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Stop telling me I'm not fat!

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Old 09-09-2011, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Stop telling me I'm not fat!

With my current BMI I am only just barely out of the obese category (obese is BMI of 30, my BMI is 29). I am in the overweight category, which will be followed by the moderately overweight category, and then FINALLY the healthy category. A whole bunch of lbs away from where I am now.

I don't complain about my weight on a regular basis to everyone. But anytime someone offers me junk food and I politely decline, wants to share an appetizer and I pass, or asks why I'm running and presses the issue, I tell them because I'm trying to lose weight to be fit and healthy.

And you know what they say? Every time, without fail, "you're not fat".

I'm fat. I know and I'm dealing with it.

Does anyone else find this infuriating?
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:22 PM   #2
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No, but the reason I don't is because people that say "You're not fat" are really saying, "Validate me. Validate my choice to eat this." They want you to do it, so they can do it without feeling guilty and weak. Or if they are overweight, they say you're not fat so they don't have to feel fat either. At least, that's how I take it. I usually avoid the weight loss topic and simply say that my doctor has me on a special diet for my health and that I'm not suppose to eat that. People typically won't try and argue with your doctor. That is, of course, assuming I don't give in to temptation first!
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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I made a post very similar to this a little while ago! Yes, this happens to me all the time, and it drives me insane. Most of my friends and family know I've been trying to lose weight for about 7 months, and I cannot count how many times I've heard "Well, you must be done with it now." And when I say, "Well, no, I still have quite a ways to go to reach my goal", they'll be shocked and say something like "But my god, if you lose much more you'll disappear!"

Yeah, because at 5 feet and 163 pounds, I'm practically anorexic-looking, I'm sure.

I know how aggravating it can be to hear "But you're not big/fat!!" I know some people would say that it's nothing to get bothered by, that the people who make comments like that aren't trying to be annoying, but...like, I don't know about you, but I *know* I'm overweight. I don't need anyone trying to spare my feelings. Yes, I know that for some reason, I don't look as big as I am, but the fact remains that I am still almost 40 pounds overweight.

Long story short: Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm right there with you. *L*
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #4
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Nothing drives me more insane. I actually prefer the people who yell at me that I'm fat out their car windows when I'm out for a jog...sure, it's rude, but at least they're honest. I also find that more motivating. When that stops maybe I'll be close to my goal.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aileen View Post
Nothing drives me more insane. I actually prefer the people who yell at me that I'm fat out their car windows when I'm out for a jog...sure, it's rude, but at least they're honest. I also find that more motivating. When that stops maybe I'll be close to my goal.
Dang. People can be mean.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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This will only get worse.

The closer you get to your goal weight the more you will hear this when you refuse food so just tell them "No thank you I'm not hungry" and if they push it ask if they're looking for validation so they can eat it.

Once you turn it around they'll stop immediately.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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If someone said "You're beautiful," would you be infuriated and say "no I'm not, I believe I'm ugly and I expect you to agree with me."

If a child or very short person said, "Wow, you're tall," would you get angry and say "no, I'm short and I expect you to agree with me."

Fat, when used as an adjective, like most adjectives, is in the eye of the beholder. It's a matter of perspective, and just because some people do not believe you are fat, doesn't mean that you have to share that belief or get angry at their belief.

Your starting weight is higher than my current and perhaps even my ultimate goal weight. I have a photo of me in my early 20's at around 225 lbs. I consider it my "smokin' hot" picture, and I really would love to get to that weight.

If I do decide to stop at 225 lbs, I'm not going to let others opinions hurt or anger me. You might say (or think), "You're still really fat, obese even."

I don't have to care what you or anyone else things, and you don't have to, either. You don't need everyone or anyone to agree with your assessment of any situation. You can share your opinion if you want, and others get to also.

I once told a coworker that I was frustrated with the difficulty finding "apropriate business clothes when you're fat." The woman blurted out, "you're not fat," and I started laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants.
(After all, I weighed nearly 400 lbs, on what planet is that not fat.)

She turned bright red, and snapped "You know what I mean," and yes (sadly) I did. In our culture "fat" is such a horrible, awful, disgusting word that anyone as smart, funny, and nice as I was couldn't possible be something so terrible (and I'll grudgingly accept any euphemism except fluffy).

Some people don't see the fat, because their ideal of beauty is fatter than yours. Others see fat as a word so foul and blasphemous that a good person can't be a fat person, they have to be something else.

Would you really be happy if someone said, "I know I'm offering everyone else food, but I'm not going to offer any to you, because Geez, you are still quite fat. You're not going to stop dieting any time soon are you? Because wow you really still need to lose a LOT."


I know that's an exageration, but it all boils to the same thing. People have opinions, and they share them. They'll tell you that you should "live a little" and spend more money - or suggest you spend less. Or share their opinions on a billion topics upon which you disagree. You don't have to get angry whenever someone has a different opinion than you do, and in fact if you do, you'll be angry all of the time.


I know the issue was also food pushing, but no one has to know you're on any type of diet. In fact, when you use your diet as an excuse, people feel obligated to say "you've got to live a little, just this once on't hurt." If you say, "no thank you, I don't want any." Only the most stubborn people will continue to push. And if you want a line that will stop all but the most dedicated of food pushers, I'd recommend trying, "I would, it looks great, but I'm feeling a little nauseous." And if that doesn't stop them, tell a graphic story about the last time you let someone talk you into eating when you didn't want to, how you vomitted on the person. If you tell it well enough, no one will ever offer you food twice.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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I hate it to, it mostly my friends and family that do it. My mom constantly tries to tempt me with foods I shouldn't be eating or to come have a late dinner with her. Whenever I refuse she says something along the lines of if I lose anymore weight I will look anorexic and be too skinny. Which is ridiculous, I am just barely in my healthy weight range and I still have a long way to go to be what I want to be. No matter how much I try and explain to her she just shakes her head at me. I think she is just insecure that she has been gaining weight lately due to her extremely poor eating habits. I strongly believe that it's due to people being insecure about themselves.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
No, but the reason I don't is because people that say "You're not fat" are really saying, "Validate me. Validate my choice to eat this." They want you to do it, so they can do it without feeling guilty and weak. Or if they are overweight, they say you're not fat so they don't have to feel fat either. At least, that's how I take it. I usually avoid the weight loss topic and simply say that my doctor has me on a special diet for my health and that I'm not suppose to eat that. People typically won't try and argue with your doctor. That is, of course, assuming I don't give in to temptation first!
I totally agree with this point!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:53 PM   #10
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I've seen a lot of people posting similar complaints on here, and I think it brings to light several major issues with our society and weight. First is the fact that a lot of people have brought up here, that "normal sized" or "plus sized" people will often tend to discourage others from losing weight. It's basic psychology of self-validation and lifestyle-validation. Other's weight loss can call our own life choices into question, and we sometimes make those comments from a selfish place.

But, secondly, we also have to remember that those comments don't always come from a selfish place. Opinions on what is "too thin" vary widely, and once you get under a certain weight, it is inevitable that certain people are going to think you're too thin (while others will think you're not thin enough). It's just the nature of opinions, and it doesn't mean that the people who disapprove of certain weights are doing so simply because of insecurities about their own weights. We all have a certain level of thinness which we judge to be "too thin," unattractive and unhealthy looking, but it's far from universal. Parents are usually notorious for telling their children off about their weight, and we have to remember that they come from a different culture than our own, one in which an attractive woman meant something very different than it does today.

Which brings me to another point- "thin" people often face as much prejudice as "fat" people, only it comes from different places. For some people, a normal sized or thin person talking about dieting is the same as a fat person binging right in front of them. Are they feeling threatened by the other person's thinness? Perhaps, for some of them. Others might be turned off by what appears to be the vanity of the situation. The vast majority of people are uncomfortable around displays of vanity, and the implicit judgmental nature and self-consciousness of the vain. Now, I'm not saying that losing weight means you're vain, not at all. And many people wouldn't use the word "vanity" to describe it at all. By vanity, I mean generally caring about how you look. It's amazing how hard we have to try in order to look like we're not trying in this country! But in general, Americans tend to be put-off when people seem like they are trying.

And to my last point, the fact that we can't really judge ourselves. First of all, you have no perspective to say whether you're really "fat" or not. How often do you actually see your body? five minutes a day? Two? Most likely, it's even less. If you were another person looking at yourself, would you label yourself the same way? Would you call that girl fat? No, of course not. The BMI can be a helpful tool in general terms, but in most cases, it's highly flawed. Just look at this website, which shows just how arbitrary the system seems. Some of the women on it who look perfectly healthy are labeled as obese, while some women who look sickly are labeled as normal.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7736776...7602199008819/

As you continue to lose weight, I'm sure you'll experience more events like this one that make you see just how complex weight issues are in this society. And all that being said, I think I can speak for most of the people at 3fc in saying that you have a right to pick the weight at which you feel healthy and beautiful, in spite of all of society's hold-ups about thinness or fatness.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:56 AM   #11
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I don't think I've ever had anyone tell me I'm not fat. It went from no comments at all (because I was fat and no one said anything), to people calling me skinny when I got down to ~140 around Xmas, to people actually DEMANDING that I stop losing weight. An elderly relative whom I love actually pulled me aside and, with a worried look at me, asked me to PROMISE her that I would stop losing weight. Accidentally, I did what she asked (and gained!). Lol! But I'm working my way back down!

When I was a barely healthy weight, people thought I was too skinny and were worried because they remembered what I had been like before. I'd been fat for a long time, and thinner for not so long. The contrast is what throws people most often.

OP, you've lost quite a bit of weight, and I'm SURE it shows. It could be that people aren't used to it yet. When people say something to me that's something like "you're not fat" or "you're so thin," I say thanks and change the subject. It's their opinion. Acknowledge and move on is my usual plan. You can also emphasize your health. Just say you're eating healthy and want to get more fit. Sometimes that helps.

Good luck! And congrats on your weight loss so far!
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:11 AM   #12
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Nope. Never found it infuriating whatsoever.

Sometimes found it a little silly, but never upsetting.

In fact, it has occasionally been a little boost (whether they sincerely mean it or not) when they say "You don't need to lose weight, you look wonderful!"

I do know that I need to lose weight to be healthier, and would never stop simply because of a compliment, but at the same time said person assumed I was feeling down about myself and tried to cheer me up.

It wasn't the case that I was feeling down about myself, but it was a very lovely, human thing to do to care about my feelings and want to make me feel better even temporarily.

Why would I begrudge someone trying to make me feel good?
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:35 AM   #13
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Irritating more than infuriating, but yes. I am heartily sick of having to cope with other people's insecurities, sometimes at some length, because I mentioned a simple fact about myself. If you think it's bad with weight loss, try disability. Not only do you get the weird panicky reactions, but people tend to be a lot nosier and offer a lot more completely uncalled for pseudo-medical advice as well, in my experience. And then there are the people who want to rant at you for half an hour if you mention that you're queer or Jewish, they're fun too.

I'm getting much better at stopping this sort of thing in its tracks, but I would dearly love not to have to deal with it at all. It would be wonderful to be able to say, "Sorry, I'm losing weight/I can't do that because I'm disabled," and get nothing more than, "Oh, fair enough then," as a response, or be able to use a walking stick or wheelchair without people jumping in and commenting on it. I think it's a clear sign of being in an oppressed/socially disfavoured group when people feel that they have the right to breach the usual etiquette about privacy in this way.

kaplods - good point, but the difference in your case is that you had actually applied the term "fat" to yourself. That's very different from politely declining food, and then being pressed for an explanation, and then having that explanation argued with.

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:18 AM   #14
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I've been having the same thing happen and it bothers me because I *know* I'm still not at a completely healthy weight. But I notice all the people that say things like "you're getting SO skinny" or "you've disappeared" or "You're going to vanish into thin if you get any smaller" are all people that have issues with their own weight so I really do believe it comes back to their OWN insecurities.

I'm 5'7 and 219 lbs - I bike a LOT so yes, I tend to look smaller on the bottom due to all the muscles I've built up but I still don't look *that* small so the fact that anyone could say "You're going to disappear" or "you're looking anorexic" just amazes me because it's a baldfaced lie. If I was 5'7 and 140/120/100 lbs then I could see the anorexic comment holding water but 200 lbs +? Give me a break.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:53 AM   #15
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Nope. Never found it infuriating whatsoever.

Sometimes found it a little silly, but never upsetting.

In fact, it has occasionally been a little boost (whether they sincerely mean it or not) when they say "You don't need to lose weight, you look wonderful!"

I do know that I need to lose weight to be healthier, and would never stop simply because of a compliment, but at the same time said person assumed I was feeling down about myself and tried to cheer me up.

It wasn't the case that I was feeling down about myself, but it was a very lovely, human thing to do to care about my feelings and want to make me feel better even temporarily.

Why would I begrudge someone trying to make me feel good?

^^This has been my experience as well. The only time I get annoyed is if I believe that the person is saying those things to really get me to eat something I shouldn't. That rarely happens, though. Actually, at this point, so few people have noticed my weight loss, that I'm grateful for any of those types of comments (more and more people are starting to notice, though---Yay!!)
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