The Pep Squad

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I was having a discussion yesterday with a friend of mine who is also on a journey to a healthier body. She has made significant progress and I am very proud of her. I hear our co-workers frequently complimenting her on the progress she has made. Since I really struggle with the attention that comes from my changing body shape, I asked her if it ever made her uncomfortable that so much attention was being focused on her body. She said that what bothered her about it was since every one knew she was trying to loose weight (and being quite successful at it), that they would all know if she slipped. It added a whole layer of pressure for her.

Why is it that when we are overweight we feel insulated from the attention of others? When my friend was 50 pounds heavier she never worried that other people would be disappointed in her if she didn't go to exercise class or if she ate a greasy cheeseburger for lunch. My friends who are already healthy never concern themselves that others may think they have "fallen off the wagon" if they are seen with a doughnut in hand. What is it about this journey that makes us so self conscience?

It's very easy to say "don't worry about what other people think" when for the most part people keep what they think to themselves. But when they are your cheerleaders every day. The ones who tell you how good you're looking and to keep up the good work, you do worry about what they think.

Sometimes I think it's a mixed blessing. The extra layer of accountability keeps me on track most times. Other times the extra pressure the attention brings is very overwhelming. This is all so new to me and I'm learning to deal with these things as I go along.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Pixie you always know just what to say. You hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what I'm afraid of. I don't want my friends to do anything different, I need & appreciate their encouragement. I'm just so afraid of letting them down that I create extra pressure on myself. I have to learn to focus on taking care of myself for me. And it's not easy to learn.

    Thank you again my friend for your words of encouragement. I am truly blessed to have you as a Spark Friend.
    4158 days ago
    I'm sorry the blog seemed to have a negative tone to it. I in no way meant to infer that I thought my friends were being out of line by supporting me. I appreciate the support and honestly wouldn't have made it as far as I have without them. I am blessed to have such a super group of "cheerleaders" around me everyday. I realize that the extra pressure I feel to not let them down is all coming from me. That was what I was trying so clumsily to say. That I needed to change me not the others around me.

    Thank you all for your insight and helping me to see how whiny that sounded.
    4158 days ago
    Oh boy. I lost 86 lbs in 2005/2006. Everyone was complimenting me, asking me how to do it, telling me that I inspired them. I had so much attention on me, and it was scary sometimes.

    Then something happened in 2007 that broke my heart into about a million pieces. And to cope with it, I turned to food. I knew I was gaining the weight back and that people were noticing. It was embarrassing but I couldn't stop. And I ended up putting those 86 lbs right back on me.

    I tried and tried to get back on track to lose the weight but I had so much trouble. It didn't help when people would tell me "It should be EASY for you because you've done it before!" At the Curves I went to, one lady actually said to me "Is it embarrassing for you to have been our biggest loser, and now you're the fattest one here again?"

    Now I'm finally on track and losing the weight again. I don't really care if people notice or not. This time I'm truly doing it just for myself. And when people talk about my having gained the weight back, I just tell them that I am the perfect example of a typical weight loss success. Many people who lose weight gain it back, because maintenance is hard. So I actually like it that I can be a success story who fell off track and then found her way again!

    This probably does not answer your blog at all, lol. Sorry, I got off on a tangent!
    4158 days ago
  • FITKAT2010
    Would you rather deal with accountability, or being overweight, unfit, and unhealthy? It's a choice. You will get over this phase and welcome others supporting your new lifestyle. It's also a choice on how you see their comments. Either from a space of Love or fear.

    Fit people have issues too. I am fit. I am healthy in all respects. I still have to choose how I take others support and comments. I do my best to see it with love.
    4158 days ago
    Generally those who comment mean well although they sonetimes are clumsy about how they say it. Take all of the comments and turn them into compliments in your mind and move forward.
    4158 days ago
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