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Old 10-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #1
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Angry How to deal with competitive friends...?

Coming up with a catchy title for this thread was hella hard. I just don't know how to sum up my particular problem without it being long winded... So I'm going to do my very best to highlight the particulars and then anxiously await some feedback. For starters, I have frequently haunted this web forum for nearly 2 years. (Not daily or even weekly.) But whenever I felt the need to be inspired, I would hop on - float around and drink up the discussions that seemed to relate to me best.

I'm 28 years old and overweight. (Duh!) If I weighed myself right now I'd probably cry. At the start of 2012 something clicked and I began a strong attempt at losing weight. For 3 1/2 months I saw nothing but positive changes. Nearly losing 30 lbs ... I was completely motivated. Well as per the usual, life happened. A series of unfortunate events seemed to snow ball onto me. To date, this has been the worst year I can remember dealing with. Blah, blah, blah.

I'm here. I survived -- but I packed the pounds back on and I lost my focus.

--- Okay here I go trying to get to the point. ---

I have two girlfriends that are every bit as overweight as I am -- and yet, neither one of them ever seem to show me any genuine support whenever I try to get healthy. One friend began losing in an unhealthy way by starving herself and making herself sick. Managing to drop 40 lbs she became a leading expert on healthy living, now believing herself to be the next workout guru. This friend whom I will refer to as Rachel can NEVER (and I mean NEVER) show me any support when I'm on the right path. If we sit down to catch up, she won't tell me I'm doing anything good. Even when I was actively working out and dropping weight, she seemed oblivious. My dream of supporting one another was quickly cancelled out, when Rachel showed me time and time again that when it came to losing weight -- it was all about HER. She would make snide remarks such as, "If I can do this you can." (And that would be about it for support.) If I made a mean lean dinner, her's was better, tastier and healthier. If I did a 30 minute kick boxing DVD, she did an hour long set -- plus she ran 5 miles while carrying 10 lb weights on each leg.

You catch the drift, right?

It got old FAST. So I eventually stopped talking about my progress. When I lost focus on weight loss, so did Rachel. No more talk of being healthy -- no more talk of working out. Instead she'd vent her sadness about her gaining weight back, and that I should get healthy with her again when she started back up... *snort* Having Rachel as a weight loss buddy is a joke. Thankfully our friendship is more internet based than real life because she's moved around a lot. Keeping in touch has been easy enough, but the lack of support and encouragement I receive from her just makes me sick.

I have one more friend to vent about... So let's meet Nicole...

Nicole is delusional when it comes to her weight. I'm not being mean. I'm being serious. I've tried to have those close heart to hearts that only friends can have ... But Nicole lives in her own world. When I'm eating healthy, and Nicole catches on then she follows suit. However her healthy eating and work out stints are far from legitimate. If we met up to go walking together, we'd make it less than a mile before we needed to run to the nearest Subway so she could eat because her metabolism was up. (And by run I mean drive.) Heckling me for managing my calorie and sodium intake, I'd have to deal with Nicole and all of her critical abuse. Constantly comparing my body shape to her's she would often make me feel guilty for wanting to get healthy. Venting about my weight loss goals always resulted in her pointing out how she was WAY more overweight than I was, and that I didn't have rolls like she did and blah blah blah.

I'm a supportive person as well as honest. I would discourage negative thinking, and encourage her to be open minded and positive. We BOTH needed to get healthy. Eventually, it fell through... The girl is still delusional though. Every time we talk she's lost another 30+ pounds of imagination and day dreams. No joke. Nicole's husband and Mother have expressed their concerns for her weight gain. This chick will look you straight in the eye and swear to you by all that is holy that she's lost 16 lbs in a WEEK because of water weight and da da da. She's always starving, yet always eating. I'm probably rambling but I don't mean to! I'm just so frustrated. Same as with Rachel, if I tell Nicole I ran a mile -- you best believe I will NOT get any kind of congratulations. Instead I'm told that she ran 8 miles and that's the end of that.

After typing all of this, I've had to ask myself what the point is. I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I'm just SO frustrated. I know full well how powerful the internet is as a resource for support in all things - including weight loss. But, I just wish that I could dive back into the pool with someone I've grown up with. Someone that understands me and supports me. Instead, I always end up listening to them list their accomplishments while disregarding mine. Though I'd prefer to get healthy cold turkey -- I'm the type of person that has to have a plan. Essentially I need healthy food in my house, so until I can front the cash I need for some healthy food, I'm sort of stuck.

I am exercising though and drinking water while watching my portion sizes. What I want is to kick start myself by the end of the month and get serious again. I just wish that I had some local girlfriends that could be serious with me. I know I've said this and that 10,000 times. Until we truly want to change we WON'T. So maybe that's where I'm wrong... In wanting them to be serious with me. However, I don't NEED them to lose weight with me. I just want them to be supportive. I want to be able to talk to them about my ups and downs. They've proven to me time and time again that they can't sit on the sidelines and cheer me on. They can't listen to me and show any support. Instead they hop up (usually figuratively) to show case nothing but competitive behavior.

Why? Why is it so hard to be supportive of me as I try? Why are they more content for us all to be fat and unhappy? I don't get it.

How should I go about my new 'reset'? Should I be vocal about my weight loss journey? Can anyone offer me some sort of advice? I'm struggling with this concern.... Primarily because I noticed something I'd never caught before...

Last Halloween Nicole took a picture of me in my Halloween costume. Showing it to me I was DEVASTATED by my appearance. I wasn't aware I looked SO awful. I really wasn't. I was comfortably wearing a size 18... and while that's not the best, I just didn't think I looked terrible. This picture however... was awful. Last night I stumbled across that picture. (I had saved it for motivation.) But last night, I realized that she had photoshopped the picture. Yes, photoshopped it! I don't know how I missed the erratic and disproportionate line of side, hip and thigh... But I did. The quality is grainy, the contrast enhanced -- and pixilated blurs galore.

I asked my sister what kind of friend would do that to a person ... and she pointed out that Nicole was no friend in the first place for doing such a thing.

Still though, why? Do people really feel that much better about themselves when sabotaging others and bringing them down? Is weight loss that scary of a concept for others? I'm so lost! I'm angry, I'm frustrated... and all the more determined. I just really want some support.

My apologies for such a large rant... But I needed to get this off my chest. Hopefully one of you can survive the length of the post and give me some insight.


Last edited by Prestige; 10-12-2012 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:56 AM   #2
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I skimmed through it

You said that you are not looking for anyone to go through the weight loss with you but just to be supportive. Toward the end, you also said you told your sister about what Nicole did with the photoshopping. If you can share that with your sister...then perhaps she will support you in your weight loss.

We all do what we have to. There are several resources. This website for one. There are groups you can join for weight loss like TOPS. They don't ask you to do a specific plan but you do have to come to the weekly meetings. I am not a member but have gone to a meeting before. I didn't need the support but could see it would be great for someone that does. The meetings are also motivational. And the people take a real interest in one another. I went to a meeting with a friend (she is a member and loves it). She said that several people asked about me when she returned the next week without me.

If you belong to a gym, you can find workout buddies or join some of the challenges that they offer. Our local gym has a Biggest Loser challenge and your group will motivate you because the team wants to win!

You may have to initiate relationships. Someone without a weight problem at all may be your support. I have a few friends who are naturally thin. One is a size 2-4 and she always compliments me on my weight loss and cheers me on. She doesn't know what it means to diet but she knows what is means to be supportive.

I had a friend at work who was trying to stop smoking. We had a challenge. She was decreasing the amount of cigarettes as I was making small changed to my diet. Ex, she went down to half a pack a day and I gave up candy and etc. You can find support!! Best of luck!!

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Last edited by RoyalAthena; 10-12-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:02 AM   #3
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I'm not one to pull punches so I'll say this; this being a post to let you vent, we out here in internet land only see the negative. In this light, it really looks like neither woman is a 'friend' to you and I can't see why you would continue on with these relationships.

Of course that is looking at it very simplistically and they could be wonderful women outside of this issue. I would suggest that you just not discuss these things with them, but what sort of friendship requires you to censor yourself that way? Losing weight is a HUGE accomplishment and requires a lot of your attention so to have to hide that seems bizarre.

^ Food for thought I suppose.

Aside from that, perhaps you can visit 3FC more often for the support that you seek, or find a local women's club/running group/gym classes, etc. with women on the same journey that support you. I personally visit 3FC so that I have a place to discuss these things and not feel obsessive or neurotic while talking to my friends or husband.

I'm sorry I don't have more constructive advice for you, but from here it seems a lot more simple; get rid of the toxic people in your life, seek out support, and keep your chin up.

Last edited by BillBlueEyes; 10-12-2012 at 05:58 AM. Reason: Removed quote of a post that is now deleted.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Default re:

In the end, most people have one person they can count on help them lose weight - themselves.

Other people are going to do and say their own thing and will always have their opinions. It doesn't matter if you lose down to 125 lbs, someone will always say you're doing it wrong. You also can't change other people. When they're ready, they will do what they need to do to get healthy.

What matters is what YOU are doing, not them. If you want to find supportive people to come vent out to or just talk about your highs and lows of weight loss, that's what these forums are for.

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #5
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They are not friends. Plain and simple. Move on and good luck.

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pluckypear View Post
They are not friends. Plain and simple. Move on and good luck.
also let's not automatically expect them to be supportive just because they are your friends, family... whatever. but if they do, you say "Thank You!". if not, oh. well.... such is life. you Keep your chin up and move on.

But do trust yourself and you can do it.
we are here for you.
come back and post more after trying a few things to reset your weight loss program.

Good Luck!!!!
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #7
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I am going to try to look at this through your "friends" perspective... Just for a minute anyway. Rachel sounds like she is so bothered by her own failings that she has yet to come to terms with that by not recognizing YOUR fitness accomplishments and healthy changes, she is making herself feel like she's come along so much further than you. However, a true friend would never photoshop a picture of someone to highlight (or in this case exagerate) your flaws. So that being said, I'd confront her about it... Then proceed to tell her how horrible it makes you feel and that you don't need friends like that in your life. Also apologize to her that she must feel so poorly about her own body that she would ever need to do that to a friend to make herself feel better. I feel sorry for people like that.

Nicole sounds like she isn't ready to recognize or deal with her weight problem. Maybe she's not the best person to buddy up with. Rather, start on your own healthy journey and once you've made the right path for yourself, you can steer her in the right direction. The best thing you can do for her is be there for her and support her the way you wish these friends would support you.

You said you look at this site for support. I had been a lurker for a while... Getting inspiration and hoping that one day I'll be one of those people that hits their goal. I, like you, don't have a support system that I can turn to outside of 3FC... I decided I DID need the support and these ladies (and gents) have helped me stay on track. Stick around, maybe we can be the support your seeking.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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I am going to suggest something that may or may not be true. It sounds like you are using Rachel and Nicole (and your financial limitations) as excuses. I have lots of friends I can't talk to about my weight loss, for many reasons. Not a big deal. I only really talk about it in depth on 3FC. Would it be ideal to have weight loss support from friends I had known since I was small? Maybe. But I also wouldn't want to be responsible for their motivation.

This is so much better, at least for me. When I go to the gym, I often think of people like JossFit, who also commented on this thread. I have read her stories that ran in fitness media. I know she struggled with weight, and I know she's finding a way to be successful every day. I also know she, and so many others like her, are accessible here, and are kind enough to share their knowledge and wisdom. Why would I value that less than someone who doesn't know as much, and whose interactions with me are so much more complicated?

I guess I am just suggesting that perhaps the real key is to stop wishing for people to be different, and start using the tools you already have. Stop focusing on making your perfect weight loss world, and start making those choices that will make you healthier, stronger, and smaller.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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It sounds to me like you should not discuss weight loss or fitness with these two. Focus on the other things you have in common, the things that made you friends in the first place. You don't need to let them hold back your progress; you just don't have to talk about it with them. Follow your plan, do what you need to do to lose weight - they don't have to be a part of your process in order to be your friend in other ways.
High weight: 275 (August 2009) *** Low weight: 155 (October 2012)
Today, working off a partial regain. Current weight: 189.
* Make the best choice I can make, with every choice.
* Remember that the temptation in front of me is not the last of its kind that I will ever see; say "I'll pass today."
* Say "no!" to my whiny inner five-year-old.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #10
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Give up trying to get from these women what they are unwilling/unable to give you! You are only hurting yourself, and they have showed you many times over they cannot/will not give you support in this area.

Something I've found as I've gotten older is that people are who they are. You can't change them, and you have 2 choices: Accept them for who they are, or let the friendship fade away. You will be happier, in the end, if you listen to people when they tell you who they are instead of trying to make them who you want them to be.

3FC is a great place for support in this area. Sometimes there just aren't a lot of people in real life who can be supportive in this area!
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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Just don't talk to them about your weight loss. I'm pretty sure your friendship is bigger than a mutual interest in health. If Nicole isn't really in gear to get healthy, get off her back about it. It's her body, let her do her thing. It can be really annoying when someone finally decides to take a look at their own weight and automatically they think they now have the right to look at everyone else's.

I think the most important thing in losing weight and keeping it off is learning to be your own support since you're the only one with a real obligation to you. Friends and family are unreliable and to be fair to them, usually after hearing about our attempt to get healthy for the 100th time... it's hard to stay optimistic.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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You can't count on anyone else to support you because even if they earnestly tried (which they're not doing now obviously), you might still feel like they weren't doing it right. You're not alone in this, but you are on your own, if that makes sense.

Also you sound like you're making weight loss into a big deal event, October is only halfway in, why wait until the end of the month? It doesn't require humongous efforts. Things like watching portions, drinking water, exercising, are things to do forever and ever and ever if you want to get the weight off and keep it off. You don't need to start at 1200 calories a day of 100% Paleo organic food. It's the little changes that add up and become habits.
Push on some more!

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:33 AM   #13
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I agree with others that I wouldn't discuss weight, exercise or other "healthy" topics with these two. I don't really discuss it with anyone outside of 3FC. My husband and mom know I want to lose weight but it's a no frills, "I'm doing this" kinda thing. I'd like to (hopefully) let my results speak for themselves.

The thing that was the biggest red flag to me though was the Photoshop thing. I understand being uncomfortable and maybe jealous and miffed that a friend is losing or wants to lose weight and you're not there. But to actively try to make someone feel worse by deceiving them is wrong. Even if you don't discuss weight loss with her, what will she do or say to try to hurt you?

Only you can decide if the aspects of these women is enough to overcome these issues.

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Old 10-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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"Do people really feel that much better about themselves when sabotaging others and bringing them down?"

Yes. It's in the nature of many human beings. Schadenfreude, and all that. When they don't feel good, a lot of people secretly rejoice when seeing someone who's worse off than then... we don't like acknowledging it, but I'm pretty sure most of us have felt like this at least once in our lives (I'm including myself in the lot—eh, who's never thought stuff like "at least I'm not as fat as HER"? ^^).
And then there's the next level: people who find comfort in others' problems *and* make sure that they have problems/do their best to enhance them.

Looks like sabotaging to me. And photoshopping a picture to make you look, what fatter? Awful? WTF? That's one rotten thing to do, and way above merely 'secretly rejoicing'. :|
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #15
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You need to get your WL support somewhere else- not from these 2. What about joining a group like WW or OA? Not sure what else is out there, but there must be some different ones. Good luck.
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