7

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How do you deal with negative perceptions of your success?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 24, 2010 at 6:28 PM

I've been a little chubby for a long time but never too out of shape. People got used to me looking a certain way but after almost a year being Paleo, I'm a pretty skinny version of the old me. I'd say I am the healthiest I've ever been, but my family looks at me like I've been starved or something since they aren't used to me without my beer gut and double chin. Mom is starting to send me gluten-free cupcake cookbooks to fatten me up. Anyone else deal with this? My goal is to focus on building muscle weight and perhaps that will assuage their worries. I am about to take up the flag for the opposite end of the "healthy at any size" movement! It's ok to not carry excess body fat America!

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 02:45 PM

i'd vote your mean spirited comment down, but i'd rather not spend my rep points.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 02:44 PM

ouch you got me. i'm gonna go crawl back into my cave and feel like the jerk that i am. i dont think i have to impress anyone here with my success, if everyone is on the paleo diet, everyone is realizing a similar success and wouldn't be that impressed. i asked it because i think a lot of people here are going through the same thing. i put it up the day i got my baked goods recipe book in the mail and I am sad about my overweight parents thinking i am unhealthy because i am making healthy choices.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 12:24 PM

i started really tracking my food and nutrient intake in Fitday in order to make sure it was just other people being crazy. i'm eating like 3,000 calories a day and getting almost all the vitamins and minerals fitday tracks so far.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 08:00 PM

great job! love before and after pics, it is very inspiring

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 25, 2010
at 01:23 PM

i think you nailed it.

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11 Answers

best answer

4
1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on October 25, 2010
at 10:44 AM

I don't agree that it's other people projecting fake concern onto you or wishing they were that slim. In my personal experience, it was people who clearly had a fixed view of what I looked like after having known me for a long time, and then seeing a newer, slimmer version of me, they simply can't get used to it or just worried I was losing weight through illness. Despite me still being not particularly thin. One of my biggest worriers was also my mother - I think mum's just often have a built-in worry mechanism if you lose weight.

People who met me after I lost weight didn't think I was too thin, so I put it down to simply a failure on the part of people who knew me well to adjust their perception of me.

As to the question - how do you deal with it? - I think it's hard. Building up your muscle is a good strategy, other than that, it's probably just a matter of time until their perception shifts to the newer slimmer you.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 25, 2010
at 01:23 PM

i think you nailed it.

8
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on October 24, 2010
at 08:06 PM

It's not that you are in good shape but that those around you aren't, hence the faux concern.

Or in other words you're making them look fat and they resent it.

7
154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on October 24, 2010
at 08:32 PM

"Haters gonna hate".

5
29959ae795359b64d3244dffc72e6eb9

on October 24, 2010
at 08:34 PM

You might want to read The Four Agreements. Interesting read. Anyway, it is usually that person's problem, so nothing to take personally. They are the ones that need to post for help. Sounds like you're doing great! : )

2
2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

on October 26, 2010
at 08:02 PM

I know how you feel...everyone is already saying "don't lose too much weight, etc.". Why do people always have to be so preachy. Although I am trying to lose weight it is only to shift the fat into toned muscle mass and feeling optimal. The way I feel trumps the body image.

2
D15e9a1c7dfded8fe3a32d8cda8fd4e1

(20)

on October 25, 2010
at 11:54 PM

People get used to the new way you look soon enough. Then you show them old pictures of you and they comment how unhealthily fat you looked. I'm about an inch over 5 feet tall and about 125 lbs. I used to be 180 lbs. (I'm female and of a somewhat muscular build) Any time anyone says i've lost too much weight i remind them that, BMI-wise, i'd be officially overweight at about 132 but i wouldn't be underweight until i got down to less than 100 lbs.

2
F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

on October 25, 2010
at 12:45 AM

The same thing happened with me. My transformation was not even that radical, but many people thought that I was sick. The pictures of my transformation are here:

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-transformation-i-cannot-remember.html

The questions soon stopped. The reason for the questions may be that losing body fat is not very common, so people often assume that you are sick when you lose a large amount of body fat. Indeed, people diagnosed with life-threatening diseases (e.g., cancer) often lose a lot of weight fast.

You approach of gaining muscle is the right one. It is very unlikely that gaining body fat will be healthy for you. There is nothing like losing body fat to increase your adiponectin levels:

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/03/adiponectin-supplementation-body-fat.html

And, the more circulating adiponectin you have, generally the better off you are in terms of health.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 08:00 PM

great job! love before and after pics, it is very inspiring

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on October 24, 2010
at 06:38 PM

Someone once half-jokingly asked me if I were sick, but I took that as a compliment. I haven't gotten any negative feedback yet, but the holidays are coming up where I'll see some relatives for the first time since starting the lifestyle. I'll see ow it goes.

1
990472da245e34f25e47af5d270b7a4b

(188)

on October 25, 2010
at 09:49 AM

People may know how you look, but only you know how you feel. If you feel stronger, healthier, and less tired, then you know you're on the right track. I think sometimes people take awhile to adjust to changes they haven't experienced internally. Perhaps when they start to witness the amazing fitness levels you're at as well as your steady level of happiness/balance, they'll back off. :)

0
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on October 24, 2010
at 06:59 PM

My son keeps telling me I look like something is missing, and he keeps telling me to eat quinoa. Missing? Quinoa? I can run circles around the little whippersnapper, and I'm his (paleo) Momma!

-1
C0887358ae041723ba426a6ad4732cfc

on October 27, 2010
at 12:48 PM

I have two book recommendations for you: Lasch's "The Culture of Narcissism" and Becker's "The Denial of Death," because if your question isn't just a sly way to bring up your success on a paleo diet (like someone bringing up that they play guitar by "accidentally" dropping a guitar pick when paying with coins) and you're actually irritated by well-meaning people showing concern, you need some perspective.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 02:45 PM

i'd vote your mean spirited comment down, but i'd rather not spend my rep points.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 27, 2010
at 02:44 PM

ouch you got me. i'm gonna go crawl back into my cave and feel like the jerk that i am. i dont think i have to impress anyone here with my success, if everyone is on the paleo diet, everyone is realizing a similar success and wouldn't be that impressed. i asked it because i think a lot of people here are going through the same thing. i put it up the day i got my baked goods recipe book in the mail and I am sad about my overweight parents thinking i am unhealthy because i am making healthy choices.

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