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How do you feel around people that were your former size?

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Old 04-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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Default How do you feel around people that were your former size?

I have so many mixed emotions now when I'm around people of my former size...I'm not sure if any of them should be said allowed, but I feel the need to express them and I feel like this may be the only safe place where someone may be able to relate.

I feel uncomfortable because it reminds me of who I was once and am striving not to be anymore.

I feel uncomfortable because I really want to share with them that they don't have to live that life anymore...which is completely none of my business.

I'm afraid they know that I was once overweight (technically I'm still overweight) and they might expose me. Like I don't deserve this success and that I should remember who I really am.

I feel like they feel like I am judging them...which I'm ashamed to say I think sometime I am.

I've wanted to post this question for a long time and now that it's all typed out I'm still not sure I should hit the post button, but I'm going to do it anyway. Are any of these feelings normal?
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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I would say totally normal because I feel this way too sometimes. I think to myself (of course not out loud) that it's so *easy* to make the choices to eat less and move more, to eat an apple instead of french fries. BUT I also try to remind myself (I can't always) that I was there once, stuffing my face with french fries and burgers from McDonald's. I WAS that person who couldn't change or wasn't ready to. I didn't gain the weight super fast and then take it off super fast, I gained it and kept it on while slowly creeping upwards. Then I finally hit my breaking point and decided it was time to change. Maybe these people just haven't hit that point. And for their health, I sure hope at some time in their lives they do, but right now it's not their time.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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Normal, yes. Necessary? probably not. Harmful? Depends on whether anyone (including you - most importantly you) gets hurt.

I'm pretty comfortable around most people. I really always have been. Much fatter, much smaller, much smarter, much dummer, much richer, much poorer.... all works out pretty well for me. Maybe because judging or fear of judging is so far from my mind, I just accept people on their own terms. I just don't usually waste my energies on thoughts, things or people I don't enjoy.

I'm starting to think that my confidence is a rare mutant-X super power, because so many people in my life (thinner, more successful, more beautiful people) are lacking it. Not long ago I advised my sister to stop worrying about making everyone else comfortable, and start thinking about what makes her comfortable and happy (at least before she give a rat's behind what other people think).

Most people are perfectly capable of managing their lives just fine. Their priorities and choices may be different than mine, but if anyone wants my help they can ask (and people who want help, do). Unrequested help and advice is rarely helpful.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:53 PM   #4
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I have a story for you. A few years ago I went on craigslist.com to meet some new friends. I have friends, but some live an hour away and the others have kids and never can find time to get together. Anyway, in my post I said that I was very overweight, just so any potential friend wasn't surprised when they saw a 300lb woman walk thru the door. The woman that replied said that she was overweight too. We set up a time to meet..at a nearby restaurant, of course. We talked and laughed, she came back to my house and we played cards. We both said that we had fun and that we would contact eachother to meet again. She emailed me a few days later and I never replied. This makes absolutley NO SENSE, but I felt VERY uncomfortable having a fat friend. I thought ppl were looking at us. I've never had a fat friend, I've ALWAYS BEEN the fat friend. Right now I weigh 293 pounds (morbidly obese) and I really can't stand fat ppl, even though I'm one of them!! How bad is that????!!!

Good job on your weight loss!!!
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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I think it's understandable. To me, the 'weight-loss' topic would seem like the unspoken pink elephant in the centre of the room, but then again I know that not everyone would feel that way. So, to answer your question, I think it is very normal and probably quite common.

I also want to add that you DO deserve your success and all the joy that comes with it. Your weight loss is incredible!
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:13 PM   #6
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i am uncomfortable around people period. i feel so fat, i am thinking everyone must be saying to themselves, "how in the world did you let yourself go like that?"


They may not be but i feel like they are.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan33 View Post
I have a story for you. A few years ago I went on craigslist.com to meet some new friends. I have friends, but some live an hour away and the others have kids and never can find time to get together. Anyway, in my post I said that I was very overweight, just so any potential friend wasn't surprised when they saw a 300lb woman walk thru the door. The woman that replied said that she was overweight too. We set up a time to meet..at a nearby restaurant, of course. We talked and laughed, she came back to my house and we played cards. We both said that we had fun and that we would contact eachother to meet again. She emailed me a few days later and I never replied. This makes absolutley NO SENSE, but I felt VERY uncomfortable having a fat friend. I thought ppl were looking at us. I've never had a fat friend, I've ALWAYS BEEN the fat friend. Right now I weigh 293 pounds (morbidly obese) and I really can't stand fat ppl, even though I'm one of them!! How bad is that????!!!

Good job on your weight loss!!!
Wow! I don't have a problem with big people but I've felt the same. For me it was my family. At the time I was 240, my mother and Aunt were pushing 400 and my male cousin was about 350-400. I hated to go out to eat with them, because I did feel like everybody had to be staring at us. And what was even worst was that we'd usually go to buffets. Four VERY obese people going to a buffet, what a joke. To this day even though I'm smaller, I refuse to go to a buffet.

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Old 04-15-2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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But to the OP, I've never really thought about it. My issue with my size was a personal issue. I think women who weigh what I weighed are beautiful and I don't think there's anything wrong with them, I just wasn't happy with that weight for myself. So no, I really don't pity them.

I feel the same way around them that I feel around anyone else (minus skinny people, I'm always insecure around thin people)
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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Knowing how I felt when others mentioned my weight or offered me the latest fad diet, I'd never judge someone else for their weight. I look past the outside of the person to see their inner beauty.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #10
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I took the title to mean on the opposite end of the scale (pun intended! ) ... I feel a sense of longing and of sadness and of disappointment in myself when I am around someone who is the size I used to be when I was thin and took better care of myself consistently.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:25 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. I think this all is steming from my own insecurities and something I need to work on a personal level and I think my weight loss is finally allowing me to work on the internal as well as the physical.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:31 PM   #12
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Are any of these feelings normal?

Dunno. I suppose it is normal enough since more than one person responding relates.

That isn't anything I feel when I'm around people. For the most part I'm not thinking about them or how they compare to me in size. I'm too busy thinking about other things or the task at hand that pertains to my family or my own life.

I'm quite comfortable in my own skin -- whether I've been on my high end or low end. I'm more like Kaplods in that sense. People are just... people.

I tend to assume the best intentions or at least assume other people are minding their own business like I do. I don't assume the worse intentions or that people hate me or something.

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Old 04-15-2010, 08:49 PM   #13
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I can relate to your feelings so well... I'm ashamed to admit it but I am overly critical of many overweight people when I have no right to be... I am considered morbidly obese... insanely overweight... and when I see someone else that is overweight as well I'm disgusted... I know that it has more to do with my body image than anything to do with that particular person... because of how big I am I see myself in other big people and I feel the same things I do about myself in relation to them... I condemn them for being the way they are even though I am in the same boat... I've never understood it but have locked those thoughts and emotions away because I can only imagine what someone would think if they knew how I felt.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:50 PM   #14
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I think you are very brave for posting and I think you are not in the minority for feeling this way.

What I would do though, is share your story if the topic of weight comes up (which is does a lot amongst women, sadly). For example, if someone said "geez, I wish I was naturally athletic like you" (or whatever), that could open up the door for you to inspire them. It doesn't have to be about *them*, it could be about you sharing your personal journey. If they want to know more, they can ask.

I personally wouldn't feel like obese people are waiting to expose you! You worked hard to be where you are and I personally would love a slimmer friend sharing with me that they were once obese and are overcoming that (without preaching to me or lecturing me).

I think when you judge them you are judging your former self, which is not healthy either way.

Maybe admitting your feelings here is the first step to continuing to work through some emotional/spiritual things, which is always a good thing
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:21 PM   #15
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When I see people who weigh what I did, or more, I go through distinct states of mind.

First, I start feeling like an evangelical. I want to talk with them, walk with them, in effect, pray with them. I want to change their lives. I want them to feel as happy as I do.

This lasts for about two seconds.

Until my more rational side takes over, and I remember how extremely annoying proselytizers are. I remember distinctly how I felt when I was in their condition, how prickly & defensive, and how I'd grown a hard brittle shell over myself, and how infuriated I would have been had anyone pointed out how fat I was & by their talk, inferred that I wasn't making any effort to change. HOW DARE THEY?

And remembering that, I keep my big mouth shut.

Because I know someone has to be receptive to the message -- more than that, since that implies a sort of passiveness -- she has to be actively involved in making a change. In real life, it's rare that you meet people right at that moment. (Though not rare here at 3FC, which makes this an amazing place.)

About a minute after the evangelical impulse dies down, I am flooded with compassion & a feeling of empathy. Which probably would bewilder the poor unwitting recipients of my compassion, because they can't see beyond what I look like now & thus have no idea that underneath, I am their "sister" & that I am never more than one or two potential binges away from returning to that former state.

Like, if I'm in the gym, I'm prone to spontaneous encouraging & friendly smiles. Or making small talk. To the degree that they're comfortable with such talk. Because I know it has taken them so much courage to show up at the gym & I am overwhelmed by that courage (particularly if I am PMSing & feeling pretty weepy anyway).

I am not saying I look at fat women the way I look at animals in the ads for the humane society & animal rescue charities & start hearing Sarah McLaughlin's "Arms of an Angel" when I see them ... but I do feel an incredible warmth .... it's more along the lines of what I've heard described as the Buddhist "Loving Kindness" meditation. I want to flood them with unspoken positive & encouraging thoughts.

And I acknowledge that really, in the midst of all this emotional uproar, I am looking back at my own life & I am being more loving toward my former messed-up self than I was able to be at the time. (So of course, it's not about them, it's really about me.)
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