100 lb. Club - Weight Loss: When Did People Start to Comment?

10-11-2005, 10:49 PM
I posted this elsewhere, but it kind of got buried...
Here's a question for those of you who have gotten to this point: When did people start to comment on your weight loss?

I started at about 300 and have lost just over 30 pounds. While I certainly notice the difference in a number of ways, I don't know if I'm at the point other people would notice. I am certainly not at the point where people who don't know me well (e.g., colleagues) would comment on it, and I have volunteered that info to very few people.

I'm not asking because I can't wait for the comments -- almost the opposite. Right now I don't want to have to start answering all the "What's your secret?" questions or have them watch everything I eat ("Is that what a "dieter" eats?"). [Though I suppose before they might have wondered "Is that how much a fat person eats?"] I'm not doing this for anyone but me and like my current state of anonymity.

So, I guess a follow up question is, what kinds of questions do people most often ask you?

I lost some weight a number of years ago -- going from 250 to 217ish. I remember that people HAD started to notice. That may also have been because I started dressing nicer because I had a new wardrobe and was WANTING others to notice. I'm not at that point (yet) this time around -- do you think that's as much a part of it as anything else? That is, not the weight loss itself, but how you project yourself?

10-11-2005, 10:52 PM
The first time I lost weight, I had lost 70 lbs before anyone really noticed. I'm at a 60 lb lost this time and only one person has said anything - and that was that I was losing weight in my face.

10-11-2005, 11:06 PM
How do you get kicked out of WW?! That's funny.

10-11-2005, 11:15 PM
My partner swears she saw it after about 15 pounds, but coworkers started to comment after about 25-30 pounds, when I was around 255 or 260, down from 284. I found it very motivating. I was "out" among the folks I speak with about making a healthy life overhaul, because I wanted the increased accountability, so it was great to get the positive feedback.

Then when I just kept on losing, it was just so, so motivating to get all that validation!

Questions I was asked were all along the lines of, "Wow! So what are you doing? Great job!" Followed by something like, "God, I just don't have the discipline, good for you." I welcomed these conversations, because I knew people were on my side, and I wanted all the support I could get. :)

10-11-2005, 11:46 PM
I'm not asking because I can't wait for the comments -- almost the opposite.

I think this is a huge issue for me, too. I'm not comfortable with a certain kind of shallow attention paid to me by people, and I'm not looking forward to telling all kinds of people how much I lost, what I did, etc.

In fact, one of my coworkers (apparently a non-vegetable-eating coworker) asked me if I was "still eating all those carrots and celery sticks". I tried to explain that no matter how fat or thin I've been, I've always eaten vegetables, but I don't think she understood. She then asked me if I'd lost any weight (and I had, but 8 pounds is hardly noticeable), I said no and that I'm not even trying. I just didn't want to deal with it.

10-12-2005, 12:42 AM
People did not notice on me until around 50 lbs. I think they notice most when you go down a couple of pants size and get new ones. For me I went form 58s and waited until I could fit in 52s before I bought new ones. So people really noticed when I did that. They have really noticed again when I just recently went form a 2xl shirt to XL and am wearing 42 pants now. So clothes do make a big difference. I have always been very open about my diet and wanted people to know so I could get support and be accountable. So I have not struggled with not wanting to be noticed. So if you want to not be noticed just wait as long as possible to buy new clothes.

10-12-2005, 01:21 AM
I'm not really looking forward to people learning about my dieting. I started to diet a couple times over the past few years, and people's comments weren't supportive at all. I've decided never to mention that I'm trying to lose weight, particularly to a few of my friends. If anyone comments on my (hopefully, one day noticable) weight loss, I plan on just saying, "I've lost weight? Hmm. I guess I have." Maybe you can find a way to brush off any comments?

I've got you guys for accountability, I have buddied up for support, and my boyfriend is being wonderful (even though he says I'm perfect the way I am and don't need to lose an ounce *grins*).

I guess I'm most worried about socializing with friends. I'm in my early twenties, and it seems like my social life revolves around food. Pizza and gaming. Meeting up at restaurants. Getting chinese food and watching movies. I'm most worried about how to handle this.

10-12-2005, 02:44 AM
People started commenting at around 20-25 pounds for me..
I started at 230.


10-12-2005, 06:30 AM
I think this is a really interesting question. In a way, it gets to the heart of some of the self-esteem, and support issues which seem to be such an important part of this journey. I guess I continually present myself to the world as someone who eats healthily, looks after themselves etc - I find that's the best way to reinforce my lifestyle. I have a couple of friends who I talk about this journey to in detail, but I don't enjoy hours of conversation about food and exercise! Once people started to notice that I was looking slimmer, I just enjoyed the comments and found it a really good source of motivation and encouragement. And, like Howie, I think it was more a clothes size related thing than anything else.

I guess what's most important is to figure out how best to deal with peoples reactions in a way that sustains, motivates and encourages you. And also to have a few one-liners ready for those people who are just downright unhelpful!

10-12-2005, 09:13 AM
I think for me, it was around 20 lbs or so. It's sort of a Catch 22--I want them to notice, but I don't want all the questions that go with it.

10-12-2005, 10:03 AM
These comments have been really helpful -- really got me thinking -- keep em coming! I have been very open with my colleagues (and some of my students -- I work at a college) about my new eating choices, but have NOT framed it in terms of weight loss, but health. Maybe part of the reason is because I went into this trying to be healthier, and trying not to focus on weight as the only measure of success.
I actually do get support from them, and now several of us brown bag it together, so that's good.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's nervous about this next phase, and from other comments, one issue seems to be whether what they say will be motivating to me or not.

WinterWonder, I know what you mean about the socializing issue. As I have started to get more comfortable with my regular, daily choices, I am starting to think more about those social occasions. I am finding that I really need to a) experiment with options and strategize b) not beat myself up for not being perfect. One thing I always do first now is eat something before I go so that I'm not really hungry. Then I try to plan what I will eat and how much and try not to go beyond. That doesn't always work, but then I know I'm doing better than when I didn't even try!

10-12-2005, 11:09 AM
I think for me, it was around 20 lbs or so. It's sort of a Catch 22--I want them to notice, but I don't want all the questions that go with it.

Exactly. It was about the same as me. The reason I didn't want all the questions wasn't because I didn't want to help out others in my newfound "secret" (move more, eat less) but because I had failed so many times in the past, I didn't want to have to deal the the shame and embarrassment should I fall off the wagon. When I finally switched gears and knew that this is forever, I realised no one but me cares when I pig out and slip up but me. For the most part, people aren't judging me for what I eat and how much I eat, it's mostly in my head.

winter--I think it's great that you are now kind of fearing the socialization. BUT, you do need to start planning for how you will handle them so you don't become anti-social because you are eating healthier. If you are going to have pizza and gambling, plan for 1-2 slices, eat a large salad before you go (if one won't be served). If by chance you do overindulge, don't beat yourself up but move on. It was one meal. You have 21 meals a week (not counting snacks) and that gives you 20 more meals to eat healthy :D

10-12-2005, 12:16 PM
I think this time around it was when I had lost about 25 lbs and I had bought new clothes. People knew there was something different but could not quite put their finger on it, so to speak. I understand about avoiding the questions. I always felt that when people asked "Have you lost weight?" or "What have you been doing?" I totally felt that they were judging me when I decided to cheat a little and go off plan. My mother is the worst for that. Everytime she sees me eating something that she considers "off" the diet, she is all over me like white on rice. That is how I became a closet binge emotional eater in the first place BTW. :o I use this forum to get support, and pretty much have kept the diet to myself.

10-12-2005, 01:51 PM
Last time I lost weight (86lbs which unfortunately wasn't for good) people started noticing around 20lbs.. I think a lot of it was, as others have said, because I was dressing nice and feeling good about myself. I was wearing clothes that fit me properly. There is a downside to people noticing. I have found that when a lot of people find out that the "big girl" is trying to lose weight, it becomes a spectacle...like 'ooh, let's see how far she'll get before she gives up'. Well that was my experience at my old job anyway. It's discouraging. This time around, only my mom, boyfriend, and older brother (a fitness idol of mine) know. And they are all infinitely supportive.

10-12-2005, 02:33 PM
Maybe my experience with weight loss is unusual - it sounds rather like it is - and definitely my perception of others sounds very different than that of most of you guys. I just didn't have any negative expectation of others' reactions to my losing weight - or NOT losing weight, for that matter! I had never really tried before, so maybe that's relevant, as it didn't give me any "baggage" or negative experiences to color my expectations. I just figured that most people would be happy for me and wish me well, and if by chance someone had a nasty or negative thought that they'd either keep it out of my earshot or I'd address it as it came up. I guess it's just that whole positive energy thing -- I am a strong believer that, more often than not, what I put out there comes back to me, and that fundamentally most people are good. I'm not naive, I'm just really stubbornly optimistic, I suppose, in that I refuse to let the behaviors of a few negatively affect my perception of my fellow humans. I'm all about the karma.

And I WANTED people to know that I was intentionally, consciously trying to lose weight so they'd help me to remember it myself! :lol: I didn't want to fail, I wanted to establish the expectation that I would succeed in my OWN mind, and having the people with whom I work closely in on my plan I thought could only help me.

And it DID!! I lost 78 pounds in 8 months, and felt overwhelmingly positive throughout the entire experience -- and that wasn't accidental, or even genetic! :lol: It was intentional, completely purposeful, and required ongoing, conscious work.

As for the socializing thing -- well in the beginning, I just had to compromise my social life. I figured that habits aren't created overnight, and I didn't want to put my goals and continued success at risk. My health was my overriding priority -- this was non-negotiable. Later on, a few months into it, I felt like I could plan for some splurges - and the key there was planning. I was prepared, had accounted for off-plan eats in terms of fiber, fat, calories, and protein (to balance those carbs I love so much!) So it was guilt-free, not scary, and I was right back on track afterwards. No worries at all.

I want to be clear that I'm not knocking the experiences or perceptions of those of you who look at this differently than I -- I just want to share another way of looking at it that totally worked for me. :goodvibes

10-12-2005, 03:01 PM
Ok, this is probably going to be one of those, "Help, I'm talking and I can't shut up!" moments :lol: but I'm back to add something that I feel is important, and that I didn't adequately address in my last post.

I think it's really important when you're starting or continuing on a journey of this magnitude and (HELLO!) duration (my GOD, the duration!!) that you make up your mind that this is about YOU and YOUR priorities and YOUR worth and YOUR focus on self -- not what others are going to say or do or think or whatever. Screw 'em! It's hard enough to succeed at this without worrying about all that crap!

I'm not saying you guys are sitting around stewing about this -- but obviously it's affected some of you at least a little. And that makes me sad! It results in an internalized shame and self-consciousness that saps your energy and can dampen your enthusiasm. It's a soul-kill! And it holds you back.

I say, just wrap your mind around the concept that this is all about reclaiming your own value, and anything that doesn't increase that value just does not need to be in your life. Period.

There was one negative woman in my office. One. Out of maybe 40. And when she tried to pull me down, I just totally put her in her place; I just refused to take on her negativity. She's a very unhappy woman who weighs probably 400 pounds, so I know she feels some pain. I'm sympathetic to that, but NOT at the expense of my own health and energy. Now, if there were any other naysayers out there, I don't know, because again, if you're not with me, your agin' me, as they say -- and I just would have none of it. I used to say, "I'm on a mission from Gaaahhhd" like Dan Ackroyd -- and I seriously meant it. I required that focus. And like I said, it worked for me.

I just think it's such a waste to let other people pull you down, pull you back, or pull you in the wrong direction. Life is too short. And weight loss is too freakin' hard! :lol: We're hard enough on ourselves -- that's how we got into this pickle, for pete's sake! -- why internalize the negativity of others and let that keep us from having access to all the positive energy and support that we could have if we just opened up to others?

Ok, off my :soap: now. Please forgive. ;)

10-12-2005, 03:23 PM
I'm not saying you guys are sitting around stewing about this -- but obviously it's affected some of you at least a little. And that makes me sad! It results in an internalized shame and self-consciousness that saps your energy and can dampen your enthusiasm. It's a soul-kill! And it holds you back.

I say, just wrap your mind around the concept that this is all about reclaiming your own value, and anything that doesn't increase that value just does not need to be in your life. Period.

I agree completely. While I have had some people react negatively to my efforts in the past. Today I am doing this for me 100%. No one's reaction matters to me, which is why I have chosen to keep this experience for me alone (with a few of my favorite *cheerleaders* mentioned in my previous post). I neither want nor need any negativity surrounding me and dragging me down. At this point, I know I wouldn't allow it to stop me from doing what I want but I don't want to hear it. I don't need others to validate me, for I know my worth better than anyone else. :grouphug: to anyone who needs the support they deserve when trying to achieve their goals.

10-12-2005, 03:44 PM
This is about me and my goals, and that's why I'm choosing not to share what I'm doing with friends and certain family members. I am very sensitive to criticism (as much as I try not to be), and a few thoughtless comments really throw a wrench in my plans. I would like to change this part of my personality, but I refuse to put myself into a situation where I'm likely to fail this early in my attempts. I'm not (yet) a very confident person, and I will feel much better being open with only people I know are both positive and supportive.

I'm not ready to spend time eating with friends. When I am ready, I think I'll take the advice that's been given and plan what I will allow myself ahead of time. A salad before I leave will probably also help. I've been doing really well sticking to what plans I've made, so I'll just keep doing more of the same.

10-12-2005, 04:02 PM
Well said Sarah. I also in agreement with Dawnyal. I think we put a lot more into what people are thinking and saying than what they really are. However if they are saying how long will it be before he fails or any other comments that I would not care to here then the heck with them. I'm doing this for me and if for some reason I would fail which I'm not going to, then it is me who has to deal with it.

10-12-2005, 04:03 PM
Again, Sara you have said is so eloquently and right to the point. This time around I did let everyone know that I was planning on getting healthy/healthier by eating less and exercising. I figured out that the people judging me and the food I put in my mouth were all in my head and decided that I didn't care what anyone else thought. This is for me and no one else and it is a lifetime committment. When I decide I don't want to eat healthy I no longer worry about what everyone else is thinking because it is only 1 meal (or 2 or 5 :rofl: ) and I will be back to eating healthy.

10-12-2005, 04:19 PM
My first unsolicited comment came after I'd dropped forty pounds. Since then they've come thick and fast--even the lady in the bra shop noticed (before she measured me) that I'd shrunk since my previous visit. Mind you, she saw me in the niff from the waist up, :o whereas most (!) people do not! :rofl:

This time around, I've had nothing but support and positive words from all who've noticed, and lots of questions. :) Mostly I've been asked how much I've lost and what plan I'm following. I've been completely open about how much I weigh(ed). For all I was disgusted with myself for getting so fat, I know that denial is part of what kept me there for so long.

I've even been asked by a couple of people to devise an eating plan for them. Heh, like they think mine will somehow be easier to stick to than something like WW or any one of the other properly researched plans out there! :rolleyes:

I don't socialise much, but when I do, I don't harp on about what I'm allowed to eat/drink and how many kcals are in any particular item. I just make the decision myself, in my own head, and go ahead with my order. And I don't scrutinise or comment on others' choices either. Only once has someone asked if I'm allowed to eat [insert whatever "sinful" food it was] on my diet, to which I simply replied, "Yes". I'm happy with my progress and that's all that matters.

Perceptions are funny things. I've never been concerned about how other people view me--my self-esteem issues are of my own making--and I believe that all comments and behaviour (encouraging and sabotaging) say far more about the source than they do about me. I don't view others' successes as my failures, and if anyone feels threatened by my achievements, I see that as something they need to address. That's not anything over which I have control, and I won't allow it to affect the way I've chosen to treat myself.

10-12-2005, 04:54 PM
People started noticing after about 30lb, some people a bit earlier than that. One thing I noticed was when it changed from "have you lost weight?" to "how have you lost weight?" - that was when I knew that there was no doubt in their minds. Now I know that people can't fail to notice it. I went into a bar near work last week where I've not been for a few months (building up the socialising again now ;) ) and the bar man was just dumbstruck. You can see jaws physically drop.

I didn't want people to know at first. I actually tried to hide what I was doing for a while (not the results, but the amount of exercise I was doing etc) because I was worried I wouldn't stick to it and I'd cope better with failure if it was only me that knew about it. Once I knew I could stick to it, I started getting a lot more open. And there wasn't much other way to explain away the disappearing fat rolls anyway!

10-12-2005, 07:25 PM
Wow, some great comments! I've learned a lot so far. I didn't think when I posted my initial question that I was really thinking negatively about what others might say (more just not looking forward to the experience), but I look back at what several people have posted, and I think there's more than a hint of truth there. I absolutely agree with Sarah and the others that this is all about me and my priorities (which have caused some "issues" on the home front which are for another post), and that is one of the reasons I'm sort of keeping quiet about it to many.

But while I was not outwardly expecting negativity from others, I can tell by my gut reaction that it has affected me "at least a little" as Sarah said. Okay, perhaps more, but I need to think about it first... :)

Let me shift gears a little. I had a colleague (no longer works here), who went on a plan and lost a bunch of weight. And she was SO vocal about it... every day going on about her choices and her plan and how much weight she had lost... and I just didn't want to hear it. Not, I think, because I was fat and doing nothing about it (though I gotta admit, that may be part of it), but because it seemed that she needed the validation of everyone around her so desperately and had to let everyone know (not just me, but everyone) what was going on. I think I don't want to be like her. And yet, I look at the kinds of things I talk about here, and I wonder, what's the difference? Is it just that we're all working toward similar goals? Or perhaps I AM as annoying as she was! ;)

I know she had no support group like this, so perhaps my fear of annoying my colleagues to death is unfounded, since I do have an outlet (For which I am grateful every day!)

10-12-2005, 11:55 PM
Around 15 lbs., people started to ask things like if I had gotten my hair cut. One woman said I looked "sunny and healthy". About 17 lbs., my MIL actually noticed and commented --very unlike her. Now, at 22 lbs., my closest friend here and dh etc. comment, but not much else.

When I started this time, I chose dh and my sister as my confidants, the 2 people with access to my blog. I actually revealed real weights and all (DH knew -- not sister) because I wanted to be accountable. Sister, who is thin, is so supportive and it was, for the first time, not at all painful to admit my weight. Funnily, 13 weeks in, she has asked me to create a routine for her for workouts!!

I am honest, without being preachy I hope, about what I am doing because I want the accountability and because I know that this is it - the last time. In fact, some acquaintances from church ran into me at the coffee shop where i was reading "French Women Don't Get Fat" and I gladly showed them and explained. It was then that I knew this was real and happening and that thhe click had happened.

I think we all have different personalities. I am much like Sarah in that I want accountability, but others may experience more success remaining private. It is interesting to hear all your perspectives.

10-13-2005, 01:58 AM
My mother in law asked at 10lbs how much weight I had lost. However this weekend all the inlaws saw me and not one asked or even seemed to notice.
BUT my panties are bigger, my jeans fit better, all my tshirts hang instead of cling and that is so much better.
I guess being so heavy I got so disgusted with myself that these small but glorious victories are worth so much more than how much have you lost.
I won't lie I can't wait to hear it though, it will be the icing (mmm yummy) on the cake.

10-13-2005, 07:12 AM
I'm not sure if someone already said this because I read most of the posts, but not all of them. BUT, depending on how politcally correct the people you are around, they may feel very uncomfortable saying anything. Very few people would say anything to me, but the few that would started to notice at 6 pounds. My alma mater was very PC, recognizing weight loss could be an anti feminist statement because someone could respond "why is weight loss supposed to be better?" and there goes the debate. For the most part, it was only people who were also trying to lose weight or those who knew for a FACT that I wouldnt be insulted would comment.

10-13-2005, 11:56 AM
I am only 5'2" so it even a few pounds lost tend to show. I think it was probably at about 20 pounds or so it was REALLY noticeable to the people close to me. At around 30 pounds I bought new clothes and people in general noticed and the "gushing" comments started. It was a double edged sword in that I loved that my hard work was paying off and all of the compliments did a lot towards building my confidence and keeping me on track. But, after years spent "hiding" from people it was also uncomfortable being the center of attention all of a sudden. Plus, since I still felt like a fat person it was hard not to question how sincere people were being. That was MY problem, though, not theirs.

Now that school is in full swing I'm running into people I haven't seen since last year. They can't believe the difference. Thankfully, my brain has caught up with my body for the most part so the compliments and shocked reactions are welcome. The most common question I get is, "How did you do it?" When I say that I ate less and moved more there just a moment of silence before they say, "No, really, what did you do?" Everyone wants to hear that there is some magic pill or special diet that works. I guess counting calories and exercising is just too simple a solution to accept!

What gives me the biggest kick is when I happen to run into someone that I haven't seen since high school. They always say, "You haven't changed a bit!" Oh, if they only knew. LOL.

10-13-2005, 02:52 PM
I didn't tell anyone what I was doing when I started this last time, so it took quite a while for people to really notice. In fact, I think I was about 90 lbs. down before it really sunk in and people all of a sudden started to realize that I was shrinking! I was surprised and a little discouraged that it took as long as it did for people to notice, and frankly, part of me has been wishing they would stop noticing ever since. I'm a very private person, but losing such a large amount of weight has turned my private journey into a very public one, and it's not always pretty. Some people can be downright nasty when, the way you take care of yourself makes them face the truth about their own lack of health and fitness. So, I say, when the compliments start flowing, (as I know they will) just accept the good for what they are, and leave all the rest.


10-13-2005, 04:41 PM
The most common question I get is, "How did you do it?" When I say that I ate less and moved more there just a moment of silence before they say, "No, really, what did you do?" Everyone wants to hear that there is some magic pill or special diet that works. I guess counting calories and exercising is just too simple a solution to accept!
That's so funny!! :lol: I had exactly the same experience with people!

Or it would go like this:

Other person: "So, how are you doing it???"
Sarah: "Well, basically I've counted calories and just tried to eat really healthy. I eat a low saturated fat, high fiber, low glycemic diet with lots of veggies. Oh, and I exercise a lot, lot, LOT!!"
Other person: "Yeah, I tried Atkins, but I just couldn't stick with it!"



10-13-2005, 05:21 PM
This thread is really resonating with me.

People started to comment after I'd lost about 40 lbs or so. I'm 5'9" so it takes quite a few lbs to really show a lot.

I've had the exact experience that JawsMom and Sarah talked about too, more times than I can count.

"What are you doing???" they exclaim followed by "oh" when I say I eat less and exercise more. I guess that's just not what they're looking for ;)

This reminds me of a conversation a friend and I had the other day. She too has lost a lot of weight (Much more than me) I was telling her about a former co-worker I saw the other day who told me I was unrecognizable. I was having a hard time wrapping my head around that one. To me, I still look so much the same, just smaller. How could I be unrecognizable?

She said that she's found that alot of people don't recognize her at all these days. She thinks it has to do with how well you know people, and what kind of memory markers they have for you. Some people will remember you for your curly hair or your laugh, but others see mostly your size, and they're the ones that won't be able to recognize you. It really made me think about how we see people, day to day.

10-13-2005, 06:57 PM
A couple of points I've picked up since my last contribution -

I had the people noticing something but not putting their finger on it thing - like "that's a nice skirt" or "have you had your hair done"

Also, I do think that generally people notice before they say something. Certainly I know that people asked my secretary whether I'd lost weight before they asked me, and that when it happens in reverse I like to be sure that someone has lost weight before putting my foot in it because they're ill, haven't lost and are touchy about their weight, don't want it mentioned etc etc.

I second the centre of attention thing - it's taken some adjustment to be able to talk about it without getting embarassed or trying to deflect compliments etc because I didn't feel like I deserved them.

And when they want to know the "secret", I have to laugh too! Particularly when they ask me what my secret is as I'm scoffing chocolate... Everything in moderation, and lots of exercise to work off those sins, and that's about the most specific I can be about it

10-14-2005, 12:35 AM
I second the centre of attention thing - it's taken some adjustment to be able to talk about it without getting embarassed or trying to deflect compliments etc because I didn't feel like I deserved them.

I think you nailed what one of my issues is -- I just couldn't articulate it.

The last time I lost weight people did start commenting on how different I looked in general (I did buy new clothes and cut my hair, etc) and most didn't really comment on the weight per se. But I only lost a total of 30 pounds then, and didn't keep it off... this time I hope to be at a lower weight longer!