Weight Loss Support - Going home for the holidays without noticable weight loss




FreeBird3
12-10-2011, 05:17 AM
One week from today, I will be visiting my family and friends for the holidays. I haven't seen anyone in 6 months since moving to the other side of the U.S. When I first moved, I had this goal (dream?) if coming home around Christmas time and WOWing everyone about my weight loss.

Unfortunately, that dream is still a dream. The good news is I haven't gained any weight since moving away, but the bad news is I haven't lost any noticable weight either during these past 6 months. I've lost 4 pounds in 6 months. Big woop! :^:

I feel like I've let everyone down. I gained 20 pounds in 1 year (last year) due to non-stop emotional eating that was triggered by my parent being deathly ill for most of the year and being in the hospital for most of that year. Everything is okay with my family now, but I'm now 20 pounds overweight and on top of the 15 pounds that I was trying to lose in the first place.

My doctor says I need to be 155 pounds to be in the "normal" BMI range and she recommended a low-fat diet since I have high LDL levels ('bad cholestrol' in my blood). My body fat is 42%. :o That's nearly half my body full of fat.

I feel a bit of anxiety already about heading home for the holidays next week. This anxiety has caused me to reach for some bad food, which of course doesn't help with my (failed) attempt as losing weight. It's catch-22. I know I let my parents/family down (they are/were really hoping that I would lose at least 10 of the 20 pounds of emotional weight gain from last year by this time) and I am a bit ashamed to see everyone after all this time. Most importantly, I let myself down.

Anyway, has anyone every been in my situation where they haven't seen their family and friends for several months and everyone is expecting you to be a little bit thinner when they DO see you after all this time? How do you mentally prepare yourself for disapproving looks and/or snide remarks from family memebers?

In my family, they might not directly say "You are still fat", but I notice they immediately look at my bottom half (I'm pear-shaped and very bottom heavy because I have a big butt, hips, and heavy thighs that rub together yet small breast...wish I had bigger breast so I wouldn't look SO asymetrical). My dad has told me to lose some weight because (and I quote) "You have to attract men with body charm and you need to work on yours". I know he means well and is only concerned that his only daugther will remain single for the rest of her life. My mom is a bit more direct and tells me to lose weight. My friends don't comment on my weight gain, but they know that it's been a struggle for me to be this size that I currently am. They DO tell me that I am beautiful....but of course they would because they are my friends.


I hate this feeling of letting everyone, including myself, down.


Esofia
12-10-2011, 05:38 AM
Your weight isn't affecting anyone else, and you're not letting them down. Anyone who tries to tell you that your weight is upsetting them, especially if it gets to statements like, "your mother was up all night worrying about your weight," is at best guilt-tripping you and at worst emotionally abusive. So anyone behaving like that can take a flying leap, frankly. Stop worrying about wowing them: if they're going to be unpleasant about your weight when you're overweight, then sadly they are not going to be any nicer when you lose the weight, they'll just be critical in other ways. Smile brightly and change the subject if anyone is rude enough to bring it up.

You've had a ****1sh time recently, and considering that you reacted to the family stress before by putting on 20lb, and that you are dealing with a family who is nasty about your weight (which always makes it far, far harder to get a handle on weight problems), I think that merely maintaining would be bloody fantastic, let alone losing 4lb. Go and pick something up that weighs 4lb! My laptop is about that, I've had dogs who weighed that, it's still a considerable amount. You have accomplished something fabulous and you are going to keep on with your weight loss journey.

Michelle2008
12-10-2011, 05:44 AM
I can totally sympathize - for years I was the only overweight member of my big extended family who gather every Christmas. I still have painful memories during the awkward teen years of my aunts discussing my weight and appetite! I am also usually the only single one out if 16 cousins!

But stuff them! The only person you can lose weight for is yourself. I get very defensive about my weight when family bring it up - and the only way I broke the cycle was to decide I don't care what others think - don't get me wrong that took years! Now it's a nice buzz when people notice me weight loss - but the main reason I have lost weight is for me.

Enjoy your Christmas - don't over indulge, but allow yourself to enjoy the usual treats. And enjoy being with your family.


bargoo
12-10-2011, 07:45 AM
I agree with Esofia and Michelle, try to ignore their remarks if you can. Tell them your weight is not a subject of discussion and change the subject. Get up and walk out of the room, if necessary. Repeat My weight is not a subject of discussion, say it with firmness. They probably mean well , just are showing no tact. Stay strong !

Spain2012
12-10-2011, 07:55 AM
I couldn't sympathise with you more. As someone whose weight has zig zagged up and down the 40 pound range, and gone home twice a year for 5 years, I feel your pain.:hug: I think the most important thing to remember right now is that you haven't gained weight, and in my experience at least, even staying the same is much, much than the response you get when you have gained weighed. My family has commented on my weight every single time I've been back, be it up or down, but you have to remember that this is YOUR body, that YOU are making an effort to be healthy, and no one can put a timeframe on that except for YOU.

JOLINA
12-10-2011, 08:13 AM
You probably have just a few family members who are rude.
Avoid the rude people and spend your time with those that are pleasant.

And don't go out of your way to visit the rude members homes during the holidays. You don't owe them your friendship.

You are doing very well by losing 4 pounds and maintaining a lower weight.
Staying thin is a lifetime endeavor anyway, so just hang in there and keep losing weight, no matter how slowly it is going.

:hug:

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
George Burns (1896 - 1996)

JessLess
12-10-2011, 09:03 AM
I would tell your parents that you are not interested in discussing your weight with them. If it were me, I would tell your dad that I didn't want someone who ONLY was interested in my body because I wouldn't want such a shallow relationship. I think you might want to think about where your boundaries are, like what, if any, weight talk you want to hear, then if people violate those boundaries, ask them to stop. If they won't stop, I'd leave.

HikingChloe
12-10-2011, 10:11 AM
I want to echo to really embrace that you have lost some weight and more importantly not put anymore on. Isn't that one step to teaching yourself maintenance for life?!

I am not trying to diminish the family stress - believe me, I know how judgmental family can be. But I am proud of you and you should be proud of you. You are doing the best you can do for right now and in my opinion even small loss with NO GAIN is really fabulous. This is not failing yourself or letting yourself down - every little step towards healthy change is something to celebrate.

Right now I am just trying to sustain through these darn holidays. :) Some years are worse than others and soon we will be past them!

Lori Bell
12-10-2011, 10:55 AM
Okay, I always have to defend "parents", because I am one, and I only want what is best for my kids. I respectfully disagree with every poster who has said that your parents are out of line. You have basically said you are miserable. You have also said you have high body fat, and high cholesterol. What parent in their right mind wouldn't worry about their child with potentially life threatening diseases? Don't you think they love you so much that they actually are worried about you? Do you really think they are just trying to make you feel bad?? I'm thinking your Pop says things about catching a man, because it's what "usually" motivates young women to lose weight. He's probably grasping at straws...

I have commented about my son's weight a few times, not because I want them to feel terrible, but because I want them to feel great... I know how GREAT it feels to be a healthy weight. My sons, have never been obese, but both of them have dipped into the overweight category a few times, and fortunately have successfully maintained it until they grew taller. I truly think my talks with them kept them more aware of what they were doing to their bodies. (Whether they'll ever admit it or not.)

If you are embarrassed about not losing weight, go to them and ask for help. There is no shame in that.

racrane
12-10-2011, 11:04 AM
I completely understand you. I lost about 6 lbs this year and that's all. I was hoping for a lot more by this christmas break when I went home. But I try to tell myself it's 6 lbs and I haven't gained it back - and that's huge for me. And I'm on a roll this month because I'm making some positive changes as well.

I understand family can be awful, but I tell myself over and over it's because they love me and to just forget about their comments. Though I had an aunt tell me my "birthday gift" was to see a dietician to eat less (her words). I do get pretty ticked off by comments like that. I just try to focus on people who say positive things to me. My mom always says, "Appreciate your body. One day it may not be able to walk."

I really don't know what else to say except I really sympathize. I'm in the same boat as you. Sending you a big hug! :)

PrairieGirl
12-10-2011, 12:13 PM
I sympathize, I live away from my family and see them every 6 months or so, but years ago, after my divorce when I gained all my weight (from a still pudgy 155lbs to somewhere around 225lbs) no one said anything. Not one thing and I was so lost in myself that I hadn't noticed how huge I'd become. Now they'll admit that yes, I was obese. I wish someone had said something, it took the teenagers that I worked with at the time who kept mixing me up with this other obese manager for me to realize that I must look like that. I couldn't see it. I never even stepped on a scale at my high weight, but I wish I had. I needed that reality check and I wish it had come sooner, losing 30lbs is easier than losing 100lbs.

Now when I go home, my parents know that I'm working on it and if I've lost they'll notice and say something, if I've gained a few they don't say anything directly, but they'll ask how the weight loss is going because they know it's important to me. This is a lengthy journey and it's hard. Your parents love you and want you to be happy, if you've told them that your weight troubles you then they're going to comment on it.

Perhaps you can use the way you feel now about going home as motivation for the next time you visit. You'll get a second chance to go home and 'wow' them with your weight loss.

whiteone
12-10-2011, 12:15 PM
I'm not a parent yet, but I think Lori Bell is probably right. Here's why I say this... My sister is 22 years old, and morbidly obese by definition. I was nearing there myself. And now that I've been able to change my life, make better choices for health and happiness, I know first hand what that can do for a person. So I do urge her to think about her weight and make the same steps toward health and happiness.

Anyway, I know it's unpleasant to hear the comments from family (I heard them all too). But now, I might be one of them, and I only wish the best for the people I love. I don't want to be sister-less when we're old, because I lived longer due to her neglecting herself.

If they really mean well, and want the best for you, they will do what they can to help. Anything including altering menus, not pushing food, changing food centered activities, adding in fun exercise (like walks and outdoor activities), etc.

If they are unnecessarily rude or it's just that bad that you can't take it, then I'd definitely let them know. They will probably understand this too.

lin43
12-10-2011, 01:10 PM
Well, no amount of brow-beating by my parents or anyone else would ever get me to lose weight. Instead, it makes me feel like crap and eat more. Speaking as one whose mother nags me when I get on the phone about improvements I could make to my life because "I deserve better," I will respectfully disagree with Lori Bell and whiteone (not disparaging either of you; I'm just commenting on the fact that you indicate that you do say something to your kids about their weight). As I always say to my mother, "Your opinion is no mystery---no need to repeat yourself." I realize that people may mean well, but interactions with others aren't just about one's intentions: it's also about the effects that what you say might have on others. If someone has already shared their concern about the OP's weight, I see no good reason for that person to keep harping on it. It's a pain in the #ss, but even beyond that, it shows complete lack of empathy for how that person may feel. IMHO, the motivation to lose weight must come from ourselves, not from others.

To the OP, I understand where you're coming from. It's not so much my family because they would never harp on me about my weight. It's that years ago I was actually considering not visiting a friend of mine because I had gained weight. I decided, though, that I just couldn't justify not seeing a friend, so I just "warned" her ahead of time that I had gained. When we met, we both griped about our weight for a few minutes but soon moved on to more interesting subjects. Maybe you should just clear the air with your family before you go, and tell them in no uncertain terms that you do not want to discuss weight issues while you're with them.

Thighs Be Gone
12-10-2011, 01:41 PM
You're in a tough spot but for your own sake, I hope you find a way to gather yourself on this one and enjoy your family and the holidays.

I have two girls. As a mom, I have decided I will never say anything to them about their weights. I notice again and again on 3FC that many women that have had serious weight struggles were confronted time after time by one or both parents on weight issues. I will set our environment to success by including lots of activities in our lifestyle and packing my house with good foods. I will never though, make my kids feel like there is anything lacking in them due to their body weight--whether they be fat or thin.

lin43
12-10-2011, 03:44 PM
I have two girls. As a mom, I have decided I will never say anything to them about their weights. I notice again and again on 3FC that many women that have had serious weight struggles were confronted time after time by one or both parents on weight issues. I will set our environment to success by including lots of activities in our lifestyle and packing my house with good foods. I will never though, make my kids feel like there is anything lacking in them due to their body weight--whether they be fat or thin.

I completely agree with your approach. You sound like a great mom!

Steph7409
12-10-2011, 04:11 PM
I agree with lin43:

no amount of brow-beating by my parents or anyone else would ever get me to lose weight.

I was overweight as a child and my mother incessantly criticized me about it. It was very hard to see that as loving or caring. I'm sure there are parents and others who can express concern without seeming judgemental, but it sounds like the OP's experience has been mostly negative. So I'll echo everyone who has said that you need to set boundaries and not let people make you feel bad about yourself. As I've gotten older, I've found that pointing out to be people that they're being hurtful and I want them to stop it is a pretty effective strategy. Good luck!

sacha
12-10-2011, 04:21 PM
I agree that a parent should express health concerns when warranted. I am a mother and would do that. However, telling my child that they will not attract a mate due to their size is not speaking out of health concern, it is insulting the child. For one, it's not true, people have relationships/families when overweight. Second, it has nothing to do with health - I don't recall her family stating anything about concerns for diabetes, blood pressure, etc.

I agree too that as a mother, my child is unlikely to heed my advice, but I would not standby and allow him to harm his health without speaking my mind either (and this is not just excess weight but excess drinking, drug use, foolish activities like drinking & driving etc). I will not enable destructive behaviours. However, that is not really what the OP's family is doing either.

twinieten
12-12-2011, 07:35 AM
I'm a mom, and I agree with what Lori Bell says. Sometimes we have to play the bad guy and tell our kids how it is. Yes, sometimes it makes them feel bad, but I'd rather they get it from me than from others. If I have the guts to point something out, then maybe they can take steps to correct it.

However, I'm also a child, and I don't appreciate comments about my weight. After reading some of what people have gone through at this web site gives me a new ideas on how to handle comments.... any comments, not just weight comments.

I like the idea of just saying "thank you" and then saying your weight is not up for discussion. You appreciate their concern, but you don't want to discuss it further, or something like that. Just because they're mom and dad and can say things to you, doesn't mean they should. I'm sure that they will respect your boundaries.

If you look pretty much the same (less 4 pounds) then they probably won't feel the need to discuss your weight. They'll just be happy to see you.

lm3898
12-12-2011, 01:53 PM
This is such a hard dilemma. I've been on the receiving end of rants from my mother, she swears they are for my own good and she's even cried because she was worried that I was 20+ lbs overweight. It was pretty awful and I would dwell on everything she said b/c it meant so much to me.

Despite this, I don't think she was wrong. Parents get on you about poor grades, poor attitude, poor choices in general, etc. Why woudn't they discuss poor health with you? My mom didn't say these things to be mean [even though they do hurt], she said them because she was worried and who better to say them than your own mom or dad? As you said, your friends aren't going to do it.

I know it can be really hurtful, awful even and some people say things without tact [my grandmother once took my piece of MY birthday cake away from me and gave it to my husband [boyfriend at the time], after exclaiming that I didn't need it]...but you have to remember, parents [usually] want what best. Your dad is probably motivated to talk to you b/c of worrying about the health problems that come from being overweight and perhaps the hurt that it causes you, rather then your having a boyfriend. Maybe he possibly something he thought you wanted and that would be motivation?

I really hope you can enjoy the holiday w/ your family.

princessgina00
12-12-2011, 04:34 PM
I love how people believe that just because they're your parents, they can say the most hurtful things to you under the guise that they are "worried" about you. You know what? Keep it to yourself. Worry all you want, but just don't inflict your internal problems on your children. My problem is not that parents often voice their concerns, whether real or imagined, it's just that the constant voice of "worrying" is never, ever, HELPFUL. It is simply and (almost) always HURTFUL. So, why continue it? Do they believe that the 5000th time will work even though try 1-4999 failed? And, if you are a victim of such obtuseness and cruelty, why inflict it on your own progeny? Does one believe that the hurtful comments their mother inflicted upon them about their weight will somehow be less hurtful coming from your mouth to your children's ears? If parents are truly concerned about their children's weight then I would suggest they zip their lips, put on their kicks, and go on a walk with their offspring (or engage in another fun, physical, family activity). Actions speak louder than words and just because those words come from someone with similar genetic material does not mean they are any less hurtful or harmful. Look at it this way, have you ever heard from a fat adult who was also a fat child that their parents had the nicest things to say about their childhood weight problem? I highly doubt it.

As for the OP, IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE! Continue to push the "Ignore" button in your head until you are safely back home. Happy Holidays!

lin43
12-12-2011, 05:59 PM
Do they believe that the 5000th time will work even though try 1-4999 failed?

I couldn't agree more. It's not just that it is extremely aggravating, but more than that, it is ineffective. It reminds me of the signs that have proliferated on my street. Every few feet there is a sign reminding people to "share the road." The driver who is inconsiderate and doesn't give walkers or bicyclists much room won't be more convinced by two, three, four, or more reminder signs than he or she would have been with one sign.

Telling someone something more than once doesn't necessarily increase the effectiveness of the message.

gagalu
12-12-2011, 07:27 PM
you're maintained AND lost -- that's enough! i know it's disappointing not meeting a goal you set up for yourself, but be proud of what you've accomplished regardless.

i had wanted to be in the 150's by january for my trip to nyc, but i'll be making it in my 160's. i look and feel horrible, but i'm proud of myself for making it as far as i did.

seriously, think how awful it would be to have came back to your family 30 lbs heavier! i lost 100 lbs when i was in high school and had regained it all back by the time my relatives had seen me again.