100 lb. Club - Why do I feel "RESPONSIBLE"?

View Full Version : Why do I feel "RESPONSIBLE"?

07-30-2009, 11:18 PM
Hi all!

So today I went for breakfast with Dear SIL-God-Love-Her. Now, I've been working pretty consistently for quite some time with respect to lifestyle change. And I have recently thrown out all the clothes that are clearly too big, and bought ones that fit. And until today, my Dear SIL (G-L-H) hasn't said anything about my weight loss directly. She's only made indirect comments.
So today, I met her at the door in a new outfit -- color coordinated and it FIT, which is a new thing for me.
And she said, and I quote -- "HI!......HI!.........WOW!........That looks NICE........wow.........wow" and, well, looked really really SAD.

Which broke my heart because I KNOW I looked good. And I know that she really wants to lose weight but isn't doing what it takes (and trust me, she DOES know what it takes, but that's another long boring post :lol:). And I know that she has always been comfortable with us being the same size. And I don't want ANYONE to feel bad! Especially if I'm the reason for it!

Today, it was really obvious that we aren't the same size anymore, and that upset her.

And the WEIRD thing is that I feel, well, GUILTY. Like I've done something deliberate to make her feel bad about herself. Like I'm responsible for how she is feeling. And I know logically that I'm NOT, but her reaction really made me sad. As though I'd done something WRONG and HURTFUL by losing weight. Because now she's not as comfortable with me as she was when we were the same size...

Anyone else experience this in their journey? And what did you do about it?


07-30-2009, 11:25 PM
I dont think I experienced that so I am not sure why I am posting other than the fact that I just dig your posts in general and am feeling particularly chatty :D

Congrats on feeling good and knowing that you look good - that is HUGE!!!


better health3
07-30-2009, 11:28 PM
I haven't experienced this yet.

Hopefully that will light a fire under her to DO something about it. Why be sad if she isn't putting forth the hard work and effort?

Anyways, I wanted to send you some support. I am glad you felt beautiful and polished. Go you!!! Keep leading by example.

07-30-2009, 11:37 PM
Yeah, there was another post today that a couple of us mentioned feeling kind of guilty at times about our success and looking and feeling better. I think that, as women, we are socially conditioned to always try to make other people feel comfortable, and our actions somehow result in another person feeling sad or bad, then we are responsible even though in this case you are clearly NOT responsible.

Does that make sense? So when you saw that your SIL felt sad when she saw how nice you looked in your new outfit, you somehow felt responsible for her feeling bad, even though you KNOW in your heart that you didn't do anything to hurt her.

It's complicated. Sometimes I fear losing more weight, because I am afraid that I will look really good. I don't know if that's really sad or really conceited or what.

07-30-2009, 11:40 PM
My best friend is kind of like this....she's been a support every step of the way but now that I'm smaller than her she doesn't come around as much and is always defensive about her food choices to me (I don't say anything, I don't look at her like "omg, I can't believe you are eating that"). I figure when and if she is ready I'll be there for her. Until then I'm not saying anything because I know how I would have felt if someone mentioned it to me before I was ready to start.

I do sometimes feel like I am responsible for her feeling like this but if she can't get over it then it's her own fault for handling it the way she is. It sounds mean but it's taken a lot of self reflection to come to that conclusion. I am not going to feel guilty or responsible for her feelings.

07-30-2009, 11:41 PM
That makes sense Windchime. Long ago in another life I felt that way too . . . this time though the way I got around it was by telling myself if I lost so much weight that I got uncomfortable I could gain it back . . . cos I sure as heck know how to do that! :D

In the end I felt more and more comfortable the closer I got to my goal so that panic was not necessary this time :)

07-30-2009, 11:44 PM
I am not going to feel guilty or responsible for her feelings.

Damned straight! You worked hard to get to where you are!!!


I think it always seems easy to people from the outside when they see you shrinking but I think they miss the fact that you make a CHOICE every single day to be good to yourself, to work out, to put nutritious food in your body. . .

07-30-2009, 11:45 PM
Is it possible you are just feeling empathetic because you SO get how she is feeling? I totally understand feeling more comfortable around women who are also not slim (although I don't seem to know any) & I have definitely felt a sense of loss when friends have lost weight.

She'll adjust & hopefully you will be able to help/inspire her on her journey.

07-31-2009, 12:20 AM
We are actually friends with several large sized people. All of us trying to lose in our own ways. Some days better than others. We have one friend that really wants to lose but has yet to consistantly stick to a plan. She does good for awhile then emotionally gives in. We are wondering if our losing weight will kick her butt into gear or drive her away. In the end, it really will be her choice (as you said) but it doesn't stop the feelings.

My trainer talked about the emotional part of losing significant weight - seeing yourself for how you really are verse what you remember, about other people seeing and showing you attention, ect. My partner and my trainer both have said how much I have lost, I have noticed it but at the same time, I still see the how much further I have to go. So I started a website to put up the progress pics and other stuff as it comes together, so I would have a place to go to whenever I felt the need to be reaffirmed. It is not so much a blog as it will become a resource for me.

07-31-2009, 12:35 AM
Because you care :hug: I think it's a lovely impulse, even if inaccurately expressed. Just remember you can just feel sad that she is unhappy. No other emotion (i.e., guilt) is needed. You're responsible for being the best you can be. And only she can make her own choices. Two different things. And remember, in the long run, you may *still* be the inspiration to helps her change. In her own time. Hang in there :)

07-31-2009, 12:47 AM
I just watched a rerun of The Biggest Loser when Ron and Mike (father and son) have a make over and are revealed to their family, including obese other son, Max. I literally started to cry for Max because of how I imagined, and as he later expressed, how he felt for being left as the "big one". You can feel for her, but don't feel responsible. You are only responsible for yourself. You can support her in her efforts, but the effort must be hers. You've done amazing well and deserve this happiness; don't let those feelings diminish that for you.

07-31-2009, 01:02 AM
Is it possible you are just feeling empathetic because you SO get how she is feeling?

I was wondering the same thing. And you're probably feeling sad because you know she COULD have it if she wanted to work for it. It's hard to see someone yearn for something, yet at the same time not be willing to do the work.

07-31-2009, 02:05 AM
I definately know how it feels to see a friend lose weight while you are failing. About a year and a half ago 2 of my friends (one a former friend with benefits) lost a fair bit of weight each. I was happy for them but it was depressing for myself to see them reach their goals while I was still gaining. (Even harder when one of them is the guy who rejected me about a year before). But now I use them as my inspiration! I know that with time I'll look as great as they do.

I think it's just a taste of reality when you see someone close to you succeed in losing weight. It's suddenly possible. Which can make it sad that you haven't done it. But it can also give you confidence in your ability to succeed.

07-31-2009, 02:53 AM
I went through that the last time I lost a significant amount of weight, and now that I think about it, it might have been part of the reason I stopped trying after I hit my plateau. I could see how hard it was on my friend. We had exercised and dieted together, but she dropped off on the work-outs and snubbed the low-cal food while I kept pushing longer. Then she'd point out how hard she was trying without any results while I continued to drop the pounds. She made me feel so freakin' guilty at the time.

Looking back, I do realize that I wasn't responsible for her misery, nor should I have ever let her contribute to my own.

07-31-2009, 03:20 AM
Kira-I so know how both you and your SIL are feeling, it is so hard to be in either set of shoes, right now. You want her to be happy for you, and let you know that, but she is enivious {?} of your success! Your SIL, can only see the end result staring at her, don't feel bad, guilty, you have worked so hard for this, and you might be surprised this might be her turning point.

We all know that to be really successful at this losing weight, it all comes down to the "me factor" Do you have the kind of relationship that you can ask her some questions? I know before I decided to give WW a try, I never knew what a portion was or just how many calories, I was consuming in one meal. Yes, I knew I was eating too much, and too much of the wrong stuff mostly. Maybe she doesn't realize, {or has convienently blocked it out} what it takes to lose 1 lb. I do wish you both the best, I know it's hard to see her so sad, do you live close, that maybe you can ask her to be your work-out buddy, I started doing this C25k program, {got mine off of itunes, for free} and you start off very slow, hey, you don't even need to do the run intervals at first, you can just walk a bit faster, during those.

Good Luck

07-31-2009, 04:20 AM
100% what windchime said. Thought it was just me who was odd!

07-31-2009, 09:01 AM
One of the things about weight loss is that some relationships will change. It's not surprising that you have those feelings, Kira. The main thing is not to let those feelings undermine your progress. Your relationship with your SIL has to be based on more than just being the same size, right? So you'll come to an adjusted relationship with her, and that's OK.

Also, don't you DARE feel sorry for her! ;) She has her own path to follow... perhaps she'll see your changes and get impetus to make changes herself. Or maybe not. But she's OK, and you're OK.


07-31-2009, 09:50 AM
Kira -

I sometimes have those guilt feelings as well when I'm losing weight and my friends who need to lose but aren't even trying are not. As you said, I don't want anyone to feel bad by anything I'm doing. And I too understand that I'm not responsible for their difficulties or their triumphs or their feelings about them.

I agree with Windchime that we are socially conditioned to try to make others feel comfortable.

And Tanee is right that your friend is responsible for her own feelings, and not only are we not responsible for others feelings when we've done nothing to them, it serves no purpose for us to feel guilty.

Just keep doing what you're doing, and she may eventually turn her sadness into inspiration and motivation to strive for the success you are achieving.

07-31-2009, 11:11 AM
100% what windchime said. Thought it was just me who was odd!

I think we've already established that you and I think quite a bit alike! We're not odd, it's everyone else who is odd. Keep repeating that, and we'll be fine.

07-31-2009, 01:25 PM
Thanks, all...
I so totally empathize with her because I've SO been where she is now.
And I know that she has to find her own path and I'm not responsible for her choices.
Our relationship IS changing, too.

I think that she does blame me for her weight in some aspects, because they come over to dinner every Sunday. And on more than one occasion, she and her DH have said "I gotta stop EATING so much. I eat too much here. I gotta lose weight." but what I've told them but they aren't understanding is that EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. that I serve is from a WW cookbook and I've done so since January of this year. It is healthy, balanced, and portion controlled. Home-made, and fresh. I think that they are used to eating low-volume, calorie-dense foods, and my meals are high volume, calorie-sparse foods. So they may equate amount with "getting fat". So they've decided not to share Sunday dinner with us any more, which is a bit upsetting to my DH...

But I KNOW that the way I cook isn't the issue -- that it isn't the tossed green salad with fat-free dressing and the grilled chicken breasts with green beans and baked potato they have at our place once a week that is the issue for them. It is the nachos and marguritas they have every day as an afternoon snack and the two pieces of pie they EACH have twice a week at the local diner and the nightly bottle of wine and the molten lava cakes for dessert with ice cream and whipped cream on the side and the fig-and-goat cheese on puff pastry appetizers they have before dinner. And I KNOW my dear SIL knows this -- she is a complete diet veteran, from Jenny Craig to Nutrisystem to Medifast to Weight Watchers to Calorie Counting to Nutritionist visits. And for Christmas, I spent 4 weeks and compiled ALL my favorite recipes into my own cookbook, which I had printed up and bound and I gave her a copy because she wanted to make some changes, so she HAS the information and the experience and the knowledge...I think she just chooses not to do what it TAKES right now, for whatever reason.

Thanks for listening, all!

I'm just going to stick on my path...


07-31-2009, 01:35 PM
Kira - :hug: to you. Just wanted to say I've been there and I understand completely what that feels like. It's irrational, it makes no logical sense, but you can't help but feel that somehow you're ruining the entire dynamic that everyone has with everyone else, and that you should just GO BACK to where you were before to keep everyone comfortable.

This is the reason that, invariably, I eat more than I planned at my mother's house...to "take care of" other people. It's not healthy for me, and not healthy for them, but the temptation is still there.

So just another :hug: and a reminder that, though feeling this way just means you're human, acting on it isn't productive for you or for the people you're trying to "help"...everyone loses in that case (you for being off plan, them for losing the positive role model of weight loss that they have in their lives). What WILL help everyone is sticking on your plan - a positive role model of successful weight loss, complete with recipes! You stay on your plan, they see that it's possible...a win-win.

07-31-2009, 01:43 PM

Thanks, Ms Mandalinn...so true on so many levels...it would be SO much easier to maintain the status quo and to stay heavy. No one would be "confronted" with visible evidence of what diet and exercise can do, and no one would have to look at their own habits. It IS easier to be heavy if everyone around you is heavy too and has the same habits....