Featherweights - What do you do when people tell you to stop losing?




KatieC87
12-25-2011, 10:14 PM
First of all, it is exciting to hear that people think I look so great that I don't need to lose anymore. I recognize that it's a form of a compliment, and I'm grateful for that. It makes me feel awesome about myself on the one hand.

But... Why do people feel the need to tell you when you should stop losing weight? This happened first when I was at 160. My mother and my grandmother told me I didn't need to lose anymore. Both of their reasoning was that when Mom got around the weight I was she looked too thin. But we have different bodies! We're not the same person.

My grandmother reiterated this at Thanksgiving. When I told her I had a goal of 135, she said, "Katie, you just need to stop. You're going to get sick. You're not eating!" Thankfully, my mother stepped in and said, "She still eats plenty! She just goes to the gym!"

At Christmas Eve dinner, one of my parents' friends - who hadn't seen me since I started my lifestyle change in July - told me how great I looked, that he wouldn't have even recognized me out on the street. He kept sporadically complimented me through the night, but then right before he left, he hugged me and said, "Now, don't lose anymore, okay?"

I just don't get it! I've attached a photo of myself here so you can see what I look like at my current weight. (I was actually wearing a very similar dress to this one at the time, just in black.) I feel great about how I look, but I still feel like there's improvement to be made. I don't think 8 more pounds is going to make me look sickly. In my mind, I keep thinking about how I felt at 155 or 150. I felt good about myself but didn't feel like I was finished yet. And those impulses were right in the 150s, so why would I begin to doubt them now?

Do you all see what they see? I mean, there's obviously been a huge change from when I was 196, and maybe seeing that change happen so quickly (40 pounds since June) is too much for them? While this has been going on, I've continued to tell myself, "Okay, they don't see you naked. Your husband is on board with your goal to continue on. You see areas that could be improved by toning and weight loss. Don't let them bring you down." When it was just my mom and grandmother, I guess I felt like it was just familial concern, nothing to take too seriously. Now that it's coming from outside the family, I don't know how to take it.

(As an aside, I really wish everyone would keep these comments to themselves. If you're legitimately worried that a loved one has an eating disorder, you should speak up. But to just assume that people want to know when you think they should stop their weight loss? If we wanted to know, we'd ask!)


carter
12-25-2011, 10:39 PM
I haven't had this problem much myself, but if it's at all possible maybe a little white lie can help you here. "Oh, thanks ... I'm not planning to lose anymore, just keeping off what I've lost..." Unless you do have an eating disorder, it's nobody's business (including even your immediate family if it comes to that) how much you weigh and how much you want to weigh. So, you don't have to tell them the exact number you are or wish to be. Go ahead and lie about 5-10 pounds if you have to, to get people out of your beeswax.

sontaikle
12-25-2011, 11:46 PM
I got that a lot. It annoyed me quite a bit especially since I don't like it when people tell me what to do in regards to my body.

I agree with carter in that a little white lie can help diffuse the situation. I just don't have the desire to get into an argument sometimes, so I would just say that yes, I was done...and then go on to lose 10 pounds. Sometimes they would yell at me for losing more and I would just swear I hadn't (even though I really did).


wtfudge
12-26-2011, 01:15 AM
Well for the record, you look pretty darn good. In your family and friend's defense, maybe they meant to say "you don't NEED to lose more" instead of "don't!" I think change also freaks people out lol. Like if you were always five pounds lighter than you are now, they wouldn't be telling you that you don't eat enough just based on your current weight. I think the people who love you most are often the most opinionated too so... That combo isn't fun :/ hah

I agree about the little white lie. When people tell me "you've lost weight," I tell them "I've been the same for a while, actually" which is 100% true because a month is kinda a long time :P

melodymist
12-26-2011, 02:10 AM
I get what you are saying. It's happening to me at the moment.

People just aren't used to seeing you at your current weight and that's why it's such a big shock to them.

People telling you to stop losing weight? Mostly women right? They are just plain insecure and jealous because you have done what they can't and they now see you as competition.

Do what you believe is right AND healthy for your body :) it's YOUR body.

runningfromfat
12-26-2011, 07:28 AM
I haven't had this happen to me yet. Part of it is, though, that many people who see me on a regular basis don't have any clue how much I've actually lost (due to a move in the middle of my journey) part of it too is that I have family members who have told me to lose weight even when I was already at a healthy BMI so I highly doubt anybody would tell me to stop now that I'm still in the overweight category. :shrug:

I think it's a lot things that are at play here. I'm not sure how long you were overweight but if it was for an extensive period of time it might be rather shocking to them. Also, I've noticed everyone has a different definition of "normal". Even though most of my family members are overweight their definition of a healthy weight tends to be in the middle to low end of the BMI spectrum (these particular family members tend to have small frames so I'm sure that play a role too). Others I know who have a higher definition of what "normal" is probably would be more likely to make comments like your relatives.

I also think it could be that they are simply saying that you're at an OK weight now and that if you don't want to lose anymore you don't need to. I think part of the problem with that is that people forget that there is a healthy weight range. There's no one set ideal weight for a single person. So while a person might look ok at a certain weight they might also look OK up or down 15lbs.

You look great in your picture but ultimately it's your decision to make. From your BMI I would guess that you still could definitely lose weight and remain healthy, you could even gain a couple of pounds and remain in the healthy weight too. In reality at this point it's your choice and how you want your body to look.

Beck
12-26-2011, 07:32 AM
I'm getting the same thing a lot lately. I answer that I'm done losing, but that my focus now is on toning and firming up my body. I've actually reached goal, but I think I'm going to try to lose a few more pounds. Nobody is going to see what the scale says, so if they say it looks like you've lost more weight, you can attribute it to toning things up.

What bugs me most about those comments is the fact that when I was truly unhealthy, obese and just waiting for diabetes, no one ever cared to mention my weight; maybe they spoke about it behind my back, but never to my face. Now that I'm the healthiest I"ve been in 10 years or more, everyone is concerned that I've lost too much weight, I'm too skinny, and I should stop working out. Where the logic here?

Keep up the hard work! You've achieved wonderful success so far.

Ilene
12-26-2011, 08:55 AM
What bugs me most about those comments is the fact that when I was truly unhealthy, obese and just waiting for diabetes, no one ever cared to mention my weight; maybe they spoke about it behind my back, but never to my face. Now that I'm the healthiest I"ve been in 10 years or more, everyone is concerned that I've lost too much weight, I'm too skinny, and I should stop working out. Where the logic here?

Isn't that the truth!

Katie, I think relatives worry that you will develop an eating disorder to the other extreme of being obese... I agree just tell the person that you are now maintaining, it's really none of their business if you still want to lose a few more pounds...

You look great BTW :yes:

Unna
12-26-2011, 09:35 AM
I agree - you don't need to inform them you plan on losing more. This qualifies as an acceptable lie. It is not hurting anyone.

You look great. If they were to notice in the future that you lost a bit more, say "Yeah, I weigh the same but it is more muscle" - which is probably true (you wrote you go to the gym frequently).

I think some people say to stop before you get too skinny is because we have all known many cases, maybe even been one of those cases, where the person gets super skinny, super fast, only to gain the weight back in an even super faster way, i.e. poor Oprah.

You look really cute - I totally agree that you could stop losing! 10lbs. for you will make a massive difference.... I also know the feeling of wanting to get those few extra blubbery skin layers off after you've already worked so hard to take the others off.

Good luck!

bargoo
12-26-2011, 10:11 AM
I don't know why it is but it seems people are just compelled to comment on our weight as if it was their duty . As hard as it is just ignore them, turn their comments off and do what you think is right for you.

jms423
12-26-2011, 07:06 PM
Just my two cents, but maybe they are jealous. Some people don't like to see other people succeed.

kaplods
12-26-2011, 07:54 PM
I don't think it's jealousy, I think people just love sharing their opinions on virtually all possible topics (and if they didn't there wouldn't be much use for this site - or for most of the internet for that matter).

I'm obviously not anywhere near goal weight, but even I've gotten the "you don't need to diet" comments (even before I lost 100 lbs), and I've also gotten warnings not to get "too thin" or to be careful about how I diet... .

But, so what? Remember the Aesop's fable about the father, the son and the donkey (I'll post it at the end for anyone who hasn't - but the moral of the story is that you can't please everyone, and trying is foolish)

I did and do get comments on how I should lose weight, and how I shouldn't. How much I should weigh, and that my goal weight is either too high or too low.

It doesn't bother me, because I'm confident enough in my opinions that I don't mind sharing them, and I don't mind hearing other people's opinions (even if I personally, think they're silly). But if someone offers me their opinion, I do consider it an invitation to share mine (so if you're going to give me your opinion or advice, be prepared for me to reciprocate. If you don't want to hear my opinion, you shouldn't offer yours).

If I feel someone has gone overboard with the advice or opinions, I either tell them outright - or I have some fun by reciprocating in kind. Ask me a "too personal" question or advice about my weight, and maybe I'll offer the same if not about weight, perhaps about your religion, child-rearing, sex life or choice of feminine hygeine products. Whatever will make the point.


Personally, I wish weight and diet weren't such taboo subjects. I think weight issues would be more easily addressed if we could discuss it openly without being offended or fear of offending others.

We manage to do it with a lot of other topics, weight loss wouldn't have to be any different. We don't have to take it personally when someone thinks we should make a choice differently than the one we're making.













The donkey fable:

A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yoursu and your hulking son?"

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

KatieC87
12-26-2011, 11:03 PM
What bugs me most about those comments is the fact that when I was truly unhealthy, obese and just waiting for diabetes, no one ever cared to mention my weight; maybe they spoke about it behind my back, but never to my face. Now that I'm the healthiest I"ve been in 10 years or more, everyone is concerned that I've lost too much weight, I'm too skinny, and I should stop working out. Where the logic here?

This! I guess because people think that commenting that someone is "too skinny" is a compliment, whereas "step away from the burger" is an insult, they feel entitled to share that with you.

It's really weird for me because, when I dropped the first 50 pounds, everyone said, "But I never thought you were fat!" I showed my mom my before/after pics, and she said, "That's you?!?!" As if she wasn't around the two years that I was obese! It's as though we've been brainwashed to see obesity as "normal" now and healthy eating/exercise routines as red flags of some kind.

KatieC87
12-26-2011, 11:05 PM
Thanks, everyone! I had not even thought of telling a little white lie, ha! The thought didn't cross my mind because I used these people's support to help take off the weight in the beginning. So I've kept them updated on my goals as I've kept going, but I don't *have* to. I have a support system on 3FC, and I still have my husband and a couple of friends who support my goal. I think that's what I'll do from now on. "Oh, I am done!"

KatieC87
12-26-2011, 11:09 PM
kaplodsI can definitely see the validity in this argument. I just wish diet/weight wasn't a taboo topic on BOTH ends of the spectrum. It seems that people have no problem sharing their opinions now that I'm at a healthy weight, but no one - and I mean no one - said anything when I was in the obese range. Heck, even my doctor didn't say anything!

I wish a lot of things that are considered taboo weren't - like money, sex, weight. But even if people did open up about these topics, unsolicited advice is just plain annoying unless someone is literally on the verge of catastrophe.

kaplods
12-27-2011, 12:30 AM
kaplodsI can definitely see the validity in this argument. I just wish diet/weight wasn't a taboo topic on BOTH ends of the spectrum. It seems that people have no problem sharing their opinions now that I'm at a healthy weight, but no one - and I mean no one - said anything when I was in the obese range. Heck, even my doctor didn't say anything!


This wasn't my experience. I've been overweight since kindergarten (so 40 years), and tons of people from teachers to strangers on the street have offered me (and my parents) unsolicited advice regarding my weight (when I was 5 and my brother 3, a stranger told my mother to stop feeding me and give the food to my brother - who she had no way of knowing ate like a steamshovel, but couldn't gain weight)


I've had strangers walk up to me and hand me weight loss product information. I've had people critique my menu choices at restaurants - either to my face, or in loud stage whispers I'm meant to hear but not react to (Who is she kidding, getting a salad - you know she's going to go home and down a dozen donuts....).

I can count on one hand the number of doctors I saw who didn't mention my weight. To the point that I felt like I could have gone into the ER with a gunshot wound or a knife sticking out of my eye and somehow the doctor would have made it about my weight.





I wish a lot of things that are considered taboo weren't - like money, sex, weight. But even if people did open up about these topics, unsolicited advice is just plain annoying unless someone is literally on the verge of catastrophe.


I agree it's easy to find unsolicited advice annoying - but that doesn't stop any of us. Can you really say you've never once given an opinion that wasn't sincerely requested?

I would also disagree that being on the verge of catastrophe doesn't make unsolicited advice easier to take. For most people, it makes it harder, because the stress level is so high that it's harder to see that one person's opinion is just that - an opinion.

In fact, I think it's the stress level and a person's coping resources that make unsolicited advice annoying in the first place. I know when I'm confident in my choices, and when I'm managing stress well, and not in "catastrophe mode" then unsolicited opinions tend to feel either neutral - or at worst mildly annoying or even amusing (haha, isn't it funny that some people are naive enough to think that "just don't eat ice cream" is going to fix my weight issues when I eat ice cream three or four times a year).

It's when my coping resources are depleted - when I'm already tired, angry, frustrated, or otherwise stressed - that an unsolicited opinion becomes annoying rather than helpful or neutral.

When I'm stressed, any offer of assistance can seem offensive.

My mother once slipped on a linoleum floor on her way into a concert. A stranger bent down to help her up, and she snapped "Leave me alone," (we were laughing about this just yesterday).

I once saw a stranger debating between two grocery store products (light mayonaise) and I smiled and told her which one I preferred (Hellman's
Canola mayo).

She shot me such an evil glare you would have thought I'd killed her puppy right in front of her.

I've made similar "unsolicited" recommendations hundreds of times and 99 times out of 100, I get very positive responses from people. I've only got the stink eye from a handful of people.

I know I am more skilled than most in terms of diplomacy, both because of my personality and because of my education and job training (my degrees are in psychology and I worked in social service and as a probation officer). I'm also very difficult to shock or annoy - for the same reason. My jobs depended on it.

I also think there are regional differences.

In the central Illinois town where I grew up, just greeting a person you didn't know well was likely to cause offense. If I smiled at someone I recognized from high school but didn't know well, I was as likely to get a scowl in response as any acknowlegement at all.

When I went away to college, it took me a while to realize that guys who smiled, made eye contact, talked to me, and were generally friendly weren't necessarily "hitting on me." In my home town, if a guy treated you like a human being, he probably was interested in you.


When I moved to northcentral Wisconsin, I got another shock. Weight wasn't the giant taboo that it was in central Illinois (nor was giving and receiving unsolicited advice on a host of normally taboo topics).

The obesity rate in Illinois and Wisconsin are virtually identical (Illinois: 27.7% and Wisconsin: 27.4%), and yet for the first time in my life I had doctors who saw beyond the obesity. I also had doctors who understood obesity and weight loss struggles to a greater degree (some because they struggled themselves).

There also didn't seem to be as much a taboo against being an active, normal (except for fatness) socially interactive person. Although the obesity rates are similar, I saw a lot more obese people in Wisconsin than I did in central Illinois - and fat people doing things I almost never had seen before - hiking, biking, walking, skiing, kayaaking, dancing, dating...

It was rather shocking to have a doctor NOT assume that I spent 16 hours in front of the television.

Even clothing has been more accessible here. I've never found so many nice pieces of clothing in the thrift stores in my sizes. In Illinois, I'd find something wearable once or twice a year. Now, I can buy most of my clothes from second hand sources.

And there even seems to be a very different attitude when it comes to the topic of weight and in general the sharing of advice and opinions. Not quite as dramatic a difference where relatives are involved (I think the annoyance factor does tend to be greater when it's comming from someone you care about), but I've had some very interesting and even fun conversations about weight loss with perfect strangers (including getting and giving advice and opinions).

I think it is easier to hear random advice from a stranger - because you have no investment in their comments. You can more easily dismiss the person as a crackpot, than, you do when you're dealing with someone you love and care about.



I do find it amazing that there are so many regional and personal differences in experience.

ChickieChicks
12-27-2011, 12:11 PM
I think that when you lose weight very quickly, people see red flags and assume you HAVE to be doing something wildly unhealthy in order to have been so successful with your weight loss. I lost 45 pounds very quickly, and I get the occasional comment about "making sure I;m not doing anything drastic..". (eyeroll) I know it is out of concern, but it irks me, b/c I have worked my butt off, literally, and done nothing but make healthy choices EVERY DAY to get where I am.

KatieC87
12-27-2011, 11:08 PM
@kaplods I hear you. I don't think being "on the brink" makes unsolicited advice easier to take, but I personally accept that as a time when you should put the health/safety of your loved one ahead of the possibility that they'll bite your head off. I also like to think that I'd come out of said situation and realize that the person only had my best interests in mind, but I can think of no specific situation in my life when this has happened.

I actually prefer my advice to be from a stranger! For instance, I talked to my hairdresser about this issue just today, and hearing her say, "You look totally healthy! Not too skinny! You look thin, but you're not on the verge of starvation!" meant more than hearing my mother or grandmother - who has seen me go from a size 14 to a size 8 in five months - say that I should stop where I am. Is that weird? I should probably feel the opposite. My family has an interest in my health and where I end up while a stranger doesn't care.

I can't say I've never given unsolicited advice. I don't remember doing it, but that doesn't mean much. I think it's all in the way you do it. My coworker coming up to me out of the blue and saying, "You know, all this deprivation is just going to blow up in your face," is different from a colleague telling me her opinion of my diet while I'm discussing it with her.

I wouldn't presume someone wants to hear my opinion if they don't ask for it. But my actions (or inactions) are highly influenced by the fact that recent (read: in the last two years) changes I've made for myself (adopting a minimalistic philosophy, living frugally to pay off debt quickly, and losing weight by religiously counting calories and exercising) have been harshly criticized by people whose advice I did not ask for. No, I don't need to hear that you think I'm "not living" because I'd rather pay off debt than buy a bunch of clothes. I don't need to hear that you think all of my Goodwill donations are "extreme" and "no way [am I] happy." And because of these experiences, I make it a point to not offer my advice or help unless someone specifically asks for it, and even then, I give it as diplomatically as possible.