Weight Loss Support - What to say to people who are wrong

08-23-2012, 12:30 AM
I have apparently reached the stage where people think I should be done losing weight. While flattering, how wrong they are.

I haven't weighed since July 18 but am 100% certain I am under 200 now. But not much. I think I have 35-40 left to go. Lately, when I say that, people give me this look of horror, like I'm going to be a skeleton if I lose that much. 158 was my all-time low, so trust me, I won't be a skeleton any time soon.

They tell me, "you're tall, so you don't need to lose more weight. You can carry more because of your height.". That doesn't make sense to me. I know tall people can sometimes look like they weigh less, but I still have a big gut and hips that my height doesn't help hide.

Even worse, some people will have the nerve to ask me how much I weigh because they don't believe I can lose more and be healthy. One woman asked, "how much do you weigh? 170"? Which made me uncomfortable because she is not a particularly close acquaintance and she doesn't need to know. I have told people that I'm still overweight according to the BMI calculator and they don't believe it, or they say that BMI isn't a good measure (I can't argue that...).

I can tell they aren't trying to flatter me when they say I don't have much/any left to lose; they say it with a worried sincerity. How do you handle people who are concerned that you are becoming a weight-obsessed stick figure? It is such a new experience to me.

P.S. I find that we tend to underestimate what others weigh. At dinner tonight, my friend, one of the people who thinks BMI is stupid, told me how much she weighs and I was shocked. We are both 5'8" and she used to weigh 160 and now thinks she weighs 150. She is so slender and looks so petite, I never would have put her at more than 130 or 135! Made me feel better. I think we are often underestimating people's weight by 15-20 lbs.

08-23-2012, 12:39 AM
I started getting the comments that I needed to stop losing a looong time ago, even when I was still clearly quite overweight. I even got a few rude comments about how "guys don't want sticks" and "you're being unfair to your husband." (Seriously? Cause the only reason to lose weight is to be eye candy, right? :dizzy:)

At first I tried to explain why I actually did need to lose more, but I learned quickly that it doesn't really work. Honestly at this point I just figure it's none of their business. If someone inquires about my weight loss I'll be honest about how much I've lost but if they ask if I'm done I just reply that I'm focusing on fitness and getting lots of nutritious food now, then change the subject.

I am focusing on fitness, and if I end up losing 20 more pounds then that's my own choice that I can keep to myself if I wish. No one else needs to be involved in such a personal part of my life. It's my life and my body.

08-23-2012, 12:44 AM
Oh wow, you've come a long way, huh? That's so cool!

I guess you could just start keeping your diet on the down-low, not tell people you're still watching, and keep going with it. I can see it getting annoying when people think you're thin now, even when you don't feel like it yet!

There's also the "don't care what other people think" tactic, and just don't care if they think you're a weight-obsessed freak. Tell them, "how about I worry about my business you you worry about yours?" But, I don't know how close you are to the people you think will think that.

I think it's awesome that you're willing to stick to it after coming this far. Keep it up! :D

08-23-2012, 12:44 AM
i like to say "hmm you might be right" and change the subject....(of course you could also be very very wrong but i'd rather not argue over it LOL)

08-23-2012, 01:00 AM
I try not to be one of those "It's not a diet, but a lifestyle change!!!!!" people but you could say "I'm not specifically focused on losing more weight, but I will continue to watch what I eat and to exercise and if that results in further weight loss, then oh well. So...did you hear about Prince Harry?!?!?"

Everyone and their mother always tell me I am way too thin and want me to gain weight. As a guy, I say "I know I am thin and I would like to gain muscle but that would involve a different method of eating and exercising that, for now, I am not interested in pursuing with any real urgency. But be patient. I'll get there...or not. BTW, did you hear what happened to Prince Harry?"

But don't tell them they're wrong. For one, maybe they're right. For another, what if the "wrong" person weighs the same or more than you? By telling them you need to lose more weight, you are basically telling them that they need to lose weight too.

Virtually everyone who has lost a significant amount of weight has experienced these comments. It's not something to fight about.

08-23-2012, 01:19 AM
Prince Harry in the great state of Nevada...LOL. Love it.

Alaskanlaughter, I like your response.

I was naturally on the very thin side until I was about 40. People were always telling me I was too thin like it was a moral problem. It never ceases to amaze me how rude and invasive of one's personal business some people can be.

08-23-2012, 02:32 AM
You don't need to tell them anything.

In my opinion based on how you describe yourself the vast majority of people you meet for the first time if they found out you were dieting wouldn't think anything of it.

I seriously doubt any of these people asking are worried about you. Most likely they're feeling threatened by your awesomeness.

90% of the people you know don't care about your problems and 5% are glad you have them. Only a very few actually care.

Tell them ... whatever you want. Who cares what they say or claim to think/feel? Trust me ... if you lose another 40 lbs NO ONE will be asking you anything except how did you do it ... hoping there is some secret pill they can take to replicate what you did but without the effort.

08-23-2012, 06:22 AM
What I do is just avoid discussing those things. If people remark about "why don't you ever it [insert greasy/fattening food]", I tell them that it makes me feel sick (which is true). If it's "why aren't you eating more", it's "because I'm not hungry anymore, duh" (which is also true). If they insist, it's "my doctor says I must be very careful about my weight, otherwise I'll be at risk for blood-clotting, it's genetic, I can't help it" (which is just as true, even though, alright, I'd have to gain more than just a few pounds for this to become a health risk).

By the way, I've noticed that once you bring the "my doctor said" argument in the story, most people will back off: after all, if this is medical advice, then it must be true, right? It's not just about "vanity weight" then.

Also, a lot of people have absolutely no clue about what's a healthy weight. And when they've been used to seeing you overweight for a long time, they have no clue as to what would be a normal weight for you. This was true in my own perception: at my heaviest, 65 kgs seemed "thin" to me. Now that I've reached lower than that, I know such a weight is definitely too high for my height, because I remember that I didn't feel as much in shape as now.

I'd understand people's concern if you were, say, 120 lbs for 5'8", and aimed for 90: now that would be clearly unhealthy thinking. But 160-ish seems a healthy enough goal to reach for.

Mer du Japon
08-23-2012, 10:08 AM
I have been getting this too! It's irritating. I don't care what they say, but it is funny when they have a look of shock and horror when I say I want to loose another 30 lbs.

08-23-2012, 11:55 AM
I think a lot of people ARE threatened when your body is changing and most are not doing it out of concern. That said, no reason to be overtly snarky back. I agree with AlaskanLaughter, I liked her response. But I also tell people I'm on a physician's program, which is kind of true because for the most part I follow a weight loss program written by an M.D....just not my personal M.D. (although she did say it's working, stick with it). I've also used what my stepmom does (she does have a gluten and other allergies, supported by lab work) and say "I can't I have an allergy." People usually will mind their own business with the doctor card or allergy card, but sometimes they will press for more on the allergy and if you can turn the conversation back to them and why they are so concerned...usually that stops it.

08-23-2012, 12:34 PM
"You can always say, "Thanks, I'll give it some thought". They don't need to know this is the last hought you are giving to their comment.

08-23-2012, 12:47 PM
I learned a trick here at 3FC that I've used many times: Open eyes wide, and say in a monotone, "I'll just pretend I didn't hear you ask (or tell) me something incredibly rude and none of your business." If they still don't get it, ask "And exactly how much do you make a year?" Wink and walk away.

08-23-2012, 12:48 PM
Lol, I still get this all the time and have been more or less at my target weight for almost two decades, but I like to talk about weight issues because maintenance means sometimes there is a regain to take care of or whatever.

The truth is people just say that, and as John said above, they are probably threatened by our awesomeness.

People are nosy and know-it-all-ish by nature lol. Almost everyone wants to weigh less or more or maintain a weight and many people are not successful at that so they try to get other people to doubt their perceptions of the journey and ultimately fail also, so they'll have the satisfaction of knowing someone else is failing at it.

All unconscious, they don't mean any harm.

I don't know how you tell them they are wrong other than just saying it or saying nothing (which will make you feel frustrated, maybe) or just say to butt out.

It's a happy problem because it means your efforts are becoming clear to the naysayers and that bugs 'em.


08-23-2012, 12:51 PM
I, too, have more weight to lose and I've had people tell me I should stop. I think because they have known me as large for as long as they've known me, when they see me 80 lbs lighter, it's a shock! When asked, I normally don't like to discuss how much I've lost or how much I have to go, but I'll say 15-20 more is my goal. When greeted with, "OMG! You shouldn't lose more, you'll shrink away!" I just smile and say, "Thanks."

That's it. I do not engage in what others say about my body. It's fantastic to receive the compliments, and a lot of people are curious about how much I've lost and how I've done it, but I try to handle it gracefully and not pay attention to anything but the compliments.

You will stop losing when you want to - when you've reached your goal and you feel awesome and look how you want to look, the people who told you to stop losing 35 lbs ago will realize that you know what's best for you. :)

08-23-2012, 01:20 PM
People give advice all the time on all sorts of topics, and I believe most of it is well-meant or at least neutrally meant (I don't think that people are threatened or jealous nearly as often as is assumed).

We're taught to say and think "they're just jealous," but I don't think that's really true very often. Instead, it's just people sharing opinions, because that's what people do.

And on many topics, we don't usually even mind (and probably even do it ourselves), but it's all just opinions.

I've worked hard to take the shame and blame out of weight and weight loss. When someone gives me weight loss advice, I treat it as if they're giving me advice on how to make meatloaf, or whether and what color I should dye my hair.

If someone says "you should dye your blonde," I don't assume they're threatened or jealous, I assume they have an opinion I don't share.

I don't have to get angry or defensive. I don't have to assume ill-intent, conscious or unconscious.

I don't have to agree with them, and I don't even have to believe they're wrong. I just take it as I do any advice I don't intend to follow. Whether I choose to tell them that I don't share their opinion depends upon the person and the situation. If I feel like telling them why I have a different opinion, I do. If I don't, I just say something like (as already mentioned), "you might be right," or "I'll give that some thought," or "I'll ask my doctor about that..."

I don't justify my weight or weight loss methods to anyone any more. I DO like talking about the topic, but only because I don't take any of the opinions too seriously (even my own) and I don't take disagreement personally. We're all entitled to our own opinions, and I even think we're entitled to share them, discuss them, and even argue about them.

If you're confident in who you are, and in the choices you're making, you're not threatened or even upset by others having opposing opinions. You may choose to share your experience and knowledge, or you may not, but you don't feel the need to have others agree with you.

If you don't want to discuss a subject, you have the right to change the topic or say "I'm not comfortable with this subject," or "I don't want to talk about this," or anything else you WANT to.

I tend to be very straight-forward with people, because I am extremely confident in my own opinions, and if they don't agree with me, I don't mind trying to educate or persuade them, but if it doesn't work and they stubbornly cling to their own opinions, I don't mind. In fact, I don't care at all.

I treat weight loss disagreements as if they were disagreements over literature or music. If we disagree, I don't have to assume that you're wrong, in order for me to be right. In fact, conversation is a whole lot more fun if we're willing to share (and even argue) without taking each others opinions personally.

08-23-2012, 01:23 PM
90% of the people you know don't care about your problems and 5% are glad you have them.

I'm stealing this. Words of wisdom!:D

Arctic Mama
08-23-2012, 02:04 PM
Don't say anything! Just smile, nod, and move on without engaging. If they push, indicate that you're looking to be as healthy and vibrant as you can, and it's a lifelong journey to do it.

08-23-2012, 02:32 PM
Lol, the last (and really, first real one) argument my ex and I had before he dumped me was about my weight and body image; he thought I didn't need to lose anymore weight, although that was when I had just gotten barely under 200lbs, obviously still overweight and obviously still needing to lose. He got so frustrated and couldn't understand why I thought my weight wasn't healthy for my height. Now granted, I'm not really shooting for a perfectly healthy weight, but I know for dang sure that 160-170 is a lot better than 200! Some people just don't understand.

What I do to combat this is instead of sharing my goal weight, current weight, or telling how much more I want to lose, I tell them the clothing size I'm aiming for (which is what I'm doing at this point, anyway -- shooting for a clothing size, not a specific weight). People of all shapes and weights wear all kinds of sizes and there's no possible way to determine what weight goes with what size or how much weight you need to lose to go down a size. So, if you're shooting for an 8, for example, then tell them that. People are satisfied with clothing sizes, and it tells your goals without telling your goals. They know you're still losing, but not knowing exactly how much takes away the "shock" factor. Saying, "I want to drop 2 more sizes" sounds a lot less scary than "I want to drop another 20lbs", if you think about it.

08-23-2012, 08:06 PM
I get these comments a lot and I know a lot of very pushy, not very tactful people. They're not malicious, they're just themselves, y'kno... I've learned to just nod politely with what my brother calls a "vaguely pleasant look" on my face.

"You're not eating any x? Is that all you're having?" My answer is "Yes." Just "yes," no qualifiers. I don't have to explain my plate to anyone. "Do you eat? You don't want to go to far!" My response: "(smile) I'll try not to." "You're going to disappear!" That earns a giggle from me. I choose not to commit to a fixed answer. I mean really! I'm obviously not about to disappear, what answer does that comment merit?! Smh. I've learned if you don't talk too much or argue and stay vague, people tend to say their piece and get bored and change topics on their own.

My goals and my plan are my business and mine alone. Unless I think someone is genuinely interested and wants to know what I do and how I eat, I usually never disclose or talk about it.

08-23-2012, 08:52 PM
I just wanted to add this extra bit:

After a family reunion, I got an email from my aunt telling me how great I looked and to "please help her look as good as me". Thinking she was genuinely interested, I emailed her back with a full explanation of my diet & exercise plan. It's been almost 3 weeks, and I've seen her once more since then, and I haven't received any kind of response.

Moral of the story? People don't really want to know how to lose weight. If they ask, they're just being polite enough to show interest, but they really don't care. The comments being made to you are people wanting to be polite by showing interest and concern, but the bottom line is in the end, it doesn't really matter to them, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Arctic Mama
08-23-2012, 09:41 PM
I have to disagree on your analysis, Lauren. Most people want to lose weight, genuinely and desperately. Many of the now-successful maintainers on this site wanted to lose weight for years, and even tried. Wanting to lose weight, and being physically willing or mentally ready to actually do the work to do it, are two different things. I guarantee your aunt was genuinely interested in what you did and probably wanted the same results, but her response would indicate a lack of readiness on some crucial point, not necessarily a lack of desire ;)

08-23-2012, 10:17 PM
I don't get those comments very often as I work with men. I have gotten a few comments along those lines and they all came from women. (Why can't we women just leave people alone?!)

The only thing I can suggest that maybe will help is to completely avoid the topic of weight or diet at all, to hopefully not lead to the "well how much more do you want to lose" conversation.

It's frankly no one's business except perhaps my husband's and doctor's. I've gotten some "wasting away" comments and just try to blow them off as much as I can, just by nodding and changing the topic as soon as possible.

It's going to happen. You can't change people, but you can change how your feelings are affected by their comments. Try not to let them ruffle you up.

Madame Souza
08-23-2012, 10:19 PM
I lie. I just started getting sick of hearing that from people and explaining BMI. my wanting to loose my belly fat etc. These same people are the ones who ask how I do it over and over again. I just say no, I am not trying to loose anymore, my fat must be redistributing itself. Mostly the people who are asking don't really know much about weight loss anyway so that sounds as reasonable to them as anything.

08-23-2012, 10:20 PM
Also...for Lauren - I think many people ask about what plan you're following because they're looking for the "secret". When you basically tell them, eat less and move more, that's really not what they want to hear and clam up.

08-23-2012, 10:47 PM
You don't need to tell them anything.

I seriously doubt any of these people asking are worried about you. Most likely they're feeling threatened by your awesomeness.


08-23-2012, 10:52 PM
BMI is a pretty good measurement tbh.

I'm in kinesiology and some of the best researchers teach my class.. they agree themselves it's not a bad indication at all; the only times where it can vary significantly is if you're on the extreme side of the spectrum.. IE you're one of those weightlifters and the BMI classifies you as "obese"

But their best lesson yet is this: "if you look in the mirror and think you're really overweight, you most likely are"

(Try not to think too much into that one).

08-23-2012, 10:59 PM
ArcticMama and Vex, you guys are right; I don't think it's ALL negative. However, what I said was kind of the jist of what both of you said put together. Of course, most everyone that needs to lose weight also wants to lose weight, so they ask how to do it. But, because they're not ready to do it the "hard" way, they clam up because the reality is there is no easy fix, which makes it appear as if they have little to no interest in what you had to say in the first place. They're interested, alright, but not in what you have to say. ;)

08-23-2012, 10:59 PM
A lot of good advice, thanks everyone.

I don't think people are doing anything to be intentionally rude. They are just inadvertently being rude. But you are all correct, I don't need to say anything. I bring it on myself, too, I guess, when I say that I still have a ways to go. I will stop saying that immediately.

The toughest situation is when they want you to eat something that is clearly not an option for me at that moment. Last night for example, we went to a pizza place and the two friends I was with kept saying "have some pizza! You have to treat yourself sometime"!

I do treat myself occasionally, but am determined to have a binge-free two months so I ordered a salad, which was the healthiest thing on the menu. I said that I couldn't have pizza. By their expressions, you would have thought I had just told them that next World War had just started, they looked so disappointed.

I'm not going to let this stuff bother me anymore. I know how much I need to lose, and I know that once I get there I will look and be healthy,

08-24-2012, 12:37 AM
For the very persistent about what I'm doing, I simply tell them that, my Doctor and I are working together on my overall health and lifestyle and that we are on the same page, with my weight, and that my blood work is good.:carrot:

I have found that adding the Doctor into the mix, shuts people up!:D

08-24-2012, 02:17 AM
I said that I couldn't have pizza. By their expressions, you would have thought I had just told them that next World War had just started, they looked so disappointed.

In virtually all cultures "hospitality" and comraderie include food. So we're trained from birth to celebrate and reward ourselves and others with food (and to be disappointed if folks turn down our hospitality or refuse to participate in the celebration).

If you say "I can't have pizza," even if you don't use the self-pitying, long-suffering, regretfilled tone that is "traditional," people will interpet it that way, because it's part of the ritual (and the ritual response is to encourage the person to "live a little," and "just this once,"....).

However, if you say you "don't want any pizza," (and sound like you mean it, and not just because you're dieting but because you don't WANT pizza) you'll have a much better chance of getting the food pushers off your back.

If (as far as they know) you're choosing the food you really want and are excited about, they're not going to be as likely to push food on you.

Which is why I NEVER say I "can't have," something. If I'm eating with non-dieters (or anyone really) I say in an excited tone, "I'm really craving salad tonight, Wow the grilled chicken salad sounds absolutely amazing, but I'm not sure if I'll like the dressing, I better get it on the side."

If I talk about what I CAN'T or SHOULDN'T have, people will encourage me to splurge, but if I make it clear that the food I want is the food I ordered, people don't question it at all. At most, someone will offer me a bite of their food, but they won't encourage me to order food I don't want (so I make sure I'm clear that I'm ordering food I want and food I will enjoy).

Personally, there's nothing I hate worse than eating with someone who is complaining about the food they "can't" eat, while making moon-eyes at MY food as if I'm sucking the enjoyment right out of their meal (and yet I'm a villain and a saboteur if I say anything that can be interpreted as food-encouraging).

I'm not saying that you DID that, but it happens so often that many people aren't sure what they're supposed to do. Especially since many people DO expect to be encouraged to break their diet (it's why they complain about not being "allowed" or "able" to eat what they really want to be eating).

However, even if it's an "act" people won't question your food choices if you act as though you're making your choices based on what you WANT to do, not what you feel you're obligated to do.

Imagine how uncomfortable you'ld be if you were dining out with a friend who pointed out all the dishes they couldn't order because they didn't have enough money to order what they really wanted. Many of us would feel obligated to offer to pay for their meal, or to pay part of it, so they could get what they really wanted.

If we talk about what we CAN'T have (implying that we want it, but can't have it), many people, especially those who want to see us happy, are going to encourage us or enable us to get what we want.

I've rarely had anyone push food on me, when I've gushed about how the choice I made is exactly the choice I wanted.

When we visit the inlaws, my MIL has always tried to push wine on me, even though I don't drink (I have too low an alcohol tolerance and even before I was on meds that made it worse, I didn't like drinking because it just made me sleepy). My standard excuse when offered wine was that I couldn't drink because of my medications (but I had made the mistake of telling her my doctor told me I could have one glass of wine without problems). She didn't stop the pushing until I started turning it down because "I don't want to fall asleep, and even one glass makes me too sleepy to enjoy myself, I'd much rather have a diet soda...."

When I said that, it made her happy, because I had voiced a desire she could help me fulfill. She'd get me a diet soda and we'd both be happy.

08-24-2012, 04:10 AM
Kaplods beat me to what I wanted to post. ^^

I totally on the "don't want to" vs. "can't/shouldn't have". The latter will always get people wondering and testing your boundaries (even if they don't mean to, and it's only an unconscious act on their part). But if I say that I don't want to eat such food today, that I feel like having something else, it's never a problem, because it is MY choice, and not something that I impose on myself (like, having a salad while all I want is pizza).

Well, that and my usual killer look that defies anyone to question my tastes. I do have weird tastes for some; I actually love salads and hate to add dressing, so diet or no diet, I'm often the weirdo at the table anyway. :rolleyes:

08-24-2012, 09:14 PM
I'm starting to get those kind of comments, too. I think part of it is for the people who have known me only as morbidly obese, I look pretty freaking fantastic now, and they just can't IMAGINE me 30 pounds lighter. I usually pull out the BMI argument - say that my goal is just inside the healthy range for my height, and that just once in my life I want to be officially "normal weight". That usually stops the argument.

If the BMI answer stops working, I'll switch to saying "just a few more pounds" or "I'm almost there".

Keep up the great work, rockstar! :cool:

08-24-2012, 09:22 PM
I'm starting to get those kind of comments, too. I think part of it is for the people who have known me only as morbidly obese, I look pretty freaking fantastic now, and they just can't IMAGINE me 30 pounds lighter.


We have a winner. Haters gonna hate (or pretend they're concerned) :D


08-24-2012, 11:46 PM
I am not going to say something like "I don't want pizza" because I am not a liar. And I'm not staring at what they are eating because I have manners and would not try to make someone feel uncomfortable.

I personally would sound ridiculous if I said "ooh, I'm salivating over that wonderful-looking bowl of lettuce"! Glad it works for you, but I am not going to be dishonest about things. I do want the pizza. And I can't have it except on the very rare occasion.

I don't spend the evening telling people I can't have something. I say it once, then I will say I'm fine with just a salad.

08-24-2012, 11:49 PM
I say things like, that <whatever dish> has too many calories for me. Although I'd really like to have it, I'm going with <another option>. So far, that's worked.

08-25-2012, 01:38 AM
I am not going to say something like "I don't want pizza" because I am not a liar. And I'm not staring at what they are eating because I have manners and would not try to make someone feel uncomfortable.

I personally would sound ridiculous if I said "ooh, I'm salivating over that wonderful-looking bowl of lettuce"! Glad it works for you, but I am not going to be dishonest about things. I do want the pizza. And I can't have it except on the very rare occasion.

I don't spend the evening telling people I can't have something. I say it once, then I will say I'm fine with just a salad.

I didn't SAY that you were staring at what they were eating longingly, I SAID that because many people DO, some folks are going to interpret "I can't" in such a way that they will feel uncomfortable because of their past experience with people who DID make a big fuss about not being able to eat what everyone else was. And because it's an ingrained social "tradition" food-push on anyone who says "I can't" for dieting reasons, if you say "I can't eat that," they're going to respond in the traditional way.

Keeping hurtful truths out of the conversation, is what manners is mostly about.

And when it comes to being truthful, you need to be truthful to yourself first. Don't say you can't have the pizza. You can and deep down you know it. Heck, you can have it every day and every meal if you want to, but you can't have pizza every day AND have the weight loss you wnat. So which do you want more, the pizza or the weight loss?

If it's the weight loss, you can say "I want a salad (more than I want the weight gain pizza would cause). You don't have to say the paranthetical information out loud, it's nobody's business. They don't need to know WHY you want the salad, they just need to know that the salad is what you want, and that you DON'T want the pizza. And why you don't want the pizza is none of their business either. "I don't want pizza tonight (even though it would taste good, but I don't want it, because I've worked too hard to get where I am, and I don't want to backside).

Again, they don't need to know any of the stuff in the parenthesis, just that you don't want pizza (they won't push it on you, if they don't know you want it, and it's no more lying than saying "thank you" when someone gives you a hideous gift).

There's truth and there's TMI - If someone says "does this dress make me look fat," do you say "No, it's not the dress that makes you look fat, it's all that fat you're carrying that makes you look fat" or do you just say no, and leave out the unkind portion of the truth.

If someone gets something you want (a prize, a job, a guy...) do you say, "I wish I could say I'm happy for you, but I'm really not, because I wish it was me and not you" or do you just say "congratulations?"

No one needs to hear every detail of what you're thinking. That's not honesty, that's cruelty - and it's cruel to tell your friends that you're not enjoying yourself fully because you'd rather be eating pizza with them than the lousy salad you think you had to pick because you're on some bizarre diet that demands you eat lousy salads." (If you can't pick food you enjoy on your diet, then pick another diet).

Are you so "honest," that you've never pretended to like a gift you hated? Never held back the truth because it would hurt someone? Never made a comment wanting it to be true, and deciding you'd say it was true because you were determined to make it true?

That's what I'm encouraging you to do. Find a way to enjoy your choices, and make your choices about what you WANT not about what you can't or shouldn't have. If you make weight loss about depriving yourself, you're going to be miserable, and it's the kind of misery that wants company (the kind that hopes everyone does feel a little sad or at least awed by your sacrifice).

No one wants to hang out with martyrs. It's boring, it's miserable, and it's just all around not worth it.

You don't have to pretend or lie. Just tell others and yourself a truth you can live with. You WANT the salad because you WANT to lose weight. No one needs to know WHY you chose the salad (WHY you want it). You don't have to want it because it's the best tasting thing on the menu, you just need to want to lose weight more than you want the pizza. And if you don't want to lose weight more than you want the pizza, then choose the damned pizza.

When someone says "Aren't you getting pizza?" you can just say "No thank you, I want a salad," you don't have to tell the person "the only reason I want a salad is because I'm dieting and can't have the pizza." The second part is no one's business but yours. You don't have to tell them you're dieting or if they know that the diet is motivating your choices (they may suspect, but you don't have to confirm their suspicions, any more than you are obligated to tell them your salary or who you choose to sleep with or not sleep with... TMI). You don't have to tell them that you'd much rather have a pizza.

If you don't want to lie, then find a way not to lie, but don't tell them every little unpleasant detail of the truth.

When someone asks you "how have you been?" saying fine is not a lie, even if you're not fine. People probably don't want to hear that you had painful gas and explosive diarrhea the night before.

The same is true of eating out with friend while on a diet. The specifics of your diet is TMI that people generally do not want to hear at the dinner table, so don't share those details.

Don't want to lie? Then say the truth in a way that people will not question.

Say, "I've decided to have a salad tonight," and say it in a cheerful tone (doesn't have to be a maniacally cheerful tone, just an ordinary confident, happy-with-you-choice tone) of voice that says it's a decision you are happy with (you don't have to be happy with the salad, but you do have to be happy with the content of your choice, you just have to be happy that you made the right choice for you).

You don't have to pretend to go into orgasmic delight at the first bite of cold chicken breast, but you don't have to let anyone else know that you'd rather have pizza. They don't need or want that information. They want to know you're enjoying yourself not wishing you were enjoying yourself (that makes people uncomfortable).

And saying you "can't" eat pizza actually is a lie. So if you're so hepped up on being honest, don't say that because isn't true. You can eat it. Yep, you're able to eat it. You can choose to eat it. So if you choose NOT to eat the pizza, that is your choice, also. Embrace your choice. Claim your choice. And if it's not a choice you're happy with, then make another choice (eat only one slice of pizza. Or eat the toppings off the pizza if you're low-carbing...).

But if it's a choice you DO make, then it's a choice you WANTED to make, because if you wanted pizza more than you wanted a salad (more than you wanted weight loss) then you could have had the pizza. You would have had the pizza. Always remember you have a choice, and no one needs to know how or why you're making the choices that you do.

If you're always choosing foods based on what you feel you "should" eat, and never on what you want to eat, you're going to make dieting so miserable that you'll never stick with it.

Learn to make choices that you DO want to eat, so that it isn't a lie when you say it. Pretend the restaurant doesn't even serve pizza (or whatever you really want), so when you look over the menu, choose what looks the most delicious within the limits of your food plan (decide on which aspect of your food plan is most important). Can you choose a delicious burger and not eat the bun? Can you choose a tasty soup?

No one needs to know that you "can't" eat pizza on your diet, any more than they need to know that someone "can't" order the most expensive thing on the menu or even that they can only order the least expensive thing on the menu. The reasons for their choices are nobody's business, and if you feel the need to share your financial or dietary business, you're going to make other people feel uncomfortable (and they're going to make you uncomfortable).

Learning to reward yourself with healthy, but good tasting food is an art, but it's an art worth learning. If everything you eat is food that you don't want to be eating, you're always going to feel angry, deprived, and resentful of what everyone else is eating, because they're enjoying themselves and you're not (and many people are going to be able to read your body language, even if you say nothing, and they're going to have a crappy time too).

You can choose to "want" the salad. It doesn't have to be because the flavor is the most amazing thing on the menu, but no one else needs to know that. They only need to know you really want the salad, and DON'T want the pizza not WHY you want those things. If you feel the need to share your misery, and make sure everyone knows that you would rather be eating the pizza, you have to ask yourself why do you want them to know. Do you want them to be impressed? Do you want them to feel bad for you (even maybe just a little bit)? What is the point of sharing the details of why you want what you want?

It's not a lie to keep your motivations to yourself even by way of telling technical truths that are misleading, such as (in a cheerful tone) "I think really want a salad tonight (because I want to lose weight and a salad will help me reach that goal). Hmm, I think the chicken salad sounds pretty good (for a lousy diet meal) but I might not like the dressing (because diet dressing tastes like dog vomit) so I'd better get it on the side (because who wants to eat dog vomit?)

You can get what you want, or you can want what you get, but choose to enjoy what you can. If you can't enjoy a salad, don't get a salad, don't go out with friends at all if you can't enjoy your meal. And if you CAN enjoy your meal then let your friends know that you ARE enjoying yourself (they don't need to know that you could be having a whole lot more fun).

Letting your friends know that you'd be having a better time if you were eating pizza with them, is as crass as letting them know that you'd be having a better time with OTHER people.

If you wouldn't say, "Wow, I'm having a lot of fun tonight with you guys, but I sure wish I was with people I like better,"

then don't say (in words or actions) "Wow, I'm having a lot of fun with you guys, but not as much as if I could have pizza."

08-25-2012, 02:09 AM
I don't spend the evening telling people I can't have something. I say it once, then I will say I'm fine with just a salad.

In your previous post, you wrote:

I said that I couldn't have pizza. By their expressions, you would have thought I had just told them that next World War had just started, they looked so disappointed.

The problem is the very fact you said it once. kaplods merely provided a possible explanation for why your friends reacted the way they did. I try my very hardest to never say something like "No, that is not good for me" or "That is above my caloric limit" or anything related to my diet.

Now, even if you say something like "I actually do want a salad. This restaurant makes fantastic salads!" they may still look at you funny. It happens to me--I actually want whatever meal I order (generally speaking). and they still look at me as if I am depriving myself of something (usually fries).

But they still invite me to places. They still enjoy my company. And I enjoy theirs. My friends and family don't need to see eye to eye on everything.

They get used to my idiosyncrasies like I do theirs (like the one who always order tea with REALLY REALLY REALLY HOT water---like, really hot).

The other thing is you and your friends need to try out different restaurants. There have got to be other restaurants that serve something other than just greasy pizzas and boring salads. Not one sandwich or burger? The discrepancy is too much. It's like inviting a vegan to a BBQ joint. So, if they want to go back to that pizza place, perhaps suggest another restaurant that still serves pizzas (and good tasting pizzas) but offers other alternatives besides lettuce.

When I was younger, my friends and I planned to go to a bar/club and then went to whatever restaurant that was nearby. It was hard to plan ahead what I would eat. But with things like yelp and urbanspoon and google maps, you can plan ahead--read the online menus and come up with some suggestions when the time arises because your friends probably won't have any.

Misti in Seattle
08-25-2012, 08:10 AM
It sounds to me as if you are giving them way too much information and allowing yourself to become involved in a discussion over it. Personally if someone tried to get me to eat something I shouldn't, I would never say I can't have it... just a simple "no, thank you." If they start to insist, politely... "I said no, thank you." People can be uncomfortable eating with you if they think you are wishing you could have what they are eating, so I make sure to always come across with an attitude that I am content with what I am eating. I would never, ever say I can't have something; it really tends to make people uncomfortable eating around us, so I will say something in a positive manner.

Years ago, when I got down to 170, people actually started telling me I was getting too thin. Most of the time I would just laugh (the key so as not to come across as the rude one) and say "You're getting kind of personal, aren't you?" I stopped one person quite short by just laughing and blurting out "That's ridiculous... I weigh 170 pounds!" which made him stop and realize how crazy he was sounding.

Or you could just say (which is hopefully true) "I am under a doctor's care and she/he approves of what I am doing." But the main point is, however you say it, do not allow yourself to be drawn into a discussion or "debate" about it. And laughing as you say whatever you say does help a lot.

08-25-2012, 09:38 AM
Oh goodness, ignore them. Ignore them all. Like others have said it's difficult for people to imagine you thinner if you have been the same way for a long period of time. I don't think anyone ever realized that I was likely VERY overweight as well.

I got lots of "you're done, right?" when I was still obese. I got it when I was overweight. I almost let it stop me, but I just kept going. I got thin and fit and I couldn't have imagined that I would ever look like this—fit and muscular—or weigh this little.

I've also noticed that since I've been around the same size for about nine months or so that the comments have ceased from those that see me regularly. They're all used to me now! They pull out old pictures and gape in amazement, saying: "I didn't realize the difference!"

I still run into the occasional person I haven't seen in a long time (and often they don't recognize me), but everyone's pretty much gotten used to the new me.

08-25-2012, 11:02 AM
This is one great thread. I think back to many years ago when I lost a lot of weight and some family members (one obese one in particular) told me I was too thin, didn't look good and my face was too thin. Well guess what, I've always had a thin face no matter how much I've weighed! And I was at a perfect weight.

I was VERY young and lacking in self confidence back then. I took it to heart...and gained all the weight back. In retrospect, many, many years later, much older and much wiser...I just should have ignored the comments. People are people and love to talk. Who knows if they're jealous or well meaning. We can't read minds, and we can't change anyone. Just do what you have to do, smile and move on.

Congratulations on your weight loss!

08-26-2012, 03:27 AM
I think back to many years ago when I lost a lot of weight and some family members (one obese one in particular) told me I was too thin, didn't look good and my face was too thin.
Hm, come to think of it, I guess the places where we lose might also prompt more or less comments? I know I've lost a lot in my face, which has given me 'sunken cheeks', depending on which angle you look at me; and people who have known me when I was younger, i.e. always overweight *and* with my 'baby fat' still on my very round cheeks, may get more of a shock at seeing me now than the people I've just met.

Not to mention that a lot of the people I've known when in high school (or roughly the same period), who used to be always thinner than me, have now gone through pregnancies, beer bellies, whatever... and I bet they're somewhat shocked of seeing that my body's followed the exact opposite way (although I'm not getting younger).

After reading more posts in this thread, I wonder, too, if we don't unconsciously want to prompt such comments, in a way. Just like tons of women always seem to bond over diets, fat & so-called beauty matters, as if this was THE most common denominator we could share with each other. (If you pay attention about it, it's actually frightening. I've stopped counting the number of people, mostly women, indeed, who 10 minutes into meeting them already start telling you about their fat, cellulite, does this dress make my butt look fat, I wish I could eat something else than a salad, aren't you worried about gaining weight if you eat that mini-slice of pizza, etc etc etc ad nauseam). So yeah, in a way, I think we have that inner tendency to 'victimize' ourselves, because so many people think the same way that it's become a common denominator?

I may be wrong, but... food for thought, I guess.

Misti in Seattle
08-26-2012, 10:19 AM
Interesting comments, Kery! Yes, a lot of people do tend to focus "ad nauseum" on weight and diet. I have noticed, too, that when I am at my fattest and eating all kinds of bad stuff...junking out... no one says a word. But when I start getting in shape, obviously losing weight, people will start to say I should not eat certain things that I am allowing. They will even start suggesting certain diet plans, etc... even though what I am doing is obviously working!! I just ignore it; does no good to get upset over such silly things.

Right too, about the "baby fat" face. People always think I am far younger than I am because of all the fat filling out my face. When I lose weight, it does show in my face a LOT and, yes, I know my wrinkles will start to show as I lose weight. But I *am* old enough that those are normal and it is a price I am willing to pay to be thin.

I do try to stay positive when people are trying to "force feed" me. One thing I often say.. *laughingly* when I obviously want something is, "I don't want it bad enough to wear it." Which is true, even though I might want it desperately. Recently at a BBQ where there were the most delicious looking big fat juicy hamburgers, it was all I could do not to grab it out of the hands of the guy next to me and chow down. But I chose to instead enjoy my plateful of yummy veggies, salad, etc. and came home with no regrets.

The big thing is not to let people get to you with their rude, thoughtless comments. A lot of the times they should not be eating that stuff either!!

08-26-2012, 10:46 AM
Great thread. I had the same problems, and came to the decision that my weight loss was for me, not for anyone else, and therefore the comments were of no interest. There is a lot of truth in people saying you should stop when they perceive you to look better than when you were obese. It's hard for some people to reconcile that another person can reach their own personal goal, if this is not the goal they see for you.
I spent the whole of my life overweight. I began this current journey two years ago, and did not see my parents in the time when I was losing. I then met up with them and my mother acted like a jealous ***** ! She said some terrible things about how I looked, and I figured that was her way of expressing her jealousy at the fact that I finally conquered something she stressed me out about my whole life.
I choose not to eat pizza (or anything else that I do not allow in my way of eating) There are times when I desperately want a slice, do not want the salad and would do anything to eat it. BUT - I choose not to eat it because I know the behaviours that I demonstrated in the past are what caused me to be nearly 300lbs.
Weightloss/fitness is a curious thing. Food is the one commodity we cannot live without. Everyone has an opinion. Those of us who want to lose weight/maintain, have to choose a path that suits us. If that includes telling other people to mind their own business (politely of course) then so be it. I worked so hard to lose the weight, I will not be derailed by the comments of others or the lure of the slice of pizza that will inevitably lead me to eat something else I did not really want.
John P is right. You are awesome. Everyone who loses weight, focuses on their health, and makes intelligent choices for their own body deserves to be celebrated.

Misti in Seattle
08-26-2012, 12:47 PM
Another thing to consider... and I am speaking her ref America because this is NOT the case in a lot of other places... our culture has become SO totally saturated in junk food that anyone eating otherwise is somewhat of an "oddity." I go through the grocery stores and find aisle after aisle of processed junk full of sugar, salt, chemicals, etc... but a real scarcity of any real, healthful food. They label a lot of this stuff "natural", "healthy," or "diet" when it is anything but. At most of our jobs, there are countless times when unhealthful food is brought in for all to share. People laugh and joke about how they should not eat stuff... and then they do.

Eating poorly has become not only socially acceptable but the "norm." Anyone saying "no" to it is seen as somewhat of an oddity, and people will try to encourage you to eat it. To achieve these goals, we have to be willing to swim upstream and focus on the positive and not become derailed... WE are the ones doing the right thing!!!

08-26-2012, 01:18 PM
Another thing to consider... and I am speaking her ref America because this is NOT the case in a lot of other places... our culture has become SO totally saturated in junk food that anyone eating otherwise is somewhat of an "oddity." I go through the grocery stores and find aisle after aisle of processed junk full of sugar, salt, chemicals, etc... but a real scarcity of any real, healthful food. They label a lot of this stuff "natural", "healthy," or "diet" when it is anything but. At most of our jobs, there are countless times when unhealthful food is brought in for all to share. People laugh and joke about how they should not eat stuff... and then they do.

Eating poorly has become not only socially acceptable but the "norm." Anyone saying "no" to it is seen as somewhat of an oddity, and people will try to encourage you to eat it. To achieve these goals, we have to be willing to swim upstream and focus on the positive and not become derailed... WE are the ones doing the right thing!!!

Great post and so on the money as far as my experience and my dad and stepmom's (both super clean eaters).

08-27-2012, 12:09 AM
I've had 2 people ask me on separate occasions if I weigh in my 120's..Very flattering but I wish. One girl said I definitely don't need to lose more but I beg to differ. She's of a much larger weight so I think to her I do seem very thin. I just want to be 140p and people act like I'm taking it too far. :/

I just ignore and do my thing.

Misti in Seattle
08-27-2012, 12:14 AM
novangel, I know what you mean. When I got down to 170 (170!!!) people were actually starting to caution me that they thought I was becoming anorexic!

And I too just ignore them LOL; no use in getting upset over it.

08-27-2012, 10:54 AM
I have kind of a funny one. Back in May, I was visiting my kin in Oklahoma. I was talking with my sister about my weight loss and how I wanted to get out of the morbidly obese category. A friend of hers interrupted and flatly stated, "You're not morbidly obese." I said, "Yes, I am according to BMI standards. I'm 5'7" and I weigh X." (I don't remember my actual weight at the time.) She said, "You're not morbidly obese!" Now, I have a temper and one way to trigger it is to flatly contradict a fact. I kind of glared at her and said, "I don't know why you are arguing with me about this and frankly, I don't care. I know my weight and I know what category I fall into according to BMI so just ****ing drop it!" She huffed and sat back in her chair. My sister rolled her eyes and she and I continued our conversation. After a few minutes, the friend said, "You can't be morbidly obese! You weigh less than I do and if you're morbidly obese so am I!!!!"

08-27-2012, 11:02 AM
Garnet I've had those discussions on more than one occassion. I just decided recently I am redirecting any conversation on weight and diet to the other person (i.e., "So I hear you got a new job? How's that" not meaning I turn it to their body or dietary choices) when it comes to those types of people. I found it too annoying/funny that I was almost arguing with people who claim BMI is wrong, my fat caliper measurements are wrong, the scale is wrong, etc., etc. Nine times out of ten they are overweight or obese, tell me they have 50 pounds of muscle, and I really just don't have the energy or the need to justify my goals or lifestyle anymore...but yeah it is funny as heck in a dark comedy way ;)

08-27-2012, 03:09 PM
Garnet, that is just too funny. She wasn't a bit concerned about you - just how you made her look.

Misti in Seattle
08-27-2012, 09:14 PM
Actually to some extent I tend to agree with those who say the "standards" are wrong. I am quite tall and build large; I am never going to be 5'3" and a size 2. Years ago when I got down to 170 pounds I was quite thin and was in fact getting comments not to lose more, etc. I had been working out a lot so had a lot of muscle weight. Yet according to the charts, I was still overweight, which was just plain ridiculous. Not defending being overweight as I most definitely AM; however, the "desired weights" are totally unrealistic, at least for many of us.

08-28-2012, 10:32 AM
I'm not sanguine about BMI myself. I'm 5'7" and I have a large frame. I've got big hands, broad shoulders and large, dense bones. I doubt that I will get into the "normal" BMI range. My doctor has actually suggested that I don't. When I get closer to the normal range, I'll schedule an appointment with a place here that does weight evaluations that include caliper testing and some other stuff that I can't remember right now. I'll take those results and discuss them with my doc, then I'll make a decision.

That's quite a long way in the future though. :) I think that BMI is useful for broad categories and I'll be happy to get out of the obese range.

08-28-2012, 10:55 AM
Garnet that's how I feel. In another thread someone a little shorter than me posted (I think it was about Melissa's boys and BMI) about being 130 pounds and not any pinchable fat. I know for me 127 is a good weight (5'1") and I do have some fat on my bones, but that's the "high end" according to BMI for me. However, I've been as low 107 as an adult...I thought I looked good, until I saw a picture. I looked gaunt. Personally I didn't think I did at 117, but my "goal" is to get into my 1986 size 5 jeans (junior yr of high school) and if that means 140 pounds, fine...if it means 110 pounds fine. Right now my goal is set at 127 as that was an easily maintable one for me, although BMI charts disagree LOL. I'll also probably get dunked as I have a friend that does that as part of his job and he's said I'm welcome to have it done for free (it just means an hour drive lol).