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People constantly saying they are fat

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Old 10-15-2008, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default People constantly saying they are fat

OK, I have a question! I have a friend here at work who is obsessed with the "skinny people" around her saying how fat they are. So being that all of us are different weights ranging from the skinny at goal people to me I wanted to hear your opinion on this.

Some background and I willl say this to try to not make her as psycho as we all think she is

She is overweight, had gastric bypass several years ago, lost quite a bit but not as much as they told her she would. Never changed her eating habits. Eats less of the crap but still only crap. We work with a group of women who are constantly talking about how fat they are even though I look at them and think they are skinny. So my friend gets upset everytime thay start on this and says that if they look at their 135 pound body and see a fat woman, what do they think when they look at her 235 pound body. She thinks that they must think she is completely disgusting and ugly. I have tried to tell her that when I see someone the exact same size/weight/height as me I don't think OMG she is so fat--however when I look in the mirror I see a me as being fat.

So anyway....what is your opinion. Do you view others differently than you view yourrself? Is our self image way worse than the way we see others?
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:22 PM   #2
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Im not im WW but i wanted to chime in. I totally agree with you.

Well first of all i dont care if you are 500lbs or 105lbs it gets really annoying after a while hearing you say that you are super fat. But you are right when i see someone my size i think wow she looks cute and curvy, but then i look at me and just see flub. Everyone is their own worst critic. I think that in some way everyone has a some what skewed opinion of themselves.

I also think it has a lot to do with confidence. Why worry what those ladies really think of her? If she is comfortable with herself then whatever they think in their heads wont matter.

My best friend has recently gained a bit of weight and complains about it all the time. Shes not huge or anything but she would like to lose some weight. She complains that she is fat and none of her clothes fit but she does nothing about it. Sometimes i just want to say put the pizza down and go for a walk!
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure that quite a few of us see ourselves totally differently than everyone else sees us - and (sadly) so much of our self esteem is tied up in how we think we look. I've posted this before so apologies to anyone who's already heard this story But, when I was in my 20s I went through a little bit of a disordered phase and starved (and diet pilled) myself all the way down to 115lbs. At my height, with my bones, that was p.r.e.t.t.y scary. People were constantly asking me if I was sick, but I felt like a flabby hippo and when I looked in the mirror what I saw was this enormous butt and thunder thighs. And, yes, I talked about how fat I was aaallll the time . Looking back, I'm quite sure I offended some people who were quite a bit larger than I was because I actually saw them as the same size or smaller than me so I would think we were kindred spirits or some nonsense and would blather on about diets .

So, maybe let your friend know that there is a very good possibility that those 135 pounders might not even notice that she particularly bigger than they are and may even think she is the one with the better figure.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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I try to be patient and sympathetic with the women whom I see as thin, whining about being "so fat." Sometimes I can't resist a joking, "I'll trade ya," but for the most part I do realize that "fat" has such a crazy stigma in this culture that even many women who are underweight by most standards can be stressing over "fat" that the rest of the world doesn't even see.

That being said, it can be very disconcerting to listen to someone with a body thinner than I'm even aspiring to, go on an on about how fat they are. While neither may be true, the first impression that comes to mind is either a person so self-absorbed that they don't care how big a cow their statements tend to make me feel, or a person trying to "rub it in" as to how big a cow I am (fishing for a compliment from me, "oh, no you look great.")

And as I said, though I try to be patient and sympathetic, I have a little more luck with the patience than the sympathy. I can keep from rolling my eyes and saying something rude, but it's such a far experience from my own, that true sympathy isn't easy. I thought I looked smokin' hot sexy at 225 lbs, so it's hard for me to understand someone the weight of my left leg, moaning about being "fat and disgusting."
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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I really think its a self image problem for most. I remember being in high school always thinking I was one of the bigger girls of my group and I think I weighed 140. But I REALLY did, at the time, think I was too large compared to others. I look back at those pictures now and kick myself!

I am currently at 161 and really fell like I need to lose weight. I try not to go on about it or even talk about it to people other then my DH (and you guys) because it annoys people. I count points and like at work when someone offers me something "bad" that everyone else is eating, I first reaction is "that is ___ points" I'd rather not. The food pushers then attempt to make fun of me and roll their eyes and damn, does that ever tick me off. But whatever...I brush it off.

So yeah, even the girls that appear skinny to you might really feel like they need to loose a couple of pounds and will always feel like that...or maybe some of them like to hear those words, "You're NOT fat."
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:06 PM   #6
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I'd like to put my 2 cents in.... I have a niece who's neck I'd like to ring sometimes...she's probably a size 6 or maybe an 8 I don't know but anyway in my eyes she's perfect she's got the junk in her trunk and everystuff!!LOL something I really hope I have when I lose all this blubber( I really don't want a flat hiney) anyway she thinks she's fat but tells me I'm not.....?????
I love her dearly but she hurt my feelings the other night...see she adds ringtones to her cell phone to fit the person ya know,like her and her best friend have the same ringtone for each other on their phones which is "I Like Big Butts" so the other night she lost her phone at our campsite and I told her " I'll just call it" she said " if you Humpty that's your ringtone" I laughed it off but that's all I've thought about since that night,the ringtones sings this..."Yeah I called you fat,look at me I'm skinny...." how would you take it? any way I put the same ringtone to her #....it made me feel a little better and I'm gonna make sure she's finds that out..... But I do still love her though....she just has issues I think worse than I do....
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:55 AM   #7
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Of course it can be frustrating to hear girls who are smaller than us complain about being "fat," but I don't blame them because weight is so tied into self-perception. I mean, your perception of yourself as "fat" or "totally smokin'" or whatever can change without your losing or gaining a single ounce. Like I'm at 220 now, and on my way up I felt like 220 was a sad, disgusting place to be, just because I was so ashamed with myself for eating badly and not taking care of my body -- but right now I'm proud of my 220 and want to hsout it from the rooftops, because it's proof that I'm eating clean and living right. Weight is so intimately tied into our feelings of self-esteem that it basically has nothing to do with the physical number. After all, skinny girls are just as capable as bigger girls of feeling guilt and shame (and, thank goodness, joy and pride!)
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:47 AM   #8
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I think we all (and I include myself in this) need to learn not to personalize things so much.

People's feelings about themselves are VALID, no matter how their feelings or situations relate to you (or me, or anyone else). Sure, the size 6 chickie may say she's fat and I look at myself in a size 12 and think .. ummm ... okay. But if her jeans are tight becuase she's put on 5lbs, that's still a VALID concern for her.

And quite frankly, if I'd been concerned about being fat when I was still an 8, I wouldn't have ballooned up to a 24. So you know .. it's all perspective.

It's the same for anything. I'm having a tough time financially right now - I own my own business and I sell non-necessary items and services to people. Luxury services. My business is down and it means money is tight. But I still got my hair cut today at my regular salon and paid $65 for it. Does that mean that my worries about my income are less valid than that of the family of 4 down the street who is worried about their income?

Of course not. But they might look at me and say, yeah, what do YOU have to be worried about.

No one should be shamed for having valid fears or worries about something. And none of us should look down on someone else's concerns about their weight, no matter what size they are (unless we're talking about someone with a very distorted body image here, and then we shoudln't be looking down on them but hopefully helping them). None of us knows where anyone else has been in their lives - you never know if that size 6 chickie was once a size 20 herself and is now very vigilant about her weight.

We all need to ... as my MIL would say ... tend to our own knitting and quit trying to mess with everyone else's yarn.

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Old 10-16-2008, 03:39 AM   #9
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I agree that it everyone's concerns are valid to them, but that doesn't make them all equivalent either, and there's some social responsibility to pay attention to that.

To use finances as an example, it's one thing for someone to complain about their financial position to another person in a similar position, and another to do so in front of a person in a much more tenuous position. If a person is complaining that they're going to have to give up their summer vacation this year due to finances, to someone having trouble putting food on the table, most of us would consider that insensitive and even cruel. As it would be for someone to complain that their husband is "also a jerk" for not doing the dishes to a woman whose husband tried to kill her the night before.

It's also one thing for me to hear a 115 lbs woman complaining to another 115 lb woman about how fat she is (in which case, I tend to be much more sympathetic), it's not the same as when that 115 lb woman complains to ME about how fat she is.

Is it possible that the 115 lb woman doesn't realize that I'm that much fatter than her? While it's unlikely, it's also unfortunately in this society, possible, and I try to keep that in mind. But when that appears definitely not to be the case, it does make me uncomfortable, and suspicious of the person's motives.

And I think often, the motive is exactly the same as for those who complain about money to a person of much less means, a way to boost their egos at another's expense. "Bragging" by complaining about how tough you have it, when you know darned well the person you're complaining to would love to be in your position.

It just reminds me of a friend (former friend, I should say) in highschool who complained incessantly to me about how I didn't understand how lucky I was that I didn't have to deal with the difficulties of being popular and pretty.

I don't think in any of those cases, the person making what seems to be an unfair comparison, should be shamed or ridiculed for making the comparison. Nor that they're undeserving of sympathy, but they may be seeking sympathy from a source that's not in the best position to give it.

To be fair, our culture is so warped regarding "fat" that it's very possible for women of all sizes to have very warped views of their own bodies. And it's really important to remember that when you are faced with a much thinner person complaining to you about their weight. But, if the person does seem to be trying to manipulate you into feeding their ego at your expense, or if they're sincere, but you're hurt by the comparison, I think you have a right to say so in as sympathetic an attitude as you can muster.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:50 AM   #10
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Hmmm.....interesting.

The first thought that comes to mind is noticing how the very overweight people seem to be taking this very, very personally:

"If they think that being 10 pounds overweight is fat...then what do they think of ME???!!!! How insensitive they are being to MY needs!"

That's sort of what I am hearing.

Well, the person worried about their weight/size/gain is worried about THEMSELVES. They aren't thinking about everyone else's weight.

Photochick makes a good point. Why is it not sensitive to be worried about gaining 5 or 10 pounds...just because other people have gained and need to lose 40, 60, 100 or more? Should they not be concerned about their weight?

Why is it not being sensitive to worry about your finances when you notice things going downhill...just because other people are having trouble paying their mortgage or buying groceries?

To me...that's like saying that no one should be concerned about themselves and their situation, until it is wildly out of control, and the situation is WORSE. Why not be worried when it is only a molehill...rather than waiting until you have a mountain to tackle?
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieJo View Post
I count points and like at work when someone offers me something "bad" that everyone else is eating, I first reaction is "that is ___ points" I'd rather not. The food pushers then attempt to make fun of me and roll their eyes and damn, does that ever tick me off. But whatever...I brush it off. "
This is a WHOLE 'nother point!! We are all on Weight Watchers and she will bring in donuts and gets mad when we don't eat them. Her theory here is that we are on WW which claims you can eat anything, so the concept of using 5 points on a donut versus 5 points on an entire meal. She just sees it as we are depriving ourselves. And god forbid when we do ever decide we want to eat a donut and splurge on the points. Her whole issues with weight is just very taxing on the friendship.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:14 AM   #12
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Fabulous post Amy/aphil! Very well put!
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:16 AM   #13
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Oh Stephanie - That is halarious. I so know those types!

I've tried getting some of the girls that work near me to do WW, but they have every excuse in the book.

Is this gal a friend outside of work? If so, I would sit her down and tell her this stuff bothers you. If she is just a co-worker, I would try to ignore her.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:20 AM   #14
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Wow, what a hot issue, huh??

Photochick hits some points that are very true in theory -- in school for a counseling degree, validating feelings is pretty key to any successful therapeutic relationship, because, as you say, everyones feeling ARE valid. Someone who appears skinny is allowed to be distressed after gaining 5 lbs or feel guilty after eating a marshmallow or whatever, and no one has a right to say, "You shouldn't feel that way!"

But I don't think that co-workers in an office have the responsibility of a therapist, and so maybe people should be careful about what feelings they choose to share. Clearly, this isn't happening, and so I agree with Aphil, realize that people aren't talking about you when they're talking about themselves!!

Anyway, Steph, it sounds like you are about fed up with this friend who takes all of this so personally. Is there anything you can say to her about it?

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Old 10-16-2008, 12:39 PM   #15
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I'd say a skinny person complaining about being fat can make me feel lucky - How awful to be thin but have no idea of the value of strength and nutrition. Much worse - How crazy awful to be thin and still think you're gross and disgusting. Seriously, I would choose to keep my present weight for a lifetime, and probably even my starting weight, before choosing to live my life at 120# and feeling disgusted with myself because I wasn't 115# and size 2.

Not that I don't understand that it does get annoying to have to listen to over and over .
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