One thing that comes up a lot is unwanted attention after weight loss, or during it, especially when you’re starting at a higher BMI like yours truly did. When you reach a certain point in working toward your goals is that it won’t go unnoticed. Soon, it’ll be noticeable enough that you can’t lie your way out of it. That was the way of it with me, even early in the game.
People would ask if I’d lost weight, and I’d say, yeah, some. I’d keep things vague, and move on. I felt like they didn’t need to know the specifics, since what good would it do them to know about them when they didn’t know me from Eve?
Then as I hit the 50-70 pound milestone into my weight loss mission, the attention from others started to ramp up, and it got so old, so fast. Some would come up to me, probably figuring I could solve all their problems for them, like I had the ultimate cure-all or magic solution. I told them the truth, that there was nothing easy about any of this. Some of them would walk away disappointed, and others told me they needed to make changes in their lives too.
My response was (and always will be), hey, go for it. I made it clear to them, and I’m gonna make it clear to anyone reading this who’s just starting out on their own weight loss mission, that this isn’t easy. None of this will happen overnight. Like I said in another post, we didn’t get this way overnight, so it stands to reason that we won’t get out of it overnight either.
Others were probably talking just to hear themselves talk and ask stupid questions. I kept things vague to head their stupid questions off at the pass, and kept it moving.
There were also times where people who devoted their lives to pretending I didn’t exist started coming up to me out of nowhere like we were old friends. Being treated differently after my weight loss was so upsetting to me, because I felt like, hey, you didn’t wanna talk to me before, why now?
For instance, there was a guy at the store who’d been working there for like five years up until this happened. For the sake of the story, and the sake of anonymity, I’m calling him Mortimer Snerd. Anyways, Mortimer spent the past five years I’d seen him around going out of his way to avoid me and ignore me. I was essentially dead to him, more or less, until I lost the weight and hit past the halfway mark in the single-digit sizes.
Out of nowhere comes Mortimer, fawning over me like we’re old friends, and even grabbing at the hat I had on at the time. I dodge him, and he backs off. He even tells me he’s going on break soon, that we should go for coffee up the street, and “you can tell me all about this.” I told him I’m not into coffee. At the time, I felt like maybe he was just too busy to talk to me the way I’d seen him doing with other customers, bantering, doting on them, and being the life of the party with them. I felt like maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt. He then starts telling me that he’s divorced, and about how his youngest is a few years older than me, then starts in on the questions about my life. I told him it wasn’t up for discussion. He then backpedals and tries to ask me how I did all this, and I gave him my canned response that it wasn’t easy.
That’s when he starts broadcasting his colleagues’ health business to me, and was doting on me like it was going out of style any second. I told him those types of health scares are a tough nut to crack, and that I’m sorry to hear things have been difficult for them. When he started ridiculing them, more or less, I cut it short. Nope. I’m not buying what you’re trying to sell me, pal.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I overheard him saying crappy things about a customer’s looks. That does it, Mortimer. We’ve spent enough time in life together. We’re done.
Mortimer had no room to dog on others for the way they look anyway. I know there are some people will probably chastise me for my decision to want nothing more to do with him, saying I’m depriving him of a chance to learn from me, and that he wants to surround himself with people who’ve succeeded. Or maybe he feels like, “golly gee whiz, maybe I don’t know her as well as I thought I did,” and would like another chance.
Whatevs. I’m at peace with that. The way I figure it, there’s like a million other people in this world, and there’s plenty of other people in this town who’ve succeeded. Mortimer can go leech and piggyback off of them instead. I know for sure I’d have never treated him this way if our roles were reversed. Mortimer’s had 5 years worth of chances to talk to me, and he squandered it all away because he didn’t like the way I looked.
I’m not in the business of giving second chances outside of a few rare occasions.
As the attention from others, the sudden acceptance where none existed from them before, and their doting ramped up, I felt weird, angry, and I felt like I was being love-bombed. I still feel this way, however the attention from others seems to have died down since we’re in the pandemic, and people aren’t going out like they used to. The craptastic winter we’ve had probably has something to do with it too.
You’re probably wondering, will this ever stop? I’m here to tell you that yes, it will. The harassment after weight loss, the unwanted attention, and the invasive questions will stop. I can’t speak to when that’ll happen, though. Some social cynics out there will probably tell you to shut up and be grateful for it, that they’d be happy if it were them. Good for them. Fantastic for them, even.
They’re not walking in your shoes. You are. If the attention and harassment from other people over your weight loss makes you angry or any other off feeling you can’t quite put a name to, whatever you’re feeling is understandable, and it’s ok to feel this way. You don’t have to feel grateful over their attention or acceptance, especially if it wasn’t forthcoming before.
Don’t let their noise, whether good, bad, or indifferent, or its’ implications derail you from meeting your goals. Not for one instant. This is about you, not them.