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Old 06-02-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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Unhappy A friend's 'help'...

Yesterday I went to Wegmans with two of my girlfriends to buy ingredients for dinner. Once a week one of us cooks dinner for the other two and we sit and watch trashy TV together.

So we were walking around the store buying the groceries, when I spot a display of kettle chips that are on sale. And I say, "Oh, kettle chips!" My friend 'Jill' looks at me and says, "No. You don't need chips." I must have looked shocked, because she rolled her eyes and kept walking past the display. And then our other friend, 'Helen', mentions that she wants some potato chips herself. So Jill swings the shopping cart right around and heads towards the snack aisle. And Helen says something to the effect of, "I think it's funny that you told Katie she couldn't have chips, but you're leading me right to them."

I voiced my agreement with Helen, and Jill replied along the lines of, "Well, Katie, you said you're watching what you eat and you're losing weight, so you can't eat something like chips." I was like, OK, well she misunderstood what I'm doing, so I correct her by saying, "I'm eating things in moderation. I'm not completely deleting stuff out of my diet. Otherwise I'll end up binging on things." And Jill gives me the Look. The Look that says, "Yeah right, whatever you say, idiot."

@#$%! I've been so excited about my progress and have talked about it with friends. But I've never asked them to keep me in check. And I've been clear about what I'm doing: I eat in moderation. I'm eating a mostly whole foods diet, but I do allow myself treats. If I didn't, I'd end up going overboard! And the big kicker is that I've never had a problem with chips. Out of all the bad snacks I could possibly eat, I've never been one to down an entire family-sized bag of chips. I can take an appropriate portion of them, eat them, and be totally satisfied for DAYS! And the fact that Jill didn't believe me, despite never having seen me scarf down chips, kills me.

She's not the only person to have made comments about my weight loss progress. Another friend, 'Emily', suggested that I was starving myself last week when I mentioned around dinner time that I had only eaten an orange and some oatmeal so far that day. She apologized when I told her how insanely busy I was, and how that rarely ever happens to me, but her comment ("You're not going to successfully keep losing weight if you starve yourself.") was in front of a group of friends and the fact that I even had to defend myself sucked.

Why are people making uninvited comments and decisions about my own weight loss journey? By the way, I never bought those chips. I definitely had enough room in my calorie count yesterday for them, too, but I was too embarrassed after Jill's comments to put them in the shopping cart.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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Isn't it wonderful when "helpful" and "supportive" turns into "judgmental" and "unwelcome"?

That's really too bad that your friend feels that because you've shared with her the fact that you're on a weight-loss journey... that she has any right to dictate the terms and manner in which you lose weight.

If you feel comfortable doing so, it might not be a bad idea to express to your friends that while you welcome their support and help if and when you ask for it, and you know that they are trying to help-- their unwelcome judgment of everything you do or don't eat will be more inhibiting and hurtful than it will be helpful. You are not crash-dieting, and removing everything unhealthy from the menu-- like you said, you're eating in moderation.

Hopefully they can learn to be supportive instead of hurtful, and HELP you on your journey, instead of making you feel bad about it.

And if not, that's what we're here for.

Back to the beginning again, but trying to make it a lifestyle change instead of a crash-calorie-counting obsession. Journey #1: Lost 40 lbs, then gained 50.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
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Don't let people get you down - you handled the situation very well and some people just don't get the difference between a "life style" change and a diet. Go ahead and have a few chips and enjoy them!
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:21 PM   #4
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I'd try talking to them about it and explain to them that this isn't the kind of motivation you need. It's rough, but try to ignore it if they don't stop.

My mom's pretty bad, too, and I'm home from college for the summer, so I have to see her all the time. And my boyfriend is a big enabler, but I won't be seeing him most of the summer. My mom, though...she always makes these comments about how I need to watch what I eat and yeah, she congratulates me when I do a good job, but then she makes the worst possible stuff for dinner and wants me to be home to eat it. ...And I feel bad when I don't eat the food she makes for me, but like...pushing BBQ Ribs, Pasta Salad, and Cottage Cheese on my plate in large quantities, none of it in lower calorie options, and trying to get me to eat it is not helpful.

Oh, and then she gives me dirty looks when she catches me snacking. I'm trying to do this thing where I'm eating until I'm satisfied, and then grazing again if I feel hungry on some granola I got from the local co-op, grapes, or sometimes a piece of cheese and drinking a glass of water to see if that curbs the hunger at all. It's maddening.

I'm trying to talk to my mom and it's helping, so I'd try to sit down with them, explain to them why their comments are hurtful and upsetting and how you need support right now, but that really doesn't feel very supportive. Don't blame them, try to use the "I feel" statements (cheesy, but they do work), and try showing them exactly what you're doing. I don't know how you keep track of your calorie count, but if you're not embarrassed by it, getting a white board for the fridge or some other public-ish tally for yourself might help, too so that way they can see you keeping track and get a better gauge of when your on and when your off.

I don't know. Just a thought.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:34 PM   #5
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I avoid all this unwanted comment and advice by never telling anyone I am trying to lose weight.
Goal 12/21/2007
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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I'm sorry your friends are being rude about your lifestyle change. It is not always an option to keep your eating changes a secret, especially from close friends that you eat with regularly. I don't know about you, but losing weight is one of the most important things going on in my life right now and it's hard when people think they can put it down, put me down or act like THEY know more then I do about losing weight. Sure, I obviously didn't know much before or I wouldn't have been so overweight, but I think I got it now.

I always try to get the point across without making it a huge deal, like saying "I'm not four, I think I know how to feed myself, Jill!" or just call her on it and say "Did you really just tell me what I can and cannot eat?" Let them know you need support, not a authority figure.

Good luck!

I starting losing weight on January 13th, 2009. After losing 30 pounds, I gave up, and gained back all the weight I lost plus 20 pounds. Restarted March 29th, 2010.

Motivate Your Mind. Train Your Body. Invigorate Your Soul.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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I have friends that keep saying the same thing. I 70% is jealousy and about 30% is out of concern. Only you know what is right for you. Just ignore and move on. I think you are inspirational and those comments are just little speed bumps along the way in completing your goal. Some people tell me I look fabulous and others make little off-handed little comments like "Lance, don't you feed her," and "Don't you eat?" I know I look great. I mean, I have willpower and that in and of itself is empowering. I think you have done a marvelous job and just keep rewarding yourself handsomely along the way for your hard work. You will find that even as you near your goal, people will still be making comments. Nobody made comments when I was at my heaviest. So I guess maybe it is better to hear something than nothing at all.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:15 AM   #8
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Some people just don't understand. I made the decision to tell no one of my efforts, except my sister in law and my mom, because I didn't want any unwelcome comments. You know what you are doing, you are losing weight. Maybe she wants to feel as if when you do reach your goal weight, she can think she had a part of it because she said things about your eating. I don't know. Don't let those comments bother you. Keep doing what you are doing, and your weight loss YOUR OWN WAY will show her you never needed her 'advise'.

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Old 06-03-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Everyone's given a lot of great advice, so I figured I'd chime in my two cents too

At first I didn't tell anyone about weight loss goals, except my boyfriend, who I live with.. He is totally supportive and just wants to be to be healthy and comfortable in my own skin.. However, sometimes when I want to snack on a chip, or whatever he'll say No.. you shouldn't have these.. & I get sooo angry! He doesn't do it to be mean, just out of concern.. He doesn't want me to lose focus.. but finally after a few times of him doing this I had to tell him straight out.. Don't tell me what or what not to eat.. I love your encouragement..but you telling me "NO" like I'm 5 years old is NOT helpful. When it comes to my friends I've only told a couple that I'm trying to eat healthier and exercise.. and I've only told a couple because I know those are the ones that are going to give me positive encouragement.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
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I appreciate everyone's feedback! I'm feeling much calmer today.

I really wish I hadn't mentioned my diet to anyone. I started losing the weight, though, and was so thrilled that I couldn't help but tell my friends and family what I was accomplishing. I think they would have noticed eventually, though. Before, I wasn't exercising and I certainly wasn't eating a really healthy diet.

I'm definitely going to keep it up, but I can't say that I don't feel uncomfortable eating in front of my friends now. :/

Last edited by craftykath; 06-03-2009 at 01:03 PM.
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