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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

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Old 06-27-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Fishing for complement fail

I've been stuck at the same weight for a while now....up and down by the same two lbs. I was trying to make myself feel better the other day, so I asked my hubby if I could possibly be just losing inches? Um...he flat out said no. That hurt a bit but I know he didn't mean anything by it...he was just being brutally honest. Has this ever happened to you? Or if not, do you think he could just be wrong? Oh darn it, now I"m fishing for complements from you guys!
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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It's difficult for people like our husbands who see us every day, to notice weight loss, don't take it to heart. You are experiencing a stall,it happens. Keep up the hard work, you'll see some changes and people will notice.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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I can't say it's never happened, but I'm less prone to hinting, fishing for compliments or other ways of speaking indirectly. Mostly because I saw it backfire so often on my mother. Not only would she expect the compliment, she'd explode when she didn't get the exact reaction she expected (to me it felt like my dad was an innocent victim who couldnt' win no matter what he said - later I learned that he wasn't always as innocent as he appeared. Some of his behavior was classic passive-aggression).

One classic in our home was my mother would "hint" in some way that she wanted to go out to eat, and my father would say nothing. Then she'd start dinner, angrily throw pots and pans around, and my father would walk into the kitchen all wide-eyed innocence and ask "I thought we were going out to dinner."

I'm not suggesting anything about your hubby's intentions with my story, just illustrating my own experience with indirect communication. I just saw it backfire on my mother in so many ways (the "do I look fat in this" was the worst, because even the most minute of pauses before answering could land my father in the doghouse for days. If he said "you look fine," she'd get mad because "fine" meant barely ok to her. If he said "you look gorgeous," she'd get mad and call him a liar and tell him how she needed HONEST feedback....)


My husband is even more literal minded than my father. He couldn't take a hint to save his life. Even when I think I'm being perfectly clear, he doesn't always get it. I sometimes feel like a kindergarten teacher, but I have to be very simple and direct about what I want from him (as he says, he loves me and is wlling to do or say anything that I want him to, but I have to tell him what that is).

He's also a compulsive truth-teller though, so unless I ask for a lie, he's going to tell me the truth. I I say "I'm feeling fat and ugly," he'll say, "well we're both fat, but you're certainly not ugly," or he'll say "you're fat and beautiful."

My hubby doesn't "get" the social lie. If he's asked a question, he'll give the truth as he sees it. So I've learned not to ask questions I don't want the LITERAL truth to. But if I say, "I'm feeling bad about myself and I need a hug and a compliment - he'll oblige - and it's usually a better compliment than the one I was secretly hoping for.

It's all an art of learning to ask for what you need in a way that insures you'll get it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick feedback! Kaplods, do you have any advice for me as to how to get a compliment? Seriously. I feel silly saying, "Honey, do you think I look amazing?" So how do I ask for something like that? I'm not saying he doesn't complement me, but it sure would be nice to get a little extra when I"m feeling stalled in the weight loss but am working so hard.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNmomof5 View Post
It's difficult for people like our husbands who see us every day, to notice weight loss, don't take it to heart. You are experiencing a stall,it happens. Keep up the hard work, you'll see some changes and people will notice.

This reminds me, hubbies aren't the only oblivious ones in this regard. A couple months ago, I was getting a little impatient with hubby's weight loss. I thought I was making a lot more progress with my weight than he was with his. Then while cleaning, I found one of his doctors reports from three years ago, and learned that he had lost nearly as much as I had. About 85 lbs to my 90. I felt so ashamed for judging his progress as less than mine.

I didn't "see" my progress either, because every day when I look in the mirror, I see the same person I did the day before. I knew my weight had changed, but I'd never kept dibs on hubby's weight so I didn't realize his weight had changed just as much as mine. Seeing him every day made it very hard to see progress.

Sadly it's difficult to see gradual changes in people we see frequently (even ourselves). Sometimes even huge changes go unnoticed until someone pulls out a photo (which is why I'm constantly grateful that I've never gone out of my way to avoid the camera because of my weight. In fact, I wish I'd taken more pics).
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:12 AM   #6
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Yes, that's absolutely true. I know everything you say is spot on. I think it's that right now, I'm premenstrual and feeling a bit bloated and vulnerable. I know he loves me and thinks I'm beautiful, but I just wish he'd know to tell me that when I'm feeling this way. Nevertheless, the support here has made me feel a lot better so I no longer feel like I need him to do anything at all.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:57 AM   #7
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i wouldnt want a compliment if i had to ask for it. i think if a person want to compliment they will. to me its not the same if you have to ask vs them giving the compliment freely
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:23 AM   #8
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i wouldnt want a compliment if i had to ask for it. i think if a person want to compliment they will. to me its not the same if you have to ask vs them giving the compliment freely
It may not be the same, but sometimes I think it is appropriate to say "sometimes I need to hear praise and compliments." Many guys assume "she knows how I feel, why does she need me to say it."

I grew up with a mother who never asked for what she wanted, and then would rant and rage at us for not being able to read her mind. She'd say "if I have to ask, it doesn't count...." and she meant that for everything from compliments to getting help around the house.

She'd rant that no one helped with the housechores, but if anyone asked what she wanted done, she'd rage that we should know. If we just pitched in and started helping, she'd get upset that we didn't just know that we should have done something else, or that we weren't doing it right.

As a result, I'm a little more willing to ask for what I want, rather than rage outwardly - or inwardly that I'm not getting it. So if I want something badly enough that I'll be upset if I don't get it, I'll ask for it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymommy View Post
Thanks for the quick feedback! Kaplods, do you have any advice for me as to how to get a compliment? Seriously. I feel silly saying, "Honey, do you think I look amazing?" So how do I ask for something like that? I'm not saying he doesn't complement me, but it sure would be nice to get a little extra when I"m feeling stalled in the weight loss but am working so hard.
Sure if I handed my husband a script, I'd feel like an idiot, but admitting that I want to hear praise or complients once in a while isn't such a horrible or unusual thing.

When I told my husband that I sometimes feel insecure and need to hear good stuff (which I told him in a nice way, not as a criticism), he was happy to oblige. Although he reminded me that I sometimes forget to say nice stuff to him too. I'll expect acknowledgement for something I did for him, and he'll point out some things that I never acknowledged him for. It made me realize that I grew up seeing my mother mad at my father for not complimenting her, when she never complimented him. This was a habit with all the women in my family. I grew up thinking that women were supposed to complain about their unthoughtful husbands. Even though I didn't think that myself, some of the habit had rubbed off anyway.


My hubby tends to give a compliment if I give him one first. I do usually have to be the one to start the exchnage. Sometimes I'll even jokingly say something nice and then say, "ok, now it's your turn to say something nice about me." We've even turned it into a giggly game that usually gets romantic (as we think of sillier and sillier things to "compliment" each other on).

On one hand, I don't expect unsolicited compliments (or even solicited) compliments very often, because generally my own praise is good enough for me. It bothered me at first that my husband doesn't see me as "more beautiful" as I get thinner. He met me at my highest weight, and he doesn't think I'm any more - or any less beautiful than when he met me. To him, my beauty is a constant. He is looking forward to us being able to live longer and do more things together, but to him beauty isn't about my weight as it is about my eyes and my smile (or so he says so sincerely that I have to believe him).

Some of the weirdest things will feel like the best compliment. Shortly (within a month) of our wedding I had to have a lump removed from my right breast. I was horrified that it left my right breast looking like a volcano (it looks normal upright, but when I lay on my back there's a large divot in it).

Hubby reassured me then and since that the right breast is his "favorite" because it reminds him that he could have but didn't lose me.

You know, if I heard him tell me that every time I wanted to, he'd be sick of telling it. I've never asked him to say it, and he's said it maybe two or three times, but I "replay" it in my head every time I notice the divot.

I do sometimes say though "I am a bit discouraged and could use a pep talk, or some encouraging words..."

I haven't handed him a script, and what I get isn't even necessarily a compliment, but what usually comes out is something sincere and sweet.


But ultimately 90% of my inspiration has to come from me. Also, my husband and I both are better at gestures than words, and better at written words than spoken ones. I'll leave a note or silly card for him somewhere where he'll find it (often just his pillow, since I'm usually asleep when he comes ot bed).

If I'm sick or flaring with my fibro to the point that I'm in bed for a day or two, he'll often buy me a stuffed animal (I've never told him that I'm not particularly fond of stuffed animals).

I think compliments are only a very small part of loving communication. Some people never are comfortable or very good at getting or giving them (I recently had to ask hubby to stop making fun of compliments I give him. It was bugging me, because everytime I gave him a compliment about how good he looks, he made a joke about my needing glasses. I asked him to try to learn to just say thank you).
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #9
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My boyfriend doesn't compliment my weight. His take on it is that he loves me no matter what and he doesn't want me getting any ideas that I wasn't good enough for him when I was bigger. Sometimes I fish a little, mostly just trying to get reassurance that he likes me smaller too. But it fails because he's not falling for it. We had a fight about this once. His point: he wouldn't be with me, moved twice with me to different states, if he didn't love me. We wouldn't have such a "healthy" sex life if he didn't find me attractive. But he's not going to say "You look thin" because that's not something that's important to him and he was taught it's impolite to comment on a woman's weight. His friends have all said much more than he has.

Looking back on the last couple years... I'm truly grateful he's taken this route. Compliments are nice, but actions speak louder than words. I compliment myself when I need a pick-me-up
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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I think my problem is the exact opposite (don't hate me before I finish!). Instead of ever getting honesty or constructive criticism, I'm so used to hearing, "Oh, you look great.", "You don't need to go to the gym, you look fine like you are!" and other, similar bouts of praise that, after awhile, are just as frustrating as getting no compliments at all. For me, I'd rather just be left alone! It's obvious that both of our significant others are in the same boat -they can't tell a difference because they see us so much, and instead of saying that, one is saying too little and another is saying too much.

One thing that I'd do is invest in a tape measure... if you ever "wonder" if you're losing inches, it's best to actually know. There's nothing worse than "assuming" you're losing inches when in reality, you aren't at all. I did that and it really made me evaluate my working out because I thought I MUST be losing SOMETHING and in reality, nope... just staying the same.

I would, however, sit down and talk to your husband and just tell him that it's okay for him to be honest, but that he needs to be sensitive to your struggles. I wouldn't fish for a compliment... those aren't real.

But all the same, um... you've lost 54 pounds! Holy crap, that's a lot! LOL You should be so proud of how far you've come... I can't WAIT to be in your shoes!
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