Weight Loss Support - Worried that the kids at school are judging me...

02-10-2009, 02:31 PM
So today was my first day back to school for my second degree a BS in Dietetics thanks to my personal journey with wellness and wanting to spread the message. I was very excited but kind of nervous going back especially since I am taking a nutrition course this semester even though I wanted to wait until I was a little bit small because a fat girl in a nutrition class is kind of like an oxy-moron. Anyway, I ended up taking this class because it was really the only thing being offered this semester that had open seats and would count towards my degree (I ended up registering late). So today was the first day and it was all well and good until the professor made us each stand up and tell the class a little bit about ourselves. I was like "Oh man by at least sitting down I think I look somewhat normal and not so heavy and now she wants me to stand up to show every fit person in the class just how fat I am??? UUUUggggh!!!" So I was nervous but I stood up anyway and in the process my shirt got caught on my binder which then knocked it over which in turn made me lose my concentration on what I was saying so I felt like a babbling, fat, klutz. I felt like as I stood up there everyone was judging me thinking "What the **** is this girl doing in this class/program?" It was awful!! I felt their eyes piercing into me and I felt as if I couldn't stand up there another minute! I just wanted to run out of the classroom as soon as possible because now everyone knows me as the stupid, klutzy fat girl. I just hate feeling like I'm being judged and I hate caring what people think.

Well it doesn't seem like there is much point to this post besides the fact that I'm bothered by how I am physically (even though I'm changing) and being in this nutrition class at the same time. I know I have made changes and I've come a long way, but this class filled with beautiful, fit people makes me realize just how much more I have to go and makes it seem impossibly unattainable and that they're judging me the FAT girl in the NUTRITION class.

I don't know why but I'm incredibly annoyed by this right now. I guess I'm just look for some words of encouragement or some perspective or something... please help!

02-10-2009, 02:38 PM
We judge ourselves far more harshly than anyone else. I'm sure they were probably focusing on what they were going to say when they had to speak in front of the class. I took a health class in college and I was obese at the time and I don't think anyone judged me.

You should be so proud of your accomplishments! Pride in yourself will lead to self-confidence which is obvious by the way you speak and carry yourself, not by your weight.

Be proud and confident and others will judge you to be a person that cares about themself, and when you share your reasons for adding this degree, then they will see that you also care about others!

02-10-2009, 02:48 PM
I'd say most of your classmates probably weren't judging you like that... I think in our heads we tend to feel as though we are being judged when it's not always the case.

I'm really klutzy myself which always makes me nervous about what people are thinking about me - but I realize that when someone else trips or drops something or whatever, I'm not judging them, and that helps.

02-10-2009, 02:51 PM
Sorry that you had such a bad first day. :hug:

I agree that you probably judge yourself much harder than anyone else does. I think that it is great that you are going for this degree. Your struggle with weight will help you in your career because you can empathize with others having the same struggle.

I would much rather see a dietitian that has gone through an experience similar to mine than someone who has always been skinny.

02-10-2009, 02:52 PM
I agree that we judge ourselves way more than anyone else. If anything, I bet you they were thinking that obviously this girl is ready to change her life and inspire others with her story. The majority of nutritionists, trainers etc. that I have known used to have an unhealthy lifestyle which is why they are able to reach out to people so much better than someone who has never experienced weight problems. If anything, this period in your life may serve your career and make you more empathetic and competant in helping others become more healthy.

02-10-2009, 02:54 PM
I have totally been there! I was scared to death of joining a gym because i thought all the 'fit' people in there would stare and think 'what are you DOING here?!' but i have noticed nobody even cares! If you really think about it you are there for the same reason as those people are, to learn, just gotta keep telling yourself that.

02-10-2009, 03:06 PM
People are always way more interested in themselves than they are in you. I'm sorry it was a rough day though. Just think, now you can share all your nutritional knowledge with us! (See, more concerned about me than you.)

I completely agree with time2lose that I would much rather have a dietician who knows what they're talking about because they've been through it than someone who had never struggled with their weight before.

Think of that 27 pounds you've already lost. By the time the class is over, you'll be in Onederland!

02-10-2009, 03:13 PM
:hug: It will be okay.

You are being to hard on yourself. Be proud of what you have committed to and if someone else doesn't like it then that is their problem. You need to tell yourself EVERY DAY just about beautiful you are inside and out!

02-10-2009, 03:28 PM
I'm so sorry you had a rough day. I wish I could give you a hug! I think it is awesome that you are taking the class! You may be overweight but that doesn't mean you are unhealthy or do not care about nutrition. Like others have said, most people are self absorbed and don't even think anything of it.

Maybe it would help to blog about the classes and how you felt as well as what you learned. Believe it or not, this is a great experience, and you may be able to use it to help others. I bet other overweight people would love to hear about these classes from your perspective, and you can even think of it as if you are doing research on how larger people are treated in that sort of setting.

02-10-2009, 03:29 PM
First of all....

:hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:

I have been there! It never feels good to feel like you are the centre of negative attention.

But, my friend used to tell me - "You wouldn't worry so much about what people think of you if you realized how seldom they do." Sounds harsh, but it helped me to realize that I am not in a spotlight. People have their own lives and their own insecurities. 99% of the time, they are not thinking about me, they are thinking of themselves. It helped me to be less self-conscious.

Also, I agree that it would be great to have a nutritionist who had struggled the same way I had. Experience is invaluable.

Good luck. You will do great!

Peace, Heather

02-10-2009, 04:05 PM
I just hate feeling like I'm being judged and I hate caring what people think. I know how you feel. I used to be the same way. I kept telling myself that I wasn't going to take someone's judgment to heart unless they'd given me a reason to, such as having been someone I knew to be a good friend/relative who often had good advice and my best interest at heart. Eventually, it sunk in. You have learn to care about yourself enough to live for you. No one can take care of you the way you can.

The bottom line is, some of the people are judging you (and the others in the class) and thinking negative things. It's human nature, and there's no one in the world who hasn't been on the giving and receiving end of those thoughts. Some of the people are looking at you and thinking positive thoughts. They see you making an effort, and it can be inspirational, since we all have sections of our life that need improving. Some people are absorbed in their own thoughts. There's nothing anyone can do about anyone else's silent thoughts, so you just have to focus on what's important, and what you can change.

Don't give up, and don't let your fears about what other people are thinking stop you from attaining something positive (the knowledge and class credit). When you reach your goals of getting the BS and losing the weight, you'll have a valuable perspective that will be very useful to the people you will help.

02-10-2009, 04:07 PM
Thanks ladies. I guess the thing is that people don't know my story quite yet about what I've been through so far and what I plan to do so I guess that's what has been buggin me a bit thinking that they're judging me. As of right now I'm just some fat girl in a nutrition class not a girl who's been struggling with health problems and taking the necessary steps to get my life back, who has already lost 27lbs (and counting), who is using this degree as a lifestyle change as well as a career change, and wants to use my experience to help others. Until they know that I feel like I might as well be on the moon when it comes to being understood by them and I think I'll continue to feel them judging me even if they really aren't and even though it shouldn't matter what they think. I know why I'm doing this and that it's for myself and to help others and that's all that should matter. It's just hard to break the mindset I guess and realize that really people are more into themselves than anything else. It's hard to get through the insecurities sometimes. :halfempty:

02-10-2009, 04:26 PM
My very first day of going to the gym after having my baby i was 260lbs. I chose to wear a tight tank top and shorts, knowing that I would feel uncomfortable and self conscious the whole time because I was huge and would normally have worn as many clothes as I could. I did this because I knew that by going to the gym I was making the first step to my new healthy lifestyle, and that one day when I had lost 100lbs I would remember how I felt walking into that gym and sitting on the bike and seeing my flab everywhere....and then I would be proud of how far I have come.
I guess the moral to my long post, is remember that feeling you had, and work with it. Know that at the end of this class, you wont feel that way anymore. You will have come such a long way.

02-10-2009, 05:12 PM
So what if some of the people in your class judge you? Is that a valid reason for you not to take the class?

02-10-2009, 07:13 PM
Just because I'm worried that someone is judging me doesn't mean that I'm not going to continue with the class. I'm one of those people that just because I'm afraid of something or bothered by something doesn't mean I stop doing what I'm doing. I hate feeling like I'm being judged but I have to take this class for not only my major but because I also need to grow stronger and this will help me to become stronger because I'll be facing the fear of being in an uncomfortable place where I feel like I'm being judged and I know that it's within those kinds of moments where true character is shaped.

It's strange that I didn't think of this before and I wasn't taking my own advice, but I guess I had to go through the process to come to this conclusion. So thanks Maria for posing those questions. That's exactly the perspective I was looking for along with everything else you other ladies have said. :)

02-10-2009, 07:37 PM
Do you have any reason to think they were judging you? Were there snickers? Comments? Probably not. I think you're feeling judged not because there is any real reason to, but you feel like you must be judged given the circumstances. Like when I have a huge blemish on my forehead and everyone smiles at me normally I think "What's wrong with you people? Notice my flaws! I'm DEFECTIVE!"

You say you feel like they're judging you even though they don't know you, but you don't know them yet either--you've more or less assumed they're just some skinny people in a nutrition class, not people who might have had their own life struggles. It's probable that not all of your classmates have been beautiful and fit their entire lives. My old roommate is a dietetics major and she was "the fat one" all through childhood; she joined several sports in high school to prove herself and trimmed down to her current healthy self. You wouldn't know by just looking at her for 30 seconds in a class introduction.

02-10-2009, 11:17 PM
You say you feel like they're judging you even though they don't know you, but you don't know them yet either--you've more or less assumed they're just some skinny people in a nutrition class, not people who might have had their own life struggles. It's probable that not all of your classmates have been beautiful and fit their entire lives. My old roommate is a dietetics major and she was "the fat one" all through childhood; she joined several sports in high school to prove herself and trimmed down to her current healthy self. You wouldn't know by just looking at her for 30 seconds in a class introduction.

Good point. Now I kinda feel like the a-hole for thinking that way. Pot meet kettle. :o

02-10-2009, 11:26 PM
Sorry you had a bad first day. When I went to my first OA meeting I was the biggest person in the room and felt bad about myself but I realized that someday I won't always be the biggest person in the room. Your top priority is you and by going to classes you are helping yourself. Be proud of your weight loss and take what you learn and put it to use in your program of a new healthy lifestyle.

02-10-2009, 11:28 PM
Eh, give yourself a break.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm guessing that unless the course fulfills some weird science requirement and has a reputation as an easy pass (not saying that it does, just that it wouldn't be a huge shock if it did), most of the class is probably either jocks or former fat people (or close relatives of)--because really, who else would be there?

02-10-2009, 11:36 PM
Eh, give yourself a break.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm guessing that unless the course fulfills some weird science requirement and has a reputation as an easy pass (not saying that it does, just that it wouldn't be a huge shock if it did), most of the class is probably either jocks or former fat people (or close relatives of)--because really, who else would be there?

No doesn't really look like an easy pass. It's called "Nutrition Throughout the Life Span" and it's for Nutrition majors/minors although there's a nursing student or 2 in there because their emphasis is on lactation and pregnancy or something along those lines. Anyway for me it fulfills a "nutrition elective" requirement that I have for my BS in Dietetics which I am just starting this semester.

02-10-2009, 11:41 PM
Hey gymlee,

You shouldn't feel bad about how people in nutrition classes are judging you because I'm willing to bet that as the "fat girl" who is losing weight you know more than they do. And this isn't just a guess: Last spring I volunteered for a class of people learning to be personal trainers (wellness therapists I think was their title) at my university. These students, all athletic and everything could tell me that I had to work out 300 minutes a week, but on nutrition? Not much. I told them about:

-Fitday, or TDL and the like for counting calories

-That losing weight means you really can't go to restaurants and eat. One girl said that you could order the veggies and I told her about the liberal use of butter.

-One guy had no idea how calorie dense bananas are. But then again, he's a long distance runner.

I can't remember anything else, I do remember that I posted about it though. I should look it up. Anyway, you've already made great strides into nutrition. I'm sure you're way ahead! Keep going strong!!!

02-10-2009, 11:45 PM
I think we all have a story or two of when we were embarrassed in life. Where we felt every eye was on us.

You had the courage to write it down and share with us....it is out in the open

we all saw it...

You lived through it kiddo

You are well on your way to that degree you deserve for yourself

My prayers are with you ~ Gary

02-11-2009, 12:23 AM
Eves, that's a great perspective! While I would hope that these kids in the class know a little more than the ones you worked with, I do appreciate what you're saying and the logical part of me is like "Right on!" But of course there is that pesky emotional side that feels the feelings and couldn't help but feel the way I did earlier. But I know quite a bit about nutrition considering I took an intro to nutrition course with my first undergrad degree and since I've started my weight loss I've learned a lot more through research and listening to the wonderful Jillian Michaels :) I'm just using this degree as another facet to educating myself for my new lifestyle and being a resource for those who want the information in the future.

Gary- Thanks! I appreciate your kind words more than you'll ever know! They really touched me. I had to wipe away tears of joy and thanks when reading your response. Thanks for the support! I really needed it! :)

02-11-2009, 07:46 AM
I was thinking that maybe they were all trying to stifle a laugh at you knocking your binder over because they didn't want to make you anymore nervous than what you were at that time.

Skinny people do stuff like that, too, you know. ;) Everyone has a moment or two in their lives that they wish that they could crawl under the desk or that the earth would open up underneath them and swallow them. :D

I hope today is a better day for you. :hug:

02-11-2009, 03:59 PM
Good point Steelslady!

Today was actually a little bit better though today I had classes other than the nutrition one but I still had one class (a food science class) that had a lot of nutrition and dietetic majors in it and I actually seemed to have found some acquaintances, particularly one girl who I shared part of my story with and she was very sweet and supportive. Looks like this might be looking up :)

02-11-2009, 06:03 PM
Feel better!

I'm sure they weren't thinking as negatively as you believe they were. I agree with what a lot of others have said. We really judge ourselves too harshly. Most people are too concentrated on themselves to care about anyone else.

You're doing so good and doing this for yourself. That's all that matters! I'll let you know when I have off next week and I'll come see you and we can have a day out to get your mind off things. :)

02-11-2009, 06:13 PM
I think there WAS some judging going on- you judging yourself. I hate to quote Dr. Phil because, well, it's sorta tacky BUT his quote "You wouldn't worry so much about what other people thought about you if you realized how seldom they did". Even though you felt like everyone was looking and judging, it's unlikely what was happening.

Secondly, as an overweight person if I had a choice between seeing one of those never-been-overweight barbie doll dieticians and someone who had struggled- and overcome- the same obstacles I'm facing, it's not hard to figure who I'd choose. Most clients who see a dietician do so because they are struggling. Being seen by someone who understands that struggle is ideal. If you look at the big picture, ultimately you'll be a MUCH better dietician with better client repore BECAUSE of the fight you are waging now and winning!

I think a nutrition class is an excellent place for an overweight person to be. If you're in a CLASS it's because you're LEARNING. If you already knew it all, you'd be in practice. Now, would I put a lot of faith in a significantly overweight dietician? Probably not. Sounds like you're choosing a great career for learning how to lose the weight then having the incentive to KEEP it off. Perfect!

02-11-2009, 09:51 PM
Thanks bindersbee. You're absolutely right. I'm using this career/academic change as a way to continue the healthy lifestyle I've started because like you said who's going to go to an overweight nutritionist? No one because in this business your body is your calling card. I know that I also want to personal train people on the side too which stems from my love for interacting physically with people since I used to coach gymnastics so if I can be both personal trainer and dietician to those who want both services from me I believe I will have a greater connection with them. And if I wasn't going to do this I would be owning my own gymnastics gym however the economy isn't the greatest to be starting up a business like that since it's recreation based and that's usually that's the first things to go in people's budgets. Maybe way later I can do it, but I feel like for right now I am in my truth doing what I'm supposed to because everything has just seemed to fall into place with it (in comparison to other programs I was in after my first BA)and I'm a strong believer that, to quote Oscar Wilde (and Jillian Michaels who quotes him), "When you're in your truth, the universe conspires on your behalf." So I really believe I'm doing what is right for me. :)

02-11-2009, 11:54 PM
I can relate. I am a nutrition major at a large party school and have struggled with my weight my whole life. The majority of my major is sorority girls who have never struggled with weight other than trying to loose 5lbs before bikini season. Alot of them also have very judgemental attitudes towards people with weight issues (I know this from several class discussions). I used to feel very insecure telling people I was a nutrition major because I don't have a perfect body, now I don't give a d@mn. There was one VERY overweight girl in our major (like 100lbs+) and she was outgoing enough that she still found people to study with and such. If its not an issue for you, it wont be for everyone else.

Also keep in mind that nutrition is a VERY diverse major. People go into it in order to go to med school, go for a mph and work in public health, sports nutrition, medical nutrition (ie designing enteral nutrition supplements for renal patients). You could potentially be pursuing a number of avenues that would not mean being overweight = not practicing what you preach.

02-12-2009, 12:12 AM
One other thing, try not to assume all your classmates are judging you negatively, I would say if they are thinking anything, it's "wow, good for her" embrace and celebrate your continuing story and tell it to whoever will listen, you are the perfect person for this since you have already walked the walk.

02-12-2009, 02:27 AM
Good point Scarlett. It does seem the same way here at my school too but it's starting to not bother me as much because I know I'm changing and it's for the better.

Leesa, not too many people in that class know my story yet but I'm hoping that as the semester goes on I will share my story with more people and thus I will feel more comfortable. I felt so much more at ease when I shared part of my story with this girl named Ali who is a dietetics major as well when I was in my food science class today. So I'm hoping the more time goes by and the more I start to make connections and people know why I'm there it will be more comfortable although knowing for myself why I'm there really all that matters, however being more comfortable couldn't hurt! :)

02-12-2009, 03:15 AM
I understand exactly how you feel! I have very low self esteem and am starting school Monday. I'm excited but very very nervous, mostly about what the other people will think of me. Good luck with your class!

Wisconsin Woman
02-12-2009, 07:21 AM
I'm an RN and my instructor for my nutrition class was obese and the first thing she said during her introduction is 'you might wonder what this fat lady can teach me about nutrition, but always be aware that knowing and doing are two different things.' I personally am more willing to listen to advice to someone who has some personal experience with what they are teaching, rather than all book learning.
I'm sorry that you had such an awful experience on your first day, but I agree with the others that the rest of the class was probably more concerned about how they were going to be judged than judging you. Hang in there!

02-12-2009, 02:51 PM
Thanks Missy09!! You too!

Wisconsin Woman- It makes a lot of sense. Knowing and doing are 2 completely different things. We talk about it all the time on here that you also have to have the motivation and it has to be worth it for you to do it. While I was no expert prior to starting this class/program I still knew what basics I needed to do for myself to lose weight since I had done it with a nutritionist before so I totally get you on the whole knowing vs doing.

I appreciate all your guys' concern. Today was a lot better with the nutrition class. I ended up chatting with these two girls who are in two of my other classes and they seem to accept me so I didn't pay attention to any of the other ones really. So if they were judging me I wouldn't have even noticed. It's funny because I'm really starting not to care about what they think. It's a process but it's happening for me.