Weight Loss Support - Private or Public...why?

View Full Version : Private or Public...why?

04-11-2011, 11:44 AM
I know there have been posts about this before...

A friend of mine on facebook has been on weight watchers for about 6 months now. She's been morbidly obese her whole life. She's tried WW and Jenny Craig ect and in the past has lost weight, but also gained it back.

We've dieted together and I'm not trying to jugde, but I think the problem that keeps her from keeping it off is that 1. She does not work out. She doesn't like it. The one time she went for a walk, though, she posted it on facebook about "working out" She and I have a membership to the same gym and she tells me she hasn't been in months, and she'd like to start walking, but hasn't. She will occasional message me on facebook and tell me she "needs motivation" to workout so we should go together...then she won't go!!
2. She never developes healthy eating habits, but rather diet versions of cakes, cookies, and other not so healthy foods. (and I am guilty of this in all my "diets" in the past though:^:)

So, she is on WW again and posting some weeks weightloss. I guess it seems weird because she is actually a very quiet, private person. Maybe if she were a more out going person it wouldn't surprise me. But she's also posting all the low fat cakes and cookies she's baking at home, and dishes like mac n cheese, all "low fat". (She includes pics too)

Irionically, I'm a very out going, up front person IRL, but I keep my weightloss very private. Only my husbands knows. Of course after almost a 50 lbs weightloss, people notice. And if they ask or comment, I'll acknowledge, but I don't put it out there.

In fact, I've gotten into running (at thet gym) about 5x a week, but I don't tell anyone I even go to the gym. I never put up on facebook that I'm going to the gym or went.

I know this might sound silly, but I feel like weightloss is a very personal victory and even getting into running. I'll tell you all on 3FC, but I feel like I don't need or want to tell anyone IRL, except if I am talking to someone that is into running AND the topic has already come up.

Do you keep your weightloss private or public?

04-11-2011, 11:48 AM
I make it public, though I don't update every time I go for a walk or exercise. Usually only if it's something big- like I walked an entire mile the other day. A mile really isn't that much, but for me, it was a huge feat. I don't think I posted about it though.

Sometimes I wish I didn't, because if I fail or slow, I feel like people will judge me more, but sometimes I just like to because it makes me feel more accountable. I don't even know how to explain it. ****, maybe after all these years of being ignored and looked down on, I just want some positive attention. Kind of shallow, but maybe that's part of the reason.

04-11-2011, 11:51 AM
I've noticed that the biggest introverts are the biggest posters on facebook.
Life of the party, extrovert people hardly post at all, even though they may lurk around.
I've occasionally made reference to big milestones (ie 10kgs lost) achieved on fb, but spare them all the details! I'm not even sure I want to continue doing that - do I really want them to know I was over 40 kgs overweight!

04-11-2011, 11:54 AM
I'm private or I try to be. :) I guess part of it's that I've done this before and gained again, and I don't to be embarrassed if I fail, don't want people asking about it.. Another is that my mom talks about losing weight ALL THE TIME and it drives me nuts, so I don't want to do that. So I try to be private, but little things sneak out. I pay attention to food and nutrition and sometimes can't help but comment, not on other people's choices, just on food in general. I will talk about my exercise, but only if it's the fun what-did-you-do-this-weekend sort.

04-11-2011, 11:59 AM
I may (strong emphasis on that may) post something on there when I reach my final goal and mention that I finally lost the baby weight. But I haven't decided yet. Most likely I'll probably just gradually start actually posting pictures of myself and letting myself be tagged in pictures again. ;) I have had people make comments that I look skinnier but I don't respond.

I really don't post much there anymore. I used to post more but my life's so busy and I don't feel comfortable posting about my weight loss journey (which is one of the big things that's been on my mind lately so I come here instead!). My reasons for keeping my journey private is a.) I don't want people judging my food choices, b.) I have a hard time admitting how big I got and I don't really want to advertise that and c.) there's been a lot of emotional work that's gone into this and that's very private for me.

04-11-2011, 12:04 PM
Public about being sugar free. Private about weight loss. Most people ask what I've done and I tell them I've stopped eating sugar. I never post on facebook about it, but I use my twitter account to show pics of yummy low sugar meals I make (my mom and friends like to see them- they've told me) and I send recipes to people who ask about it.

So, yes, my lifestyle is pretty public, but my weight loss journey is pretty much kept to the 3FC boards and discussions with my mom if she asks.

04-11-2011, 12:08 PM
I tweet about it and I blog publicly.

I never mention it on FB since I have more "friends" there.

04-11-2011, 12:13 PM
I'm very public about it as I know it helps me realize "I have to do this". And the more eyes on me, the less likely I am to falter.

I'm also a person who feels that secrets and 'hiding' things are harmful. Every time I've been secretive about something, it's hurt me more than being open. So, I'm open about my lifestyle change too.

04-11-2011, 12:21 PM
It sounds to me like your friend is trying to get some accountability. That method just doesn't work for me.

I tell people if it comes up. Like, my cousin mentioned that she was doing WW and I told her I was too. We'll send each other encouraging messages every so often. If it comes up in conversation, I'm pretty open.

But generally I'm pretty private. About everything. I don't post anything on facebook that I would be uncomfortable with the entire world knowing. I don't utilize privacy settings or anything like that, so pretty much an open book. An open book with very few details, and sure as heck not going to include my dieting endeavors as one of them.

04-11-2011, 12:24 PM
I think for some people making it public.. helps to keep them more accountable. Everyone at work knows that me and my friend are dieting together, and it helps.. because Im concious of what im eating when Im around them, and I also know they are watching to see which one of us wins our contest. Now for some people this would stress them out.. and would work against them. But Im competitive in my nature.. and it keeps me going.

However.. I wouldn't use my facebook, as a dieting diary. But shes a different person.. and whatever works for her is good for her. And for you keeping it private has worked great for you! 50lbs is an amazing accomplishment! :) Sooo basically what im saying is everyone is different, and I think everyone just has to find what works for them.

04-11-2011, 12:25 PM
Yipes that's a question.
I have 3 of my best friends helping me so I don't really have a choice witht hem but to be totally upfront. Considering one is my trainer hard not to be.
Otherwise, I had an accident a while ago and lost 33lbs in 2 weeks. (not recommended) and to recover properly from that I have to lose weigh. most people I know, know this but I don't really talk about it.
3FC and my blog are my outlets

04-11-2011, 12:47 PM
I am private about my dieting, but I do share my running success on Facebook. Not daily, but when I ran my first mile, first race, and farthest distance so far. Milestones I considered big. I didn't mention it at all in real life or on Facebook until I got through that first mile and was sure I would continue on though. Weight loss is personal to me and I will never share about that. Running is more of an open topic for me though.

04-11-2011, 01:02 PM
I'm public with the fact that I have food allergies and intolerances... mostly because our family has a LOT of friends who... when we go see them... want to cook us meals or take us out to eat... and it's important that they know those kinds of things.

As for my weight loss... I'm pretty private about it. It's not for the whole world to know. I can say something here or there "I would love to fit into this by _____... but yeah" and then go on with my life... but I don't journal my weight loss and tell the whole world about what I'm doing to exercise, what I'm eating, etc etc. Even online... on here... I'm not overtly open about it all. It's a personal thing... just something I'm doing. I don't need to let the whole world know. :)

04-11-2011, 01:04 PM
I was down about 70 lbs or so before I ever said anything to anyone outside my immediate family - and that's only because at that point people really started asking and commenting on it. I really don't like to be the center of that sort of attention - not sure why. I don't post many pictures of myself on Facebook (much more likely to post the kids' pics), but when I do, I generally get a ton of comments about my weight - complimentary ones, for sure, but it still makes me uncomfortable in a big way.

04-11-2011, 01:26 PM
I talk about my weight-loss efforts pretty openly if someone asks me about it but only with a few people on a consistent basis - my husband and my officemates. I talk with my officemates about it because when I started they were also talking about toning up, eating more healthy, visiting a nutritionist, etc.

I do find public accountability through my personal blog, though. I post once per week about my weight loss and once every ten weeks I link my blog on my Facebook profile concerning my milestones. I don't update my FB status that often though and pretty much never about weight loss stuff. I figure if people are interested enough in me to be reading my blog they are probably on board with reading about my weight loss project, and I've gotten a lot of good feedback through that, both on and offline. FB is too big of an audience for me, though - and the attention span is too short.

04-11-2011, 01:27 PM
I'm private about my actual attempt at losing weight and how much I've lost. Only a select few of my family members and ex-bf know just how much I've lost and that I'm still losing more.

HOWEVER...I sometimes will post statuses on facebook about going to work out. I guess I feel like trying to lose weight is different than working out...i mean most healthy people work out in some form or another. I feel proud of myself when I work out, and sometimes I like to brag a little lol. Also, it's fun to see what others are doing, and it's nice to get a discussion going about tips and tricks to working out.

But no, as far as weight loss is concerned, I generally keep that to myself. I just like to portray that I'm "getting healthier". Which is true, and I guess sounds a little less embarrassing than "I'm trying to lose 100 lbs".

04-11-2011, 01:33 PM
FB is a strange beast. Some people use it much like tweeting, others use it just to keep up with family and important things. It sounds like you two are very different FB users to begin with.

I don't like to do the "tweet" thing, myself. I'll post about things I'm truly proud of, like when we went caving. I posted after my first long run, 6 miles. But "Just got back from the gym"? No. I'm there every morning...what's the point? "Just ate dinner." :rofl: Uh...no.

I've been pretty private about this. In fact I wasn't going to let FB people know at all until I'd lost 100 pounds, but a picture I posted several months ago was taken as an "after" shot and I got tons of comments on it. I didn't want them and tried to talk my way out of it, but it didn't work. So the cat's out of the bag! LOL!

04-11-2011, 01:53 PM
I'll post about things I'm truly proud of, like when we went caving. I posted after my first long run, 6 miles. But "Just got back from the gym"? No. I'm there every morning...what's the point? "Just ate dinner." :rofl: Uh...no.

I totally agree. I posted when I lost over 60 pounds. I posted when I completed a 4 hr kettlebell workshop. I've posted about being at the gym before it opened because that's so not me. Crazy stuff.

I've now lost over 70 pounds as of this morning so I'll probably post an update when I know it will "stick". My FB family has no idea how much I want to lose (or what I weigh).

I do want to update my profile pic because it's back from my highest weight. I got a couple of good self-portraits over the weekend. But, I'm waiting until after Easter because I haven't seen my brother & his family since Christmas and will be down another 25-30 pounds by then. Plus, I have an awesome dress that I really want pictures in to post.

04-11-2011, 01:57 PM
I'm private except with some online friends who also share with me (we've known one another quite a while, a lot of them have met, talk on the phone, etc). If people notice that is great but I don't really mention it. I will talk to my mom about it a bit.

04-11-2011, 02:02 PM
I talk about my progress openly, I am very proud of it! Its quite obvious that I gained weight to people who have known me a while, but i dont feel shame about it. People at work know, my family, everybody, and its great. A lot of peopel ask me for help, tips tricks, and they get motivated too, and its just a big snowball effect. I post my progress every ten pounds or so, its not an all consuming thing, but it is a big part of me. I feel like a lot of people I know just look at losing weight as this impossible feat that cannot be reached, and its not true. It just takes willpower and hard work, and if I can do it (I admit I am lazy at times) anyone can.

04-11-2011, 02:05 PM
I don't ever post weight, and never about diet things like watching calories.

I will post about activities and exercise occasionally, but only in the context of commenting on life. You know, "hiking was awesome today, yada yada"

Not really because I wouldn't but because unless it's you, weight loss is super boring. LOL

04-11-2011, 03:02 PM
I don't post on FB about my weight loss... and I didn't really talk about it until I'd lost about 60 pounds. It becomes public then... everyoneknows and wants to talk about it.

04-11-2011, 03:16 PM
I make it public because then I know if I gain it back or give up people will be smirking and saying I told you so. I feel like in a weird way I have to prove myself and that keeps me from messing up too much. I don't go overboard with it or anything I just mention it on facebook if I've passed a major mini goal or something. I usually don't mention what I eat at all and I only mention exercise if I feel like it.

04-11-2011, 03:42 PM
I am private about it on Facebook because I have male gamer friends on there who wouldn't get it and my husband's family on there who have always been skinny and wouldn't get it.

The people around me know bits and pieces. My husband knows everything, then my mom and sister know a lot, and everyone else knows a little less. One co-worker and I share recipes sometimes as she grows a garden and I love fresh produce. Then my boss knows I started going to the gym.

There has been zero mention at work of "losing weight". Some have asked if I've lost and I just say, "Yeah, maybe a bit" but nothing about it being purposeful.

04-11-2011, 03:45 PM
I'll post about things I'm truly proud of, like when we went caving. I posted after my first long run, 6 miles. But "Just got back from the gym"? No. I'm there every morning...what's the point? "Just ate dinner." :rofl: Uh...no.


Exactly. I think the point I was trying to make is that she posts about things that, if this were a new lifestyle, in my opinion, would be so "everyday" that she wouldn't really post about them.

04-11-2011, 03:52 PM
I'm more of a private person. Especially when it comes to weight loss. I think there are some things that don't need to be shared with my facebook "friends". I've told people who need to know, ie I eat multiple meals with them about my efforts because I need their support in eating healthy foods. I've talked with friends about going to the gym and swimming with my boyfriend because we all discuss going to the gym, but I'm definitely not the one to bring it up. I can understand posting things like this to lots of people could be something to hold people accountable, but for me it's none of their business. And I'm a little embarassed at how much weight I need to lose, so I don't want to share actual numbers with people. I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far but I guess for me this is a private journey.

04-11-2011, 04:28 PM
Definitely private. It's not that it's a secret... Just not something I want to be a topic of conversation. I don't like being under a microscope, and I don't need others to keep me accountable (this is very individual, obviously) so it works for me. Sounds like your friend is a type who needs a lot of attention/encouragement though!

04-11-2011, 04:39 PM
I'm not super public about it but I usually post something on Facebook for big occasions like a really big lose or a super tough workout. I'm not constantly posting things though.

04-11-2011, 04:52 PM
I'm fairly public about it. I don't post for every pound loss (although occasionally I will say something), nor do I for every walk I go out on, but I am not hiding it. The people who actually know me, know I need to lose weight, and they live far away (they are mostly my inlaws). I like for them to know I am making life changes, because it helps them realize that I am working towards a healthier lifestyle for myself AND for my family (including my husband who could stand to lose a few pounds, and who was just diagnosed as diabetic in December).

As well, I find that the people on my friends' list, from games and other sources where I don't actually KNOW them, often have some great ideas on low cal foods that hadn't occurred to me. I posted to my status a lot when I quit smoking, and got TONS of support from family and friends, now I am getting that same support in my weight loss journey.

04-11-2011, 05:39 PM
I've always been very open about most aspects of my life, including my weight struggles. I can't hide my weight problem, so it seems ridiculous to pretend it isn't there. It seems even weirder to pretend I'm not doing anything about it.

I was put on my first diet at 5, and dieted with my Mom and Grandma. I never understood why we weren't supposed to discuss our diets with other people. It didn't make sense to me, because everyone (even strangers on the street) knew we were fat, why were we supposed to pretend we didn't notice and that we weren't trying to do something about it.

I still don't get that. And I think the culture of silence harms people and keeps many from seeking help. They're too ashamed and embarassed to ask questions.

Also I think even in weight loss groups, people tend to share the dramtic successes more vocally and enthusiastically than the failures and even the less dramatic successes. As a result, it can leave people with the impression that the dramatic successes are the most common, and when they don't have equally dramatic success they think they're failing, not realizing they're in the majority (just a silent one).

That's why I love my TOPS group. Not only do we go around the table and share whether we've lost, gained or stayed the same for the week, but the leader also announces the total gains and losses and net gain/loss for the group.

Recently I began averaging that number (dividing it by the number of members who weighed in), and began realizing just how small the "average weight loss" really is. It's made me feel a whole lot more successful.

It's still hard for me to feel successful, even though I've lost 90 lbs, because I'm losing slower than I seem to ever hear anyone else talk about.

I'm not alone, it just seems that way. The more public I've made my experience, the more people I have encountered like me. I thought I was alone, and failing miserably. Even as I get closer and closer to losing 100 lbs, it still doesn't feel like success because it's been so slow. But encountering people like me, I realize that it is success and while I may be a little unusual, I'm not (neither literally nor figuratively) the biggest freak on the planet.

Arctic Mama
04-11-2011, 06:22 PM
I'm somewhat public about it, as in everyone who I am close to knows I am losing, but outside of my blog and here the details are not regularly discussed.

04-11-2011, 06:31 PM
I guess I'm in between. I do not try to hide it from anyone, FB or otherwise. I also don't post every detail about it, but I also don't tell every detail to anyone IRL, though I come close with my trainer and my hubby. I posted recently about the fact that I can now wear zumba clothes, I posted when I climbed a mountain, I will post about a really good day at the gym, when I reach a big milestone, or if I find a really awesome recipe - things like that. I do not feel the need to post every time I go to the gym or every weigh in. However, if it might help someone else with their accountability then I don't mind seeing them do so, and I have a couple friends that do.

04-11-2011, 08:26 PM
I think its a bit of both...

I think its completely fine to be private with it and a little bit public... sometimes people are WAY to public about it, stating what they lost every week. That drives me NUTS. Also i do not like when people bring it up out of NO WHERE...
Example: someone always mentions how much they have lost when no one is talking about it or has asked about it...just stating a fact of "i've lost this many pounds"....

04-11-2011, 09:08 PM
My big thing is that I don't want to invite discussion. It seems like everyone and their mother has a list of absolute musts about weight loss, and in my day-to-day life I don't want to have to spend a lot of time trying to hide the fact that I am politely ignoring 90% of what people tell me. I much prefer places like this to generate ideas, because no one knows if you think that they are giving crazy advice!

Openly talking about my plan to the world seems like inviting the world to comment, and frankly I don't want a lot of feedback from the peanut gallery.

04-12-2011, 09:20 AM
Interesting how eveyone is different! :)

04-12-2011, 09:26 AM
I actually deleted my facebook account right before I started my weight loss, but for a completely different reason. I think, though I can live without it and it's probably better for me not to have one, that I'm going to create a new account whenever I reach my goal weight.

So in this case, private on FB, but public in real life. I just HAD to tell people when I lost 5lbs, 10lbs, 15lbs, got under 200, etc.

04-12-2011, 10:58 PM
I was fairly public because I was so excited about making the changes I needed to make. I hate coming off as one of those "I used to do X but now I'm sooo much better than that" people so I always took care to emphasize exercise victories and weight loss milestones - things that I DID rather than things that I STOPPED doing.

I stalled for a while and gained, due to binge eating sugar and being depressed (I can't tell which caused which). Now I am trying to lose again but I am keeping it fairly quiet, since people started paying a lot of attention to me and commenting on my weight every time they saw me.

04-13-2011, 02:01 AM
I talk about it IRL a LOT, mostly because most of my friends are trying to lose weight too. Even my skinny friend weighs herself and delights that she has lost pounds every time I have her over to my house. Its just something on all our minds, we all want to look and feel better. Not all of us (myself included) have our stuff together to actually do it.

Also I have lost about 30lbs since last year, while it doesn't seem like a lot people seem to notice and ask. I think also I am super active, and it seems to be inspiring (is that narcissistic?) to people well if someone her size can do aerobics, maybe I can too!

I don't post about weight loss but I may post about activities once in a blue moon, As an encouragement to get people out like "Looking forward to Aerobics @ {fill in location} tonight @ {the time} thanks @{aerobic instructor}!" Or "Yoga, {Location}, {time}, Be There! " when new sessions are starting.

That kind of thing, I just like to encourage my friends to get active. Its way more fun when friends are doing it too. And advertise for my friends that are instructors. Its just how I am. But I personally don't like to advertise for me.

Updating HERE on 3fatchicks is public enough for me. You guys get all the over-shared deets ;)

04-13-2011, 02:20 AM
my best friend and my fiance are both privvy to the details, my mother to a lesser degree. so i can have day to day support from people that love me, but i don't really discuss it much with anyone else. if i'm offered something junkfood or asked why i didn't participate in a potluck or something, i'll just wave it off with "gotta fit into my wedding dress!" not "i have to lose 135lbs so i can get pregnant at a healthy weight."

when asked if i'm losing weight, will say that "i'm trying to drop a few pounds for the wedding" (partially true) without giving many details. people at work and people on facebook just don't really need to know about all that. however, i do have a public blog that is linked on here.

with my best friend and my fiance cheering me on, as well as the group here on 3fc, i feel like my support system is complete. i feel like i'd be under a microscope if everyone in my day to day knew about my weight loss journey.

04-13-2011, 02:53 AM
When I was a c25K running coach, I used to post running-related material on FB--schedules, places to run, or just give encouragement to my other running friends. I now post running and Zumba announcements allowing people to know where I will be if they would like to join. But, I have never nor will ever post that I am "trying to loose weight" on FB. And after today, I am highly considering NOT telling anyone else I am "on a diet"--not that I am, per say. It is more of "getting back to the way I AM" instead of a "diet".

I say that b/c I went to visit my mom today and when I told her I was trying to loose 20 lbs b4 the end of the summer when we are planning holiday, she brings the biggest coconut cake from her pantry that she had made for a church meeting earlier in the day--then, she proceeded to bring an orange flavored cake out too.

I didn't eat either of them--although, she was FURIOUS :mad: when I wouldn't even taste one bite and "let her know how it was"!

Then, my DH--knowing how hard I am working to aggressively tackle this whole 20# beast--but is NOT healthy, nor is he concerned in being healthy--brought home a XL pizza for dinner and crammed it on the eye level shelf of the fridge GRRRRR :devil:
I said to him--Hun, could u please NOT place that XL pizza on the shelf that when u open the fridge, all that pops out is TEMPTATION!

I'm not trying to get anyone I know into loosing one ounce, but if they ask or if I think a site may be helpful to them, I will refer it. Otherwise, my weight and my goal weight is totally off the topic of conversation for public opinion!

((soon 2b ticker)) HA :D

04-13-2011, 08:17 AM
I don't have facebook, twitter, etc. accounts and I'll really only talk to most people about it if specifically asked, so I would say I'm pretty private about it..

04-13-2011, 11:49 AM
I'm private about it. I did say something one time about how I had finally lost the "baby" weight. The "baby" is 7 years old now! LOL I just thought it was funny.

I don't say too much because I'm in it for the long haul at this point. I've changed my diet and I'm not changing back. There's no point in bringing it up over and over. It would just bore people to tears. I mean, I'm happy for others who have hit milestones, and I come here to see how other people are doing. Here is where I have a commonality with other dieters, but on FB most of my "friends" don't want to hear about all that, you know?