Weight Loss Support - The public battle




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beforeim35
03-28-2009, 08:14 AM
I was reading a post yesterday, and if I could find it I would credit the OP, but basically what it said was weight is a very private battle, fought publicly.

I completely agree with that statement and I wonder how others feel about letting co-workers or aquaintances in on your weight loss efforts?

Just an example, yesterday at work they had a pot luck for someone who is leaving our group. I work for a big name kitchen appliance manufacturer and these people like to "test" out the products! I had too different people ask me if I was making something. My response was no, I don't cook, which is pretty much true, and I'm not going to eat any of it. I was told of course, well you can still eat. I didn't really know how to respond to that without admitting that I was dieting. Turns out two sick kids kept me from having to go and be tempted. Since this is my first week back at it, I don't need that yet.

I am not sure why I am so afraid to admit what I'm doing, even to my best friend of 20 years who also works there. I guess because I have tried and failed so many times, I am afraid to own up in case I give up this time too.

But that leads to me to my question. Losing weight, and the attention it brings, seems to be like a double edged sword. On one hand, you want people to notice that you've lost it. You want the compliments. You want to know you look better. On the other hand, I don't like other people hearing those compliments. It embarasses me. I am not sure why that is. I guess I want people to think I look good but think it happened magically or something.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


Lori Bell
03-28-2009, 08:38 AM
You are right, it is a double edge sword. And it is hard when other people (especially the non-supportive ones) seem to become part of your journey. I;ve struggled with it a lot. I admit I like a sincere compliment, and I have even tooted my own horn from time to time, but some comments just get on my nerves. Thank the good Lord for 3FC, because when it gets to be much to handle, I come here and and let it out. People here understand these feelings. I vent here, and keep the peace with my small town...LOL

I think the best advice I can come up with on peoples comments is "Take what you like and leave the rest". You keep doing what you are doing and try not to worry about other people...Jesus said it best, "do unto others...":hug:

losermom
03-28-2009, 08:39 AM
I can totally relate to this. I've started to get comments on my weight loss and it generally makes me very uncomfortable and squirmy inside.

Last week I was going to an offsite luncheon meeting with co-workers and when I got in the car, 3 of the 4 co-workers started to comment and ask questions about my weight loss (I've lost 30 lbs). Although I'm sure it was not their intention, I felt attacked. Everyone wanted to know how I was doing it. But when I honestly told them that I was trying to eat less or better and move more they all responded with "oh, well that's no fun! I don't want to do that."

I feel like I can tell when someone is genuinely happy for me and those that just want to know what "quick fix" I am using/doing. My friends and family are supportive which helps.


thistoo
03-28-2009, 09:11 AM
I work in a library and we're all pretty much on top of each other all day long because of the shortage of actual work space. My desk mate happens to have lost a significant amount of weight several years ago, so she's *very* interested in my journey. I don't mind her questions at all, because she's been there and she knows exactly what it's like.

I don't really mind the questions from the rest of them either, I guess, though when I'm stuck and feel like I'm treading water for the millionth time, it is frustrating to be asked 'how's your diet going?' or whatever.

Then there is the one lady up on the third floor of the building who is heavy herself, and every time she sees me she asks sort of wistfully what I've been doing to 'look so great' (her words). I tell her the truth; cutting carbs, counting calories, working out like a fiend. Then she launches into her usual speech about how she knows what to do, but the carb thing is her downfall. Which I totally get, but she keeps asking me the same question over and over, you know?

I guess what I'm saying here is that now that I've lost so much weight (about 40 of it at this job) I *can't* hide it anymore, so I just have to own it and deal with the questions. I am generally forthright with my answers just because that's my personality, but it's totally okay to be private about it too and tell people that it's a personal topic you're not comfortable discussing.

I haven't run into much jealousy/sabotage, though I know a lot of people do. I hope you won't have that problem when people do start to notice.

koolkiwi
03-28-2009, 09:28 AM
I think the farther I am from my starting weight the more comfortable I become with letting people acknowledge my weightloss. That isn't because of fear of failure but because its like I distance myself further from my highest weight and how bad I considered I looked at my highest weight. Because to me everytime I hear how great I look what I really hear is how bad I use to look. I know that is not peoples intentions I really do but I can't take that comment any other way.

Arkansas Kel
03-28-2009, 10:06 AM
This is totally a problem for every dieter I know. I have said the fastest way to diet **** is to mention you are on a diet. Everyperson around you will immediately offer up all their own diet suggestions (usually that have failed them at some point too). Such as: All you have to do is cut back your food, my friend lost a lot of weight at WW, all you need to do is walk - it's the best exercise - or the infamous - you just need to eat less fat.

I have also experienced the sabbatogers. They want to make you trip up so they can be satisfied that your diet is as big a failure as theirs was. Or they don't like change - if you lose weight will your friendship/relationship change somehow? Will they be the fat friend?

I just keep my diet to myself. I eat primarily salads or meat/veggie dishes at work (keeping the fat content to myself) and they just comment on how healthy Kelly eats. If something is shoved at me - I just say "nah, I'm not in the mood for that" or "I don't care for mushrooms" or whatever works. What they don't know won't hurt me.

I would suggest reading the Former Fat Girl book. I've read most of it - then loaned it to another fat girl friend for her diet journey. You would find a lot of these problems there too. Her mother practically force fed her when she came to visit - so she fould it was better to just eat than make a scene and attract attention trying not to. So she took a small portion of the least healthy and a large portion of what was healthier for her and nobody really noticed it that way.

thistoo - I have some advice for you to give your coworker that might help. Tell her to "just show up" - just start with one little change. She's just reaching out to you for support and maybe isn't ready for a big change - offer her a small one instead. She could just go for an easy walk one day a week - or just cut out one hour of TV or just eliminate one other small bad habit she has. Let her talk and find her a first baby step- she's looking for a friend and probably too self concious about things to say so.

beautifulone
03-28-2009, 10:06 AM
I think the farther I am from my starting weight the more comfortable I become with letting people acknowledge my weightloss. That isn't because of fear of failure but because its like I distance myself further from my highest weight and how bad I considered I looked at my highest weight. Because to me everytime I hear how great I look what I really hear is how bad I use to look. I know that is not peoples intentions I really do but I can't take that comment any other way.

I know, I feel this way too. On one hand, it's nice to hear that I'm looking great. But on the other, what that comment really means is something that's hard to hear and has been hard to handle.

I've had a few people ask me at work - one directly, and I think another was implicitly asking without actually asking. Still, a part of me hopes that soon enough, more people will notice because it will mean having lost enough weight to make it obviously apparent. It's definitely a double-edged sword.

thistoo
03-28-2009, 10:25 AM
thistoo - I have some advice for you to give your coworker that might help. Tell her to "just show up" - just start with one little change. She's just reaching out to you for support and maybe isn't ready for a big change - offer her a small one instead. She could just go for an easy walk one day a week - or just cut out one hour of TV or just eliminate one other small bad habit she has. Let her talk and find her a first baby step- she's looking for a friend and probably too self concious about things to say so.

I realize I gave that impression of her in my post (I tend to be really verbose, so I was trying to cut down on length!), but she's really exactly the opposite of self-conscious. She's a very confident, really outgoing woman (our marketing director, actually) who's never met a stranger and is confident in all other areas of her life.

It actually makes me feel a little better to know she struggles with her weight, because otherwise she would be one of those annoyingly perfect people I wish I could be, but am way too self-conscious to become so far!

Anyway, she always says she's going to the gym, working out etc., and I know she belongs to a local hiking club, but she got engaged last year and I think she and her fiance are enjoying their engagement with a lot of food indulgences. Gaining weight together, which happens a lot, I know.

So it's cool that she asks me for tips, because I like knowing that my (very, very slow) progress is an inspiration for others to succeed as well, but she knows she's just not committed enough to stick to a healthy eating plan. And that's cool, but maybe some day she'll decide enough's enough and really get serious.

Thighs Be Gone
03-28-2009, 10:27 AM
I think the best advice I can come up with on peoples comments is "Take what you like and leave the rest". You keep doing what you are doing and try not to worry about other people...Jesus said it best, "do unto others...":hug:




I love this--the entire blurb actually but especially the first line. A thought that rings in my head often is, "Take the best, and leave the rest." This is basically the way I am treating every ounce of my existence right now.

Well said Loribell.

tinycities
03-28-2009, 10:30 AM
I lost the majority of my weight two years ago. At that time, I was working as a receptionist in this very grand, large and quite imposing building. The atrium went from the ground floor to the top of the building, every office was glass fronted and faced out into the atrium where my desk was, right in the middle. It meant that I was very visible to anyone entering or leaving the building, people could see me from their offices, and it basically meant that when I started losing weight, it was going to be quite public.

I lost around 50lbs in the year that I was working there, and numerous colleagues (all women) commented on my weight loss. Like all compliments, it can be a little embarrassing and make me feel self-conscious, but actually, I found it incredibly sweet of the people who commented. Most of these people I only knew professionally, and it must have taken quite a lot of guts to bring up a topic that is quite personal. The fact that they decided to bring it up a topic that must have been hard not just for me but for them to talk about, just so they could tell me that they were really impressed with my achievements and wanted to pay me a compliment - I thought it was lovely, incredibly kind, and I felt really quite humbled.

Yeah, I did sometimes feel a little embarrassed, but I realised that was the silly thing - they knew I was fat before, they knew I was becoming slimmer - what is there to feel embarrassed or ashamed about? These are the facts, the only thing causing the discomfort was my self-consciousness. As that was something I wanted to get over as I lost weight, I decided to discard the embarrassment and just feel happy and confident when I received comments about losing weight. It feels way better, and I'm really glad I changed my mindset.

So what if the double-edge to the comments is that I looked worse before? I know I did, there's no point pretending otherwise. But I felt that focusing on that aspect was silly - the point was that I made a change and I was going to stick with it. The positive change was what was being commented on, the past was irrelevant.

time2lose
03-28-2009, 10:42 AM
I think the farther I am from my starting weight the more comfortable I become with letting people acknowledge my weightloss.

That describes me perfectly. At first I kept my weight loss efforts as quiet as possible. While I had to include my family at home, people at work did not have to know. I had failed so many times that I would not want to call attention to another failure. However, now that I am succeeding and getting more and more confident of my ability to do this, I am fine with sharing.

Just as I could not hide any weight gain, I can not hide a weight loss of significant amount. Actually, people noticing validates what I am doing. I feel much better and my clothes show the weight loss. However, I just can not see it in the mirror or in pictures. I know the loss must show because people are commenting!

junebug41
03-28-2009, 11:01 AM
I said something like that yesterday in the thread about people saying, "You must feel so much better!"

I wasn't offended by it exactly, but I never knew what to say. it was such a personal experience to me and it felt very strange to have people remark on something that personal. I was going through so many different emotions, so I did find it to be a bit presumptuous. I knew they meant well and tried to reply as best I could, but some days I just wanted to say, "do you really think this is any of your business?" when a "hey, you look great" would have sufficed.

Tomato
03-28-2009, 11:04 AM
I never had any problem with compliments on my weight loss. My attitude is "the more the better". It helps me to stay focused and think twice if I am going to have a second slice of pizza or whatever.
Having said that, I did not announce (at the beginning of my journey) that I was planning to lose weight. That was my private issue but once people noticed and started showering me with compliments (I think it didn't happen until I lost about 25-30 lbs) and asked "how did you do it", I told them, very much like Caroline. "I am NOT on a diet, I do NOT count calories, I eat very healthy and I am at the gym 6 days a week." Most of my colleagues were terribly disappointed that there was no magic to it (no magic pill to swallow) and they quickly lost interest .... and returned to their daily donuts, muffins etc.

bargoo
03-28-2009, 11:14 AM
As soon as you say you are on a diet the diet police will show up and comment on everything you do. They just seem compelled to do this, I avoid this by not telling anyone I am dieting. Eventually some one will ask you if you have lost weight. I will usually say something like.,Oh, yeah a little or I might say yep, and I did it on purpose. I try to be offhanded about it and they will usually go away. If someone seems to be sincerely interested I might give more information. But for the most part I do not need someone to monitor my eating habits.

junebug41
03-28-2009, 11:14 AM
I never had any problem with compliments on my weight loss. My attitude is "the more the better". It helps me to stay focused and think twice if I am going to have a second slice of pizza or whatever.
Having said that, I did not announce (at the beginning of my journey) that I was planning to lose weight. That was my private issue but once people noticed and started showering me with compliments (I think it didn't happen until I lost about 25-30 lbs) and asked "how did you do it", I told them, very much like Caroline. "I am NOT on a diet, I do NOT count calories, I eat very healthy and I am at the gym 6 days a week." Most of my colleagues were terribly disappointed that there was no magic to it (no magic pill to swallow) and they quickly lost interest .... and returned to their daily donuts, muffins etc.

I do agree with you here and. And I'm very familiar with the "how did you do it?" and subsequent look of disappointment when I tell them the truth :lol: And I did truly enjoy getting honest to goodness compliments. It really boosted me up and most of them I appreciated.

I guess it was the comments that were in the form of assumptions. "You must feel fabulous." "You must be so much happier". "I'm really glad you got your life together" (no joke, someone said that to me). Perhaps it rubbed me the wrong way because it was true? I was much happier, but I didn't think it was the place of a random acquaintance to assume that.

midwife
03-28-2009, 11:24 AM
I'm annoyed with some of the raving. I've been at goal since August so you'd think it is old news, but there are a couple of people who feel the need to rave about it. "You look skinny." "You must feel soooooo much better" (yeah, I've gotten that too)---but what really bugs me is that one person continues to offer these statements even in front of people who never knew me when I was fat. I can only imagine what these people think I must have looked like. I don't elaborate on my history. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud that I've lost 50 pounds and I like the way I look now, but why does it continue to be up for public discussion? I'll be honest---different people can offer similar statements but it really bugs me coming from some people, but not from others. Go figure. I think it might be my mood---or perhaps relationship dynamics.

bindersbee
03-28-2009, 11:46 AM
I am not a naturally self conscious person nor one who feels the need for a great deal of personal privacy. I've just now lost enough weight that people are beginning to notice. I love the comments. I love the acknowledgement of my hard work. My husband is a more private person (very much so) so I do understand that not everyone is comfortable with public attention.

Even so, I kept my efforts a secret from most people for as long as I could- in case I failed. No one likes to be a public failure. I still have a lot of weight to lose but I'm just so glad to be going down!

I think this poster summed it up best:

"So what if the double-edge to the comments is that I looked worse before? I know I did, there's no point pretending otherwise. But I felt that focusing on that aspect was silly - the point was that I made a change and I was going to stick with it. The positive change was what was being commented on, the past was irrelevant."

It really all is in what you choose to focus on. The other 'edge' of the sword is merely the truth. Accept what was and be grateful for what is and move on (easier said than done, of course).

Onmyway
03-28-2009, 11:49 AM
I love this thread! These thoughts are alot of what I have been feeling lately and I can relate to so much of it. Thanks!

I too, get frustrated with those than can't just offer the compliment and move on. When they keep at it about how I've lost soooo much or how I look soooo much better or how I must feel soooo much better, I feel horrible about how I was before. I realize that I was obese, but would the same person have made those types of comment's to my face when I weighed 235. I don't think so! Yes, I am proud of where I am and I like to hear a compliment now and again, but some people just go too far.

I only shared my desire to become healthy with my immediate family. I only bring it up to others if they notice. I do have 2 very close friends who have never mentioned it at all. I find this a bit weird. They are both normal weight. I can't figure it out, oh well!

Thanks again for a great thread!

CakeBatter
03-28-2009, 12:37 PM
As soon as you say you are on a diet the diet police will show up and comment on everything you do. They just seem compelled to do this, I avoid this by not telling anyone I am dieting. Eventually some one will ask you if you have lost weight. I will usually say something like.,Oh, yeah a little or I might say yep, and I did it on purpose. I try to be offhanded about it and they will usually go away. If someone seems to be sincerely interested I might give more information. But for the most part I do not need someone to monitor my eating habits.

Exactly and with my office it tends to be older men who are out of shape and the few smart a**es, I am on WW so I eat what I want w/in my points. Now I choose to eat mostly whole foods and such so I have a piece of pizza or something that they are not used to seeing then I get the "Uhm. is that on your diet" remark. To which I wanna proced to punch them the jaw and kick them!

THe other thing is my pod mate and I are both on WW. She weighs on Mondays and I on Thurdays. The problem is the next day after WI the other two (men) ask how did our WI go and of course if I lost 2 pounds I don;t mind but it is the weeks that I gain even the tiniest bit that I am annoyed and whish they didn't know I was trying to lose weight.

enchantedonyx
03-28-2009, 06:23 PM
I feel so fortunate that I have great coworkers. I work with a guy who has lost 85lbs in the past year. We go to the same gym and often try to go at the same time. I like knowing that if I don't get my butt to the gym by 6am, someone is gonna say something about it when I get to work. Of course, he gets it in return when I'm there and he isn't. It's all in good fun, though. I missed one day this week and said, "I'm sorry, I needed to rest today" and he said, "It happens".

We also eat lunch together most days because we "get" what we are doing and there is strength in numbers! No negative comments on our food, either. Along with the acceptance with the gym, he was eating something very "off plan" last week one day and he said, "my food is so bad today!" My response, "it happens."

Our biggest problem is a very skinny coworker who lives on candy. All day long. Always eating candy. And if you see her, she will offer it to you. And she acts offended when you turn it down. I've started accepting it, putting it in my pocket and then leaving it at another desk for someone else to find and eat.

JayEll
03-28-2009, 06:55 PM
I don't talk about my weight loss or my dieting. If there's food, I may eat it or not, depending on my plan for the day, but I never give a reason. It's just no one else's business why I am eating something or not.

People in my old community of course noticed that I had lost weight, and so I got comments. They were nice comments, and I was gracious about them.

As it turned out, we moved to a new community, and no one here knows that I used to be heavier. It's amazing how people just don't care what you are eating or not eating if they see you as "normal" sized and you haven't said anything about diet.

One of my friends whom I told I was losing weight took too much interest in it, and after a point I had to ask her not to comment on my food choices. For example, we were in a restaurant, and I didn't order dessert. She wanted to know if I didn't order dessert because I didn't want it, or because it wasn't allowed on my diet. That's when I put my foot down and asked her not to ask me about my choices. (By the way, this woman is thin, almost "too" thin, so it's not like she was looking for weight loss tips.)

Jay

Windchime
03-28-2009, 07:37 PM
"I'm really glad you got your life together" (no joke, someone said that to me). Perhaps it rubbed me the wrong way because it was true? I was much happier, but I didn't think it was the place of a random acquaintance to assume that.

Oooh, that one would really bug me! I think it's extremely presumptuous of that person to assume that because someone is overweight they obviously must not have their "life together". Weight is just one aspect of life, and it's possible to have a very happy existence in spite of being overweight! Even if you *didn't* have your life together, it's really unkind of someone to essentially say, "I'm glad you finally got it together!". Wow, that's just......wow.

Windchime
03-28-2009, 07:44 PM
I'm annoyed with some of the raving. .....

I'll be honest---different people can offer similar statements but it really bugs me coming from some people, but not from others. Go figure. I think it might be my mood---or perhaps relationship dynamics.

I think you've put your finger on it. I can think of several people at work who I wouldn't mind at all if they noticed or said anything. What I don't like is when people go on and on and ON about it. "No, seriously, I can't BELIEVE how good you look! How much did you lose again?! Oh my god, REALLY??? " If people want to say, "Have you lost weight? You look good!" and then move on, I'm good with that. But like many others here, I don't tell many people that I'm trying to lose. I just don't need the food police watching every bite I take.

I think that really the only people who know are my sister and a couple of co-workers, all of whom are supportive and non-judgemental. I haven't even told my Mom because I don't want it to be a constant topic of conversation.

ida
03-29-2009, 05:21 AM
Well, I haven't had any compliments yet (though I have in past weight loss attempts), but I think like many others that it's too embarressing to talk about.

Maybe it's because I wish I wouldn't have to lose weight in the first place, that I never would have been fat. That even while losing weight and becoming thinner, it's like I'm ashamed for the person I used to be.

Also, I never talk about my problems with people - I'm the kind of person who'd rather suffer in silence. And since my weight has always been due to binging, when otherwise eating healthy, and if someone would ask me what I've done to lose weight I wouldn't have to tell that whole story.... it's too personal. Especially to people who's never had a problem with food themselves.

CakeBatter
03-29-2009, 09:31 PM
Maybe it's because I wish I wouldn't have to lose weight in the first place, that I never would have been fat. That even while losing weight and becoming thinner, it's like I'm ashamed for the person I used to be.

I am ashamed when people know that I was big or now that I am looking better I feel like people are saying "Well she ain't all that, she used fat" or something. I know I am not supposed to care but I think about it.