Weight Loss Support - Guilt over not being the fat friend anymore




dcapulet
02-08-2011, 01:50 PM
I have two best girlfriends who I have known since junior high (about 19 years). I was 30lbs overweight at that time, and they were both very trim and popular with the boys. Still, we did everything together and had great times. They both had very stable and loving home lives, while mine was a horror show. My suffering became sort of our "thing".

Fast forward to now - I am still overweight (but working on it :) ) and both of these woman are very overweight - and gaining. Both are also having tremendous personal life issues which I know contribute to their weight gain. As the two of them continue to get bigger, I am getting smaller. Plus, I am happily married with two great kids, finishing up my advanced degree, searching for my dream job, and doing really well personally for the first time ever. And I feel guilty about it.

I can't help feeling that I'm throwing my hard work and good fortune in their face. And hopefully soon, I will no longer be the fat friend I always think of myself as - but will that oust me out of our friendship altogether? Do they NEED me to be the suffering fat friend?


synger
02-08-2011, 02:08 PM
I'm kinda facing this, too. One of my friends was skinny and sexy when we first met years ago. Over the years she's fluctuated a lot, but right now she's really ballooning up. When I finally went through my closet and stripped out all the 3x clothes, she asked if she could have them. I blinked, but said sure, and sent them home with her. She says she loves them.

I was remarking to my husband how I couldn't believe she liked the clothes... they were SO big, I was sure they wouldn't fit her. He just shook his head and said, "Honey, you don't realize how big she's gotten. You still see her as smaller than you."

She always has been. I can "see" her just fine, but I've always been the fat friend. I needed his eyes to show me that I'm not anymore.

It amazes me how our minds play tricks like that on us.

martinimouse
02-08-2011, 02:23 PM
I would caution against this kind of thinking. Our lives are in a constant flow of changes and circumstances, where you are at now may not be where you are at in the future. To base friendship ties to who is thin and who is fat, well, that frankly lacks sincerity and depth. Now that their weight has changed, maybe it is time to discover how YOU feel about that and if it influences your decision to be friends with them. It's good you are exploring it, but give it some thought about what you need from their friendship and be the friend to them that you want them to be to you.


Initiative
02-08-2011, 02:46 PM
It's a very difficult topic. I'm sure most people have this type of relationship with friends. The important thing is to remember that YOU are in charge of your health. You may want to be there for your friends but don't be there in the wrong way. Don't allow yourself to feel bad about being healthy. Your actions might even show them that things can be different. Trust me, the hardest thing is to let someone get in the way of your needs. You NEED this for yourself and your family. It sounds kind of mean but I'm not saying to disregard them completely, just don't bring yourself down with them.

dcapulet
02-08-2011, 03:27 PM
Synger - has the relationship between you and your friend been at all impacted because of your/her weight?

Martini - It makes no difference to me if they are fat, thin, whatever - I love them for who they are. Where I run into difficulty is that I feel sometimes they avoid me because I'm doing better than I have in the past. I'm not sure why this would be - but I try to be there for them no matter what. (Not always easy)

Initiative - I agree - I can't let them dictate how I live my life. I never thought that I would be worried about friendships being tested by my weightloss. It seems strange to me.

ncuneo
02-08-2011, 03:28 PM
I would caution against this kind of thinking. Our lives are in a constant flow of changes and circumstances, where you are at now may not be where you are at in the future.

I could not agree more with this. I have gone from the fat friend, the fat coworker, the fat daughter, the fat wife, the fat mom to the thinnest, but I'll tell you I just stay grateful everyday, because tomorrow it could all change.

dcapulet
02-08-2011, 03:31 PM
I could not agree more with this. I have gone from the fat friend, the fat coworker, the fat daughter, the fat wife, the fat mom to the thinnest, but I'll tell you I just stay grateful everyday, because tomorrow it could all change.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, so instead of me taking it the wrong way, could you please clarify? :)

ncuneo
02-08-2011, 04:14 PM
I think I was just mostly agreeing with Martini.

Your response to Maritini was that you feel like they are avoiding you, I would just question if they are actually avoiding you or if your perspective is changing as you get smaller and your life circumstances change and if maybe you are projecting a bit. I remember when I first started really losing weight I thought that all people heavier than me were being rude to me, well after posting about it here, come to find out it was more the attitude that I was projecting that was what was getting the reaction and that no one really cared how much I weighed. I have since really changed how I interact with people and the reaction from people has been quite different. So it really was me, not them. You say you feel guilty about your success, so I'm sure they may feel like you're pitying them a little bit and hence the possible avoidance.

I apologize if I offended you, I geninuely understand what you're saying, but I see these posts a lot about people saying that they've had friendships end due to weightloss and they always baffle me...I just can't imagine acting any different to a friend if they lost weight.

astrophe
02-08-2011, 04:33 PM
Martini - It makes no difference to me if they are fat, thin, whatever - I love them for who they are. Where I run into difficulty is that I feel sometimes they avoid me because I'm doing better than I have in the past. I'm not sure why this would be - but I try to be there for them no matter what. (Not always easy)

Sounds like the easiest thing would be to go "Hey, friend? Sometimes I feel like you avoid me. I know things in our adult lives right now are what they are and people don't always have time like they did as kids. But is it just me being all wiggy for no reason? Can we have a state of the union kind of talk or something just to... reconnect and touch base or something? I'm feeling disconnected and I don't want to be. "

And then see what happens.

I had a friend in the last year go "I feel like you guys don't want to by my friend any more" and I told her it was nothing like that at all and our third leg confirmed.

It was just easier to be friends when our kids were all in the same preschool and we were all sahms. Now it's a mix match of wohms and sahms, the kids are all at different elementaries, etc.

She was glad to have reaffirmation and we were glad she didn't just sit at home sulking over it. And we all agreed we couldn't do the meet 2x a week for kid playdates any more and a better goal for this new stage was maybe more like once every few months for mom coffee chit chat somewhere, but to keep it loose.

Nobody could be as patterned as we'd once been for Tues & Thurs at the park.

Friendships will weather the Life Stuff that rolls on by and can adjust as needed. Don't sweat it, and just touch base with your pals.

A.

dcapulet
02-08-2011, 04:51 PM
I think I was just mostly agreeing with Martini.

Your response to Maritini was that you feel like they are avoiding you, I would just question if they are actually avoiding you or if your perspective is changing as you get smaller and your life circumstances change and if maybe you are projecting a bit. I remember when I first started really losing weight I thought that all people heavier than me were being rude to me, well after posting about it here, come to find out it was more the attitude that I was projecting that was what was getting the reaction and that no one really cared how much I weighed. I have since really changed how I interact with people and the reaction from people has been quite different. So it really was me, not them. You say you feel guilty about your success, so I'm sure they may feel like you're pitying them a little bit and hence the possible avoidance.

I apologize if I offended you, I geninuely understand what you're saying, but I see these posts a lot about people saying that they've had friendships end due to weightloss and they always baffle me...I just can't imagine acting any different to a friend if they lost weight.

Absolutely no offense at all - what you say makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, I'm not pitying them - but that doesn't mean I'm not subconsciously. I haven't seen them since I've dropped weight, and I haven't even told them I was trying - and maybe that is the problem. Maybe they feel I am keeping it from them for some other reason.

I appreciate your sharing your experience - Maybe it's my outlook that needs some changing. It's interesting: I've spent most of my life downplaying my situation, and I've recently stopped doing that. Maybe I've gone too far in the other direction without even knowing it.

dcapulet
02-08-2011, 04:52 PM
Sounds like the easiest thing would be to go "Hey, friend? Sometimes I feel like you avoid me. I know things in our adult lives right now are what they are and people don't always have time like they did as kids. But is it just me being all wiggy for no reason? Can we have a state of the union kind of talk or something just to... reconnect and touch base or something? I'm feeling disconnected and I don't want to be. "

And then see what happens.

I had a friend in the last year go "I feel like you guys don't want to by my friend any more" and I told her it was nothing like that at all and our third leg confirmed.

It was just easier to be friends when our kids were all in the same preschool and we were all sahms. Now it's a mix match of wohms and sahms, the kids are all at different elementaries, etc.

She was glad to have reaffirmation and we were glad she didn't just sit at home sulking over it. And we all agreed we couldn't do the meet 2x a week for kid playdates any more and a better goal for this new stage was maybe more like once every few months for mom coffee chit chat somewhere, but to keep it loose.

Nobody could be as patterned as we'd once been for Tues & Thurs at the park.

Friendships will weather the Life Stuff that rolls on by and can adjust as needed. Don't sweat it, and just touch base with your pals.

A.

Good advice - just laying it out there I hope will help.

Thanks :)

synger
02-09-2011, 10:37 AM
Synger - has the relationship between you and your friend been at all impacted because of your/her weight?


Oh, no, not at all! It's just a perception thing to me. She's always been "thinner than me" in my mind, and it's a shock to realize she's heavier now. I've always been the fat friend.

But it hasn't actually changed any of my relationships that I can tell.

Deena52
02-09-2011, 11:00 AM
I fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to the projection issue. Because I avoided others when I was really heavy...and then even more if the ones I would have been hanging out with had recently lost a bunch of weight....I tend to get true vibes from others that a similar thing is happening with them when the situation is reversed. I guess that would be projection....assuming they feel the same way that I used to in that situation....over and over again.

Much of it could be that it's the general tendency to hide/avoid when we are really unhappy with how we look....but I do think there is also the issue of not wanting to hang with those who have recently lost weight and look much better than than they did before. Misery loves company. It happened to me more times than I wish to remember.

What can help is that I do not even mention anything related to my looks or my weight loss in front of them....unless they specifically ask me and even then I keep it very short. If one of them happens to want me to tell them how I did it in detail....I do it privately with them and not in front of the others. The only thing worse than having to hang around someone who has become much thinner than you......is to have them going on and on about it in front of you, I think.

But as far as the projection thing goes.....for me, I felt that way too many times myself....and I recognize it very quickly when I see it in how friends are responding to me. I know my friends pretty well and can sense the vibes....and I don't think I am imagining it or that it's totally due to me projecting my own feelings onto them (for the most part).

deena :hug: