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What to say to people who are wrong

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Old 08-22-2012, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default What to say to people who are wrong

I have apparently reached the stage where people think I should be done losing weight. While flattering, how wrong they are.

I haven't weighed since July 18 but am 100% certain I am under 200 now. But not much. I think I have 35-40 left to go. Lately, when I say that, people give me this look of horror, like I'm going to be a skeleton if I lose that much. 158 was my all-time low, so trust me, I won't be a skeleton any time soon.

They tell me, "you're tall, so you don't need to lose more weight. You can carry more because of your height.". That doesn't make sense to me. I know tall people can sometimes look like they weigh less, but I still have a big gut and hips that my height doesn't help hide.

Even worse, some people will have the nerve to ask me how much I weigh because they don't believe I can lose more and be healthy. One woman asked, "how much do you weigh? 170"? Which made me uncomfortable because she is not a particularly close acquaintance and she doesn't need to know. I have told people that I'm still overweight according to the BMI calculator and they don't believe it, or they say that BMI isn't a good measure (I can't argue that...).

I can tell they aren't trying to flatter me when they say I don't have much/any left to lose; they say it with a worried sincerity. How do you handle people who are concerned that you are becoming a weight-obsessed stick figure? It is such a new experience to me.

P.S. I find that we tend to underestimate what others weigh. At dinner tonight, my friend, one of the people who thinks BMI is stupid, told me how much she weighs and I was shocked. We are both 5'8" and she used to weigh 160 and now thinks she weighs 150. She is so slender and looks so petite, I never would have put her at more than 130 or 135! Made me feel better. I think we are often underestimating people's weight by 15-20 lbs.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:39 PM   #2
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I started getting the comments that I needed to stop losing a looong time ago, even when I was still clearly quite overweight. I even got a few rude comments about how "guys don't want sticks" and "you're being unfair to your husband." (Seriously? Cause the only reason to lose weight is to be eye candy, right? )

At first I tried to explain why I actually did need to lose more, but I learned quickly that it doesn't really work. Honestly at this point I just figure it's none of their business. If someone inquires about my weight loss I'll be honest about how much I've lost but if they ask if I'm done I just reply that I'm focusing on fitness and getting lots of nutritious food now, then change the subject.

I am focusing on fitness, and if I end up losing 20 more pounds then that's my own choice that I can keep to myself if I wish. No one else needs to be involved in such a personal part of my life. It's my life and my body.
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Last edited by TheBunneh : 08-22-2012 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Oh wow, you've come a long way, huh? That's so cool!

I guess you could just start keeping your diet on the down-low, not tell people you're still watching, and keep going with it. I can see it getting annoying when people think you're thin now, even when you don't feel like it yet!

There's also the "don't care what other people think" tactic, and just don't care if they think you're a weight-obsessed freak. Tell them, "how about I worry about my business you you worry about yours?" But, I don't know how close you are to the people you think will think that.

I think it's awesome that you're willing to stick to it after coming this far. Keep it up!
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:44 PM   #4
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i like to say "hmm you might be right" and change the subject....(of course you could also be very very wrong but i'd rather not argue over it LOL)
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:00 AM   #5
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I try not to be one of those "It's not a diet, but a lifestyle change!!!!!" people but you could say "I'm not specifically focused on losing more weight, but I will continue to watch what I eat and to exercise and if that results in further weight loss, then oh well. So...did you hear about Prince Harry?!?!?"

Everyone and their mother always tell me I am way too thin and want me to gain weight. As a guy, I say "I know I am thin and I would like to gain muscle but that would involve a different method of eating and exercising that, for now, I am not interested in pursuing with any real urgency. But be patient. I'll get there...or not. BTW, did you hear what happened to Prince Harry?"

But don't tell them they're wrong. For one, maybe they're right. For another, what if the "wrong" person weighs the same or more than you? By telling them you need to lose more weight, you are basically telling them that they need to lose weight too.

Virtually everyone who has lost a significant amount of weight has experienced these comments. It's not something to fight about.

Last edited by memememe76 : 08-23-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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Prince Harry in the great state of Nevada...LOL. Love it.

Alaskanlaughter, I like your response.

I was naturally on the very thin side until I was about 40. People were always telling me I was too thin like it was a moral problem. It never ceases to amaze me how rude and invasive of one's personal business some people can be.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:32 AM   #7
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You don't need to tell them anything.

In my opinion based on how you describe yourself the vast majority of people you meet for the first time if they found out you were dieting wouldn't think anything of it.

I seriously doubt any of these people asking are worried about you. Most likely they're feeling threatened by your awesomeness.

90% of the people you know don't care about your problems and 5% are glad you have them. Only a very few actually care.

Tell them ... whatever you want. Who cares what they say or claim to think/feel? Trust me ... if you lose another 40 lbs NO ONE will be asking you anything except how did you do it ... hoping there is some secret pill they can take to replicate what you did but without the effort.
"Getting solid information is easier than ever. Getting misinformation is even easier." - Kaplods

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:22 AM   #8
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What I do is just avoid discussing those things. If people remark about "why don't you ever it [insert greasy/fattening food]", I tell them that it makes me feel sick (which is true). If it's "why aren't you eating more", it's "because I'm not hungry anymore, duh" (which is also true). If they insist, it's "my doctor says I must be very careful about my weight, otherwise I'll be at risk for blood-clotting, it's genetic, I can't help it" (which is just as true, even though, alright, I'd have to gain more than just a few pounds for this to become a health risk).

By the way, I've noticed that once you bring the "my doctor said" argument in the story, most people will back off: after all, if this is medical advice, then it must be true, right? It's not just about "vanity weight" then.

Also, a lot of people have absolutely no clue about what's a healthy weight. And when they've been used to seeing you overweight for a long time, they have no clue as to what would be a normal weight for you. This was true in my own perception: at my heaviest, 65 kgs seemed "thin" to me. Now that I've reached lower than that, I know such a weight is definitely too high for my height, because I remember that I didn't feel as much in shape as now.

I'd understand people's concern if you were, say, 120 lbs for 5'8", and aimed for 90: now that would be clearly unhealthy thinking. But 160-ish seems a healthy enough goal to reach for.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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I have been getting this too! It's irritating. I don't care what they say, but it is funny when they have a look of shock and horror when I say I want to loose another 30 lbs.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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I think a lot of people ARE threatened when your body is changing and most are not doing it out of concern. That said, no reason to be overtly snarky back. I agree with AlaskanLaughter, I liked her response. But I also tell people I'm on a physician's program, which is kind of true because for the most part I follow a weight loss program written by an M.D....just not my personal M.D. (although she did say it's working, stick with it). I've also used what my stepmom does (she does have a gluten and other allergies, supported by lab work) and say "I can't I have an allergy." People usually will mind their own business with the doctor card or allergy card, but sometimes they will press for more on the allergy and if you can turn the conversation back to them and why they are so concerned...usually that stops it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:34 AM   #11
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"You can always say, "Thanks, I'll give it some thought". They don't need to know this is the last hought you are giving to their comment.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #12
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I learned a trick here at 3FC that I've used many times: Open eyes wide, and say in a monotone, "I'll just pretend I didn't hear you ask (or tell) me something incredibly rude and none of your business." If they still don't get it, ask "And exactly how much do you make a year?" Wink and walk away.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:48 AM   #13
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Lol, I still get this all the time and have been more or less at my target weight for almost two decades, but I like to talk about weight issues because maintenance means sometimes there is a regain to take care of or whatever.

The truth is people just say that, and as John said above, they are probably threatened by our awesomeness.

People are nosy and know-it-all-ish by nature lol. Almost everyone wants to weigh less or more or maintain a weight and many people are not successful at that so they try to get other people to doubt their perceptions of the journey and ultimately fail also, so they'll have the satisfaction of knowing someone else is failing at it.

All unconscious, they don't mean any harm.

I don't know how you tell them they are wrong other than just saying it or saying nothing (which will make you feel frustrated, maybe) or just say to butt out.

It's a happy problem because it means your efforts are becoming clear to the naysayers and that bugs 'em.

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Old 08-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #14
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I, too, have more weight to lose and I've had people tell me I should stop. I think because they have known me as large for as long as they've known me, when they see me 80 lbs lighter, it's a shock! When asked, I normally don't like to discuss how much I've lost or how much I have to go, but I'll say 15-20 more is my goal. When greeted with, "OMG! You shouldn't lose more, you'll shrink away!" I just smile and say, "Thanks."

That's it. I do not engage in what others say about my body. It's fantastic to receive the compliments, and a lot of people are curious about how much I've lost and how I've done it, but I try to handle it gracefully and not pay attention to anything but the compliments.

You will stop losing when you want to - when you've reached your goal and you feel awesome and look how you want to look, the people who told you to stop losing 35 lbs ago will realize that you know what's best for you.
The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #15
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People give advice all the time on all sorts of topics, and I believe most of it is well-meant or at least neutrally meant (I don't think that people are threatened or jealous nearly as often as is assumed).

We're taught to say and think "they're just jealous," but I don't think that's really true very often. Instead, it's just people sharing opinions, because that's what people do.

And on many topics, we don't usually even mind (and probably even do it ourselves), but it's all just opinions.

I've worked hard to take the shame and blame out of weight and weight loss. When someone gives me weight loss advice, I treat it as if they're giving me advice on how to make meatloaf, or whether and what color I should dye my hair.

If someone says "you should dye your blonde," I don't assume they're threatened or jealous, I assume they have an opinion I don't share.

I don't have to get angry or defensive. I don't have to assume ill-intent, conscious or unconscious.

I don't have to agree with them, and I don't even have to believe they're wrong. I just take it as I do any advice I don't intend to follow. Whether I choose to tell them that I don't share their opinion depends upon the person and the situation. If I feel like telling them why I have a different opinion, I do. If I don't, I just say something like (as already mentioned), "you might be right," or "I'll give that some thought," or "I'll ask my doctor about that..."

I don't justify my weight or weight loss methods to anyone any more. I DO like talking about the topic, but only because I don't take any of the opinions too seriously (even my own) and I don't take disagreement personally. We're all entitled to our own opinions, and I even think we're entitled to share them, discuss them, and even argue about them.

If you're confident in who you are, and in the choices you're making, you're not threatened or even upset by others having opposing opinions. You may choose to share your experience and knowledge, or you may not, but you don't feel the need to have others agree with you.

If you don't want to discuss a subject, you have the right to change the topic or say "I'm not comfortable with this subject," or "I don't want to talk about this," or anything else you WANT to.

I tend to be very straight-forward with people, because I am extremely confident in my own opinions, and if they don't agree with me, I don't mind trying to educate or persuade them, but if it doesn't work and they stubbornly cling to their own opinions, I don't mind. In fact, I don't care at all.

I treat weight loss disagreements as if they were disagreements over literature or music. If we disagree, I don't have to assume that you're wrong, in order for me to be right. In fact, conversation is a whole lot more fun if we're willing to share (and even argue) without taking each others opinions personally.
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