Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Friend:"You weigh *that* much?!"
I've lost 152 pounds total, with 122lb of that being since March 2011. I've done it through calorie counting, nutrient-dense-whole food eating, and exercise; I've done it in a determined and healthful manner. I'm proud of myself and all I've accomplished.
The problem I have now is that my friends and family have said things that make me so hurt and I don't really know how to handle these things.
Today took the cake. One friend was commenting on how her mother, who hadn't seen my transformation until recently, was amazed by how great I looked. She went on to say that I should be careful because many people who lose weight end up having Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and that I'm fine where I am, and that I shouldn't lose any more weight. She went on to ask, "How much do you weigh, 120lb?" I told her (should have keep my mouth shut) that I weigh 140lb, and she replied, "That MUCH?!" No wonder people end up having body issues when people make comments such as that! I'm the healthiest I've been in years, my inner athlete has been reborn, and I not only look good (if I do say so myself), but I feel great- both physically and emotionally, and I'm by no means underweight- I'm right in the middle of the BMI chart for a woman of my height.
How does one respond to those concerned that that I've lost too much weight and that encourage me to eat and stop exercising now that I'm at goal (really, people, come on!).
Your input will be very much appreciated.
01-08-2012, 08:19 PM
Congratulations on your loss! you are amazing!! You should be proud!
Don't pay too much attention to your friend or her comments and remember than muscle weighs more than fat, As long as you exercise you will always weigh more than you look. Big deal! Next time add 20lbs and see if she faints. :dizzy:
01-08-2012, 08:20 PM
I have a post-it in my cubicle that says, "Thanks for your feedback!" That's what I say whenever anyone says anything disturbing to me. Then I proceed as planned. Good luck ignoring people and doing what you know you need to do.
01-08-2012, 09:15 PM
"Thanks for your concern."
Then let it go.
Or if you need it stronger "Thanks. But in this case you don't need to worry yourself for my sake."
Or laugh and go "How do you think I GOT this fit? I have to keep doing it to keep it that way."
Hang in there. This too shall pass.
01-09-2012, 04:22 PM
I know what you are saying. I had a diet relapse last year, but had made it to 185. Our life insurance agent is a member of my husband's church (we are both pastors). Everyone had been very congratulatory of my weight loss. Our agent finally said to my husband, "I don't mean to pry, but it seems like your wife can get the rider taken off the insurance for being...overweight (he meant obese)." So DH asked me (at the time I had just hit 185 which was my BMI no longer obese, but still overweight number) So he called DH and told him I had to be under 155. and I was like HA HA HA. I was at the time in a size 10 jeans. seriously? And when husband said, "she's not under 155" he said, "She's NOT?" (his wife is 5'1" and the former county fair queen)
I can't help but notice you're 5'9". 140 is of course a perfectly reasonable goal weight...I'm wondering what context she was referencing from--was she a "shortie"?
01-09-2012, 05:38 PM
I never tell anyone how much I weigh or how much I've lost (I'm halfway to my goal...72 lbs down, 60ish to goal)...There is no telling what they thought you weighed before - it was probably cartoonishly big or cartoonishly small, who knows.
I just say 'a lot' or 'some, still going'...no matter how much they prod. It's none of their beeswax!
01-09-2012, 06:17 PM
I had a friend tell me "you didn't weigh that much" in reference to my heighest weight. Um, I assure you I did. I know she meant it in a "you didn't look that big" kind of way, but it's hard not to take it as "you're exaggerating to make your weight loss sound more impressive."
Generally, I've learned that you just can't judge what someone else will weigh. I'm forever flabbergasted at how much a couple inches in height or just a different body type at the same height can result in vastly different weights at the same clothing size.
01-09-2012, 09:20 PM
I have to confess to being surprised when I heard how much one of the partners in my firm weighed before she lost 50 pounds. I thought she had gone from 180 to 130 and was gobsmacked to learn she had started at 210. She's just a little taller than me but never looked like she weighed almost as much as I did. And now I weigh a couple of pounds less than her and she still looks much, much smaller than I do. So people's perceptions can be wacky. But at least I know enough to keep it to myself!
01-09-2012, 09:27 PM
First off, you've done amazing! Congrats!
I think part of the reason people react oddly when learning of people's true weights is that so many people lie about how much they weigh. It also doesn't help if you happen to be muscular because then you look smaller than you actually weigh.
I answer honestly when people ask what I weigh because I think it helps other women with their body image. No, we don't all have to weigh 110lbs to be healthy, we can still be fine at 140, 150lbs. ;)
When I was 140lbs someone reacted similarly when I told them how much I weighed. They said that I looked much lighter and thought I weighed about 25 pounds less!
I get people telling me I'm too thin now and then they usually shut up when I tell them how much I weigh :)
01-09-2012, 09:38 PM
I had a friend ask me how much I weighed last month. :(
I told her, "When I get down to 125 pounds I'll let you know how much I weigh, until then it's a secret."
So then the nervy gal asked how much I had to lose.
I told her, "That's a secret too."
01-09-2012, 10:09 PM
I'm honest about what I weigh (5'4, 145-150 ish, and I read as about where I should be, definitely not fat) because I'm yet another demonstration that one can be thin and be well over 120 pounds.
And I make the same estimation mistakes other people do. Even first-hand knowledge doesn't prevent me from usually underestimating.
01-09-2012, 10:38 PM
See, I'm a large built woman, the mere idea of being 140 at even my height is a near impossibility, so to hear someone at 5'9" is 140 and the other person was surprised at that "high" number is flabbergasting to me.
It is so true. People can only figur weight for themselves and that's about it. My mother in law recently - in the same breath, "Melissa, you look perfect. How much do you weigh?". I told her 175 (which was true a month ago). She said, "oh, that's too much.". So.... I'm perfect yet weigh too much? People get stuck on numbers on the scale andnthen is just so damaging.
01-10-2012, 02:18 AM
It depends on the tone, but maybe she meant to suggest that you look thinner than what she would imagine to be 140 lbs? She probably doesn't fully get that weight is very differently proportioned depending on the body. One girl who weighs 170 lbs may fit into a size 14, while her other friend, of the same height and weight, may fit into a 10, because the friend's weight is mostly distributed in her arms and breasts, or something of that nature. Not even to go into how much muscle weighs versus fat and then, of course, height. Weight is so misleading! I'm pretty sure the sizes of my hands and feet alone adds a few pounds to my weight, haha.
Anyway, I sympathize with the feeling you get when you receive those kinds of comments, but (at least for me) most of my friends & family mean well. So I try to ignore them with love.
But I also receive those "warnings" about developing eating disorders and anorexia. It certainly bugs me, since I've been super healthy about losing weight and have gone the traditional route of eating better, eating less, and exercising more. But again, they mean it from a good place. So many people do have things like bulimia that go unnoticed. Although it is interesting how friends and family offhandedly warn us of these things, as if these comments don't have the same potential to offend as other weight-based comments. Other than mothers, aunts, and jerkish individuals, I don't think many people usually say dangerous statements along the lines of: "Watch out you don't become obese" or "you're getting so fat, I hope you're not stress-eating." It's something to think about.
01-10-2012, 11:28 AM
I don't know how tall your friend is, but people generally have NO concept of weight ranges being so different based on height. My goal weight is 170, which is well within my healthy BMI range, but my sister, who is much shorter than me, would be obese at that weight. People get so hung up on generalizations, thinking that every woman who looks "normal" must be in the 125 range. It's one of the things you've got to learn to take in stride when you're taller than average.
01-10-2012, 12:49 PM
As a person who has been overweight her entire life Ive heard it all and nothing bothers me more than insensitive people. Weight loss as we all know is not easy at all. Your accomplishment is AMAZING! People will say things no matter how tall, fat, skinny, short, bald, dark, etc. etc. etc. a person is. Just look in that mirror and be proud. dont let anyone steal your joy.
01-10-2012, 01:04 PM
CONGRATS....I think this is more of a statement on how we see and view weight. Everyone is striving for the 110s, 120s. However, we can look and be perfectly fit and healthy at higher weights that may not necessarily fall into the guidelines.
I say "Yup, this is what 170 pounds looks like on a 5'8" woman. Isn't it FABULOUS!" :)
It's just a number.
01-10-2012, 07:54 PM
Everyone is striving for the 110s, 120s.
01-13-2012, 04:11 PM
Everyone is striving for the 110s, 120s.
Not really. I want to be 135. If I ever were to be in the 120s or below I'd be trying to gain weight.
01-13-2012, 04:57 PM
Congrats on all of your hard work! I hate to be negative but I think some "friends" can feel threatened for whatever reason by another's weight loss and the "you weigh THAT much!" comments can be a passive-aggressive attempt to make themselves feel better :) It can be irritating but I just try to ignore it and focus on how good I feel.
01-13-2012, 05:18 PM
Not really. I want to be 135. If I ever were to be in the 120s or below I'd be trying to gain weight.
I thought that too. Then I found out my scale was weighing me in 10lbs heavier. So I was in the low 120s and didn't realize it! Whoops!
I actually like it here :) I'm glad my scale was messed up.
01-13-2012, 05:57 PM
135 is my goal, too. Anywhere 125-135 would be fine with me. Anything less and I think I'd look underweight.
01-15-2012, 09:55 AM
My brother told me recently, and I feel it to be true, that the majority of people are so used to seeing others at an overweight/obese weight that seeing someone that is within a "normal" BMI is a shock to their eyes. Everyone thinks I weigh in the low 120s and are amazed to hear that it's closer to 135-140. That's the beauty of long-term, consistent weight training.
01-27-2012, 11:47 PM
I definitely think that was a compliment, even if it was bit odd. She was just saying you look great!
01-31-2012, 04:19 PM
I broke my rule (never say an actual number) last week with one of my best friends.
She was diagnosed with diabetes last year, and has done an awesome job adjusting...and she lost about 60 pounds pretty effortlessly.
We went out to dinner and she asked me about losing weight. She had made a general comment a while ago because my loss has become pretty noticeable...and she pressed me for a number.
I relented and told her that I'm down 75 pounds and that I still have a long way to go (I didn't say exactly how much) and she didn't believe me that I was "that big" before! I started my WL journey a little over 2 years ago at 304...I didn't tell here where I started.
It just goes to show that it's almost impossible to tell just by looking at how much someone weighs. Her perception was probably colored by a) looking at me through the eyes of love (which is very sweet) and b) I've been going so slowly that it would be really hard to remember exactly how I looked 2 years ago!
I do have a great picture that I have identified as my "official" before picture. Right when I started (I'm on the Jenny Craig program) I had to go to Egypt for 3 weeks for work and I have some pictures from when I was in Alexandria with my coworkers. It's a pretty horrifying picture and when I get to my goal I'm going to have a picture taken in the same pose.
I *may* show my friend the before picture just to prove that I did have "that much" to lose...
Sorry to ramble a bit! But I was rereading this thread and realized I had broken my own rule so I thought I would 'fess up!
02-05-2012, 01:07 AM
Just try to ignore comments like that and maybe consider taking a look at who you are spending your time around. Personally, I got rid of the one person who made a smartassed comment to me and have barely said a word to him since. I realized that he's an arrogant, rude person and I feel better off without him.
Before I decided I wanted to be fit and not just thin, I settled for walking rather than jogging or running. But one night, partway into my walk, I thought, "I'm sick of this...I want off the treadmill...when can I stop?" I had to pick a point that I could stop at - a time or a distance? I went for the mile and it took me over 16 minutes to finish it. I had already been walking for like 10 so that's not a surprise.
When my "friend" asked me how long it took, he said, "Ouch, I could have done it in 10 and I don't even run much". I called him on it, said to show me, and he came up with some excuse for why he wasn't able to. Bull! This guy is a total chub, he couldn't do it in 10 if he was being chased!
After that, as he sat eating his sub and greasy chips, he teased me for eating "rabbit food". This was after he was also kind of a jerk with the cashier when we checked out and every rude, arrogant, or mean comment he'd ever made came rushing back and I realized......
........I really hate this guy. :club:
02-05-2012, 01:11 AM