Weight Loss Support - Jealousy?




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FiatLux
07-15-2010, 01:59 PM
Has anyone else experienced unexpected jealousy from friends and family over their weight loss?

A few of my friends have had somewhat negative reactions to my weight loss...and I've gotten the impression that some dislike the new confidence that came with it.

In addition, several relatives have been making some snide remarks - nothing that's meant to be intentionally hurtful, just comments along the lines of, "Wow. You're wasting away!" "Jeez. Don't you eat?" The other day, my older sister introduced herself to one of my friends with, "Hi, I guess I'm the fat one."

I didn't quite realize that I filled the niche of "fat friend/fat sister" so tidily... *eyeroll*

My sarcasm aside, it really is incredibly disheartening to get this kind of reaction from the people I love the most.


Eliana
07-15-2010, 02:02 PM
We all do kind of put ourselves into a category, which we should not do. I have always been the "skinny one" in my group of my friends, yes, even at 235 pounds. :rolleyes: The other two are now losing with me, but I started, so I'm still the "skinny one". If they had started first, yeah, I'd be very jealous! But you know what...that jealousy would have spurred me on to do something about it, just like I think has happened with my friends. They didn't want me moving down the scale while they did nothing.

You can't own how they feel. Jealousy is a normal and natural reaction to weight loss, I think, but it's immature of others to act on it or in any way show their feelings. ;)

matt_H
07-15-2010, 02:11 PM
I've seen the same thing happen with friends/ family members. As Eliana said above, I think it is often a normal reaction and not malice. I think when someone close to you loses weight it makes you feel a bit bad about yourself (especially if you are prone to depression).

Try not to take it personally.

I have noticed that several of my friends are very committed now to losing weight and making positive health changes in their life and I'd like to think that I was somewhat of a motivation for that.


Onederchic
07-15-2010, 02:17 PM
It happens with my sisters. It use to bother me but now I just brush it off.

Shmead
07-15-2010, 03:34 PM
I have had very little of this (thankfully), but I have, on several occasions, seen it on someone's face the instant they think I am thinner than them (I may or may not actually be at that point). At that point, the way they treat my weight loss changes--they may compliment me more, or less, or just differently, but there is a definite shift.

And several people started diets when I got close to their weight. They definitely didn't want me to be the thin one. I don't think it was mean spirited, just a sense of how the world is supposed to be organized.

workingonit
07-15-2010, 03:38 PM
When someone close to us or with a very similiar lifestyle starts losing weight, it can be a big challenge towards notions we have about ourselves and excuses we have for not losing weight. Some people are honest with themselves about it and look inward for what changes they need to make and implement them. Some just get jealous and passive-aggressive. A couple of examples:

1) I'm restarting after a year of inactivity and slacking off on the nutrition front. The inactivity and slacking led to a 40 pound regain. One of my motivations to restart was a high school classmate who has lost 100 pounds. I want to lose 80 from my current weight. One of my excuses was, "oh I'm 44, I'm not going to be able to lose weight like a younger person can." She did it with Weight Watchers & lots of exercise and she's my age. There goes that excuse. I can either cut back on the take out, eat more veggies & get off my butt & get moving or I can sit back and make obnoxious comments about her. Personally I think changing my own behavior is more productive even though it's more challenging. A lot of people want to take the easy way out.

2) A co-worker lost over 70 pounds on the old Weight Watchers and increased exercise bit. I was at my heaviest, 250 pounds, and my excuse had been the hours we had to work (got stuck late a lot). At least 2 other co-workers were very overweight as well. Once I saw her lose the weight, I had to admit my excuse wasn't accurate. So I got inspired and jokingly offered to sing Wind Beneath My Wings when she noted my weight loss and I was telling her she was a motivation. Others made cracks about how she had an eating disorder.

Eliana
07-15-2010, 04:20 PM
Shmead, that's how I see it. People have a need for a sense of how the world is organized and we're changing that. That's an uncomfortable feeling.

Workingonit, good examples! My cousin lost 100 pounds and she's ten years older than me. I was extremely jealous, but in a GOOD FOR HER way!! I felt and feel empowered by her accomplishment. I knew if she could do it, so could I. In the order of my world, she was supposed to be heavier than me. (Except, she actually wasn't. :o) I had to reclaim my order.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I think it's selfish of someone to expect you to stay in whatever order another person has created for you. If bothers the jealous person, their only choice is to change it or be angry, but if they choose angry, I would hope they'd keep it to themselves. How selfish to deny another person health and happiness, the two things we toast to the most!! :D

Cglasscock1
07-15-2010, 06:00 PM
I think that most of the time my weight loss as been seen as either an inspiration or a challenge, according to the nature of the person noticing. I've had both reactions from friends. If a comment is made about my weight loss, I don't dwell on it. I usually change the subject. If a friend came to me privately and asked how I lost the weight, I would, of course, be happy to help. But I find it's a subject best not discussed in a group of mixed weight people in which it might be a loaded issue. So I tread lightly.

Lori Bell
07-15-2010, 06:10 PM
I have noticed that several of my friends are very committed now to losing weight and making positive health changes in their life and I'd like to think that I was somewhat of a motivation for that.

I have noticed the same thing as Matt. I also feel as though some people are/were jealous (or maybe a better word...depressed) because I did it and they hadn't, but lately several of my friends have jumped on the wagon and have begun to lose weight too. I think it's wonderful! Maybe they would have eventually did it anyway, but these people were some of the worst at avoiding me after I'd lost a great deal of weight. They are now calling and wanting to go out and do stuff again. So maybe I did inspire them. :)

ETA: There are still a few however, that give me a really good look-over everytime they see me just hoping my pants are too tight. (at least that is how it feels to me.)

duckyyellowfeet
07-15-2010, 07:24 PM
My best friend is jealous, for sure. She likes to point out my problem areas and make small comments like "well, when I where that outfit, it looks different. But then, I'm smaller than you still" (she isnt)

It happens. Its not worth stopping. People are either going to accept it or they won't. But I can't just not be healthy because it makes other people feel less comfortable with me

synger
07-16-2010, 09:49 AM
I'm a little worried about this. I've only lost 30 pounds of a huge amount to lose, and you can barely notice. But I tell my husband what I've lost after my monthly weigh/measure, so he's aware of every loss. He's my biggest supporter and is VERY encouraging -- doesn't tempt me with food, is learning to cook low-carb (he's the main dinner cook in our home), cheers me on when I exercise, etc.

But he's also made some remarks that make me think he's feeling a little insecure about it. Not mean remarks to me, at all. More against himself, as he's gained a lot of weight in the past five years. "Soon I'll be wearing your size tshirt, and you'll be wearing mine" (I've always been heavier than he is) "Soon I'll have to beat the other men off with a stick" (I had a lot of boyfriends before him, and he knows it)

I have made a concerted effort to make sure he knows how much I love him. My reply to his last comment above was something like "Yeah, and I'll have fun telling them that I'm blissfully in love with my husband of 18 years, and not at ALL interested in some fly-by-night romance!"

He was comforted, but I definitely see some insecurity there.

All I can do is continue on my plan, and make SURE I let him know, often and loudly, how special he is to me.

I don't care what other people in my life think. Co-workers, MIL, siblings, church friends, gamers... they can all go hang if they don't like the changes I'm making in my life. But my husband is different.

leopardspots
07-16-2010, 10:21 AM
Change is hard for alot of people. When someone loses weight, gets healthy, becomes more attractive, more confident, it can change the dynamics and status quo of a relationship. Jealousy and insecurity are natural things to expect from changing one's appearance and lifestyle. I try not to let people's backhanded comments bother me because for the most part, I know the people in my life our supportive of my new lifestyle, but are unsure how to process the changes they see.

girlonfire
07-16-2010, 10:51 AM
When I was doing well losing weight, at about 20 pounds down, I started getting snide little comments. It usually tended to come from female friends of mine who felt that their status as the "hot one" was being threatened(despite the fact that at 220 pounds I was wearing a size 14) and they would make comments about how I was "anorexic"(I wasn't), that I worked out at the gym too much, etc. And then of course I gained it back and lost it again.

The second time around, right when I got back from abroad and had lost a good amount of weight, I went shopping with my sister. When we tried on pants, she realized we both wore pretty much the same size(except I'm shorter). All upset she said "I wear the same size as you now?!?!?!?!?" and I was like "Um, sorry if I'm the fat standard!". She's just so used to being the "skinnier" one and it made me mad that I'm this horrible breaking point.

So yeah, long rambling post, but I get how the comments can be difficult. I am bracing myself for that type of thing my FINAL time around the weight loss track. Except I'm kinda excited for people to be jealous of me...yes I am shallow!

Shmead
07-16-2010, 11:03 AM
All I can do is continue on my plan, and make SURE I let him know, often and loudly, how special he is to me.


You can do more than this: when he makes comments like that, you can say "When you say that, it makes me feel guilty for losing weight and that you would prefer that I didn't. I know that's not what you mean, but it's hard to see past the fact that my choices are hurting you. Because I love you so much, that's hard for me. Can we find a way for you to feel better? Because I don't want to hurt you but I don't want to stop losing weight, either." He probably has no idea that you are taking these comments like this: he's thinking of his own problems. Talking through these issues in a non-confrontational way will clear the air for both of you.

synger
07-16-2010, 01:48 PM
You can do more than this: when he makes comments like that, you can say "When you say that, it makes me feel guilty for losing weight and that you would prefer that I didn't. I know that's not what you mean, but it's hard to see past the fact that my choices are hurting you. Because I love you so much, that's hard for me. Can we find a way for you to feel better? Because I don't want to hurt you but I don't want to stop losing weight, either." He probably has no idea that you are taking these comments like this: he's thinking of his own problems. Talking through these issues in a non-confrontational way will clear the air for both of you.

Thank you for the clue-by-four. That's almost exactly the sort of thing I would have told my 9yo daughter if she were complaining about her friends saying something that hurt her feelings. Yet I didn't think to do it myself... and I'm a trained mediator! /sigh

It always amazes me how when it's personal, all my training and experience goes out the window and I revert to Jr. High (unsuccessful) methods of communicating emotions.

And THAT's why I've been a member on 3FC for over 10 years! Because I need your perspective so much. Thank you!

Quail
07-16-2010, 06:59 PM
I'm going through this right now. My best friend, whom I've known since fifth grade and is like a sister to me, is skinny as a rail and absolutely refuses to talk to me about my weight loss and exercise. She has had some eating problems int he past and is now pregnant with twins, so I'm sure she's going through some body image problems of her own right now.

Although I would love to talk to her about what I'm experiencing, I'm not. I'm just doing my thing and doing my best to make sure to tell her (frequently) that's she's beautiful. That's what friends do. :)

Shmead, that's how I see it. People have a need for a sense of how the world is organized and we're changing that. That's an uncomfortable feeling.

ABSOLUTELY!!! Plus, by changing ourselves, we sometimes run the risk of making people feel uncomfortable about who they are. People naturally compare themselves to each other and even judge each other. I am trying to remember this and am also trying to remember that maybe people don't WANT me to be their inspiration.

I didn't quite realize that I filled the niche of "fat friend/fat sister" so tidily... *eyeroll*

hahahahaha! Yep, that's the truth. I think I might have to go get some new friends becuase of this, but oh well.

TXMary2
07-16-2010, 07:34 PM
This is something I worry about sometimes. I am definitely the fat one of my current group of friends. They have never known me thin like my old friends. (We moved to a new state 5 years ago) I am not sure how some of them will feel when I become smaller than them. I really don't want the dynamics to change that much, but I won't diminish my success by pretending it's no big deal - because when I lose 100 pounds it is going to be a big deal!

Try not to let it bother you too much. Be proud of what you have done and however they feel is for them to deal with.