100 lb. Club - Do you ever feel like a fraud?

View Full Version : Do you ever feel like a fraud?

03-15-2007, 04:44 PM
Sometimes in these threads, I have these ideas on how to help someone else. I am almost always inclined to add a disclaimer at the end: "I know my ticker shows how far I have to go..." I want to help and give support to others, but feel kind of foolish because I'm not that far into this and have a lot to prove for myself.

I'm not looking for positive reinforcement with this question. I know that success will come in time. I'm just curious if anyone else struggles with this. You know, "Do as I say, not as I have done" or "I know what needs to be done, I just haven't done it yet".

There are so many who can truly speak from experience, sometimes I feel that I should just sit back, shut up, and learn.:sssh:

03-15-2007, 04:48 PM
OH Yes! I feel like a fraud right now. I'm struggling to stay focused and on-plan, yet I want to encourage others to stay on their plan. I truly want them to succeed! Yet, I can't seem to get it together myself.

03-15-2007, 05:04 PM
I've struggled with that feeling before too. The thing is...most of us pretty much know exactly how to lose weight. We just didn't do it for years and years! The whole time I was morbidly obese, I knew exactly what I should be doing, I knew it would work, and I knew that I looked much more helpless than I actually was. I could've explained the calories-in/calories-out business to people ages ago -- I just couldn't bring myself to work it out in my own life.

When I first joined 3FC, I probably gave advice before my ticker started going down, but I did feel weird about it. I definitely think you should jump right in, though, and say whatever you want to say. We can all learn from each other. The stuff I know now, after losing 79 pounds, is no different from what I knew when I weighed 275. I've learned little things along the way, sure, but I could've given the same advice to people then as I can now, and when I hit goal I won't necessarily be any wiser than I am now, still overweight at 196.

Am I making sense? Probably not. It's been a long day and my students were a nightmare! :lol:

03-15-2007, 05:05 PM
Don't feel that way!!! I always say to my friends that I could write a book with all of the information I've learned about weight loss, but who would buy it? Knowing and doing are two different things, and that was precisely my issue. But please don't hesitate to share! We all learn from each other. If it's good advice, it's good advice. Period.

03-15-2007, 05:10 PM
Diane, sometimes just the comeraderie is enough to make me speak up, you know? I'm certainly not an expert by any means. I still don't know what works, and what works for me might not work for the next person, and so on. But for me it helps SO MUCH to know that other people are in the same position, so even if I can't add anything, I'll try to write something to make the person know that there are people out there who are reading and can relate, etc etc.

Don't think of it as being a fraud, because that's certainly not the case! We all have things to learn from each other, and this is true in general with everyone. You know?

03-15-2007, 05:11 PM
Knowledge, experience, and action don't always coincide, you know? And we shouldn't judge ourselves any more harshly than we judge others, and I certainly don't look at the advice giver's ticker before deciding whether the advice sounds like something that would help me. I know I certainly "know" alot more about how I "should" go about this than I am able to put into practice at any given moment. I guess it only makes me a fraud if I imply that my advice (that I'm not following well) is easy to put into practice.

I have a master's degree in developmental psychology (and a bachelor's in behavioral psychology - alot of education and practice in behavior change).

I've been on dozens and dozens of diets since the age of 5 (I'm going to be 41 in a few days), and have read dozens if not hundreds of diet and nutrition books.

I've lost 60 - 75 lbs twice and smaller amounts dozens of times, so I've lost my body weight several times over (just gaining it back and then some each time).

I'm success and failure all wrapped up in a big, complicated bundle. Some of us here, may not have much experience or knowledge, and others of us may "know" more than we've been able to put into practice successfully. I don't think it's hypocritical to offer advice you may not be able to follow very well yourself (though it certainly helps sometimes to admit it in giving it). We all have to acknowledge that actions are much more difficult than words, but all we have to offer each other are our words.

I think we forget how hard weight management is, and feel stupid and "bad," and so alone when we make mistakes. The only difference between long term success and failure is often giving up. If advice is given kindly, I don't think people get upset when it is given by someone, who hasn't always been able to follow it themselves, and as long as it helps keep us connected and involved, I think we're ahead of the game, because it keeps us from giving up.

03-15-2007, 05:46 PM
I do feel that way sometimes. But, just because I'm not at the end of my journey yet doesn't mean I don't have knowledge to share - I actually know quite a lot about nutrition, healthy eating, etc. but just took my sweet time applying it to my own life. I remind myself that just because it took some time for me to finally be "ready" doesn't invalidate the knowledge that I have, or the potential words of wisdom I might be able to share with someone else.

I would hope that people don't judge the validity of thoughts or information on the basis of tickers - I actually don't have one simply because I never set it up! :) And really, I don't think I should have to have that information there for someone to decide if what I say has any merit. For myself, I am farther along with my weight loss this time than ever before - ever - and I've learned a lot along the way. I would hate to feel that I couldn't share some of what I've learned just because I hadn't earned the right to yet.

I say - share whatever you can. You never know when someone will take those words to heart and find they make a difference.

03-15-2007, 06:00 PM
I was going to respond with the same type of thing, but you've already gotten such great responses in a much more eloquent way than I would have put it. So... to summarize... I agree with everyone. Everyone's opinion matters and you never know when it will be your one bit of knowledge or experience that gives someone else a great idea or that a-ha moment.

Also, I know that for me, coming here and sharing instead of lurking helps keep me on plan.

03-15-2007, 06:35 PM
Thank you all!
Those responses are exactly why I posted this today. It was holding me back so I thought I'd put the thought out there. I never look at what someone says and measure the value based on their ticker. But when I have posted before, I have hesitated and scowled because of my own!! I'll work past that!
I also agree with the value (and fun) of talking with people who have the same struggles I have! It continues to amaze me how much I agree with what is said here.
Never have had a problem with talking before even when I didn't know what I was talking about! ha! I guess when it comes to weight, I'm just a little more sensitive!
Thanks again! :grouphug:

03-15-2007, 06:44 PM
Hi Diane

I too have felt the way you feel. How can I give advice and support when I don't follow it myself? Judging by the responses you got I would say we are all in the same boat. It's nice to see that there is such a supportive group of people out there.

Post away, I love reading what people have to say. I love feeling like part of a group instead of feeling like I am the only one battling my weight!

03-15-2007, 06:44 PM
We've all been judged by our weight and I think we've finally found a place where people don't do that. The funny part is that we keep expecting them to. Anyhow, I think half the time the person asking for advice might know the answer, but is looking for a kind of validation. Something that says "go for it, you're on the right track, etc." That kind of advice is sooo necessary when you're trying to do the things we're trying to do here.

So go on and give your two cents!! For me the support is priceless!!



03-15-2007, 06:47 PM
Great post, rings a bell with me. I'm a total fraud! :eek: What the heck am I thinking, only 30-odd gone and over 100 to go? Why would anyone trust my ideas or advice?

Yet, I can't resist handing them out anyway, like so much illicit candy. :D

03-15-2007, 08:53 PM
Another reason I like reading and sharing tips that might just be common sense, or that I may have heard or read before is that for most of us who are "self-taught" experts (whether we're practicing our expertise or not), is that you can't keep all of your knowledge in the front of your brain where it's easily accessible, so alot gets "shoved to the back shelves," so to speak.

Writing it, and/or reading it keeps all that knowledge "circulating," and I think easier to use. I might read someone's tip and remember - "hey I used to do that and it really worked for me 10 years ago - I wonder why I never thought to use it again this time" or "I meant to try that, and never got around to it," or "I wondered if that would work."..... It doesn't really matter, it's just that keeping it new and fresh for the long haul, is really important and if we didn't share until we "earned the right to," I don't thing there would be much helpful information, insight, and support here and we'd all stop coming here.

03-15-2007, 09:30 PM
I have noticed that sometimes my fingers sort of take on a life of their own. Especially on the emotional issues, I get surprised by what comes out at times. I learn from my own answers. We know a lot of the technical aspects of losing weight but for me the emotional issues are what has held me back. As we help each other we also help ourselves. What a gift!

03-15-2007, 10:16 PM
You guys really hit the nail on the head with this one. I've always said that it's much easier to discipline my child than the discipline myself. When I say no to myself I can almost literally 'see' the kid in me pitching a fit. And it's much easier to give advice than it is to put it into practice myself. But I've really gotten a lot out of the posts on this website. I applaud all of you who keep on keeping on. I hope to be one of you, who persevere.

03-15-2007, 10:20 PM
Personally, if i'm going to ask for advice or just ask a quesiton, i'm not looking at someone's ticker or there so-called expertise. All I want is ideas. Ultimately i'm the one that is going to have to make whatever decision it is.

You, just like everyone else is unique and has something to add. Maybe it's just a different twist to an old idea. I don't know how many times something was staring me in the face and I couldn't see it. It just took a fresh pair of eyes.

On the flip side of feeling the fraud, I've also had the feeling that when things are going well for me for a long period of time that I don't like to post. I'm thinking "geez, so many people are having a hard time right now, either with the weight/food issues or just life in general, who am I to be "little miss sunshine", like i'm rubbing their nose in it or something". I know that's not how it should be because even if i'm having a hard time, I like to know, hey the good times are still out there, they'll be back!

Share, share, share! Someone has a quote here, I don't remember it exactly or who it was, but I love to share it.

"If you're having a bad day, you need us. If you're having a good day, we need you!" Or something like that. I think you get the idea.

Take care!

03-15-2007, 10:33 PM
I know what you mean - there are many times that I hesitate to post. Because I am not an expert or because I pretty much agree with the people that have already posted. But I try to remember that with this site - we are only going to get out of it what we put into it and the more ideas we generate the better off we are all going to be.

I am a better lurker than I am poster but I am working on being more of a participater.....

03-16-2007, 12:43 PM
Hi Slashnl!

Don't be so hard on yourself, sweetie! :hug: This goes for all of you who answered this post, too! :hug: :hug: :hug: Every one of us is either at a weight that we don't like OR we are struggling to maintain a weight that we DO like! We are all in this together! :grouphug: Each person has his/her lifetime of experiences to add to the mix. How amazing is THAT?!!! Think of the years of weight loss experience that this site has as its total! Think of all of the many, many pounds of weight lost, regained, lost, etc. There are great people here, and like it or not, we are all in the same journey together. We may be sitting on different seats in the bus or on the plane looking at different scenery, but we are all headed to the same place...a healthier life weighing a healthier weight and looking better in our clothes!

I'm 55 and among some of the oldest members on this site. There's no way that I would say, "Oh, she's just 20. What could SHE know?" I have two sons who are 18 and 25. I learn stuff from them EVERY DAY! They haven't lived on earth as long as I have, but they know MANY things that I don't know! They also have had many experiences that I haven't had.

We must be open, in my opinion, to every idea because we never know when that one idea will change our life and the lives of others!

I say, if you have an idea, a comment, a thought, a suggestion...LET IT FLY ONTO YOUR SCREEN! It just may be the idea that changes someone's life!

Freedom of speech...Ahhhhh! LOVE IT!:carrot:


03-16-2007, 02:33 PM
Boy can I relate! I have been at 3FC for 7 years and I still struggle for success. Plus being a MOD sometimes makes me feel like more of a fraud.

Everyone here is so right. We all know so much about weight loss and we all have so much to offer. Goal or not, it's the community that supports us. I want to hear from all of you!!!!

03-16-2007, 03:42 PM
I wanted to chime in here to agree with everyone else too! But one thing I've noticed is, away from these boards, in real life, TONS of people ask ME (me?! ME?) for diet advice, its like they want to hear about it from a "real" person, with real struggles, not some 110 lb chicky from the gym. (no offense to you 110 lb chickies from the gym....LOL) The same thing goes for me as a healthcare professional, telling people (esp diabetics, which IS my specialty!) to watch their weight, diet, exercise...and looking like this! So I know what you mean about feeling like a fraud, it just isn't true.

03-16-2007, 10:12 PM
I've struggled with that feeling before too. The thing is...most of us pretty much know exactly how to lose weight. We just didn't do it for years and years! The whole time I was morbidly obese, I knew exactly what I should be doing, I knew it would work, and I knew that I looked much more helpless than I actually was. I could've explained the calories-in/calories-out business to people ages ago -- I just couldn't bring myself to work it out in my own life.

You are so right! Losing weight is the hardest thing I've tried doing. It piles on so quickly, then comes off fighting you tooth and nail every step of the way. Whether we've lost a lot of weight or a little we know what our experinces have been and what did work for us. How many of us have lost weight in clumps before 3fc that we don't show on our tickers? We'd all have some mighty long tickers if we added up all the weight we've lost over the years. We know that we aren't frauds and if others look in and think we are, well, they're probably the type of people who are never happy anyways so there's no pleasing them :p

03-17-2007, 12:36 PM
As a maintainer, I'd like to say to people earlier in their journey, NEVER feel like a fraud. There are countless times that I come on here and am struggling to maintain this wt. loss and have simply strayed from the healthy path. Just seeing so many and hearing their advice helps get me back on track. It is all too easy to become complacent and think "oh , this once won't hurt me any" and it doesn't but when it turns into several days , a week or so, It definitely hurts. I learn something new everyday and the majority of the time, it comes from those that are losing weight and having success with it. It also comes from those that have plateaued or those who like me are having a struggle and trying to overcome. Many times it strikes me that those closest to the beginning of their wt. loss journey are the ones that inspire me the most. The ones that still have that wonderful Euphoria as each lb. comes off. These are the ones that make me want to keep the wt. off and take off any extra lb that shows up. WAY more so than the ones that have had the wt. off for years and have a great plan established. Hope this makes sense. I'm not at all trying to discount the help of the other maintainers, It's just that the fresh ideas, plans and encouragement from the others is every bit as important to me personally.

03-17-2007, 01:22 PM
There is something uniquely rewarding and "authentic," about receiving advice and support from others "in the trenches." Even over those who have already "been there, done that," and come through the other side.

Not so much here, because even those on maintenance often still have the attitude of "still being on the journey," but often in my everyday life I have had friends, family, and aquaintenances who have lost small or large amounts of weight, and seem to have become self-ordained "experts," overnight. While the "if I can do it, you can too," attitude can be well-intended sometimes it comes off as self-righteous zealotry.

I'm willing to admit my distrust of the "successful" people may be in large part due to envy rather than any fault on their part, it is a lot more comfortable to be following the advice of a friend you know is struggling with following it herself. Does that make any sense?

03-21-2007, 11:27 AM
I've been posting here for several years and this thread really hit home for me. If anything I've gained weight since I first joined. My pregnancy and other emotional probs sure didn't help. I've had plenty of times where I've typed in a post and then deleted it because I was thinking how ridiculous it seems to be giving advice about losing weight when I sure can't do it myself. Still why I keep coming back is that it really helps to know that there are so many out there that have similar problems with weight. For the longest time I felt very isolated about being overweight.

03-21-2007, 11:59 AM
I know when I post something, especially when someone asks for advice, I always try to get in there - that this is what works for me, and that we are all different and different things will work for different people and how we've got to really figure out a plan for ourselves. Because that's the truth, what works for me doesn't necessarily mean it will work for someone else. I also try to put in some IMO's in there. And ocassionaly I'm no expert, but... And then of course there's - I'm no where near goal yet, so...

In the beginning I think I did hold back on responding to certain threads, I still do. No matter what we've been through, no matter where we are on our journey, there will always be some things that are just not pertinent to us and therefore I feel as if I have nothing to add. So I don't.

I think the beauty of this place is to throw IDEAS back and forth to one another and hopefully, hopefully we can each pick up something valuable from one another. That that one little nugget or idea will spark something in our own brains and be helpful in our mutual struggle to shed and keep off the pounds. In my opinion, of course.