Weight Loss Support - Comparing my own habits to others'




ahyessophie
06-08-2011, 01:08 AM
Hey everyone,

So I've noticed myself developing a new bad habit lately, especially since I've signed on here and have committed to a new, healthier lifestyle. In becoming more in tune with my own eating patterns, weaknesses, and small victories, I've been watching other people with much more scrutiny also. When I see friends who I know are saying they're concerned with their size or health indulging or outright binging, I can't help but judge. Sometimes it'll just be an affirmation to myself that I'm glad I'm not giving into that temptation, but other times the thoughts linger more and I'm wondering 'how can someone do that (binge/over do it) while complaining about their own appearance?'

I know it's toxic and condescending, but I am also frustrated listening to friends complain about how they look but seemingly making little effort to change it. The worst part is, I know EXACTLY how someone can give into temptation even when they desperately want to change. I know I need to change my attitude towards others, understand not everyone has experience a kind of health epiphany (not that I have any losses to be proud of yet), and accept that they will take care of themselves in their own way and at their own time and pace...but I don't know how.

Has anyone else experienced similar feelings? What did you do to change your attitude? I don't want to try and encourage someone to get on the wagon for fear of patronizing them, so I'm not really sure what to do. :?:


Lovely
06-08-2011, 01:32 AM
We feel great for doing something healthy! ...Why is that person not also doing something healthy? *stare and struggle not to open mouth*

It's natural. We found the key to success and happily want to share it ... even with people who don't want to hear it.

It doesn't make us bad people, we just have to use some of that will power towards keeping our mouths closed until someone specifically asks for help! =)

Mickey79sf
06-08-2011, 03:12 AM
Just gonna be honest on this one.. i hope u aren't actually saying these things to those people who u are judging because that would be f*ck up. it is wonderful that you have found that spark that has you wanting to change your life for the better, but then to cast a judgemental eye on someone who hasnt reached that point is just flat out wrong to me.. im sorry to sound so harsh, but i have had that eye cast on me before and its not fun.
mickey


Jesscobedo
06-08-2011, 03:15 AM
Glad you brought this up ahyessophie. I often find myself judging other overweight people or feeling bad for them. I hate when I think this way because for so long I was very overweight and still am!!!!! I have lost over 50 pounds (whoohoo) but I am still struggling to loose the last 30. I think it is great that you are aware that you are having these thoughts and they are not productive. Sometimes just bringing awareness to a habit can help you change it.

I believe the best way to lead is by example. When you start kicking butt on your weight loss it will show and people will naturally start following. I have people ask me for weight loss advise pretty much everyday at this point and I LOVE to talk about it. Just focus on you and your goals and if you are having these negative thoughts bring your awareness in and focus your thinking in on something positive:)

AshleyLaurent
06-08-2011, 07:29 AM
The fastest and most efficient way of obtaining a goal is to focus 100% on yourself. If you focus on others, then your energy becomes diverted and you have less focus to use on yourself.

Blondie160
06-08-2011, 07:40 AM
Oh my god ahyessophie, i have been thinking the exact same thing about my overweight friend recently and i wonder when i turned into this monster! Although i judge her more because its for health reasons but she still hasnt done anything about it, I still feel awful for it!!

SunnyJee
06-08-2011, 08:18 AM
My view is slightly different... I have some friends that are overweight, and they are whom I consider "foodie friends". Our social events always surrounded food (dinner out or night in revolving around food). Since I have changed my lifestyle for quite some time, you can imagine that I don't see them as often now...

I try hard not to internally question their lifestyle, even when I KNOW that they want to lose weight (heck, one has full-on type 1 diabetes), but happily indulge in very bad foods ALL THE TIME. They even write about it on their facebook updates...like as if it's something to be proud of "OMG, just had the most amaaazing cookies from blah blah blah bakery-you guys have to try!".

They resent my weight-loss and lifestyle change, I know it. They have gotten much better about not conveying it to me anymore. But I guess I would be happier for them if they had the mindset that they are happy/accepting of being overweight and just enjoy indulging all the time. But the fact that they DON'T want to be overweight and acknowledge that is mind-boggling to me. The only time I like to complain about things is when I am also discussing ways of CHANGING the situation and improving it.

Ah well. Maybe sometimes I just get kinda bitter inside knowing how hard I work, day in and day out for everything I earn and every pound I lose. It's hard as heck. Maybe it grates on my nerves that they go on about how skinny I am and how nice it must be for me, when they couldn't even IMAGINE what I had to do just to get here. Even when I tell them about my exercise and diet regime, they will never REALLY know my daily struggles. To be honest, they don't want to know...

But I am eternally grateful that I made the changes, and that it's working. I wouldn't trade places with them in a second. Because I already have lived the life of eating and gorging on ridiculous foods and then doing it all over again the next day. The payoff of getting to eat whatever I wanted was NEVER worth all the other sacrifices I had to make for the food (gaining endless weight, hating to look at myself, avoiding mirrors eventually, losing self-esteem, wondering if people were talking about my weight, food comas, boyfriend at the time becoming more disgusted with my body, etc).

I guess I was just ready to do it. And I don't know if they'll ever be ready.

celrae
06-08-2011, 08:47 AM
Stop it!:^:
I compleetly get what you are saying and I have done the same thing. I am now on week 7 and I have noticed that my concern with others has faded. Now the perspective is more about keeping myself going and just fitting into life and other peoples bad habits. Also, a few close friends have sent me text when they are working out to show support and let me know they are trying, it nice to see. Even if they are doing it half way it is a start.

Currently I have trouble eating dinner at my Mom's. I ask if I can have some of the salad before she puts dressing on it and I end up with a dressing soaked salad with cheese and croutons, every time. There is a solution to this but, very frustrating.

shannonmb
06-08-2011, 09:02 AM
I totally get what you are saying, and I think it's just human nature. Once we find the "answer", we don't understand why others haven't jumped aboard, even when if we are honest with ourselves it wasn't very long ago that we were in their same boat. Just like an ex-smoker is probably more disgusted by cigarettes than the average person, it can be hard to look at what people are doing to themselves with food -- probably because it hits dang close to home.

My sister has been gaining and is probably close to 300 lbs now. Sadly, that is not even close to my high weight!!! But I want SO badly to just say "PLEASE JUST DO WHAT I'M DOING! It's not that hard once you get over the initial hump! You can totally do it if I can, WHY WON'T YOU!!" But then I remind myself that just a little over a year ago I was feeling that same "I just can't do it" thing. My best hope is that I'm sending enough positive vibes and proof that it can be done that she might just jump aboard one of these days. She's definitely contemplating and open to the discussion, and in the meantime, I just keep my mouth shut about her choices. Definitely don't want to alienate or be the food police!

Marmot12
06-08-2011, 09:25 AM
Alot of people want to lose weight but there scared of change. I found that with myself...i wanted to be slim but i always found excuses or got depressed and carried on eating. It wasnt until everything clicked and i found the willpower and motivation to really start doing something about it.

I think this is the case with many people they want to lose weight but get comfortable in themselves even if there unhappier. And sometimes change is scary especially if they have no selfesteem or are unhappy with themselves theres always that fear that they will still be unhappier even when there slimmer.

But on the other hand i know a few people who are curvy, big and are happy that way! they have confidence in themselves and dont want to change :)

Lori Bell
06-08-2011, 10:11 AM
I can tell you one thing for sure...you can't preach to the choir. Your fat friends will lose weight when they are darn good and ready. The only thing you can do is lead by example. Right now, according to your side bar thingy you have lost 2 pounds. 2 Pounds is a great start, but hardly enough to be noticed on most people. Even if you did start preaching to them, they would probably not even take you seriously because...well, you haven't lost enough for them to even notice yet.

Keep on your path, continue to better your body. If your people are anything like the people in my life they will either 1. follow your lead, 2. try to lead you astray, or 3. abandon ship.

From experience I can honesty say that your best bet is to keep you lips sealed and only answer questions when asked! :)

170starting
06-08-2011, 10:26 AM
Hey everyone,

So I've noticed myself developing a new bad habit lately, especially since I've signed on here and have committed to a new, healthier lifestyle. In becoming more in tune with my own eating patterns, weaknesses, and small victories, I've been watching other people with much more scrutiny also. When I see friends who I know are saying they're concerned with their size or health indulging or outright binging, I can't help but judge. Sometimes it'll just be an affirmation to myself that I'm glad I'm not giving into that temptation, but other times the thoughts linger more and I'm wondering 'how can someone do that (binge/over do it) while complaining about their own appearance?'

I know it's toxic and condescending, but I am also frustrated listening to friends complain about how they look but seemingly making little effort to change it. The worst part is, I know EXACTLY how someone can give into temptation even when they desperately want to change. I know I need to change my attitude towards others, understand not everyone has experience a kind of health epiphany (not that I have any losses to be proud of yet), and accept that they will take care of themselves in their own way and at their own time and pace...but I don't know how.

Has anyone else experienced similar feelings? What did you do to change your attitude? I don't want to try and encourage someone to get on the wagon for fear of patronizing them, so I'm not really sure what to do. :?:


The best advice I can give is REMEMBER HOW WE ALL GOT HERE. You wouldnt be trying to lose weight if you werent once in their shoes. Everyone has to do this on their own time. Instead of judging them, ask them to go for a walk with you.

Beach Patrol
06-08-2011, 11:32 AM
While I try VERY hard to not be judgmental of others, I too find it increasingly difficult, especially when they complain of their fatness & then seemingly do nothing to change it.

But as other posters have pointed out, it's human nature to judge. It's what we do. We can only see the world through our own eyes; never through someone else's eyes. We can try to be sympathetic and empathetic & all other kinds of "etics" but the bottom line is we want health & happiness for those we love & care for.

Usually, if a fat friend or family member starts harping about their weight (all the while stuffing their mouth with another slice of pizza or another bag of chips) I just smile and say "You know, only YOU can do anything about it. If you want some good support & advice, try 3FatChicks-dot-com. That's where I go and so far I've lost "x" pounds." :^:

Then, if they want to talk further, I let them take the lead & am more than happy to answer any questions I can. But if they just wanna sit there & b*tch about their fatness while continuing to add to it, then I don't feel bad for them. After all, IT'S THEIR CHOICE.

SCraver
06-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Hearing someone complain repeatedly about an aspect of themselves/their lives they don't like but then do nothing to change it = drives me nuts. Not just weight loss - but anything. Career, love life, etc. Complaining about the same thing over and over does nothing to change the situation. You have to set goals and make a commitment and take steps towards those goals. And hearing someone complain day in and day out about something they are doing nothing about can be frustrating.

But what can you do. We are all human. We judge. We make mistakes. I agree with the PP's that said the best thing you can do is lead by example.

mzKiki
06-08-2011, 08:50 PM
I get what you're saying, but how many times have YOU ordered the cheesecake, or had that burger you know had wayyyy too many calories? We didn't get to be overweight by eating salads and carrots. So we don't have the right to judge others because we finally had our moment and now want to change.
I find myself being annoying telling people how many calories everything has in it. But not everybody cares, and that's okay. These are still my friends & family and I love em thick or thin.
Hopefully me being healthier and looking better will motivate some of them and then they will make a change. If not then that's okay too. Next time one of your friends complains about their appearance, realize that sometimes people just want to vent.

Nola Celeste
06-08-2011, 08:58 PM
Hearing someone complain repeatedly about an aspect of themselves/their lives they don't like but then do nothing to change it = drives me nuts. Not just weight loss - but anything. Career, love life, etc. Complaining about the same thing over and over does nothing to change the situation. You have to set goals and make a commitment and take steps towards those goals. And hearing someone complain day in and day out about something they are doing nothing about can be frustrating.


This!

It IS frustrating to listen to someone complain about a thing that is within their power to change, but that they do nothing to alter. Weight is only one thing like that, but it's the one you're noticing because it's the thing you're working to change.

Sometimes being completely direct is the best way to deal with it: "Honey, you talk to me a lot about _____, and I don't really know what you need me to say to you when you talk about that. I can give you the best advice I know or offer you my support as you change or just be a sympathetic ear, but I need to know what is it you're looking for. When you tell me how much ____ upsets you and I don't know what to say to help, it bothers me."

I see what others are saying here about how we would've received advice on weight loss before we were ready to lose, but there's a difference between someone who simply isn't ready and someone who constantly mentions how much her weight bothers her. She's asking you for something, you just have to find out what it is. Failing that, you might need to wean yourself off of that friendship because it can't be healthy for you to hear a constant outpouring of negativity from someone who will neither change what's bothering her nor shut up about it.

My weight bothered me constantly, but I would've bitten my tongue off before I would've confessed to how uncomfortable I was or how much of a struggle it was to keep up with others physically. People who complain all the time need to learn either to fix it or to stop complaining. It's so draining to be around perennially negative people.

DixC Chix
06-08-2011, 10:03 PM
Failing that, you might need to wean yourself off of that friendship because it can't be healthy for you to hear a constant outpouring of negativity from someone who will neither change what's bothering her nor shut up about it....People who complain all the time need to learn either to fix it or to stop complaining. It's so draining to be around perennially negative people.

This!! Some people are so unaware of their own negativity. I remember an exercise from a communications class to find a way to turn negative statements into positives i.e., "Don't forget" should be "Remember". I still try to do this... when I can remember! ;)

ahyessophie
06-09-2011, 06:47 PM
Sorry for such a long response, but so many of you had made interesting and crucial points. Thanks so much for weighing in (ha!) on my issue.

No, Mickey79sf, I am not saying these things to my friends. I was writing about trying to curb the thoughts in my head that I'm finding to be more destructive than productive.

Jesscobedo - I'm glad you can relate, and I think you're totally right about leading by example. Seeing some of my own friends and family (my own mother at 55 y/o has become far fitter than I am in the past couple years) make healthy choices has been a HUGE motivator and incentive for me to change my own life, and I'd rather have a positive influence over others than drag them towards temptation like I have been.

Blondie160 - Monster is the best word I could use to describe this feeling. I didn't think I was the type to judge my friends like this, but trying to lose weight has focused so much attention on my own looks and health that I think it's starting to occupy my mind more than it should. Like AshleyLaurent said, I need to refocus my attention on my OWN weight loss rather than weight, food, etc. in general.

SunnyJee - that sounds like a really tough situation with your friends. Inevitably, people whose lives are based around different values are going to become distant. It's a shame more of them haven't been inspired by your transformation and made changes, but perhaps it will come with time. A lot of my friends, especially the guys, are more than happy to load up on beer and after-party pizza multiple times a week. I'm still trying to figure out ways to keep this part of my social life intact but without having it negate my efforts to get healthy.

celrae - it's encouraging to hear that after a few weeks these thoughts faded. I'm hoping that when these changes become permanent and I get out of the transition from eating what I want to eating what I should, I'll be paying less attention to what others are doing. Hopefully your mum takes the hint soon and lays off the dressing and extras, that stuff can be deadly!

shannonmb - here's hoping your sister will learn a lot from you and your incredible weight loss (congrats!!). She will be lucky to have someone who knows exactly what it's like to help her through it.

Nola Celeste - I think I'm the same in that I rarely confessed to anyone that I was uncomfortable with my appearance. It's just not a conversation I would want to have. If she's wanting me to help her in some way (as a friend, not as someone thinner or healthier than her), I would be happy to. I just don't know how to do that unless she gives me some more information as to what she needs.

I think one thing I didn't make clear in my original post is that my current attempt at a lifestyle change is a quiet one. I've come clean to only two people (boyfriend and mum...and 3FC of course) that I am trying to make a serious change, so I think I'm far from being "preachy" about it. I haven't told anyone how much I weigh or how much I have to lose or how many calories I eat in a day or how bad a particular food is for them as they're eating it. If people want to ask me about it when I've reached a noticeable change, I am completely open to discussing it. But until then, my efforts are remaining private.

luckymommy
06-09-2011, 07:08 PM
I think that judging someone for struggling over their weight while I am succeeding would be similar for judging someone who falls off the wagon after we both completed rehab for drug addiction and I'm still on the wagon. Personally, I have tried for years to lose weight and have been up and down a lot. I can't seem to get this right and of course I'm hoping that I do, but I think it has given me a sense of empathy for people who can't get their weight to a healthy range either. I'm only saying this to you in hopes of helping you and not at all as an insult or anything like that...so please believe me. :hug:

ahyessophie
06-09-2011, 09:15 PM
luckymommy, that's a large part of my problem... I have often been that person, dissatisfied with myself but still not doing much to better my situation, and STILL I am struggling with understanding it now that I'm trying to change. I think one part of it is that I've never been much of a binge or emotional eater, and so it's a behaviour that I have a hard time understanding. The other part is the complaining, which some other posters have aptly pointed out can be incredibly frustrating.

Mickeypnd
06-09-2011, 11:23 PM
the thing with me that I do, is I complain about my weight, buy the things I need and get lazy...like I KNOW i hate being this big I KNOW if i want to change i need to put the cheeseburger down, but i don't
or I eat not when Im hungry, but it''s there. sometime I wont stop eating unless I am so full i just can't stop, or i have run out of the food.

it's a battle. some days I good, some days Im not. I seriously think food and soda are my drugs. . :/

Snoofie
06-10-2011, 03:44 PM
Well...I do see where you're coming from. I noticed a while ago (I guess after I'd lost about 10-15 pounds) that I was looking at other overweight people differently and wondering why they weren't doing something to change their situations.

But then I realized something. When we look at strangers, all we can see is what's on the outside. When I see that overweight woman in the grocery store, and she's buying food that isn't necessarily the healthiest, sure, I could judge her. But the thing is: I don't know that woman's situation. Maybe she's taking meds that cause her to gain weight or retain fluid. Maybe she's not well-off financially (eating healthy is great, but it can be expensive!) Maybe she has health problems that would be helped by weight loss, but unfortunately those same health problems make it difficult or impossible to exercise. (My own parents are in that boat; Dad has lung disease and heart disease, and both he and Mom have crippling arthritis.)

So while I admit to being guilty of having judged people in the past, I try really, really hard not to now, because I just don't know the situation for people I don't know. Hopefully you can get out of this mindset, because although it is natural, it's kind of detrimental, too.

ahyessophie
06-10-2011, 06:05 PM
Snoofie, I think you've made a really important point. A lot of people don't have the same resources for health as others, or have different situations and constraints that make it more difficult to maintain a certain weight. I think I perhaps need to clarify that I am not catching myself watching strangers and thinking "What a sad person" or something horrible like that. I think it's completely unfair to assume that everyone who is overweight is doing it completely by choice and that it's simply a case of willpower...as we here all know, it is almost always much more complicated than that.