100 lb. Club - When people say nothing....




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ubergirl
07-12-2010, 12:47 PM
Saw some friends I haven't seen in about a year yesterday....

I'm pretty used to getting the "oh my god, you lost so much weight..." comments...

But I've noticed that sometimes people say nothing. This was the case yesterday. So, I thought, oh, I must have seen these friends more recently than I realized and I forgot about it.

Only later my husband told me that when I first got there, they were looking through the window and the wife saw me she at first didn't recognize me and then looked like she was going to keel over from shock....

I can understand why somebody might think it was impolite to blurt it out when they first see me, but why are people embarrassed to bring it up at all? I've gotten this reaction occasionally from other people...

For some reason, I always attribute it to thinking that they must think I had WLS and they don't know what to say.... but really I have no idea what they think. The other day, I was with my mom and when somebody mentioned my weight loss, she said, "and she did it all on her own..." And later, I asked my mom, what did you mean by that, did you mean, "she didn't have WLS" and she said, well, yes, because people wonder.

And, first, I mean, I don't really know what difference it makes-- except that I'm sort of a private person and I really don't like the idea of people secretly speculating about whether I had WLS or not, and secondly, I'm PERFECTLY HAPPY to tell people how I lost the weight if they ask.... but I hate it when I feel like that WLS question is always hanging silently in the air...

Just wondering if/how others have dealt with this...


nelie
07-12-2010, 12:53 PM
Sometimes weight loss can be a sign of illness so sometimes people may not want to ask and get personal. I don't know, sometimes it is something people don't want to bring up.

I had a funny situation where someone told someone else that I had lost weight and looked good (the person they told was someone that didn't know me prior to weight loss). The person who noticed never has said anything to me personally.

ubergirl
07-12-2010, 01:00 PM
Sometimes weight loss can be a sign of illness so sometimes people may not want to ask and get personal. I don't know, sometimes it is something people don't want to bring up.

That's true. But, honestly, I can't imagine that anyone would take my loss as a sign of illness-- I used to looked much worse because I was fat and didn't exercise, but now, I look very healthy and fit-- not sick at all...

It's not that people are OBLIGED to say something. It just makes me feel funny when they're obviously thinking about it but don't SAY anything. Maybe it's my issue.


TJFitnessDiva
07-12-2010, 01:00 PM
A lot of people that don't know me automatically assume that I have had WLS. I guess the general public just has that mind set now :/

If they ask me how I lost it, I tell them. If not, let them think what they want. I live in a small town & the rumor that I've had WLS has been around for almost a year :P at first I wanted to take a full page ad out in the paper but I can't manage to make myself pay that kind of money for it since we are going to Germany in September.

nelie
07-12-2010, 01:08 PM
That's true. But, honestly, I can't imagine that anyone would take my loss as a sign of illness-- I used to looked much worse because I was fat and didn't exercise, but now, I look very healthy and fit-- not sick at all...

It's not that people are OBLIGED to say something. It just makes me feel funny when they're obviously thinking about it but don't SAY anything. Maybe it's my issue.

I think it is similar to someone thinking someone is pregnant... better to say nothing than be wrong :) I mean, many internal illnesses that cause weight loss don't always show on the outside immediately.

If I know someone is working towards weight loss, that is something but I'd hate to say "congrats on the weight loss!" and then hear "I have cancer".

ubergirl
07-12-2010, 01:09 PM
A lot of people that don't know me automatically assume that I have had WLS. I guess the general public just has that mind set now :/

If they ask me how I lost it, I tell them. If not, let them think what they want. I live in a small town & the rumor that I've had WLS has been around for almost a year :P at first I wanted to take a full page ad out in the paper but I can't manage to make myself pay that kind of money for it since we are going to Germany in September.

LOL! A full page ad in the paper? Why didn't I think of that????

You know, my uncle, who was in his seventies at the time, lost 100 lbs a few years ago. He told everybody he did it by counting calories, but I absolutely did not believe him. I thought he must have had a lap-band put in and was lying about it. LOL. Then, one night at dinner, I saw him putting food on his plate, and it was lots of salad and a pretty big serving of meat and I was thinking in my mind... hmm that doesn't look like a lap-band sized portion.... maybe he's telling the truth. LOL and that's my own uncle!

Thighs Be Gone
07-12-2010, 01:12 PM
I think the real answer varies person to person. Most of the time, I think they are haters. A small percentage of the time, I think people MIGHT consider rude to bring it up. In either case--KEEP ROCKIN' IT! The next time you know you will see *HER* make sure you are lookin' even HAWTTER! :)

Shmead
07-12-2010, 01:13 PM
I really didn't want people at work to think I had WLS because I work with The Most Unpleasant Person in the World and she DID have surgery and she talks about it to anyone and everyone in graphic, disgusting detail (I mean, talks about purging McD's with people she's never had a conversation with before. She has no boundaries). Because we were already the two biggest people on campus and because she is so, so unpleasant, I've spent the last decade distancing myself from her one way or another (people used to call me by her name sometimes. It was awful). The problem isn't her weight--it's just she's a nasty meglo-maniacal bully and I really don't want to be associated with her.

So once my weight loss was obvious I made sure to tell 3-4 key gossips that I did NOT have surgery, and that did the trick. They predictably told everyone else.

What's weird to me is when I meet people I haven't seen through this and who are only distantly connected to me (friends of friends, or teachers at other campuses) and they are clearly not surprised--which means that they've heard from somewhere. I think that extreme weight loss is so unusual that the news of it spreads as deeply as the news that someone had a baby or got cancer: it's big news, and people talk. I am not a huge fan of being the subject of gossip, but it's still better than being fat.

catherinef
07-12-2010, 01:33 PM
I get plenty of leading questions, where the person asking is obviously trying to find out if I've had WLS. And, wow, it sure does irritate me, not because I think that there's anything wrong with having WLS, but, you know, I didn't.

caryesings
07-12-2010, 01:40 PM
I have a friend who is a nurse who really hates the whole WLS thing so if anyone compliments me on weight loss in front of her, she IMMEDIATELY jumps in with "and she did it without surgery".

matt_H
07-12-2010, 01:41 PM
My brother had weight loss surgery and he is doing amazingly well. I'm really happy for him and how it has changed his life. I honestly do not have a problem with WLS and the people who have it done.

That said, I don't like people assuming I've had it. I don't know if that makes me a hyporcrite or a bad person. I had one friend directly ask me if I've had the surgery and I know that other people have speculated that I had it done.

When people ask me about my weight loss, I usually say "its been a long slow process and I'm nearing 3 years since I've been losing weight".

Fressca
07-12-2010, 01:41 PM
Sometimes weight loss can be a sign of illness so sometimes people may not want to ask and get personal.

This happened to me recently; I ran into someone at a party whom I haven't seen in ages (and I don't know her very well, she's a friend of a friend). She'd lost a significant amount of weight and, although very slim she didn't look... WELL. So I didn't comment on the weight loss, just gave her a hug and said it was good to see her. Interestingly, our mutual friend said later that C. had lost a lot of weight but didn't look healthy, and she didn't feel good congratulating her on the weight loss either.

Gosh, there's a lot of "she's" in there; I hope it's sort of intelligible!

ETA: And maybe it's different in Canada - I think WLS is not so common here as in the States (at least for now). It wouldn't occur to me to assume that someone who'd lost major pounds had had surgery.

Rosinante
07-12-2010, 01:45 PM
Sometimes weight loss can be a sign of illness so sometimes people may not want to ask and get personal. I don't know, sometimes it is something people don't want to bring up.



Last time, I not only lost a lot of weight, I cut my hair short. To me,I looked gamine. One of my colleagues asked if I'd finished my chemotherapy.....


and also

Sometimes people don't like to say Wow too much, in case you think they think you looked pug ugly before.....

Shmead
07-12-2010, 01:54 PM
That said, I don't like people assuming I've had it. I don't know if that makes me a hyporcrite or a bad person.


I think it's this: WE know that WLS isn't the "easy way out", but I think other people THINK it's the easy way out and I don't want them to think it was easy, not for any reason. And let's face it, the sort of people that clearly want it to be WLS are often the ones who are looking for a reason to minimize our accomplishments/find a reason why they haven't done it.

koceank29
07-12-2010, 02:02 PM
I think it's this: WE know that WLS isn't the "easy way out", but I think other people THINK it's the easy way out and I don't want them to think it was easy, not for any reason. And let's face it, the sort of people that clearly want it to be WLS are often the ones who are looking for a reason to minimize our accomplishments/find a reason why they haven't done it.

Absolutely, couldn't have said it better.

nelie
07-12-2010, 02:13 PM
Last time, I not only lost a lot of weight, I cut my hair short. To me,I looked gamine. One of my colleagues asked if I'd finished my chemotherapy.....


and also

Sometimes people don't like to say Wow too much, in case you think they think you looked pug ugly before.....


Yeah there is always that "Wow you look great"... "how did I look before?"

And not even just things like cancer but there are also mental diseases such as bullimia/anorexia as well which are things many women struggle with.

ubergirl
07-12-2010, 02:16 PM
Matt I agree.

As a health care provider, I have decided for myself, and for my patients that I counsel, that WLS is really NOT the best method for people who are on the lower end of morbid obesity and who otherwise are in good health. To me, it's very hard to justify the possible short and long term risks of the surgery, and the very REAL possibility of developing chronic health problems, against the forecast of FUTURE health problems that MAY arise from obesity down the road...my position is informed by the fact that I often end up being involved in the care of patients who have had WLS and who are currently bouncing around between specialists because nobody really wants to "own" the long-term problems.

That being said. I think there are people for whom WLS really is pretty much a last-ditch effort to stave off severe morbidity, and for those people it can be a great solution. Some people have devastating health consequences and just can't lose it by diet and exercise-- some have impaired mobility, or other problems that make it MUCH MUCH harder. While there are some amazing people, you being one of them, who have lost 200 lbs or more, but the degree of personal commitment to that kind of weight loss is no doubt greater than the "average" person possesses... but a person who could diet to below a BMI of 35 within 3-4 months, like I was able to, that person should not need WLS, IMHO.

And yes, there are healthy people who do not suffer a lot of complications AND lose the weight with WLS and are happy... but I say, if you are healthy and ABLE to lose it the old-fashioned way, then why roll the dice?

Most healthy people who choose WLS believe that they "can't" lose weight by moving more and eating less. And boy do I understand that mindset-- I lived it to disastrous result for more than 20 years.

I hope that someday my professional interest in health and my personal interest in weight loss will dovetail so that I and people like me can start an awareness movement. YES, WE CAN (lose weight and keep it off...) Because right now, it's just not seen as a viable option because everyone believes it's impossible. I truly believe that I never would have lost the weight if I hadn't stumbled upon 3FC. There are more tools available here than at my doctor's office-- by a LOT.

Ok, off my soapbox now.

But, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets embarrassed by the issue.

matt_H
07-12-2010, 02:37 PM
Okay, so I just brought up the "people assuming you had weight loss surgery" thing on my personal blog. One of my friends said "your weight loss has been pretty dramatic and steep, I can see how people would assume you had it done".

I told him its been 3 years! I'd love to be able to send him my weight log (which I can't because of the computer crash) so he can see that this has not been a fast process at all.

Lori Bell
07-12-2010, 03:05 PM
I have a friend, an honest to goodness real life friend who has never once commented on my weight loss. Not once, not ever. I see him fairly often, (at least once a week), and he farms some of our ground for us. He is also overweight by probably 75 pounds (now) and pushing 50 years old. It is kind of weird that he has never mentioned it, when his family (who are all overweight) have been supportive of my efforts. Interestingly, within the last few months this guy and his parents (who are our nearest neighbors) have began to eat better and I have noticed that they have all lost a significant amount of weight. I have commented on the parents weight loss and have told them how awesome they are doing, but I have decided to not say anything to the son. It is my guess that maybe these things are not discussion worthy to him, or maybe it's embarrassing, or maybe he is just a jerk...lol. Anyway, I do hope they all continue their new way of life, because it is so rewarding, but I'll never mention his weight loss to him.

As far as weight loss surgery goes, yep...I've been "accused" of secretly going under the knife by countless people. It's funny though, I never thought it was the easy way out, I think the way I did it was much easier, (calorie counting and moving more), than what I have seen from the several people I know who have actually had it done. I personally know 4 people who have had gastric by-pass and one lap-band person. Only one of them ever got to "goal" and all of them have put back on all (or around 1/2 in one case) of their weight. They all still have some sort of health issue including depression and malabsorption problems... So yea, my way...way eaiser than the knife. I wish the general population around here would realize it too.

catherinef
07-12-2010, 04:58 PM
It's funny though, I never thought it was the easy way out, I think the way I did it was much easier, (calorie counting and moving more), than what I have seen from the several people I know who have actually had it done. I personally know 4 people who have had gastric by-pass and one lap-band person. Only one of them ever got to "goal" and all of them have put back on all (or around 1/2 in one case) of their weight. They all still have some sort of health issue including depression and malabsorption problems... So yea, my way...way eaiser than the knife. I wish the general population around here would realize it too.

Yes, this, exactly. Surgery, which always carries a risk, and the possibility of severe, terrible, life-threatening complications is anything BUT the easy way out. Compared to getting cut open, having my guts rearranged, and having to take zillions of vitamins for the rest of my life, when I can barely remember to take ONE multivitamin a day, and knowing that the worst that eating some foods is going to do to me is cause the scale to go up, not make me violently ill? No, I took the easy way out by doing it the way I have. WLS is not easy, no way, and I wish that it would stop being presented as some kind of miraculous, easy way to do it. It's tough, and the people who go through it are much braver than I am.

And what Matt said, too. Fast? My God, I have been at this for TWO years, and I've just now made goal.

dragonwoman64
07-12-2010, 04:59 PM
And not even just things like cancer but there are also mental diseases such as bullimia/anorexia as well which are things many women struggle with.

sort of off topic, but I have a female cousin who spent a period of her life with anorexia. I saw her and told her she looked great. she didn't, she was very, very thin, her hair had that that very fine quality. Later I felt so mortified that I had said that to her. I think I've had such intense personal experiences of thin = good, it skewed my reaction(!)

a family member of mine had wls. he initially lost a lot of weight. he's had some serious life stuff he's had to deal with, and basically tanked dealing with food issues. he has binge problems, won't be active or exercise (he has knee and disc problems), and has gained back much of the weight. Terrible.

ChrissyBean
07-12-2010, 08:29 PM
I personally never, EVER mention a person's weight loss. Ever. Even if I think they look fantastic. I find weight to be a very personal thing--they may like to be complimented, but they may not, too, and I don't want to make someone uncomfortable. It probably comes from the fact that I hate being put on the spot like that.

PaulaM
07-12-2010, 08:30 PM
I know a lot of people who get very offended when people notice they lost a lot of weight, because many people "say too much", and say things like you look so much better, you were so huge before etc. I'd never comment on anybody's weight but would let them bring it up first. It's much safer that way. All I ever do now is hug them and say it's GREAT to see you.

Matilda08
07-12-2010, 09:42 PM
I have a friend, an honest to goodness real life friend who has never once commented on my weight loss. Not once, not ever. I see him fairly often, (at least once a week), and he farms some of our ground for us. He is also overweight by probably 75 pounds (now) and pushing 50 years old. It is kind of weird that he has never mentioned it, when his family (who are all overweight) have been supportive of my efforts. Interestingly, within the last few months this guy and his parents (who are our nearest neighbors) have began to eat better and I have noticed that they have all lost a significant amount of weight. I have commented on the parents weight loss and have told them how awesome they are doing, but I have decided to not say anything to the son. It is my guess that maybe these things are not discussion worthy to him, or maybe it's embarrassing, or maybe he is just a jerk...lol. Anyway, I do hope they all continue their new way of life, because it is so rewarding, but I'll never mention his weight loss to him.

As far as weight loss surgery goes, yep...I've been "accused" of secretly going under the knife by countless people. It's funny though, I never thought it was the easy way out, I think the way I did it was much easier, (calorie counting and moving more), than what I have seen from the several people I know who have actually had it done. I personally know 4 people who have had gastric by-pass and one lap-band person. Only one of them ever got to "goal" and all of them have put back on all (or around 1/2 in one case) of their weight. They all still have some sort of health issue including depression and malabsorption problems... So yea, my way...way eaiser than the knife. I wish the general population around here would realize it too.

Lori I couldnt have said this better. I know so many people who have gotten WLS and almost all them had some problem. My sister almost died. In my situation I just dont think I need to be cut. I think I can do it alone of course with god on my side. I agree that our way is easier!

SarahD140
07-12-2010, 09:46 PM
i've had no such experiences since I'm no where near that stage yet, but WOW!!! you have lost so much. Thats awesome!!

lovemyboy
07-12-2010, 09:50 PM
It's just one of those things that is sometimes awkward for people.

I just saw my bro in law for the first time in 6 months and he did a double take but didn't say anything.

I have one friend who has lost and gained 40 lbs three times in the past 5 years. The first attempt I complimented her and she got mad and accused me of saying she was unattractive before. The last two times I didn't say anything other than congratulations and only after she brought it up.

GoldenLeaf
07-12-2010, 09:54 PM
I think it is similar to someone thinking someone is pregnant... better to say nothing than be wrong :) I mean, many internal illnesses that cause weight loss don't always show on the outside immediately.

If I know someone is working towards weight loss, that is something but I'd hate to say "congrats on the weight loss!" and then hear "I have cancer".
I have to admit I'd choose not to say something if I didn't know for sure the weight loss was deliberate.

I once congratulated someone on their pregnancy only to be told they'd had a miscarriage. I felt mortified and wanted the ground to swallow me up. Of course she didn't mind, she knew I didn't know and wouldn't have known (it had only happened a couple of days prior) but since then I've been really careful not to blurt out congratulations. Of course if I KNEW they'd been on a diet or joined a gym I'd be effusive with congrats.

As for WLS, if I knew someone had the surgery and it worked, I'm congratulate them just as much. It still takes effort, and it takes some courage to go under the knife, courage I'm not sure I'd have. It's not the easy way out.


Oh and of course there is the issue of making TOO big a fuss makes it seem like you thought that person was unworthy or hideous when they were bigger.

It's a fine line! :S

losermom
07-12-2010, 09:59 PM
As far as weight loss surgery goes, yep...I've been "accused" of secretly going under the knife by countless people. It's funny though, I never thought it was the easy way out, I think the way I did it was much easier, (calorie counting and moving more), than what I have seen from the several people I know who have actually had it done. I personally know 4 people who have had gastric by-pass and one lap-band person. Only one of them ever got to "goal" and all of them have put back on all (or around 1/2 in one case) of their weight. They all still have some sort of health issue including depression and malabsorption problems... So yea, my way...way eaiser than the knife. I wish the general population around here would realize it too.

I was "accused" of secretly going under the knife by my own doctor! He asked me more than once and in more than one way during my last visit. :( There are also rumors that I have had WLS or cancer, neither of which is true.

Personally, I don't mind when people I haven't seen in some time do NOT comment on my weight. I'm kind of a private person about my weight. I have had people not recognize me and/or say really stupid things, so saying nothing is sometimes preferable. :) I do love it when people just say that I look great, or even better, younger than my chronological age!

LitChick
07-12-2010, 10:05 PM
I work in a public library and now have the issue of people who frequent the library coming up and complimenting me, asking me what I've been doing, etc. It makes me very uncomfortable for virtual strangers to comment on something so personal.

As for friends, etc. there came a point where I went from being flattered/grateful that they noticed and commented, to wishing they'd stop. I am looking forward to the day when my weight loss becomes a forgotten issue!

I've never had anyone ask me point blank about WLS and honestly before reading this thread, it never occurred to me that people would be thinking that.

JulieJ08
07-12-2010, 10:16 PM
I can understand why somebody might think it was impolite to blurt it out when they first see me, but why are people embarrassed to bring it up at all? I've gotten this reaction occasionally from other people...


There have been ever so many posts on 3FC in which people complain about how awful, offended or embarrassed they feel when someone comments on their weight. I would assume people are sensitive to this or have had the misfortune of previously hurting someone when trying to make a positive comment. That, or they have been reading 3Fc :)

jenlag
07-12-2010, 10:19 PM
I would imagine not everyone is comfortable about talking about weight loss/gain. Similar to how if you haven't seen someone for ages and you see that they've GAINED 100 pounds! You wouldn't say anything directly to them, but you would probably gasp and keel over! I think talking about weight loss, weight gain, being tooooo skinny, fat, tall or short is just a sensitive subject. We assume that if someone is small maybe they don't mind hearing it but reality is that some folks do.

I ran into an old coworker the other day and it was a brief 'how are you' type greeting and passing, but the reality is I've lost 60lbs since we've seen one another and I later found out that he's lost 47lbs. But neither of us mentioned it to the other one.

I had another encounter with another friend on the 4th. I was downtown and we were walking towards one another. I spotted him and continued walking directly up to him and I guess it was freaking him out because I was staring him down and he's thinking, who is this crazy woman! But as I got closer, he realized it was me and we hugged and he said, "I almost didn't recognize you!" There was no additional mention of looking good or the weight loss, but it was unspoken and not necessary.