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Issues with Family and Weight Loss

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Old 06-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default Issues with Family and Weight Loss

I haven't seen my parents since Christmas, and I am going to see them this weekend. They've been critical of my weight my whole life. My mom has a weight problem herself, but spouts slogans like losing weight is a breeze, and anyone who doesn't needs to just get with the program. When I gained weight this last time, after years of being thin through diet pills, I got very realistic about my body, what's healthy, and what's maintainable. To be honest, I didn't really mind the extra weight--it's just the rest of the world that did! But when my sister got engaged, and asked me to be her maid of honor, I vowed to myself to take the weight off for her, so the wedding party pictures look good. (Meanwhile, she's the one person in the world who would NEVER ask me to do that.) So. Since Christmas, and the shock of seeing me at my heaviest, my mother has casually hinted around about whether or not I've lost weight. And I haven't told her. Because really? I was in a healthy place, I wasn't hideous, and she needs to just get over it. But no, she and my dad will be all, 'Oooh, ahhh, look how thin you are, doesn't that feel better? Now you just have to watch what you eat, and say, I'm not going to let myself get fat again!' Meanwhile, no concept of what it takes me to get thin, what it takes to stay thin, and which is healthier. It makes me want to go out and binge!
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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The comments about weight always, always, always come. Whether from family, or from friends, or from checkers looking at your drivers license during checkout, the comments come. So I find it's best to rehearse some ways to respond to them. Really! Practicing (and I mean REALLY practicing...in front of a mirror, out loud) can make it way more comfortable to deliver your lines when someone makes a comment that makes you uncomfortable.

My favorites:

For unsolicited advice on how to lose/keep weight off: "That's an interesting idea - I'll take it into consideration!

For comments on how much you've lost/how you look: "Thanks! I work hard at it".

For comments about how you'll certainly gain it back, comments about how you shouldn't be eating X or Y, etc: "One thing I love about my plan is that it allows me lots of flexibility, so I can continue it for life"

You know what your family will say - you know them best. So rather than dreading the visit, anticipate what they'll say and have responses at the ready. After your first two or three responses, you'll get more confident and usually, they'll back down.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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Are you telling me , that you are 5' tall and that you weigh 117 ? No way in the world could that be considered obese . you are at a healthy weight for your height. I think your mother has unrealistic concerns for your weight.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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No, no...don't let their stupidity make you binge. I would tell them firmly that your weight is not a topic for discussion. Then walk away.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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I think you just have to disengage for your own sanity. I think a cheerful "OK!," and nothing else, ad infinitum, will get real boring for them.

"Losing weight is a breeze, and anyone who doesn't needs to just get with the program."

"OK!"

"Oooh, ahhh, look how thin you are, doesn't that feel better? Now you just have to watch what you eat, and say, I'm not going to let myself get fat again!"

"OK!"

Once they realize what you're doing, they'll intensify and try to get to you. Just expect it and don't let them.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargoo View Post
Are you telling me , that you are 5' tall and that you weigh 117 ? No way in the world could that be considered obese . you are at a healthy weight for your height. I think your mother has unrealistic concerns for your weight.
I believe she means her mother has not seen her at this new weight yet.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandonsBaby View Post
No, no...don't let their stupidity make you binge. I would tell them firmly that your weight is not a topic for discussion. Then walk away.
Well said!!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:06 PM   #8
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Family has harassed me about my weight my whole life, too.
I would not want to hear from those who are very verbal, either.
I used to have a thing about my dad like that.
Like if I lost weight, it would mean that he won or something.
Now, having a healthier attitude, I don't care what he thinks.
I'm doing this for ME.

BTW, I got down to 115 for my wedding, too.
Tell them there are some things in life you just have to lose weight for,
and weddings are one of them.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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You could try being blunt and say, 'I appreciate that you comment about my weight because you love me but could we please not discuss it?" Then move on to another topic. And if it's your mother who does it and she doesn't back down after that, tell her that you don't comment on her weight and would appreciate the same courtesy. Sometimes loved ones need honesty when they're being rude.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #10
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My mother was like this, to an extreme degree. She even would harass my husband, to tell him to tell ME to lose weight. He and I took the following tactic:
Whenever she brought up weight issues about ANYONE in the family, we would firmly say "I'm not going to discuss weight. Lets change the topic." And if she continued, we'd say "I'm not going to discuss weight. I have to go now." and we would leave the room, or "I'll call you back later." and we'd hang up then call back a couple of hours later.
I went home to visit, after devising this plan, and sure enough, it started. And I would just say my line. Repeat it, and LEAVE the room and go to my bedroom and shut the door. I'd stay there for about 30 minutes, then go back down. She'd start AGAIN, I'd say my piece, leave the room. And so on. But she took the hint after a couple of days.
We did the same with phone calls. She stopped speaking to me for about 2 weeks, and after that, no more issues.
SO, from my experience, this works really well. You don't have to yell or argue. You don't have to explain why you don't want to hear it. The fact is that you WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. You just stay super-calm, say your phrase, followthrough, and repeat. THIS WORKS. And I never, ever thought it would...
Let us know how you are doing!
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Last edited by kiramira : 06-24-2009 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #11
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You guys are great! Thank you! I love the advice of just yessing them to death, and especially, "That's an interesting idea - I'll take it into consideration!"

I have a really big salad for lunch every day, and I'm just anticipating my dad staring at it, and snickering, and my mom pointing, and joining him--'Ha ha--look at that BIG salad--ha ha, where are you going to put it all? '

120 calories. Wow. REAL filling, too. Let's all discuss everything I put in my mouth, shall we?

And then my mom will order a million-calorie sandwich, and be all, "I can't FINISH this! I just can't EAT this much!"
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:52 AM   #12
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Wow, it sounds like they're taking out their own dieting frustrations on you, huh? Kudos for dealing with it for so long, I would have blown a gasket with all those rude little comments. If it helps, maybe you can try to hear those nasty little jabs not as judgements on you, but as them just being insecure and unhappy with their own progress. Obviously you're doing a great job, don't let them try to tear you down because they're jealous.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:52 AM   #13
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HHH - I totally hear you. I think so many of us have struggled with dealing with family, especially those of us who have gained and lost weight over the years. I get a lot of passive-aggressive crap from my parents (both of whom have struggled with their weights their whole lives) and find it challenging to deal with. Indirect stuff like "Oh, wow, what a big plate of food!" when I am served something at a restaurant, the subtext being "you shouldn't eat all that." My dad is finally now at a fairly healthy weight, but he literally spends 2 hours a day at the gym and obsesses about everything he puts in his mouth. Not exactly a model of happy and healthy. Anyway, when the comments come and I start to feel myself emotionally attaching, I just remind myself that these comments are about THEM and their issues, not about me. They are both clearly projecting their own insecurities and unresolved issues, and I try to take a deep breath and to just imagine a magic force field around me (like a cartoon super hero) that they can't penetrate, since I am in charge of my life and my body and the choices that I make. It's tough and I think it doesn't get easier, but perhaps we can become better at fielding remarks. Hang in there!!! We're with you!!!
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungryHungryHippo View Post
I have a really big salad for lunch every day, and I'm just anticipating my dad staring at it, and snickering, and my mom pointing, and joining him--'Ha ha--look at that BIG salad--ha ha, where are you going to put it all? '

120 calories. Wow. REAL filling, too. Let's all discuss everything I put in my mouth, shall we?

And then my mom will order a million-calorie sandwich, and be all, "I can't FINISH this! I just can't EAT this much!"
This would KILL me. That is unbelievable.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #15
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I'm pretty angry lately with my family for not having taught me real portion sizes. I've always appreciated them for letting me make my own choices and not bugging me much but somebody should've stopped me when I went for seconds and thirds. A kid shouldn't grow up thinking "I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, as much as I want."

The worst remark I get is "you would be sooooooo pretty if you lost a little weight!!!" "You have such a pretty face!" Why can't I be pretty AND overweight?
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