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I don't always know how to be supportive (rant)

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default I don't always know how to be supportive (rant)

Some of you probably remember me mentioning that I'm the co-leader of my local TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) chapter, which is a non-profit organization that encourages members to follow their own weight-loss plans. We meet up weekly to weigh-in, hold fun contests, have programs, and generally be supportive of each other since we share many of the same struggles. Overall it's been a positive and rewarding experience, but sometimes there have been issues. However, I didn't really give certain circumstances much thought until I became co-leader.

We have a member (I'll call her Nelly) that's been around much longer than I have and is very set in her ways. She's extremely negative to the point I'm ready to pull my hair out. For example, during our last program a fellow member was discussing the fact that people in the food and fashion industry often manipulate us with lies in order to entice us into buying their products. Most of the other members thoroughly enjoyed the program, but Miss Negative Nelly obviously didn't appreciate any of it and wanted to make sure everyone knew. She kept shaking her head in an exaggerated way, rolling her eyes as hard as she could, and said in a loud, fake whisper, "What does this have to do with anything?" While I knew the speaker could handle herself and probably just chose to ignore her, I was half-tempted to say, "Nellie, do you have something you want to share with the rest of the class?" (I used to work with children). Instead I kept my mouth shut as I didn't want to interrupt the program, because I'm pretty sure an argument would have erupted. I just felt she was being very disrespectful and that it wasn't fair to any of the other members, especially to those already nervous about hosting their own programs.

And it's not the first time. We recently voted to change the rules for our "Bet On Yourself" contest, and she threw a fit over it and wanted her money back. I gave her the money back, and calmly tried to explain to her that we did indeed vote on the change in the previous week (she was absent the previous week) and that I personally felt the new rule was more encouraging; instead of having to lose a whole pound in order to win a share, all you have to do is not gain. I also tried to explain how I felt that was a better incentive, but all her focus was on the money; she reasoned that more people would win, meaning she'd get less money back, making it pointless to participate. I reminded her participation is strictly voluntary and that the whole point is incentive and accountability, not the amount of money you may or may not win (for the $1 you put in, you always at least get your dollar back if you don't gain, if not more). And instead of continuing to egg her on in front of everyone like she seemingly wanted, I made it a point to drop the subject so we could talk about other business matters.

I could go on and on with stories about her, as she seems angry about her weight and often tells stories about how she's tried so hard in the past but gave up when it wasn't coming off fast enough, meaning that she now weighs more than ever, has limited mobility and seems to have no hope left. How many of us have heard this same story? I really do my best to be sympathetic, lead by example without belittling or preachiness, and have even shared much of the very appreciated general wisdom Kaplods has given us over how we view success. I pulled the leader aside the other day to discuss how I didn't appreciate the particular member's reaction to last week's program and asked whether or not it was appropriate to confront her privately. The leader explained that if I didn't already know, she is very negative and that everyone was long used to it, so while she understood my frustrations, it was really best not to say anything.

So perhaps I came to a realization this past weekend when many chapters gathered together for a rally. It includes a pot-luck, and of course members are encouraged to bring healthy dishes. One of the ladies sitting next to me loudly commented about the insanely high amounts most others were piling onto their plates, even specifically pointing out Nelly's plate, who was sitting at a different table and had even gotten her food long before it was our chapter's turn (thankfully Nelly didn't hear her). I noticed everyone at our table looking at each other uncomfortably. Not wanting to see people get judgmental and snarky with each other there of all places, I felt the need to speak up. I stated to the lady that I completely understood where she was coming from, but I also told her we're all capable of making our own decisions and that acting as the food police never helps, and did my best to offer a warm smile. She apologized and said she hoped she hadn't embarrassed me. I assured her she hadn't, just that I was concerned that I didn't want anyone to have hurt feelings because that only makes people turn away from getting help.

It's not an easy balance for me, as I often feel I'm in an awkward position. I really want to offer tough love, but in this situation it's probably not a good idea. I was already frustrated by the throngs of members complaining that they were starving by 10am and wanted the pot-luck lunch NOW, and when I asked what they had for breakfast they looked at me as if I was an alien and told me they weren't "breakfast people" (and yes, these were the same members stacking their plates so high). I really wanted to facepalm.

Sorry, guess I just needed to rant a little. I've been in a bad place with my health and know that helpless, hopeless feeling inside and out. But I also realized that I was the only one that could make myself climb out of it. I just wish I had a better way to help others see that since they're already seeking help.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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Rant away! It helps to get it off your chest.

It is a tough position you are in, but people will not hear you until they are ready. Nelly is not ready!

But I do think it's good you said something about the food police comments that were made. That's just not the type of thing that should be said at that kind of meeting!
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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There's a thin line between support and enabling. By allowing Nelly to dominate events and make people uncomfortable, your leader is simply enabling bad behavior, probably because she doesn't want to deal with the fallout, but the end result is that everybody else suffers. Whether you're a co-leader or just another member, I see nothing wrong with confronting somebody about how they treated a member who was handling a program. You handled the pot luck issue very nicely; I'm sure you could do the same with Nelly. Whether she listens or not isn't something you can control, but that doesn't make the attempt any less worthwhile.

I do think you need to realize that not everybody is as committed as you are. Many people use TOPS more as a social outlet and not as a means to make real changes. That can be pretty frustrating for somebody really trying to work a program.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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It seems you have limited choices but I'd try to enlist her as an ally.

It might not be possible but it's worth a shot.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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Rant away! It helps to get it off your chest.

It is a tough position you are in, but people will not hear you until they are ready. Nelly is not ready!

But I do think it's good you said something about the food police comments that were made. That's just not the type of thing that should be said at that kind of meeting!
Thanks! I also remember being the one not ready to listen, so I relate to that as well. I remember how hard it is to make the first steps, and heck, I still have my daily and weekly struggles in questioning if I'm doing this right, making progress, etcetera. I fumbled majorly last year and I was the only one that could pick myself back up.

I just want to make sure I'm being supportive given the position I'm now in. I do a lot to relate to everyone's issues, and vocally agree when others say it's not fair we have to watch what we eat in order to get to a normal weight. But at the same time, I'm quick to point out that we can't let that perceived unfairness be an excuse to give up. We can't compare ourselves to anyone else (not even within our own chapter) and we all have to figure out what works best for ourselves.

The "food police" comment really did bother me and I'm hoping it's the type of mindset we can get rid of. I just try to be as professional and diplomatic as I can whenever issues arise. Nelly's recent actions have really thrown me for a loop though.

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There's a thin line between support and enabling. By allowing Nelly to dominate events and make people uncomfortable, your leader is simply enabling bad behavior, probably because she doesn't want to deal with the fallout, but the end result is that everybody else suffers. Whether you're a co-leader or just another member, I see nothing wrong with confronting somebody about how they treated a member who was handling a program. You handled the pot luck issue very nicely; I'm sure you could do the same with Nelly. Whether she listens or not isn't something you can control, but that doesn't make the attempt any less worthwhile.
Yeah, the enabling is what I'm having the problem with. Something the leader told me was that one of our former members used to sit next to Nelly and was always the one to literally tell her to "shut up" whenever she started acting disrespectful (back then I sat in a different part of the room and never noticed that going on). The member has since moved away and Nelly has apparently become a lot more vocal since there's no longer anyone there to keep her in check.

I did attempt to handle it well when she freaked out about the Bet On Yourself contest, and once again with the Octopus contest we're currently holding; she's also very loudly refusing to participate and makes negative comments about it every week. I asked her to please not ruin it for everyone that has chosen to participate, but she keeps making snide comments about how "stupid" and "pointless" she finds it to be since she insists she'd never be able to meet the requirements to win.

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I do think you need to realize that not everybody is as committed as you are. Many people use TOPS more as a social outlet and not as a means to make real changes. That can be pretty frustrating for somebody really trying to work a program.
That's something I've often discussed with my husband; he's not a member but gets to hear about all the goings-on from me when I get home (heh, lucky him). I think do realize that not everyone is committed and that they treat it as a social outing, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating when I work hard on putting a program together with a relevant theme, create hand-outs for everyone to fill out for a prize, and find out the next week that not one person even bothered to look at it. It wasn't anything hard, I just asked people to write down one reason they wanted to stay on plan for each day of the week; I'd planned on handing out little fridge magnets for completed sheets and wasn't able to hand out a single one. The biggest response I got was, "What plan?"

Our last leader often told me that the husbands call it the "Supper Club" because they typically go out to eat after the meeting. Most see it as sort of their cheat meal since they've already weighed-in for the week and want to splurge a little, which I don't have an issue with. However, I didn't start joining the weekly restaurant trip until recently, and yikes. I feel bad even saying something here, but I really hope they don't eat like that all week. But I'm not really in a position to judge, I have occasional indulgences myself that would probably make all of them raise their eyebrows.

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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
It seems you have limited choices but I'd try to enlist her as an ally.

It might not be possible but it's worth a shot.
I'll have to see if I can figure something out. I've always been friendly to her (as friendly as I am with everyone else) and even had a nice chat with her on the way in to the last meeting. I do hope I haven't given off the wrong impression, while she is really negative she's also very creative and giving. She often makes our crafts we sell for fundraisers and the like. I kinda got the impression she was most angry about not getting to vote when it came to the rule change.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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Elladorine, the more you've related about your TOPS club and all your efforts to help support it, the clearer things become! It does sound like there are quite a collection of people who have found great social support and friendship amongst one another, perhaps bonding over the shared experience of weight struggles -- but not all of these people are actually committed to changing choices that affect their weight. Seems like it goes beyond Nelly, though she certainly sounds like a very difficult person.

Seems like you are trying hard to rise above and not judge others -- very commendable. But as I read your descriptions, I find myself hoping there are some stellar members that make you feel your efforts are worthwhile. I hate to say it, but could it be that this particular group has reached a critical mass of less-than-committed social members? (That NO ONE responded to your "stay on plan" thing is pretty troubling to me!)

I have to say, you sound really great. I wish there were more people in your particular TOPS group that appreciated your efforts!
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
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Elladorine, the more you've related about your TOPS club and all your efforts to help support it, the clearer things become! It does sound like there are quite a collection of people who have found great social support and friendship amongst one another, perhaps bonding over the shared experience of weight struggles -- but not all of these people are actually committed to changing choices that affect their weight. Seems like it goes beyond Nelly, though she certainly sounds like a very difficult person.

Seems like you are trying hard to rise above and not judge others -- very commendable. But as I read your descriptions, I find myself hoping there are some stellar members that make you feel your efforts are worthwhile. I hate to say it, but could it be that this particular group has reached a critical mass of less-than-committed social members? (That NO ONE responded to your "stay on plan" thing is pretty troubling to me!)

I have to say, you sound really great. I wish there were more people in your particular TOPS group that appreciated your efforts!
Thanks!

I believe there are a handful that do appreciate things and do genuinely attempt to make positive changes, especially the leader and the weight tracker (who was the leader when I first joined). We actually have a couple of KOPS members that have been at their goal for years. But I do think our particular chapter has, over the years, turned into a support group with the mindset that nothing can really change.

In fact, when I introduced myself when I first joined, I stated that I wanted to lose about 100 pounds. Many of the members heard that and laughed, almost as if they wanted to say, "Well, isn't that cute, she wants to lose an impossible amount." I then added that I'd already lost about that much so I was already about halfway to my goal, and jaws dropped. The very first thing I was asked was if I'd had WLS. What, no? Well, what diet pill was I on then? What clinic did I visit, who was my doctor? I don't think they believed at first that I had made all the progress on my own.

The day I happened to give my recent presentation was probably the smallest attendance we ever had, most were either out of town for various reasons or had called in sick. Had certain members been there, I'm sure I would have gotten some of the sheets back. It was just bad timing. I'm hoping I'll have a fuller house when it's my turn again, and maybe I'll find a better way to capture their attention.

Nelly isn't always difficult, and despite my frustrations I really wish I could make her see things in a more positive light because she's a genuinely nice gal. I have the feeling she's been through a lot of pain, and like a lot of other people I've met (including myself), has spent some time being all too bitter over the way the world often treats those that struggle with their weight.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Elladorine--you sound like a great leader, and that you're doing exactly the right things! I get your frustration, though!
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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You sound like an excellent participant, but your club would drive me nuts! I'm all about support but that includes, on occasion, some tough love or at the VERY least some realistic perspective. The balancing act isn't one I envy!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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Is this group benefiting you still? Do you still enjoy going? Does it help you with your weight loss and possibly even a circle of friends?

It sounds like be the leader of this group can be very stressful for a number of reasons. Unless being the leader is something that helps you in some way, I'd say the added stress is not worth it and not volunteer next time elections come up. (if that's how you do it) You're probably someone who likes to help people and leadership of this group is a way to do it - but is it at the expense of your own happiness?

Bottom line, you can't change people until they want to change and do you really want to be life's mediator?
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:26 PM   #11
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OK here goes I have been to many of the TOPS groups over the years (LOVE & MISS IT) I found in several of my groups many of the lady's are old & lonely they come for YEARS losing the same 5-10lbs over & over again. She sounds like she is one of those lonley old ladys ( NOT meant in a mean way). I'm sure you are a GREAT leader & keep in mind you CANNOT please everyone & some people just need something to complain about. I feel for her lonelyness but NOT @ your expense
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
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it sounds like this woman has some kind of problem. i understand that when we see behavior that is rude and making others uncomfortable we want to stop it. it sure sounds like she IS being rude! however, i feel that sometimes i have trouble just letting go of things. some people are just pains and everyone knows it. who knows what this woman truly is? maybe shes lonely and sad and wants to be around others but is just socially awkward and has poor boundary lines. you never know!

just like you cant be the "food police" we also cant be the "behavior police". there are real police for seriously bad behavior . a lot of people are going to act in ways that we (meaning the populous) KNOW aren't right, but it doesnt really sound like shes trying to hurt anyone.

its sort of like the woman next to you making comments about how much others were eating. what does she know? maybe these women saved all their calories for this one meal... maybe they're having a "cheat" day for this special occasion, maybe they're loading up on foods that are in their plan. the point is that she had no idea what was going on with them and shouldn't have a right to say anything. i hope this isnt coming off wrong, but just maybe this woman has some issues going on that you aren't aware of and they're influencing her behavior. maybe shes just a pain.. who knows? all i know is that sometimes you just have to deal with obnoxious people. you cant always force them out of the places you want to be and sometimes its worth your time to get to know them. you may find out that their behavior makes more sense once you do!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:05 PM   #13
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Before I get into individual replies, I should probably state what this particular TOPS chapter has done for me.

For better or for worse, I was kind of born into the position of being the mediator. I was always like that with my friends in grade school, within my own family, and was like that with most of my jobs. Many of my bosses loved the way I handled people and made sure the buck stopped with me when it came to customer service (I had a manager that would simply hand the phone to me whenever a customer called with a complaint because I always handled it much better than she could)! And I actually enjoy that for the most part. I love making others happy. I was often complimented for being the nicest checkout gal whenever I worked at Target, Walmart, and ShopKo. I spent years leading an afternoon program for school-age children and was well-known at my company for being the fun and responsible teacher (most were just one or the other). However, I do realize that the role I tend to be comfortable with sometimes comes at my expense.

I've always had pretty bad anxieties though, and after going through many severe hardships a few years back (loss of my last parent, falling out with my brother, money issues, abused by an ex, etc.) I basically broke down and became much worse than ever. And when I moved to another part of the country to start my life over, I felt so completely, hopelessly lost. I couldn't understand why I'd become frightened of everything! My anxieties got so bad it was a struggle to do every-day things like drive to the store or even walk over to the mail box down the street. My husband (then boyfriend) pretty much took me under his wing as I slowly took baby steps forward and began to heal.

One of my big goals to rejoining "normalcy" was stepping back into social situations once again. Something that popped up in my head was TOPS. I wanted to lose weight, and since I'd been a member with my mom as a kid I knew it was the least expensive option out there. So it was the very first thing I looked up when I began driving again. This TOPS chapter was my first foray back into a social situation since I'd broken down, and helped me adapt to my anxieties once again. I'd often have panic attacks on the way there, sit through the meetings frozen like a deer in headlights, then cry all the way home. It was just that hard for me. Several times I missed the meetings altogether because I couldn't make myself get out of the car because I was gripped with an irrational, indescribable fear. It was horrible and something I couldn't even begin to understand, let alone explain. But the more I went, the better I got. As I became more comfortable and my natural personality came back out, I relaxed and made friends there. And after I recovered from my miscarriage earlier this year, I was asked if I was willing to get nominated for co-leader and found myself being voted in.

I figured it would be good for me overall, and I believe it has been. And in the meantime I'd been trying out different supplements, hoping to get over the feeling of being so drained all the time. And after a few weeks of taking a vitamin B complex, I suddenly realized that my anxiety attacks had all but disappeared! Not that they hadn't been getting better through a lot of hard work, but I still had a lot of days and situations that were difficult to cope with. I really wish I'd have known long ago that the vitamins would help me; maybe I wouldn't have had to have gone through so much before. But the past is the past, and healing this much has been like night and day. I've done a lot of reading since, and it's likely I was having undiagnosed issues with my nervous system, which explains why my anxieties and self-consciousness would get so bad throughout different parts of my life. Even as a kid, I spent a lot of time being told I was a cry-baby, and that being so overly-sensitive was a character flaw that I needed to get over. But now . . . I feel "normal." And also find myself often wanting to speak up in situations that I normally wouldn't have in the past, like the whole "food police" issue. Oh, and wanting to say something to Nelly about her negativity. So I think I'm still getting used to this new, unfiltered me, if that makes sense. I'm so used to taking everything extremely personally regardless and it's almost like it's been switched off in my head. Not that I don't care what others think anymore, as I most certainly do, but it's not the same thing at all since it's no longer something that cripples me.

I did say in my very first post: Overall it's been a positive and rewarding experience, but sometimes there have been issues. I'm still focused on the positive and rewarding aspects of it, and am doing my best to handle any issues that arise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HungryHungryHippo View Post
Elladorine--you sound like a great leader, and that you're doing exactly the right things! I get your frustration, though!
Aw, thanks! In the grand scheme of things, my frustrations are relatively minor at least. I think I just needed to be able to talk about it before they had a chance to build up.

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Originally Posted by Arctic Mama View Post
You sound like an excellent participant, but your club would drive me nuts! I'm all about support but that includes, on occasion, some tough love or at the VERY least some realistic perspective. The balancing act isn't one I envy!
I think the balancing act is pretty new to me, for the reasons I've explained above. And my change in habits within this past year has made a difference in the life of at least one other member, as she told me I was the direct inspiration for her to start using cards to track her daily portions and has been doing very well since. And I'm not counting on it, but the hope to help even one more person at some point makes some of the frustrations worth it to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
Is this group benefiting you still? Do you still enjoy going? Does it help you with your weight loss and possibly even a circle of friends?

It sounds like be the leader of this group can be very stressful for a number of reasons. Unless being the leader is something that helps you in some way, I'd say the added stress is not worth it and not volunteer next time elections come up. (if that's how you do it) You're probably someone who likes to help people and leadership of this group is a way to do it - but is it at the expense of your own happiness?

Bottom line, you can't change people until they want to change and do you really want to be life's mediator?
Despite my complaints, I look forward to that weekly meeting every Wednesday night. It's the only weigh-in that I actually "count" (it uses a balance scale which is a lot more accurate than what I have at home) and it's the way I've been gauging my progress. I like announcing whether I've lost or gained when we do roll call. I like participating in the contests and getting awards for milestones. And I like the overall group I'm with. Because of my anxieties, I haven't actually met a lot of people since I've moved out here. That may be changing soon now that I'm feeling better, but I still appreciate what this group gave me when my spirits were near their lowest.

For the reasons mentioned above, I think this has been good for me. It's just that a lot in my life has been changing and my brain is still trying to keep up! And as frustrating as some of this is, it covers only one small aspect of my life (it's only once a week after all, aside from the occasional rally) and I'm generally a happy person. I think, more than anything, I needed to vent a little as a part of figuring out how I'm going to be handling upcoming issues. I know I definitely won't take it if Nelly ever acts like that during one of my presentations, and that I'll stand up to her if the situation ever calls for it (like I said, the last presenter could handle herself, but I can't say the same for every other person that may volunteer in the future).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1spunkygal View Post
OK here goes I have been to many of the TOPS groups over the years (LOVE & MISS IT) I found in several of my groups many of the lady's are old & lonely they come for YEARS losing the same 5-10lbs over & over again. She sounds like she is one of those lonley old ladys ( NOT meant in a mean way). I'm sure you are a GREAT leader & keep in mind you CANNOT please everyone & some people just need something to complain about. I feel for her lonelyness but NOT @ your expense
Nelly's son is part of the group as well, and if he didn't sleep through most of the meetings he'd probably be ten times worse than her (I base this on the comments he tends to make when he actually pays attention to what's going on). I think the only real reason he attends is so that he has somewhere to sit when he drives Nelly in (as I've mentioned, she has mobility issues).

Sigh . . . it's gotta be hard to have those mobility issues. And something I realize is that I was well on my way to having those same issues. I used to weigh 360 pounds. I used to have trouble making it from one room to the next. The idea of having to rely on a walker just because of my weight absolutely petrifies me. Sometimes I wonder if I see a little of myself in her. I do believe I was that angry and bitter back in 2004 or so, and I can only imagine where I'd be 20 years from now still at my highest weight or worse.

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Originally Posted by juliastl27 View Post
it sounds like this woman has some kind of problem. i understand that when we see behavior that is rude and making others uncomfortable we want to stop it. it sure sounds like she IS being rude! however, i feel that sometimes i have trouble just letting go of things. some people are just pains and everyone knows it. who knows what this woman truly is? maybe shes lonely and sad and wants to be around others but is just socially awkward and has poor boundary lines. you never know!

just like you cant be the "food police" we also cant be the "behavior police". there are real police for seriously bad behavior . a lot of people are going to act in ways that we (meaning the populous) KNOW aren't right, but it doesnt really sound like shes trying to hurt anyone.

its sort of like the woman next to you making comments about how much others were eating. what does she know? maybe these women saved all their calories for this one meal... maybe they're having a "cheat" day for this special occasion, maybe they're loading up on foods that are in their plan. the point is that she had no idea what was going on with them and shouldn't have a right to say anything. i hope this isnt coming off wrong, but just maybe this woman has some issues going on that you aren't aware of and they're influencing her behavior. maybe shes just a pain.. who knows? all i know is that sometimes you just have to deal with obnoxious people. you cant always force them out of the places you want to be and sometimes its worth your time to get to know them. you may find out that their behavior makes more sense once you do!
Now see, I'm so glad I've been coming to this forum for years! It's been a great help to get so much insight from so many. While I didn't bring it up in detail like you have, something I've learned from so much reading here is the whole issue of "how do you know?" As in, how do you know that people didn't plan for the way they're eating? Because so many are quick to point out the fat person with the plate piled high. And even though it admittedly made me cringe, not knowing is one of the reasons I try so hard not to judge. And there was the lady sitting next to me, pointing out everyone's plates! I tried to keep it simple when I said that everyone makes their own decisions. It's also why I don't say anything when I go out to eat with the ladies . . . I certainly hope they don't eat like that all week, but it's not as if I follow them around to find out. If anything, they look at me funny for ordering the chicken breast or turkey burger, and for ordering small combos and not finishing all of the food set out before me. But I don't scrutinize their behavior and don't offer any unsolicited advice. If they ask me what I do, sure! I'll tell them what I've changed when it comes to my habits, and how I believe it has helped me. And I may even suggest they take the same baby steps I did to get started. But I never look at them funny or ask them what they're thinking by ordering the large fries and the deep-fried zucchini on top of their double bacon cheeseburger. I realize that at the very least, it's a once a week splurge that follows a full week of however they normally eat. I don't even ask them how they expect to lose weight if they don't even have any sort of plan in place. And I'm not even talking about Weight Watchers or Atkins or whatever, but when I asked for reasons to stay on their plan for the day and had absolutely nothing . . . ?

Heh, and I'm really not trying to be the "behavior police." I guess I just expect people to act respectful in such a situation. The other member went out of her way and volunteered to write a program and stand up in front of everyone to give her presentation. The interesting thing is that Nelly never volunteers to give presentations, which isn't really an issue because it's not a requirement, it's all volunteer-based. But the reason she always gives is that speaking in front of everyone like that makes her nervous, and so I'm pretty certain she doesn't even realize that her actions during said presentations tend to make some of the other members nervous.

I do feel for her. And believe it or not, I do like her. I think she's a genuinely nice person that's just unhappy with where she is right now, and it's something I relate to. But I've also gotta realize there's only so much I can do other than try to lead by example.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:27 PM   #14
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You sound like such a truly nice and kind person, Elladorine!!! I admire you for that so much!
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #15
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My mother and I started a 12 step program together. She actually started a couple of weeks before me and started out almost 100 pounds less than me. This was her first serious attempt at a diet. We've both had great results but my mom is constantly trying to recruit people. It's really obnoxious. I'm saying all of this because the bottom line is that people are adults and their actions are completely out of our control. If someone wants to lose weight, they have to be the one to find a plan and commit to it. No one (no matter how good their intentions are) can make another adult do anything.

Different plans work for different people for different reasons. I've tried Weight Watchers so many times over the last 10 years. It just wasn't the plan for me. That's fine because it works really well for lots of other people. That's the great thing about having so many different choices.

I'm a huge believer in leading by example. I focus on myself and the things that I need to do and if someone sees that I'm making progress and wants my support...I'm there. I can't take on the responsibility of worrying about when someone else is going to have their "aha" moment. I'm perfectly happy to share my journey with anyone who's interested but in order to be successful, you have to put in the work and you've got to make changes.

My girlfriend moved to DC 5 years ago and started dieting. She wanted me to start with her but I wasn't ready so I didn't. I looked up and she had lost about 60 pounds in a year and I was really wishing that I would have made the commitment with her.

I have to remind myself everyday that time is passing whether or not I'm doing the things that will get me where I want to be. When I started, I knew that it was going to take me at least a year to lose the majority of the weight that I had gained. I wanted to say that if it was going to take a year, why not wait another day. Well the year is going to pass regardless of what I'm doing so I might as well get on my game.

Your TOPS group is incredibly lucky to have you...dare I say almost to the point of not deserving you. I just hope that they're not draining you. You need to be supported and uplifted too.

Good luck.
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