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Being treated differently.... why?

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Old 08-26-2001, 01:20 PM   #1
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Unhappy Being treated differently.... why?

Success is great, but sometimes it is weird.... ? I have finally dropped about 50 pounds and feel wonderful physically. So many things I can do now without feeling tired, and clothes I can wear again without feeling like a stuffed sausage. I can actually get dressed in less than 20 minutes now, without trying on everything in the closet to see what would fit me that day and look halfway decent. What I find sad now is that people (both men and women) are treating me differently.

Let's take the men first.... I used to go to the gym when I was a lot heavier, and it seemed like I was invisible to guys. Once the weight started coming off, suddenly I was being smiled at and said hello to. I had dropped bout 30 pounds and all of a sudden I started getting stopped and talked to in the hallway or on the machines, even asked out. The really hot guy at the front desk whom I had been salivating over silently for months finally even got friendly, too. Men acted like they saw me for the first time! Not just at the gym either. Men at work also started suddenly noticing me too, and flirting up a storm. My own brothers are even introducing me their friends now and stuff. My dad offered to buy me a new wardrobe, and noticed that I actually have a waist now. You would think that with all this male attention, it would make me happy, but it doesn't.... it makes me sad sometimes and angry sometimes. I am the same girl I was 50 pounds ago, or at least I am to me.

The women are the worst though. My so called friends are treating me differently, keeping an eye on their husbands and boyfriends when I am around now... for what? So, I guess since I am not the "nonthreatening fat friend" anymore, they don't want me around? It is summertime and I can finally wear shorts and tank tops and sundresses without feeling overly self conscious about it, and actually now can be comfortable in hot weather... so what am I supposed to wear... a potato sack? At a pool party at my boss's house this past weekend, I wore a very nice and modest one-piece swimsuit, and there were actually women (wives, girlfriends, and other female coworkers) there who were talking about me. I mean, everybody had on swimsuits! It's not like I was wearing a lime green thong bikini! Good grief. These same women are starting to get on my nerves by thinking that I think I am all that now that I have lost some weight. I have never dressed provocatively and am not about to start now. I just want to be able to wear what I have always wanted to wear, be comfortable and feel pretty for a change. Is that wrong?

Does anyone else have this problem? Or am I just being overly sensitive?

Also, when people compliment me on my weight loss, I never know what to say. I try a thank you, but it doesn't sound quite right. What they actually say is something like "have you lost weight? You look really good" but what I hear is, "it's about time you got off your lazy butt and lost some weight, you fat cow".... how can I get over this????

Should be happy, but not quite there yet.....

highest 210/steady 180 for three years/now 130
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Old 08-26-2001, 03:05 PM   #2
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Kyra, I have been fat and I have been thin, so I have experienced the reactions you have described. As far as the men go, it is just a fact of life that men (and women) are going to notice an attractive person over an unattractive one. I am not saying this is right, but I don't think it is something that is going to change anytime soon. When I lost weight the first time (am in the process of losing it again) the attention from men caused mixed emotions in me. I was flattered and thrilled to be noticed, but also sad that I knew I was the same person as I was before.

As far as how the women in your life are reacting, chalk it up to the green-eyed monster. They may be feeling jealous that you have accomplished something they have been unable to do. Or if your friends were thin, they are probably feeling threatened that you are receiving some of the attention that they used to get all to themselves. What you have done by losing weight is shifted the balance of power, so to speak. I know it's frustrating, but give your friends time to adjust to the new (physical) you. When they see you are still the same old you on the inside things will turn around. And if there are some people for whom your weight loss stays a problem, then they probably aren't people you need around you anyway. Surround yourself with people who are confident enough in themselves to be happy that you've made this accomplishment!

Congratulations on your weight loss!

Debbie
254/211/160
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Old 08-27-2001, 02:20 AM   #3
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Don't let anyone take away your joy. You have made a great accomplishment, savore every second of it. Be true to yourself, and just BE yourself. About the differences in treatment after weight changes, well, that is here to stay. But, it is not your problem. You don't feel that way, and you don't make those kinds of supperficial judgments, so let it be THEIR problem. The women who are now paraniod over their husbands... well that is their problem too. It is not your fault that they don't trust their husbands. It is not your fault that men are superficial. You stay true to yourself, and enjoy your new healthy, fit body. Don't let anyone take away your joy. And you said it right when you called the women your "so-called friends". They are. But, maybe you are just being a bit paraniod yourself. YOU DESERVE TO BE FIT AND TRIM!!! YOU DO!!! And if you percieve a problem with these "friends", then talk about it with them. Tell them how you feel, and that you still have the same soul and personality, just in a new and improved body.
And by the way... you can wear a bikini if you want to. You worked hard for your body... it is okay to be proud of it. As long as you are true to yourself.
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Old 08-27-2001, 04:24 AM   #4
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Default Thanks... feeling better now!

Thank you, ladies.... Your comments were great! Maybe I just needed to vent because I was so frustrated at this whole thing. I am feeling better about things now and will continue to keep healthy. Bless you. Kyra
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Old 08-28-2001, 12:16 AM   #5
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Kyra

Honey I have one for you! This is the ultimate! I am like 16/18 ? pounds from goal weight.. I too, started around 180 and am in down below 150 and I am 5'8... I am a "Happily" married woman with two kids, and I am losing the weight for myself and for my husband mutually. I was at my husband's place of employment the other day and one of his co-workers commented to my DH that you better watch her... she is looking good.. she is going to finish losing that weight and she is going to leave you for some younger guy. This was another guy not a girl but good grief- what is his malfunction?

Men are shallow just over look them- they ones worth having would take you overweight or thin... sometimes they just don't know it.

Women are insecure! (all women is one sense or another) and when a attractive woman suddenly pop's up - especially one who has been around and no one actually noticed until they come out of their cocoon... they start to worry. When ever they realize that you didn't lose the weight to go after their "man" then they will get over the contempt. If they don't then they weren't worth dealing with to begin with!


Congrats on the loss!

Good luck!
Amy
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Old 08-28-2001, 08:53 AM   #6
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Default Happiness shows!

I bet you feel a million times more confident in yourself after losing weight and people react to that, too! When men and women see you walking tall and proud and smiling because you know you look good, they are more likely to talk to you! I have a friend who is probably 220 or so and she gets noticed all the time because she's so confident in herself.

And people really do mean well noticing your weightloss. When I was just starting I would actually help myself along noticing people who were heavier and thinner than me. When people notice, doesn't that mean they actually looked at you before? They want to compliment you on your weight loss, MOST people do know how hard it is and want to lose some weight. They are probably using you as inspiration, too! I did that with a friend who lost about 80 pounds, I think of her success while I'm working out, and now another friend is using my success as inspiration! Say thank you, they admire you!

Lori
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Old 08-28-2001, 01:13 PM   #7
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Default It's human nature

I am male but have had different but similar responses to my weight loss. First, the part about being the same person. You seemed to focus on this. I think in the most important ways this is 100 percent true. I think I was able to lose weight because of my ability to accomplish something I feel is important which has been part of me since I was a very young child. But someone who doesn't know you well will find it hard to believe that you or anyone has much determination as a personal quality if they get very overweight, since few people would choose to be overweight. And the ability to reach a goal is an important part of a person and a quality people look for in a person...So are people wrong to perhaps infere something about a person if they are very overweight? To some extent, no.

However, overweight discrimination is a huge wrong in our society. It is, probably, the most prevlant and accepted form of discrimination, even though it is wrong. And as far as being attractive and the whole flirting and jealousy thing. For me I was totally honest with myself. I wanted to lose weight for health and lifestyle reasons but also to be more attractive. It is impossible for me to say it was 70 percent one and 30 percent the other, they were both important. Are you sure being more attractive wasn't one of your goals when you started to lose weight?

And, comeon, we all are attracted to people based on physical appearence. It is very important for first impressions, less so later on. My friends use to ask me would I ask someone out who was female and as overweight as I was. The hard answer was probably not. Am I proud of that? No. Do I acknowledge that about myself? Yes. Did it motivate me to lose weight? Yes

So in general day to day life I was prepared to be treated differently. And certainly differently at the office and among casual acquintences. Now friends it should be different. People who knew me for years, liked me and to be around me no matter my weight.

I guess I would leave you with this, do you think you are still the same person after the weight loss and its just everyone else around you who has changed? I know I feel better about myself, I am more confident, I am proud I have accomplished something I set out to do. I have more energy, can do more, I am healthier. Doesn't your state of health impact on who you are? Doesn't it help determine the lifestyle you can lead? What I am getting out is the essential you is probably the same but losing weight does change who you are. Probably it changes how people view you more, but it also changes how you view yourself and how you are living your life. At least it has for me.
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Old 08-28-2001, 01:37 PM   #8
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diamondgeog, you sound like one perceptive and self-aware guy!
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Old 08-28-2001, 02:03 PM   #9
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Hey there Kyra. I love what everyone has said - it's such wonderful stuff.

And what I get from it is "Remember you are worth it". The naysayers around you haven't quite gotten that yet about themselves. And Diamondgeog was right that most guys (and probably most gals) are initially more attracted to the surface attributes... just the way this society it. So when your's started to really show, people reacted pretty typically. Your true friends, as Kirie said, will come around if they haven't already.

When I was 35 pounds overweight (for a 5'5" narrow frame that's a lot), there was a certain safety in having that as a shield, a barrier if you will, from really being out there. In a way I used it as an excuse - men weren't attracted to me because... But once the weight was off, and my body was toned I began to get a good amount of attention. And yes, some female envy to boot. I was unerved by both and it took a while to get used to the new me and the new "attitude". It wasn't always pleasant. Jealousy never it. However after almost four years at goal, I'm pretty comfortable with myself, my life, my new husband... get the picture?

I have to give myself new goals, and new rewards since shopping never was my "thing". I also find it's important to keep a really strong support group around and have done so, both with local friends and new online ones. I also go to WW meetings weekly - yes even after four years - to keep me focused, motivated and in touch.

Remember Kyra - you are an inspiration not only to yourself, but to many others as well and they need to see it can be done. You go girl! Congrats on the new you.
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Old 09-06-2001, 10:22 PM   #10
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I've been at my goal weight since June of this year. My official "highest weight" was 226 (at my annual physical). I suspect I'd been even heavier but I never, ever weighed myself at home. I currently weigh in at 114, and I feel great. This weight loss has taken approximately two years to complete.. time well spent. Regarding being treated differently; yes, I notice it often. I think the reason, in part, is because I feel so great. I make eye contact now. I smile. I have to rein myself in, to be honest, lest I strut! People notice my eyes and compliment me! I think this is because they look bigger in contrast to my smaller facial mass. Also, it's the eye-contact thing. Men notice me. Hold open the door, wink, let me through in congested traffic, etc. And I find I get better, more attentive service when shopping or dining out. Finally (this is the most peculiar thing), my good, dear, quite attractive friend had been very supportive for these past two years. But now that I weigh less than she, I'm getting strange vibes. She's even mentioned that I'm too thin, that I look sickly. Which is untrue. I've been under a doctor's direct supervision for two years, and I've never been healthier according to my blood work and cardiac monitoring. Even my skin looks better. So that's my story. It's ironic that the more of me there was, the less visible I'd become. Now, when I look in the mirror, I think --- hmmm, who are you? The last time I was this size, I was in my early 20s. Now here I am again at this size, in my 40th year, not fat, not 20-year-old drop-dead beautiful ... but still, nothing to sneeze at!
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Old 09-11-2001, 06:18 AM   #11
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Marge,

Just had to say "You go girl!"

Kyra, the reactions you mention are common. You just have to move on and not let them bother you, although they are bothersome, just get into your own life and how much better it is and will be --- there's always going to be jeaous women (unfortunately) and getting the attention of men isn't a bad thing --- it can be reinforcing --- it just lets you know it looks good. And like others have said, people just like thin better and you have a glow when you feel good about yourself. Don't put too much emphasis or thought into the negative reactions of others.
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Old 01-13-2002, 08:15 PM   #12
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It's bizarre how this can happen from any physical change. Try not to take it personally. I'm just starting my weightloss journey, I hope I can be as sucessfull as you. However, I used to have very short hair. A few years ago I decided to grow it long, just for a change. Well....I now have doors opened for me, men are just plain nicer etc. I don't know why it's such a big deal, but I enjoy it.
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Old 01-18-2002, 06:55 AM   #13
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Appearance is so important in our society.. to all animals for that matter.. it is sad but the kindest person with an unattractive appearance is still just ugly to most people. It is hard to beat society's programing, even when you really. In addition, It is in our nature to judge.. it is a mechanism to protect us from those that are different.. different can be dangerous.. at least in the the wild.. though perhaps this is still true and sadly to judge is still a necessary mechanism of self defense.. but it also impinges our views of those that might be truly wonderful inside.
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:16 AM   #14
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And don't forget to mention how you're treated differently at work after a 50 pound loss - I've been promoted! People in supervisory positions pay much more attention and respect to me now (I'm a curriculum writer/web designer).

The last obese person who worked in my office was fired because she kept falling asleep, snoring at her computer. I suspect she had weight-related sleep apnea. The new person they hired is even more obese - about 320 pounds (at least my office doesn't discriminate!!). She had to miss a month of work for the removal of fibroid tumors. These, according to Prevention Magazine, are also obesity-related.

I really think our success at weightloss can make a BIG difference at work. Less sick days, more energy, confidence, etc. 'm 41 and a 20-something guy flirted with me the other day. And I don't care if those other women are jealous! I spent enough of my childhood with skinny girls and guys treating me like poor Blubber in the Judy Blume book.

It's payback time!!! (I know that's an unhealthy attitude - I'm just too happy and excited)

5'11"
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Old 02-07-2002, 10:42 AM   #15
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This is so great! I have been loosing for about two years and am down 55 pounds. I have had my setbacks and I've just hit my stride and lost a lot of weight in a coupple of weeks but still have a long way to go. Last night I finnaly found out that a guy I really liked was not interested. I'm sure it is mostly due to my weight but I can understand that. He does not know the real me so he does not know what he's missing. And when I reach goal and am not interested in him I guess he'll possibly regret it.
Diamond dog I 100% agree. This society is based on looks and we just have to deal with that, be honest with ourselves and move on. Even with my being heavy I get plenty of atention because I have confidence in myself. Before people can comment on my loss I tell them about it. "hey guess what I lost another five pounds! I am so happy I am finally doing this!" believe me all I get is positive feed back. Sometimes people are just not sure what to say or how to bring it up. When I lost my first 20 a co-worker said" have you lost weight? I can really tell, you used to be huge!" She meant no offense and I took none in fact I agreed with her. I was huge! Now I'm down 55 pounds and still going. It's largely dur to knowing that people notice that I keep going even when I've had a setback. Well If I keep going I'd write a book but I just wanted to share my own experiences. Keep going and don't let anything stop you!
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