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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

"You can afford it..."

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Old 05-29-2007, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default "You can afford it..."

Ok, I'm not at the "after" weight-loss part yet, but this is somethig I've been getting after losing 20 pounds or so.

I would go out to the movies or a resteraunt with friends, and try to find options that were healthier. My friends would urge me to get onion rings or an order of fries, saying "You've lost so much weight, you can afford it." Or making a comment on bringing healthy lunches to work, saying that Im doing so well I can afford going for pizza. Or being told that I don't have to lose any more weight, if I do I will be too thin.

I really don't say anything, especially to the last comment. I am 5'7 and around 170 pounds (Ive gained a couple from my ticker due to a bunch of different things) My clothing is mostly bigger (I dont have lots of money for new clothing) but even the better-fitting stuff - you know how it is, jeans hold your belly in. The only one who sees me without jeans are myself and DB, so we are the only ones who see how much fat really is left. And trust me, the last 30 pounds wont make me "too thin"... Ive already asked DB to keep an eye on me as I get closer to my goal, to make sure Im not getting disgustingly thin. But 140 pounds at my height is, I think, a reasonable goal. But every body is different, and I like to have a second opinion. So yes.

Does anyone else get this? How do you deal with it?
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:16 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, I hear things like that ALL the time. "Oh come on, one bite won't hurt you." "You deserve to live every now and then." "You don't want to get too skinny now, do you?" And on and on and on. I don't let it bother me in the least. I simply ignore it. I have my own agenda and it doesn't involve taking advice from people that haven't a clue as to what's best for MY body.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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I have food-pushing relatives, and occasionally even my husband (usuallly when he wants to justify eating something he knows he shouldn't be eating). I've found the fastest way to stop the pushing, is to snear slightly at the offered food, and say "That really doesn't appeal to me right now."
If it's something homemade, I will cushion it, by first saying, "I'm sure it's very good, but"

Yes, it's not the most honest, but it puts a quick end to the food pushing. In social gatherings people want you to be having a good time, and for a lot of people food is a big part of the perceived good time. It's why when I was dating my husband I would scan the menu for the most diet friendly option and then exclaim how it was my absolute favorite. I do the same when I am out with friends or at a party, if there are low calorie options, I don't say "ah, at least something I can eat," I say "wow, these are the best strawberries, shrimp, veggies.... whatever."

It's amazing how even at my weight, I get the "one day won't hurt," crap if I let it slip that my choice is even slightly based on calories. But no one ever argues with a "craving" for broiled fish or grilled chicken or a salad or soup instead of higher calorie options. Even when it comes to dessert hardly anyone argues with "it just doesn't sound good to me today." Or, if I'm up against a hardcore dessert pusher, I will say I really have a taste for "fresh watermelon" or "lemon sorbet," or anything I just happen to have at home, but the restaurant won't have.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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Amazingly I have not encountered any food pushers. Not my friends, not my family. My friends also all watch their figures and don't eat really unhealthily around me, so there is no real temptation when going out with any of them. My family is really supportive of my weight loss and don't encourage me to eat or not eat anything. They let me be for the most part and isn't that the best thing!
I have, however, been getting the "you're getting too thin" comments from my parents which I just brust off because I know my body better than anyone and I hardly think that at a BMI (guesstimate-- these things aren't absolute truth!) of 23, is really what "we" would be calling "too thin." When I think of that I have an Olsen twin in mind.

In any event, I am sorry that people aren't being very supportive of you (because encouraging you in a behaviour that you are trying to avoid is not supportive). But, you can remain strong and just let people know that you are doing what you feel you want/need to do and that living a healthier life is something that you have chosen and let that be the end of it.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:55 PM   #5
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I think sometimes our behavior or choice of words brings on the food pushing without our even being conscious of it. Which is why I hesitate to assume that food pushing is necessarily unsupportive as often the person may be responding to cues I am giving them, unintentionally or not. So it may be more of a case of mixed signals as intentional sabotage.

What I mean is that I've noticed that when I am feeling sort of deprived or envious of what others are eating, whether I say anything or not, I seem to get alot more food pushing than when I truly am happy with the choices I am making. Also, if I say anything that implies that I am dieting, some people will automatically assume deprivation. If I make it clear that I am not feeling deprived (even if I have to do a bit of acting to pull it off) the food pushing stops.

A close relative is a perfect example. She can be very melodramatic at restaurants and family gatherings when she is dieting, and will sigh and look longingly at the food, and talk about her diet and how she can't eat this or that, and basically seems so unhappy that it makes people feel guilty for eating in front of her and of course some of them end up telling her all of the things we call food pushing. I think she unconsciously knows what she is doing, because given permission to do so, she'll eat what she wanted to and then complain afterward about the food pushing.

I think most of us aren't nearly that extreme or obvious, but understanding the connection between percieved deprivation and food pushing can make situations alot easier on everyone.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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I am also 5'7 and weigh in the 140's which I feel is a good wt. for me. I have also had friends and family say, "you are just obsessed and this one treat won't hurt". I've even had a few people tell me they think I've lost too much wt. and I don't think so. I try to stick to my own common sense and let my body tell me where it feels and looks the best.

My sister is the worst about food pushing or maybe just licking her lips and saying "yummy, don't you wish you could eat this". Really all that does is make me more determined to stick to my plan around her.

My advice would be to trust your own judgement and pick a wt. that You feel best at.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:44 AM   #7
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Yeah, I get that at times. I've never known if it was sabotage (conscious or not), or just people thinking, like others have mentioned it here, that I'm depriving myself and therefore 'need good friends to make me feel like I'm allowed to eat'. I guess that's why I don't say "I'm on a diet", which is true--I just watch my portions and make sure that vegetables, lean meats and good carbs always come first and foremost, without telling why I'm making such choices. Of course people start to notice the weight loss after a while, but by then, by chance, they'll have had a chance to see that I don't look like I'm 'deprived'.

Anyway, it's your body, and you're certainly in a better place than other people to judge at what stage of your weight loss you are. "One bite doesn't hurt", but aren't all those bites that weren't supposed to hurt the very bites that made us fat in the end? (That's what I try to keep in mind to not give in, hehe.) I don't know if retorting necessarily is a good tactics, though; it can be with some people, it can also push the buttons of others and send them into a spiral of "now I want to make you eat it whether you want it or not, to prove a point". I think it's best to just shrug and say something like "thank you, but I want to eat something I like, and [crappy dessert/greasy fries/heavy loaf of bread] really isn't my favourite dish".

As for the "you're getting skinny", usually I just chalk that to people being used to see us heavy (and therefore being destabilized/worried), or just being jealous. It's almost always one of those two, anyway. Again, live and let die. Unless they tie you to the ground and force-feed you with a huge spoon, the only one who can give in and eat the food is you, they have no more power than making the suggestions in words. (Which can be powerful, I agree, but we all have to get past that, unfortunately...)

That said, uhm, I'm not at maintenance weight either, so I'd better go back working on those buttocks and belly of mine. And no cookie nor ice-cream.

(Which makes me think... You can't use that excuse often at all, but "I can't eat desserts/sugary things right now: one of my fillings is gone and it hurts" works very well, because it is sooo true. )
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:39 PM   #8
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Yeah, I hear stuff like "I KNOW you're on a diet, but don't be so ANAL!" I'm only on day 8, so I HAVE to be anal! haha. I'm not thin enough for people to tell me how skinny I'm getting, but I know it will happen. I know this one guy who used to be on the chubby side, and now it looks like he disappeared because he's medium-thin at the moment (like average sized but thin for an average sized person.) I told one of my friends who had only met him recently that he was getting too thin and looked like he was going to disappear, and she said, "Nah... he's not that thin... well, IIII don't really think he's thin..." so I guess it depends on how much you've seen someone throughout different phases.

I also think it's ok to cheat on your diet every now and then... you know, it maintains sanity and keeps obsession at bay. Now, I don't mean going all out and eating McDonalds 3 times a day or eating a whole bag of chips or a pint of ice cream, but... one meal out to eat where you're not dieting isn't going to hurt you... as long as it's an occasional thing.

And Fae, 140 is a perfect weight for 5'7". It's like me wanting to weigh 135 at 5'6" . That's what I'm aiming for.
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:34 AM   #9
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With friends I try to nip the argument before it even starts by trying to schedule "active meetings" of tennis or hiking, and maybe coffee and a light snack afterwards (heck, sometimes I even offer to bring the snacks for friends.)

Family is a bit harder to resist, and as such I always plan around meeting mom/dad as if I'm going out for a relatively heavy meal with them by eating lighter meals & snacks throughout that day. If it turns out I don't eat some 800+ calories with them, I consider that a bonus calorie deficit .

But I agree with other commenters, it's your body and no one knows it better than you (and what should go in it). I would suggest coming up a small list of all-purpose, tactful responses so you don't accidentally sound like a total !#@$? when you decline the bad foods (one of my best fib is that "i've had that yesterday and really lost any craving for it!", I have several others too 'cause I'm sure friends get suspicious if I keep having precognitive eating moments ). And of course, take it as a compliment when you friends think you CAN afford to cheat.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:07 PM   #10
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I was out to lunch today with a new collegue and ordered a green salad with chicken. A plain, boring, obviously "diet" choice. In order to cut off any possible questioning of my choice, I just said that I was going out to dinner with my husband tonight so I wanted something light.

It's true, but I would have said it even if it wasn't. I don't mind lying in these situations. I've said that I want salad (or something light) because I ate a late lunch lots of times.

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Old 06-13-2007, 01:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValerieL View Post
I was out to lunch today with a new collegue and ordered a green salad with chicken. A plain, boring, obviously "diet" choice. In order to cut off any possible questioning of my choice, I just said that I was going out to dinner with my husband tonight so I wanted something light.
People who question that annoy me. :| Much like people who ask "are you on a diet?" because I never put any sugar/cream/milk in my coffee or tea. It wouldn't even occur to them that maybe, just maybe, I don't do that because, hello Sherlock, I like my coffee black. Or that I order a salad because I actually like the taste of a good salad.

The (wrong) dieting mentality has really spoilt a lot of things. (Salads ARE nice. Especially in summer, when it's hot and an even hotter meal isn't that pleasant.)
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kery View Post
People who question that annoy me. :| Much like people who ask "are you on a diet?" because I never put any sugar/cream/milk in my coffee or tea. It wouldn't even occur to them that maybe, just maybe, I don't do that because, hello Sherlock, I like my coffee black. Or that I order a salad because I actually like the taste of a good salad.

The (wrong) dieting mentality has really spoilt a lot of things. (Salads ARE nice. Especially in summer, when it's hot and an even hotter meal isn't that pleasant.)
This is true, I had the most delicious salad today and was thinking as I was eating it how glad I was I made it because it was SO much better than any other option I could have had. (red leaf, snow peas, cuke, carrot, red bell, grilled lemon chicken and leftover balsamic beets with light ranch--yummmmmmmy)
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