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Being thin is hard!

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Old 03-18-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone!

At my heaviest, I was 240, I'm down to about 195 now, I'm probably a little over 1/2 way to my goal. By no means am I 'thin' but I've lost a lot, and I'm starting to like my body!

So here's my issue; all of the relationships in my life seem to be changing, and I'm not sure I like it!

I recently left a long term relationship that was not good for my confidence at all. I wouldn't really say that he was emotionally abusive, but he definately wasn't supportive. He didn't find me attractive at my heaviest, and had no desire to be a part of my weight loss efforts. I left the relationship when that disinterest morphed into jealousy. In a period of a few months he went from barely knowing I existed to accusing me of flirting with all of his friends!

Well, anyway, I add those details because it's a perfect illustration of how the relationships in my life are changing! It seems to me that the way that I look is completely changing the way people percieve my actions and the things I say!

For example, I'm the queen of tacky jokes, and I work in the construction industry so they are usually well received, but since I look differently now, it seems like my jokes are perceived as flirtations, when really I'm just trying to be my same old goofy self!

Another issue that seems to be affecting my relationships is my confidence. I'm, ummm... new to this whole 'self esteem club' shall we say? The relationship described above, didn't exactly leave me feeling like I was worth a million bucks! I recognize that now, and I'm working to improve my self confidence, but I think in my efforts to feel good about myself I sometimes come off as arrogant. It seems to me like this is causing some of my girlfriends to turn their backs. It's painful, and sometimes it makes me wonder if I wouldn't rather be fat! At least it's familiar, and I know how to deal with people.

Has anyone else had to deal with any of this?

Dawn
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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Hi Dawn!

I understand where you're coming from with your friends. Let me first say that there is nothing arrogant about having self confidence, looking good, feeling good and walking down the street with a smile on your face and strut in your step! When I was new to the self-esteem club the friends that acted that way were the ones who needed to be the center of attention because THEY lacked self confidence in who they were and needed the re-affirmation.
My circle of friends has changed, but the ones who stuck around are my true friends becasue they support my healthy lifestyle and my physical appearance doesn't mean anything.

As for your male co-workers, all I can say is you are dealing with guys. I'm not trying to be mean, but they can be simple creatures who first off notice a woman's appearance and act accordingly (which unfortunately means they re-vert to being teenagers again). I have a goofy side too and with the proper partner in crime like to play pranks on my co-workers, but they were mostly women. So I see your situation. Just don't forget that they are guys. Who knows you just might meet that "special someone" that way!

However, I would NEVER go back to being fat just because a few people can't handle a little competition. I was 260lbs at my highest. Never again will I be there!

Keep on working for a healthier you, your true friends will stick around!

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Old 03-18-2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for providing some perspective Jenn! It's funny how we can get so focused on the details of something we completely miss the big picture! I was just advising my son the other night that if they are treating you badly, they aren't friends! Now here I am ignoring my own advice!

And you're right, men are simple creatures... and I tend to over-analyze pretty badly... when they are flirtatious I tend to assume they see me as easy, when in fact they are probably just rolling the dice!
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:48 AM   #4
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I've lost a few relationships, probably due to the same thing. Actually I've always had a certain dose of self-confidence, but I guess that when the jolly fat friend who is self-confident *also* gets to lose weight, now this becomes a real "threat"!

Besides, experience has taught me that being a little more "aggressive" (in a positive sense) and assertive won't mean you won't be loved. It helps cutting the chaff from the wheat: those who truly appreciate you for who you are will still be at your side, those who leave are more often than not people who wouldn't have been necessarily good for you in the long run.

Jenn is right, your true friends will stay around. (And whether weight loss is involved or not, relationships tend to change throughout one's life anyway, so it's not an unusual process either way.)
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:11 PM   #5
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Dawn,

I've lost a good bit of weight in the last year, something that I believed my husband wanted as well. So as soon as he sees that my weight loss commitment is for good, I'm suddenly seriously too unattractive to stay married to. And my self-confidence is suddenly over-compensating, and my healthy food choices are now food obsessions. And the time I spend exercising means I'm not caring for his needs any more. And all my personal pursuits that are important to me are now seen as me never being happy with being his wife.

So, after 25 years of marriage, supporting him with his work all over the world, being the one who emotionally kept our family together, I'm being dumped for his personal assistant. And now he's on the brink of being fired for inappropriate behavior at work, but I'm not supposed to be making any public comments about us getting a divorce so he won't look bad in the community.

I don't believe all men are like this, but I definitely have seen a preponderance of misogynist attitudes still remaining in our society. I'm doing my part to teach my sons that all people deserve respect...even a dumb@$$ father going through his mid-life crisis who, with any luck, will wake up one day in a pool of his own stink and hopefully grow a pair so he can ask his kids for their forgiveness. And maybe he'll be smart enough to stay away from me until I'm over the compulsion to go all Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer on his sorry...

Relationships change when you change/grow/come to new understanding about yourself. That's okay. Sometimes, some relationships shouldn't last because they hold you back from becoming a wiser woman. Some relationships will remain, but will change because maybe you don't seem so "safe" any more. Give yourself some time to come to terms with who you can become. Think about who you want to be, and why, then make decisions on your life choices that support that.

Remaining fat was a way for me to manage myself and my life But the more I embraced who I really wanted to be, and I started using my true talents, my life started becoming what I really wanted, and I could see that I didn't really need to hold myself back so much...and I didn't need to hang on to my size any longer. And that's when I started to lose weight.

You're in a transitional period in your life. I'm excited for you!

Georgia
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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You have gotten some great feedback (including the advise you gave your son).

I just wanted to add that in the past your guy co-workers probably saw you as "one of the guys" now they are seeing the woman you are becoming.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #7
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I don't really have any advice to offer on your current topic, but I would like to say congratulations on your progress! I'm sorry that people around you are unable to see it as a good thing for you, and instead seem to want to make it into a bad thing for themselves. Eyes on the prize; you've already come so far!
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Hi Dawn --

I've seen this happen over and over again with women who have lost weight. Really, any drastic change can trigger it. We play a certain role in people's lives, and when we do things that move us out of that role, people get very uncomfortable and see it as negative. What YOU have to do is remind yourself that your changes are POSITIVE, regardless of what others say/think. You are becoming the best you you can be, and if they can't handle it, it's their problem, not yours. Whether it's the "guys" at work who now see you as a sexual person rather than an asexual one, or the overweight girlfriends who give you the cold shoulder because you don't pig out with them any more, or the spouse who doesn't understand why going to the gym is more important than XYZ ... their problem, not yours.

I believe that there are relationships worth salvaging where having a heart-to-heart talk is worth a try. Just know it doesn't always work. With SOs it can be especially important to reassure them that you are still committed to them, but in your case the baggage you dropped is well left by the side of the road.

One of the truisms I've seen in weightloss circles is that a lot of women are a "PPFP" -- People Pleasing Fat Person. We sublimate our own needs and desires in hopes of pleasing everyone around us. When you start losing weight, you are breaking out of your PPFP shell, and that makes you AND others nervous. It's OK. Taking care of yourself, letting your true personality shine, standing up for yourself are all good things. They may be different and uncomfortable, but they are good. Hold your head up high.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:53 AM   #9
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Good lord this thread spoke to me!! I know this exact feeling. I work at starbucks and my job is to talk to people while I prepare their drinks. I'm loud, outgoing and just in general a fun loving person.

Now that I have lost weight, men can't WAIT to talk to me (not to sound tacky) and this didn't happen before. I feel like a caged animal at times because I'm scared to talk or say something in fearing someone takes it the wrong way. It's like I can not be me anymore. I love the new me but seriously having troubles accepting the new me and actions of others.


I wish I could help but I'm rowing in the same boat! You look awesome and feel awesome. It shines through and attracts people. Just have to learn to deal with all your suitors now!
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:08 AM   #10
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ROFL Tool--OMG..same for me too...I don't work at Starbucks (some days I think I should to pay for what I buy there) but I have always been the woman talking to the men at a party--I was the "safe" person that other women didn't mind having around their hubbies--well, no more! I can't do it--and the same men are acting weird around me..I feel like I should have braces on my teeth standing in front of my 7th grade locker! LOL. I completely am NOT a flirt--I usually talk politics and education with the men--but I can't do that anymore and most women aren't interested in the discussion or a debate about those issues.

I have noticed one other thing and I want to explore this possibility with all of you too. I used to be looked in the eyes by other women usually--especially curvier ones--we might even exchange a modest smile--I notice I am not getting eye contact anymore or even glances..let alone a hello..I hate it--I miss that!

I completely think this could be in my head..what do yall think..
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funniegrrl View Post
Hi Dawn --

One of the truisms I've seen in weightloss circles is that a lot of women are a "PPFP" -- People Pleasing Fat Person. We sublimate our own needs and desires in hopes of pleasing everyone around us. When you start losing weight, you are breaking out of your PPFP shell, and that makes you AND others nervous. It's OK. Taking care of yourself, letting your true personality shine, standing up for yourself are all good things. They may be different and uncomfortable, but they are good. Hold your head up high.
I wish I was the one that had written the above. It's exactly what I have experienced while I was IN the ring and what I have experienced OUT of the ring. I completely agree with this and WAS that woman.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #12
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I totally agree with you Thighs! I think you even answered the question in your previous statement.

We were always "safe" people. Not that we are not now but they see us totally different. We are now a "threat". I sometimes do not understand that either since I felt I wasn't that bad when I was bigger lol. Which does make me sad. I always love talking and getting to know people.

As we change so do other people =(
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:39 AM   #13
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What a great topic. I lost a "best" friend along with the first 50 pounds. She got all funny about introducing me to new friends and accused me of trying to steal her "crush" by just trying to engage him in some dialogue about music--I was learning to play the guitar at the time. Sure I liked him. But even at my thinnest ever--still 170-180 pounds--I never in a million years actually thought he'd be interested in me. I never flirted with him, I just talked to him about music and hung out with him a few times, not even alone. I knew I was so not on his radar. I wrote it off completely, like all my other male relationships. So I didn't see it coming when she thought my behavior towards him was threatening to her goal. I had always been able to be friendly with any men I wanted without worrying they'd think I was interested in them and wanting a relationship. I never projected that, and my fat shell was a way to avoid it, for sure. All my girlfriends knew I was safe.

I stopped being safe--and found out who my friends really were. Its not that my friend changed. She was always that way--she wasn't my friend. She was using me and my relative "worthlessness" to feel good about herself. When I changed, her true colors came out. People choose their compatriots for different reasons at different times. It's not always the case that two people are just vastly similar and compatible. Many times friendships are sustained by a dynamic that involves a person's needs being met. That's not wrong--I think we all serve a purpose in the lives of the people we care for and are in relationship with. But sometimes, when you find out that the need you were meeting for someone else was a dark one, one that found strength in feelings of superiority and--ultimately--fear, that can be upsetting.

It's been 4 years, and it took me a long, long while to come to terms with that turnabout. How can someone who was supposed to care for me be so nasty about something that was so good for me on so many levels?? That was hard to take. She wanted me fat. Even now, it is hard to swallow.

I am not friends with even one of the people I went to college with who knew me before I lost weight. The poisonous friend turned the others against me, and I suppose we had grown apart enough that it stuck. Now I have new friends.

I don't know how I feel about it, honestly. It's painful to think too much about it. I am just more careful about my behavior towards others...I try to be supportive of people the way my friends were not supportive of me. But honestly, I can't say that I don't have my moments of "thank God I don't look like that anymore." I just have to check myself by saying "there but by the grace of God go I...."
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:21 AM   #14
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Wow...talk about deja vu. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I lost a bunch of weight. I am in the event/venue management industry and work with 90% men. I have always been a hard worker and really passionate about my career. I think it became my life when I was at my heaviest (250) because I got constant recognition from it, and it was the only place where I didn't feel 'fat'. When I starting losing weight, I noticed that some people that never gave me the time of day before, started talking to me. My work became more recognized and my comments/thoughts taken more seriously. Initially I thought it was because people were more comfortable around me because I was less overweight. What I have learned though is my self confidence improved so much with my weight loss that I spoke louder, more often and with less fear. I walked straighter, wore better clothes, made more eye contact and was way more assertive. It was these things that improved my relationships not just my weight loss. I have gone back up a bit since a relocation and new job but I am back on it again and have already noticed a big change in my attitude and confidence knowing that I have lost. Losing weight is important for my health but also my career! The Olympics start in less than 10 months and I want to look back at my pictures with pride and not, "oh I wish I was skinny" for the career goal of my lifetime
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:09 PM   #15
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OK, here are the range of reactions I've had since losing 60lbs--
1. "You look so much BETTER than before..." aka the backhanded compliment, usually from friends who need to lose a little themselves.
2. "You look GREAT. But you aren't ALLOWED to look better than me..." aka the insecurity comment, actually said to me by a long-time friend. This meant that I no longer fit into her category of "friends I can have because I look better than they do".
3. "You don't have to worry! EAT this!!!" and "You are getting TOO THIN. Eat something" aka the saboteur, actually said to me by my SIL.
4. "You used to be SO MUCH FUN before you lost the weight because we used to go out to eat all the time" aka you are no longer my food buddy comment.
There is no doubt that you carry yourself differently because you have lost weight. You should be proud of your progress and you need to stick with it. Unfortunately, with the weight loss, those relationships that have been based on food issues or food behaviors or self-esteem issues will absolutely change. You can't do anything about this except regain the weight. Which is not an option.
So the best thing to do is to try to understand exactly WHY the relationship has changed (are you no longer an eating buddy? do you no longer go to restaurants and eat like you used to? was the purpose of YOU in someone's life to make SOMEONE ELSE feel better about themselves?). Determine which ones can be salvaged and walk away from those that can't.
I've had to distance myself from my SIL for the time being because she is openly hostile to my weight loss and makes alot of comments about me that are backhandedly negative (YOU are doing YOGA??? Are you CRAZY??? You must be STARVING. What, are you too good to eat at Dairy Queen now?). It will take time for her to adjust to my new lifestyle and until then, a little distance will do me good.
Hope things work out for you!
Kira

Last edited by kiramira : 04-15-2009 at 10:10 PM.
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