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Ok to talk to friends about weight loss?

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Posts: 44,065
3/2/13 6:53 P

It depends on the friends and what your relationship you have with them. I sometimes mention something but mostly I talk my journey here on SP and if someone else brings it up might talk with them. Not long ago a friend made a really supportive comment and I was tickled by it - it was almost as though she didn't think I could do it this time and she told me she was proud of me leaving the ENTIRE dozen lemon-filled doughnuts IN THE FREEZER and not touching them. She is NOT someone who doles out those kind of comments often - she knows I have been working at this but I was pleased.

Posts: 277
3/2/13 6:19 P

I know I have probably reacted to friends and family in the same negative way your friend did. It had nothing to do with the person. It had to do with me being so jaded about dieting. Soo many diet books, plans and programs.I was so sick of all weight loss related info. And felt so defeated where my weight was concerned.
I feel better about it-and myself- now so I know I must be reacting differently.

I think every response to this thread could also be the reason for the reaction you got.

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Posts: 17
2/28/13 2:02 P

I'm currently in a weight-loss competition with a team of 4 other co-workers. We talk about struggles, successes, etc. on a regular daily basis but also meet every Monday at lunch to talk. We are very supportive and open and, after reading some of your comments, I'm very grateful for that lol. Outside of work, however, I don't talk much about my weight loss. If a friend wants to go out to eat or for drinks, I will go but I make it a point to make better decisions than I used to. If they ask, I'll tell them I'm on a diet and pretty much leave it at that. I know most people don't want to hear about it because I used to be one of them. If they persue the conversation, I'll discuss it but otherwise, I keep most of it to myself and teammates.

Edited by: KATEC0431 at: 2/28/2013 (14:03)

Posts: 1,343
2/28/13 1:35 P

One of my good friends that I've known since middle school at first called me crazy when I told her I was going to start losing weight. She herself is very overweight, and while she has tried several times, she sadly gave up.
What I find interesting is that when I went to the coast with her and my sister for a night a couple years ago after I had lost a large amount of weight, I was changing and I caught her kind of looking at me with really sad eyes. It was as though she realized that if she had kept up with it for herself, she could have been closer to a healthier weight herself.

I think people often get offended because they're losing an eating buddy. By eating with them and participating in unhealthy behavior, you're legitimating that lifestyle. By changing your mind and saying "I won't eat X", some people might take that as an insult. Like it's not good enough for you, but they're still eating it, so how are they supposed to feel?

It's not always jealousy. Some people legitimately don't care. I think I might annoy some people because I do talk about it a lot. I don't care though.
I know that I will eventually reach my goal and when I do, no one else will be able to understand the joy I will feel.

Keep doing what you're doing, and your actions will show them that it is possible. Pretty soon they'll be asking you for advice.

Edited by: STARDUST2K4 at: 2/28/2013 (13:37)

Posts: 6,255
2/27/13 6:59 A

I never mentioned my journey of weight loss with my friend/friends and it's a good thing too because my best friend didn't even notice I had lost weight until someone pointed it out after I lost around 20 (I've lost around 50 currently).

She even questioned it when I answered the person who asked how much I had lost at the time and acted like I was lying because she didn't see it. emoticon emoticon

Posts: 2,458
2/26/13 4:06 P

It depends really, some people are supportive and others try to sabotage, both intentionally and unintentionally.

Edited by: SIMONEKP at: 2/26/2013 (16:07)

Posts: 594
2/26/13 2:52 P

I have definitely had some negative reactions from friends and family with respect to my weight loss. Its not that they weren't happy for me, it seemed like they were unhappy they couldn't make the same thing happen for themselves. I would love to have more friends that are into fitness/weight loss, but since I don't, I'm going to keep coming on to Spark where the support is almost guaranteed!

Posts: 138
2/26/13 1:18 P

I'm open with my friends and family about my lifestyle changes, but I don't talk about it a lot to most of them. I have a very health conscious workplace, where everyone seems to be dieting, working out, or just trying to be healthier in general, so we often have lunchtime conversations about different topics, but usually they're general topics not about one person.

With my family mostly I get quiet support. Then again, I know the family members who are most likely to be negative or judgemental, so I don't typically discuss anything personal with them anyway. The family members who do know will give me a "Way to go" when I tell them I've hit a weight loss or exercise milestone, but it's still not a major topic of discussion usually.
It's the same, actually, with most of my friends as well. They all know that I'm trying to be healthier, and are supportive, but we don't talk about it as a topic of discussion. Something may be mentioned or asked in passing, but that's about it.

That being said, the one topic of discussion that did come up again and again was when I was adjusting to no dairy in my diet. I had a lot of helpful suggestions from family and friends, and horrified sympathy every now and then when I had a particularly bad reaction. They're more horrified at the idea of never having rich creamy ice cream again because it causes a hugely negative reaction, than they would be over me CHOOSING to never have rich creamy ice cream again.

Posts: 56
2/26/13 12:36 P

I've learned which friends I can share with and those to avoid. Those that have never struggled with their weight just don't get it and they don't know how to be supportive. On the other hand, those facing similar struggles know what I'm going through and can be more encouraging/understanding.

Posts: 267
2/26/13 10:33 A

Only my best friend knows and I like it like that.She's losing we can keep each other motivated and accountable.I made the mistake of telling a cousin and was told that I had to really want it bad enough to be successful,and that it was really hard to lose and keep it off.Said cousin was a month and a half out from having weightloss surgery after purposely gaining in order to be approved.Because of that,I stopped telling anyone else.If people notice when they see me,then I'll say something...but I wont go out of my way anymore.Her comment kinda killed it for me to want to tell anyone else emoticon

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2/26/13 9:25 A

When I was in the process of MAJOR weight loss, it was what I thought about all the time, and I talked about it a lot, too. My friends were very supportive, but that didn't mean they wanted to HEAR about it all the time.

Don't mistake people's comments for sabotage, when really, they just want you to talk about something else. I had a friend who told me the reason we fell out of touch was because all I ever talked about was weightloss and food and stuff. It's not that she wasn't happy for me, it's that it wasn't rewarding for for her to be with me at the time.

Weight loss is lonely. "Everyone" wants to, it seems, but not at the same time, and definitely not in the same way. I am fortunate to have a friend who is also losing weight and we talk about it sometimes, but mostly I just don't anymore. It's private. If I need to discuss it so badly, I will go online to discuss it.

My friends are for friendship and emotional support. They are not there to help me lose weight.

Edited by: TARISAANDE2 at: 2/26/2013 (11:06)

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2/26/13 12:42 A

i hope im not going to get flamed for this, but sometimes people get so caught up in weight loss, its all they can talk about. reminds me of a teenager going on and on about a new boyfriend. honestly,it gets a little tiring. the word 'bragging' comes to mind. now, theres nothing wrong with wanting to share your accomplishments, but when you have a desire to avoid someone because you know they are just going to talk about themselves the whole time.....well then its a bit much.

i am an introverted person and cant imagine walking into work everyday and the first thing i do is tell everyone, repeatedly, i lost 2 more pounds this week.......i work with someone like that.....who also gives unsolicited advice to others about weight loss, and will always bring the conversation back to her weight. its very tiring.

im happy for people who get heallthy and i might want to know how they did it, but at least wait for me to ask.

i believe people dont really think about me as much as i think they do......

i havent said a word to anyone outside my bf and my daughter about my weight loss journey. i honestly think its not that interesting. I also acknowledge the fact everyone is different, and what i need isnt the same as someone else.

surround yourself with what you need, if your friends arent supportive, as other posters have said, there are reasons for that, which probably have nothing to do with you. i wouldn't talk to that friend about weight loss again, unless she asks.

sorry im rambling so much....i have night shift brain.

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2/25/13 11:17 A

I just wanted to add one more point to the discussion - a lot of people seem to jump to the explanation of "oh, they're just jealous" whenever a poster writes about someone who is not being supportive of their new healthy lifestyle, and I don't think that's necessarily a fair explanation.

In my experience, people who are unsupportive and pushing fatty foods on you aren't doing it because they're "jealous" you're getting healthier, it's because they're defensive. You saying "Bacon mac and cheese? No thanks, pass me the salad. Oh, and I'll skip that chocolate lava cake and just have some berries for dessert. Soda? Nope, only water, thank you" feels, to them, like you're commenting on THEIR choices, because they ARE having the bacon mac and cheese, and the lava cake, and the regular Coke. So they do the whole "come on, it's not that bad, just get the *whatever*, can't you take a break once in a while" thing to try to make you join them in their choice NOT because they're "jealous" and trying to ruin your health so you'll be fat like them, but because they're trying to get you to affirm their choices.

When you can see that they're coming from a place of defensiveness, you can take steps to re-affirm them, by making it clear that your choices in food and drink and activity level have nothing to do with your opinion of the other person's choices. You're making choices for you, they're making choices for them, and there's no judgment involved. Writing someone off as "just jealous" causes you to lose an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the other person, and affirms everything they're likely fearing - that now that you're healthy, you're just going to ignore them and leave them behind.

Posts: 265
2/25/13 10:27 A

I'm very open with it and tell everyone. I haven't run across people trying to sabotage me, but I do get the one's who are slightly negative about it. Usually they have some weight to lose also, so I just let it roll off me. I'm proud of the almost 20lbs I have lost so far and if others can't be happy for me that's on them. :)

Posts: 765
2/25/13 9:35 A

I make my healthy lifestyle changes very public. When I did this last year and lost 18 lbs - I had a friend on facebook start a big war over something I had posted. He pretty much said "hey, I lost tons of weight by myself without bragging to the world" - my response was to say I needed the support from others - his was to tell me I was weak for needing others to take care of myself. Needless to say, it was very painful.

During my journey this year - I posted each time I was working out - and two "friends" put up posts mocking me. It's made me stronger, happier and healthier to know I can ignore people like this. I simply remove people from my facebook, spark friends, wherever your getting cr*p from - and move on.

Surrounding yourself with positive supportive people is important in everything we do in our lives!

Posts: 5,070
2/25/13 9:20 A

Like most here, I don't bring it up unless someone asks me. I have a very different look at health and weightloss and it is not necessarily the norm, so it opens me up to more "ridicule". However, it is working for me and i don't really listen to others opinions.

Posts: 82
2/25/13 9:00 A

I think it's very sad when friends (and family) are not supportive, but the reality is that some people are jealous when you improve yourself. I don't understand it myself - I couldn't be happier when someone I know or love gets ahead in any way. But, I've encountered many people who have not reciprocated when I've had success (i.e. weight loss, promotion, etc.). At one point, I was even told to stop discussing my eating and exercise habits - which I did not talk about obsessively - because it made someone close to me feel bad about herself. I didn't understand it, but I obliged.

What I learned is that my happiness is for me...not for other people. I don't talk about my successes unless asked, and even then I only share the cliff notes version...

Edited by: MEMAKEOVER at: 2/25/2013 (09:01)

Posts: 3,276
2/25/13 8:43 A

Personally, I don't bring it up unless they say something first. Losing weight is not like coloring your hair or deciding whether to buy those cute shoes. For a lot of people (especially women) the topic can be fraught with emotion. So their responses to you, will be influenced by their own issues with their own weight/body image. I take any negative comments as being a reflection of that person's own issues with her own weight and/or state of health (eg, exercising etc). There can be all kinds of emotions at play, and one of them is definitely jealousy.

And a lot of people do not really have the information to be helpful-- they've been watching Dr. Oz and think you need to be popping raspberry ketones or green coffee beans. They've been reading magazines and think you need to be extremely low-carb or eating "paleo" or something. They've seen a bunch of infomercials and think you need to do Insanity or buy some expensive exercise equipment, or you won't lose weight.

It can also be helpful when you DO talk about it, to focus more on the healthy aspect, than the losing weight one. My coworkers see my weight loss as a result of my efforts to eat healthy, and exercise. Not as, oh she went on a diet and lost weight. It's a lifestyle for me, not just a weight loss.

Edited by: MISSRUTH at: 2/25/2013 (08:46)

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2/25/13 6:56 A

Ugh. You must feel so frustrated with your friend. Dangerous? To have a weightloss goal? How ridiculous! My experience has been this - some friends will be completely on board. They will want to share ideas and recipes, workout together, vent, etc. Others won't know how to be supportive. They may be afraid of losing you, as someone else suggested, or they just might not see the importance of what you're doing.

When I began my weight-loss journey, I didn't tell anyone. But, since I had over 100 pounds to lose, of course people eventually noticed. Some of my friends tried extra hard to entice me to eat junk food or order something really fattening when we went out to eat. I learned, to maintain my will-power around them. Talking to them just didn't help. I also made some great new workout buddies.

Just keep doing what you're doing, and keep coming here for support. In time, you will learn which friends you can share this exciting part of your life with.

Posts: 51
2/25/13 5:03 A

I'd like to echo everyone's comments, you'll never know if someone is going to be supportive or not until you raise the topic. My partner is incredibly supportive, on the other hand my mum would unintentionally sabotage me every day if possible :)

It is important to tell *someone* your goals though, and I find SP is great for that. I'm held to them publicly - but everyone is supportive, which reduces the mind games and politics.

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2/25/13 3:47 A





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2/24/13 9:37 P

There's nothing wrong with telling friends about your weight loss and goals - however, you do have to be prepared for the possibility of this kind of reaction. I find I have some friends who are totally on board and interested in this stuff (one has actually lost and kept off over 100 lbs herself, the other is a fitness trainer for a living), so I talk about it with them. Others, I've tested the waters with - like you did with your friend - and realized they're not ready to or interested in talking about health and fitness, so I just don't bring it up again with them. Knowing who you can talk to takes a bit of trial and error, that's all.

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2/24/13 8:57 P


Unfortunately sometimes those closest to us are the ones who sabotage our weightloss efforts. They don't do intentionally necessarily, but subconsciously they can be jealous of our success and our efforts to improve ourselves.

One suggestion, I do encourage taking other on your journey with you. Lead by example. I am also an advocate of making goals public. It makes it more difficult to go back on them once you put your goals out there for the public to see.

Good luck.

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2/24/13 8:47 P

I personally don't bring up weight loss/health/fitness unless someone else brings it up first (unless it's my close family because we're all active and try to be healthy). I am not saying that it is wrong to do it differently, but that is how I personally deal with it.

For instance, I had a friend that hadn't seen me in awhile tell me, "Oh gosh! Your waist looks so tiny in that dress!" At that point I didn't mind responding, "Thanks! I've actually lost 15 pounds." There was another time where a friend mentioned that she was considering some diet changes. I encouraged her to do it, and told her that I had seen great results.

I just feel like it causes a lot less awkward situations that way, but I'd say that you know your friends the best so you could probably take it on a case by case basis if you wanted.

Posts: 13
2/24/13 7:49 P


I had kind of an odd question, but is it a good thing to talk to my friends about my weight loss? I ask this, because today I was telling my friend that so far I have managed to lose 33 pounds over the past 6 months. It's been very difficult and I have definitely had some lulls in exercise, but realizing I have managed to do this, I set a goal to lose another 20 lbs by my birthday (which is in 2 1/2 months). I told her this, and she seemed very neutral, if not almost jealous about the weight loss. The only comment she said was that it was probably dangerous for me to try and have a goal like that and I shouldn't try so hard, but good luck with it. I doubt she meant it maliciously, but it still really hurt, and I am starting to wonder if I should just keep my achievements and goals to myself. I still plan on keeping my goal because I don't want to give up, but if anybody has any advice or ways I should handle this, I'd appreciate the feedback. Or just thank you for reading/listening, I appreciate it.

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