is what it is and they are who they are and you can't change that. But you can change how you react.

Long term goal

Every day do something to make a better tomorrow.
Discipline is remembering what you want.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:52 AM   #15
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Thanks everybody for the encouragment and advise! I appreciate it so much.

I talked to my husband for a long time last night. I think he's afraid I will leave him if I get "skinny". I can't say with 100% certainty what will happen to me and my family if I reach my true goal weight and stay there.... but I do know that I love him. I want him on this journey with me. It scares me to death to think of losing him, and it makes me angry that he doesn't want it for himself.

After our talk, I felt better. He says he wants to change, which I've heard that at least a million times before. I'm not going to dwell on it, but at least now he knows how badly I want this change for myself.

I know my daughter isn't trying to sabotage me... I know she is just hungry and wants junk... she's a teenager... and hasn't had the best example of eating over the years from me and her dad. I can't expect her to just "poof" want to eat healthy. Hopefully I am setting a better example now, and one day she will want it for herself too.

My mother.... well.... she is who she is. I love her and she loves me. I know she doesn't do those things intentially to hurt me, so I'm just going to continue doing my thing and ignoring it when I get my feelings hurt. After all... I do wear a 3x and I am bigger than her. It's not like she's making things up... she's just being realistic when I'm not.

I need a better relationship with food. I need to stop looking at it as a fun reward that is the only way to make myself feel good.... and start looking at it as fuel. I hate that I let myself deminish all of the hard work I'm doing in the gym by eating meals that don't help my quest for weight loss.

I want this ... more than I've ever wanted it. It's just food. Powerless food.... right?

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