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Forum #10:
Success Stories in 
Dealing with Weight Comments

The holidays are a time when there is more family contact, which can mean more focus on weight and body size.  The dreaded comment may vary for each of us:

  • �My goodness, you�ve put on weight,� or 
  • �Wow, you lost weight, you look great now!� or 
  • �I only am saying this for your health . .� or 
  • �You never eat a thing!�  

Some of us avoid family visits altogether because it is so difficult to be around the weight commentary � either about us, or the self-disparaging remarks of others.  Were there things you did this year to take care of yourself that you would like to share? We will assume it's OK to post unless you say not to. (See below for a selection of your responses.)


Related pages:  Check out Forum #6, our readers' examples of "supportive" and "unsupportive" comments made by other people.

Reader responses:

"I have put on about 50 lbs in the past five years, and whenever my family makes comments, I tell them, "That was rude" and then I exit the room. They don't comment anymore, and I feel better for it! "

"This is a topic that I don't handle very well at all. I grew up in a family that constantly teased me and made fun of me for having big hips and a fat rear end that stuck out prominently. They called me "butterball" and "lard-bottom" in front of my friends and other relatives, and I couldn't eat anything in front of them without getting poked in the hips or patted on the fanny and reminded of how big and fat I was getting. Their efforts to shame me and humiliate me into losing weight always backfired however, as it just made want to stuff myself even more with rich, fattening foods and get fatter and fatter in order to show them that they couldn't control me like that.
I'm now a freshman in college, and I've put on a whopping 52 pounds during the past eight months! I avoided having to face my family's comments during the Christmas/New Year's holidays by going home with my roommate to her family's house, but in about a month, I'm going to have to go back to my home for the summer and I'm dreading what my family's reaction is going to be when they see how much weight I've gained. . . My younger brothers and sisters are just going to take one look at me and start laughing and giggling hysterically, and I don't know how I'm going to handle that! My parents will probably tell me how shameful and disgusting it is for a girl to let herself get so fat and out of shape, especially when I have to buy some new clothes to replace all the ones I've busted out of.
I am not looking forward to this at all, so I would appreciate any ideas anyone can give me for how to handle the situation."

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"What is it with my parent's generation? Why are they always scrutinizing people's weight and making little comments about it as if it's some kind of personality trait how much someone weighs? Both myself and my husband have had psychological problems with food, eating and weight triggered by nasty comments from parents, in-laws and grandparents (or embarrassing and inappropriate amounts of compliments if one of us looks thin).
I've spent years undoing all this stupid brainwashing and feel able to defend myself (mainly by spouting scientific facts) but my husband is more vulnerable and unbalanced, all it takes is one stupid little comment from the mother-in-law and it undoes months of me trying to help him build a positive self image."

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"My family is very unaccepting of me and unconcerned with my personal happiness, so I don't choose to spend my valued holidays with them. My mother has ferociously fought her natural weight all her life (resorting to drastic measures, even though she has never been clinically "obese") and is especially "disappointed" with anyone she considers fat or "out of control". Long story short, this and other factors led me to become bulimic/anorexic as a teen and young adult. Now in my 30's, I have had help in therapy and from a supportive husband who loves me however I am. His family has welcomed me and is a place of acceptance for me. When I was single and unattached, I still chose to spend holidays away from my family...this was very difficult but not as stressful as it would have been to deal with my family of origin! I know this solution would not work for everyone and is not needed by everyone, but I believe that a person really needs to choose to support themselves in whatever ways they can and not put up with continual abusive, vicious treatment from anyone!"

"I have always been praised by family (parents) on how a good little girl I was and on how thin I was. It became obvious a few years ago that I was a/b...I couldn't hide it anymore because the weight loss was excessive. 
With the help of a therapist and after several years of hard work I have recovered and naturally put on more weight than ever. I'm not sure how much weight I've put on though because I vowed never to get on a scale again. (ouff, that's a hard one) I am always nervous before attending an event where I will see someone who hasn't yet seen me in my new body. I often avoid seeing them and decline invitations. I always fear being told "My, you've put on weight"...I don't know what I will say."

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