Weight Loss Support - Is it REALLY the same?




View Full Version : Is it REALLY the same?


misskimothy
10-28-2009, 05:44 PM
I'm at a cross-roads right now. When I decided to lose weight, I had 110 lbs to lose. I have lost 75 of those pounds, leaving me with 35 to go. My rate of weight loss has slowed down alot, and I am constantly monitoring my input and output and so on to keep on losing. I was talking with a friend about this, and she has 10lbs to lose (her personal esthetic, not for medical reasons) and she goes on and ON and ON about how HARD it is for her and 10lbs is GROSS and she has to LOSE IT. And here I am having held 100lbs MORE than that. When I ask her about it, she says that it is just as hard to lose 10 lbs for her as it is to lose 110 lbs for me. I just can't see that at ALL -- 10 lbs to me represents only 2 months of solid effort (I lose slowly) with a balanced diet. 110lbs seems insurmountable -- heck its taken forever for the 75 to come off. Is it the same? Is 10 lbs just as hard as 100 lbs to lose? I just wanna tell her to quit whining about 10 freaking pounds, but I need some advice before I lose it on my friend.


JayEll
10-28-2009, 05:49 PM
No, it is not the same, and it is not nearly as hard to lose 10 "vanity" pounds as it is to face having to lose 100 pounds. Your friend is just bein' a jerk, IMO.

Jay

Mikayla
10-28-2009, 06:05 PM
No, it's simply not the same. I think it's completely different emotionally to lose 100lbs. Of course I've never been normal weight so I can't say for sure.

Losing 100lbs is a long emotional journey I don't believe losing 10 pounds could ever feel the same.


mandalinn82
10-28-2009, 06:07 PM
I think that both present unique challenges, and both are hard in their own ways.

So, for example, someone starting at a lower weight typically won't get the big first week "whoosh" of water weight - and when you've been working hard and making changes, seeing little to no change can be so frustrating. Weight loss for someone starting close to goal is much, much slower, and change is harder to come by.

People at lower weights may also experience a lot more interpersonal issues, at least at first (for example, people saying "you don't need to lose weight" or "you'll get too skinny" or being sabateurs in terms of food and exercise..."one piece of pie won't hurt!"), than people who start off heavier, who may get more support from those around them.

Not to mention, those who are severely overweight have an additional motivator - health - that may not apply to 10 vanity pounds. Not to say that there aren't other motivators, but I can easily see how someone with 10 lbs to lose would have a harder time making the commitment weight loss requires, because there's no driving, life-or-death issue behind it.

The difficulties unique to those losing a smaller amount of weight is one of the primary reasons we started the "Featherweights" forum here - so people who were losing smaller numbers of pounds wouldn't feel like they had no right to complain or no right to talk about how hard weight loss was.

This isn't to discount the HARD that is losing 110 lbs, though, which is ALSO hard, absolutely. But losing weight is challenging, no matter how much or how little you're trying to lose. Personally, I don't see much point in debating over which is "more hard" because they ARE different, and have unique challenges, so it isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

WildThings
10-28-2009, 06:10 PM
I have to agree with Jay...loosing 110lbs takes an entire lifestyle change. It's not just giving up dessert for a few weeks or cutting out a couple of fancy coffee drinks. It takes perseverence, determination, discipline, commitment, planning, and some deep soul searching from time to time. It is very difficult to commit to loosing and keeping off 110lbs for life. The counting calories, the exercise...I don't think one can even begin to compare the two.

I'm not saying that it's a walk in the park to lose 10lbs, but really, I don't know how anyone could say they are the same thing. Unfortunately, unless your friend has to someday lose 110lbs, I don't think you could ever convince her they are different.

Heather
10-28-2009, 06:25 PM
Being morbidly obese certainly does present lots of unique challenges... the length of the journey, issues you face, the changes in your body as you lose. It certainly isn't the SAME as having to lose 10 pounds.

That being said, keeping off the 10 pounds successfully would also require a lifelong lifestyle change. And I've learned from my years here that many of the "mental issues" really do share a lot of similarities, such as how we feel about ourselves at a weight that makes us uncomfortable. So, I'd hate to dismiss the feelings of someone who "only" has 10 pounds to lose. That person could become someone with 100 to lose!

junebug41
10-28-2009, 06:54 PM
When I can get these last 10 pounds off once and for all I will let you know what I think. ;)

I really don't think there is much to compare. My journey now looks a lot different than it did 70 pounds ago. The experience is simply not one in the same. Both have their own unique challanges and they share some, too.

QuilterInVA
10-28-2009, 08:24 PM
The last 10 pounds are the hardest.

CountingDown
10-28-2009, 08:30 PM
No, you can't compare the two.

Yes, losing 100 lbs is harder than losing 10.

But, those last 10 lbs ARE slow coming off, do take a lifestyle change (if you are going to keep them off), and can be a nemesis for many, many people.

I think her comments reflect the fact that weight loss is INDEED a personal journey. Each of us must travel it, but it will be different for each of us.

I'm sure she believes what she said, and in her mind - she really does equate the two.

And - much of weight loss succes begins in the mind.

Idealmuse
10-28-2009, 08:36 PM
I agree arguing about which is harder isn't the best use of time because it's all relative... to the person (and I'm biased as I know how hard it is to lose 100+ but not the last 10 because I've never been that close!)

But one thing I will point out that lighter folks don't understand is you might lose quicker when your heavier, but it also doesn't show as much which is really JUST as frustrating to deal with. Under 200lbs it seems like every few pounds in noticeable. I think my first 30-40lbs you couldn't tell. At ALL. That's enough to drive anyone up the wall and want to give up.

Jennifer 3FC
10-28-2009, 10:40 PM
Is it possible that your friend isn't whining, but maybe has a 'problem' with her self esteem? Maybe she feels like since you've been so successful that you inspire her enough for her to be honest with you about how she views herself.

Or maybe she could truly have an eating disorder and has a distorted image of how she looks. Someone close to me also has a very low opinion of his body, and it's really sad to watch him feel so poorly of himself instead of just being happy that he *only* is a few pounds away from what some people would consider their perfect goal weight. Maybe if you talk to her about how you feel, she might explain a little better about where she is coming from.

HungryHungryHippo
10-28-2009, 11:56 PM
We-ell...the less you weigh, the fewer calories you get. So you need to really be on your game to create a deficit. At 300 calories under per day, it would take almost two weeks per pound, instead of two pounds per week. On the other hand, you have the comfort of already being thin.

kaplods
10-28-2009, 11:57 PM
It's impossible to change places with someone, we only understand our own troubles and can only guess at anyone else's. She is guessing that you have it easier than she does. You are guessing that you have it harder than she does. Who is right?

It's such an apple and orange comparison that we really need to learn not to make those kinds of comparisons, and yet it's human nature to do so.

How many times have we heard someone say (or said something similar ourselves) "You think you've got problems....." In essence it discounts everything the person has said, in essence saying "I don't care about your problems, because mine are much bigger and more important to me - and you should be able to see that."

Your struggles are important to you. Her struggles are important to her. Acknowledging each others difficulties without making a contest of it would allow you to be part of each other's support system. If you can't, it might be best to agree not to discuss weight loss efforts with each other.

Jane
10-29-2009, 12:13 AM
You asked "Is it Really the Same?" The important thing to me here is that she's your friend. Because of that, I'd just respect her feelings and leave it alone, whether it's the same or not. Just a thought.

ringmaster
10-29-2009, 12:48 AM
everyone is different, so it won't be the exact same for everyone. it is harder for some people to lose the last few pounds. As Jillian Michaels says 100lb and 10lb are 2 totally different animals. One is for health, the other is because we want to be a size 6. You have to be very strict and workout harder and constantly change things up to get rid of the last 10 vanity pounds. I know for me getting rid of even the last 20-30lb is hard, whereas when I was over 200 I could slack on my diet sometimes and just walk on the treadmill for a few miles a few times a week and still lose every week.

Rainbow
10-29-2009, 06:38 AM
Obviously losing 110 lb is harder as you have all the issues of losing 100lb and all the issues of losing the last 10lb to deal with ;)

I wouldn't waste time arguing with her. She obviously thinks it's easier for you as you're losing weight more quickly than she is. I don't think it's the same at all and both are hard for different reasons. I know when I just need to lsoe a little weight I couldn't do it and didn't know how to do it but once I was heavier I could lose 28-34lb before starting to struggle.

Me23
10-29-2009, 07:19 AM
I lost most of my weight a long time ago, and nowadays when I just want to lose a couple of pounds (say if I've gained a couple) I have to deal with so much more emotional manipulation. Given that the vast majority of my family are obese/overweight/diabetic you'd think they'd understand why I exercise harsh discipline on myself, but nope, I'm just being a party pooper.

Wannabeskinny
10-29-2009, 09:10 AM
I'm at a cross-roads right now. When I decided to lose weight, I had 110 lbs to lose. I have lost 75 of those pounds, leaving me with 35 to go. My rate of weight loss has slowed down alot, and I am constantly monitoring my input and output and so on to keep on losing. I was talking with a friend about this, and she has 10lbs to lose (her personal esthetic, not for medical reasons) and she goes on and ON and ON about how HARD it is for her and 10lbs is GROSS and she has to LOSE IT. And here I am having held 100lbs MORE than that. When I ask her about it, she says that it is just as hard to lose 10 lbs for her as it is to lose 110 lbs for me. I just can't see that at ALL -- 10 lbs to me represents only 2 months of solid effort (I lose slowly) with a balanced diet. 110lbs seems insurmountable -- heck its taken forever for the 75 to come off. Is it the same? Is 10 lbs just as hard as 100 lbs to lose? I just wanna tell her to quit whining about 10 freaking pounds, but I need some advice before I lose it on my friend.

Arguing about how's got tougher is rather pointless because both of your weight loss struggles are valid. What it sounds like is that you are both unwilling to acknowledge the other person's struggle and that puts both of you in the victim mode. Let's face it, losing any pounds is hard work and often a struggle for most people. Why not put your energies into supporting eachother rather than competing for who has it rougher.

Maybe what you're feeling is that your friend is discounting how hard you've worked and that I can understand. Sometimes people who have never dealt with obesity cannot understand how difficult it is for us to conquer our nutrition/fitness/emotional issues. For her she may just think "all you have to do is NOT eat 4000 calories a day, walk around a bit, and the weight will be gone." Sure sure it's easy to melt off weight in the beginning but often emotional and psychological issues start to surface, plateauing occurs, and then it becomes a real challenge that many might not understand. You may want to speak to your friend that by complaining about her weight and calling it "gross" it sparks anger in you because if 10lbs is gross to her, what could she possibly think of 100lbs more of you?

Basically your friend is calling you gross and you need to call her on it.

misskimothy
10-29-2009, 04:11 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I can see how the amount of weight overall to lose can be seen in different ways. Those of us who carried a whole bunch of it see their journey differently than those with not so much. I don't think the amount of weight should "validate" one, like if I've lost x pounds I've done OK but if I've lost x + 55 lbs for example is somehow "better". The challenges are different, too. I can't help but feel, though, that those who have gained a few pounds as in 10 pounds over the last 10 years and want to lose it don't understand how daunting it is to look in the mirror and realize that they have 110 pounds to lose.

I think I'll call her on her "10 lbs is gross" because if she thinks 10 lbs is gross what the heck does she really think of my extra 35 pound spare tire around my gut?!

Thanks again for everone's opinion. I really appreciate it.

screamingfatgirl
10-30-2009, 05:58 AM
I think that losing the weight is equally hard, though the duration of effort has to be taking into account. She's looking at months of effort and people who need to lose more might be looking at years. It's more daunting the longer you know you'll be at it.

I think the real point is that being 110 lbs. overweight is a lot harder than being 10 pounds overweight. That being the case, everything is harder at a higher weight.

Fat Pants
10-30-2009, 08:54 AM
Eh, I don't know about that. When I was 130 lbs, I still felt bad about myself because losing weight is so much more than just pounds lost... it is a personal experience for everyone which includes learning to love yourself, no matter what the scale says. In the end, who cares if it's harder to lose 100 lbs or 10 lbs... that's not really what living a healthy lifestyle is all about. I wouldn't want to discount people's feelings here by saying "my journey is harder than your journey" because you never know what someone is going through, even if it's just losing 10 lbs.

I have less than 20 lbs left and the pounds I lose these days are much more rewarding than the pounds that easily came off in the beginning, because I really have to work hard for them. That could very well be the same for someone who "just" has 10 lbs to lose.

Wannabeskinny
10-30-2009, 09:08 AM
I think I'll call her on her "10 lbs is gross" because if she thinks 10 lbs is gross what the heck does she really think of my extra 35 pound spare tire around my gut?!

Thanks again for everone's opinion. I really appreciate it.

Yes I think that this is why you wrote the OP. I think you're upset that your friend keeps going on and on about the grossness of her 10lbs (which is a valid feeling we've all had for sure). However, her saying that just makes you feel worse about yourself and I think you should say something to her so that she has an opportunity to express it in a way that doesn't make you feel bad.

midwife
10-30-2009, 09:26 AM
We all walk our own paths and, as generally self-absorbed beings, our own struggles seem to be the most important.

Reminds me of a time I caught a healthy baby boy. Mom started crying. It was her 5th boy (and would be her last baby) and she had been told to expect a girl via ultrasound. She was grieving for the girl she had always wanted. What she didn't know was that down that hall, another lady had just pushed out a dead baby. I was personally grieving for that other family and I wanted to say something like, "You have a healthy baby! Be glad!", but of course I didn't. HER journey was that she had expected and hoped for one outcome and gotten another. That caused some difficulty (she was later fine btw). But to the family that had the dead baby, their journey was of course far more painful. But that doesn't mean that the mother-of-many-boys' pain was without validity.

But as humans we tend to notice our own struggles far more intimately and might be obtuse about other people's struggles....not always on purpose. 10 lbs to her might feel gross, but that doesn't mean she necessarily thinks 100 lbs on someone else is gross. We are often harder on ourselves than on other people (that whole self-absorbed thing again). And sometimes people just forget to hit their self-edit button.

alyssamichelle
10-30-2009, 09:51 AM
I think it is way different. However, as other posters have said, it's still a journey that is important to her.

I have not been there, so I don't know, but my guess would be that having to lose 100 pounds is much more emotionally challenging than only having 10 to lose. Just my thought.

Jacquie668
10-30-2009, 10:13 AM
Personally, I think it is a different set of challenges when one is more fit or at a lower weight. I knew a woman years and years ago who worked to lose 20 pounds and it took her two years. Now she could have a condition, she could have only made small changes, she could have only exercised occasionally, I don't know, but for her it was "hard" as she was slightly overweight so her body was just more fit and different.

Her saying it is hard for her, yes it may be hard for her. Obviously she has some emotional issues with her weight, but physically it could mean her making specific changes, etc. The way she is expressing it is a bit insensitive, but probably not intentional as she is focused on her own feelings. Her thoughts are a bit flawed in my eyes, but that is just what I think.

I think, generally speaking, when one is heavier they lose weight differently. Sometimes people dump weight. I mean someone can lose 100 pounds in a year, but not everyone. I couldn't, I struggled a lot, but my weight loss is very different than it was when I was 340 pounds. So, it changes emotionally and physically as I get lower and lower and I have to make adjustments. I'm making adjustments now in fact as now i'm in the 260s and that is a new thing for me.

So, is it harder? No, I don't think so as that depends on so many things and to say it is simply harder to lose 10 pounds versus 110 doesn't make sense to me. However, is it a different set of challenges? Yes. So, in that way it could be hard for an individual who has to make specific changes, just like me having to make lifestyle changes and work on my emotional issues. That is hard, but that isn't everyone.

I do think you should have a heart to heart with her about how she expressed her view. She may not realize how her thoughts came out to you.

kaplods
10-30-2009, 12:44 PM
It is an apple and orange debate, it just "looks" similar because it's discussing the same subject (but only apparently).

Is it harder or a millionaire or a poor person to lose nearly everything (s)he owns?

Is it harder to lose a spouse to death or to infidelity/divorce?

Most of us would agree that it's probably not appropriate for those people to compare their problems (at least competitively) with the other.

Compared to the topic of weight loss, it is (I believe) more obviously cruel and inappropriate for a widow to say "At least your husband is still alive - and you at least have the chance to get him back, if you want to" - or for the divorcee to say "At least your husband left you unwillingly."

The orange is likely to be hurt, feeling discredited and discounted when he or she hears the apple complaining about how much "harder" the apple has it than the orange. The same is true of the reverse. The apple doesn't want to hear the orange complain on the subject either.

Also, even if a person does feel that they may actually have the better situation - they're bound to get defensive if someone makes it an accusation. "You are so lucky because of x." Most people want to say "Hey, my life's no picnic, either," rather than "why yes, you're correct I'm a lucky @#$% aren't I?"

Complaing or "venting" to give it a more positive spin - is contagious. Vent in a social situation, and you're going to hear others venting too - either agreeing with you, or venting their own problems - which may or may not be similar.

It's generally been assumed that group kvetching is negative and damaging. We should "avoid" participating in the "negativity," but a recent study (darn it, can't remember the source - I need to write these things down when I read them) found that for most people it's actually a stress reliever (up to a point).

But, back to the original point, I think the only way for an apple and an orange to have peace in these discussion is to either avoid the subject, or acknowledge the other "fruit's" feelings while communicating their own.

"It must be really hard to see me complaining about "only" losing 2 lbs this week, when you're struggling to lose a quarter of a pound. It's hard for me to understand why 10 lbs is so important to you, because I would be so happy to "only" have 10 lbs to lose, and when you say your extra weight is "gross" it makes me feel like you must consider me really disgusting.

Just like kvetching - sympathy and empathy are contagious too. It's often much more effective than confronting. If you were to only say the last statement (in bold) above - the person may see your point of view, or they may feel attacked - but if you start with a sympathetic statement, they're more likely to understand why you were hurt - and they're more likely to see and really understand your point of view better too. You'll both be more likely to see the similarities as well as the differences in your struggles, and hopefully be able to be supports to the other rather than opposition.

qqforweightloss
11-03-2009, 02:54 AM
Is it the same? It's weight loss no matter the amount, so yes, in a sense.
I'm actually the perfect person to ask this question to. I was effortlessly naturally thin up until depression struck a year ago. I used to eat at least 3000 calories a day, but since I'm tall I stayed thin anyway. I'd walk a few times a week and maintain a great figure while pigging out.. I ate like someone three times my size would eat.
When the depression hit, something changed and I gained about thirty-five pounds. My best friend and I decided to lose weight together two months ago. She's got a longer way to go than me, and her weight seems to melt off in comparison. Do I think it's easier for her? In some ways, yes. She eats a lot more than I do and loses a lot more than I do.
I have about twenty pounds left to lose now, and as a person who was effortlessly thin while eating a gross amount of calories before, it's as hard for me as it is for her. When I stopped fitting in my clothes at first and started getting stretch marks, I had such self-loathing that I could barely get by day to day. I'm attractive too, and it's always been a (sadly too big) part of my identity. So as someone who has never had more than a (relatively) "few" pounds to lose, I found gaining that amount to be hard on me and losing it to be even harder.
Losing that last little bit is a "lifestyle" change as much as losing one hundred pounds. Weight loss always is if you're doing it the right way.
Be understanding of your friend, don't minimalize her struggle. You never know what's going on in her head, and at the end of the day you two just need to support each other. My best friend and I are always happy for each other, and our goals are very different. Also keep in mind that people are rarely as critical of others as they are of themselves. Her extra ten may look disgusting on her, but I'm sure she's not even paying attention to your extra thirty in remotely the same way, if at all.
:) Hope that helps.

carpediem
11-03-2009, 07:50 AM
As a featherweight, I have experienced that the important thing is what maintainers always remind us, to establish healthy habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life. I think the approach I'm taking this time is not focused on losing the weight but on changing the way I eat in a sustainable way so the pounds slowly melt off until I reach a stage where I'm happy with what I look and how I feel.

In my opinion, people with less to lose have to find a healthier maintenance mode than the one they already have. I do not know if this is harder than losing a lot of weight, I think is different.

JulieJ08
11-03-2009, 10:12 AM
I think I'll call her on her "10 lbs is gross" because if she thinks 10 lbs is gross what the heck does she really think of my extra 35 pound spare tire around my gut?!

The blog AlreadyPretty has an post on this very subject, and it's really great food for thought:

Compare and Contrast (http://www.alreadypretty.com/2009/09/compare-and-contrast.html)