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Old 05-21-2007, 10:46 AM   #1  
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Default Overzealous family member- help!

So when I create a thread they are usually not begging for advice, but I could really use some words of wisdom.

Being an overweight child, I always had certain family members making comments, expressing "concern", etc... One of my uncles in particular exhibited a fine talent for this. He even went so far as to send me diet books on my 12th birthday. The last time I saw him was 3 years ago at Christmas, when I was at my highest weight and was very depressed. He snuck in a couple of comments- nothing truly devastating, but enough to let me know he was paying attention. He lives overseas and I really don't maintain a relationship with him, but when I lost weight he was sure to email me and praise me for "getting my life together". I will see him next weekend at a family gathering and I am just dreading it. He is just beside himself over my "progress" and the thought of having to listen to him go on and on makes me not want to go. I am not uncomfortable with people asking me questions or commenting on my weightloss except in this case. My feeling is that he thinks this gives him cart blanche (sp?) to not only rave about me now, but say everything he wanted to say when I was big. I can't believe how stressed out I am over it and I have no idea how to go about thwarting it! There will be the initial "shock and awe" and that I can handle, but I know him and he will not let it go.

So. Do I be firm and tell him that I am just done discussing my weight with him or try to grin and bear it for family's sake? This is the first time my BF will be around the entire family and while I know he would stick up for me in a heartbeat, the thought itself is just mortifying.

Please. Advise.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:55 AM   #2  
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I just checked out your before and after pics...How beautiful you are!

Okay, back to the family situation. If it is causing you this much stress, why not simply call this uncle and tell him how you feel? If he knows you don't want to discuss it at length at the family gathering, he may be able to control himself. That way you can give him the chance to be kind, mature and respectful of your feelings ahead of time! It sounds like he has some impulse control issues as well as social ones so this way, he would be able to have time to prepare himself AND it would save your boyfriend and you the added stress of dealing with this in front of others.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:59 AM   #3  
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I am passive aggressive, but i would have other family members that he is closer to clue him in. Especially with your bf being there...geeze, that could get uncomfortable. Somebody needs to take him aside and say "look, just leave her alone about the weight. She did it on her own and she doesnt want to make a specticle of her". It is hard enough to see a bunch of relatives when your weight changes dramatically, but you definately dont need the added stress of his comments.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:05 AM   #4  
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Quote:
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I am passive aggressive, but i would have other family members that he is closer to clue him in.
Hey, you are quite smart, really!

I don't think having someone else advocate for you in a situation you feel really anxious about is always necessarily a passive aggressive thing to do

It's actually a great back-up plan for anyone who feels they cannot speak up for themselves directly
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:14 AM   #5  
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You should be very proud of your accomplishment. I'm sure someone will make a comment, uncle or otherwise. Move the subject to something else and stop them in their tracks. I have many "well-meaning" relatives who are quick to point out how they remember me "when I was thin and in shape" which is offensive to me, but I think family tends to believe they are exempt from politness due to the "family connection". So, make it a point to introduce your boyfriend to everyone and center your conversations around other things. Good luck and I hope you enjoy yourself.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:26 AM   #6  
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I think if I were in the situation I'd respond to any comment with a deliberate change-of-subject comment. If he redirects the conversation to the topic of weight loss, I'd say, "Look, I'm not comfortable discussing this with you. Can we talk about something else?"

I can commiserate. My father is the same way. He was very vocal ("concerned") about my weight being high, and now it's almost as uncomfortable when he comments on my weight loss. I don't want that kind of judgment from him either way, because I know it's based on sexist ideals.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:56 AM   #7  
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Hmm...I would just say it as I saw it. If he starts in on you and continues and tries to take some sort of "credit" for your new lifestyle, I would lock eyes with him, lean in, and say "You're an a%*." Cause he is. Then I would walk off and spend time with people who actually care about me.

Diet books for a 12 year old? Yeesh.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:02 PM   #8  
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Quote:
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I would lock eyes with him, lean in, and say "You're an a%*."
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:10 PM   #9  
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First off, you look fabulous!! Second, you look like you feel fabulous! This uncle of yours sounds a lot like one of mine, that I've been dreading seeing at a cousin's wedding in three weeks. Unfortunately, the last time my in-your-face uncle saw me, I was at least 100 pounds less, so I know I'm in for it, no matter what. Here's the thing I keep reminding myself. Perhaps it will be helpful. 1. As obnoxious as he is, he means well, somewhere down there... 2. His focus on your/my body is both inappropriate and his issue, and I/you don't have to own his issues.

Personally, I'd like to tell my uncle to get stuffed.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:17 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwife View Post
Hmm...I would just say it as I saw it. If he starts in on you and continues and tries to take some sort of "credit" for your new lifestyle, I would lock eyes with him, lean in, and say "You're an a%*." Cause he is. Then I would walk off and spend time with people who actually care about me.

Diet books for a 12 year old? Yeesh.
My mother FREAKED when he did that. I think a statement like you suggested may be the only way to go. I thought about what Get N Healthy suggested and really liked that idea and I may ask my dad to mention it, but then I realized that we are one of those itty bitty Jewish families (seriously, there's like 5 of use not including SO's) and they just hate making waves dealing with "emotions"... Phantistica, it was always very sexist in nature in my family as well and it makes it all the more icky. And if I make a big deal out of the issue then I am all of the sudden the emotional spitting image of my mother. Soulbliss, you made a good suggestion.... he is all the way in Europe and dropping a simple email before I see him may put him in check.

Gosh, I'm surprised we don't all get together more often!
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:17 PM   #11  
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Oh goodness! Do we all have one of those relatives? I agree with Soulbliss, if he starts annoying you, then tell him why. It's not like it'd be a tragedy if he stopped talking to you. I can't believe he thought it was okay to give a 12yo diet books! You aren't even through puberty at 12! What an..., um, what Soulbliss said...

BTW, you look fabulous!
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:30 PM   #12  
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Junebug -
I don't have any advice, but I commiserate. I have a similar problem with my brother. I'm keeping my eyes peeled to this thread.

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Old 05-21-2007, 01:03 PM   #13  
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Watch out for that uncle--he might just try to make a pass at you! No, really--it's weird for a man to be that interested in a girl's weight--a girl who is not his daughter at least.

I wouldn't hesitate to tell him, kindly, that you don't want to discuss your weight further if he tries to go on and on about it. Don't try to grin and bear it. He is not the kind who will get a subtle message. Also, if you have a family member who would be willing, tell them about your fears and ask them to back you up if you have to tell uncle to get off the topic. This doesn't have to be done in a confrontive way, just firmly.

Good Luck!
Jay
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:10 PM   #14  
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Quote:
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Watch out for that uncle--he might just try to make a pass at you! No, really--it's weird for a man to be that interested in a girl's weight--a girl who is not his daughter at least.

I wouldn't hesitate to tell him, kindly, that you don't want to discuss your weight further if he tries to go on and on about it. Don't try to grin and bear it. He is not the kind who will get a subtle message. Also, if you have a family member who would be willing, tell them about your fears and ask them to back you up if you have to tell uncle to get off the topic. This doesn't have to be done in a confrontive way, just firmly.

Good Luck!
Jay
Thanks!

I was the only child until I was 14 and my little brother came along (on my father's side)- I have no cousins on that side... and appearances were very important on that side of the family, so everyone took a vested interest in my upbringing, unfortunately.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:27 PM   #15  
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Family don't you love them?
First I agree , you look beautiful.
I had an 2 Aunts who I stopped going to visit when I was a teen( they are deceased now), because they would say " you are so pretty only if you would lose weight, or what a pretty face, but you need to be skinner, or don't eat too much, ect. , you get the idea.
I wish I had the courage than to talk up for myself, especially because my mother didn't.I would tell this uncle in a nice way what you feel, if he doesn't listen , or understand tell him to go screw himself. You are a beautiful person and do not need to feel bad about yourself, because someone doesn't accept you. Nip him in the butt and you will feel fine. Cheryl
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