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Do people treat you differently now?

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Old 08-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #1
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Hello from so-far-away-from-maintenance-it's-not-even-funny!

I was wondering if you all get treated differently now that you're thin? I can see the way a lot of people look at me and talk to me, and it's just really exhausting sometimes to have you not take you seriously and assume you're unintelligent because you're fat.

If you do notice people accepting you more, when did it start to happen?
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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I'm no where near my goal weight yet, but I've lost roughly 35 pounds on my diet. I personally feel the same you do, and I would also like an answer to this question.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
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I don't know if people treat me differently because I lost weight or because I'm more confident now that I've lost weight and therefore project a different vibe. I did notice that people would talk to me more in the grocery line, for example. Again, is it my weight, or do I behave differently because I lost weight?
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:48 AM   #4
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A few thoughts that come to mind, at this hour, on this delicate subject.

Yes, people do behave differently towards me, even (especially?) family members. Part of it might be that I feel better about myself, and part of it is that being fat is by and large, considered evidence of sloth, self-indulgence, irresponsibility, etc. When I was a child, fat people were often referred to as gluttons, and it was very uncommon to see someone who was overweight.

I noticed an obvious difference when I got to 138 pounds. I felt much better about myself, but I don't think it was just my "vibes". I now weigh a bit less than that and notice that people are kinder, smile more, are more polite, friendlier, etc. I know that I have always felt fat when I've weighed more than that. So, even if many didn't think I was actually fat at 150, deep inside, behind my pretending, I felt unattractive, unworthy, etc. At higher weights, I hid.

Being fat is because something is dis-ordered in our thinking, and in our eating, as well as the way we try to solve some of life's challenges. Until we correct that, and eat what our own metabolism needs, the evidence of something being out of order is visible to all. For some, it is especially hard, because they actually do eat less than many very thin people.

I am the same person inside that I was five pounds ago and, gulp, fifty pounds ago. Except that, and I think this is key, I have healthier boundaries, know a good deal more about nutrition, macronutrients and how they are metabolized, etc., and have put that into practice. I am more able to say "No!" in many areas of life. Getting the eating and exercise to be more "in order" is just part of having healthier boundaries and living.

I tried to hide in food. I have had to find other ways to meet the challenges and difficulties of life. As I find those, my body shows that I am not hiding in food anymore.

It is hard being fat. I am very embarrassed that I ever was. It is difficult to admit. I was in a hard place in life and I chose a very ineffective way to try to take care of myself, which, of course, made me feel worse. I try to stay out of those unhealthy-for-me ways of thinking and doing, the same way I don't go to bad neighborhoods.

I like the idea that we can become strongest in the broken places. I am finding balance, and peace in the way I eat, exercise and live. It has taken decades. I don't know if it is that I am slimmer, or more that sometimes I have more peace, that people respond to. I do think it is true that people respond to the way we think, our deepest convictions, whether we are conscious of those convictions, or not.

There is much to think about in this area. These are just a few thoughts that come to mind at the moment.

I think it is wonderful that there is so much research being done about metabolism, food intolerances, genetic influences, in what folks can eat, how carbohydrates effect insulin and cause excess fat storage, and so on. I now know that I am one of those who can't live as I've sometimes imagined other people can. I have to eat what my body can easily utilize. Just as I stay away from crowds, I stay away from certain foods.

For me, it is heartening to be getting strong, in the broken places, and to have peace about how I eat, and move, rest, and so on. Just as there is a young girl, and a young woman in us older women, there is someone sleek and dancing, and wonderfully alive underneath the fat. It is dear to let that part of me, have more and more of a chance to live, very dear. When I type that, memories of elderly ladies with sweet sparkles in their eyes, at telling a sweet joke, and wiggling their toes a certain way, or turning their faces a bit to the sun, come to mind. We women are so socialized to take care of others first, that it can be very hard to really feel we have a right to take good care of ourselves, or enjoy dancing in the living room, without feeling guilty. I really like Angela Lansbury's video, "Positive Moves". She's so encouraging, and I find her inspiring.

Sometimes the relief is bittersweet because I didn't really let myself live in all the ways I dreamed of, when I was young. But, now, I try to focus on enjoying that I am finding little victories each day, and letting myself experience beauty and joy throughout the day, or in the wee hours, when I don't sleep. I have found a way to eat and exercise so that my bones don't hurt, and even though I don't sleep long stretches, I rest when I sleep. I stop during my walks to watch a hummingbird, or feel a bit strong and wonderfully alive when I do my Callanetics, or some of the joy of a child when I jump on my small trampoline. To me, these are some of the building pieces of that getting strong in the broken places.

...

Just a few thoughts on such a huge subject....

Sending you all best wishes.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParadiseFalls View Post
I was wondering if you all get treated differently now that you're thin?
I can see the way a lot of people look at me and talk to me,
and it's just really exhausting sometimes to have you not take you seriously
and assume you're unintelligent because you're fat.

If you do notice people accepting you more, when did it start to happen?
I am fortunate in that during my lifetime of years of yo-yo dieting,
including 3 separate 100 lb gains and losses,
I came to realize that I would always be a "person with a weight-struggle",
and I learned to Accept myself..no matter what my current weight.

As a result of this, I taught everyone around me to treat me well.
Bottom line, Anyone who didn't...no matter who...was no longer included
as part of my life....(except, when unavoidable, in a mesquito-like, peripheral,
very unimportant way). As a successful, professional, fat, woman,
I learned to have a rather intimidating attitude,
and my body language signaled that I wouldn't take any sh*t.

When I reached my goal weight, I looked good, and as a result my attitude
toward my environment was more accepting.
This wasn't the reason for the change I saw in people's behavior,
but did contribute to it.

When I became thin, my family and friends treated me the same,
as I had long before taught my family how to treat me,
and because I had long ago eliminated all negative "friends" from my life.

However, after I reached my Goal weight, Strangers, both male and female,
began volunteering complementary statements about my appearance.

Also, male strangers of all ages who used to find me invisible,
now frequently smile at me and make pleasant comments.
This is usually not flirty or sexual, but consists merely of social pleasantries.

At first it surprised me when men in grocery stores, or other public places
began initating positive verbal contact...
not necessarily statements about me personally...
but spontaneous comments about the situation or environment we were in.
Then I realized it was happening because I'm an attractive, tiny woman.

When I was fat, male strangers tended to treat me as though I weren't present.
I didn't mind being invisible...because it was very much preferable
to those occasional negative comments or looks that I received in my past
during the years BEFORE I learned to project an intimidating attitude.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
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Yeah, people treat me differently, but most importantly I treat others differently. I no longer feel as though I have to take any friend I can get. Although I try to be kind and giving to all the people in my personal life, I no longer have to take the Bull $hit that some have dished out over the years. I no longer have to be the punching bag for those who needed me to be one, (to make themselves feel better) and I no longer want the friends that were more or less co-dependant eaters/drinker/smokers.

It feels pretty darn good to get out of some toxic relationships. It's kind of an eye opener when you find out who's really with you, and who against you and who never really gave a crap to begin with.

WOW, that felt good to get that all out.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
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I don't think it's them so much as it's me. I have oodles of confidence that I didn't have before, so I think people are reacting to that more than my weight.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
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To me, this feels like a "chicken or the egg" question.

I really can't tell you whether strangers who aren't interested in my sexual viability react differently to me because I'm more normal-looking, or whether it's because I'm no longer, in effect, wearing a big sign around my neck that says: "Kick Me -- I'm Fat -- Go Ahead. We Both Know It's Okay."

The portion of the population that's interested in my sexual viability -- well, with them, it's pretty obvious. I was null & asexual before. They just didn't see me. I was not a possibility. I was like a mailbox, a stop sign, a crosswalk: Part of the scenery that you didn't want to run into, but that otherwise, you needn't pay any attention to. Now they really see me. I can feel them looking sometimes. I can't wait to become used to it, like other women. But I think this only for a short window of time, as I believe they stop looking after you hit a certain age, also.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
Now they really see me. I can feel them looking sometimes. I can't wait to become used to it, like other women. But I think this only for a short window of time, as I believe they stop looking after you hit a certain age, also.
Yep, it's true. They do. I'm 49 and I definitely get looked at a lot less than I used to. Oddly enough, when someone does check me out, it's rarely someone my own age...it's men in their 30's.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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^ ^ ^ ^ ^

'Cause they're thinking: "And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson ... "

And that you won't try to marry them, tie them down to a big mortgage, or want to have their baby. You will just &*%$#@ them senseless in amazingly exciting new ways that you've learned from your vast trove of over-40 sexual experience.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

'Cause they're thinking: "And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson ... "

And that you won't try to marry them, tie them down to a big mortgage, or want to have their baby. You will just &*%$#@ them senseless in amazingly exciting new ways that you've learned from your vast trove of over-40 sexual experience.


I'm glad to hear that you ladies are treated better—whether it's more actual or perceived. I really hope I become more confident when I lose the weight.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

'Cause they're thinking: "And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson ... "

And that you won't try to marry them, tie them down to a big mortgage, or want to have their baby. You will just &*%$#@ them senseless in amazingly exciting new ways that you've learned from your vast trove of over-40 sexual experience.
Wow, you make me sound really, really awesome!!!! LOL. And all that is very true. Except that the treasure trove is really somewhat dusty and is buried someplace in my memory, hahahahahah!!!
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:41 PM   #13
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If you mean be treated different to include different conversations, then I am treated different. Fit and trim people start talking to me about diet, exercise, nutrition very matter of course and wanting my opinion. That was definitely different. And these conversations tend to be more private in nature, not generally around those who might be struggling with their weight.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:23 PM   #14
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You're all definitely right about projecting a different attitude. I find that people sometimes seem surprised that I'm funny or smart, and it gets to me that they assume I'm boring and stupid because I'm fat.
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