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Old 05-18-2010, 03:36 AM   #1  
Finally Losing Myself
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Default Major weightloss and friendships

I am beginning to see some people can't handle it when a friend makes a lifestyle change. It a said fact but I am not staying overweight and out of shape to keep a friendship alive. I do not force my new outlook on anyone else and I don't look down on anyone who is overweight.

But to ignore my progress and hard work is hurtful to me. I have been pretty much pushed away because I wanted to get control. There is NO more plus size shopping for me so I guess that leaves me without an invite to go on a shopping trip.

Sometimes I wonder why I am trying so hard to keep things going.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:41 AM   #2  
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I would think of it from their POV. You have every right to continue on your path, it's your life! And, well done for losing such a vast amount of weight! However, in their eyes this probably makes them feel bad about themselves since I gather they are overweight? Your weight loss probably makes them feel guilty that they haven't been able to do the same. Would you feel a little uncomfortable shopping for plus-size clothes in the company of a much smaller friend? I know I would.

Also, the fact that you have lost weight has undoubtably given you bags more confidence and changed how you feel about yourself (correct me if I'm wrong!) If all those friends are big this is probably quite uncomfortable because from what you have said, it seems to be that the weight was binding you together, like a comfort group where no-one feels different.

If these friends mean a lot to you, it might be worth sitting them down and perhaps just asking them if there is something, anything they would like to talk about and ask why you are no longer invited to things etc. They probably won't tell you the real reason but I suppose it would let them know that you care about the friendship.

Maybe it is just time to move on if they are unwilling to be happy for you and accept that you have changed for the better and if they want to do the same it is up to them and no one can tell them to change.

I apologise if I have got the situation wrong or have spoken out of turn

Hope this is some help anyway
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:55 AM   #3  
Finally Losing Myself
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This is a friend I have had since I was 13, I am now 33. I just don't think we were just shopping buddies but life long friends. She is Godmother to my children. We have different lives in the aspect of I have 6 children she has an only child by choice and we've always been fine. I have been supportive of her but it appears now thats a one way street.

I don't push my eating/exercise on anyone. I don't ever bring it up. So its not like I am being all high and mighty.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:31 AM   #4  
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Nikki--Sometimes it is just difficult for some to see a friend lose weight. It may not be that she is unhappy for you but that she is losing a comfort blanket. Given it is different for all but I do know (from my own exp) that this persons *in your case, you* were her food/shopping/complain about my weight/fill in the blank buddy and now thats changing!

I noticed in the past, the times I tried to lose weight it was hard on my best friend too because it altered our relationship. We were skinny together, fat together and heaven forbid one of us be the skinny without each other. Its different now because i'm doing it for ME!

By no means should you apologize for wanting to be healthy and fit but maybe discuss with her how your feeling, that it won't or shouldn't change your relationship to the drastic point it may feel like/be. (of course your relationship will change) and then depending on your friend, offer her to join you any time she wants, if she wants. Also, I've been friends with my best friend for 13 years and last time we had an issue I told her "if i can't be honest with you about how i'm feeling after 13 years, we have bigger issues!" 20 years is a long time. you can be honest and still be gentle!

Good luck! Your weight loss is amazing and I can't wait to see my ticker read like yours!
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:06 AM   #5  
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It happened to me too...

In my case at least, she was afraid. She was afraid that me changing, gaining confidence, getting happier would make me eventually distance myself from her. In her mind, my life was changing as a consequence of the weight loss and that would lead to me leaving everything that was part of my "obese life" behind.

We talked, and I assured her that she was very important to me, and that I wasn´t going anywhere, that I would always be there for her.

Maybe your friend is feeling alone, isolated ... and talking could bring the two of you together. We are all beautiful imperfections, and someone who seems to be very important to you, imho, definately deserves the benefit of the doubt...

But if even after that she continues to behave indiferently, I would try to move on. What you´re doing is amazing, and you deserve to enjoy and celebrate it, without people hurting you because of it...

Good luck ! And congratulations on the weight loss!!!!
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #6  
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I have actually had some friendships get BETTER. Once I lost the weight, *I* became a more giving, caring, friendlier, open person. I always thought that I did my best to compensate for the weight by being *extra* friendly and outgoing. I look back and that was nonsense. I held back. I stayed back and just couldn't be myself enough, having the burden of all the weight on me. So once I lost the weight, the extra baggage, it freed me up to be a better me and therefore I was able to take friendships/acquaintances to the next level.

That being said, I did have one particular friend who was definitely stand-offish to me when I lost the weight. And wouldn't you know it, she herself was greatly overweight. She did overcome it though and we have since become FANTASTIC friends, and wouldn't you know it, when she was diagnosed with pre-type 2 diabetes, she turned to me for help, has lost 130 lbs and now we are REALLY thick as thieves.

I am sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately it is her problem but it is indeed affecting you. Hopefully she will adjust to the slim you and your friendship can resume. If not - not.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:31 AM   #7  
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Different kinds of friendships provide different things.

Some people are looking for a mirror, someone who's so similar to us that we use them as a reference & keep checking them to see if we are living up to the norm.

Some are looking for someone who's almost a mentor, someone we admire & model our behaviors on, as if we were their student.

Some are looking for someone to feel superior to & slightly patronize, to be the teacher.

And there are many other kinds of friendships, too, but in those three, I've attempted to describe some of the "power" dynamics that go on in some relationships.

I can see how one friend losing a great deal of weight could change each of those three relationships, some for the better & some for the worse.

In my 20- and 30-year friendships, my friends seem to take my body inflating & deflating as part of life's changing rhythms. In general, these changes are not just about weight. Sometimes we're more comfortable with each other & sometimes we grow a little apart. But it's easier to deal with because there's so much shared history there, it's not a problem to catch up on the latest episode, since they've got so much background information. And we're all aging together & watching one another age, and weight & health issues are just part of that. When someone seems to be -- temporarily -- winning the battle against age, we're cheering that person on.

Also, I've been lucky in that my so-called "role model" friends, the people whom I admired & wanted to be more like, long ago got into eating healthily & cooking for themslves, and took yoga classes, or became interested in modern dance or tap dancing, or learned to ski & hiked on weekends, or got bikes with their husbands, or obtained certification as personal trainers, or bought a horse & went trail-riding every weekend -- and I'm just now catching up with them & we have even more to talk about.

I've also found that some friendships are a lot easier, because I'm willing to talk about the "elephant in the room." That was my weight. I pretended to be okay with it, happy with myself as I was, and never acknowledged to them that I was fat, or that this was interfering with my life or causing me mental anguish. Talking about it & my body was pretty much banned in all our conversations. Now suddenly I am willing to talk openly about it, and many of them are surprised, because it had seemed so off-limits, and they never knew this was a source of grief to me. I was never a person who b*tched about scale readings & sighed over being unable to lose weight or exhibited any what I want to call "Bridget Jones" behavior -- I scorned that kind of thing -- so until now, they just had no clue.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:37 AM   #8  
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Wow, Saef. Do you have a degree in psychology? (That sounds like a slam, but I mean it!!) That was really, really insightful. I think you are so right. I can see different people in my life fitting into those categories. What kind of friend am I? Hmmm...

Nikki, more than likely your friend is jealous, and it may take her some time to get over that, if she can. There may come a day where she decides to join you on her own, but obviously that day is not today. I'm so fortunate that both my best friends joined me.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:56 AM   #9  
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I have a close friend (over 20 years), and it took her 8 months to notice that I had lost over 50 pounds. She just plain didn't notice, but I don't think she was ignoring it--just clueless! You've lost a lot more than that, so one would think your friend would have noticed by now.

Assuming that she has noticed, I am wondering if she's not feeling scared that you are changing so drastically and she is not. That you are doing some mysterious, impossible thing that she feels she can't do. As far as the shopping, I totally get that. There is no way I would go plus-sized shopping with someone who had to either hang around outside Lane Bryant while I bought my fat pants or (worse yet!) a thin friend who came in to help me find a size 22 in a stack of jeans. That's not a reflection on a friend; I would just feel so sad and embarrassed because I felt sad and embarrassed about myself all the time when I was heavier.

I vote along with the chicks who are saying that maybe it's time to have an open dialog. Nothing accusational, just, "What's going on? I miss you, I miss hanging out with you and it seems like we aren't as close as we used to be."

One last thing to remember: Some friendships are only for a season. Sometimes they wane away, and that's OK. It doesn't mean you were never friends, it can just mean that the season for this friendship is ending. It's sad, but that's the nature of some relationships.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:12 AM   #10  
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In reading the OP, I'm not sure if the problem you're having is because your friends are actually pushing you away (not inviting you places, not calling, etc.), or because they're not acknowledging your progress. If it's obvious that you aren't in plus sizes anymore, why would they invite you along for clothes shopping? But just because they don't, does it automatically mean that they're ignoring you?

Perhaps there's something else you can do with them: even if you can't go clothes-shopping any more, there may be other things you love to do together that you can invite her to do, to help her know that you're not "moving beyond her" (if that is her problem). Go out to coffee at a bookstore. Go antiquing or to a local music festival. Whatever you like to share together that doesn't have to do with clothing or food.

Maybe she just needs some encouragement that you're still YOU, even though your body and attitude have changed.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:30 PM   #11  
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With my friends i stay off the topic of weight. if they notice or don't notice I lost weight I let it be. I really try to make it a non-issue.

The reaction that I got in the past when I brought up my weight loss goals was always -- "You're Crazy -- You're obsessive -- You look skinny why in the world would you want to lose (For some reason b/cause my weight is really spread out it doesn't show as much? I guess) -- You're vain -- You're losing too much -- You'll find a guy to like you the way you are" and on and on

So I keep my mouth shut and work out and share my successes with others that are working on losing weight like my gym buddies. I also notice that a lot of naturally skinny people really don't think about weight as much as I do so it might not be as much of a big deal. And with my friends that struggle with weight I try not to talk about it unless they want to 2.

Last thing - if the friendship is destructive and negative you got to make sure it's worth it to keep.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:04 PM   #12  
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Most of my friends are either normal weight or only slightly overweight. I am definitely the obese one of the bunch. I would like to think they will be encouraging once they notice I am losing. One friend is leaving in June and won't be back from an extended vacation until October. I haven't said anything to any of my friends, I am just doing my thing. I am looking forward to the look on her face in October because I expect to have lost at least 50 more pounds by then.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:02 PM   #13  
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I understand what you mean completely. I'm losing my best friend over this whole weight loss journey.

I just try and think about it from her POV. First, I know she is jealous because she too wants to lose weight. She isn't happy...and as much as she would like to be happy for ME, she can't see me without recognizing that other people have what she wants.

Also, our relationship had to change...and I'm sure yours did too. Its hard to go shopping and bemoan your fat thighs if one person suddenly doesn't have those issues. And its hard to bake someone three dozen cookies because they are sad if they now want to go for a run. The first time I saw my bestie after I had lost weight, she greeted me with a full-fat, caramel Frappachino. I let it dissolve in her car because I didn't know what to tell her. Those things...they speak louder than you want them too.

Its almost a grieving process because major life overhauls DO have an impact, even if we're quiet about them. Your friend has to come to terms with the fact that her old, fat bestie isn't there any more. Different people cope differently. She may need to push you away before she gets to know this new, fabulous, thinner you.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:19 PM   #14  
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Originally Posted by Nikki6kidsmom View Post
But to ignore my progress and hard work is hurtful to me. I have been pretty much pushed away because I wanted to get control. (
I'm wondering if this is the core of your problem. Are you upset that she isn't praising you and gushing over your weight loss? Are you sure she's pushing you away, and are you sure you're not pushing her away instead or as well?

I've lost friendships over weight loss in the past - from the other side. I didn't resent the friends' weight loss (though I was sometimes accused of it).

Several things contributed to the problems.

She (and I'm talking singular, but it's happened several times) felt I was being hurtful by not praising and gushing about her weight loss (I told her I was proud of her on several occasions, but apparently it wasn't "enough").

I tried to be supportive, but frankly I was tired of hearing about her weight loss. If I was trying and not being as successful, it felt like she was "rubbing my nose in it." I couldn't really talk to her about it - because it either brought accusations that I wasn't being supportive - or it would inspire her to lecture me on what I "should" be doing.

If losing weight wasn't a priority in my life, there was no way that I could "fake" enough enthusiasm for the topic to make her happy. I understood it was important to her, and I tried to be supportive, but frankly it wasn't a priority for me, so I didn't really "care" whether she lost weight or didn't.

It often seemed that my friend(s) who were losing weight, couldn't talk about anything else. It was as if every other topic had lost any interest for them. Everything was always about weight loss. It got overwhelming - and frankly very boring. Even when I'm excited and enthusiastic about weight loss - I do enjoy talking aobut other things (though I have been known to bore non-dieting friends from the losing side of weight loss).

Often the friend would deny being condescending or judgemental about my NOT losing weight, but it sure felt like they were. I may have misinterpreted some comments, but others were pretty clear. I had one friend that I had to call her on it - we'd had a pretty equal relationship when we were both fat (even though I was always the much fatter one), but when she lost weight she started acting like she felt "sorry for me." I needed a friend, not a benign benefactor who would try to help me and was only being my friend out of pity. That friendship didn't last, because she really was embarassed to be seen with me now that she was "normal" and she really did pity me for "not seeing the light" as she had. Not much left for friendship.

Most of my friends though, we worked it out - by communicating (and by deciding on which topics it was best we didn't communicate).

I told one friend "I am really proud of you, but you can't expect me to validate you. I love you, but I don't care what you weight and I might forget to compliment you as much or as often as you'd like to hear it, and while your feelings get hurt that I don't compliment you enough, my feelings get hurt that you think I owe you that. It feels like you want me to acknowledge how much thinner than I am you now are.

Some friends we maintained the friendship by keeping weight loss out of our friendship. Since we couldn't discuss it without one of us feeling hurt about it (and more often, both of us), we agreed the topic was off limits.

Not really different than any other friendships though. I had one friend who made HORRIBLE decisions about men, and to maintain the friendship - men and dating were off-limit subjects. I couldn't be the support she needed (and I couldn't butt out when I heard her talk about scary choices she was making).

Maybe none of this applies to your friendship, or maybe some of it does. You may feeling that she isn't supporting your weight loss, and she may be feeling that you're rubbing her nose in it... or maybe not.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:31 PM   #15  
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Its so interesting to hear everyone's experiences in th is area! I have been so blessed in that my friends have been supportive and loving the whole way, no strained friendships. But I HAVE lost friendships and let go of others over the years for other reasons, and I know how much that can hurt.

The key, I think, is being able to discern when it is YOU or truly something they are doing. That will give you your answer on how to proceed.
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