General chatter - Getting angry with others who complain about weight and do nothing.




Mickie22
10-25-2013, 09:45 PM
I feel really really bad about this since I've just started my journey but I have been getting so frustrated lately with people who see how hard I've been working, ask for advice then make excuses as why not to take it.

For example, I have a friend who says "I think I'm an alcoholic and I hate how big I am." So of course (I have problems with alcohol) I offer her my advice as I've been sober and dieting and feel amazing! I tell her how hard she has to work and how it's not going to be easy and of course she doesn't want to put in the hard work.

She just doesn't know how good it will feel :( Like it is hard but the feeling when you lose a pound or live a week without drinking is amazing and I just want to share this with everyone! But I have no time for those who want like a secret tip that makes it easy.

Do you all understand and have you faced this problem before?


alaskanlaughter
10-25-2013, 10:22 PM
im sure others have wiser advice than me but I've talked to ALOT of people who say they want to lose weight, who may even go to the gym once or twice, but seem in awe that I can actually DO it consistently....and it drives me nuts :( while logically I KNOW they are just not at that point where they are willing to do what it takes, but in all reality, stop b*tching about it if you don't want to do anything about it grrrr

novangel
10-25-2013, 11:26 PM
I have people constantly ask me how I did it and they never like the answer. I've even had one friend tell me that diet and exercise doesn't work. Um..Okay.

If you don't mention a pill their brains immediately shut off.


nationalparker
10-25-2013, 11:31 PM
It's not worth the aggravation - just nod when others vent their frustration. No one really wants advice anyway, do they? Let your mind wander and think of something that brings you joy, not frustration :)

TooWicky
10-26-2013, 12:00 AM
I've been that person who asked, but did nothing. Even though I did nothing, I am very grateful that my friends who were successfully dieting did share their journey, even though they must have rolled their eyes at my inaction. It took me a good year to work up the courage to even try to diet. I was afraid to fail, which seems ridiculous now, I mean, you are guaranteed to fail if you don't try, but I was mentally not even in the right frame of mind to try. Even though I did nothing to help myself overtly, I definitely absorbed the advice people gave me. In a way, watching the success and hearing about the success from others started to slowly change my mindset a little bit at a time. So my mind and attitude were changing first, before I followed through with the actions that would set me on the path of better health. Perhaps you don't even realize it, but your unheeded advice may be planting a seed of change that won't come to fruition for a long time. I am surrounded at work by a handful of co-workers who are currently not winning the battle against obesity, while my relative success is in full view. They have all asked how I'm doing it, and I have the rather unenviable task of telling them it is discipline and hard work and keeping at it and merely eating healthier foods of smaller portions, etc. Very unexciting, and none of them so far has decided to take a similar path to health. However, I remain patient when they every so often return with more questions about how I'm doing this, and what my methods are. When that switch flips, and they seriously take the plunge, I am at the ready to help them in any way I can.

kaplods
10-26-2013, 12:28 AM
You never know what internal demons keep a person on a self destructive path or how hard they are actually fighting mentally and physically to change (mentally and physically). You only see their lack of results and the lack of changes visible to you.


I was told something very similar to this many times by college and graduate psych professors, by supervisors when I was working in law enforcement and social services as a probation officer and as a counselor and case manager.

It's easy to feel sympathy and compassion for sweet and socially successful people. Not so easy to feel compassion for people who don't seem to get even the most basic of social skills, but eventually I got the hang of it, and in the process, learned more compassion for myself as well.

It's still frustrating when others (especially loved ones, family and friends) don't live up to my hopes for them, but I'm sure I disappoint them regularly too.

I don't let myself waste my time with that kind of frustration for others or myself. I try to just assume that we all are doing the best that we can for now, and leave it at that.

I know I had many, many years of trying much harder to change than others gave me credit for. I'd rather assume the best of others, because it's what I'd like to think others are doing for me.

AnnRue
10-26-2013, 07:25 AM
Ugh yes. Ever since I lost the weight I have been really bothered by this. Everyone where I work is blown away by the success that I have had ( I did a very low calorie diet) and they want to know what I did. So they can do it.

Ok I get that it isn't everyone's cup of tea (they can all afford it) but to reject it out of hand when they haven't done the slightest inquiry into it ... annoys me.

The excuses are laughable. One said that she can't eat shakes. That same one would not even try the shake to see if she would like it. One said she couldn't do it because she was going on vacation...um well of course, they would argue you have to learn how not to dive into the food on vacation. Finally one just blurted out "that isn't healthy" that made me mad. First, to my knowledge I haven't been admitted into the hospital yet... and second, so ignorant. The plan has actually been around 30 years and is invited into most medical institutions because it is a healthy successful plan.

I actually never say a peep unless they ask me first, but, I get extremely frustrated when they ask and seem to only want an easy way out.

sacha
10-26-2013, 08:00 AM
I just smile and nod. I'll be there if and when they are ready.

We were all that person once. I'm sure some of us never thought about our weight before we decided to lose it - but the majority of us probably got annoyed with being overweight at some time or another. Get mad at being overweight and go eat because we were mad. I'm sure it's a familiar story.

Just because some of us decided to take this journey sooner (or at all) doesn't make us any wiser than those who don't. I think this annoyance is common when we start weight loss though - I have been a maintainer for a very long time, so I tend to view things differently.

CherryPie99
10-26-2013, 09:16 AM
Last year I was so frustrated with a friend who supposedly wanted the help but made every excuse in the book about why she "had to" eat out at fast food" and why she couldn't exercise. DH said "She's just not ready" and things like that.

But then my sister-in-law reframed it for me. She said "You know, Jen, everyone isn't like you! When you made your decision you just went for it 1000%. You started working out every single day and NEVER went off plan. Not everyone is as stubborn as you! If you get her to exercise 1 day a week or eat right 50% of the time, that's WAY better then doing nothing at all! And maybe some day she'll dive in all the way!"

So that's how I try to think of it now. People want a magic cure and there isn't one! I tell them what I did and if they make little changes, OR if I say something that they will implement 3 months, 1 year, 5 years down the road, I've done all I can do!

Jen

LiannaKole
10-26-2013, 09:54 AM
I've posted about this before, actually. I haven't actually found ANYONE who really wants to know the answer. The answer isn't pretty or sexy or quick. They all want to know the "secret" like you said. There's no secret.

It's not my business if they're not ready yet. As someone who refused to do anything about her weight for probably too long, I have no room to judge. One day I was ready and I started working on it. Before that, nothing could have forced me to do it. And those other people are probably in that same place.

I'd be polite, try not to be frustrated (like others have said, you never know what they're dealing with, and honestly it doesn't much matter b/c it's their business), and give a short, to the point answer. If they really want to know more, they'll ask. I've found they never do.

My tried and true answer was, "I've been eating healthier and doing more exercise." The end.

But I try not to judge, because I don't want them judging me, and because I'm not qualified to look down on anyone for anything like that. Even when others criticize me (which I don't appreciate), I try to be polite and just say that it's been working well for me so far and I haven't had any problems.

I just try to be kind. If everything about weight loss was easy, all of us and everyone else would be thin by now. ;)

AnnRue
10-26-2013, 01:37 PM
I've posted about this before, actually. I haven't actually found ANYONE who really wants to know the answer.

I have come to a similar conclusion myself. I always thought when I lost the weight I would help those who were like me and been searching for the answer. But the truth is, the people who are still left overweight, kind of want to be in that position (for whatever reason) or otherwise they would have lost the weight. So really there is no one left to help.

One of my co-workers is caught in this trapped thinking that eating healthy foods =s weight loss. The problem is that she cannot understand that healthy foods can be full of calories too. She has also gotten stuck in the idea that anything from a package will kill you... I feel like this warped all or nothing thinking is because she knows the truth about what she needs to do, cut back, but she gets to not do it and justify it to herself as healthy living. She ignores the evidence that says fat on you will make you less healthy in a zillion ways and just focuses on the health she puts into her mouth.

I feel like I wasn't like that... I truly did not know the way and I feel like I got a ton of bad advice. So I want to help those who are similar. It is finding them that is very hard.

Wannabeskinny
10-27-2013, 08:35 AM
For example, I have a friend who says "I think I'm an alcoholic and I hate how big I am." So of course (I have problems with alcohol) I offer her my advice as I've been sober and dieting and feel amazing! I tell her how hard she has to work and how it's not going to be easy and of course she doesn't want to put in the hard work.

She just doesn't know how good it will feel :( Like it is hard but the feeling when you lose a pound or live a week without drinking is amazing and I just want to share this with everyone! But I have no time for those who want like a secret tip that makes it easy.

Do you all understand and have you faced this problem before?

Hmmm, so you told her that she has to work really really hard and that it's not easy at all and you're amazed that she's not on board with your plan huh? Look, good for you and all that you're making these changes in your life. But when I hear someone tell me that it's realllly reallly hard all I really think is that they're puffing themselves up as martyrs. A real friend will encourage me that it's not as hard as I think, that's it's one step at a time and that we can do this together. Whenever someone tells me that it's really hard it just makes me think that they don't want me to try just so that they can come out on top. Sorry, but that's how I see it.

Why is it any of your business if someone does or doesn't take your advice? You think you know everything now and that everyone is obliged to follow suit? Everybody is living in their own world and makes the decisions that are right for them. Nobody is perfect and nobody is capable of change unless it comes from within themselves.

We complain about a lot on this board. We complain about skinny people who don't understand our struggles, we complain about people who don't value us for who we are, we complain about how society doesn't recognize our eating disorders. Are we seriously going to go down that route and judge people who aren't making the same effort we are? That's hypocritical if you ask me. Think about how many people were looking at you thinking "why doesn't she just eat less and lose weight??????" And now you're doing the same thing... to a friend.:?:

Annik
10-27-2013, 09:24 AM
Last year I was so frustrated with a friend who supposedly wanted the help but made every excuse in the book about why she "had to" eat out at fast food" and why she couldn't exercise. DH said "She's just not ready" and things like that.

But then my sister-in-law reframed it for me. She said "You know, Jen, everyone isn't like you! When you made your decision you just went for it 1000%. You started working out every single day and NEVER went off plan. Not everyone is as stubborn as you! If you get her to exercise 1 day a week or eat right 50% of the time, that's WAY better then doing nothing at all! And maybe some day she'll dive in all the way!"

So that's how I try to think of it now. People want a magic cure and there isn't one! I tell them what I did and if they make little changes, OR if I say something that they will implement 3 months, 1 year, 5 years down the road, I've done all I can do!

Jen

Jen,

You continue to inspire me!

Thank you!

Annik

LovesToTravel
10-27-2013, 09:56 AM
Yeah, I think most people have experienced this, whether it's about getting healthier or something else. I have a friend who used to insist that she wanted to lose weight more than anything, but absolutely refused to change a thing in her life to make that happen. I wasn't interested in weight loss at that point myself, but even I knew that you have to change SOMETHING to drop the pounds and I told her that. She wasn't ready to hear it, but you know what? She ended up making huge changes when she was ready. She had a baby and between breastfeeding, then having to keep up with an active toddler and wanting to establish good food choices in her house for her child, she lost a ton of weight. :)

The weight loss thing doesn't get my goat as much as some other choices I've seen loved ones make that break my heart. Refusing to get medical treatment, staying in a miserable marriage, etc. I think when you believe someone could be happier/healthier in life, it's hard to stand by helplessly and bear witness to their pain. Although, as Kaplods pointed out, I'm sure others have felt the same way about us at times. Human nature, I guess.

GlamourGirl827
10-27-2013, 07:14 PM
This only bothers me when someone is full of excuses. And I feel this way about any area of life, not just weightloss. Sometimes people want to vent but like kaplods said, may be facing some inner demons that make it very hard for them to change right now. I can take someone saying "I hate being over weight, but I'm not in a place to make the changes I need to in order to lose the weight, but it still really bothers me"...versus someone saying "I can't lose weight, I barely eat and I'm still fat!" while they are eating a Big Mac...In other words, people that have set up road blocks so they never have to try (ie not my fault!) gets under my skin. Thos that own their behavoirs and just may not being willing to change them, I have no issue with them venting about their situation. Since I cant stop people from feeling a certain way, when I see a "not my fault" vent starting, I high tail it out of there.

alaskanlaughter
10-27-2013, 07:51 PM
This only bothers me when someone is full of excuses. And I feel this way about any area of life, not just weightloss. Sometimes people want to vent but like kaplods said, may be facing some inner demons that make it very hard for them to change right now. I can take someone saying "I hate being over weight, but I'm not in a place to make the changes I need to in order to lose the weight, but it still really bothers me"...versus someone saying "I can't lose weight, I barely eat and I'm still fat!" while they are eating a Big Mac...In other words, people that have set up road blocks so they never have to try (ie not my fault!) gets under my skin. Thos that own their behavoirs and just may not being willing to change them, I have no issue with them venting about their situation. Since I cant stop people from feeling a certain way, when I see a "not my fault" vent starting, I high tail it out of there.

^^^YES this exactly!!^^^ is how I feel

diamondgeog
10-28-2013, 01:37 PM
I think it is dead wrong that people don't want to know the answer. They might not like it, but those are not the same thing.

Even though I am still heavy people that know me can see the changes. I say better food choices and more exercise when asked. Some say oh darn, but with a smile. Most nod.

Maybe they file it in the back of their brain. I've never met anyone that says no that can't be it. They all know at some level. I go to Huffington Post for inspiration. Virtually every success story there is lifestyle changes. I boil down eating and exercise to lifestyle changes. Over and over and over more similarities than not.

And what works for one might not work for another. Lowering carbs is working for me, I don't think shakes would. And asking is doing something. They are reaching out to people who have had success. My wife for years asked me to stop eating so much fast food. I knew it was bad. I don't fully understand why I was doing that then. except I was on a carb wheel where eating carbs just left me feeling hungry which I filled with more carbs and on and on.

So maybe their diet is working against them. Maybe there is cheap fast food at every corner? Maybe they have a lot of stress in their lives and it just all piles on top of it. Maybe they want a quick fix because they just feel overwhelmed? Obviously I wasn't ready to change at the time I eat a lot of fast food. I am still the same person. I wasn't weak-willed then, I am not super-willed now.

lotsakids
10-28-2013, 04:40 PM
I was diagnosed as diabetic this year. That was my wake up call. Before Diabetes I wished a lot. Wished I was thinner, wished I could go to a gym, wished I could get weight loss surgery ... After being told I had diabetes I began a new way of eating and I got my butt out and walked. No more wishing, if I want to get this disease under control I have to do it. I have to stop wishing everything will get better.

I like most fat people knew all the rules of what to eat, not eat. How much water to drink, how much exercise to do but it took diabetes not another person to make me want to change what I was doing.

Mrs Snark
10-29-2013, 12:32 PM
But when I hear someone tell me that it's realllly reallly hard all I really think is that they're puffing themselves up as martyrs. A real friend will encourage me that it's not as hard as I think, that's it's one step at a time and that we can do this together. Whenever someone tells me that it's really hard it just makes me think that they don't want me to try just so that they can come out on top. Sorry, but that's how I see it.

Interesting take. This makes me rethink how many times I say how hard it is to lose weight, stop binging, and maintain a loss. I'm being truthful -- for me it IS really, freakin super hard, but I still think the journey is worth it.

And when I tell someone else that yes, it is really hard (particularly at the beginning), I'm mostly trying to prepare them for those moments when it feels totally un-doable and unachievable so that they won't quit when those feelings pop up. As in, YES, you're going to find out how hard it is but you CAN do it and keep going.

I'm certainly not trying to puff myself up, because the truth is I still struggle, I still find it hard. But maybe I need to find a way to express this more positively, it never occurred to me that someone would feel the way you do about those statements!

Do you all understand and have you faced this problem before?

Honestly, no, I don't feel that way. I see myself in every single person who is struggling with their weight. I am every single person who is struggling. I have known for many, many years what the answers are to losing weight and keeping the weight off, and yet still I've been up and down and up and down and up and down the scale. Every person is on their own journey and I'm happy to share what works for me (when something is working) and what doesn't (when something ISN'T working) when someone asks me, even though it may not work for them.

Song of Surly
10-30-2013, 03:28 PM
I've dealt with this frustration some with my family, but it's more-so out of a serious concern for their health. My mother is a diabetic who has had a heart attack (though she is really not that overweight), my father has had to undergo a back surgery and is on blood pressure meds, and my sister, while having no health concerns yet, seems crushingly unhappy with her current weight.

They always say, "I have to do better," and I try so hard to be encouraging. I give the best advice that helped me with the challenges I've faced, and I try to pack so much that I have learned into those conversations, but I don't know if it's done anything yet. I don't get personally frustrated with them, which seems to be a strange concept to me anyway. Me giving advice has nothing to do with feeling that they are somehow accountable for accepting it after that. However, I do become frustrated and sad at the situation in general. I feel like I have found some special key to unlock what I want, but when I ask them if they want to try and use it, it won't fit in anyone else's door. :(

EagleRiverDee
10-31-2013, 02:13 PM
I understand both sides of this coin because I vacillate between the two mindsets. Sometimes I'm gung-ho and can stay seriously motivated on a diet and exercise program for 3 months, 6 months, a year. Then something happens and it shakes me. This year has been bad for me because it's been one blow after another. My beloved dog died last December and I'm still hurting over it. I've been sick 4 times. I'm having heart rhythm problems. So my focus right now isn't on losing weight- it's just trying to not to gain because I'm in a hole right now.

Mickie22
10-31-2013, 09:26 PM
Hmmm, so you told her that she has to work really really hard and that it's not easy at all and you're amazed that she's not on board with your plan huh? Look, good for you and all that you're making these changes in your life. But when I hear someone tell me that it's realllly reallly hard all I really think is that they're puffing themselves up as martyrs. A real friend will encourage me that it's not as hard as I think, that's it's one step at a time and that we can do this together. Whenever someone tells me that it's really hard it just makes me think that they don't want me to try just so that they can come out on top. Sorry, but that's how I see it.

Why is it any of your business if someone does or doesn't take your advice? You think you know everything now and that everyone is obliged to follow suit? Everybody is living in their own world and makes the decisions that are right for them. Nobody is perfect and nobody is capable of change unless it comes from within themselves.

We complain about a lot on this board. We complain about skinny people who don't understand our struggles, we complain about people who don't value us for who we are, we complain about how society doesn't recognize our eating disorders. Are we seriously going to go down that route and judge people who aren't making the same effort we are? That's hypocritical if you ask me. Think about how many people were looking at you thinking "why doesn't she just eat less and lose weight??????" And now you're doing the same thing... to a friend.:?:
Woow meeooww.

I'm sorry but it is really really hard for me and I'm not going to lie to her and say it's not. I tell her it's hard but she can do it and she will feel good after and we can do it together.

Of course I want her to try, she's my friend why do I want to feel better than her. I don't have a need to feel better than anyone.

It became my business of her taking my advice when she asked me for help. :/ I didn't randomly go up to her and start giving advice, she came to me very upset and knew that I understood where she was because we are in the same positions. I don't think I know everything, I just know what is working for me and I'd love her to join so she can feel as good as me.

I'm not judging her at all, just frustrated because I know exactly where she is and she asks for advice but just won't take it. I want her to be healthy and feel the way I'm feeling.

This is a good friend I'm talking about, I want nothing but the best for her sheesh.

Mickie22
10-31-2013, 09:28 PM
I understand both sides of this coin because I vacillate between the two mindsets. Sometimes I'm gung-ho and can stay seriously motivated on a diet and exercise program for 3 months, 6 months, a year. Then something happens and it shakes me. This year has been bad for me because it's been one blow after another. My beloved dog died last December and I'm still hurting over it. I've been sick 4 times. I'm having heart rhythm problems. So my focus right now isn't on losing weight- it's just trying to not to gain because I'm in a hole right now.

Aw man :( I really wish the best of luck for you and hope things turn around soon. Stay strong

Wannabeskinny
10-31-2013, 10:55 PM
Just because someone asks you for advice does not mean they are automatically obligated to take it. People move at their own pace and just because she doesn't take it doesn't mean she doesn't hear it. If she does or does not take your advice doesn't matter, don't look for validation there.

It's not nice to meow or scoff at someone. But you've proven my point that you don't have to take my or anyone's advice just because you've asked for it.

kaplods
10-31-2013, 11:28 PM
It became my business of her taking my advice when she asked me for help. :/ I didn't randomly go up to her and start giving advice, she came to me very upset and knew that I understood where she was because we are in the same positions. I don't think I know everything, I just know what is working for me and I'd love her to join so she can feel as good as me.

I'm not judging her at all, just frustrated because I know exactly where she is and she asks for advice but just won't take it.


Just because someone asks for your advice does not make them obligated to take it, nor are they obligated to follow your exact path or on a timetable acceptable to you. And if you're getting frustrated enough to call it anger, you really ARE judging her.

If you truly understood exactly where she is right now, and why, you'd also understand what's holding her back, and if you understood that, you'ld be empathetic and not angry/frustrated.

As frustrated as you are that she isn't where you are, she's probably just as frustrated that she isn't either. And because good friends often read each other well, your friend probably senses your impatience and frustration with her, which is not going to make following your example any easier.

You have evangelical syndrome. You're so excited about the changes you've made that you want to "convert" your friend whether she's ready or not. You want your friend to be with you, but she's not ready. Maybe she'll never be.

If you can't let go of the anger and frustration it will strain the friendship.

No matter what advice you give a friend, on whatever topic, you have to be willing to give it with no expectation of obligation attached.

Maybe your method of weight loss isn't the right one for her. Maybe she's not ready. Maybe she has other priorities she values more highly. Maybe she's the kind of person who needs to mull over advice before she follows it.

Just because she asked for your help, doesn't mean you can expect her to follow it. She gets to steer her own life and if weight loss isn't her top priority right now (or even if it never is) that's something a friend needs to respect to be a friend.

Anger and frustration are the opposite of compassion and understanding.

Frustration is easy, compassion is hard - often harder than weight loss.

sacha
11-01-2013, 06:47 AM
The thing is, you, and all of us pretty much, didn't want to do "the work" at one point either. We've all been there.

Wannabeskinny
11-01-2013, 08:14 AM
Haha, I love that term evangelical syndrome! I get that a lot. Everything I do I get so excited about it and tell other people and I'm just shocked when people don't take it on. Like I get all preachy about how great Halloween is and other people are like yea I don't celebrate it cause it's a hassle. Or like when I'm all excited about tai chi and nobody cares. Or like I'm soooo into paleo and other people go on about their business.

I think this stems for a need to connect with someone, I want someone to think it's a great idea and to follow it and by doing so it helps me be accountable. This however does not frustrate me, it just makes me feel a little lonely, like I'm the only person that cares about Halloween, or paleo or tai chi out of the people I know.

Mickie22
11-01-2013, 09:42 AM
Just because someone asks you for advice does not mean they are automatically obligated to take it. People move at their own pace and just because she doesn't take it doesn't mean she doesn't hear it. If she does or does not take your advice doesn't matter, don't look for validation there.

It's not nice to meow or scoff at someone. But you've proven my point that you don't have to take my or anyone's advice just because you've asked for it.

She doesn't have to take my advice, I'm not forcing her too. I can't help that I'm human and get frustrated though. Isn't this what forums are for? To talk about things and to get over it?

I gave her advice and she said she didn't want to do it and that was the end. I came and wrote this thread and that was that. Next time I have a human emotion I better make sure not to post around you ha.

I don't remember asking you for advice btw, I remember writing "Has this ever happen to you all what did you do?" or something along those lines.

dancinginpaint
11-01-2013, 09:48 AM
I don't think this is evangelical syndrome though. To me that implies that one is giving advice or instruction when not asked. This friend came running to her for it, for support.

I also think I would be mad if someone told me "it was easy", because when i'd struggle I would think something was wrong with me. I'd be all "why did ---- have it so easy? What am I doing wrong here?". I hope that friends never lie to me just so they can get me to do what they want. I think hard is just, hard.

I also think its unfair to characterize her frustrations as judgments. I think frustration can also come out of hurt, and fear for another person, and if you didn't love them, you wouldn't feel that way. I've experienced this with many ill relatives. That feeling because I know that some of their ailments are fixable, and they choose not to fix, which leads to more pain. If I lacked compassion for their struggles I wouldn't be there at all, wishing for lessened suffering in the future. If I lacked love and understanding, i'd have turned them down for my time, effort, affection, advice, etc.

We can't force anyone to take our advice though. We can't make anyone do anything, thankfully. I wouldn't want to be obligated to take the advice everyone has ever given me! Just be ready and available when she comes back around again asking. Even if she never takes it, even if it take a million times. Just keep doing your thing, and make your choice on either helping when shes ready or not. Once you decide I think you'll spend less time dwelling on it. I think just about all of us have been like your friend at some time. :hug:

Anyways, just my perspective. :)

Mickie22
11-01-2013, 09:48 AM
Just because someone asks for your advice does not make them obligated to take it, nor are they obligated to follow your exact path or on a timetable acceptable to you. And if you're getting frustrated enough to call it anger, you really ARE judging her.

If you truly understood exactly where she is right now, and why, you'd also understand what's holding her back, and if you understood that, you'ld be empathetic and not angry/frustrated.

As frustrated as you are that she isn't where you are, she's probably just as frustrated that she isn't either. And because good friends often read each other well, your friend probably senses your impatience and frustration with her, which is not going to make following your example any easier.

You have evangelical syndrome. You're so excited about the changes you've made that you want to "convert" your friend whether she's ready or not. You want your friend to be with you, but she's not ready. Maybe she'll never be.

If you can't let go of the anger and frustration it will strain the friendship.

No matter what advice you give a friend, on whatever topic, you have to be willing to give it with no expectation of obligation attached.

Maybe your method of weight loss isn't the right one for her. Maybe she's not ready. Maybe she has other priorities she values more highly. Maybe she's the kind of person who needs to mull over advice before she follows it.

Just because she asked for your help, doesn't mean you can expect her to follow it. She gets to steer her own life and if weight loss isn't her top priority right now (or even if it never is) that's something a friend needs to respect to be a friend.

Anger and frustration are the opposite of compassion and understanding.

Frustration is easy, compassion is hard - often harder than weight loss.

I'm not actually angry, I was frustrated because I know that I was killing myself and I know she is doing the same. I know she wants help and she just needs a push so I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place. She's not frustrating, this situation is frustrating.

She's not obligated to take my advice and I'm not obligated to sit back and watch her destroy her liver and body without venting out frustrations. It's funny you all would honestly not be frustrated over seeing a good friend overeat and get drunk nearly 5 days a week? I guess you're all better people than me. You can also be empathetic and frustrated at the same time, frustrated because you're empathetic and understand exactly how she's feeling and not being able to help her.

dancinginpaint
11-01-2013, 09:54 AM
She's not obligated to take my advice and I'm not obligated to sit back and watch her destroy her liver and body without venting out frustrations. It's funny you all would honestly not be frustrated over seeing a good friend overeat and get drunk nearly 5 days a week? I guess you're all better people than me. You can also be empathetic and frustrated at the same time, frustrated because you're empathetic and understand exactly how she's feeling and not being able to help her.

Girl, I do understand. Maybe not with drinking in particular, but other destructive behaviors. I'm sorry that this is causing you and your friend pain. This is an open forum and many of us will have disagreements because that's what people do. Try to take from this post what you can, and stick around, this is a great support forum.

Mickie22
11-01-2013, 09:56 AM
I don't think this is evangelical syndrome though. To me that implies that one is giving advice or instruction when not asked. This friend came running to her for it, for support.

I also think I would be mad if someone told me "it was easy", because when i'd struggle I would think something was wrong with me. I'd be all "why did ---- have it so easy? What am I doing wrong here?". I hope that friends never lie to me just so they can get me to do what they want. I think hard is just, hard.

I also think its unfair to characterize her frustrations as judgments. I think frustration can also come out of hurt, and fear for another person, and if you didn't love them, you wouldn't feel that way. I've experienced this with many ill relatives. That feeling because I know that some of their ailments are fixable, and they choose not to fix, which leads to more pain. If I lacked compassion for their struggles I wouldn't be there at all, wishing for lessened suffering in the future. If I lacked love and understanding, i'd have turned them down for my time, effort, affection, advice, etc.

We can't force anyone to take our advice though. We can't make anyone do anything, thankfully. I wouldn't want to be obligated to take the advice everyone has ever given me! Just be ready and available when she comes back around again asking. Even if she never takes it, even if it take a million times. Just keep doing your thing, and make your choice on either helping when shes ready or not. Once you decide I think you'll spend less time dwelling on it. I think just about all of us have been like your friend at some time. :hug:

Anyways, just my perspective. :)

Aw thanks, yeah I'm not being judgmental at all. I just am frustrated because I know how she is hurting inside and out, and I know how hard it is to take the first step and I also know no advice will help if the person doesn't want it to. I'm frustrated because I can't do more and because I obviously care. And I didn't say I was angry or anything to her, I just gave her advice and told her she could do it and we could do it together! I told her to get a ticker and we can countdown the days together, and I told her it'd be hard but all the ladies on this forum are nice and are struggling with us. When she didn't take the advice she asked for I got frustrated and then wrote this thread.

I didn't envision all this backlash lol. I think the frustration is more over the alcohol than the weight. I recently had to go to the ER for heart problems due to being overweight and an alcoholic and that was my turning point for quitting and weight loss. That was so scary and I don't want anyone to wait that long to decide to quit, but I've got to understand that she's going to do what she wants.

Wannabeskinny
11-01-2013, 10:18 AM
There is no backlash here that's all in your perception. I can see that you don't like it when people don't agree with you or when they view things differently than you do. Go ahead, have a vent. But my human emotion is just as valid as yours, just cause you post a thread doesn't mean you own it. Furthermore, if you're a recovering alcoholic maybe it's not wise to be around an active alcoholic.

LovesToTravel
11-01-2013, 10:25 AM
Aw thanks, yeah I'm not being judgmental at all. I just am frustrated because I know how she is hurting inside and out, and I know how hard it is to take the first step and I also know no advice will help if the person doesn't want it to. I'm frustrated because I can't do more and because I obviously care.

It can be incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking to watch someone struggle so much when you can see, from your vantage point, a way out. I get you, Mickie22. My mother has a lot of health problems and deals with it with food, shopping, and meds. She shops around for doctors to find one that will give her the pills she wants. She gained a frightening amount of weight in a matter of months and it's affected her mobility, breathing, and self-esteem. She won't consider therapy even though it's clear that she's depressed; online shopping is her therapy, she says.

I get frustrated and, yes, ANGRY, sometimes. I think that's normal. You care about somebody and you hate to see them suffer. You feel helpless because it's beyond your control and there's no instant fix. I think the frustration you feel is totally normal and you are a good friend for caring. :hug: I don't know the best way to handle your situation, Mickie22, but it sounds like you're doing the best you can and I'm sorry your friend is going down such a tough road right now. Maybe try looking into Al-Anon (http://www.al-anon.org/)for the drinking issue to get some tips? At any rate, I hope your friend is able to get some help soon.

kaplods
11-01-2013, 10:49 AM
Actually, you did ask for our input. Simply by posting in a public forum, you invited advice. We gave it. You didn't like the advice we gave, and so you listed an asortment of reasons the advice didn't apply to you.

Seems like you have a lot in common with your friend...


We all do, and that's why we're some of us are saying be patient with your friend, if you want others to be patient with you.

You aren't obligated to follow our advice, even though you asked for it. Just as your friend isn't obligated to follow yours. She may suffer for it. You may suffer for not following ours. Maybe not.

You can choose to close the door on friendship with your friend or the friendship we're offering you.

You used the word angry, I did not. You stressed the weight loss aspect in your original post, then the alcohol abuse later on.

If you have dealt with alcohol issues yourself, you know how difficult it is to be receptive to other's opinions (even when you invite them, sometimes especially when).



We're trying to help, and you're rejecting that help - not by refusing to take our suggestions. Refusing to take our advice isn't refusing our help. Refusing to hear it in the spirit in which it was given is.

I'm not angry or even frustrated with you, because I've been there.

I even have a bit of evangelical syndrome about it (which has nothing to do with whether we were asked for our opinion, but everything to do with how we give it).

You can't use our advice right now, and that's ok. Just because you asked and we gave, doesn't mean you have to accept. Maybe some day it will be useful to you.

And that's all any of us can hope for when we put our input and advice "out there" (whether we were asked for it or not).

Mickie22
11-01-2013, 11:53 AM
Actually, you did ask for our input. Simply by posting in a public forum, you invited advice. We gave it. You didn't like the advice we gave, and so you listed an asortment of reasons the advice didn't apply to you.

Seems like you have a lot in common with your friend...


We all do, and that's why we're some of us are saying be patient with your friend, if you want others to be patient with you.

You aren't obligated to follow our advice, even though you asked for it. Just as your friend isn't obligated to follow yours. She may suffer for it. You may suffer for not following ours. Maybe not.

You can choose to close the door on friendship with your friend or the friendship we're offering you.

You used the word angry, I did not. You stressed the weight loss aspect in your original post, then the alcohol abuse later on.

If you have dealt with alcohol issues yourself, you know how difficult it is to be receptive to other's opinions (even when you invite them, sometimes especially when).



We're trying to help, and you're rejecting that help - not by refusing to take our suggestions. Refusing to take our advice isn't refusing our help. Refusing to hear it in the spirit in which it was given is.

I'm not angry or even frustrated with you, because I've been there.

I even have a bit of evangelical syndrome about it (which has nothing to do with whether we were asked for our opinion, but everything to do with how we give it).

You can't use our advice right now, and that's ok. Just because you asked and we gave, doesn't mean you have to accept. Maybe some day it will be useful to you.

And that's all any of us can hope for when we put our input and advice "out there" (whether we were asked for it or not).

Alright I'll take your advice on not being judgmental and hypocritical even though I truly feel I wasn't being those things in the first place. :/ And next time she asks for advice I won't give it so I won't be evangelical :/ And instead of coming to a forum to vent frustrations I'll tell my brain to never get frustrated in the first place. And I'll be patient with my friend by dropping the subject and moving on exactly like I have this time. :/

Thanks for the advice.

Mickie22
11-01-2013, 11:59 AM
There is no backlash here that's all in your perception. I can see that you don't like it when people don't agree with you or when they view things differently than you do. Go ahead, have a vent. But my human emotion is just as valid as yours, just cause you post a thread doesn't mean you own it. Furthermore, if you're a recovering alcoholic maybe it's not wise to be around an active alcoholic.

I don't like being called a judgmental hypocrite that boasts about working out hard yes. I don't mind disagreements.

Me and my friend are former flatmates I'm back in America and she's still in London. She just texted me one day really upset about her weight and drinking habits and she knew I had been sober for a bit and wanted some advice.

mainecyn
11-03-2013, 06:32 PM
I was never that person that asked others what they did and didn't take their advice. I was that person that had friends just like myself, all over weight. We always had the same excuse, it doesn't matter what I do, or what I eat, I stay the same weight anyway. This was all well and good until I got to 248 lbs.

The breaking point could have been many, should have been, maybe the bending over in the grocery store parking lot 10 years ago, and my size 22 pants splitting. Maybe it was taking my children to the fair and climbing the steps to the slide, child in hand, setting him on my lap and we moved a fraction of an inch, when I realized I was too large to fit thru the opening. I had to get up and hand my son the bag you slid on, told him I couldn't go with him but I would meet him on the bottom. Or, maybe it was the extreme self loathing I had, hating myself, knowing and feeling I was ugly inside and out. What really was the breaking point was the dr office, my blood pressure, my weight, the fact that I had asthma, smoked a pack a day and could barely walk. I left from an appointment him telling me I would be dead from a heart attack, I have type 2 diabetes, and that my kids not remembering me and me telling myself I would always be watching from the side lines as long as I lived a heavy life.

The first time I lost weight I lost 15 pounds in almost 2 weeks on Atkins. I fought the good fight and during the first month also quit smoking, cold turkey. I ate a new low carb diet, exercised, devoted myself to a new life. I became energetic with my kids and felt alive. The first 50 lbs I lost I felt like an entirely new person..But, as the pounds came off my friends slowly dropped as well.

They didnt want to be around me. It wasn't that we didn't have things in common anymore, we liked the same books, movies, had kids the same age..it was because as one of them told me being with me reminded them of their faults or how unhappy they were.

I am still at least 60lbs lighter than I was, I've gained some back and am still battling every day. I often hear people at work tell me if they were my size they wouldn't bother, that I should be happy with myself, or have a piece of cake, or just a taste of this wont hurt. I listen to them then say how they are hungry every hour and hear them walk by my office to that vending machine to get that diet coke and bag of little debbie donuts..how I don't understand..they tell me and everyone around the same excuse as always, I need this to keep my blood sugar up. ??? No sense. This same woman is 365 lbs and tells me I don't' know what its like to be over weight and don't understand. She and others constantly complain about being overweight but are the first in line for the donuts the boss brings out in the mornings, or the potluck at work going in several times, and they jab at me with sarcastic moments of telling me "I forgot, you don't eat these". It is easier for them to just continue on the way that they are and not be reminded that the only failure they have is that they don't try. I am not anyone better than they are. I lost the weight and went of blood pressure meds and type two meds. But, they don't want to hear that. I was told that "medical stuff have changed Cynthia, and you just couldn't' have really had diabetes as bad as I do" WTF?

I have had only one co-worker speak to me positively about my weight loss. She used to be over weight as well. One night while working together over the summer (shes my boss) she told me you know you are the only one I know that has ever lost such an amount of weight on their own, kept it off, and continue to be healthy.

Did I forget to mention the hate rumors that went around work, how I had gastric bypass surgery somehow? How I started having affairs with co-workers after I began losing the weight? These were former friends that told others this...Sometimes losing the weight can make you more of a social outcast and big people can bully too.

There is a weight loss challenge every 6 weeks at work. I won it once. I joined because I had 10 pounds to drop after gaining some back. I worked hard, ate healthy, upped my walking, and that weight came off. I won, but the others became very hostile saying it wasn't fair because I had a history of dieting and could lose it faster than them. I told them actually due to the body mass it is harder for me to drop weight compared to them...didn't matter, I was never asked to join again. These women sign up for this weight loss group each and every time, lose 2 pounds and then gain 5 or 6..they then ***** and complain that it just isn't possible in the "real world". I am not a different person inside. I am still the same person that used to go home at the end of the day and cry, feel empty, I am just different on the outside.

It is difficult to get anyone to take advice if they do not want it. So, I don't bring it up. I have had a few co-workers that watch what I eat at work. They will curiously ask about what I am eating, even asking if my "real food" is at home. I tell them, No, I eat this way at home too. I bring in healthy snacks of varies fruits, salads, etc. set them on that potluck table and I am the only one that eats from them. Change is different and personal for everyone. I know in my case my weight was my safe zone. i used it to buffer the world. As much as I hated the pounds and myself, I felt safe. I had to work on myself and still need to. Your feelings or self esteem don't always change when you look different in the mirror.

Wannabeskinny
11-03-2013, 11:13 PM
I never called you that or worded it that way.

Mainecyn that's an unbelievable story. Kudos to you for being string enough to withstand that much hostility. You're right, overweight people can be judge metal too and I can be guilty of that because I just assume that thin people have it easy sometimes. And sometimes when I see unhappy thin people I can't help but think "what does she have to be so miserable about?" Being thin dosnt guarantee happiness but deep down I feel like it would solve just about every problem I have.

dupreegreg
11-04-2013, 12:29 AM
I remember a time when all I could do was think about getting in shape I talked about it a lot and thought about it a lot, then someone told me it was alright to feel how I feel! and they were there to LISTEN,IT TAKES ALOT OF CORAGE TO CHANGE AND ALOT OF SELF TALK.wHO AM I TO JUDGE OTHERS WHEN I HAVE BEEN AT THE SAME PLACE THEY ARE AT!:

krampus
11-04-2013, 10:46 AM
It sucks watching people you care about neglect their bodies. Especially the addiction factor. Quitting drinking is hard. Losing weight is hard. But having cirrhosis of the liver and wearing down your joints and having heart and blood sugar problems are ultimately harder.

You want to have faith in people, and assume they will get their act together and get healthy and lose the bad habits - but waiting for them to make that choice is a trial in patience.

mainecyn
11-04-2013, 03:36 PM
I just assume that thin people have it easy sometimes. And sometimes when I see unhappy thin people I can't help but think "what does she have to be so miserable about?"

I was guilty of this the first time I did Atkins, when I was at my heaviest. I would look at thin people and think my life would be perfect if I was just like them..that they couldn't have anything to be unhappy with. I hated hanging out with thin people because I felt self conscious. I still don't think of myself as thin, but I still hear that at work. I know we all have our own visions of ourselves, and generally we are all harder on ourselves than others. I think that everyone everywhere has something that they hate about themselves, even if they look perfect on the outside.

diamondgeog
11-04-2013, 05:56 PM
Mainecyn that is just, as stated, an unbelievable story. Wpw. I've never experienced anything close to that. People around me, co-workers, friends, neighbors on the street are all very supportive of my weight loss. Great job, etc. Your story seems like something out of Jerry Springer. I didn't know anyone would ever act that way. Not sure if this is men versus women thing.

I have noticed also women saying if they lose weight they get more attention and really conflicting things about that. That is a lot more stuff to deal with then I have to that is for sure.

ILoveVegetables
11-05-2013, 02:47 PM
With regards to this thread in general, I do understand how it can be frustrating when people ask for advice and then don't take it, but I also think it's unfair to assume that the reason they don't take it is because they simply don't want to, or aren't willing to put in the work. I think that when people ask for advice and don't take it, particularly with regards to weight loss, it truly is because they're not ready. Yes, they may be looking for the big secret to weight loss, some magic pill or method that worked wonders for someone else, and yes, it doesn't exist, but I also think that that's part of the process to finally being ready to put in the hard work required.

Didn't most of us go through that phase for a while? The whole process of realizing we're overweight and need to change, days or weeks of searching online for different plans and methods that have worked for others, perhaps trying out one, two or ten fad diets to see if they yield results, only to finally realize that, as tough as it may be, controlling your diet and a bit of exercise is really the only possible way to lose weight in a healthy way and maintain it.

For me, going through that whole phase of hoping for a magic solution and not finding one was the key to finally waking up and realizing I had to change my diet, whether I liked it or not. People who ask for advice are, in all probability, still in that phase of looking for the answer, and they will need time to understand and accept what does and doesn't work.

@Mickie22, I know it can be frustrating to see someone you love unwilling to change their habits for their own health, but give her time. The best that friends can do is give advice when asked, and be there to help when and if that advice is taken. Be patient with her until then, and remember that that's where many of us were as well, some more recently than others (like me).

On a side note, @Mainecyn, man you had some bad luck with these people. But I suppose it really does clearly show you who your real friends are, and that is a silver lining to this situation.