Weight Loss Support - "Concerned" family member




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HappilyMe
07-15-2011, 02:58 AM
I have a family member who I feel is threatened by my weight loss. This person is used to being the skinny girl in a family of large people and seems to place a lot of value on her weight. A few years ago she lost about 50 lbs, but IMO she lost in an unhealthy way, by eating as little as possible, so much so that she started to have fainting spells. She's healthy now but the way she lost the weight was not.

Now that I'm working on my weight (with much success) she is suddenly "concerned."

A few months ago when I started getting noticeably smaller, she commented that I wasn't eating enough. Now, she is concerned I'm not eating "substantial" food and am over-exercising. The substantial food remark came from my telling her I'll grab an apple, orange or a bunch of grapes for a snack or light breakfast. The over-exercising remark is because I workout for about 45 minutes AM and PM.

Generally, I ignore her because I think she is somewhat obsessed with weight and has unhealthy views on weight, but tonight I got really annoyed at her remarks!

I'm going to be around this person a lot for the next few weeks and I've already decided that I'll keep the topics of weight loss, food and exercise off limits when I'm around her, but I'm not sure how to get past my annoyance and keep peace in the family.


Lovely
07-15-2011, 03:04 AM
A smile, a nod, and a change in subject.

I wish you much patience!

savanahfloc
07-15-2011, 03:16 AM
Sounds like she went through a very difficult time, possibly struggled with an eating disorder, and doesn't want to see you go through the same thing. Just smile then ignore it. Sounds to me like she cares


xxkaleidoscopic
07-15-2011, 06:32 AM
Sounds like she went through a very difficult time, possibly struggled with an eating disorder, and doesn't want to see you go through the same thing. Just smile then ignore it. Sounds to me like she cares

This may be it. I was the same way with my sister. I was the first one to lose weight in my family, and for a time, I fell into eating disordered behavior that scared me and could have ruined my life. When my little sister started adopting unhealthy habits at seventeen, I was scared to death she would do what I did, and I didn't want that for her.

On the other hand, you may be right that she's jealous. If she's sacrificed this much of her well-being to be thin, she has likely made it a large part of her life. Even now, it's possible she really struggles to maintain and continues to have poor self-image. If she's the small one in a family of heavy people, she probably gets a lot of attention for it. I did when I went south to visit an extended family of VERY heavy people, and even at my heaviest, I was still smaller than them, and they always complimented me. It's quite possible she doesn't want to share.

If you really want peace, I would say change the subject and decline to talk about it. If she persists, you may have to calmly confront her (without accusations) and say that you wish she would be more supportive, that weight loss isn't your whole life, but you are happy to not only be thinner, but healthier.

indiblue
07-15-2011, 07:38 AM
If she heard that you are eating a handful of fruit in the morning and working out for 45 minutes twice a day, that may have set off alarm bells for her, and understandably so. Not that you are undereating and overexercising, but re-read that sentence I just wrote and see how it sounds to someone who doesn't know what you ate eating for lunch and dinner. If you extrapolate your size and style of breakfast to lunch and dinner then you are definitely not eating enough.

Again, I'm not saying that's what you're doing. But it's natural for the brain to extrapolate the information it knows to the information it doesn't know. I don't usually eat breakfast and I sometimes run up to 1 hour a day. Just knowing that about me makes it sound like I'm starving myself. Likewise, my friends usually see me eat huge dinners and I'm sure it's running through their mind "how does she eat that and not gain massive amounts of weight?" For me I eat nothing in the morning and lots in the evening. But most people don't know both sides the equation and think very different things about my eating/exercise habits.

All that is to say she may not be jealous or trying to sabotage you... perhaps she genuinely doesn't see the full range of you eating and exercise habits. Nor does she need to- you shouldn't feel obligated to justify yourself to her. But if you want, perhaps an open chat about nutrition, health, fitness etc may prevent misunderstandings and bring you two closer. You know the situation best though so just do whatever you feel most comfortable with :)

good luck!

HappilyMe
07-15-2011, 08:09 AM
Thanks to everyone who responded.

I thought about it and I am much calmer now. This has been an ongoing issue with her monitoring my eating and pushing me to diet before I started losing and now becoming concerned that I am losing. I usually ignore her comments and that's what I'll continue to do. Unfortunately it can be difficult to ignore this type of issue all of the time so I guess I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening! :D

Esofia
07-15-2011, 08:38 AM
Best of luck, it's hard when this sort of thing happens, and especially when someone well-meaning slides into controlling behaviour.

Is she particularly taller than you? You're fairly short, and as someone who's shorter still, I know how some people just do not get that those of us who are short need less food. I'm 4'11 and very inactive, so I'm on 1100 calories, which is absolutely fine for my height and activity levels, is enough that I feel satisfied by my food and can build in little treats, and results in a steady loss of 1lb/week. Crash dieting it ain't, and just to be sure I check in with my GP regularly, who says I'm doing very well. For the vast majority of people, 1100 calories is far too low and would cause misery and poor health. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't stop to work out that it really is a good number for me, and just get alarmed and start telling me that I'm bound to drop dead of malnutrition (er, no, my diet has fabulous nutrient levels) at anything below 1200 (which, of course, is also unhealthily low for many, if not most, people, and by no means a one-size-fits-all solution).

Then you get people who are big breakfasters vs. people who have to make a huge effort to eat anything at all in the morning. Someone who makes breakfast the main meal of their day could have difficulty getting their head round the idea of just having some fruit at that time.

My neighbour is 6" taller than me and a bit overweight. When I started dieting, she too got very strange about the whole business. She kept on making rather unpleasant jokes, such as, "now that you're trying to starve yourself," and of course sod's law dictated that she would pop in just when I happened to be having a small snack or a little salad, rather than seeing me when I was happily devouring nice big suppers (it's amazing how many vegetables you can add to a meal without doing much to the calorie count). She also got upset that she couldn't manage to feed me huge amounts of high-calorie food when I dropped in to visit. When I tried to explain that I was substantially overweight, she looked at my weight (then about 140) and decided that I was talking nonsense because that's a perfectly healthy weight. Yes, it's a healthy weight for someone of 5'5, but at 4'11 it's more than halfway up the "overweight" category of the BMI! I finally shut her up by telling her that I was getting really upset by all of this, and that I need to lose weight for medical reasons. She apologised, and after that we stopped talking about the subject and were both happier for it.

JOLINA
07-15-2011, 09:00 AM
I wouldn't talk to her anymore about food or dieting. Then I would tell her I don't want to discuss food and exercize because it just makes me hungry. Take back your control.
:nono:

After she hears this for the umpteenth time, she will look for someone else to bark to about about her food, exercize and dieting.
:coach:

It sounds like she is a control freak and an "expert" on dieting and is looking for a sounding board.
Let her sound off on someone else for a change.
:soap:

Most people who are overweight love to talk about food, recipes, cookbooks, eating out, family dinners and picnics. They are obssessed with food and its the main thing on their mind. When she can't talk about it to you, she will move on to someone else.

If you bring up the subject of diet and exercize, this will just instigate her to sound off again.

Whenever I tell an overweight friend of mine that I have lost another pound, she starts right in on all the free dinners she has been attending. And she lets me know she has found a few new fatfriends to pig out with. LOL
:snooty:

I am trying to encourage her to lose weight...and she is trying to encourage me to gain weight.

So I will have to stop discussing my dieting with her also.
:D

mlgibson
07-15-2011, 10:05 AM
Women seem to compete with each other on this issue I think....sometimes. So it could be that, she wants to be known as the skinny one. Or, as others said, she could be truly concerned.

I think it could be jealousy myself, but I am cynical, lol.

Wannabehealthy
07-15-2011, 11:09 AM
A few months ago when I started getting noticeably smaller, she commented that I wasn't eating enough. Now, she is concerned I'm not eating "substantial" food and am over-exercising. The substantial food remark came from my telling her I'll grab an apple, orange or a bunch of grapes for a snack or light breakfast. The over-exercising remark is because I workout for about 45 minutes AM and PM.





Although 45 minutes twice a day is a lot of exercise, I don't think it's excessive. You haven't said what you eat for lunch or dinner, but if you are eating a healthy calorie count, you know that you are doing the right thing. When she makes comments, you could reply that you are doing what your doctor recommends, even if you are not under a doctor's care for this. How can she argue with that?

Carol