Opinions (again): Hello, I posted a... - Weight Loss Support

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Opinions (again)

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs

Hello,

I posted a while ago about other people’s opinions as it’s something I’m curious about. I am not remotely fussed if people notice my weightloss or not I just wonder why some say something and some don’t (I’m a psychology graduate- this stuff is in my nature😂).

Anyway, my husband had been losing weight too, he’s tall 6’ and is almost at his target of 12st 7lb which puts him in a healthy BMI. He’s had health problems recently and so wanted to get into shape. I’m super proud of him (and it’s helped me no end!).

However, my mum keeps saying things like ‘ooo he’ll look drawn if he loses anymore’ ‘he’s always looked slim anyway’ ‘he doesn’t want to be skinny’. She is not at all healthy herself by the way.

So it’s got in my head, what if me dieting has made him look awful (I think he looks great but I’m biased!)? Why is it all about looks? Why does my mum need to comment? Etc etc.

Thanks for reading, it’s maddening and fascinating and puzzling!

Emma x

57 Replies
lucigret
lucigretAdministrator

Emma I often think this is down to jealousy. People see others succeed at something that they would really like to be able to achieve. I do agree mind you that sometimes people do loose too much weight and as you get older, it can leave you looking gaunt. I am sure, however, if that was the case with your Husband, you would encourage him to stop and tell him he has gone far enough.You continue to be proud of him and yourself. You are both doing a great job and your body will be much happier for it I am sure. I'm sure he thinks you look great, just as you think he does and that is what really matters, not other people's opinions :)

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to lucigret

Thank you Lucigret. Agree I think people can be a bit jealous. I am a bit worried he'll look gaunt- she's got into my head a bit!

lucigret
lucigretAdministrator in reply to Ermintrude77

I’m sure he wont, you won’t let it go that far 😊

Shield-Maiden
Shield-Maiden2020 June in reply to Ermintrude77

That's normal, for you to second guess, after your mum has been commenting.

But try to remember that you had not even considered that your hubby was possibly starting to look gaunt (because, he wasn't...he isn't...like Lucigret said, you wouldn't let that happen)...

......that is your mum's thought, and, her emotion....it's not yours x 🤗

slipstick
slipstick1st 7lbs

It's about looks because other people can't easily tell how good anyone feels or how fit they are they can just see what they look like. You will have noticed that it's usually people who have known the person for a while and from their point of view you've stopped looking like "the real you". To some people all change is automatically bad. But that's basically about what people are thinking. Why some choose to speak out is beyond me.

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to slipstick

Yes definitely think there's something to that, that the person has changed and it's uncomfortable for them!

Shield-Maiden
Shield-Maiden2020 June in reply to slipstick

Nicely said slipstick

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadMaintainer

Well, mums comment on pretty much everything, don't they? :)

I think there's a whole bunch of stuff going on here (another psych graduate here, btw). As lucigret said, there's sometimes a certain amount of envy/jealousy, but I think a big factor is the torrent of propaganda aimed at normalizing obesity - which, I believe, is driven by a failure of the establishment to offer any sensible dietary advice and a pigheaded refusal to pay attention to the science. Lots of people need a figleaf to cover their inadequacies: the government, the dietetic industry, Big Ag. The media are willingly complicit: everyone is telling us that we shouldn't judge fat people, it's not their fault, and there's nothing we can do about it anyway. Ergo, we should all "love ourselves as we are", carry on with our low-fat, calorie-counted diets, and pretend the pounds aren't piling on.

It's now got to the point where normal-sized people ('thin' people) are mocked as having something wrong with them - and that, apparently, is perfectly OK, because thin people are "privileged". I can't tell if this article here is for real, or satire, but it's fairly representative:

qz.com/1079537/body-shaming...

Related to that is a whole load of rubbish centred on the idea that thin people are just naturally thin, and that their life choices don't have anything to do with it:

minnpost.com/second-opinion...

Big is the new normal, and if you look around on the street (or check the statistics) you'll notice that a third or so of the population really are noticeably overweight.

So when somebody starts to re-acquire a more sensible bodyshape, it looks genuinely odd to people who are not only accustomed to looking at overweight bodies all day, but have been told that it is right and proper to be overweight and prediabetic. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

Having said all that ... I would recommend to your husband to get himself down to the gym (if he doesn't already), because if you don't put some muscles where your flab used to be, you will indeed look a bit haggard. Luckily this is pretty easy for men, and adding even just a couple of kilos of muscle can do a lot for your appearance.

Incidentally: it seems to be a popular theme that it's somehow an expression of vanity to want to lose weight. Well, so what if it is? What's wrong with wanting to look your best? You can do it for yourself or for others, but IMO it's everyone's right to look awesome if they want to.

BridgeGirl
BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to TheAwfulToad

Thanks for this.

Yes, our expectations have been so skewed over the decades that a normal, healthy size now appears underweight. Often to ourselves, as well as to others.

I'd also echo what slipstick says about people's aversion to change, and add that people may feel challenged about their own weight when they see others making a change for the better.

PandQs
PandQsMaintainer in reply to BridgeGirl

I remember many many years ago, having spent an hour at prenatal class, getting on a bus home and being "shocked" by seeing straight up and down people. Our perception of what is normal can change that quickly!! :)

Iwilldoit22
Iwilldoit227 stone in reply to TheAwfulToad

I totally agree with you TheAwfulToad I’ve been fat all my life but I’ve changed the way I eat and what I eat and I’m almost at my 6 stone loss since May.🙂

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Iwilldoit22

You are doing so amazingly well!

Iwilldoit22
Iwilldoit227 stone in reply to Ermintrude77

Thank you Ermintrude77 😀x

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to TheAwfulToad

Thank you TheAwfulToad , I thought I'd replied to you already... so sorry! My phone completely broke last night and that may be why! Thank you for your brilliant post, I get concerned about the body positivity movement and the effect that has on unhappy unhealthy obese people. I think it's contributed to me staying fat for a long time as I've thought I need to learn to love my body and accept it the way it is. This year I realised NO I shouldn't accept a body that limits my experience and possibly my life.

I'll read these articles thank you so much!

BridgeGirl
BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to Ermintrude77

Well said :)

People tend to make stupid comments. I'm sure you and your husband both look great. Ultimately though, good eating/living is bound to be doing wonders to your bodies and making you both so much healthier too 🙂

Talking of psychology, I've recognised that I'm actually more likely to self-sabotage and eat rubbish after people make a fuss of me losing weight!

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Greendream123

Oh yes me too- I think that's why I've posted this, its been needling in my head and made me wonder if we should get the odd takeaway/ start drinking again, then I remember that that is daft talk!

Shield-Maiden
Shield-Maiden2020 June in reply to Ermintrude77

Don't do it!

As you know....you have worked so hard, you will only regret breaking such a fabulous several months of hard work....

.....keep at it, and continue to feel amazing x

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Shield-Maiden

Thank you T xxx

Shield-Maiden
Shield-Maiden2020 June in reply to Ermintrude77

🥰 💐

People’s comments... I’ve discovered that when it came to meeting certain people after a long period of time during which my weight changed significantly, I was equally reluctant whether the weight went up or down. Other people I could meet at any time without any reluctance.

A friend said not too long ago ‘maybe it’s enough now, it may not look like you to me anymore’ then she hastily added ‘obviously, do what’s right for you and, by the way, you do look healthy,’

My mum last month also mentioned that it may be enough. Then I asked her if I looked unhealthy for her to say that. She said no, but she doesn’t want me to overdo it. I told her that my BMI still shows a few kilograms overweight and she then said ‘it’s ok then’.

I think there are many reasons why people comment. Good and bad reasons, both. It could be envy, it could be a blow to their feeling of being superior. It could be a worry about your well-being depending on their personal understanding of what ‘healthy’ looks like. It could be simply a bit of a difficulty accepting the change in you.

I now tend to focus on my own reactions: do I care about what this person said? If so, why? If not - also why?

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to N-o-r-d-i

Yes you make brilliant points Nordi, I think your last one about my/ our responses to this is so important too. I've still got a way to go- got almost 4 stone to go, it's preparing me a bit for what I'll do when I get close. Need to think about me and my health and do what's right for me. My husband too!

Tank_EG
Tank_EG7 stone

Hi Ermintrude77,

I read you post with interest as I'm a similar height to your husband, however I still have a way to go to get down to 12.5 st, and I get exactly the same comments from my mum.

Her comments do play on my mind but this time I'm determined to get to a healthy weight for my sake and nobody else's. Also I'm not sure what effect they have had on my weight during my lifetime.

Does looking good come into - if I'm being honest, yes. Also there are more choices clothes wise when you are at a healthier weight and of course there is the old adage of clothes maketh a man. Having said that my overriding reason for losing weight is my health and to be able to enjoy life for as along as possible.

Finally as to you question of have you made you husband look awful? I somehow doubt that but surely what matters is his and your opinions: if the 2 of you are happy then why worry what others think. And why listen to anyone who wants to put looks above health.

All the best for both of your journeys 😀

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Tank_EG

Thank you so much Tank_EG, really appreciate your thoughtful reply. It is a bizarre and complex this isn't it. You are doing fantastically well, all the best to you too!

Shield-Maiden
Shield-Maiden2020 June in reply to Tank_EG

Lovely response Tank.

Good luck, to you also, on your journey to health, and, happiness 😊

I'd like to agree this is a modern phenomenon but it's not true. Having had a mother who exhorted me to eat up', 'got to keep your strength up', then changed this to 'you're overweight, you need to get the pounds off' and then when I did reach a healthy BMI told everyone I was anorexic (at 9st and 5ft 2 this simply wasn't the case) it's been exasperating when friends then start doing the same thing! Part of it, at least for my generation, was the rationing which parents had to put up with, and the relative expense of food compared to now, so nothing must go to waste. And givng lots of food and ensuring it was eaten were signs of caring. Getting out of the mindset that agrees with these expectations is difficult, I've been battling it all my life it seems.

If you and your husband are happy with your weights now, that's really all that matters, assuming you are in the healthy range. If you put the weight back on, other people would soon comment about it! give it time and the comments will stop as they get used to the 'new' you.

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to docmar

Thank you docmar yes I've had mixed messages all my life too. My parents were healthy eating heavy drinkers and told us to eat up but told us off if we had something 'naughty'. Philip Larkin famously said of parents that they have a huge effect on us (in so many words!)

docmar
docmar1kg in reply to Ermintrude77

Oh yes..... Philip Larkin nailed it didn't he? I can only presume that a large number of other people have similar issues. Having veiled digs at appearance/weight I think reflects something within themselves (maybe 'at least I'm not as big as she is' 'what a happy, jolly large and comforting person they are' or simply 'they've changed, they aren't the person I know any more and I've lost some element of control'). All you can control is your response to it. Now all I've got to do is follow my own advice........

So much is going on.

It's like when my wife was pregnant, suddenly I noticed pregnant people everywhere. They were always there, I just wasn't noticing.

When losing weight I was noticing people's body size and dieting matters all the time. A comment reflects as much on me as the person being commented upon.

Not I'm at 'healthy weight', I'm trying to ease off on fixating on it quite so much so that I can settle at my 'normal' weight without paying as much attention to it. 😄

I've read through this with interest. At work only 1 colleague has mentioned my weight loss and she's the young, skinny one, who was anorexic as a teenager. We have discussions on what foods we eat 😊. The others who range from a little overweight to morbidly obese have said nothing but i see them looking. I think some dont mention it because of the envy/jealousy theory, the others i think are unsure if i'm poorly - specially with me being on crutches so would rather stay quiet.

My mum is a totally different kettle of fish and hasn't said a word about it, in fact she still brings me chocolate sweets, crumbles and pies - my friends and son are happy to take them off my hands 😂😂😂. I wouldnt like to hazard a guess on whats going on in her mind!!!

My main handful of friends are extremely supportive for which i'm grateful. So are my handful of NHS consultants lol

At the end of the day though its me and what i think and feel that matters and the same should be for you. Dont let others get inside your head xx

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to springersrule

It is amazing isn't it. As people have noticed I've lost weight (close friends) they've asked what I've been doing and the standard reply, I feel that I could predict it now, is 'oh I've put weight on' 'I need to stop eating chocolate' etc etc. I always say don't worry about it. They're not being mean or difficult, I think like many of the posters here have said, when people change their physical appearance it sometimes holds a mirror to their own habits and ways.

I definitely need to care less about what others' think - it's a work in progress!! 😆 xx

springersrule
springersrule48kg in reply to Ermintrude77

Oh i think you've hit it spot on there with the holding a mirror to their own habits and ways xx

Wow Ermintrude77,How many times have we had posts saying about other people's comments ?

My family used to say what are you on that stupid diet for ? He can't eat anything he's fasting .

I've lost a bit of weight and I went in work a few days ago and a colleague said " you've lost some weight".

I'd rather lose weight and be healthy ,looks change whatever our size.

Often it's the people who make comments who need to lose the weight- that was true about the people who were telling me.

Gary

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to gman1961

Yes Gary, thank you.

My family are big eaters and drinkers and often say oh you have to have a drink/ pizza/ chocolate/ cake/ chips* (*delete as appropriate 😆). I try to explain that right now I'm not going to because I'm trying to get into a healthy weight range!

gman1961
gman19613lbs in reply to Ermintrude77

I used to get "your boring" especially regarding alcohol

N-o-r-d-i
N-o-r-d-i64kg in reply to gman1961

I’d say it’s a sad sad life if THEIR fun depends on YOUR eating or drinking habits 😊

gman1961
gman19613lbs in reply to N-o-r-d-i

Since I lost weight I don't get the comments like I did .I always think that it's funny that those who comment are jealous and actually need to look at there own situation.

Gary

Shield-Maiden
Shield-Maiden2020 June in reply to gman1961

Yes, and if others eat and drink as they do, it makes them feel better, about their own eating and drinking habits (if that makes sense).

TotalNewbie1
TotalNewbie12020 July

People only ever comment on how thin you are, never say how fat you get. Have you noticed this? I think they just get used to someone being larger and then any change is something they feel they can comment on.

No one told me how fat I had become, now after my weight loss they feel free to tell me either in a positive way about the benefits for my health and the overweight friends keep telling me I shouldn’t lose anymore which makes me think perhaps they are jealous I have turned my eating habits around.

What makes me mad is when people say “It’s alright for you to eat that as you are lucky because you are thin”. Do they have any idea about the hard work to become a healthier and fitter person 😠😠😠

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to TotalNewbie1

Yes absolutely this! I'd put 3 stone on over the last few years, no one said a word! But now it's all my mum talks about. She even asks on a Monday if I've been weighed... she thinks she's been supportive but its really annoying!

gman1961
gman19613lbs in reply to TotalNewbie1

Unluckily for me one of my friends said online I've seen pictures of you at a reunion."you look like you have piled some timber on " that was a while ago.Someone said the other day you look like you have lost weight .

I'm happy at the moment.

Gary

I think people get so used to you looking a certain way and it takes time for them to adjust and yea I think sometimes people don’t like change so when they see you succeeding it makes them question themselves and stuff... especially if you’re the ‘fat friend’ I think that’s also why it takes a lot of inner strength to do it for yourself and your health!

TheProf
TheProf2020 July

Dieting can make you ill. I lost a lot in 2001 and ended up thin(ish) but had shingles on the way - I am now taking it slower with a more balanced food intake. BMI is not the only indicator to be worried about - It also depends on physical make-up/body-type. If he's not ill then it's probably OK but take it slow. P.S I'm male too.

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to TheProf

Yes I think a balanced approach is so important. I’ve been using BMI as a guide but I was very heavy and still am. My husband wasn’t particularly overweight but has taken up cycling and an interest in nutrition and because I’m in charge of cooking, he’s eating very healthily. He’s going to start eating a bit more so he can maintain and balance it all up.

Well done for getting the balance. It’s not always easy.

Hiya.

Interesting that people comment.

When my husband lost weight to get healthy, I felt he was too skinny too. But apparently he was the target weight for his height. Seems to me like maybe the target BMI is too low. I’m a size 12-14 uk and my bmi is apparently too high. Makes you wonder.

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Well-read

Yes it definitely does. It’s not the best or most reliable measure always. I’ve been using it as a guide but only because I started from a very heavy position.

Well-read
Well-read1kg in reply to Ermintrude77

Yes, as a guide

PandQs
PandQsMaintainer

Hi Emma,

I think you've found your answer in "She is not at all healthy herself by the way." For her to encourage and applaud weight loss as a positive, she would then have to look to herself to do the same. In the past I have put negative comments down to one of two reasons, being overweight and wanting that to be OK, or being used to being the thinner person and not wanting the status quo to be overturned. Ignore any negatives from others and make your own mind up.

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to PandQs

Thank you. Great advice x

Loonick
Loonick2020 November

Morning, you both sound like you have done fantastically well in improving your health. He will look different when he has reduced down to a healthier BMI because he will have inevitably lost some weight from his face as well as everywhere else. And as she is his mum she may well find the change difficult because a lot of people I think associate face weight loss with ill health not realising that the person concerned is now looking how they should’ve been looking all along had they been a healthy weight all along. But it is only aesthetic and the important thing to point out to her is the fat loss from his coronary arteries and gut organs, and the reduced strain on all his joints from the loss of carrying the extra load may well gift him with a longer term future with better quality of life because of his improved health.

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Loonick

Love this thank you 😊

Scaffie
Scaffie1 stone

I suspect Mum is being made feel totally guilty because she is a little stockier than she thinks she should be and doesn't actually want to do anything about it but knows she should and his success is highlighting a feeling in her she needs to do something.

If you have a marvellous relationship with her I'd say Mummmm please stop. If you don't I'd just ignore it. Look at your OH and if he really is looking too skinny perhaps it's time to stop but if he looks great then just get on with what you are doing.

We live in a society where people feel totally free to comment personally about others. I belong to a sewing site and some of the things make people look perfectly dreadful BUT if I was rude enough to point it out I would just be being unkind and unhelpful. I think if you wanna wear skin tight lycra when you are that shape then go with it, I just won't look! We don't have manners (or guidance when and where is appropriate to speak any more!).

BTW I don't actually think your mum means to be horrible I think it's just hitting a nerve in her!

Keep going and be happy ;)

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to Scaffie

Thank you lovely x

Hi, I've been following the thread and love all the input. Over the years, when I'd lost weight (but of course put it back on because I used to be a yo-yo dieter) comments made me uncomfortable, especially the 'Wow you lost a LOT of weight' which made me think I must have looked horrible before.

Back then, I would never have said anything to that person if their comment made me uncomfortable. But, I recently read a great article that put it in perspective and gave constructive options i.e. changing the subject, politely speaking up when uncomfortable or just walking away.

It was very empowering. I'm including the link in case you're interested. alissarumsey.com/intuitive-...

Ermintrude77
Ermintrude773st 7lbs in reply to dietditcher

The input is incredible I can’t reply enough to give the wonderful comments justice.

Thank you for the link. I will have a read! X

dietditcher
dietditcherVisitor in reply to Ermintrude77

That's great. I hope it helps you know that what you feel is important and worthy to stand up for. :)

teddy14
teddy141 stone

Emma your mother looks at your husband different to how you view him, she is probably concerned he will overdo it, it dosent matter how long we spend dieting it never gets any easier hang on in there we will get there eventually,at least we are trying 🐕🤞 xx

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