100 lb. Club - Have I been blind, why haven't I ever noticed all the overweight people?

Lori Bell
09-18-2009, 05:24 PM
This is going to sound REALLY awful, but I just can't get over it. Okay, so I might be becoming a tad bit self conscious, but OMG, everywhere I look there are overweight people...EVERYWHERE. I really am starting to feel like a freak. I always thought I was the different one, because I was so big, but looking around everyone I see is overweight. I always knew our area had a high percentage of obesity, but for crying out loud it is an epidemic. Why did I always think I was the only one who had a problem? Seriously folks, it is a bad problem.

I was at Wal-mart yesterday and there was Halloween candy in every isle, and in every one's cart and chips and pop and crap. I wanted to start ripping the crap away from all the people and yelling at them to get off the sauce. :devil:

I feel like I need to save everyone. :dizzy: I wonder if it's legal to start a free weight loss support group? I want too so badly but feel like if I did someone would go nuts and become anorexic or something an I'd be thrown in jail. What can a person do to stop the madness? I feel so bad for these people, and I know it's not my problem, but I want to do something. It's been bugging me all day.

09-18-2009, 05:28 PM
I so feel you. I was too busy being the fattest person in the room to realize that EVERYONE AROUND ME was fat too! And now that I am the most health conscious person that I know? It scares me what people eat. Like SCARES me. And even on here when I hear of people binging etc IT SCARES ME. We are doing irreparable damage to our bodies with this crap and we just KEEP ON DOING IT.


Yes my dear. I know exactly what you mean.

09-18-2009, 05:34 PM
I definitely empathize with the "evangelical" feeling of wanting to share/save everyone. I wouldn't have appreciated it before I was ready.

That's the thing with weight loss - as much as I want to bottle my "a ha" moment and share it with everyone who is in pain, I just can't. We can't do it for anyone else, it is such an internal process.

I definitely know EXACTLY what are you are feeling though!

09-18-2009, 05:49 PM
Lori, I feel the same exact way....

I don't know why I never noticed all the overweight people before either...

Oh and the intense desire to help them. They'll be times I'll see a very heavy person who is struggling to walk, and I'll just want to go over to them and tell them "you don't have to suffer like this. It doesn't have to be this way." I want to soooo badly reach out to them and HELP them. But alas, I can't do that. VERY frustrating.

It's like I want to scream it from the rooftops "you don't have to be fat. There IS a way out" I want to "save" each and every overweight person. But alas, I can't do that. VERY frustrating.

09-18-2009, 06:01 PM
I thought it was just me.

I don't see it quite as much when I'm downtown. There are certainly plenty of overweight and obese people around, particularly in the non-business parts of town. But wow, head out to the burbs and wowza. Like y'all...I never really noticed until fairly recently. Like maybe first of this year or thereabouts. I don't remember it being this way back in the 70s and 80s, or even the 90s...do y'all? I mean, at a size 16/18 I was FAR AND AWAY the MOST ENORMOUS girl in my class...the only other girl who came close was probably a 12/14 and all the other girls were tiny...like, too skinny to give blood. And now half the kids I see are larger than I was.

09-18-2009, 06:03 PM
Oh the wanting to help people...jeez I suffer that every single day. I will see super morbidly obese people on public transportation or where ever and all I want to do is just give them a BIG HUG. I wish there were something tangible I could do...but I know I would have been enraged and mortified if anyone had said or done anything to me when I was super morbidly obese. Sigh.

Edited to add:
I guess the one thing I do do is, if I see a super morbidly obese person on public transportation and there's any possible way to sit next to them (like they aren't so large that it would be a massively uncomfortable fit) I always go out of my way to take that seat, assuming there aren't any totally empty seats. I supposed I'm trying to educate the other riders that super morbidly obese people aren't "lepers" and there's no reason to avoid them.

09-18-2009, 06:12 PM
You know, though, some people with significant weight issues NEVER come to any sort of realization. For some, their weight is not and will never be an issue. They are happy the way they are. They have modified furniture, remote controls to change the TV, physicians to medically treat their obesity-related conditions, clothing shops that specialize in appropriate-sized clothing, enablers/food buddies to eat with, two seats on airplanes for comfort, and money to purchase what they want whenever they want in a society that acknowledges the concept of free will and free choice. And in the grand scheme of things, people with weight issues haven't done anything wrong -- they just have a bit of extra padding, that's all. So really, until THEY choose to do something, should we just accept people as they are, padding and all?

I guess the best thing you can do is live by example, find peace within yourself, and let others come to their self-realizations as they come to them. And help when assistance is asked for, but other than that, what can one REALLY do? It is such a personal journey...


09-18-2009, 06:17 PM
It's seems that income is a factor :( sadly...

09-18-2009, 06:48 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only one. I honestly never noticed how many people were either overweight or obese until I lost weight.

09-18-2009, 07:02 PM
I was too busy being the fattest person in the room to realize that EVERYONE AROUND ME was fat too!

Exactly. Check out the Houston area . . . when you start losing your own weight, it's amazing how many other people are overweight.

09-18-2009, 07:11 PM
Ha! I've started feeling that way already, and I'm still FAR from thin.

I was already concerned about the number of obese children. My oldest and youngest are 14 years apart and what a change in 14 years. In my son's day care, in the 18months and younger room, he was the ONLY child who wasn't visibly chubby. The teachers commented on how my son was so light and easy to pick up, and how the lunches I packed were really different from what the other mothers were packing. Really? I thought. I was just packing what I thought was normal food-- cheese, fruit, bread, sometimes yogurt. My son is on the thin side and I told my pediatrician that people often commented that he looked thin. He said that he's in the 45% of weight-- very average. "It's just a matter of perspective," he said, since so many kids now are obese.

09-18-2009, 07:38 PM
I can remember The Last Time, one day I had an overwhelming urge to run over to this woman and snatch the Mars Bar out of her hand and beat her with it. I resisted.

I'm not quite there this time but I do sigh (entirely inwardly) at some people's shopping baskets.....

I was in a supermarket cafe today, and my mother said, there's a man who could do lose weight or die. To him, I felt a kind of sympathy - he was eating what looked like a big meal but it was jacket potato and tuna salad, it could have been healthy; very big as he was, it could be the lightest he's been in years.

otoh, my younger brother, who is morbidly obese, has eventually eaten himself into diabetes. sorry if that's harsh but it's the truth. he is so pleased he's found a name for his symptoms, and that I can understand, but for years he's been at the I'm fat, what I can I do about it? stage, and the 'good for you, sis, I wish I could lose weight' phase that makes me want to hit him.

09-18-2009, 07:40 PM
What I notice are the teenage girls, they can't be more 13 or 14 and I am sure some of them are well over 200 pounds, some of them pushing 300. How Sad !

09-18-2009, 07:43 PM
Uber -- I often felt that way when my son was younger, too. I remember obsessing and feeling guilty that my lunches (on field trip days) may not have been nutritious enough, until the day I volunteered to help on a field trip. Almost all of the other kids had a can of soda for their drink, and I'm talking about a full caffiene, full corn syrup type! Some of them had full size candy bars as a treat. Almost no fruits or vegetables. I was horrified, but from that day on I've quit worrying that other moms might look down on my lunches. Ugh. But you can't say anything to others about their personal habits as long as they're not hurting anyone but themselves.

09-18-2009, 07:53 PM
but then, when obesity is said to be so prevalent ~
my bmi is 32.7. That's obese, though beats the hoosit out of the 44.3 I started at.
According to halls bmi calculator, 32.7 puts me at the 70th percentile, i.e., I am heavier than 70% of Americans. When I get down to 161, I will be 'normal', if only just, at 24.9 - the 60th percentile.

So if I, who am approaching the foothills of normal, am still heavier than 70% of Americans, maybe there isn't more obesity around? are we just more aware of it? or is halls wrong?!

09-18-2009, 08:50 PM
I feel like I need to save everyone. I wonder if it's legal to start a free weight loss support group?

If you want to really do something try looking into starting a TOPS chapter in your area if you don't already have one. Tops.org might be able to help you out. It's not free to join, but it is very cheap and the support is wonderful.

Yesterday was a day spent hanging out with boyfriend where we did a lot of driving. When we got back to town we were both hungry and craving pizza. I hadn't indulged in awhile so we decided to go to our favorite place and split a small pizza. The place had shut down, so we went down the road to this place we hadn't been before.

Turned out that it was a pizza buffet. I got a nice big salad and two slices of pizza, and then as I was eating I begin to notice the people around me. Almost everyone was obese and many morbidly so. Many of them had stacks of empty plates in front of them, which showed how many times they had gone to the buffet bar. It was shocking!!!!

We ate our dinner (yes off plan, but reasonable) and I said I had to get out of that place. I don't want to ever be looked upon as one of them. Today, I've eaten very clean and exercised really hard this morning. Those people have been on my mind all day. :(

Judy Lynn
09-18-2009, 08:53 PM
Well, I am still one of those people, and I will gladly take any of your help.

09-18-2009, 09:08 PM
i live in nyc and was (actually still am :( ) the fattest of ALL my friends and coworkers. My highest was 205.
I am about 170 and am still fatter then most people I see around and about.

I do think region and economics are a factor (economics which usually translates into access to education)

Times have also changed though. I recently saw an old episode of 'what's happening', and I remember rerun and shirley being absolutely huge. But now, not so much.
I have early teen cousins who live in a more rural area and are quite heavy for their age, or at least heavier then kids of my age group were when we were 13-17, but they are the norm, if not thin in comparison to their peers.

Alana in Canada
09-18-2009, 09:09 PM
Well, I am still one of those people, and I will gladly take any of your help.

Me too.

I wonder if there is a way to help the kids? Just educating folks about nutrition would be a start.

There's so much wrong with the food system--check around: there may be "healthy" eating initiatives underway who would welcome volunteers. In my mind, that's the first step. How many people truly know and understand the connection between what they eat and their health? And once they do, how easy is it for them to pursue healthier options?

09-18-2009, 09:11 PM
Loribell(:Dmrs. America:D)~I have felt the exact same way!

But here is what comes to my mind~I wonder who had lost there weight and thought that same stuff one day when they saw me with all my junk food in my cart and could have passed the secret of counting calories unto me but didn't do it?

So here is what I do....I loudly say something to someone in the isle about losing a large amount of weight so far~Then if i catch the attention of the one I am after ~I explain it to them in detail~Even if they do not ever do anything with it I spead the word~I Hope I am helping someone I come in contact with.................By the way I Became overweight ~NO LONGER OBESE!!!! I wanted to share that with ya!!!

I just got 29 more lbs to go!!! 80 lbs lost~You are a true inspiration to me and I adore ya~So if you help noone else with it ever~You have definetly helped me~ AND I WANNA SAY THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

09-18-2009, 09:46 PM
I really understand the feeling. I guess it's easier to notice obesity when I'm not trying to pretend I'm not obese.

09-18-2009, 09:50 PM
This is such a good thread. I think I was always aware of other overweight people, because I was always comparing myself. Trying to see who in the room was bigger than me- it made me feel better in a sick way. I'm from Mississippi, so there have always been other overweight people around me.

I do have a weird fascination with overweight people now. And it's not just with people larger than me. I think it just comes with being more health conscious in general. Like I HATE seeing people give kids a bunch of junk food. My niece and nephews have developed HORRIBLE eating habits due to grandparents that spoil them and parents who just don't get it. My niece is a bit overweight, and I want to get her healthy now (she's only 10).

I've found that it does help a lot for me to share my changes with the people around me. It makes them more conscious of how they take care of themselves.

I must admit. I was laughing when I read some of the posts. I picture you all forming a renegade health education group knocking on people's doors asking them if they've "heard the good news" while handing out pieces of fruit and vegetable. :D

09-18-2009, 10:29 PM
Oh, yes - I definitely feel the same.

That is one of the main reasons I spend so much time welcoming our newcomers here. I see 3FC as the perfect place to help others.

As has already been said, you can't help someone until they are ready. Fortunately we have new folk that come here daily. Some aren't ready, but some are. And encouragement, advice, support, and sharing can really help them on their journey.

Alana in Canada
09-18-2009, 10:45 PM
I picture you all forming a renegade health education group knocking on people's doors asking them if they've "heard the good news" while handing out pieces of fruit and vegetable.

Now there's an idea!

09-18-2009, 11:20 PM
I picture you all forming a renegade health education group knocking on people's doors asking them if they've "heard the good news" while handing out pieces of fruit and vegetable. :D

Love it! :rofl:

09-18-2009, 11:40 PM
I live in the land of thin, beautiful people (coastal southern CA). Not many fat folks here...

09-19-2009, 12:20 AM
I live in the land of thin, beautiful people (coastal southern CA). Not many fat folks here...

argh. I grew up there and it definitely contributed to my crazy body image issues....

Thighs Be Gone
09-19-2009, 12:51 AM
I have more time now on my hands than I have ever had. I knew I wanted to do more volunteer work. I started phoning around because one of my hopes was to help out @ an obesity clinic--I guess I was hoping to find something similar to Brookhaven or one of those you see on the Tv programs. I found NO such clinics in my area---many hospitals offering bariatric surgeries--but no clinics to help the obese in any other way. I was so disheartened to realize this.

For the poster earlier mentioning that you went out of your way to sit next to the obese person. I do the same thing in my life--whether to strike a conversation with someone left out or whatever. The sizism I see/hear and have experienced is pretty friggin' horrible!

09-19-2009, 05:02 AM
I like the idea of deliberately making contact with the obese person/people in a room - I certainly know how it feels to be on the outside looking in, firmly believing that all the people on the inside are looking out at me and judging me!

09-19-2009, 05:16 AM
I think this is true of most people who have "seen the light" whether it be weight loss, religion,sobriety...You know what they saw..."the worst kind of smoker is an ex-smoker:).

09-19-2009, 07:47 AM
Before I would approach any obese person, or talk loudly nearby about my weight loss, I'd ask myself how I would feel if I were still obese and someone did that near me. I don't think I would have liked it. I think I'd probably have moved farther away from them.

I notice obese people more now, too--mostly I think about how I could be there... But when I was obese, it wasn't that I lacked knowledge.

I try to remember that what other people are eating is none of my business, and vice versa.

As someone who gave up alcohol and tobacco long ago, I see a lot of drinkers and smokers out there who I wish would change, but I don't exactly want to approach them... I do sometimes want to snatch cigarettes out of teenagers' mouths, though... :yikes:


09-19-2009, 08:06 AM
I guess the best thing you can do is live by example, find peace within yourself, and let others come to their self-realizations as they come to them. And help when assistance is asked for, but other than that, what can one REALLY do? It is such a personal journey...


Lead by example. Absolutly.

09-19-2009, 08:27 AM
You're right, of course, but the zeal to 'save' people is very strong! So many people, perhaps some of us at some point in some lives, might have thought - she's doing it but I Never could.

I'd have hated a direct approach, though. Most of my fat life, I thought I was invisible, so to discover that someone had discovered my fatness would have been horrible!

09-19-2009, 08:43 AM
Leading by example is a GREAT thing to do. Probably why I get such a HUGE kick out of entertaining and serving my friends incredibly delicious healthy fare.

But of course leading by example doesn't work when you meet perfect strangers. Public transportation's been mentioned and that's where I notice a LOT of morbidly obese people. And these are the folks for some reason I have this huge urge to reach out and help the most. But there is not one thing you can say to these people. Not a one. The best you can do is give a big smile and a "have a good day". Same goes with people in the supermarket. I so badly would LOVE to overhaul and makeover their shopping carts. Can't do it.

Great point made here:

I'd have hated a direct approach, though. Most of my fat life, I thought I was invisible, so to discover that someone had discovered my fatness would have been horrible!

09-19-2009, 09:24 AM
Years ago I would have sympathized 100% with this post. I would diet successfully and then look around myself and say, "My goodness! Look how that person is living!" I must admit that looking back I see some hubris in my attitude. I couldn't sympathize or empathize any longer with THOSE PEOPLE who had no control over their bodies because I had learned to gain control.

Well, I lost control. Again and again. I've been up and down this roller coaster many times. And it wasn't just "fad" dieting. I've been through several "lifestyle changes" that for one reason or another came to a slow end and I reverted back to my old habits.

As you're standing there thinking about those other "fat" people, think about this. Maybe 2-3 years ago one of those people that you eyed so critically had successfully shed 100+ pounds and was looking at YOU in Wal-Mart thinking to herself "My goodness, look at all that crap in her cart!" Seriously.

I'm not saying this to be unsympathetic to the OP. By all means, I applaud your success and your willingness to help. Perhaps you can channel that energy into the WL group you mentioned, or becoming a personal trainer. But I wouldn't advise wasting another second of your time second guessing why that stranger in Wal-Mart is overweight and whether or not she needs your assistance. Instead, just view it as a reminder that the road back to morbid obesity is a very slippery slope.

09-19-2009, 09:49 AM
I also sympathise with the OP's feelings, but can't imagine how I could constructively influence a stranger's outlook. The suggestion to start a TOPs group is terrific -- folks who are ready to change can certainly use help. But those who aren't ready...

I have relatives that I am worried about, but I don't feel it would be appropriate or effective to do anything other than lead by example. I hope that they find the motivation within themselves to make lifestyle changes. If they do, and look to me for advice, *then* I'll have plenty to say!

09-19-2009, 10:22 AM
As you're standing there thinking about those other "fat" people, think about this. Maybe 2-3 years ago one of those people that you eyed so critically had successfully shed 100+ pounds and was looking at YOU in Wal-Mart thinking to herself "My goodness, look at all that crap in her cart!"

Critical? No, siree. This is NOT about criticizing anyone or looking down upon anyone. No. No. No. It's about reaching out and HELPING others because we've been there. We WERE them. We want them SO badly to know how much better it is to be a healthy weight. How worth it this journey is. That it doesn't have to be this way. They don't have to risk their lives and live at a diminished quality of life. That there IS a way out. There IS a solution. We want to tell them that they too CAN do this. And that they should. AND THEY CAN. They really, really CAN.

No criticism whatsoever. Nothing could be further from the truth. We know the pain and the suffering and the misery. And now we now the joy and happiness and we just want others to have and experience that. It's difficult to explain, obviously, or else you wanted have mentioned that the OP or anyone else was being critical.

Critical? Oh gosh. Heavens no.

09-19-2009, 11:13 AM
I work in a public library, so I see a large cross-section of people every day, which means that yes, I notice. It used to comfort me when I was heavy. Now that I'm approaching 'normal' (three more pounds on the BMI scale!), it does kind of make me sad.

The thing that still takes me by surprise is the way my coworkers ask for diet and exercise advice from me now. This happens to everyone who loses weight, I know, but these people have always been smaller than me, so it's kind of strange to be the 'health guru' around the office all of a sudden.

We know the pain and the suffering and the misery.

THIS. I met a woman through a mutual friend recently and we all went to the movies together. She is morbidly obese, and watching her struggle to fit into the old, tiny theater seats brought back a lot of painful memories for me. It made me so happy I'd made that change for myself, sure, but I also wished she could know what it's like not to have to go through that.

It's not about judgment when you've been there. It's about wishing you could share these news feelings with everyone else. I think that's why you hear of so many Biggest Loser contestants becoming personal trainers. It's not exactly a lucrative career, so you have to do it because you love it.

09-19-2009, 11:16 AM
I would just say that we certainly don't know anyone's story and I'd hate to judge someone. Of course I do have shopping cart voyeurism and find it interesting.

I'm sure there are people that look at me and think I need someone to save me because I'm overweight. I certainly don't need to be saved as I'm happy where I am at. I eat well and I exercise.

This thread kind of reminds me of when I weighed over 300 lbs and was trying to lose weight, exercising almost every day and some runner type came up to me and told me I was a fat cow and needed to do some exercise.

09-19-2009, 11:25 AM
This thread just reminds me of the vast differences in personalities. Some people are more empathetic than others. Where some people might see criticisim, others see opportunities to reach out and help others. We should all remember that empathy should be tempered with sound judgement and criticism should be tempered with a dose of empathy. Our nation is quickly becoming obese and unhealthy and our healthcare resources are stretched to the limit. The willingness of successful weight losers to share their knowledge is necessary. There is very little valid iweight loss information available today and even less information availabe about maintaining.

09-19-2009, 12:39 PM
Girlygirl... you hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

09-19-2009, 01:13 PM
I grew up thin-- or at least of a normal weight-- and it was a shock to realize one day maybe 5 or 6 years ago that I had ballooned out to the size of many of the people who I considered "fat." Since I am so tall, I can carry a lot of weight without anyone (including myself) noticing. I think the recognition happened maybe in 2005 or so that I was "fat." It really sneaked up on me.

Now, here is a realization I made: I was at a grocery store a week or so ago, and saw an Asian couple who were small and thin-- very healthy looking. In their carts there were cabbage, tomatoes (not 2 or 3 but at least a dozen), all sorts of peppers, squash, a watermellon, and 2 itsy-bitsy squab like birds (sunday meal?)

Next to them was an overweight American pair. In their cart were snack cakes, crackers, chips, tins of food, a ton of processed frozen dinners, milk, baked goods-- not a vegetable in sight.

Hmmm? What could be the cause of their overweight? I think we do it to ourselves. I know I ate like a pig to get where I am. I would eat several servings of dinner, and munch all night long on the left-overs. My fat is the result of too much eating, plain and simple.

09-19-2009, 01:45 PM
"I wanted to start ripping the crap away from all the people and yelling at them to get off the sauce."
thank god you didnt say that or something more hurtful. This is the reason why some heavy people avoid the public. I know this thread makes me think twice about showing my fat face in public. If it was so easy we'd all be thin and this site would'nt exist. But nobodys perfect.

traci in training
09-19-2009, 02:32 PM
I think one of the best things you can do is tell your story when someone asks. DH gets asked on a regular basis how he lost so much weight (120+) and he's always patient and explains things to people - as much detail as they want to hear. I think that's a gift. There are so many people in this world who want to make a change and if your story helps them even a tiny bit, it is worth telling. I think, too, that it's important that he doesn't try to make it sound like a big deal. He just ate less and exercised more (a lot more) but he didn't go on some super restrictive diet or anything. He just chose a different lifestyle and that's what he tells people.

I think that our time in this forum is how we help not only each other, but anyone who's looking for some help. Right? I mean when you get to know Robin and Mandalinn and the crazy Canadian Trazey and Rosinate and cfmama and everyone else their stories inspire you. Whether you want them to or not. And that's a gift they give us and we give each other.

AND WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT: people watch you when you lose weight. You might think they don't notice or don't care, but when's the last time someone YOU know lost weight and you didn't notice? Leading by example is a big thing, too.

09-19-2009, 02:33 PM
I know exactly what you mean. I still see the 308lb person I used to be when I look in the mirror but while I sued to tbe the biggest person everywhere now there seem to be so many people bigger than me. I always felt like I was a freak for beign so fat - at this rate I will feel a freak when I'm at goal too as so many people around me are overweight. I think maybe some of these people were overweight anyway and it's just getting smaller that makes it more noticable but I'm also certain a few people I know have put on a lot of weight recently.

09-19-2009, 04:59 PM
Does anyone have any stats about the % of people overweight or obese? I'll take US figures, although I don't live there.

Reason: I posted it somewhere, forget now, that according to the halls bmi calculator, although I'm close to only overweight, I'm still at the 70th percentile, i.e. heavier than 70% of Americans. That doesn't seem to tally with the 'epidemic' picture we're given.

09-19-2009, 05:15 PM
Here's a link for obesity rates by country:


09-19-2009, 05:18 PM
And here's an article that includes data by state:


09-19-2009, 05:53 PM
I have this feeling when I see overweight or obese girls (I mean from 8 - 13 years old). And when I see them buying sweets or ice, I just want to go to them or to their parents and say: Do something as long you are young. Because in ten years you will seem like me."
Of course, in reality I would never do something like this, it's just sad nobody stopped me from enormous eating when I was at this age.

better health3
09-19-2009, 11:27 PM
It just makes me sad that many people, including myself, have settled for a lower quality of life--one that doesn't include optimal health. I've noticed it the most at Walmart and fairs for some reason. What does that say about us as a society? Are we all living our best lives?

09-19-2009, 11:45 PM
I've done a lot of people watching since I started eating better, and wow . . . I don't feel so out of place at my size. :o

Alana in Canada
09-20-2009, 01:11 AM
Thanks for that data, careysings. It is a bit out of date--but helps me understand things. I think rates have probably got worse, rather than better.

09-20-2009, 04:01 AM
WOW, I Think some people have taken this thread the wrong way. Just because someone feels compelled to help and spread their success and knowledge doesn't make them critical or judgmental. I think Rockinrobin said it best (as usual) ;)
we have all been over weight or obese, so of course we aren't going to look at other obese people and think horrible judgmental things. When I see obese people now, I just wish I could inject some of my knowledge and inspiration into them to help them. Not judge them or make them feel bad. And I am sure that is what the OP meant. HELLO !!! no critisism.

09-20-2009, 05:51 AM
I noticed this when I was at the state fair cause my sister pointed out to me and said, "notice there is at least one over weight person in each group of people" oooh...man I was shocked when I kept looking around

09-20-2009, 08:03 AM
HVEECK, sometimes "good intentions" can seem otherwise to the people on the receiving end. Just sayin'.

Yesterday at the mall, I stopped at a pretzel place and bought a pretzel--these are the big, doughy, fresh cooked kind, pretty oily. It was not on my plan... :o I sat down next to an obese woman who was also eating a pretzel. Now, both of us had made a bad food choice, IMO. But which person do you think people were looking at and thinking "She shouldn't be eating that pretzel"? I doubt anyone was looking at me, the currently normal-sized person.

What could I possibly do to help that woman? Certainly not say anything about losing weight at that moment.

The fact is, neither one of us "should" have been eating that pretzel. And I know better. So how can I judge that woman's choice without being a hypocrite. I don't think I can. (OTOH, both of us had a "right" to eat that pretzel if we chose to do so.)

Disclaimer: I am not saying that Lori Bell (OP) was suggesting any kind of confrontation or rudeness. But one has to be careful with that urge to "save" others. As I said in my earlier post, what other people eat is none of my business, and vice versa.


09-20-2009, 08:24 AM
sometimes "good intentions" can seem otherwise to the people on the receiving end. Just sayin'.

That's the thing, no one's been receiving it. No one. It's one thing to have that overwhelming need/desire/urge to "help" and I did say help, not save, others and then it's a totally other thing to ACT on that. LoriBell and the others who shared similar sentiments (myself) included CLEARLY have NOT acted upon it, because we KNOW that it is the "wrong" thing to do. Thinking and acting - 2 different things.

Now take George Clooney for instance. I'll admit, I find him VERY attractive. And it's okay to think that way, but if I ACTED upon it - not so okay ;). As much as I'd like to act upon it, well clearly I'm not going to :(.

And Jay it's funny that you mentioned yourself, being a normal weight person eating those pretzels and what others think about it. I am much more aware now of what others eat and lots of times I will see downright skinny people eating donuts and what not and it's odd that I even think this, but for some reason I do. I think to myself, I bet this is a once in a blue moon occurrence or most likely that she's probably a very light eater - eating the one donut and maybe 1/2 of a muffin, a slice of pizza, a drumstick, 1.2 cup of rice and 5 crackers as a typical days menu. So I actually pay closer attention to what slim people are eating then heavier people. I'm not sure why the heck I do, but at times I find myself doing this. Odd, I know. :dizzy:

09-20-2009, 08:37 AM
One thing I've noticed is that though the CAUSE for being overweight is the same for everyone (too many calories in, not enough calories out...) the REASONS why people become obese really differ.

There are some people who do not have good knowledge of nutrition and were raised in families where obesity was the norm. For those people, more education might be really helpful.

There are other people who know very well what they *should* be eating, but for some psychological quirk, or aspect of their upbringing, or personal situation they feel that they *can't*.

That's probably the hardest thing-- because even if we do share our success stories, they may not always click with people.

I'm a health care provider, and so I'm often in the position where I need to advise people about their weight and choices....

At 295 lbs, on the one hand, I found that people were willing to talk to me about issues that they felt uncomfortable discussing with skinnier people. On the other hand, I had to admit that I hadn't found a solution yet either.

My dream is to be fit and trim, but to keep a "fat" picture right on my desk so that when I deal with obese patients they will know that not only do I talk the talk, but I also walk the walk.

I just hope I succeed.

09-20-2009, 08:56 AM
That's probably the hardest thing-- because even if we do share our success stories, they may not always click with people.

Absolutely. I'm not sure if someone would have sat me down years ago and said to me "Robin, you CAN lose the weight, you don't have to suffer. And you will LOVE the results and the whole process and, and, and. Here's what you need to do - this and this and this." Now even if "this, this and this" is EXACTLY what I'm doing now, I'm pretty certain it would have went in one ear and out the other.

Which is one of the reasons we don't ACT upon that overwhelming desire to help others. But not the main one. Because the main one is that it is not our place to "tell" others what to do and how to live. It is not our business.

09-20-2009, 09:25 AM
As I've lost weight, I've noticed this alot too. When I was at my heaviest, I can only remember a very few times when I wasn't the fattest person in sight. Now, I see people who are not only much bigger than me, but are bigger than I was at my heaviest.

I have never felt more sympathy and concern for the obese/ morbidly obese as I now feel. There was a guy last week at the train station that was using two chairs side by side because he couldn't fit on one. He must have weighed 600 pounds or so.

I'd never go up to him and tell him he could lose weight, that I think would be wrong and counter productive. I did feel very bad for him, but I don't know really what to do.

09-20-2009, 09:32 AM
".................By the way I Became overweight ~NO LONGER OBESE!!!! I wanted to share that with ya!!!"

Lori, You should make a post about this so you can get the recognition this deserves!!!

So awesome! Congrats and you look amazing in your profile picture.

09-20-2009, 09:42 AM
My only issue is really you don't know someone's story. Of course we have an obesity problem in the US. Of course how are we to judge individuals? We know its not right to say anything but it is right just to think it and tell others?

What if in Jay's story, she was sitting next to a lady who had lost 100 lbs and was having a rare treat?

Funny thing is I was with my friend in a mall last weekend and I haven't been in a mall in a long time. She wanted a pretzel so we go stand in line to get a pretzel. There were 2 very skinny girls in front of her ordering pretzels, pretzel dogs and sugary drinks. My skinny friend ordered a pretzel and a sugary drink as well. I ordered nothing. Of course I could imagine someone passing by could think that I shouldn't be there or that is how I got fat in the first place. The truth is, I think I've had a pretzel there once in my life.

I will also say I'm not oblivious and I do notice various shapes and sizes now more than ever. I think when I was the biggest one around, my thoughts were just about me being the biggest one around.

As we all know, someone won't lose weight until they are ready to lose weight. So sharing your story with those that are interested is definitely the way to go.

09-20-2009, 09:54 AM
Sorry to spam comments, but one more thing about this thread...

About 4 or 5 months before I actively started to lose weight, i was waiting for a train inside the subway and a man walked up to me and said "you know, I used to weigh what you do now and I lost it, you can too". I have to say, I felt pretty miserable and was not at all happy to be pointed out for being my size. At that time, I wasn't ready to lose weight and it was months later that I was ready.

I think saying to anyone that is unsolicited is a bad idea and just would make people feel worse. Sympathy and empathy, yes, but proselytizing, no.

09-20-2009, 10:25 AM
I understand that feeling of wanting to run up to someone and tell them they can stop the insanity. I get it all the time. My mother has been overweight all her life, and obese most of it. I've seen her battle, over and over, now it's taking a horrible toll on her health.:( She lost a lot years ago with WW (gained it all back and more) and Grandma taught her good eating habits, always served lots of fruit and veggies. Mom uses her weight as a shield or coat of armor to shield her from things she doesn't want to do or face. :?: It's sad, because she's missed a ton of fun stuff over the years.

The group that makes me the saddest, though, are the Moms and Dads I see in the quick trip/gas station, buying donuts and Mountain Dew for their kid for breakfast. What are they thinking? No wonder kids have behavioral issues at school. I know they would tell me they don't have time to make a healthy breakfast, but that's pooey. It only takes a few minutes to scramble eggs and make ww toast and milk. Even a turkey sandwich to eat in the car, would be better and still fast.

Something I was wondering for those of you who still have kids in school, do they still have P.E. and do they still teach health and wellness, and any kind of home economics, where they learn about nutrition?

I think education is a big key. I remember studying all that as a kid and the University of Nebraska Extension Education had offices in all counties, (still do), that sent out lessons concerning, health, wellness, gardening, new food preservation methods, nutrition, child care, etc. and their was a meeting once a month, where the Extension Agent would give the lesson and then all the ladies had coffee and of course "dessert":dizzy: after the lesson. But the point is the education and support was their.

I know income can be a factor, but not as big a one as some might think. A 5# sack of apples may cost more than a sack of store brand chips, but it will last longer for several reasons. One being that people will look at one apple as a serving, verses just shoveling the chips out of the bag and into your mouth, with no concept of one serving, (I can do this), and one apple is more satisfying than chips.

I do know a couple of very obese people who wouldn't want the help and who would resist all attempts. But these people use their weight as a crutch to get folks to feel sorry for them and to stay in the situation they are in. Much like an alcoholic or drug addict would.

Anyway, I do wish their was more we could do to help.

Hmm,,,I rambled on didn't I?;)

09-20-2009, 10:59 AM
Right on Matt.I think if its your passion to share you experience and you really feel like you want to help people...there are pleanty of prefessions that would allow you to do so.Dietician, personal trainer, Nutritionist........Assures that the people at the other end are willing participants and are seeking out you opinion and knowledge.

09-20-2009, 11:43 AM
I'm actually a certified health education specialist (o, the irony). I've specialized in sexual health up to this point, but I think my own changes are turning me towards nutrition and fitness.

I try not to share health info unless people ask if it's not someone I'm close to. They have to be ready to receive it. :) Besides, I'm still overweight now and I've come a long way. I'd be POd if someone came up to me on day I worked out and planned to go out and have a planned ice cream cone and told me what I should do to lose weight. You don't know that person. You only know that isolated incident. Maybe they were 100 pounds heavier the year before.

09-20-2009, 01:26 PM
Loribell(:Dmrs. America:D)~I have felt the exact same way!

But here is what comes to my mind~I wonder who had lost there weight and thought that same stuff one day when they saw me with all my junk food in my cart and could have passed the secret of counting calories unto me but didn't do it?

So here is what I do....I loudly say something to someone in the isle about losing a large amount of weight so far~Then if i catch the attention of the one I am after ~I explain it to them in detail~Even if they do not ever do anything with it I spead the word~I Hope I am helping someone I come in contact with

I kinda agree with this! How many of us had those "I've had it" moments courtesy of someone else? For me, it took my Grandma telling me she noticed my weight was out of control to motivate me to get to weight watchers. After losing 50 pounds it took an elderly lady at my work to tell me I looked like I was gaining a bit again to motivate me to go back to work and lose the rest of the weight.

I don't encourage hurting anyone's feelings, but for me it took someone reaching out and telling me they noticed. I thought I was so sneaky stealing extra food and eating junk but I was just fooling myself....just my .02 :)

09-20-2009, 03:33 PM

I am new here. I just signed up a few days ago. I don't know if I am allowed to post yet but I have something to say about this thread and I don't know how to say it so I'll write it like a letter:

Dear Formerly Fat Person:

I'm sorry that my being here makes you uncomfortable. Maybe I remind you of how you used to be. I know that you want me to be happy but before you reach into my grocery cart and take food away and before you talk loudly in the aisle about fat people and how you used to be fat and what you did to get skinny and before you come up to me to tell me that I'm fat can you remember this.

I KNOW I am fat. I'm fat not dumb. I'm not doing anything against the law. I'm just waiting for a bus or food shopping or walking in the mall. You don't know my story. You don't know if I used to be bigger or if I am trying to get skinny or if I am sick or if I am getting help. You don't know if all those groceries are for me or if I am shopping for 2 or 3. You don't know if I have $10 to get me thru the rest of the week and Kraft Dinner is the only thing that I can think of.

Please don't pity me. Please don't tell me I'm fat. Please don't make me feel any worse that I already do. Please don't tell me you know what is best for me. Please don't talk down to me or make a point of singling me out because I am fat. Remember how this made you feel when you were fat. Treat me how you wanted to be treated when you were 200 or 250 or 300 or 350 pounds.

The Fat Girl Pushing the Cart in the Grocery Store

This thread has made me sad. It makes me sad that there is alot of hidden judgement here and it makes me sad that some of you don't even see it and argue with others who say they feel judged. Remember that first impressions are important and for me who is new I will remember how some of you made me feel reading your words even if I forget the words themselves.

09-20-2009, 04:14 PM
please take this in the lighthearted context it is intended....

this whole thread reminds me of high school. I went to a catholic school when i was infact, not catholic. So....everyday -seriously, everyday, the nuns would sidel up next to me in the hallway, pop up next to me in the cafeteria, all in an attempt to get me baptized.

while, im sure they thought i was a nice girl, did my work, etc., they were surely certain i was going to burn in ****.

Anyway, everyday I see people doing things I hate, would never do myself, such as smoke, drive an suv, vote republican......
but what can you do?

09-20-2009, 04:18 PM
Mskitka-Sorry this is how you feel.And I do agree with you.I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by medical prefessionals my whole life.I have learned very early on to take care of myself, make my own choices and accept others for how they choose to live their lives.At first I thought I was missing something....I never pay attention to what others are buying at the grocery store.Like I said earlier, if this is your true passion, they turn it into a profession and let people seek you out.Stick around....dont leave....dont let this thread leave a bad taste in your mouth.

09-20-2009, 04:57 PM
People will always love to check out your shopping cart. Its human nature...admit it, you do it too:) A few weeks ago I was doing my weekly shopping. My grocery cart was filled with strawberries, watermelon, apples, grapes, oranges, blueberries, squash, lettuce, beans, nuts, fish, cheese and various other really yummy things. A woman walked up to me and said "I wish I could learn to eat like that." I was stunned because its not really hard at all to choose good foods over bad. I told her to stay out of the middle aisles in the store unless she had a really good reason. Shop the outer ring of the store. Its really hard to load up on twinkies and fruit loops when you don't even go past them.

I would never walk up to someone and critique what they are eating or offer advice about lifestyle choices unless asked. I was raised to mind my own business and will continue to do so.

Yes, I too have noticed how many people are overweight. It never really hit me until I got smaller. My BMI at 118 is now at 20.9 and in the 6th percentile. That means 94 percent of the adult poplulation is larger than I. When I was heavier I was closer in BMI to more people. I really think that plays a role in our perception of size and why we don't notice as much when we are heavier ourselves.

09-20-2009, 05:11 PM
mskitka, you are RIGHT ON about that! :yes: Thank you so much for posting. That's what I call a reality check, and I think it's way too easy for us folks here to forget that LOTS of people of ALL sizes are reading what we post.


09-20-2009, 05:12 PM
Wow... this thread has got me a little bit upset. I have a very skinny sister who occasionally decides she's going to try to "help" me. She's never been overweight in her life. My Mom also tries to "help" me sometimes, by barking "what are you doing!" if she sees me open the fridge.
If anyone approached me in the grocery store with "advice" I'd be mortified....but much more so...ANGRY!

What some of you see as *saving*, other see as intrusive, evangelical, preaching. I agree with whomever it was, that used the comparison to ex-smokers.

I KNOW how to lose weight, I am VERY good at it when I get down to it. I do not need anyone to tell me the right way, if I didn't ASK for their input!

I have enough empathy for about ten people. I am a nurturer. Sometimes I am able to spend long periods of time obsessing about myself...and to lose weight successfully, you DO need to obsess. But with me, life happens and other people need me, and then it's much harder to only obsess about myself, and I fall off the wagon.

I DO intend to succeed someday :)

I'll share with you a story that hurt me DEEPLY from many years back:

I was working as an Esthetician (this is probably the single reason I don't work in that field anymore!), I was giving a woman a pedicure, and we were chatting away. We talked about a bunch of topics, and then we got on the subject of having kids. We didn't have Talia yet, and I told her that I wanted to have another baby soon.

This lady's eyes opened wide and she said "Well, then, you'll HAVE to get that weight off first...what about your HEART???"
I was stunned! I looked down, stopped talking..and finished her pedicure trying to hold back tears!

Reading this thread....immediately caused me to remember this indecent.
And it flashed to my mind, that maybe THIS lady was trying to HELP me in her own twisted way!!!

My feelings are really hurt by this thread, and when I DO succeed, I will most certainly only offer my "advice and help" to those who WANT it, and request it from me.


It almost makes me not want to be one of *you* or *them*

09-20-2009, 05:17 PM
Not all heavy people catch my eye, the teenagers do, and they break my heart, I feel like they have known nothing else ... Especially the young girls, I guess I see me in them and it hurts me...

09-20-2009, 05:27 PM
Famograham-YES!!!You are so right.What I have learned in my time on this earth.....Everyone has a story!I take care of some very sick patients.I take care of patients with end stage lung cancer....I see people smoking all of the time.Do I stop and suggest they quit??NO...I am sure they know it is unhealthy.I have also taken care of patients that smoke that have tried to quit multiple times...as many overweight people have tried to lose weight multiple times.Food can be an addiction as well as alcohol, nicotine.....An addiction usually requires more than just someone walking up to you and telling you what you are doing is unhealthy.And here is food for thought also...my bff is a psychiatrist...ex smoker and substance abuser.He has done neither for over 30 years...he always says "I am just 1 puff away from being a smoker again and 1 drink away from being a drinker again".This is no different than someone who has lost weight....hence most people gaining it back.I agree with all of you who are expressing how hurt you feel by OP.Most overweight people have a story....and it usually includes a lot of painful feelings that led to becoming overweight.This is how I gained 40lbs.A major tragedy in my life 5 years ago.Support is one thing...arrogance is another.

09-20-2009, 05:34 PM
Thank you Harrismm :) :hug:

Side note: Lung cancer is the thing that threw me off my plan the last time!
My Mom was diagnosed with it. Right now things are great, she was lucky enough to be diagnosed while still at stage one. She had a round of 20 days of radiation, and 18 months later, there's no sign of it. For now. You and I both know LC's tenacity, and tendency to come back with a vengeance.

I'm so glad that some people understand. :hug:


09-20-2009, 05:52 PM
If people are upset, of course there's no point saying they shouldn't be; but I see no offence in the OP - when you've lost weight it is just so hard not to share the how with others. No judgement, it's just a passion.

09-20-2009, 05:59 PM
But, it IS judgment.

I'm also not directing this solely at the OP. I love everyone here, a lot!

09-20-2009, 06:08 PM
I'm sorry how is it judgment? How is the overwhelming desire to help others judgment? How is the overwhelming desire to want to share what we've discovered judgment? No one's actually gone over to anyone and told them what, how or why they should do so and so and not do this and that. No one. I just don't see if as judgmental :dunno:

09-20-2009, 06:18 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I always notice overweight people. Actually, I notice people in general. Maybe it's because I'm quiet and tend to just people watch. :shrug: I sometimes wonder if an overweight chick is struggling like I am to lose weight.

09-20-2009, 06:26 PM
Well, it is judgement, if you went up to people in person, then it would be rude AND judgmental.
But, I have yet meet anyone who hasn't judged another person for some reason or another. We all have things we are passionate about, and it is blaringly obvious when we see things that directly go against this passion. And we judge.

For the life of me I don't know how anyone could get in a gas guzzling suv when men and women are dying in a war for the oil used to stuff these oversized cars. Not to mention what its doing to our planet.

I know most of these people don't know any better. I would love to show them the way.

I know i am being judgmental when i think this. People have a right to think and say or write what they please and people will either chime in or get insulted, so is the way of the world.

09-20-2009, 06:27 PM
It is judgement because saying you want to rip unhealthy food out of peoples hands and telling them to "get off the sauce" is implying that they do not understand that those things are unhealthy....or they are overweight.....or they dont have the knowledge that the OP stated herself that she wanted to share with people.That is simply JUDGING someones intelligence, insitefulness......JUST MY OPINION:):):):):)

09-20-2009, 06:34 PM
I notice too. I also wonder, like you JasonsLea, if they struggle like I do.

Robin, I was here long before you arrived, I supported you through your weightloss just like I offer support to everyone else. But never, ever would I be so presumptuous as to force my vast and perfect knowledge :lol: on anyone else. Nor would I presume that I had the only key, and that anyone who has not completed their journey is a poor unfortunate sod who needs my divine intervention.

I'm guessing that none of you have actually approached a fat person, and interjected your opinion. And I'm very glad of that!
I also DEEPLY respect your (and all other maintainers) dedication and commitment to your weightloss. I'm SO PROUD of you all!

This was posted in the 100 pound club!

A discussion about how some of the successful losers wish they could *SAVE* all of us imperfect, uneducated...and I also believe economic class was mentioned, people....was BOUND to cause some hurt feelings, and anger....don't ya' think????

That IS judgmental.

09-20-2009, 06:37 PM
I can't speak for Lori Bell, she does have a way with words now, doesn't she? But I don't believe she really meant it in a judgemental sort of a way. I think it was more in a "I'd love you to know what I'm experiencing kind of way".

Well, it is judgement, if you went up to people in person, then it would be rude AND judgmental.

Though I still disagree about it being judgmental, I surely agree 1000% that it would be rude to actually approach someone and offer them unsolicited advice. Rude. Inappropriate. Insensitive. Hurtful. etc...

09-20-2009, 06:46 PM
Linda, we posted at the same time. Again, I can't speak for LoriBell - but again I'm pretty certain she didn't mean to be judgmental.

But I will agree with you on one point, seeing how so many peoples feelings are being hurt, I think this may have been better off in the Maintainer's Forum.

I know when I first was close to goal, the 100 lb club was my home for a long time and it was automatic for me to post here. It then became a little bit uncomfortable for me to state certain things and talk about certain realizations and issues. Since this was my original stomping grounds, it took me a while to realize that some posts WOULD be better off in the Maintainer's Forum. And something tells me that Lori Bell is going through the same thing right now. She's on auto pilot here. It takes some time to transition from 100 lb clubber to Maintainer.

09-20-2009, 06:48 PM
I totally appreciate that Robin. I know you would never do such a thing, and I don't think anyone else would either.

There are SO MANY people here who desperately WANT your advice, myself included!!! :lol: And we do ask for it, often ;)
It's just the thought of that unsolicited preaching that turns me off, makes me feel angry, and frankly turns my stomach. I'm not pointing fingers at any specific person at all.

Like someone said above, we all judge inside our own minds! But actually pushing it onto others, is positively futile, and hurtful.

I agree that the maintainers forum would be a much better place for this topic.


09-20-2009, 06:52 PM
What an interesting thread. I will say that as I started losing weight, I did start to notice more about what others were eating and buying. And once I wasn't always one of the fattest always, I started to notice that more people had weight issues than I had ever noticed before. It really was eye-opening. In a way I realized that I was a part of a bigger group than I had thought. I really only just ever saw me.

As for the judgment issue, it's occurring to me that if other people feel judged by what someone is saying, and feel hurt by it, that maybe that's more important than the intent of the person who is making the comments. If I say something inadvertent that hurts my husband's feelings, I try to apologize and figure out what I said (or how I said it) that hurt him. If I say "I didn't say anything hurtful" it kind of denies his feelings.

It feels like there's some of that sentiment going on here. Some people are getting their feelings hurt. And although it may not be intentional, perhaps we can find a way to not hurt feelings in the future.

09-20-2009, 06:53 PM
OK. Let's all chill out a bit. People's feelings are being hurt including mine a bit - and I'm old and tough! :lol:

This topic definitely belongs in Maintainers or General Chatter. I'll close it now.