Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - re-evaluating your personal relationships during weightloss




stimkovs
01-27-2012, 02:54 PM
so, as i have been slowly approaching the big 1-0-0 i have been spending increasingly more time thinking about my personal relationships and how i relate to people now, how they have related to me over time, and what has changed. i am not sure whether it is something that is in my own head, whether i am overthinking it, or whether it is a legitimate phenomenon lol..

so, when i was significantly bigger there were things that were significantly different. i had far less female friends, i spent a lot more time "taking care of myself" aka expensive stylish clothes, hair done, nails done, ,etc etc, i had a LOT of male friends, and a very active social life. all other issues aside- the active social life was probably what lead to the weight but that's another issue. basically, the motto was "go big or go home". i liked large accessories, i liked big parties, lots of drinks, etc.

over the last 90-some-odd lbs, there have been several phenomenal changes (pant size, and scale range aside).

i have lost MANY friends, both male, and female who simply did not support the life style change decision (they were enablers, good riddance) and i did not just "lose them", they phased themselves out.

i now have many female friends, and we....relate. ironically, i have more male attention, but less male friends - because really, men and women can't be friends. read: men can't be friends with hot women, whatever ha ha.

i have also had some beautiful, wonderful, amazing people in my life that have stayed with me through the process, they have put up with my quirks, they have listened to my "inner dialogues" and ramblings on the subject (i am very open to talking about it), and they have really, just...listened. listened without offering unsolicited advice, just LISTENED. in some cases, they have even changed their behaviours which is AMAZING.

at the same time- i have had people where, nothing has changed. they respect my choices but our inter-relationships have been the same through 90 lbs.

isn't it wierd what REALLY happens in the duration of weight loss? how much REALLY changes? how many things become different aside from the numbers on the scale?


Lambiechop
01-27-2012, 03:15 PM
For me I've had to really limit my interactions with people since I began this process. When other people are allowed into my life they usually bring me nothing but stress and drama. It's selfish but I needed to be able to focus on me, not what Susie's husband is texting Betty, who hates who this week, little Timmy isn't doing well in school, etc. And it's funny, I really don't miss them.

LighterLeigh
01-28-2012, 11:07 AM
[SIZE="4"][Losing weight really does change more than shape and health. I find people relate to me much better now and seem to respect me more. When I was obese I isolated myself so the big change in me is starting to go out socially once more.
I suppose you have really found out who your true friends are. Friendship is not about bodily size! Leigh


stimkovs
01-28-2012, 05:43 PM
hey guys, thanks for the input. it's great to know that other people feel the same

lambiechop - you're right. i don't really care about little timmy, i care about my health!! ha ha

sontaikle
01-29-2012, 02:25 PM
For the most part, I've found that my friends have been overwhelmingly supportive of my efforts--and my friends come in all shapes and sizes. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I was a gym rat before I lost the weight...so they're just used to me saying "sorry, can't hang out, there's a class at the gym." Especially since I was this way before I met my college friends! My high school friends are just amazing too and are very supportive :) One of them has lost around 100lbs herself so she is someone I can go to if I need to talk about something!

I do have one friend that seemed set on sabotaging my efforts, but I've got enough confidence that I wasn't shy about putting my foot down and insisting on something else. She had asked me about my weight loss plan, so I told her exactly what I was doing. We were all going away one weekend and she kept insisting on a buffet which nobody but her wanted to go to (you know, even after she asked me for tips on losing weight). Everyone else caved in and I said that they were welcome to go to the buffet, but I would be getting a light lunch since we were planning on going to a nice restaurant for dinner. I did get one friend to come with me and found out my friend who insisted on the buffet trashed me and said I should just control myself! I laughed, realizing she probably was jealous that I was successful and she wasn't worth the headache. I have since limited my interactions with her. What's funny is that my entire group has pretty much had the same reaction. They didn't like that she wasn't supportive of me.

My fiance has been overwhelmingly supportive. I was frightened that this would change our relationship, but if anything it has made it stronger :) (He proposed when I was in the middle of my weight loss efforts actually!). He has also started healthier eating and is very understanding if I want to go somewhere else to eat or if I don't want to eat the food at his house. He's amazing and I'm very happy to be with him.

fyreflie24
01-29-2012, 03:24 PM
I have someone who told my husband I was 'setting myself up for failure' when I even started this journey (since I'm trying to get to goal before June 23rd). She would chastise me for stopping with one-two glasses of wine, cut me a bigger piece of cake than she cut herself... etc. It's crazy. I'm so happy to not be around her!

imperialistic
02-01-2012, 06:45 AM
My female friends have been extremely supportive but I've definitely noticed a difference in dynamics. What I loved about them was that they treated me as "normal" sized even when I wasn't and they still talk to me in the same way but I've noticed that now something has changed.
I am grateful that no one tried to sabotage me. One friend does try to feed me more but I think it's because she's convinced I have an eating disorder- she always celebrates my losses with me too so I don't know.

k8yk
02-01-2012, 02:39 PM
My situation is a little different- I started my journey after moving 2000 miles cross country, so I have made new friends and new ways of being social. The friends I have now don't know me any other way- I'm the one who suggests physical activities as social get-togethers, like hiking. I'm the one who introduces my friends to new workouts. I even got two of my friends to join my gym with me and we all became BodyPump buddies together. They know I'm into healthy eating and they don't expect me to make any choices other than the good ones I make.

I recently returned to my stomping grounds of old and all my old friends (mostly drinking buddies) can't get over how different I am. Some clearly don't approve and think I'm boring now that I'm not out partying every night. But most are extremely complimentary and happy for me. Many said some wonderful things about how much happier I seem, without ever mentioning my weight loss.

I feel I was quite lucky to be able to change who I am in a new location. It would have been 10X harder around all those "bad influences". Not that others make choices for me- I don't blame them at all. But it's not easy to change when many of your friends want you to be just like you've always been!

The best relationship is that with my boyfriend, which has not changed at all in any way. His love for me never had anything to do with looks, and I will be grateful for that for the rest of my life :)

Nadya
02-05-2012, 12:18 AM
When I was thinner people reacted to me differently. My roommates at the time were easily 225+ pounds each. The one is probably closer to 300 pounds or more. I never said a word, didn't give them any trouble, and was actually rather friendly. But they got on my back a few times about my weight, the one telling me I was too skinny (130 pounds @ 5'3.5"?), the other nagging at me about why I'd bother to eat healthy if I was already thin. *point goes WOOSH*

Men, by comparison, were a lot more likely to notice me and I had several interested in me in the first month or so of classes and that's without actually trying to get attention.

Since then, male attention has gone down and women aren't on my back anymore...I guess I'm not a "threat". ;)

stimkovs
02-08-2012, 07:35 AM
k8yk - i creeped around your blog- it is a fantastic read. your thoughts are also beautiful. i thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as your experience. your relationship with your body and your weightloss is also inspiring, it seems as though you did a lot of growing!


having read the rest of the replies, i have another conclusion/deduction (this is a fairly ongoing topic in my head).

The reason why I spend so much time and energy really thinking about it I think, is because in order for me to lose, I have to single myself out. What this means is, I have to focus on myself, solely. I am single, I live alone, I work a very good full time job- in an office. For me to have my efforts not go down the drain on the weekends, my weeks look a lot like, work, yoga, home- cook dinner, prepare lunch, read a book, call my mother, go to bed, repeat. Weekends are usually yoga-nap-yoga- clean apartment/ see friends.

i have noticed that the most effective plan is for me to skip seeing friends as it typically leads to partying, which I am no longer really interested in. I usually go through "terms" of singling myself out, for lets say 2 or 3 weekends in a row, and then I will be very social for 1 or 2 weeks, then I will repeat. When I see people, I have no issue maintaining, but I would still like to lose some.

So on average, when I am really clean, I shrink down about 10 lbs everytime I see somebody - because I don't see "ALL" of my friends every time I decide to be seen in public for a week or 2 ha ha. Which means that every time I see them I get a lot of "holy **** you look good".

Recently, I have kind of made it clear that if you want to hang out- I am NOT going out for drinks, and in most cases I am not going out for dinner. We are lucky to live in a city with 5 amazing ski hills within a 40-1hr drive from us, a tonne of skating rinks, and many other outdoor activities. Given that there are so many ski hills- lift tickets are under 30 dollars, and skating is free.

What is funny? Guess who has stepped forward? Mostly men. Mostly men that are now all of a sudden interested. Outside of my best BEST female friends (who were aforementioned in the OP) who have changed their "going out" habits for me- even if it's as little as mixing a drink with diet coke instead of coke.

I feel as though I am once again developing friendships with men, mostly given to the fact that I am WILLING to play dirty and in the snow in the winter.

Funny how that's cyclical right?

k8yk
02-08-2012, 02:44 PM
stimkovs,

Thank you! And it sounds like you need to make new friends :) It's definitely hard because when we change ourselves, it would certainly be nice if our friends came along for the ride. But in reality, this is such a personal decision that almost never happens and you can't really expect them to be anyone other than who they are. I have so many friends like that- they don't know how to socialize without food and drink. Although with the women, I find that I can easily convince even the most inactive ones to go clothes shopping as an activity!

stimkovs
02-09-2012, 09:44 AM
stimkovs,

Thank you! And it sounds like you need to make new friends :) It's definitely hard because when we change ourselves, it would certainly be nice if our friends came along for the ride. But in reality, this is such a personal decision that almost never happens and you can't really expect them to be anyone other than who they are. I have so many friends like that- they don't know how to socialize without food and drink. Although with the women, I find that I can easily convince even the most inactive ones to go clothes shopping as an activity!

hey, anytime!! i calls'em as i see's'em LOL.

i find the friends comment funny- having lost a significant ammount of weight, i feel simpler. when i was larger- i was always outgoing, i always needed to be around people, always going for dinners, always going out, always being social and never at home- i was a social butterfly and needed to be with people, ALL THE TIME. it was like i needed something, and it was the deeprooted cause of my weight issue (or i like to think so).

now, that i am very active, to me, the yoga is a meditation- and i prefer to do it without friends in the room, i find the need to be alone more often, in fact i simply enjoy, being alone, i enjoy being able to relax, read a book, cook my meals, and think.

it was also like- i dressed extravagantly when i was larger, i always wore makeup, i always got my nails done, i always had very expensive clothing- now, i am very plain, i take care of myself- but i don't feel the need to be perfectly GROOMED all of the time, sometimes i have yoga hair, sometimes my hair isn't straightened, sometimes i forget to put on foundation- and that's okay, i feel much more confident, it's like i no longer NEED to hide behind the extravagance, wierd right?

sontaikle
02-09-2012, 10:06 AM
it was also like- i dressed extravagantly when i was larger, i always wore makeup, i always got my nails done, i always had very expensive clothing- now, i am very plain, i take care of myself- but i don't feel the need to be perfectly GROOMED all of the time, sometimes i have yoga hair, sometimes my hair isn't straightened, sometimes i forget to put on foundation- and that's okay, i feel much more confident, it's like i no longer NEED to hide behind the extravagance, wierd right?

Take away the need to wear makeup and you have pretty much described me. I needed to wear the best outfits before, my hair needed to be washed and perfect, etc. I don't really do any of that anymore. While I hated how I looked with my hair up and thus felt the need to wash it all the time (I have crazy curly hair, if it's not washed it HAS to go in a ponytail), I hardly wash it any more. I still take SHOWERS, lol but I just don't go crazy making sure my hair is perfect. It's really just the weekends that I'll keep it down. I took special care to NOT go out in my gym clothes before (I would bring a change of clothes if I was even going somewhere quick) but now I will do lots of my errands coming straight from the gym and just not care. I don't really worry about my outfits any more either and I'm not going crazy trying to wear the best ones. I just don't care anymore because I don't feel the need to avoid being the "sloppy fat person" I guess.

I see so many people on here who have experienced the opposite (i.e. before they didn't care, now they wear makeup, do their hair, wear nice clothes, etc.) that it's refreshing to see someone like me who have gone in a different direction :)

stimkovs
02-09-2012, 10:34 AM
I see so many people on here who have experienced the opposite (i.e. before they didn't care, now they wear makeup, do their hair, wear nice clothes, etc.) that it's refreshing to see someone like me who have gone in a different direction :)

thats awesome! i even feel proud lugging around equipment (i don't drive- so it's visible) or wearing workout clothes!!

also, it's like there is no longer a need for social acceptance, because you're accepting and loving of yourself- everything else flows from that.

it's funny, how i find most people, when bigger choose to wear their hair down.

i actually ALWAYS straightened the crud out of my curly hair, and would have to wear a turtleneck or something with a high neck if by some monstrous reason my hair was up! now, i like my hair up, i like seeing NO double chin, not even when i try!! and the defined jaw!!

k8yk
02-09-2012, 06:07 PM
I also wore a lot more makeup before I lost weight. Now I don't wear any :)

imperialistic
02-15-2012, 09:16 AM
Same here, I do wear makeup still but I've quit my acrylic nails, getting my hair done, buying designer clothing etc etc
But that's great, it means that we're more confident with who we are and the way we look instead of trying to 'fake' it.
Same with the social issue. I still go out as often but I think I'm a lot less funnier than I used to be- maybe because we're always trying to prove something and/or compensate.