Weight Loss Support - Anyone scared of becoming "invisible" again after reaching goal?

04-30-2012, 06:14 PM
Myself and others have mentioned the phenomenon of becoming more invisible the larger we get. For example, I can remember the days when I was obese being like a dry desert in terms of receiving compliments on my appearance. I might have spent hours on my makeup, hair, clothing, accessories, shoes - but rarely would I get any praise on my appearance.

Now that I have lost some weight, I get complimented all the time when I dress up. However, I think it is mostly the novelty of the recent weight loss that catches people's attention.

I was sitting here trying to remember what life was like when I used to be thin. I do remember always getting compliments when I got dressed up, but I don't remember getting a lot of attention on a day to day basis when I was dressed in everyday clothes.

So, when the compliments dry up as people become accustomed to my smaller size, will I become invisible again? Will I lose my motivation to maintain my weight loss? What do all of you think about this subject?

04-30-2012, 06:25 PM
I am here right now. I don't get as many compliments as I use to and there are days it is hard to keep on track. I would still like to lose 10lbs and I am having a tough time staying on plan with food. I get my exercise in but my food is not always good and my scale is up 2lbs. I have a HUGE fear of regaining the weight I lost. Gives me nightmares.

04-30-2012, 06:34 PM
I have nightmares about regain, too.

I've been within 10 lbs of my current weight for almost 2 years, now. So everyone that knew me at my heaviest, is used to this version of me. I've never been "thin" so being treated 'normally' will probably always be weird to me. I catch myself trying not to stand out a lot... Like I'm still almost 300 lbs and trying not to get in anyone's way. My husband brings it to my attention a lot, I don't even realize I'm doing it.

I spent so much time trying to be invisible... that I kind of enjoy not being noticed!!! It doesn't help that I'm very tall... I guess I'll never be completely off the radar! Living in Japan didn't help that either!

04-30-2012, 06:39 PM
I think it's really interesting you brought this up; we don't think nearly as much about what it's like after we've been maintaining for a while and the compliments stop coming. I think we just have to make a commitment to look good for ourselves. Just remember all the progress you've made and think about how disappointing it would be to gain all of that weight back.
Sometimes, when I'm not feeling any motivation at all, I'll look at pictures of myself at my heaviest and compare them to old pictures of myself at my smallest.

Arctic Mama
04-30-2012, 06:40 PM
I don't know about you, but I'm not too worried about this (at least in terms of regain). There are always things to strive for and improve, fitness goals to make, other hobbies to undertake, and I never lost weight for praise. Yes, I love compliments, but the benefits of losing weight are far greater and longer lasting. It also feeds itself, in that I look and feel better and can do more, so new reasons to keep working at maintenance emerge when the old ones subside (if they do).

Worrying about regain is common and quite valid, we need to remain vigilant with our maintenance behaviors each day. But I think those are independent of motivation. It's just a daily thing, a commitment, a routine and habit, like brushing our teeth or wearing deodorant. It becomes background noise, and we do it automatically.

That is what we're striving for, not novelty or excitement, but being so ordinary for us tha we don't even think about it. I don't need compliments for that, I just need gumption and practice!

04-30-2012, 06:48 PM
For me, the compliments have slowed from people I know but the trade off is that I feel like I'm less invisible around people I don't know. So I don't get 'Wow, you look great! How much have you lost?!' anymore, but I get more strangers smiling at me, men nodding and store clerks wanting to help. I can't say how much of that is a change in appearance and how much is a change in what I'm projecting but that's what it feels like.

04-30-2012, 06:53 PM
I don't think average people become invisible. I don't think anyone becomes invisible. People might not openly comment once the novelty has worn off, but people take note all the time of "Looks like she's gained weight". Or, "he's balding" or "she looks so good - I wonder if she works out."

Those inner thoughts go on all the time of the people we know and pass on the street.

I will be so happy to be at a point where my weight seems normal for me and people just think of me as healthy and fit. I don't need the compliments and don't crave the attention, but it would be nice to know I left a positive feeling instead of what I'm sure people thought before.

04-30-2012, 07:00 PM
Don't focus on the negatives.

There are always going to be negatives you can focus on but instead - think about the positives.

What you focus on is what you're going to get - so focus on the positive aspects.

04-30-2012, 07:53 PM
Well, if you go back to being "invisible" think of it this way - that's just life. If you look good and you are putting effort into your appearance but the compliments die down, chances are that's how it is for other women just like you. It's not you, it's not that you aren't attractive, it's just that the attention has settled into a norm of sorts. It's not spiked up or depressingly low, it's just normal.

I don't worry about it, I'm just happy that I feel good about myself again. I feel light and quicker, I feel so much better and with that will come attention just because I'm being so positive.

04-30-2012, 08:09 PM
One of the reasons I think previous weight loss attempts ultimately failed was because I expected things from weight loss that weren't realistic or sustainable. I expected weight loss to change my life fundamentally and in ways that would constantly reinforce the weight loss.

I've finally realized that my life isn't going to suddenly and dramatically change my life. All the improvements are gradual and easy to overlook, so I can't look for the rewards of weight loss to sustain the weight loss.

In some ways I've taken weight loss mostly off the table. Weight loss is one of the side benefits of what I'm really after and when I start to feel motivation start to lag because the weight is stalling, I remind myself of my real goals :

I'm not trying to look hot or see a certain number on the scale. I'm aiming for a healthier, more active life, and the things I need to do in order to get those things, also happens to result in weight loss. The smaller body is just a fringe benefit.

The only way I can regain, is if I forget what I want, and forget how to get/maintain it.

Sure it's nice to get attention for weight loss, but I prefer attention for reasons that are more meaninful to me - my irreverent sense of humor, my generosity of spirit, my love and attention given to my friends, my tangible and not-so tangible skills and qualities...

04-30-2012, 08:48 PM
I know what you mean....I have lost and gained the same weight so many times! I don't think the reason was lack of attention, but I remember being frustrated by the lack of interest once the novelty of my loss faded. This time, I'm trying not to focus on that aspect and hoping it will be one of the factors that keep me from regaining. I do notice that I'm kind of overly concerned with my appearance and I make a tremendous effort to look my very best. Maybe some shallow part of me is seeking approval and I do enjoy getting it, but I wish I didn't. It's not an aspect of my personality that I'm most proud of! ;)

04-30-2012, 08:58 PM
Not really . . . I've felt invisible most of my life anyway. :p

But seriously? I just want to feel "normal," whatever that is. Comfortable, confident. I'm not expecting any special attention for losing weight or even being thin, I just want to feel better, have less worries with my health, and have more options with clothes. ;)

04-30-2012, 08:59 PM
Clothes.. clothes are my motivation. Period. I love cool clothes. :)

I plan on shining bright. Starting now, and for always. I hid behind my weight and let it prevent me from doing so many things; from being me. So off with the fat suit and on with LIFE! :)

04-30-2012, 09:41 PM
I hid behind my weight

This. I wanted to be invisible.

But back to guacamole's original post: it reminds me of something that flitted through my mind last Friday, after a bit of a shopping spree. As I was paying for my pile of new clothes, I found myself being a bit disappointed that the clerk didn't congratulate me on my weight loss - which makes no sense whatsoever, because how could she have known?? I actually had to laugh at myself. Compliments are fun, and motivating, but I have to remind myself that my weight loss isn't as important to others as it is to me - and that's a good thing!

04-30-2012, 11:01 PM
I guess it's all about how one defines "invisible". Not getting compliments on the weight loss actually will be a bit of a positive in some ways, as I am not used to receiving compliments and find them a tad uncomfortable for me.

I have never truly been thin, except maybe when I was in kindergarten, and one of the things I love about the weight loss is being invisible. I love going into a grocery store and not having people stare at me. Or watching people stare when I go into a restaurant or any other place. I am just ignored, with people walking by without taking note of me. To me, it means that I am normal and look kind of like everybody else.

Now I wouldn't mind if the occasional male hottie noticed me :) but hopefully one day...but for right now, being invisible is ok.

05-01-2012, 01:43 AM
This. I wanted to be invisible.

This is true for me too, but in a different way I think. At - heck, even 50 lbs from - my highest weight, I felt like my body itself was a flashing neon sign that read "FAT FAT FAT". I felt like I stood out because of my weight everywhere I went. I'd prefer not to be noticed, and I hated being noticed in what I imagined could only be a negative way. It's odd, because I never look at other people like that - but I felt that way about myself every day.

So I'm THRILLED to be just blending into the crowd now; it's one of the things I love most about the weight loss. I just always wanted to be normal, to blend, to look like everyone else.

I do definitely share the fear of regaining though!! The thought terrifies me.

05-01-2012, 01:56 AM
i have alot of fears surrounding the idea of "being noticed"....they stem from past life memories...i'll share more if anyone wants to know...but needless to say "being noticed" wasnt a good thing back then

i have alot of fears about losing weight....what if i stand up for myself more? what if i express my opinions more? or stand for less bullsh*t? what if i tell it like it is? what if i discover that maybe i'm not quite so content as i think i am? i dont have the leeway to just go gallivanting off to "discover myself"...i have a job, a husband and two kids to think about....

what if i break out of the mold that i've been set in? the mold of quiet, responsible, sensible mother, teacher and housewife? everyone expects me to be so good....

05-01-2012, 03:05 AM
I would love to be invisible.

05-01-2012, 11:03 AM
I never liked compliments about my weight loss. I come from a very vain Hong Kong family and I was born with a pretty face, would be a "great thing" if it came with a thin figure. Always felt like a work in progress, well now I just try to disregard what they think looks good. I really only get comments on the way I look from my fam-never really fit the Homecomign Queen look in New England LOL, and even the you look pretty ones from the fam just feel like a label slapped on and an evalauation, not a compliment. There's just so much obsession with "how good" I look at the moment that I am just learning to brush it off. Otherwise, I get too much anxiety over disappointing people with the way I look.
Anyways, I just think about the worst that can happen-like if everyone told me I looked horrible either way, or better when I was heavier or I don't look amazing in tighter clothes and absolutely nothing changes in my life-and I realize that I would still do what I do anyways because based on my personal standard-I do look better, maybe not amazing, but better than what I used to in the past and I am finally in a situation where I can take charge of my diet and activity level, which is so empowering to me, so I try to take advantage of that by asking myself what would make me happiest (sitting around=happy, actually working out=happier)

05-01-2012, 11:28 AM
I dislike the compliments that have come with weightloss. I wanted to lose weight so I didn't hate looking at myself in the mirror, but I did not like the outward attention that came with it. It makes me uncomfortable.

I'm one of those that would love to be invisable.

I just don't want or need that outside approval or attention. Maybe it comes from a whole life of being fat and the only feedback streaming in from others was negative. So now I don't care to hear what others think about my body.

Actually, a few months ago, (I posted about it here) my dad (who has fat bashed in my presence througout my life) made a negative coment about my body, that I was too thin.

Fat or thin, good or bad, I just don't want to hear anyone's input on the state of my body.

05-01-2012, 11:28 AM
I felt like my body itself was a flashing neon sign that read "FAT FAT FAT". I felt like I stood out because of my weight everywhere I went.

This for sure. I'd just like to meet people and not have that 'wow she's fat' hit their mind first before getting to know me. Whether or not that really happens I don't know, but I sure think it does.


05-01-2012, 11:29 AM
Initially I liked the attention brought about by my weight loss, but now I just feel weird and awkward if someone points it out. I would love to be unattractive to the majority of men in passing.

05-19-2014, 04:02 AM
yes definitely

05-19-2014, 08:22 AM
As you would expect, you get complements for a while then it peters out. If you keep hanging around with the same people, it might come up once in a while. It's like any other change (hairstyle, glasses, etc) except once in a while people might ask how you did it. But there will be no ongoing flood of positive feedback so it can be hard to make the effort to maintain if you are used to using that as motivation.

But if you make a special effort to look good or try something different in your look, people will usually notice and complement it. In general, I think it's easier to do that when you're thin because more styles are flattering to a thin figure.

05-19-2014, 10:04 AM
Clothes.. clothes are my motivation. Period. I love cool clothes. :)

I plan on shining bright. Starting now, and for always. I hid behind my weight and let it prevent me from doing so many things; from being me. So off with the fat suit and on with LIFE! :)


I can't say it any better. That's perfect.

05-19-2014, 10:10 AM
Living in Japan didn't help that either!

I've also lived in Japan and I'm 5'11". People used to come up to me and exclaim, "okii!" (meaning big), then ask me how tall I was. Finally I ordered a T-shirt that said, "How tall? 180 cm" -- and wore it quite often!


05-19-2014, 10:18 AM
Interesting question! I lost the bulk of my weight in 2011 (70 lbs) and the compliments flooded in - but they were all pretty much focused on my weight loss. I, too, would rarely get compliments on my appearance when I was very overweight - even when I would spend a lot of time on my makeup/hair or when I'd buy clothing I actually liked. Now, I get compliments more regularly on my clothing, hair, etc. - even from strangers.

For me, it isn't so much about the compliments, it's about how people look at me. When I was very overweight, I noticed that people in the office, out in public (@ the mall or whatever) almost never looked me in the eye - no one paid any attention/smiled at me or would say hello. This was especially noticeable in the office; the people I worked with didn't say "hi" or "good morning" to me nearly as much as other people.

That is what is so different now (sadly). People will meet my eye and smile, say hi or stop to chat. People do more regularly compliment on the colors I am wearing, or my nail polish, shoes/clothes, etc. It's not constant...but it was VERY rare @ 230 lbs.

That said, at my highest weight I tried to disappear as much as possible. It's easier to ignore someone who wants to be ignored...now, I don't try and blend in, I am just me. I smile more, chat more and compliment others more. I am a MILLION times more confident and I truly believe that is what attracts others to me more often now. :)

05-19-2014, 02:09 PM
This is an interesting question, because personally I'm not comfortable with attention. I wonder sometimes if I subconsciously let myself get fat so I can be invisible - the opposite of when I used to starve myself to get as small ("invisible") as possible.

I love looking and feeling my best, getting dressed up and feeling fantastic. It gives me confidence and self-respect. I just hate the attention that comes with it. But we can't sacrifice being our best just so we don't stand out, right?

05-19-2014, 02:14 PM
I went to blend in with my husband's colleagues and their spouses. I don't want to stand out at the school pick-up gathering at my son's school. I want to go anywhere and just feel "normal". And for that to be with where I live and with who we associate with, I cannot be obese.

Just the other day when my son had his prom photos taken, all the parents were milling around. I was the ONLY one overweight. So, yes, I want to be invisible in a way as I don't want to stand out as the fat one in the group. I just want to appear healthy and fit. And if that makes me invisible, then GREAT! I would rather be invisible than noticed for being the fat lady.

05-19-2014, 03:23 PM
For me, it isn't so much about the compliments, it's about how people look at me. When I was very overweight, I noticed that people in the office, out in public (@ the mall or whatever) almost never looked me in the eye - no one paid any attention/smiled at me or would say hello. This was especially noticeable in the office; the people I worked with didn't say "hi" or "good morning" to me nearly as much as other people.

I've heard others say similar things, and it makes me so sad!

Anyway, I find that the older I get, the less I get comments about my weight (thin or fat). Maybe it's because now that I'm middle-aged, people expect me to be pudgy. I don't know. And when I do get comments after weight loss, it's usually something sarcastic ("Come on, Skinny, it's time for dinner.")

05-19-2014, 05:45 PM
I've also lived in Japan and I'm 5'11". People used to come up to me and exclaim, "okii!" (meaning big), then ask me how tall I was. Finally I ordered a T-shirt that said, "How tall? 180 cm" -- and wore it quite often!


I have a friend who is 6'10"...I should order him a shirt like this. I don't see him often and am always amazed how people boldly walk up to him and ask him how tall he is and if he plays basketball. I've played basketball with him and quite frankly, he's horrible at it!

And since this old thread is sufficiently revived...I'll answer the original question and say I'm scared of being visible. Part of me really wants the attention, but I'm extremely shy and part of me is absolutely terrified of being anything but invisible.

05-20-2014, 10:59 AM
The compliments as I lose weight are kind of a double-edged sword for me. I like that people notice I am losing weight, but as the rate of loss slows down, I get insecure thinking these people ae assuming I have given up or that I am comfortable at my present, chubby state. I agree with someone upthread who said she was looking forward to (or presently comfortable with) just blending into a crowd instead of standing out as "the fat girl."

05-20-2014, 02:15 PM
All the people that I want to be invisible from notice me and all the people that I want to get attention from don't see me. I just don't think about it at all, except for "well no matter who notices it, I'm still keeping things up."

05-20-2014, 04:07 PM
I am another one who likes being invisible. Sometimes I have a hard time losing weight because I get a lot of attention at my lower weight. I got pretty good at tuning it out when I was younger and thinner but part of me has enjoyed not attracting attention at my higher weight. I don't really know how to handle the extra attention from people. And yet because I used to get so much attention it feels weird to not get it, even though it made me uncomfortable. It's a very ambivalent thing I guess.

The other part feels weird when someone compliments my weight loss like they are saying I didn't look good before and I only look good now because I lost weight. Weight loss compliments are a double edged sword for me.

05-20-2014, 06:51 PM
it is going to be nice to just be invisible since i am shy.

At first i was not sure how to react to the compliments but now i keep my responses positive but short with thank you or thank you kindly to indicate that their comment means something to me.