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To worry about post-lockdown meals with overweight family now I've lost weight.

59 replies

BagLadyy · 10/04/2021 12:02

I'd written a VERY ramble post. So I'm going to pop that in the next comment to elaborate and make my point quicker in this first post.


I've lost a lot of weight over the past few months.

Anyone who has managed to lose weight despite a similar background (overweight - sugar/carb loving family) to me.

How do you deal with:

  • the guilt that my family are going to be disappointed I'm not fat and self loathing anymore.

  • the extra treats they'll try and force upon me.

  • the huge meals that I know I'll be watched at to see what I'm taking. The comments when I don't eat things I used to.


I know it should be as simple as just saying I don't snack, fancy it etc etc.

But hoping there are others who have similar families.
OP posts:
An0n0n0n · 10/04/2021 12:57

I have dolloverweight family who used to show love through food. We have a great relationship so when the forcing started I said no and when pushed I said "No because I don't want to get fat again." They don't like hearing the fat word so don't push it. If people are rude enough to push your boundaries it's fine to be direct about why you don't want it.

Chipsahoy · 10/04/2021 13:00

How abusive and sad. I am sorry they make you feel this way. You are a cycle breaker and unfortunately that will shine a light on where they are stuck. So they will probably lash out and try to make you feel bad. It’s because of how they feel about themselves not you.
I’d lower the contact if they are going to comment all of the time.

DaphneBridgerton · 10/04/2021 13:00

You say if you can inspire them that will be a bonus... you're already on dangerous ground there, as it sounds like they will increase their efforts to sabotage you. Misery loves company after all. Just saying to check that attitude because it could come back to bite you. Otherwise, I understand where you are coming from. Was the same when I gave up smoking.. my friends really wanted me to fail, probably because it makes them feel better about their choices. Focus on you as much as possible!

LittleMissnotLittleMrs · 10/04/2021 13:02

You could say you had a change in taste and smell for a while now so since food is bland, it’s just body fuel so I stop when my body tells me to. Scare them into thinking you were asymptomatic but had COVID

AdoraBell · 10/04/2021 13:04

Keep saying no thank you when things are offered. Keep it light and polite/friendly.

AnneLovesGilbert · 10/04/2021 13:09

It’s a really common problem OP and you’re not alone. When one member of a family loses weight and keeps it off it upsets the “we’re a big family, it’s genetic, we’re all big boned” dynamic and other people can get very defensive as if you’ve done it to insult them.

I think the more things you attend where you make the food choices you’re comfortable with and brush off any criticism or questioning the easier it’ll feel. At the moment it’s all ahead of you and I can see why you’re concerned.

What you eat and how much is your decision. You’re responsible for your appetite, weight, health and you’re not criticising their choices by doing things differently now. Don’t turn up with a packet of ryvita and sniff at the bbq, of course you wouldn’t, but don’t feel obliged to put more on your plate or in your mouth than you want to, or eat donuts because someone’s offering them if you don’t want one.

Expect some comments and think about how you’ll respond if you need to. You were like the rest of your family for a long time so you know how they’ll feel. And prepare for “you’re far too skinny”, it’s inevitable, but it’s probably not true, they’ll just be getting used to what you look like now.

Cherrysoup · 10/04/2021 13:14

Re mum offering food repeatedly, just grey rock and repeat ‘I said no, thanks’.It really bugs me when people try to insist like you don’t know your own mind, very infantilising.

Well done on the weight loss!

letsgoandtango · 10/04/2021 13:15

Watching with interest. DH and I have given up booze and meat (as well as more exercise, lower cals all round). At my parents house it's all red meat and red wine. I feel I'll be able to say let's have fish instead of meat but they get sniffy if I don't drink. It's an ego thing for them - if you do something different to them they take it as a criticism.
I don't have the answer but it's helped me a bit to understand their motivation and try and rise above any snide comments.
I also do sneaky things like accept a glass of wine, drink a bit then and chuck the rest away when they're not looking. Easier than arguing Smile

letsgoandtango · 10/04/2021 13:16

I also make sure I put everything in myfitnesspal. So even if I'm eating foods I wouldn't necessarily have chosen, I'm not going over on calories

NoMoreMuchin · 10/04/2021 13:20

I get you OP.

I come from a family of food pushers and its taken me years to realise what a toxic environment it really is.

Talking about food while eating food while talking about how they shouldnt be eating this food..... Comments about TV being mainly about weight of actors etc, plans to all start again on Monday etc etc.

I used to try and suck it up by politely declining, taking small portions of treats, trying to ignore the constant comments about what I was eating etc etc.

One day I just lost it and said in a loud voice I was no longer going to sit back and pretend things were normal while they were all sitting there killing themselves with food and I wasn't going to let them kill me to make them feel better about it'.. Shocked gasps and then lots of 'oh you are such a drama queen' etc, trying to put me back on my box, but it forever changed the dynamic.... They know I've got there number about it.

Dozer · 10/04/2021 13:24

Classic assertiveness techniques will work, eg broken record - choose a phrase and just repeat it - PPs have suggested a couple of good ones.

Would also have one for comments / questions about your weight, and use it again and again. If people push, still no need to say any more - PPs have suggested good ones for that too, eg ‘please stop asking / making comments about this, when you do I feel uncomfortable’.

WallaceinAnderland · 10/04/2021 13:27

Anyone who says no (often my DH and another BIL) she will check 2-3 times if they're sure. Do you want this instead? Cheese and biscuits? I have donuts in the kitchen. Etc etc.

The answer to this is 'Not right now thanks, maybe later'. Repeat as necessary with a smile on your face.

TechnoDino · 10/04/2021 13:27

This is really interesting, I can recognise my own family dynamic..the advice to say no thanks and move the conversation on is good.
I imagine that a lot of people have changed their lifestyles during lockdown, and will have similar feelings. I have hugely cut back on drinking alcohol and am worrying about meeting with heavy drinking friends again. I can imagine them (wrongly) feeling judged if I sit nursing one G&T or glass of rosé while they drink 4.

adreamofspring · 10/04/2021 13:36

Well done OP!! Like other posters have said, stay strong, deflect negative comments by understanding that it’s their problem, not yours.
I have it the same way with drinkers on my in laws side; they won’t accept it if you decline an alcoholic drink... I always think that’s about them and their issues. If it helps, go in armed with a few rehearsed phrases to repeat, obviously ‘no thank you’ but a few others that don’t involve any emotion for you e.g. ‘I’ve just eaten’, ‘I can’t manage big portions any more’, ‘sugar gives me a headache’

Hankunamatata · 10/04/2021 13:41

Just because they offer you dont have to take it. Just keep saying 'no thanks'. Are you worried about your willpower around them

BagLadyy · 10/04/2021 13:55


Just because they offer you dont have to take it. Just keep saying 'no thanks'. Are you worried about your willpower around them

I'll pretend you weren't trying to fat shame me here.

I thought my posts made it clear my concern is the negative response of my family.
OP posts:
BagLadyy · 10/04/2021 14:02

Thanks for the many genuinely understanding and helpful replies.

I've had a few also which perhaps were written by my aunts/sisters.

It's that attitude of "you think you're better than us" that I'm so so desperate to avoid.

As that's automatically what they'll assume of me when I turn down extra helpings.

"Look at her all high and mighty" etc.

OP posts:
Hushpuppy1 · 10/04/2021 14:08

I will go back to read the whole thread but wanted to say that I completely understand and will be facing the exact same thing in May when I finally visit my extended family. I’ve lost weight by low-carbing and I don’t know how I will deal with their diet of endless toast and pizza, etc.. and if I ask to add salad to the pizza order I get branded as “difficult” or “fussy”!

MoiraNotRuby · 10/04/2021 14:10

You could be honest but in such a challenging situation I'd just tell white lies.

If/when questioned just say the weight loss is down to extreme stress. That's non competitive and non judgmental about them.

With the food just have the same amount as everyone else to start with but eat as much as you want and if there are comments on what you're leaving make up some excuse/spill a drink on it/get distracted by child and 'keep it for later'.

You can't solve your families issues with honesty but you can get through the social occasions with a bit of well timed bullshit. Seems the kind option all round.

Cowbells · 10/04/2021 14:11

Are they the types to understand if you said, 'Oh I'd love to but I'm on a diet?' and then ate what you now consider healthy normal portions but they consider sparrow food? I think as long as you make a show of wishing you could then you don't appear to be rejecting what they think is a sign of love.

BagLadyy · 10/04/2021 14:13


"You can't solve your families issues with honesty but you can get through the social occasions with a bit of well timed bullshit."

You should print this on t-shirts. I love it. Grin

So true.

A loud declaration of IBS trouble will work well for one event!

OP posts:
hettie · 10/04/2021 14:18

Ahhh I get it op Sad...If you say no or have a normal portion or don't snack then to them they treat it as judgement. Effectively they hear your healthy actions as a criticism of their choices, you are shaming them by not not joining in....Only of course you're not this is their own internal stuff and you don't have to be part of the dynamic. You need to create a healthy boundary and try not to to take onboard the negative feelings that will be coming off them. They can have those internal thoughts and feelings but you don't have to let them impact you. It's hard and sad to be made to feel like a bad person and takes a lot of strength to not give into them (as you know if you do it will be all good again). But the family status quo would mean you'd have to give up your hard won weight loss.. but my guess you've got the strength to get through this.....

Notaroadrunner · 10/04/2021 14:18

Well done for your efforts in losing weight - it seems you have discovered your triggers and your family are a big part of it. Being away from them has given you the proper head space to get healthy. Now it will be difficult to be back in their company and have them try to force feed you. Assuming your Dh has been supportive - clearly has given you've done so well - you can just have him to back you up. If you're having a sit down meal at your mothers dish up your own plate. If at a BBQ just take what you are willing to eat. But stick to what you are doing and don't let any negative vibes drag you back in to the overeating cycle. If your Dh sees your family trying to get you to eat more, he can call you aside or distract the relative. You just say you'll get some desert in a minute and walk away.

You don't have to go into detail about your weight loss if they ask or if they appear annoyed. If they have all gone to ww/sw in the past then they should be happy for you that you have managed to break through the barriers that you have all tried but failed to do in the past. I wouldn't go to a BBQ thinking you'll eat what they expect because it's just one day. That mindset could end up with you being back at square one. Be firm when needed. No means no - walk away if anyone persists in trying to get you to eat something you don't want.

Vickles20 · 10/04/2021 14:18

I’ve a lot of weight over 4 years. I live 3 hrs from my family. Lots of treat food/holidays over the years that I’ve loved and probably led, if that makes sense. So no toxic bit there.
However. I can relate with retuning back and trying to stay in control around an out of control environment, if that makes sense.
I bring my own basically. Pop it in their fridge. Have total control and choice over what I get to eat. I did that initially. Then when they understood what I was doing and how impressed (that sounds daft, but they were) they were with my will power. They began to ask me what they needed to get in for me. That’s what I do now and will do. But also. I’m maintaining now. So let my hair down more at family high days/holidays.
I have found subway salads delivered now a real help. Had one the other day. Also rely on Coke Zero and posh fruit and cups of tea.

Vickles20 · 10/04/2021 14:19

BBQ’s didn’t use to stress me out. There was always a chicken dish and salad I could choose. Or I offer to bring it

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