40-Somethings - Are you open about your weight loss struggles?

11-21-2011, 03:18 PM
I notice that there are at least 2 camps of attitudes when it comes to being overweight. I have a friend who fits into the first type and I fit into the second type.

My friend has struggled with her weight all of her life. She is always on some kind of diet plan or exercise program. She speaks very openly about her weight loss struggles with anyone who cares to discuss the topic and even jokes about it.

I fall into the other camp, where I don't acknowledge that I have gained weight (except to my husband and here) or that it bothers me that I am overweight. I act oblivious, even when other women around me are discussing their diet woes, because I am too embarrassed to admit how devastating gaining all this weight has been to me. Of course, it's obvious that I'm fat, and I know that. I just don't like to talk about it.

That's why this forum has been so terrific for me, because it gives me a place to vent about this issue that affects me every day, but that I can't bring myself to talk about in the open.

Which camp do you fall into - are you open about this issue or do you stay silent to avoid hurtful attention and admitting the truth about yourself?

11-21-2011, 03:25 PM
I have never be really open about my struggle with weight. It is the same for weight loss. It is a very private thing to me. Only two of my closest friend know about my weight loss journey, and they are a great help, but beyond that I just think it's nonody's business but mine!

Thighs Be Gone
11-21-2011, 05:34 PM
I play for the same team you both do! :)

11-21-2011, 06:06 PM
I'm an open book, even with complete strangers. Even if someone asks what I weigh, I don't have any qualms about sharing.

But I'm open about pretty much everything, mostly because I am so confident and happy about who I am and my own choices, that it wouldn't dawn on me to worry about what other people think.

11-21-2011, 06:30 PM
Out of my group of friends, there are only two of us who are overweight. There's me, and my other friend who is significantly overweight and at 20 is already having insulin problems because of her diet.

The difference between me and my overweight friend, is that she is constantly talking about her weight. She's a singer in a music college, and she always comments that her teachers tell her that 'no one likes a fat singer', this instigates the 'you're beautiful, your weight doesn't matter, you have a beautiful voice' comments. Then she's done. And she's put on more weight mind you.

Me on the other hand, who has never spoken about my weight, has recently dropped 10+ kgs (over 20 pounds) with only telling my best friend what I was doing. So I sit there, listen to them all talk about their gym routines (I run and do free weights, so no gym), and how they are cutting out carbs to lose weight. I don't comment. Then they comment on how I have lost HEAPS (their words) of weight and how it's 'so obvious' and my overweight friends chimes in and says she doing a liquid diet to get ready for summer.

I guess it does comes down to how serious you are about losing weight, and how mature your are being about it. I want this to be a one time journey only. This is a permanent change for me.

I've found that people comment about my weight loss, and make these big statement about how slim I am looking, how I don't need to lose more (thanks mum!), but no one askes how. No one stops and inquires about what I've been doing. They just make these big statements that I guess are flattering, but I find embarrassing. And then they follow up with 'well if you can do it I can do it too'... which yay for me inspiring you, but there are other ways to interpret that statement.

11-21-2011, 08:40 PM
I don't think it has anything to do with how serious you are about losing weight or how mature your are being about it.

I've met successful and mature people who were open about weight loss, and enjoyed talking about the subject, and I've met unsuccessful and immature people who were very private about it (and I've seen probalby all combinations of success/maturity/openess).

I think as a whole, obesity, weight issues, and dieting is too taboo a subject - and it's hard to succeed with a problem that you feel you're "not allowed" to talk about. But if you're quiet by choice, and not because you're afraid of being judged for saying what you would love to be able to say, that's a different matter.

I think what it boils down to, is doing what you find most comfortable and finding what works best for you (unfortunatley those aren't always compatible goals - sometimes comfortable isn't what works, but only experimentation can tell you that).

Just talking about obesity and weight loss doesn't make the situation worse or better (though it has the potential to do either, depending on the individual).

What I think is most important is being respectful and protective of your own position. If you don't want to talk about it, you have a right to keep it private and to say "I don't want to talk about it." If you do want to talk about it, you have that right too (though it gives other people an invitation to do the same, so you have to be willing to listen to other people's opinions and stories too).

11-23-2011, 03:51 PM
I'm pretty open about my weight loss, but it's a very surface openness. I don't get real deep, revealing much about feelings, emotions and insecurities. It's about what I do, what I'm doing, some struggles and complaints, but really, nothing major. It really depends on who I'm spending my time with- like minded people who are also making efforts to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle, or people who are clearly not interested for whatever reason or excuse.

I don't talk about it a lot, but everyone at work knows that I'm working to lose weight, and how I'm going about doing it. There is a push towards health where I work, and we can earn points by doing things that are healthy for us, including submitting monthly workout logs, receipts for preventative care, and gym memberships. That often brings up the topic because we might talk about classes being offered, ask each other if we submitted our workouts, or talk about how many points we've earned and what we'll spend them on (massages, movie tickets, free lunch, a day off....).

Meanwhile, I don't talk a lot about my weight loss with my family. Most of my family is overweight and while they complain about weight, they don't do anything to try to lose it. The last time I joked about how the food I was eating (we were at a restaurant) would put me on the treadmill that night, I got the middle finger. It was jokingly, but that joking-serious thing. After that, well, if they ask, I'll answer. Otherwise, I have nothing to say.

I think with certain people, if I talk about it too much, it's interpreted as bragging (since I'm successful). If I talk about it with my co-workers or friends, it's a topic of conversation.

In the past, I've kept things like this to myself. The fewer people who know, the fewer people will see me fail. No one knew I was quitting smoking. The last time I dieted, I said nothing until people started noticing. I don't' know why I'm more open about it now than in the past. Maybe because I've done it before, so I'm used to it. Maybe because I can't hide it. I don't know. I find it easy to talk about what I'm doing.

11-26-2011, 09:53 AM
I'm open about it, especially if people ask what I am doing. I love my gym and I didn't think I COULD calorie count until people on here talked me into trying it, so I figure if what I did helps someone else who asks, great.

Also, even at 258 I still think I was an attractive person who deserved love, respect, etc. I am not ashamed of who I was then. I think because I believe in Health At Any Size, I'm not daunted by talking about it.

11-27-2011, 02:48 AM
guacamole, i am very much like you in this area. i wont even admit my weight gain to my husband, even tho its obvious. im ashamed and embarrassed by it and i like to pretend the extra weight just isnt there. of course i know better...im uncomfortable, unhappy, my wedding ring is too small... its awful. ive never really openly discussed my weight gain until i joined here. maybe this is what i need... :halfempty

11-27-2011, 12:50 PM
chicklett - I so feel you! I actually "hid" my weight from my husband too - until I couldn't anymore. For one thing, like you, my wedding band didn't fit and he was wondering why I wasn't wearing it (one little plug - just last week I was able to put it on again!).

Another reason I couldn't hide it was that I was having massive health problems (mainly weight related, although I wouldn't admit it), and when they were taking my weight at a doctor's appointment (don't you hate doctor's offices who have the scales in the hallway!) my husband was standing right there. The nurse actually asked if I was ok with her reading my weight out loud in front of him (if that didn't tell me I should be embarrassed about the number, I don't know what would!). Anyway, once the cat was out of the bag, there was no point in denying my weight problem anymore.

I still don't talk to him about my struggles in detail, though...just acknowledge that I am working on losing weight.

11-27-2011, 11:25 PM
I hid it from my husband too. As if he didn't notice. My husband doesn't know how much I weigh or how much I weighed. I would never tell him. I'm more open with strangers on line than I am with him! I also had to take off my ring for a couple of years, until last year. At the doc's office, I always avoided the CMTs telling me what my weight was by standing on the scale backwards. I felt that knowing my weight while trying to lose it would deflate me and demotivate me. If I only knew back then..... Now I stare down the scale!

11-28-2011, 02:07 PM
this is crazy how much the two of us are alike in this way! its so nice to know that im not alone... this denial thing sucks. im afraid to have my weight checked in front of my husband too, i dont even want to know it! :^: guacamole, congrats on getting your ring back on, you must be excited!! mine is in my jewelry box, i tried it on the other day and could have forced it if i wanted to cut off my circulation LOL. :o

11-28-2011, 02:28 PM
I'm open about. I figure sharing information and knowledge about what I'm doing may also help someone else. I don't brag etc...but if someone asks me I tell them. I don't care for pepole who do it for attention, that's annoying, but if the discussion goes that way and someone is keenly interested yup, I don't have a problem sharing. They might need to hear that somone who is losing also finds it hard at times. I do it to encourage others and to show them, I too am very much struggling with binge eating etc. at times. Anything to help awareness :)

11-29-2011, 12:03 AM
I sat in a meeting where the leader said ... oh and Donna lost "X" this week--whatever it was--and I said yes, I'm down to "X" whatever it was. For sake of argument, lets say it was 180 pounds. Not necessarily slim you see...and she says WOW I love how you have no problem telling a room full of people how much you weigh. My answer was well, if I told you I weighed 120 would you believe me? Its pretty obvious what I weigh...it isn't a secret I can keep from your eyeballs.

If you want to know something, ask me, I have no trouble sharing.

11-29-2011, 12:33 AM
Its pretty obvious what I weigh...it isn't a secret I can keep from your eyeballs.

If you want to know something, ask me, I have no trouble sharing.


Yeah, I never understood the lies about something so obvious. Especially because we make the "number" more important than the visual reality.

If you claim a healthy number, but you look overweight anyway - you're either lying about the number, or you're "skinny fat." Why is the "number" more important than what we can see with our eyes.

I've always hated that we have to pretend we don't see the "reality" behind lies about weight and age.

For years, I've said "if I ever am tempted to lie about my age, I'm going to lie up (tell people I'm older than I actually am) so that people will tell me I look good, rather than assume I am lying or look terrible for my age).

The same could be said of weight. If you're going to lie, why not lie "up" so that folks will say "No way, you don't look nearly that big."

Of course that doesn't really work - because women in our culture have been lying down for so many years, that virtually no one knows what "real" weight looks like.

Over the years, I've actually argued with people over what my weight could or couldn't be, because people would say I didn't "look like" someone who weighed over 300 lbs (even when I weighed nearly 400). I would argue that I looked exactly like a woman who weighed 3XX pounds, and that most people have no idea what 300 lbs or any other weight looks like, because the lies are more prevalent than the true admissions.

By lying about the numbers, and lying about a whole lot of even more important things when it comes to weight loss, we've learned to believe that we're failing and "everyone" is doing better than we are, when we're succeeding far above the average. We don't know what weight looks like, and we don't know what normal weight loss looks like, but whatever it is, we judge ourselves as failing, because we don't know what everyone else is doing.

That's why I believe that being open is the key to weight loss success becoming more accessible to more people. People need to know that they're not failing when weight loss isn't as rapid as they've learned to expect (because people are only sharing the extraordinary results, not the entirely ordinary and even truly slow ones).

When we only hear about the people losing several pounds per week, we never learn that 2 lbs per week is NOT (anywhere near) the true average.

Even if you're losing only 1/4 of a pound (even at nearly 400 lbs), you're still doing better than most people. But we don't see that. The enemy of weight loss isn't failure - it's seeing success as failure, because we don't know what "normal" really looks like.

11-29-2011, 08:46 AM
OMG you guys crack me up!

Well, I admittedly lied to myself for a number of years. I didn't own a scale, and the mirror is a liar (Yes, it is. I tend to think I look better than I am. The camera is honest). I would stand on the scale backwards at the doc office so they wouldn't tell me my weight. I felt that knowing would upset and undermine my efforts. I lied to myself and convinced myself that I wasn't eating that much and if i over ate, it was OK because I was going to the gym. I am a good liar.

I am not completely forthcoming about my weight. I will tell people what I want to lose freely, before I blurt out what I weigh and what I want to weigh. If someone asked me what I weigh, I don't think I'd have a problem telling them. The fact that I'm losing weight and I'm proud of where I have come from and the direction I'm going in is helpful.

11-29-2011, 01:49 PM
kaplods - that's such a great point about not knowing what "normal" really looks like. The lies we tell ourselves and the lies that others tell us are so prevalent! I also like the point you make about any weight loss being a success - but how we feel like failures if we are not losing a certain, for the most part unattainable, amount per week. I have felt like that throughout my weight loss journey because my progress has been soooo slow! However, it is progress! I need to keep that in mind.

11-29-2011, 03:46 PM
Other than a few close friends and my immediate family, I don't talk about my weight or eating habits with anyone.

If I'm talking to a "normal" sized person (whatever that is!) I don't talk to them about how many calories they had for breakfast or how long they worked out in a gym. If weight issues aren't a normal topic for the person I'm speaking with, I don't talk about it. I haven't lost enough yet to be noticable enough for comment, so I don't know how I'll respond when that happens. I'd like to think my response to the comments/question "Looks like you've lost weight/Have you lost weight?" would be "Yes, thanks for noticing" and then change the topic. If someone asks again, I'll discuss, but only if I know they're truly interested.

I guess I feel like it's too personal. Like, if I found out someone I've known for awhile was gay, I wouldn't be quizzing them about their new lifestyle unless invited to.

11-29-2011, 04:20 PM
I just removed my weight from my profile.

so I'm gonna go with no, I'm not open about my struggles :lol:

12-26-2011, 11:14 AM
Went to an event this weekend where quite a few people remarked on my weight loss. One person who asked if I had been exercising was the same person that asked me when I was due (pregnant!) this past spring! Go figure. For some reason, I found myself getting emotional at some of "compliments." Many of the women who told me how great I look now are women who are stick skinny and really never bothered to take time to talk to me before. They are very cliquish and often make others feel they aren't worthy of their notice.

It made me feel bad to know that I wasn't worth their notice or compliments 40lbs ago, but now it's ok for them to be seen with me. So high school. But, this is the way of the world. We live in a very superficial society. I know I began my weight loss journey for health reasons, but am I playing into society's hand by losing more weight just for appearances sake? I know I like how I look better when I am thin than fat, but honestly, the compliments I got over the weekend did not make me feel good. At least, not from the people who gave them.

12-26-2011, 12:24 PM
I am open on here, not much anywhere else.

Thighs Be Gone
12-26-2011, 12:41 PM
guacamole, I understand where you are coming from and have experienced it myself actually from both sides..I actually lost some of my overweight friends--one imparticular--and not from anything I was doing--just the fact that my body was smaller made them uncomfortable..and then, I dealt with the opposite end--thin women coming around chatting me up because I was thinner...I just don't get it..I never made a friend because of the size of her jeans and don't WANT to be a friend because of the size of MINE!

12-26-2011, 01:23 PM
exactly - I don't make friendships based on sizes! I also am feeling very precarious and vulnerable about my weight. I feel like at any moment, particularly after a bad eating weekend like the one I just had, I could regain all the weight and go back to being fat/invisible/unworthy - whatever you want to call the state of being obese. It would be so easy to spiral downward again. I know with some of the people who complimented me over the weekend, I would lose "friendship" along with losing control over my weight.

ETA - the other thing about the compliments from these women - it didn't cost them anything to compliment me. I would estimate that they ranged in sizes between a size 0 and 4 - while I am a 14 and still overweight! You can bet if I were down to a size 2 they would NOT have been complimenting me, but giving me the evil eye and looking at me as competition. I didn't overhear any of them complimenting each other.

12-29-2011, 11:18 PM
What is funny is that I've been very open abou it with my best friend and husband, but never discussed diet/exercise with others - ever. A year ago tomorrow I started a blog and for the first two days I kept it to myself, but then I started sharing it here and with friends on Facebook. I've been extremely open with my mental struggles this year. Yet, I still don't talk about it in day to day life with people. Only if they bring something up from my blog or if they just need to say something abut my big loss will I talk about it. I don't even think to talk about it in real life....which is odd as it is a huge part of my life right now.

Right now as I'm heading into year two of blogging (tomorrow will be one year exactly), I'm debating about posting an end of year photo in workout clothes exposing my mid section as I've joined a bathing suit challenge. I want to document my journey to getting a fitter body.... And I've learned that photos hugely help me realize how far I've come... But do I want to post that for all to see? Not so sure.

12-30-2011, 05:51 PM
I personally don't find it helpful to tell other people that I am on a diet (except here on 3FC!). I can't tell you how many times my husband has announced to me and his family and friends that he is on a diet - and he is serious this time! He loses about 20 lbs and then gives up.

Actually, even on 3FC, I have announced mini-goals that I am trying for by a certain date, only to not make it. I make it eventually, but not in the ambitious time frame I was shooting for. It's discouraging, so I have stopped making mini-goals according to goal dates.

I say, actions not words. I am just silently (in my real life) plugging away. If people notice, great. However, once you announce you are on a diet, you open yourself up to the "diet police" who feel it is now their obligation to keep you on track. So annoying! If I want to eat chocolate, that's my business. If I want to have an off plan meal or day, again, my business. So, what people don't know can't hurt YOU.

02-06-2012, 11:31 PM
Open Book Here I will talk to anyone who is interested! lol

02-07-2012, 12:03 PM
You guys are great. As a male of the species, I don't really try to hide anything, but I'm also really not into discussing it. I'm 6" 2' so I can weigh a lot without "looking" fat. But there is no doubt when I look in the mirror with my shirt off that I'm just exactly that. I told my family and my in-laws that I was going to lose weight and my father-in-law took on the challenge as well. But I didn't tell anyone else. Not that I wouldn't answer if they asked, but for me weight loss is a personal issue that really has nothing to do with anyone but me. I just keep my family and in-laws updated on my progress, to keep my FIL motivated to keep going. Besides, I don't want to discuss it ad nauseum, except on here.

Guac I'm with you. If you want to lose weight, then do it. Don't blab on about it, especially if you are only talking about it. If you are really serious about it, it will show. You won't have to tell anyone.

Speaking of lies, I heard something that I thought was funny once:

"I wear a size 34, but a 36 feels so good, I buy a 38."

02-07-2012, 03:18 PM
I am open on here, not much anywhere else.Same here. I am a very private person. Also, I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it but I was always a very thin person. It wasn't until some personal trauma and getting older/slowing metabolism that I packed on the pounds. I have this huge sense of shame and truthfully hate myself at times for letting myself go. I think talking about it is horrible because it's admitting that I failed myself.

02-07-2012, 03:24 PM
I say, actions not words. I am just silently (in my real life) plugging away. If people notice, great. However, once you announce you are on a diet, you open yourself up to the "diet police" who feel it is now their obligation to keep you on track. So annoying! If I want to eat chocolate, that's my business. If I want to have an off plan meal or day, again, my business. So, what people don't know can't hurt YOU.I love that! I'm so inspired by you Guac and hope that I will make the same progress you have one day soon!

02-07-2012, 05:30 PM
I love that! I'm so inspired by you Guac and hope that I will make the same progress you have one day soon!

Thank you so much! This is the first time anyone has said they are inspired by my progress, and it makes me feel so good that I be of some help. I so often have to take my inspiration from others here on 3FC, so I am glad to give back.

03-07-2012, 11:53 PM
I have hid my "number" from my boyfriend. We met and I was over weight but I was really embarassed by my hang over tummy. Three kids by c-section will do a number on the tummy first off, but then that milestone (or should I say millstone) of hitting that big 4-0 did another number.
We are both now trying to change our tummies. LOL He keeps asking what I weigh.....but I won't tell. He did get a ball park number but I told him flat out that I didn't like the number and was embarassed to tell him. He was understanding of that. No one else matters in my weight loss (or gain). I don't discuss what I am doing or not doing with anyone.

03-08-2012, 02:20 PM
I'm with you too, Peachypeg. My husband does not know my weight, never has, never will. Being over 6 feet tall, my GOAL weight is getting close to 200 pounds. My husband is 5'10" and about 170 pounds max. At my goal, I will still be big compared to him. So let's not even talk about where I'm starting... not something he needs to know! ;)

I've also never talked about my weight with other friends or family members. Yes, I've mentioned when I was on a diet years ago - Atkins - and was losing weight pretty rapidly so everyone asked about it. But I've never named the number - too embarassing. If I was 5 feet tall and 60 pounds overweight, my weight would be in the 170's. At my height, it's in the stratosphere. ;) No one needs to hear it and try to hide their horror.

03-08-2012, 10:30 PM
<~~~~ 5 foot tall and....yeah......

Weight goes EVERYWHERE

Micki k
03-08-2012, 11:24 PM
I think it depends on the people I'm talking to. I'm not going to sit and discuss my weight in detail when I'm hanging out with my husbands coworkers and their wives. But I like to talk about my journey with my sister in law who's working on losing weight herself. Or my friend who just lost 110 lbs on Weight Watchers. I have no problem sharing with them because they get it.
I worked for 7 years in a plus size clothing store. I saw women of all sizes in varying stages of their losses and gains. Some were very comfortable in their larger bodies and had no problem sharing. Others were struggling to get used to their new size. Its all about how comfortable you are in your body at the time.
As far as sharing with my husband...he's the only person in my life that I can truly say anything to. That's why I married him. I tell him every single pound I lose or gain. He cheers me on when I lose and let's me pout when I gain. He even weighs my food and figures out my points for me when he cooks. He's good like that, and I couldn't imagine keeping things from him.

03-09-2012, 08:26 AM
yeah - because i have difficulty knowing what is appropriate conversation and what isn't.

if you're sitting in a restaurant listening to two women at the next table discuss the consistency of the baby's bowel movement, guaranteed it's probably me and my bff (who is perfectly normal except for anxiety and panic disorders but doesn't give a rat's what anybody says - she puts me above any random stranger's opinion).

but i don't discuss my weight loss plan with my husband - he's a restaurant cook and west indian so me not eating is almost a mortal insult.

03-09-2012, 01:05 PM
As far as sharing with my husband...he's the only person in my life that I can truly say anything to. That's why I married him. I tell him every single pound I lose or gain. He cheers me on when I lose and let's me pout when I gain. He even weighs my food and figures out my points for me when he cooks. He's good like that, and I couldn't imagine keeping things from him.

You might feel differently if you outweighed him by 100 pounds though!

03-09-2012, 05:59 PM
It depends on who I'm talking to. I'm fairly open about my weight struggles and what I'm doing to fix it, but I only bring it up if it's relevant to what is being discussed or if I'm asked. I'm not hiding anything, but it's not always appropriate to bring up.

03-09-2012, 06:20 PM
I can be totally obnoxious about my weight loss :o -- My friends have known me for a long time and know how I hated being fat and talked about doing something about it for years....now that I am finally doing it, and nearly 20 pounds down, I am proud of myself and not hiding it.

What I did; I decided to shed some weight last December and I basically shut myself from the world, at first. I literally did not see my friends for 3 months. Luckily it was a xmas season at first and everyone was busy. -- I needed time to concentrate on me, just me. I decided to be selfish.

I saw many of my friends for the first time this past weekend, and yes I was not shy about my progress. -- It is very interesting how people react...some are real friends, some are just...well...not...

03-26-2012, 10:44 AM
Frustration does not even begin to cover my emotions. I have a knot in my throat, you know that tight ache you hold back before you cry. I'm so mad. I do love the new permanent change in eating habits. I don't like the word diet. I was on starch blockers and Lean Cuisine when I was 8 - called all kinds of names, even by my dad (looked like a sumo wrestler). Diets do not work. Only permanent healthy changes will. Right? Hhhmmmmppphhffff! I am on Lasix, so fluid ups and downs are playing a role, but I went to bed last night sore and exhausted from working so hard this weekend, was so proud of myself for the excellent choices, healthy eating, etc. So, I gained 3 pounds this morning!!!!! Why shouldn't I just go back to eating all that I want portion-wise???? This is not paying off, and I started at the beginning of March of this year. I was at 15 pounds, now back at 12. Not sure if I can hold back those tears.:(

03-26-2012, 11:22 AM
The people around me are usually people who are critical of anyone losing weight and this "journey" is so hard that I don't need any discouragement. I did just open up that I cut out sugar and refined carbs, but I am doing it so that I no longer have to make excuses like "Oh i have to go here or there" instead of at a pasta filled dinner party.
I feel a lot more unabashed about my healthier diet, so I am open about that but I am refraining from admitting that I am trying to lose weight as well, its just not worth those "you don't have to!" and everyone says that to anyone no matter what the weight lol.
But that was the first time in months that I admitted it. I do feel awkward about it because I am not perfect, and I think that no matter what I say people think I am 100% cutting it out, but oh well.

03-26-2012, 12:38 PM
my husband knew my big number was over 300 pounds, and he knows i have lost 69 pounds.. he doesnt try to do the math, he just pats my hiney and tells me im beautiful lol. As far as other people are concerned, i dont say anything unless they specifically ask, the question, "wow have you lost weight??" then i just say yah. and dont go into detail. lol