This is a sensitive topic for me, but I can attribute some of my weight gain/high weight maintenance to issues surrounding this. I am still unsure of how I will deal with it when it starts happenning in full force again (go back to my therapist if I need to), but I would urge you to come up with a plan. It will happen - there is nothing that we do or don't do that can control it. Giving a smart comeback doesn't help much because most of these people are strangers anyway. What we do control is our feelings about what happens. I can choose to re-direct my thoughts. My first instinct is to feel all of those vulnerable and low self-esteem thoughts flooding in like a river that just lost its dam. But, stop them. Challenge them. Whatever counter thoughts work for you. As soon as you notice yourself reacting to it, switch out the thoughts. And, if you are still struggling with it, food isn't the answer. (I know you know this.) Talk to someone, go for a walk, think it through until you feel better. Guilt is such a common response. But you didn't bring this on to you.
Just because you are a beautiful person doesn't mean that you are asking for lewd behavior by men. It is thier choice to behave that way.
Random flirting and friendliness is different. I think we can enjoy attention and smile back. Its harmless. The difference between this behavior and the other behavior is how it makes you feel. Only you'll know that. Trust your instincts - they're usually right.
HW: 225, lost 75lbs in 2011 LW: 150
Losing again starting from 190lbs - 10/16/2015
Small changes add up. Striving to better than yesterday.
I agree with Annie: to me there's a huge difference between friendly flirting and "you are woman, therefore you are prey." Because of my own issues about this topic, I actually find the predatory behavior easier to dismiss; it's the friendly flirting that unnerves me.
I wonder how many women with weight issues struggles with this? Or (in my case) HAS weight issues--at least in part--because of this? I'd bet quite a few. How depressing is it that so many women allow jerks to affect them so much?
I too am a little late joining the conversation but maybe you are still following the thread. My opinion is:
You are now aware these things WILL happen. You have no reason to be impolite, afraid, or insulted. YOU are happy with your husband and marriage and, I assume, he is equally happy with the new you. SO, if it were me, I would respond with something like "Thanks! My husband thinks so too! I'll let him know you said so!" Or "Thank you! I try to look my best for my husband. He is such a great guy!" Anyway, in doing so you accept the compliment and put up a boundary. If he approaches again after that you have every right in the world to quickly put him in his place, rude or not! But you need to accept that beautiful women are admired by both men and women openly these days and you have the right to decide who and how much attention you are willing to have that from. Just like with losing the weight it is in our control to decide "who, what, when, where, how much" (isn't that similar to a line Julie Roberts said in Pretty Woman?) so, make the decision of what you want. If you want a firm wall, there really is not problem saying to someone "thank you for the compliment however, I am married and these things make me feel a little ackward. I hope you won't be hurt by my asking you to avoid sharing with me in the future." I know it is hardlined and rude but if it makes you feel better and in control. It hurts nothing. You are after all not shopping for a beau!
In case you are wondering, I grew up with more attention than I knew what to do with. I had attention as a 13 year old from men in their 20's and 30's. I have had more than 2 dozen married men asking me outwardly to have affairs (some of them I knew their wives). I couldn't walk down a street without being ogled. My breast (size 32dd at age 12. I had a 19 inch waist and 35" hips) were always the first thing seen. I feel like a freak even though I was supposedly "beautiful". I ended up being physically attack/molested, and raped, and stalked. FOR ME, My body was nothing helpful and was making me a target. Fear was a great reason to destroy it and food was a perfect weapon. The thing was, the attention was still there even when I was fat, not as much but still there and still rude. SO, I did go through therapy. It helps. The attention is about them in many ways and not about me. I have to decide for myself what I am ok with, where my boundaries are, and how someone is allowed to address and speak with/to me. I am the smallest now that I have been in almost 15 years and, again, the attention is ramping up. Now, I have been being grateful. I shrouded myself in fat, disrespected who I was, and made myself unpowerful. I hid for nearly 2 decades because I didn't know how to handle attention and, I gave up some moments and memories I can never get back. For me, this attention with my new understanding of how to address it is like receiving a small medal for all the hard work I did to get here to today.
If someone is blantly rude, I can be rude back.
If someone is polite but there attention is unwanted, I can politely say so.
If someone is making a flirtatious comment, I can call them on it - jokingly ( I know you say that to all the ladies. My husband warned me about men like you! or OMG!! Too funny, my husband is going to love that line! Can't wait to tell him about this.) OR outright tell them, I'm not available.
IT IS OK TO NOT BE AVAILABLE!! You don't have to say thank you, which might be an invitation for more attention. very simply smile and say something dismissive like "your the 3rd person today to say that. and smile brightly"
Anyway, plan ahead. Discuss this new issue with your husband and your fears if your relationship is so open. If not, do like the first commenter and use the compliments to reinforce your relationship. Tell him "someone today let me know they think you have a lovely wife." But pass the compliment to him either for his good choice or because he is an equally attractive man.
This is an interesting thread. I don't get hit on a lot but something weird happened the other day. I was at lunch with 3 co-workers (one of them was a very handsome man, but he was sitting on the other side of the table from me). As we were finishing up our lunch, a man walked up, sat down next to me and said, "Hey, you look familiar....have I ever been to your house?" He was wearing a uniform from a popular local appliance store, and is a repairman for that store. I said, "I don't know, have you?" and a brief conversation ensued where I told him I had bought my fridge there, and maybe he came out to repair the door, blah blah blah. Anyway, he ended by saying, "OK, well, I just wanted to stop and ask, because you sure look familiar. Have a good day!" and off he went.
I sat there stunned, and looked at my friends. They were all smiling at me, and finally one of the women said, "That was a gusty move!" The concensus was that yes, he was hitting on me. (Oh, at one point, he took his glasses off so I could see if I recognized him.....or to show off his pretty blue eyes, not sure which).
Anyway, I wasn't sure quite what to make of this encounter! I'm single, so I'm not really freaked out about it in that aspect, but still.....I'm so out of practice due to previously be invisible, that I don't know what I should have really DONE in that situation.
The attention from men is something I feel equally terrified by and excited about. I'm single, so my concerns are going to be less turning them down and more how do I tell who the jerks are? After being invisible for so long, I really think I'm going to have the deer-in-the-headlights thing going on.
OMG KnitALisa! That's me! I figure that listening to my gut instincts is great place to start. But I'm with ya on this!
I do find that I am more confident and friendlier!
Windchime-You're last paragraph also points to me. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one! This past Saturday park security (at my local township park) paid me a nice compliment/hit on me. LOL..i'm so out of practice/been invisable that I'm sure I came off looking like a wierdo, but I WILL be spending ALOT of time at the park this summer! He was cute and had a great smile!
Last edited by Violin Jenn : 04-05-2010 at 02:24 PM.
Just checking in on this post because I have been having these issues lately. I guess I'm reviving it 2 years later... not sure if anyone is still checking in... really helpful to read what people have written. I definitely DONT want to be eating to deal with the drama and general rudeness/lewdness (good word!).
I'm so sorry for what some of you have experienced... as I am losing weight I am seeing some bad stuff happening to me too... it is really hard being a sexy woman.
I don't think fear of being sexy is the only women are heavy... but I think it can definitely contribute.
i guess if I get attention from a guy I don't like... I am going to try and deal with it in the moment...
like, "hey, I don't like that!" say it to them. or just ignore it...
and journal about it. or write about it in the forums, i guess.
Hmmmm...I was gonna start a thread about how I used to be invisible, and now I am not. For all those years I was fat, I could go anywhere, do anything and feel invisible/be invisible..I just was there..
Yesterday in the course of going into McDonald's...yes, for a greasy Sausage Biscuit with Cheese...I hafta *do that once in a blue moon...(did not eat it all, I have to admit) ..I had a whole table of guys half my age stop their conversation and look. ...and not start talking again until I had passed....and going out, a guy half my age coming in the door..quickly did a double take and backed out, holding the door open for me with a flourish. I like it! It is quite the treat at my age, lemme tellya. I don't think I am inviting it; I don't think I am giving off vibes. I just think that thin is attractive, and for most of my adult life I was fat. I deserve my moment. I don't think anyone of us should feel guilty, or that we are *inviting the attention. If we have made ourselves better, healthier, more attractive, then we should enjoy the attention. I am sorry and appreciative that may be hard for some of us, but I think we deserve it, we should try...and we will enjoy it!
My sentiments exactly. We deserve the attention. It makes me feel good to know that someone else thinks that I look good and I am 46 years young.
i have no problem enjoying attention that is appropriately paid - nice compliments, light flirting, thumbs up, that kinda thing.
i, too, was what they call a "serial victim" growing up. i was molested continuously from a young age - that kind of thing, unfortunately, programs a person. in my case, it's almost a pavlovian reflex - a guy comes on WAY too strong, not taking "no" for an answer, and i have to quell the automatic instinct to submit and then i'm stuck - i simply do not have the algorithms for a "polite but firm refusal" or "a gracious decline" or whatever. it's either give in or give five bones in the snot locker and that never ends well, either way.
so i just hide in my basement and think the muslim extremists might have a point after all.
I've been having these same issues since last Nov as that's when I became what I cynically refer to as "acceptably attractive" to most of the male populace. Highly inappropriate advances, men friends suddenly being "too attentive" and it has made me actually loathe social contact at times.
I called some of those friends out - "You paid me no mind when I was 100 pounds heavier and I am insulted by your attraction to me now." and they got the message.
I always had this problem whenever I had my cycles of thinner times. I actually stayed fat for a long time to hide from those sorts of aggressive advances. I still had plenty of boyfriends and engagements without issue when I was heavier, so I know the right kind of people will approach regardless of size. Dealing with it all again unnerves me. I'd forgotten how much I hated the feeling of being looked at like a piece of meat.
There are actually a lot of men out there who are polite and looking for a companion because they are lonesome. They will be attracted to you because they like your appearance. They will treat you well and hope you like them in return. They are afraid of being rejected.
But is so difficult sometimes to find these few nice guys out there.
Some men are obviously slimeballs and insulting from the get go. You have to be very firm with them at the onset and let them know you are not interested. Some are very persistant and their approach is so low-life. You would think after so many women tell them off that they would have figured out a better approach.
Best of luck to all you fine ladies dealing with all the new attention.
I hope all of you find a nice guy.
I have been complimented many times, and they always embarrass me;
I always feel that they have not said enough.
~ Mark Twain ~
How about attention from people you have known for a while? I'm single, and work and attend church with a couple of guys I've known for years, and I have never been interested in them. Now that I'm losing weight, they want to spend time with me, take me to lunch, etc. I've never had to turn away a guy -- no one ever approached. What do I say? I kept telling one guy I was busy at the times he wanted to go out. He just kept changing the time! ha! I really don't want to hurt their feelings, but I immediately feel like eating whenever I get approached like that. I'm noticing a pattern.