Competition during Medifast

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This is how it went.

Co worker 1 - you look great! I can really tell you've lost weight.

Me - Thank you. (feeling all happy).

Co Worker 1 - I guess I need to get on the ball.

Me - ? huh?.

Co worker 1 - you will be passing me up.

Me - ummmm doubt that (what do I say to something like that?).

Me - walk back to the copier act normal.

Really? When did It get to be a competition to be the littlest? Has everyone been comfortable with me because I'm the fatso of the office? Really?.

Then a day later..

Co Worker 2 - you are doing great! How much have you lost?.

Me - Thank you, about 50 something(don't feel completely comfortable with the numbers, yanno).

CoWorker 2 - I need to get busy doing something.

Me - ? huh?.

Coworker 2 - Well You are losing so much, makes me think you'll be skinny soon..

Me - I don't see skinny happening in a very long time, maybe never so you are safe(laugh).

Me - walk on down the hall and back to work.

Really? Again? Have I missed this chick comparison gene in my female dna? I accept people for what they are big, small, short, tall, etc...what matters to me is how they treat others, not how big or small their body is..

I'm amazed...have I been evaluated and pittied this whole time? Am I that socially backward?.

I'm taking it all as a compliment and moving on... but I wanted to know if I'm just that clueless or has anyone else been through this?..

Comments (34)

How would you take this?.

As a compliment and let it go at that...

Comment #1

I can tell you.... that conversation you had with your coworker.... had nothing to do with you.... it's all her.... and you look great!..

Comment #2

Let me guess, these two women coworkers are relitively small, correct? The reason you accept people for how they are is because you at one point in your life were overweight - you didn't want your appearance to matter to others and so you never let others' appearance matter to you. These women have probably always been thin(er) and therefore unconciously (or conciously) vain ... the idea of a past "fatty" suddenly being more attractive than them probably scares them to death..

This is an issue I've had in the past with a friend of mine. She and I were always bigger, she more so than me, but we were always the biggest two among our friend group. Then after high school I started working out a TON in my first two years of college, dropped about 20 pounds and toned WAY up! At that moment, I was suddenly the enemy, and a compitition started. She started counting calories and joined a gym, keeping it a secret from me until I found her gym pass on her counter once..

It's sad but true. Women can be vicious..

Laugh off what they say as you did ... and as you walk away, think to yourself ... "Ha. Ha. HA... GOTCHA!".

It's backhanded, but it's a compliment none the less!..

Comment #3

You aren't alone. My co-worker is also on the heavy side and she was always asking me "wow, how do you give yourself pedicures?" (after I was showing another co-worker my newly done toes) and, "can I borrow your spanx?" Nothing mean just more like, "well we are in the big girl club together". Now that I have lost the weight, she barely talks to me anymore. I figure - if your friendship with me was based on how I looked, then you were never my real friend. Sad, but I am over it - I need to worry about how I feel, not how she feels..

I bet Freya or GG will have a witty response for your catty co-workers!!..

Comment #4

I dunno what the jealousy is all about. My friend cried to her husband when I told her I had ordered my medifast. She was upset because she wasn't losing weight too. She is and always has been smaller then me. She literally cried! If you're that upset do something about it!..

Comment #5

I really hate it when people take another person's success personally-that is so narcissistic. I would say something in a kind tone of voice like "my weight has nothing to do with anyone else's weight" or "health isn't a competition" or something like that. People might take it badly but with saying things like that to you they'll just have to deal. One of my friends has noticed my weight (I didn't tell her I'm dieting) and now every time I hang with her she mentions her weight and wanting to lose weight. She compliments me so it's not sinister and I really don't think she feels competitive, but I think my weight loss is a reminder that she has a bit to lose...

Comment #6

There is always someone that wants to **** on your Wheaties and rain on your parade. I just ignore it and keep doing what I am doing...

Comment #7

I like "health is not a competition.".

My aunt "Laurie" recently made a comment like this about my other aunt "Betty" who recently had gastric bypass. She said "soon my sister will be skinnier than me!" I think it's because Laurie is the heaviest of her 5 sisters...after Betty. If Betty slims down she will be the biggest and I guess that's not a comfortable thing for her to think about...

Comment #8

Good point NightOwl!! One thing I've realized lately is I'm not always the biggest girl in the room. It hasn't been like that since 1996. It's an accomplishment for sure, but I have to remember not to make comparisons like that and just to be healthy with my own accomplishment. We woman sure are insecure!..

Comment #9

Next time respond "yes, I just might pass you up, and I WILL be skinny soon."..

Comment #10

Sam - You are right, they are little... that is probably part of it..

Sassy - "health is not a competition" is the Perfect response!! Thank you!!.

Drea - thanks for letting me know I'm not alone.

Thanks everyone... just typing it out really let me see how stupid it was and to let it go!..

Comment #11

Angela....I do think that a lot of people seem to take the weight loss or the weight of other people personally. I want to say I've never been one of those people, but I'd be lying. However, I am now much more focused on my individual journey.

I have a dear friend...who is much shorter than I am. She is probably 5'3" if that. She is a little bit overweight, but not much. What I find is that she tends to take my weight personally. I tend to go up and down the same 10-15 lbs in maintenance. I usually weigh somewhere between 150-165.

My friend...often asks me what I weigh. It's awkward, but well...I answer her. And, anytime that she weighs more than the number I say...I can tell she is upset. She is always supportive of me and my daily struggle with maintaining, but in the end...she doesn't like her number to be higher than my number.

I have another friend who is significantly overweight and for many years, we were overweight together. I often wondered if our relationship would suffer as I lost weight and maintained it. However, she's been nothing but supportive...and often goes out of her way to say she is proud of me for putting the work in. And...she reminds me to not use the negative self talk if I gain a couple pounds here or there, but also understands why it is so important to me that I don't ignore those few pounds...and end up gaining it all back.

Hugs all....


Comment #12

I love this, thank you! I am struggling to figure out how to deal with two women in my life (one a friend, another family) who I love dearly but hate how they get defensive, jealous and competitive when it comes to weight. I am non-confrontational by nature and hate the drama! I needed a strong response, because they are strong in personality and if I can quickly shut the conversation off, it will be better for them, and me. "Health isn't a competition." That's brilliant AND true! Thank you!!..

Comment #13

My friend Amy is very uncomfortable with my weight loss (there are before and current pics on my page with her). A year ago, if the two of us went out, men ignored me. Literally sat down at our table and talked to her with their backs to me as if I were invisible. When I first started losing, she was very encouraging, but now that I've lost a lot, her tone has totally changed. Instead of "look at you! You're looking great!" it's "You're losing so much and I'm starting to gain. I've got to do something or you'll be thinner than me!" as if this is the worst thing she can think of.

It's extremely difficult for her to go from being the "obvious choice" to having healthy competition (not that there is any competition, I'm married!). But she liked the ego trip of being the good looking one. And I'm liking the ego trip of taking over that spot, haha. Sorry, had to say it..

Seriously though, when Amy starts getting weird or making snarky comments, I just say something like "It's not a competition, and you're absolutely beautiful, sweet friend!" And it's true. =)..

Comment #14

Well truth be told, I AM looking forward to giving my SISTER my old clothes because they are too big for me. Sibling rivalries never really die.........

Comment #15

We have no control over what people will ask or say, so I think we just can't let it make us feel bad or derail us from our goals. There are a number of women in my department who are dieting, either using Medifast or some other method. I did not tell anyone I was doing Medifast for the first few weeks I was on it, I wanted to make certain first that it was something I could stick with (I can, I can!). I have *always* been the heaviest woman in my department, and as soon as anyone mentions they are on a diet, every woman (except me) had to jump on that bandwagon, and then the insanity begins! I have to hear constantly about their cheating (first comes the rationalizing why they can cheat, then comes the guilt after the cheat) or when someone notices my weight loss, they will inevitably say that *they* need to get on the stick and start losing!.

I just really want to be at a healthy weight, for once in my life (I've been overweight or obese since the 6th grade). The goals I have are not fitting into a certain size, but rather getting my bmi, cholesterol/tryglycerides in normal range, and ensuring I don't become diabetic, I'm taking control of my health and if there are other benefits along the way, so be it.

Someone else whom I've always had an issue with when I'm dieting (or not) is my mother. I've decided not to let her get to me, I don't see/talk to her that often, which certain helps.

It's truly a double-edged sword for me because I love sharing what I'm doing to keep on the plan and stay successful, and am always glad to answer any questions about it when asked, but can do without the negativity in any form. That's the reason why this website has been so wonderful, we all know where each other is coming from, and it's a comfort to know we aren't alone...

Comment #16

I'd let a person make one or two of the "I better get working on it" comments but if it becomes a constant deal of her making it a competition or somehow always turning my success into a discussion about her, pretty soon I'd just say "Yeah, you'd better. You're getting kind of chunky.".

(As soon as I finish losing weight, I'm going to work on gaining patience. I don't have very high hopes, however.)..

Comment #17

I think it's kind of fun when people give you some kind of back-handed complement/insult to act like they are giving you straight-up praise instead and just say why thank you so much! It really frustrates them. That's what I mean by take it as a compliment...

Comment #18

I don't see how you got this out of the original post. I read it as a compliment. People are noticing the OP's weight loss and it's making them think about how they look and feel themselves..

Angelah - Really, accept the comments (which is what I believe they were) with a thank you and a smile and be proud of your accomplishment!..

Comment #19

I do-the co-workers are threatened by the poster's loss and gave her backhanded compliments. I hate it when it happens to me...

Comment #20

We all interpret things differently. We can choose to go through life being offended by every comment made to us, whether there was offense intended or not, or, as is posted on these boards so very often, take what you need from the comment (in this case "YOU LOOK GREAT") and let the rest go. Some people really do not have social skills to express how they feel about things, such as a friend or co-worker's weight loss. This is touchy ground, especially for women, and often what is intended to be a positive thing comes out completely wrong...

Comment #21

I have a friend who said it even more baldly - she said she has to get started with a diet fast or she'll be the fat friend I take out to make me look good! *grin*..

Comment #22

Too much analysis. Say "Thanks" and move on. Personally, I'm not interested in what motivates people to make catty or left-handed compliments. If if sounds like a compliment, say thank you...

Comment #23

Now THERE'S a compliment if ever there was one!!..

Comment #24

Wow, I get asked all the time how I'm losing weight and such here at work and it's funny all of a sudden people saw me lose weight now they are starting to do it too?? Weird! Losing weight here seems to be the topic of the year LOL..

Comment #25

This has happened to me several times. And isn't it irritating when she sits there and soaks up the attention from guys who are being so rude to her supposed friend? Arg..

I have to say, ultimately I thank those jerks because now, going back into dating, I won't date a man who is rude to fat women. Even when I'm not fat, I won't do it. Give me a nice man...

Comment #26

I couldn't agree more with this. Why do so many of us always go for the jealous/defensive/bitchy judgement rather than thinking maybe the person is just insecure or doesn't know the right thing to say? For a minute put yourself in your "thin" friend's shoes.....she's probably always gotten attention for her weight and likely that was mightily enforced at home and now she is in danger of losing one thing in her life that she perceives as valuable (again, her perception), obviously that will make her uneasy and this could very well be new territory for her too, why make it harder on both of you by assuming her intentions are the worst possible?.

Beautiful, thin women can be just as much damaged by their weight and how society reacts to it as obese women. Feel blessed! It is far easier to overcome obesity than anorexia or bulimia or body distortion disorder. I have a friend who is absolutely gorgeous, like model gorgeous, who will NEVER like the way she looks. Who will never have peace with food, ever. Happily she is 100% sweet and always supportive but I can imagine a hundred other women in her same position that aren't as self aware who could come off as hurtful. Can we maybe just give other women the benefit of the doubt we'd like people to give us? The simple truth is we have no idea what another person is going through so take whatever they say in the most positive light and move on...

Comment #27

Congrats on your 50-some loss! You look great! You have to take these as a compliment and just go with the flow. Mean girls will always be out there, you just have to ignore them.

I was so fortunate when I was still working to have amazing and supportive co-workers that I never had to deal with this. I also am lucky to have the 2 best friends in the world! While they are both still overweight they still consider me as a card carrying member of the "Big Girls" club, and have never shown any jealousy. They've been 100% supportive...

Comment #28

Chalk it up to insecurity, and jealousy and the fact that thin girls look even thinner up against big girls. Keep on keepin' on and feel good about it ! I dealt with a coworker who used to watch what I ate and then went around talking to coworkers about it and telling them to watch me. *L* She's so insecure she can't stand it when people don't like her. Funny thing is she recently went on Medifast to lose 5 lbs.!!! *ugh*..

Comment #29

Thanks for all the wonderful responses.

Really I didn't think about it from the insecurity on their side thing.... normally I think that first, but when someone has been thin all their life I thought they didn't see things the same way, yanno?.

Interesting insights Thank you all!.

Tori - you might have hit on something, Co Worker 1 has a new boyfriend that always comes by to talk to me now(I'm married, but he's an attention seeking boy) and I think he might have been flirting with me(I'm oblivious)...explains alot..

This board is awesome!!..

Comment #30

Bingo! You just met a Green eyed monster! Keep doing what you're doing..

Comment #31


I Hope you have a good and strong day..

It didnt sound like an insult to me, but I want there. I trust your reading of it. Now you need to buy a pair of thigh high patent leather boots to wear to work and see what she says!.

If you do you must post the photos! ok maybe not the thigh high, just knee high with rhinestones. and please don't put ourself down again around her. tell her next time, "I do look good don't I''..

Comment #32

I have made comments before that I swear were not meant to be catty, mean, jealous, or that sort, but after coming here to read the things that others say and how they can be interpreted, and then further doing some really critical self-inspection, I realized just how unhelpful and insecure my comments were..

I have a friend who is shortish and thin. She says she's around 130, but she truly must be someone who wears her weight well because I think she looks like she weighs 115. I hugged her and commented about how I was afraid I'd break her.

Another friend lost a nice amount of weight (she already had a cute figure). She is taller than I am and I always liked that feeling of solidness with her (and againher figure was fabulous to start with). After she lost the weight, I hugged her, and again, lamented that I would break her if I hugged her too tight..

(My group of friends is extremely affectionate, something I'm not used to and am slowly learning to be more demonstrative, so my awkwardness comes into play here.).

I realize now just how dumb those comments were. At no time did I truly mean anything about how they should gain more weight, but, alas, I did make it more about my own comfort than theirs. These are comments I would have made in my thinner days simply because I'm awkward, clumsy, and oafish physically, and wasn't much of a hugger before. I realized that my weight has made me feel even more oafish. I thought I was making the comments more as a ... I don't know what the term is.

Regardless, I realized I was rationalizing my self-deprecating behavior, and these were inappropriate things to say to my friends because I was projecting my own insecurities onto them and it wasn't fair. FORTUNATELY, they accept my poorly worded self and my clumsiness. I strive to be more conscientious of what I say (not easy since I speak before thinking and don't have much tact) ever since reading about these sort of things on the boards and how others intepret the behaviors/words from acquaintances..

My confession aside, I do think sometimes people can be intentionally catty, and it can sometimes hurt to be the recipient of that cattiness. Trying to make the best out of the situation, and take a measure of pleasure out of the fact that someone felt it necessary to be catty in an attempt to elevate themselves must mean they feel inferior to you at a level. File it away for future reflection...

Comment #33

Leesalogic, that takes a lot of courage to admit. Awareness is a great step toward comfort. I used to be much more socially awkward. I spent some time listening to how people interacted, made a decision about how I wanted to come across and made a conscious effort to behave that way. Eventually, it becomes ingrained, and you don't have to be so conscious of it. I still do a reality check now and then, take time to "observe" how I'm presenting myself to make sure I'm how I want to be, but it feels good to have gotten to the point where I can relax and feel comfortable around people.

They will apologize when they've done something wrong, but they don't apologize for being clumsy or fat or whatever. They don't apologize for their existence. They may make a joke about it, but it isn't in an "excuse me for living" way. I think sometimes people who are awkward around others are so hyper aware of their own perceived shortcomings that they end up emphasizing them and making people around them uncomfortable. Many people can be a lot more forgiving than you imagine; those that aren't really aren't worth trying to impress...

Comment #34

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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