Weight Loss Support - Uncomfortable With Attention - Anyone Else?

01-08-2007, 07:28 PM
So, with losing weight has come a lot of attention from people around me...friends, family, etc have all been commenting, regularly, on my weight. People are noticing. People are talking to me about it and mentioning it. Granted, the comments are all positive, thats not the problem.

I am -very- uncomfortable with getting attention of any kind. This goes back to some childhood garbage, and that part isn't important...what is important is that every time someone pays attention to me with my weight loss, I either deflect the comment or become totally, completely uncomfortable and fidgety. What stinks is that people really seem to want to talk about weight loss..."what'd you do?" or "what diet are you on" are popular questions...its socially acceptable for people to talk about peoples weight losses! So people keep prodding and I keep dodging...to the point where I've had to script responses to give when people comment and practice them in my mirror.

This is half rant and half plead for advice...Anyone else have this problem? Anyone have any tips for either getting over the attention phobia or dealing with the comments?

PS, I know that this is sort of an annoying rant, given that there are lots of people who LOVE it when people notice their losses and want MORE people to notice. I don't mean to seem ungrateful for the compliments..they just aren't comfortable for me.

01-08-2007, 07:31 PM
Kudos to you on your apparently noticeable progress. Anyways, if you're uncomfortable you can deflect it with a pretty generic acknowledgment & answer like "Thank, I'm just trying to live more healthfully" -- if they prod on about the specifics, you can add "oh I'm not doing anything in particular, just a more healthful lifestyle." It's polite, but closes off the topic.

01-08-2007, 07:40 PM
I'm fickle. Sometimes, most of the time, I like that people have noticed that I've lost weight, but occasionally the comments bug me.

01-08-2007, 08:03 PM
I agree with AquaWarlock~choose for yourself some sort of pat answer and stick with it. Thank the person who asks and if they ask how, say your answer (like I'm watching what I eat and exercising more) and then if they ask you how much you've lost, tell them that it really isn't any of their business. That will shut them up!

And I like your new avatar (although I liked your previous ones, also!).

01-08-2007, 08:13 PM
When I'm at my ideal weight (10-15# less) I look muscular and athletic, I would guess, I don't find I do, but I've had cashiers comment: "Oh, you must do weights" ... I'm really not sure if it's a compliment or not :shrug: specially they way they say it... I feel funny when they say that ...

One compliement I love to get is when I go to give blood and my heart rate is really low and they comment that I must "in shape"... I love that compliment...

01-08-2007, 08:18 PM
The "how much have you lost" questions are the worst. Although I did tell my future father in law, and he said, essentially "So you want to be under 100 lbs?" because apparently he thought I had "topped out" at under 200. Yeah right.

I have my rehearsed answer down...first its "how kind of you to notice, thank you", and if they ask what I'm doing, "I go to the gym a lot" (an incomplete answer, but whatever). It just frustrates me that I have to REHEARSE this stuff.

I'm so weird.

Thanks for the avatar compliment. I am trying to keep it up-to-date with my progress.

01-08-2007, 08:35 PM
I totally understand what your saying. Once (it seems like so long ago) I lost 70 lbs. When people noticed I lost weight I had the exact same reaction. It can be really hard. You have to admit that you were fat before. You have to admit that you have always been able to live healthfully (yes we all do not make the choice) and finally there is the fear of failure. Right now I am having a really hard time with that. After gaining all the weight back I am trapped with people who used to comment about weight loss, knowing it is wrong to comment on weight gain.

Be proud of yourself and your accomplishements. When people comment now I say "well, we all just do the best we can."


01-08-2007, 09:01 PM
Wow. To a person who's mostly always been a "normal" size, prior to this post I would have thought it rude to not acknowledge somebody's weightloss if we see each other a lot. As if I don't like to offer compliments to others who really do deserve them. And in your heart you should know that you deserve the compliments. When someone does something so drastically wonderful for themselves, I just feel happy for them and I like to let the person know. I complimented someone in the gym who had lost a lot of weight and asked (oops!) "what's your secret". His simple response was "I do cardio 5 days a week and I eat 6 meals a day." Anyway, now I'm wondering if I offended him! Most of us who have commented probably didn't mean to be at all rude or to make someone feel uncomfortable. Anyway Amanda, you look great and that's what people are thinking when they see you and they like to say what's on their minds if its acceptable. Personally, I LOVE it that people are finally starting to notice my weightloss (and less people have been asking if I'm pregnant..wish I was kidding here), and I love to help people if I can, so would be happy to share weightloss methods if asked (but that's just me).

01-08-2007, 09:13 PM
I hate that too because it still feels like they are noticing my WEIGHT and not me. I would rather people just notice "ME."

Congrats on the weight loss!!

01-08-2007, 09:14 PM
Mami - I know people mean well, and I'm -not- offended by compliments...just uncomfortable with them. I would never be angry or put off by someone giving me a compliment. For personal reasons, I'm just really uncomfortable when people pay attention to me or acknowledge me. I really do understand that people are just trying to be nice and giving compliments, and its never offensive...just uncomfortable!

Thats why I've worked so hard at scripting responses...the last thing I want to do is make someone feel bad for giving me a nice compliment, or be rude...I just have to have some sort of response planned because my own personal weirdnesses make it really hard for me to get that sort of attention.

01-08-2007, 10:02 PM
I also like your new picture. It looks really nice.

I'm weird about my weight loss. I like when people notice because it means that all my work is paying off but I don't like when people start making a huge deal and asking all sorts of follow up questions of how much did you lose? How long have you been losing? What are you doing? What do you eat? ect.

In a couple of NSV I posted about how my sisters friend have started making comments to her about my weight loss (which she then tells me) because they are don't know if it is rude to tell me or not.

01-08-2007, 10:37 PM
I can relate to you. Over Christmas, I really felt uncomfortable when my extended family commented on it. They knew me from before, before I gained so much weight. It was uncomfortable when they mentioned it.

When people that I've only known as a fat person comment, I don't feel so uncomfortable. I usually enjoy and appreciate it then. I just realized that, over the holidays, when I saw some family I don't see very often. Not logical, I know, it's just how I feel.

My stock answer when someone comments about losing weight is "I'm trying to." When they ask for more details, if I think they're just wanting to satisfy their curiosity, I just say, "nothing special, just watching what I eat, and exercising more". Some people even ask "Have you had that surgery?" That kinds of irritates me, as though that's the only way I could do it.

I don't like the questions where people want an exact amount. "How much have you lost?" "How much more do you want to lose?" With some people, I think they're just asking to get an idea of how much I started at. :p I don't have a good answer for that.

01-08-2007, 10:58 PM
You know what---- you just get used to it. You will keep on getting these comments for a long while to come as you continue to lose weight.
I felt soooooo akward at first when people told me how pretty I was (followed by, "but you always were anyway") and how good I looked.
I literally didn't know how to take the compliments but eventually I got used to it and now put on a chipper smile and say "Thank You."

I think I have gotten too used to it now though....... because people say "you are looking so well/pretty/whatever" and I nearly always forget to say...... "So are you!"
I probably come out looking like the most egotistical person now lol! :p

01-08-2007, 11:11 PM
I agree with you. I too get uncomfortable with any comment on my weight. I think a lot of my problem is that I've tried to be as invisible as possible over the years. I've tried not to draw attention to myself and especially not to my weight. So to have people comment on my weightloss makes me uncomfortable. I don't really have any different suggestions for you, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.
By the way, you've done awesome, and you look amazing!!

01-08-2007, 11:20 PM
I think Tammy hit it on the nose, the difference between a compliment "Lost a lot of weight you're looking nice" and the enquiry mind ones who want to know every freakin' detail of your journey, so they can calculate your original weight... :frypan: at them!!

01-09-2007, 12:09 AM
I think a lot of my problem is that I've tried to be as invisible as possible over the years


And I know that the fact that I have this hangup is no one's issue but my own. I just wish it wasn't such an issue.

Thanks everyone for the companionship on this one, and for the advice. I'll stick to my scripted responses for now, and hope that I adjust.

01-09-2007, 01:07 AM
Yes, everyone has really given some great answers, just to add my half cent, it's definitely a mixed bag kind of a thing. I've gotten the "Have you had surgery?" one 2x in the past several days. I like the ones that say, "Wow, you look great" and leave it at that. When they press for an answer as to how I did it, that kind of bothers me, because I mean come on it's not rocket science. I'm obviously eating less and moving more. Why push it? I think perhaps they'd like to hear about some kind of magic potion or something.

The ones that ask for a number, now that's where I've got to come up with something to answer. I've got sooooo much more to still lose, I'm absolutely not ready to fess up to the large numbers already lost. Not sure if I ever will be ready to give up those numbers. Someone asked me the other day and I actually said around 50 or so. And it's over 78, you'd think I'd want credit for every pound lost, but I'm just not comfortable saying so and I'm just as uncomfortable fudging the numbers. I need to figure this one out.

01-09-2007, 11:00 AM
I think it would be important for you to figure out why (or deal with it as you probably already know) you prefer being invisible. Though I will say that I could not stand all the attention I got when I was pregnant and maybe its something like that? It was just a constant stream of the same comments and questions: "are you pregnant with triplets?", "that must be a big baby", "when are you due?" (thinking I'm about to pop when I had several months to go..LOL). I couldn't stand it anymore! On the other hand, I've been invisible lately and hated it! Now I'm catching men looking again (a good looking one yesterday!) and it makes me feel good.

01-09-2007, 11:36 AM
I like the ones that say, "Wow, you look great" and leave it at that. When they press for an answer as to how I did it, that kind of bothers me, because I mean come on it's not rocket science. I'm obviously eating less and moving more. Why push it? I think perhaps they'd like to hear about some kind of magic potion or something.

RockinRobin, this comment totally hit home with me! Give me a compliment if that is your intention, then let it drop! We all know the only real way to lose weight is eat less, move more. ANYONE can do, it's just whether or not they CHOOSE to do it. I don't want my life disected so they can find out what my secret trick is and that that's the only reason I lost weight. Yes, I do have a trick. It's called exercise and counting points.

I'm doing better with comments, except from my mom. She has always been very blunt, and I really feel she has no clue how harsh she can be, not just to me, but everyone. I'm glad that she's proud of me, but I did this for me, not for her. She's made it a habit of asking me every Saturday morning if I lost weight, and how much, like she's judging me. Bugs the crap out of me!

01-09-2007, 11:52 AM
mandalinn, I'm with you (and many of the rest of you too). It IS uncomfortable, and it's hard to say that because you don't want people to think you're ungrateful for compliments. And when they first start coming, they really keep you motivated to continue. After a while, though, I've become kind of uncomfortable, but only with some of the comments. I guess if it's a quick "wow, you look great," like rockinrobin said, then it feels wonderful and I go on with my day. It's just when they press and keep talking about how big the change is, which makes me think about how awful I must have looked BEFORE. I don't want to think about that. That's one of the reasons I don't like saying the number of pounds I've lost, and that's what people keep pressing me for. Then the same people ask again and again, almost as if they're monitoring how fast I'm losing weight, which annoys me. I know they're just being nice and trying to be encouraging, but it feels weird. Also, when they see what a huge number of pounds I've lost (60) and see that I STILL have plenty of fat on me, I really don't want them doing the math and figuring out how much I let myself weigh before I changed my habits. I don't care, really, but sometimes I just want to do this without having to think about how other people view it. Most days, it's fine...but some days I honestly hope everyone will just focus on other things!

mandalinn, that is a great new picture -- love the collarbones!!!

01-09-2007, 01:23 PM
I think it would be important for you to figure out why (or deal with it as you probably already know) you prefer being invisible.

Yep - already know and working on it. Its not even so much the weight thing for me (because I AM proud of that) or that people press for details (yes, they do, but that in itself isn't what makes me uncomfortable). Basically when I was little and got attention for anything, my family wasn't happy about it and it evolved into this whole "amanda does everything for attention" complex that got really deeply set in me, so that now I avoid it like the plague. Its a little more complicated than that, but basically, I'm afraid of getting attention because when I was younger and got attention from people, I'd get in trouble. I know, I'm weird, and its totally my issue and no one elses. But I think lots of people who have lost a lot of weight are so used to making themselves invisible that this might be an issue (as shown by the many responses on this thread).

But its nice to know that there are other people who don't like the probing questions, too - an off-handed compliment doesn't get me so much, but when I become the center of attention (as at Christmas eve, where I was surrounded by a group of 5 relatives, commenting on how great I looked, asking how much I'd lost and refusing to accept an answer-dodge, asking if I'd had surgery, etc) it was WAY too much.

Thank you everyone for the pic compliments...that was one of my Onederland pics.

01-09-2007, 01:45 PM
Well that is a really sad story of little Amanda. All children deserve lots of attention and that was mean of your family to cast you in this role and not let you be you. Let's hope we can do better with our own children! Goes to show how much our childhoods effect us years later. You ARE worthy of attention and you are NOT an attention hog! Please remember that!

Rudeness like asking if you had surgery or trying to figure out how much you weighed is really quite outrageous! Wanting to know how you did it (even if just for inspiration for those who already know cal in v. out) and wanting to hear how a person changes their life and being excited for that person to the point that you want to hear all the details, maybe you can make an allowance for people on this front. In other words, maybe you can make allowances for the positive attention you receive from truly positive caring people (not negative types trying to pin down your original weight, etc) or for those who need some motivation to get OP, and leave 2 word answers for the negative people who are just looking for a way to make someone feel bad.

But you can only do this by coming to terms with the fact that your family was WRONG about your label. Even if you were trying to get attention as a kid, so what? There's nothing wrong with that either. Kids should be able to be themselves, so long as they're not hurting others or being outrageously obnoxious (like cussing).

01-09-2007, 01:48 PM
I've had the same issues. I am proud of myself for my weightloss, and proud that people can tell. But, I'm not used to being complemented for my physical appearance. I'm used to being noticed for my humor or my baking skills, not how thin my neck is. :o

When people ask how much more I want to lose I tell them truthfully. Most people never believed I weighed as much as I did. Alot of my friends don't believe I'm over 200 unless they see the scale. I carry it well I guess and I should be thankful for that. But that is also what allowed me to be in such denial that I was as heavy as 272.

The compliments that mean the most to me are the ones from my partner. She fell in love with me when I was at my highest weight. She loved me then and she loves me now. For her to tell me how proud she is of me........that's the best thing in the world.


01-09-2007, 02:18 PM
What about just coming right out and telling people you don't want to talk about it? You could say something like "I'm sorry, I know you don't mean any harm, but this is a really personal issue for me and I'm just not comfortable talking about it." Then redirect the conversation by asking them a question about themselves. Granted there are some jerks who this won't work with, but I've found that most people are pretty respectful of these kinds of requests.

I agree that talking about diet and weight loss can be very uncomfortable. It was definitely something I wasn't prepared for. I do a lot of public speaking. I've been speaking at the same conferences attended by the same people for about ten years. There was one conference last year in particular where it seemed like my weightloss was a sub-topic of the conference. I couldn't go to a single conference event without being asking about it multiple times. And it was definitely uncomfortable having people I know only professionally (and often times not that well) ask me intimate questions about diet and exercise. Despite the public speaking, I'm very introverted and extremely protective of my personal life, so it was definitely a struggle to talk about my weight loss.

Luckily I've found that most people don't really want to know the details. They are hoping I know some secret trick and when they find out it was just diet and exercise, we move on to another topic pretty quickly.

01-09-2007, 02:24 PM
Irishowl, you are so lucky to have a partner like that :) Your post made me smile.

Mandalin and all the other folks, I totally agree that it is hard to accept being the center of attention. I'm a little different in that I think of this whole process as intensely, intensely personal. In fact, it took a huge amount of courage for me to be able to come to this board and talk about these issues in an upfront and honest manner. I can't help but feel that this is my body, my business, and people who comment on it (for good or for ill) are in some way violating my personal space.

Regardless, i am really impressed that you are working on a method that will hopefully make the whole conversation easier to deal with. *that's* impressive.

01-09-2007, 02:36 PM
I am an amateur actress when I have the time--I've been in three plays at our community theater. These were three-week runs with paying audiences, so it's the real deal. I am overweight, yes, and in the last play I had to wear a waist cincher to get into the costume. And yet I don't think of my weight when I'm acting. Inside, I still think I am the normal-sized person I was when I was younger. Perhaps that makes a difference.

Anyway, as you can see, I don't mind attention if it's praise! I guess I just grew up differently. I did lots of things to get attention, and no one ever put me down for it.

I'm to the point where people are beginning to comment on my weight--those who haven't seen me in awhile--and it's OK with me. No one has asked me "how I've done it" yet, probably because I'm a ways from that point, where they would want to know. But I just would say the truth--I increased my exercise and I cut down on how much I ate. If they want more details, I could tell them my schedule and calories, but honestly, how boring is that after awhile? LOL! So I doubt it's a topic that would linger, unless someone was interested in doing it themselves.

Don't worry! Be happy! Keep with your program!


01-09-2007, 05:02 PM
I have been getting compliments everywhere I turn this week. I dunno what happened but somehow people's images of me have caught up with them and suddenly when they see me, they're surprised. It's weird.. I got my haircut and I think that has something to do with it. It makes me look thinner. :lol:

Anyway for the most part it's been nice, but it can be embarassing when people go on too long. I'm outgoing but also very introverted about personal details. I just try to be gracious and accept compliments with a smile and then I often find myself changing the subject out of mild embarassment.

01-09-2007, 07:48 PM
Does anyone else sabotage their diet when compliments are coming, I do this a lot and sometimes this is what keeps me from losing my last 15# ... Makes me mad, I'm trying to change this bad habit... It's like I tell myself "ok, now I can eat because I'm looking good." :doh: "keep it up and you'll look better" is really what I should tell myself ...

01-09-2007, 07:55 PM
Ilene - I do that. Generally, to try to make the attention stop...I've been working really hard at not letting myself self-sabotage.

01-09-2007, 07:58 PM
Does anyone else sabotage their diet when compliments are coming, I do this a lot and sometimes this is what keeps me from losing my last 15# ... Makes me mad, I'm trying to change this bad habit... It's like I tell myself "ok, now I can eat because I'm looking good." :doh: "keep it up and you'll look better" is really what I should tell myself ...

I have done this before. My weight is the wall I built around myself, made of pizza boxes and ice cream cartons. It's hard to let that wall down and really put yourself out there for the world to see. The weight does feel like my armor. I'm working on that though, but it's hard.


01-09-2007, 08:03 PM
It's funny that we would think that way though, we want to lose weight to look better, but we self-sabotage when we're looking better :doh: .... I'm gonna work on that this year too :yes:

01-09-2007, 11:22 PM
I enjoy compliments along the lines of, "Hey, you're looking great!" and I'm more than happy to share details of how I lost weight with people. I'm another who has found that "lots of exercise and healthier eating" is not the magic bullet people are wanting to hear about, when they ask. They'll make a break for it and escape pretty quick, if I actually start telling them how I'm doing it. How many pounds I've lost is simply not anyone's business but mine and my doctor's.

I've tried a number of polite replies, and most people will take the hint. One woman at work would not, and continued a number of times to press me "How many pounds have you lost". She's no friend of mine, and simply wanted to know out of idle curiosity, and perhaps for comparison purposes, as she is larger, herself.

I told her I'd gone from a size 20 to a 14 the first time, and told her "Quite a bit", and escaped the second time. The last time she asked me, in front of another co-worker, I told her, "Oh, that's a secret." She said, "Well, it must be a pretty embarrassing amount if you won't even tell me". I was too stunned by her rudeness to even say anything, although some great replies came to mind much later.


01-10-2007, 02:10 AM
Rainy! That is terrible... I would have a hard time being the better person and not flashing my fangs- a bit. Call it immature, but I would said something like: "I'd be more interested in fitting in to your own pants than mine- thanks."

As far as compliments go... I'm most uncomfortable when the attention comes from males or distant relatives. It makes being confident difficult, because part of me wants someone to notice how hard I am working... the other part wants to be invisible.