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Old 01-19-2006, 01:30 PM   #1
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Cool annoyed by well meaning stuff

I'm not sure if this belongs here, but I'm going to post it anyway.
I've lost about 80 pounds and I've been trying to maintain and it hasn't been that difficult yet. So I know it's not the most positive thinking, but I still consider what I'm doing some kind of "experiment" as I lost some weight in the past and it all came back. I'm not a yo-yo-er, but I did have this experience.
So when I started actually trying to lose weight, I didn't tell a single soul. I just worked at it myself, still went to restaurants w/friends, still had a couple of drinks out and stuff and the weight started coming off. I obviously did this for myself and ONLY myself. In fact, I had no bigger wish than to just be NORMAL (whatever that means) and not have to deal w/comments about weight loss. I didn't even want people to take notice. I just wanted to be more comfortable in my body. I know that when people say stuff like "Oh my GOD you've lost so much WEIGHT!!!" or "are you on a DIET???" they mean well, but I just don't even want to talk about it. I just want to live my life and find my balance of how I can maintain at least most of this weight loss while just being me. I don't mind having to do what it takes, like not having every meal in my life be a feast, or having to say no to dessert sometimes or choosing the grilled over the deep fried, but I wish I could do things w/no comments from anybody else. LOL I know this isn't possible but I just wanted to vent and I wonder if anybody else feels the same way. I can't even stand the compliments. I think a big part of it is that I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread or something, like any minute, I'm going to lose control and it's all going to come back. Or that people are "watching" what I do, even though I try to eat like a normal person, just less of it. Is there something wrong w/me? Am I nuts? LOL Why can't people just ignore me? hahahaha Sorry to ramble on. But I just got another comment from a well meaning person. And I hated it.
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:36 PM   #2
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I feel exactly the same a lot of the time. It feels like however much I try to be normal, I'm always the "Person who used to be FAT".

When I got back to the office after Christmas someone actually said to me "You managed to keep it off then". Like I'd put on 90lb over a 2 week spell. Some people!!!

I don't like being the centre of attention or being talked about. It's my business who I share my weight with, and I don't like the look in people's eyes when they start doing the maths comparing how much I've lost with how much I look like I weigh now. Or when they actually have bets between themselves about what size I wear (seriously, this happened!)

Or when they assume that I have some sort of magic secret I can share with them that makes it all dissolve away. I'm sorry, I don't.

I just want to be normal and even though I think about it, I don't need other people to constantly be aware of where I've come from.
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:50 PM   #3
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you might try this line....it worked for me in an embarrassing situation.

Picture a very public lobby...

stupid person:....."Wow, YOU SURE LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT"!

recipient:....."Thank you. Did you think I was a BIG FAT COW before this"?
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:53 PM   #4
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I actually had someone say to me "let's come up w/a name for this new person we have here that we don't recognize any more. we could have some kind of a naming contest" blah blah
what the heck?
I just looked at him and said "I'm just ME. JUST ME" and walked away. UGH It was SO annoying.
I HATE the "are you on a DIET?" question.
Oh, one time someone was walking around offering some cookies at work (cookies that aren't even WORTH wasting calories on-yes, I eat sweets sometimes, but I try to keep it on the weekends and I want quality stuff) and she didn't even let me answer before she said "oh, yeah, that's right.. you're on a DIET" I NEVER said to anyone that I'm on a diet. NEVER. So annoying. Just leave me alone! LOL

wow I could just go on and on LOL
Like the time someone said to me that she wishes she could have been even sicker than she was (throwing up) so she could get skinny like me. Or at a family function "Hey, what are YOU eating?" Or when someone gave me fudge at the holiday "oh, but you probably won't be eating it. " or when we were having pizza after a kid's event "do you like pizza?" (knowing she was really asking if I eat pizza-um yeah, of course I eat pizza. maybe one or two slices... ugh) hahhhahahah OMG I'm going nuts here.
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marbleflys
you might try this line....it worked for me in an embarrassing situation.

Picture a very public lobby...

stupid person:....."Wow, YOU SURE LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT"!

recipient:....."Thank you. Did you think I was a BIG FAT COW before this"?
:ROFL: I had someone ask me (after I lost 160#) "DId you cut your hair or something? Yeah, "or something" !
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:59 PM   #6
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After losing 30 lbs a few year back I ran into a girl I had life guarded with the previous summer. She shouted from 1/4 block away. "OH MY GOD - WENDY - IS THAT YOU - YOU MUST HAVE LOST 50 POUNDS." I had friends with me (some of them new) - it was really awkward. But then Laura was never known for her tact.

My answer: some people will never have tact and those who do will silently cringe as the tactless make a**es of themselves.

On the other hand - a lot of people are just genuinely happy for you because they struggle with the same problems themselves. I find the boards to be filled with this kind - which is why it feels safe here.

When you have a problem (like being overweight) it is never comfortable having people talk about it - no matter how good intentioned they may be. It falls right in the same catagory for me as not being able to take criticism. I have never done well there either. I don't think I will ever get used to it. Even if I do make it to my goal someday, I live in a small town, and will forever be labled as the one that used to be fat.
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:02 PM   #7
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I understand that people mean well a lot of the time. I logically understand that. It's my knee jerk reaction to it that I have a problem with. I feel like people are "watching" me. (anybody remember that stupid Rockwell song from the 80's? LOL) I just want to be NORMAL LOL
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:06 PM   #8
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I get a lot of (I hope!) well-meaning comments from a co-worker of mine who is also trying to lose weight. While it does embarrass me a bit, I know she's just trying to be supportive and it usually makes me feel good, as I know she admires the hard work I've done. At the same time, I kind of wish she'd tell me I'm great for other reasons BESIDES losing weight!

Unfortunately, I think we just have to kind of grin and bear it. I think most people are truly impressed when someone's lost a significant amount of weight and they're just trying to show their admiration. That said, if someone is out and out rude, nosy or inappropriate, tell them! Some people feel insecure and just want to pass that on to you.

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Old 01-19-2006, 02:26 PM   #9
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Yeah, I get the "are you on a diet?" line all the time. And what confuses them? When I come back with, "Nope."

Some of them shut up at that point, but a couple have said, "Well if you're not on a diet, then how'd you lose all that weight?"

Sometimes my reaction depends on my mood. Sometimes I'm cordial about it and give one simple answer without going into detail - "I just watch what I eat."

Other times, if I'm in a particularly nasty mood, I'll say - "I don't eat like a pig anymore."

That usually shuts them up. Because when I say "I watch what I eat", a lot of the time they want to know HOW I'm doing it and they want more detail. If I simply say that I don't eat like a pig anymore, they usually back off and leave it at that.
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:42 PM   #10
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But I do confess.....sometimes I WANT people to notice! (gee do I look better?)

here is what I say when I see others I know who are working hard at it.

I will speak directly to the person (usually a co-worker from another dept. that I don't see every day--but we are friendly) in a low voice, so no one can overhear our conversation.

me: "Hey so&so, you look great! If they respond positively and want to elaborate....we continue and exchange supportive vibes. "it is really noticable, etc,"

This is what people have also said to me and this kind of attention makes me feel that my efforts are paying off.

I never speak to a group, only the person directly.
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:43 PM   #11
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That's a good way to do it. Alone w/the other person. I HATE it when people say things loudly / in front of a group. I don't like that kind of attention!
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marbleflys
you might try this line....it worked for me in an embarrassing situation.

Picture a very public lobby...

stupid person:....."Wow, YOU SURE LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT"!

recipient:....."Thank you. Did you think I was a BIG FAT COW before this"?
Stupid person replies to this with: "No, not really. But I do think that you're quite the "rhymes with witch" now, though."

Ok, they probably didn't come out and say this. They may have even been to embarrassed to think it at the time. However, I would lay odds that sooner or later they thought this, as well as several other people in that crowded lobby.

I can understand Marblefly's point of view. A well meaning comment, taken to its logical point of origin, can be a pretty big insult. We, those who have lived with being overweight, with feeling the shame and feelings of worthless that can go with that, don't want to hear other people tell us how fat they thought we were before we made the changes we did. It's a painful reminder, and it can seem very hurtful.

But I think we would do well to try to see the exchange from the other person's point of view. Most people, even normal weight people, have at some point tried to lose weight, even if it was only a few pounds of holiday gain. They know it's hard. They know they suffered when they tried to lose only five pounds, or whatever. And they're amazed that we've managed to lose as much weight as we have. They *really* do mean it as a compliment. And they tend to be floored when we reply with something hurtful and rude in reply.

People are fascinated with weight loss. Even people that are normal weight. It's a fact in this culture. And if a person has managed to lose 30 plus pounds and not look like a walking skeleton, then yes, that person was overweight to start with. Or, if you perfer the blunt word (and I do), fat. Fat. Fat. It's not a swear word, it's not an insult when it's true, it's an accurate discription of how those of us who are significantly overweight are. And yes, when other people see you like this, this is the word they apply to you in their heads. It is hurtful to be thought of in this term. I personally hate it. That's why I'm going through the considerable effort to change myself. But it is *not* other people's fault that I am fat.

It's a free country, and we can be a rude and mean as we wish to be. But that doesn't mean that we are obliged to be if we want to be mature, reasonable people. If someone says something like "You've lost alot of weight!" and you don't welcome the comment, why not just say something like "Yes, I have. I see you wore a blue shirt today. I like that color, where did you get it?" People like talking about themselves usually, and many will get the idea that you don't want to talk about your weight, without you making someone else feel very bad about themselves.... and you.
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:02 PM   #13
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One thing to remember in a situation like this that might help is that humans are visual creatures. Millions of years of evolution have made us so. Think about recognizing faces. There really are not that many differences in faces but humans in a nanosecond can recognize faces.

I do not have a percantage but a big part of our brains is dedicated to visual information. I believe it is the biggest single part of the brain.

So what? People are not being mean but we ALL process visual information first. First about people we see, first about buildings, food, trees, art, ANYTHING. So people notice weight loss. Think of it as a positive. There is really no way to 'hide' being overweight and no one should be embarrased about it, but everyone here is trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. So people process a weight loss instantly. They are just being human.

Feel great that your change in habits resulted in people noticing you lost weight. That is AWESOME! You might have done it for health reasons but what a great additional benefit that you lost enough people noticed.

Humans are visual. There is no harm in the statement. Someone you know will process that you lost weight in less than a second and then they simply comment on it. There is no way for a person not to notice when someone is overweight and also not to notice when they have lost weight. Be proud and enjoy the compliment.
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:20 PM   #14
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Maybe I should clarify........

the comment was made to me in 1999 or early 2000, after I had lost 60 lbs. It was said by a man....(sometimes that is enough explanation, but this was a doctor who is supposed to have *sensitive* communication skills) who THOUGHT he was paying me a compliment.

After I responded, he saw that he had embarrassed me and felt bad. He wound up bringing me Starbucks every day for a month, then we started to date had a relationship that lasted for almost 4 years.

Tealeaf is right, it is nobody's fault that you're fat....but I felt so BAD about my obvious largeness, I took it to heart.
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YP1
I feel exactly the same a lot of the time. It feels like however much I try to be normal, I'm always the "Person who used to be FAT".

When I got back to the office after Christmas someone actually said to me "You managed to keep it off then". Like I'd put on 90lb over a 2 week spell. Some people!!!
LOL I got that at the dentist a couple months ago. "So, you're still skinny then" says the dental assistant.
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