100 lb. Club - Saboteurs and how spot them...

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02-16-2010, 04:05 PM
I just had a chubby "friend" at work invite me out to lunch. She is going to this Thai restaurant that I used to frequent. (the BEST green curry ever!) My co-workers are well aware of my efforts and know I bring a big salad for lunch every day now. She has always complained about her weight but doesn't seem to ever do anything about it. I feel like she might be threatened by me trying to get healthy. We used to joke together about being the "big girls" in the office. I'm still friendly to her, still stop to chat and visit, ask about her weekend and her kids. It's not like I dumped her as a work friend.

I politely declined her offer. She commented that I wasn't "fun" anymore. I thought I am as fun as ever but I'm definitely not her eating buddy anymore. I'm excited by my healthy eating and have no problem saying no.

Who consciously or sub-consciously sabotages you and how do you handle it?

02-16-2010, 04:19 PM
I have people at my work like that too. I don't know why they do that. They always bake yummy treats and bring them in. We just have to let the weight loss motivate us to ignore them.

02-16-2010, 04:43 PM
i have the same problem...but with my best friend. shes skinnie, and always mocks me or makes snide remarks about my eating super healthy, or that i should just cheat, and blah blah. i think shes afraid ill thin out and be the prettie girl. its tough...but...i need to do this for me...i just wish i had more support.

02-16-2010, 04:52 PM
My bf is the worst now, though my ex-best friend was before I stopped talking to her. HE always brings junk into the house and is very quick to make a trip to a fast-food joint, or the grocery store if I so much as mention I have a craving for something, usually because he wouldn't mind some himself. Still my fault, though, as I always let him.

SHE (gourmet chef) used to cook endless amounts of high-fat high-cal dishes and desserts, then only eat 3-4 bites and have me finish them off. She flat-out admitted (one of the reasons we no longer talk) she prefers me heavy, as she is a size 2 recovering anny and anyone she associates with has to be much heavier or more unattractive than her for her to feel good about herself. She actually said she was HAPPY I was no longer a size 12, because now I couldn't "show her up" anymore! I guess there, too, it was partially my fault for finishing off the food, but she NEVER ate left-overs, and I hated seeing food of that caliber go to waste.

There is an adage that goes "better for the food to go in the garbage than for it to go on your a$$" or something similar but with more style.

02-16-2010, 04:56 PM
I know he doesn't do it on purpose, but my dad always brings home cookies and cake whenever he goes to the grocery store. He gets upset that I stock up on "diet" food that's on sale (I work on minimum wage so I heart sales!) and he doesn't have any room to store his "food". He compliments me that I'm doing great on my journey but then he shoves baked goods in my face. Roar!

02-16-2010, 05:54 PM
One of my coworkers is supportive but on Wednesday the cafeteria has fried chicken and peach cobbler of which I adore. I haven't had any since Jan 3 and she is always wanting me to come and she pays. Well the couple of times I've gone I only eat a salad, collard greens and a piece of baked chicken. No cobbler, no ice cream just baked chicken, veges and sometimes a quarter of a baked sweet potato. I don't like going over there because the temptation is not what I need to maintain my progress. She will say you can go, one meal won't hurt and you've been doing really good. Well this week they asked me today about going tomorrow and I said nope. I won't be doing that again because I can't count the calories properly and I have to stay on task. I know it seems like I'm being extreme but I gotta stick with my plan so I can get to my goal. I'm even like that with exercisesuggestions. They offer different classes on campus but one they are at the wrong time and two I have a workout schedule that I stick to because it's working and the classes aren't going last but a month and I need consistency for myself.

I think I may be a little overwhelming or annoying for some people because I'm very high strung and easily excited. So any progress I see I'm all about it. But I don't really care because this is about ME!!! I am finally in control of my body and not gonna let the small foxes ruin it for me.

02-16-2010, 06:03 PM
You know what? I no longer have ANY of those people regularly in my life. Why? Because they STOPPED DOING IT after I told them they either needed to KNOCK IT OFF or I couldn't be around them any more.

Case in point. I was 2 weeks (2 weeks!!!!) into my healthy living when my other mother brought over 2 grocery store bags FULL of chips that her HUSBAND would not eat!!!!! Hickory sticks, cheezies, bbq chips. Like all my favourites. I handed her BACK the bags and said no thanks... she handed them back and said they were for the kids... I handed them BACK AGAIN and said find someone else to give it to or they go in the garbage. And then I told her that this was NOT helpful and I could NOT trust myself around those foods and to NEVER bring them over again... lol!!!!

And so she never ever did.

02-16-2010, 06:16 PM
I hate that. It would be one thing if my friends were eating the food and I was drooling over it or something, but I'm not at all tempted by the food. They say things implying that I'm no fun or difficult. It hurts because I'm pretty easy going and an easy person to please. I tell them not to worry about what I'm eating. I literally say that now.

I mean, just Saturday night hubby and I went to a couples' house just to get together. They told us to come at 8:30 which is after dinner so I ate at home. It turns out they had planned to eat with us. So they made food and it was ready by 9:45!! I didn't have the calories left (and I wasn't at all hungry) and I definitely wasn't about to eat it. Anyway, they basically alluded to the fact that having me over was a challenge, food-wise, now. This was totally unprovoked. I didn't ask for healthy food or anything. Yet, somehow I make people uncomfortable by not eating crap at 10PM. Poor hubby is always stuck backing me up against all of our friends.

It's annoying but I think people will eventually get used to it. I have thin friends that definitely try to sabotage me and have, in the past, openly admitted to liking to go out with certain friends so that they feel better about themselves (of course they maintained that I was not one of those friends, yeah right).

Anyway, just stay strong, hold your ground. DON'T APOLOGIZE (I need to take my own advice). I think eventually they will start to feel uncomfortable making comments ALL THE TIME and they'll have to just stop.

02-16-2010, 06:18 PM
If you strive to always behave in your own best interest, you really don't have to bother spotting saboteurs, because no one can force you to eat something you don't want to. Their motives aren't really important, because you're not obligated to change your behavior because of their input.

I've stopped using the word saboteur when it comes to people whose behavior isn't (in my opinion) conducive to my weight loss. The word encourages me to believe that people are intentionally (or at best subconsciously) trying to trip me up (thinking abouth anyone's motivation other than my own tends to bring me more stress than I need in my life). When I start thinking about "sabotage" in that way, it encourages a paranoid and even antagonistic attitude towards others. "They want me fat," when a more accurate description would be "my weight loss isn't as important to them as it is to me" (well, no kidding. Of course my weight loss is more important to me than to anyone else. I wouldn't really want it any other way).

Most of the time, I think people's behavior has very little to do with me, - people generally are behaving according to their own desires and needs, not mine. When I realize that - I'm a lot less offended and a lot less tempted by other people's behavior. It's not about me.

I think people try to be supportive, but they may feel as hurt by our behavior as we are by theirs (and those feelings are just as justified). It would be just as natural for a person to feel "she's using dieting as an excuse to sabotage our friendship by refusing my lunch invitation."

I wouldn't assume that a friend asking me to lunch is trying to sabotage me, or even being inconsiderate. I'd think they were wanting to go to lunch and wanting to spend it with someone who would enjoy it. I don't have to see the behavior as sabotage to decline (or to accept and choose my food according to my best interest).

I can find something healthy on most restaurant menus. Thai restaurants are my favorite pro-dieting restaurant. I order papaya salad, laab, or Pho (and don't eat many of the noodles). When friends ask me to go to lunch, I don't see it as sabotage, but rather a gesture of friendship (that I don't have to accept, but that I don't have to decline either).

When I was working and dieting, lunch requests from coworkers felt like sabotage, and I refused until coworkers stopped asking. Then I felt snubbed (not relieved) when they started going to lunch without even asking me if I'd like to go. I felt they were doing it in retribution and punishment of my declining previous requests. In fact, I think people were trying to be considerate (or just tired of being rejected every single time).

I'm not saying any of us are obligated to go to lunch with someone just because they ask. I just think that it's usually an innocent gesture not motivated my anything darker, and we can accept or decline with that in mind. I also think that when we do accept a restaurant invitation, it's important not to fall into feeling (or acting) like a martyr. I have a friend who does that. We'll go out to a restaurant, and she'll make a fuss over how there's nothing on the menu that she can eat (even if she's the one who picked the restaurant). I'ved stopped giving her suggestions about low calorie options that I enjoy, because I just feel that much worse when she spends the whole meal complaining about the dish.

No matter what she orders, she'll complain during the whole meal about how she wanted to, or should have ordered something else. If she's ordered something high calorie she'll spend the whole meal complaining about it being a poor decision. If she's ordered something healthy, she'll spend the whole meal talking about how "good" she's being eating something so disappointing. She'll look at every plate longingly, and if anyone offers her some, she'll accuse them of trying to sabotage her.

When I make a health conscious choice in a restaurant, I don't advertise it. I act as if (and often it is true, and when not, I work on believing it) that my choice is the exact choice I wanted to make ("Mmm I want the salad, it sounds awesome", not [big sigh] "I guess I'll have a salad." When I decline dessert it's because I don't want any, not because "I'm being good."

As a result, we all enjoy the experience. I'm not saying that anyone has to make the choices I have, but it's a reasonable alternative to declining all lunch invites (which is also a legitimate option).

I just find that I do better when I don't contemplate other people's motives.

02-16-2010, 06:26 PM
I don't think they do it on purpose but I do have trouble with pressure to eat and drink from my sisters from time to time. And my mother... she has days she is good but more days when she says I should give myself treats and suggests that I eat some junk food.

02-16-2010, 06:53 PM
I posted about this very problem last weekend .When a friend or loved one tries to undermine your efforts for any reason.. whether intentional or not, it is just not acceptable. If you let it continue, eventually it could derail you. After giving it some thought, I decided that if the friendship couldn't withstand my new approach to eating, it would not be worth keeping.

02-16-2010, 06:59 PM
Amen to that! It wasn't the only reason I ended my friendship, but it was certainly a major consideration.

02-16-2010, 07:22 PM
While I find that what kaplods said makes a lot of sense and is right on on a lot of levels, I feel like this early on in my journey I'm still so used to pleasing people by agreeing to go to which restaurant they choose, or eating whatever they serve for dinner because I am afraid they won't invite me anymore if I'm "difficult"...

I think some people DO choose to be around me because I'm the "Fat Girl" who makes them feel better about themselves.

Living in the city going out is just a way of life, so I'm trying to find some non-food activities to do with people and re-evaluating who is supportive and who will tell me I'm not fun if I don't drink with them, and cut those people out of my life.

02-16-2010, 08:13 PM
I've had some people at work that thought I was blowing them off because I didn't order out with them. I explained that I was eating healthy and on days when my will is good, I eat with them while they eat their take out. In that case they really weren't trying to sabatoge me but missed my company. There are other coworkers that are always offering me sweet treats. My sister is one however that does want to keep me in my role as the fat one. The good news is that she doesn't live close by. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between sabatoge and people with unhealthy habits that want to spend time with you or show their affection through food.

02-16-2010, 08:27 PM
I must point out that, on occasion, I *do* find people who are genuine saboteurs. This is much rarer than the ones who are doing it unconsciously, but now and then there are people who don't want you to succeed. Why? Because it makes them look bad.

Case in point: Several years ago, I made an attempt to quit smoking. I proudly marked on the calendar each day I had gone smoke-free. Enter my sister who came to visit, took one glance at the calendar, and exclaimed, "Two weeks! You haven't had a cigarette in two weeks? You must really want one! Here!" No, she didn't shove the cigarette in my mouth and light it for me, and no she didn't stand over me with a gun to my head making me smoke it. But still.... (Please note that in the time since then, she and I have both successfully quit.)

I've had people do that with my dieting as well. I couldn't even put cream in my coffee without someone calling me fat, but then those same people would want me to join them in a dish of ice cream and act insulted if I didn't. It used to be that at family gatherings, all eyes were on my plate and what I was eating. If I took too much, or had dessert, they were ready with the snarky comments about my weight. But if I *didn't,* they'd pressure me until I *did,* whereupon they would commence the snark.... My therapist said they wanted to keep me fat, so they'd have something to put me down for.

Key words there, "it used to be." They don't do that anymore. I've moved 3,000 miles away from my home town. I had to teach my family that either they treat me with respect, or they don't see me.

And this is an unusual situation; most families are not abusive and dysfunctional in many other ways I have not noted here.

02-16-2010, 08:35 PM
Lol, the first thing Mammaw did last time she saw me, was say "Good Lord, girl, when did you get so fat?!" She is getting senile, and forgot I have been this size for two years, but still, it hurt. Luckily, they have learned from you, or something, and whether I have none or thirds, they usually leave me alone.

Now if I could just get my bf to stop hoarding candy-bars, lol.

Wild Vulpix
02-16-2010, 08:46 PM
Fortunately, I haven't encountered any saboteurs. However, I don't tell a SOUL that I'm dieting, and I haven't lost nearly enough for anyone to notice. The only two people in the world who know are my boyfriend, who couldn't care less what I do and don't stick in my mouth, and my father who, also, doesn't care one way or another. Both men are not struggling with their weight so there's no reason for them to be jealous, and I'm sure both would love it if I lived a healthier lifestyle.

With that said...

I never ever thought about it before, but now that I have, I have DEFINITELY sabotaged my best friend's efforts when she attempted to diet. My "oh, one muffin can't hurt, right?" and "We should make some fried oreos this weekend!!" certainly were NOT in her favor and I SHOULD have been supportive and more sensitive to her efforts. She doesn't hold anything against me, and probably doesn't even recognize it, as she would make the same comments and suggestions that I would.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my 'efforts' to stall my friend's diet were never intentional and I really DID feel that a little junk food wouldn't be bad. I love her to death, and there was never anything malicious going on in my head. Mind you, if she ever had declined, I wouldn't pressure her.

02-16-2010, 09:06 PM
I have some saboteur issues, but not too often and not too bad. My main saboteur is family and she's far away. My SO is on the whole very supportive, but every now and then he gets irritated with my dedication and wants me to "break out" a little bit more than I want to. I am learning a great deal about saying no to people...

02-16-2010, 09:14 PM
Lol, the first thing Mammaw did last time she saw me, was say "Good Lord, girl, when did you get so fat?!" She is getting senile, and forgot I have been this size for two years, but still, it hurt. Luckily, they have learned from you, or something, and whether I have none or thirds, they usually leave me alone.

Now if I could just get my bf to stop hoarding candy-bars, lol.


Mammaw (my grandmother) learned it from her mother, who used to greet me with a cheerful, "Well, you're as fat as a pig!" And this is when I weighed what is now my goal weight! She thought it was a compliment. I think the way Mammaw grew up, during the Depression in the Appalachians, "You're fat," only meant, "You're looking healthy. Good for you, that you can afford to eat so well." It was Mammaw who plunked that pie down in front of me after I'd said No several times, but it was her mother who used to cook a full meal for every visitor who happened to drop in on the way to somewhere else, and be insulted if they wouldn't stay to eat. And then she'd watch *everybody's* plate.... "Well, child, you haven't got any 'taters. Here you go." It did no good to tell her you'd already finished your mashed potatoes. Did not compute. Just sailed right over her head. And after you'd had thirds, you were stuffed to the gills, and you couldn't eat so much as a sesame seed, she'd protest, "Aw, you haven't eaten enough to keep a bird alive." Interesting that Grandma did NOT have a weight problem herself. Maybe she was too busy stuffing food into everybody else, to eat her own meal. (When I was a child, I used to think that this was exactly why her last name was Cook.)

I think this is the start of the mixed messages. "I'm going to call you fat, but I'm also going to dangle this food in front of your face and call you other names if you don't eat it." It's hard for me to say Grandma meant any ill will, and I don't think Mammaw did either, but some of the other family members, I don't know.

As for home sabotage, I've had a few rounds with hubby. He's overweight and diabetic just the same as I am, and he may not comprehend that even under ordinary circumstances, a typical woman just doesn't need to eat as much as a typical man does. He has greatly improved from constantly offering me food, and then ten minutes after I say No, coming back with "Are you sure you don't want any...?" Since I've gone low-carb he doesn't offer high-carb things any more at all, and I appreciate that. And of course he wouldn't offer me anything containing a corn ingredient, since I'm allergic to corn. I think he also thought he was being polite by offering to share, and he would never deliberately sabotage.

02-16-2010, 09:32 PM
I always find these threads so interesting...it comes up a lot!

From my perspective, relationships are basically built on a pattern of encounters...people establish "normal" ways of interacting with eachother that repeat over and over (inviting out to lunch, going to get junk food together, going out drinking...not to mention the social balancing acts of clothes shopping and going out at different sizes). These repeated interactions are a LARGE part of the foundations of a relationship - the two people have a routine that they go through. Often, that routine involves food.

Then, one person in that relationship decides to lose weight (and believe me, I'm not discouraging that decision AT ALL). They decide that the patterns of behavior that they had before with certain people are no longer a good fit for their personal goals. So the other halves of those relationships are suddenly getting a different response than they are used to, which changes the dynamic of the relationship. It isn't an insurmountable issue, but it takes time for the other person to break the patterns that used to be a big part of the interactions that the pair had. Unfortunately, that adjustment period comes at just the same time as the person who changed is trying to cement their new lifestyle...and that does lead to conflict.

There are people who try to actively sabotage weight loss efforts. But I'd venture to say that most people who come across as saboteurs are really just people who have to adjust to new forms of interaction with you. And that will happen, eventually, if you stand your ground and try for compromise (I'd love to get lunch with you, but there aren't a lot of healthy options there - maybe we could go to X instead, or you could bring your lunch back here so we can catch up while I eat what I brought from home). But labeling them as saboteurs and cutting them out, I think, eliminates a lot of friends who really COULD adjust to the new you, and just need some time to do it.

I try to remember that I am the one changing my behavior patterns...not them. And it's fine for me to do that (healthy, even), but I try to be patient and compassionate with others while I do so, because I'm the one initiating the change from the comfortable routines we've established to new ones.

Lori Bell
02-16-2010, 09:40 PM
Cute story Lovebirds...lol I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments....great thread.

I don't have any sabotagers in my life, because in order for them to sabotage me, I would heve to "let them" sabotage me. I won't let people do it, so they can't. Works pretty good.

I have however, like a few of you have mentioned, got the "you're no fun anymore" comments from people. (I'm also an ex-smoker and an ex-drinker) Since I'm kind of a dork, I usually break out in song..."Goody-two, goody-two...goody, goody two shoes. Don't drink, don't smoke...what do you do, you don't drink don't smoke...what do you do?

It usually shuts them up. ;)

02-16-2010, 11:18 PM
I've been doing pretty well avoiding the unintentional saboteurs. And I don't really have an issue with them, they're just doing what they are used to doing because it's what I used to do (join them for snacks, lunch out, etc).

And I feel fortunate that I haven't had to face the intentional ones. I do know they are out there though, because I have witnessed it. It definitely changes the dynamics of a relationship if one person goes from fat to fit and they want to maintain the status quo, which was working for them.

But overall, I think that the right people to have around you will ultimately support you, and if they don't, then it's time to assess whether they are someone you truly want to have around you.

02-16-2010, 11:25 PM
the only weight-loss saboteur i know is MEEEEEEEEEE and she's a hard b!tch to stifle some days hahahah. But seriously, NO ONE puts food in my mouth but me. People can try to manipulate me all they want, try to guilt me, blah blah blah but at the end of the day I can't for a moment imagine that what i eat (or don't eat) is of any importance whatsoever to someone else. If they went to a lot of trouble to make it, I politely say "wow that looks gorgeous, but it's way out of my calorie-price range today" I'm still a fun dinner companion, i just look out for myself and take care of myself, which means I'll be around for a lot more years to bug them all :D

02-16-2010, 11:27 PM
It definitely changes the dynamics of a relationship if one person goes from fat to fit and they want to maintain the status quo, which was working for them.

Yep. I had many, many people like this in my life...and as they adjusted to the smaller me, it took patience and understanding from me that I was the one changing the game, and an acceptance that eventually, they'd either like the new, game-changed me, or they'd end the friendships. And most of those relationships, even with the people who got really annoyed that I was losing weight and becoming "the skinny one" recovered.

Like it or not, all relationships are based on dynamics between people...and "she is heavier than me" is one of those dynamics. Not the only one, and certainly shouldn't be the most important one in determining a friendship, but one of them! And when you change those dynamics, the other people in the relationship need some time to adjust to that change too. And some people get mean/catty/irritable while they're adjusting. But I still don't think, for me, that's enough to end a friendship...because I'm the one that changed the game. Now if it continued and didn't improve, that'd be another story.

02-16-2010, 11:45 PM
Cute story Lovebirds...lol I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments....great thread.

I don't have any sabotagers in my life, because in order for them to sabotage me, I would heve to "let them" sabotage me. I won't let people do it, so they can't. Works pretty good.

I have however, like a few of you have mentioned, got the "you're no fun anymore" comments from people. (I'm also an ex-smoker and an ex-drinker) Since I'm kind of a dork, I usually break out in song..."Goody-two, goody-two...goody, goody two shoes. Don't drink, don't smoke...what do you do, you don't drink don't smoke...what do you do?

It usually shuts them up. ;)

hehehe Love it!!! Your voice rocks!! ;)

02-16-2010, 11:49 PM
I think I am my own saboteur as well, but reading all of your posts has been a wake up call for me. I wish I hadn't told anyone I work with that I was dieting, but I figured it was too much energy to keep it secret. Now I have people constantly "checking" what I'm eating....is that kind of a back door sabotage? I know they are "helping" me, but it's also that insulting I don't know what's good for me and can't control myself message.
Hey GiddyupKaos, I'm getting married to the man of MY Dreams on 10/10/10 too! Thank you to all of you for sharing your thoughts and stories. It helps.

02-16-2010, 11:52 PM
mandalinn, if you're not already on my buddy list, I'm adding you. I learn a lot from your posts.