Weight Loss Support - Rant




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shimmmer178
04-06-2011, 08:57 PM
So i'm not really sure where this kind of thing would go but I need to get it off my chest.

I have recently started this journey to a happier, healthier me. I have a few close friends that I see multiple times a week. The first is the one who actually got me into and has been going to the gym with me ( being new to the gym scene I felt nervous and overwhelmed) and has always been at a healthy weight.
The second has always been somewhat overweight. She had a baby almost a year ago and has been complaining about her weight ever since. She wants to wait til it gets warm out to go walking and hope that she can lose some weight and wants me to walk with her.

Here is my issue. I do not believe in preaching to people when it comes to weight loss. Either you want to do it or you dont. I was uncomfortable in my body and decided I did not want to be fat the rest of my life. I am taking the This friend is asking me if there are certain things I recommend, what foods I eat, what exercises I do. Thats great, I'll tell you the plan i'm working with, the stuff I'm doing, the times I go to the gym, and I take it that she's also interested in losing the weight. Then she makes excuses why she can't do any of that and tells me shes thinking of taking a "fat burner" pill...
Why ask me and let me go through everything if in the end you're not going to "hear" a word I've said and just do something you consider "easier" than the hard work.
I feel like its almost a slap in the face. "While you're monitoring calories, and exercising daily and breaking a sweat, I'm going to try this pill and hope I lose weight"
I'm sorry if this seems mean, it's just something that i've been dealing with a few times a week lately and I'm not sure how to handle it.
Advice is GREATLY appreciated!!!


milmin2043
04-06-2011, 09:21 PM
I do the same as you. If someone doesn't ask, I don't preach and I don't give out unsolicited advice. However, if someone asks me, I tell them exactly how I've lost 92 lbs in 10 months without pills or surgery. ;)

Whether they choose to listen, or take advice, is completely up to them. People want the quick fix. We are a quick fix, impatient society. We want the fat gone NOW. Who the heck wants to hear about exercise and diet, yada, yada, yada.................yawn!

People want to hear some ridiculous story about how you lost 50 lbs in a month eating exactly what you were eating and laying around the couch. Now, THERE'S news!! Look at all the magazines at the checkout counter. They are loaded with articles about the latest, greatest fad diet that is guaranteed to make you lose tons of weight without changing a thing. No one would buy a magazine that shows a woman who lost 2 lbs. in a month.

If someone asks, tell them what you are doing and let it go at that. If they take your advice, great! If not, don't worry too much about it. Try not to feel hurt or upset. It's just the way of our society.

shannonmb
04-07-2011, 07:06 AM
I'm sure she was hoping you'd say, "oh, I have been taking this pill and it just melts fat away!". When you started talking about diet and exercise, ewww, no, that's not for me!

I don't see how it can be construed as a slap in the face to you -- she is obviously very impressed and intimidated by what you are doing, she's just not sure she could keep up with your pace. It's a compliment, really. ;) Just keep doing what you are doing, and maybe she will be inspired at some point.


Ruthxxx
04-07-2011, 07:42 AM
I'd consider the subject closed and just carry on. If she asks again, tell her you've already answered. I'm a tough-love old hen after years of practice.

carter
04-07-2011, 07:57 AM
There's no reason to be angry or upset about this because her reaction has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with her and her readiness to do the hard work of losing weight.

Look at it another way - before you committed to your process this time, how many times had you told yourself all the reasons why eating less and exercising more wouldn't work for you? If you are anything like the rest of us, you in that same place yourself, possibly not even that long ago.

So, your friend isn't ready to make the commitment yet. Fine. Why get upset or angry about that? It's not about you. You've told her what you're doing. Let her keep looking for her magic button while you continue your hard work and attain actual results. That, more than any lecture, will get the point across to her about what is necessary. When/if she's ready, she'll remember what you told her.

fatmad
04-07-2011, 08:06 AM
alternatively, when people ask you could say, "oh you don't want to hear about it, diet and exercise are boring until you are ready to embrace it" and leave it there.

JayEll
04-07-2011, 08:34 AM
Unless you are a weight loss expert, your friend is just having a conversation between friends. She asked because she wondered what you're doing. She's an adult, I presume, and will make her own decisions.

It can be annoying when we tell people information that has worked for us and they seem not to pay attention or follow our advice. But that annoyance is about us, not about them.

Jay

carter
04-07-2011, 09:41 AM
alternatively, when people ask you could say, "oh you don't want to hear about it, diet and exercise are boring until you are ready to embrace it" and leave it there.

I don't recommend this. It can easily come across as condescending - people do not like being told "you're not ready." Even if you know in your heart it is true, please for goodness's sake do NOT tell your friend "you're not ready." Just provide the information - as you did - and then let your good example help her come to grips with her own unreadiness.

kaplods
04-07-2011, 02:02 PM
I feel like its almost a slap in the face. "While you're monitoring calories, and exercising daily and breaking a sweat, I'm going to try this pill and hope I lose weight"
I'm sorry if this seems mean, it's just something that i've been dealing with a few times a week lately and I'm not sure how to handle it.
Advice is GREATLY appreciated!!!

So any time you've ever asked someone to share their experience on any topic, after hearing it, you absolutely always followed their example to the letter and would never have even thought of choosing a different path? And if you did choose to do it a different way, then it was only because you wanted to hurt and offend them, right?

Most of us do occasionally ignore good advice and have to find the right path through experience (hopefully the good advice will help us see and fix the mistakes earlier rather than later). It doesn't mean we've slapped anyone. It just means mistakes are sometimes more powerful lessons than the best-meant advice.

It's also important to remember that people are getting "advice" from many sources, not just you. If you get 500 opinions, you can't follow them all. And sadly the most common opinions are still that only fast weight loss counts for anything.

I can't tell you how many times someone was excited to hear about my weight loss (especially when I tell them it was easy), until they learned that it took six years.

I don't blame them though. I'm not all that impressed either (because I wasn't taught to be). I was raised in the same culture that says "we want rapid, easy weight loss - we admire rapid, difficult weight loss, and anything else isn't worth considering."

We need to be acknowledging that even small progress is progress. Even small steps are worth celebrating.

We need to reward people for getting on the path, even if we're convinced they're heading the wrong direction. But instead we reward the successes (and only the rapid, super dramatic ones), not the attempts and the small successes.

shimmmer178
04-07-2011, 07:40 PM
Thanks everyone. I realize that my "rant" may have come across the wrong way. I am annoyed, not because shes "not listening to my advice", but because she is constantly complaining without ever doing anything about it. Its hard being the "Friend" and when another friend has a problem not being able to do anything to help accept offer my support which I am. That doesn't mean I need to be happy that i'm fielding the same questions multiple times a week, when that party doesn't intend to do anything about their current situation. I think i'm just going to write down what I do and let her do what she wants to. She knows i'm there if she needs and exercise partner and i'll leave it at that.

kaplods
04-08-2011, 02:25 AM
I think it's important to remember that the "complaining but not doing" is a normal part of the change cycle. Almost everyone goes through it. The person who instantly decides to change and then does without any internal or external sign of struggle - well I'd argue that person doesn't exist.

Google "Stages of Change" or search for it here, and you'll find people talking about it.

The complaining but not yet doing, usually falls into the contemplation or early preparation stages. That's not "doing nothing" it's the first active step. They've already moved past the first level (denying or diminishing the problem).

We all have areas in our lives in which we're at different stages, including the "complaining but not doing stage." While you've moved past that stage in terms of weight loss (at least temporarily, because relapse is also a normal part of the cycle), there's surely other areas of your life in which you're currently at the "complaining but not doing stage."

Maybe it's your job or your income or spending habits you'ld like to change, or your dating choices/patterns, or wanting to get better organized, or giving up smoking or caffeine... or any of a million changes you'd like to make to your life...

Unless you feel your life is perfect in every way except the weight loss, or unless you never complain to anyone ever (in which case you wouldn't have posted the rant) you've been where she is, and you'll be there again - if not for weight loss, then for something else.

"Relapse" is even part of the normal process of change. Most people do not make an easy transition to changes. Once they decide to change, most people experience at least a relapse or two before "getting it right."

It can be frustrating - but frustration comes from unmet expectations. If you understand that this is entirely normal, you'll be more sympathetic. Or not.

You're not obligated to give sympathy, but you're also not entitled to it from others either. It's the karmic effect of sympathy and support. The more you give, the more you get when you need it. And you will need it, because it's quite likely that you'll relapse at some point and someone you ask for support could say "it's so frustrating. She asks for advice and then doesn't take it."

I'm not judging, because the frustration is normal, but it's something that has to be fought. Because you don't see her efforts, even if you're with her 24/7 - you only see her complaints and her "failure" to act.

I had a rude awakening myself on this matter recently. My husband and I are both trying to lose weight, and we have different ways of going about it. I had been "holding my tongue" but was resenting that my husband wasn't as far along on the weight loss journey as I felt I was. He still ate foods I thought he shouldn't be eating. He still rejected going to TOPS (taking off sensibly a weight loss) group with me.

Then I found an old medical report of his from our doctor. And in the last three years, he and I have lost about the same amount of weight. I didn't see his weight loss, or the progress he'd been making, because I was focusing on what I saw as his failures.

It's a lot easier to see other people's failures than our own - even people we love and live with. My husband and I are both disabled and spend virtually24/7 within a few feet of each other, and it's still easier to see our own progress than each others. We get frustrated because we have different strengths and weaknesses, and the weaknesses are a whole lot easier to see.

The thing is that frustration about other people's change progress doesn't help them, and it doesn't help us. The frustration is a destraction that makes you feel frustrated and superior which helps neither you nor your friend. Because when you do see finally see a change, frustration will have built up to the point that instead of thinking "Good Job" you may think "about damned time" or even "too little too late," all of that normal, but not very supportive.

Also, if you do relapse some time in the future, are you going to be able to reach out for help to this friend (if she's at a strong point) or to someone else -- or are you going to hesitate to ask for help because you assume everyong will be thinking about you, what you're thinking about your friend now? Will you be so afraid of your failure frustrating other people, that you you won't ask for help when you need it?

Compassion is easy when people are doing what we can admire or at least understand. Compassion is far more difficult, when it's needed most - when the person isn't behaving in a way we can understand or admire. We don't need compassion when we're succeeding, we need it when we're falling short.

GlamourGirl827
04-08-2011, 08:46 AM
I know this is a bit off topic, but when someone comments on how much weight I'm lost, how I'm done it, ect, I usually respond with something like "I feel great. I started exercising / eating healthy to lose weight, and never realized how good it would make me feel even if the scale isn't moving. Depending on the person, I might tell them about more energy, I'm happier, my sex drive is better ;) I'm less stressed and have more patience...ect

You can't get those things from a weight loss pill. Just a thought. :)

shimmmer178
04-08-2011, 08:55 AM
Thanks Glamour... If she mentions it again, I may talk about those benefits as well.

melissakd
04-08-2011, 09:52 AM
I know this is a bit off topic, but when someone comments on how much weight I'm lost, how I'm done it, ect, I usually respond with something like "I feel great. I started exercising / eating healthy to lose weight, and never realized how good it would make me feel even if the scale isn't moving. Depending on the person, I might tell them about more energy, I'm happier, my sex drive is better ;) I'm less stressed and have more patience...ect

You can't get those things from a weight loss pill. Just a thought. :)

^5 Great answer!