Responding to someone when they point out my weight loss

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    • #14883
      Julia R

      Hi, It has been a few months since I have been on the forum. I am hoping to get assistance from Gillian or any of you on how to respond when someone comments on weight loss.

      A couple of weeks ago someone asked me if I had lost weight. I lied and said No. I am not someone that lies, I have not felt comfortable even telling white lies. There was a pregnant pause so I then said, my hubby was now doing the shopping. Then the friend said “Oh you were buying extra food/desserts”. I cannot remember if I agreed. It is actually my hubby that brings rubbish into the house occasionally, more than I do.

      This whole thing threw me off balance. The focus was all about my weight—similar to when I have been on the scales (which I have not done). As the result, I started over eating as a way to calm myself. This went on for a few days/couple of weeks even though I was aware of the Why, I continued. I believe I continued overeating because I was anticipating the next time it would happen—-someone commenting on my weight. Please note: I wasn’t overeating to put on weight so it would not happen—at least I hope not. I believe it was because I did not handle the inquiry well and anticipated the next time I would again get thrown off balance. Two days ago another friend said there is something different about you, I can’t remember if he asked if I lost weight because of the noisy setting we were in.

      I believe this will happen again, and maybe again and again. In the past when I anticipated being asked, I just thought I would say some snappy comment and shrug it off. Maybe at some point I will be able to do so. This really did a mind job on me. I have done so well NOT being focused on weight, so it hit me like a landslide. And I think it made me a somewhat concerned since we go dancing every week so in some ways I am on display on the dance floor for more people to notice any weight changes and comment. Also, I have asked folks in the past if they have lost weight/or commented on their looks so I am not faulting my friends-they too are a product of societies focus on weight.

      I think I am wanting a 1-2-3 solution/suggestion. A counselor suggested the following outline when I had an issue:
      Acknowledge and Accept: I feel off balance when asked about my weight. Accept: This will happen from time to time.
      Mind Makes a Statement: I happily reject the focus on “weight”

      Weight is probably the most delicate subject for me—it has been an issue for decades which is likely why it is so sensitive. I thought of completing the above outline only as I was writing this just now. I don’t have a lot of confidence in completing the outline since I have not done it much.

      Curious, Gillian on your thoughts since you bring so much wisdom and experience. Again, I am so shocked on how much this impacted me.


    • #14884
      Janet K

      Hi Julia
      I understand how much comments about weight can wreck you.
      I haven’t had this problem in a while 🙄 but in the past I said something like “O do you think so? I actually don’t know because my scales are broken….” Then change the subject.
      It’s a way of deflecting that leaves very little room for comeback.
      Or if the white lie is a problem, don’t mention the scales just say you don’t know…..
      Hope that helps 😊

    • #14885
      Maggie C

      This was a focus on the Q&A last night. Watch the video when it comes out. Gillian had some great insight and research to share on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Really made me think and gave me opportunity to think about what I would say in that situation. Am sure Gillian will comment. Have a good day.

    • #14886

      Thank you, Maggie, for your comment here about the Q&A yesterday.

      Julia, the replay video will be on this site this afternoon (towards the bottom of the Dashboard in the EXTRAS section) and please do watch at least the first half hour. You’ll see I describe what happened to you. And, it’s quite common, so you are by no means alone in reacting this way.

      Understanding what’s going on is the biggest part of becoming less reactive about other people’s comments. When you’ve watched the replay, make a post here to let me know if you have any questions or comments.

      And, my suggestion is for you to (re) focus on your non-weight motivation.

    • #14932
      Julia R

      Thanks for the suggestions, I am looking forward to listening to the Q&A! I like your suggestion Janet in regards to the scale. I can say IDK, I have not been on a scale for long period of time, which is true. And then change the subject. I have heard the suggestion before about changing the subject, but in the moment of being put on the spot, I did not even think of doing that. Again, thank you for all the feedback. I will post again to give an update.

    • #14934
      Janet K

      Happy to help Julia xxx

    • #14936
      Julia R

      I listened to the Q & A. I can certainly see I jumped into an extrinsic mode. I appreciate your comment Gillian that I am not alone. Sometimes I feel like I am flying solo having unique experiences, like I am just weird cause no one else has this or that issue. So it feels good just knowing it is part of the journey. What I got from the Q&A (and your suggestion) is to re-focus on my non-weight motivations vs. getting pulled into the extrinsic ones. I want to re-listen to the Q&A because I know I will gain even more. I like your “shoulder shrug” when someone mentions your weight. I feel empowered to do the same, saying IDK, I have not been on a scales for a long time, and then change the subject!

      Gillian you always amaze me with your research! And this forum is amazing! I need to spend some more time on it. It is wonderful to have access for a year and to continue at a reduced cost. It is a life line for me!

      So grateful!

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