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Judging Others: do you do it?

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:42 AM   #16
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Andrea, I think the examples in your original post are kind of contradictory. "
"Don't worry about going to the gym when you're fat, people are focusing on their own workouts" and "Don't worry about eating junk food when you're fat, nobody will notice anyway" are very different. From my experience and what I have heard others say, they're both kind of untrue but in very different ways.

When I see a fat person working out, I think, "Good for them, they're trying to make a change." My DH, who has never been obese, has the same feeling about overweight people at the gym. He says he often feels like he wants to go up to them and say "You're doing great" or something like that. I really don't think that people at the gym generally judge fat people for being fat in a negative way, because the fact that that person is IN THE GYM is evidence that they are trying to overcome their weight problem.

However, when I see a fat person eating junk food, I do admit that I have negative judgmental thoughts. I have these same thoughts about myself sometimes. However, I remind myself, when I was losing weight I allowed myself one cheat meal per week. How do I know that that person eating ice cream didn't spend the last week eating nothing but healthy food? (I admit I am more judgmental when observing the contents of people's carts at the supermarket.)

I think judging people is part of human nature. The important thing is to keep your judgments to yourself and not saying anything to the person you are judging. When I was a teenager, maybe 13 years old, my father started telling me that I was fat. Sure, his intent may have been to help me, but the fact is: I was not fat when I was that age. I wasn't skinny, but I certainly wasn't at an unhealthy weight. Being told that I was fat just made me feel like crap, which made me eat more to comfort myself, which made me get actually for real fat.

DH and I talk about this kind of thing because I feel that it's especially important since we're about to have kids, and our kids will be girls. IMO it is never appropriate, ever, to tell a girl or a teenager that she is fat. Nothing good will ever come of it. Similarly, making judgmental comments about other people's weight in front of kids makes them internalize "that is bad, if I am like that then I am a bad person." This applies to judging yourself too! DH has a tendency to say negative things about himself. For example, yesterday he accidentally didn't pull his car into the garage far enough, and when he shut the garage door it hit the bumper of his car and scratched it a little. He comes into the house and says, "I'm so stupid. Why am I always such an idiot?" The fact is that he's not stupid, he just did something dumb on this particular occasion. Smart people do dumb things. But him saying that out loud not only makes other people more inclined to believe that he's stupid, but it makes people question their own intelligence. I mean, for an example, if you hear a supermodel say "I'm so fat," then you think, "Wow, if she is fat, then I must be a real whale."

I guess what I'm trying to say is making judgments about other people and about yourself is normal, but saying them out loud is never a good idea.

(And for the record, I'd rather be fat again than lose an eye or lose my job.)
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #17
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I'm sure everyone has judgemental (or fleeting) thoughts from time to time, but since I know how hard long-term maintenance is and how I've been through the ringer to finally get it started, I really do have compassionate thoughts.

Who am I to think badly of the overweight girl eating A&W? Maybe she is not ready to lose. Maybe she does not want to lose (!). Maybe she has worked hard to stay on plan all week and this was her treat. Even at my highest, I allowed myself Wendys once a week.

Most of all, I think about hwen I was at my LOWEST weight of 109lbs (on a 5'5 frame) and I was a terrible person. I drank all the time, I was mean to other girls, and I had overwhelming pride in my figure. Terrible, terrible, terrible!!!

^That experience (along with later consequences which I am grateful for, looking back almost 8ish years), taught me that humility is sooo important. So no, I try not to think such things.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:25 PM   #18
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My problem at the moment is how harshly I judge myself for judging.

(Funny, but true - EDIT - and I mean in a much broader sense than just judging other people for their weight.)
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #19
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As a seriously fat, judged person, I have seen the look of judgement in the eyes of those who have no inclination to hide how they feel about how I seem to have ruined their vista for the moment. It's an assessive look, followed by the look of disdain. I'm pretty sure they've put very little thought into what's going on between their two ears at that moment. And the moment their eyes have moved back to their path, I am gone from their memories forever. And that's about how much time I spend on them in my mind as well. But I do like to stare back with a similar level of judgement and disgust shooting from my eyes. And I make eye contact on occasion. Hope it makes them feel uncomfortable. It sure was a fun moment for me!

I'm not immune to thoughts of judgement. Mostly reserved for drivers with short attention spans and no peripheral vision or knowlegde of the rules. We all have our pet peeves.

I am trying to practice compassion these days. A difficult thing for me to do, since I wasn't raised with any idea of what it was. But I'm sure many of "those idiot drivers" are perfectly lovely people once I got to spend a little time with them. Just like I know I am well-loved by all who know me. Which makes me feel pretty immune to the serial-judgers out there. I guess if I'm doing my job to let my loved ones know how much they are loved, I'm helping them feel better about themselves and be more bullet-proof, or generally unconcerned by what others' view of them may be.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:39 PM   #20
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Forgot to mention my obsession with evaluating other people's grocery carts. You will never find junk food in my cart. EVER. Always plenty of fresh organic veggies, grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, healthy sources of fat. I swear, there is a halo hovering over my cart every time I go to the store. One time, at the checkout stand at Costco, people actually remarked that my cart was the healthiest-looking cart they had ever seen there and they wondered how I could go through the whole warehouse and not even let a single box of brownie mix or frozen treats land in my cart.

So, when I'm at the market and I see some skinny person with a cart full of chips, candy, booze, ice cream, and frozen TV dinners in front of me in line, I am VERY guilty of a full blown pity party as I stand there, looking at my asparagus and skinless chicken breasts and wondering why they look like they do and I look like I do. And then I remember that I'm blessed to be very healthy and strong, and I'm grateful that I can afford to eat well.

But I still judge the carts!
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoblewis View Post
So, when I'm at the market and I see some skinny person with a cart full of chips, candy, booze, ice cream, and frozen TV dinners in front of me in line, I am VERY guilty of a full blown pity party as I stand there, looking at my asparagus and skinless chicken breasts and wondering why they look like they do and I look like I do. And then I remember that I'm blessed to be very healthy and strong, and I'm grateful that I can afford to eat well.

But I still judge the carts!
Oh, I try not to do this, but I do too! I also make up stories like Saef-- maybe they're having a party and the food is for their guests. Maybe their college age kids are home and they are stocking the fridge and cabinets with their favorites. I try very hard not to be judgemental but I know it sneaks in there now and then. My mom (rail thin-- looked anorexic but ate what she wanted---also smoked and drank coffee all day) used to make comments about heavy people in stores and restaurants-- she thought she was out of earshot-- I was horrified and shushing her--- and trying to explain that not everyone was trying to GAIN weight like her.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:50 PM   #22
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I think it took a lot of guts for neuro doc to voice these feelings! Don't go crazy n her!

I, too, make up scenarios about why someone at the gym is overweight and now starting to work out, or why someone's cart is filled with pop and hostess cupcakes.... Mostly because I find people's personal stories very diverse and fascinating, and that every year I get older I realize that I don't know half of what I think I know about people...

That being said....we all judge. No one s better than anyone else... Just keep it to yourself! And I think the point of the original post was to being to light how radically the weightloss progress can change your outlook. For some people, maintenance has made us less understanding, because hey...we did it!...why can't you?? (Cue the personal stories and individual genetic makeup.....yadda yadda.) I can relate to neurodoc, because I often look at "this" me and find it a bit different that the "then" me. But it isn't solely because of weight loss. Losing weight over two years is still TWO YEARS of changing and growing as an adult. A lot can happen.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:13 PM   #23
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I find it interesting; at 160 pounds and size 10. I am a fat cow to a 115 pound person, but I am a skinny biotch to a 250 pound person. I am sure I have been judged within the last week because of my weight....one way or the other.

-- We all judge I certainly do, and it does not end at weight; clothes, hygiene, hair, teeth (I am so guilty on that!) wealth, employment status, educational level and what kind of a speller someone is -- hehe; I am a foreigner and make all sorts of spelling/grammatical errors and I am sure someone has judged me based on that

I think it took a lot of strength of the OP to write this one out. What I love about 3FC, we have all sorts of interesting topics, sometimes touchy ones, like the one at hand.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:13 PM   #24
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The more I've lost and the more I've learned about healthy food and eating, the more judgmental I have become. I can't help it. I'd never say it to someones face, but my brain is just an jerk. I applaud the OP for posting this.

On these boards, I see skinny-hate going on ALL THE TIME. "I'd rather be fat then all bones" "I'd NEVER want to be as skinny as her", and yet that is okay. Say one unpleasant thing about an overweight person and it's like you punched grandma.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:44 PM   #25
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I'm the opposite! Losing weight and keeping it off has made me a lot more compassionate and sympathetic, because let's be real - it's a mindf@%k of sorts, much sacrifice and serious change must be made, and since I've learned the science of calorie burns and consumption and blahblahblah if anything, it's easier for me to see why so many people are stuck at a weight they don't want to be at.

I busted my butt losing "not that much" weight, but when I was quite insecure about my figure I was really judgmental of very overweight people. Now I just...don't care or notice, though I do bite my tongue when I overhear someone saying they walked 10 minutes to the store and burned off the equivalent calories of an ice cream cone. I have definitely noticed a total absence of catty "should she really be wearing that?" thoughts.

I think spending time with close friends and loved ones in real life who have struggled with weight helps get those sorts of feelings out in a safe space.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #26
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Such an interesting thread! (Pretty much a newcomer in the maintenance crew, that is a new thing for me, sorry for jumping in like this!)

I had a related experience this morning.

I was running around the park and I saw this girl who was running in my direction. She was red, trying to catch her breath, jogging, and yes, overweight. I smiled at her but she must have felt I was looking at her or something, she gazed down with that look on her face. It looked like she was ashamed, or something.

I seriously wanted to turn around and hug her. I just wanted to tell her ''YOU F ROCK, GIRL!'', ''KEEP IT UP, YOU'RE DOING AMAZING, YOU'RE ALMOST AT THE END OF THE LOOK!''. I understood, as I kept running, that she probably thought I was judging her. I was running, running faster than her, not really breathing hard. I remembered how I felt ashamed running around the park the first time, with all this extra weight wiggling around me as I was trying to catch my breath after running 500 meters. So, I just wanted to turn around, hug the girl, tell her I understand and that it gets better.

But because she would have probably thought really weird of a random stranger hugging her in the middle of the bike path, I did not do that... I only hope the smile I gave her encouraged her the way I wanted to do.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #27
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Oh yes. I will admit this. Sometimes it's like there's an evil thing inside of me that thinks a nasty thought before I can consciously squash it. I'm really good at not saying what first pops into my head, but I readily confess- I'm not a nice person sometimes. Inside. I fake it on the outside and try to be supportive and kind in what I say and what I do. And then I pray that God will help change me on the inside.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:53 PM   #28
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I'm with you neurodoc. I too judge people at times, luckily nothing comes out of my mouth. I post seldom, practically never and that's not going to change based on the self righteous responses I see here.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:27 PM   #29
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Quote:
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I'm expressing all of this because I've really been struggling with these feelings the last couple of months. I'm not proud of it but I also don't see a way to stop thinking like that. What do you do? If you've found ways to think less judgmentally, please share.
What helps me to be less judgmental is trying to be compassionate. I like what Saef said about creating a story about people. People carry their own baggage, whether it is anxiety, depression, abuse or self-loathing. I find trying to extend compassion to them is a good first step in reducing judgment. I am also very glad that you self-edited and did not say anything to those girls in the locker room.

I also try to remind myself that the only person I can control is myself. What other people do is really none of my business.

As an aside, I have regained the weight I lost. I am not happy about it, but I wouldn't trade an eye or a job to have it magically lost again, either, although I recognize that you may have been facetious in your statement.

Finally, I agree that neurodoc was brave to share her feelings. I think this can be an important thread. It has a potential to be a hurtful thread, however, and I hope that everyone can share opinions respectfully and with kindness.

Posts that are insulting are subject to deletion.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:41 PM   #30
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I think those things, but then I force myself to think, "What don't I know?"

For example, the 2 girls in bathing suits? What are things I may not know? Maybe those are yogurt bars or skinny cow bars.

Or, maybe I'm looking at someone in a restaurant, overweight, and maybe they're having a pizza. What don't I know? Maybe that person has already lost 100 lbs and it's their birthday.

Or....maybe I see an large man riding one of those carts in the store? What don't I know? Maybe he lost his leg in the service and can't walk?

We see a snapshot of someone at a given time. We can't possibly know or judge everything about them from that one fleeting moment.
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