How to deal with jealousy and unsupportive people

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How to deal with jealousy and unsupportive people

This topic contains 70 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  thinatlast 6 years ago.

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  • Hello,

    I lost 30 kg last year. Since then have regained about 10kg, and am about to start again to re-lose what I’ve gained, plus the remaining weight I had to lose (which was a total of 40kg).

    The biggest thing I found last year was the attitude of other people. AFter I had achieved around 20kg weight loss, the jealous and undermining comment started. Like “you’re wasting away”, “Don’t lose anymore weight” etc. I know that I should just do my own thing and not let it worry me, but for some reason – maybe it’s because I’m a people pleaser?? – it really gets to me and I find that it undermines me emotionally and mentally. It really bugs me that people think it’s their right to comment on my body, my weight and my food choices when I’m losing weight – yet they wouldnt dream of doing that when I’ve been overweight.

    Does anyone have any strategies for coping with this, and know some really good ways of addressing this kind of intrusive nonsense from others. It’s hard to lose weight – I really don’t need other people making it even harder when they really should just mind their own business. Some comments are from people who smoke – I mean, if you choose to smoke, don’t make comments to me about my health choices – anyone would think that being thin is bad and being fat is good for you!!

    Any help with this would be much appreciated.

    Manda145, firstly, you need to be congratulated for your amazing weight loss. so biiiiig Congratulations.

    I am no where near my goal weight, (still heaps to go, approx 12 kgs)
    But I get skinny girls tell me to stop losing more or I will not look good. Who are they fooling?

    I just tell people now that I am at maintenance and not trying to lose further. However if it happens, it happens….

    Remember at the end of the day, you need to decide what you want from your body. I understand that you are a people pleaser, but you cant please everybody.
    Good luck with the journey. Hope you reach your goal weight soon!!

    Thanks Fatbuster.

    I thought of just going along with them…but then I thought, no I’m not going to let them do that to me. Why should I say I’m finished losing weight just to please them? Do they have any right to comment or tell us what we should want? It just really bugs me big time that people do this, and I’m trying to find ways of responding and coping. But I’m not prepared to tell them what they want to hear – like “I’m maintaining now” when I still have more to lose. I just find it incredible that people think this is for them to comment on, yet if I eat junk in front of them and obviously gain weight, they have nothing to say. Where is their concern then?

    Why do people try to interfere with someone’s weight loss?


    Have you considered responding as you have here? Ask them why they think it is acceptable to comment on your weight. And why they think it would be better for you to remain overweight than be a healthy weight. I agree you shouldn’t be complicit, these attitudes need challenging!

    Or how about, thanks for your unsolicited opnion, but I’m doing this for me not you!

    Well done!It is really very simple, a slimmer you is a threat to them.

    By making such a huge change to your weight, your attitude is and will probably change too. I suspect that they have things that they would like to change about themselves but you are making changes and that threatens them. It is quite weird I know.

    I have a very overweight friend who I have supported through numerous weight loss attempts. When I lost 23lb and 23 inches, she commented that my polka dot t shirt was very flattering! My response was that it was the weight and inches lost that made me slimmer. I was upset that she wasn’t pleased for me or supported me like I had with her, but then I realized that by making a change to me, it was possible for her to change too.I told her about 5:2 and offered to lend her my book. The offer was rejected and she is now larger with poor knees and cannot walk very far. I will continue to lose weight until I am in the ‘healthy’ range for my height and no one will derail me from that goal.

    I read somewhere that the ‘the best revenge is living well’ and it is an attitude that I try to live by. For me, living well is taking care of myself and becoming more healthy. The revenge element is for those that have tried to undermine and keep me were I was, because that suited them.Many people find change threatening.

    For me change is something that I look for now, a skirt that I can do the zip up all the way, jeans that I can now get on, bras that are too big on the band size, gaining a waist, feeling fitter, looking better in my clothes, buying new clothes from charity shops as my weight and shape changes, eating less but better quality etc…

    Good advice, Annette.

    Id add, look surprised, smile your sweetest smile, because its a huge thing you have done and a huge thing that people notice. Then gush about how wonderful you feel. Treat it like the compliment it is – its a backhanded compliment for sure, but a compliment none the less. And say Thank you!

    What is important isn’t what is being said, that is out of your hands. But you decide how to respond, that is your power.

    Get someone who supports you to play the part of a detractor – practice with thst person – and practice your beaming smile!!!

    Thanks everyone, I’ve read all responses with a lot of interest and enthusiasm. I really do love hearing what other’s think about this.

    In terms of why don’t I just say what I’ve said here? Interesting question. It’s in the workplace – so I guess it depends who the co worker is. What I mean is, the boss of the whole place says “dont lose anymore weight” makes me just as uncomfortable, but she’s a really nice person, and as she has all the power, I’m in no position to snap at her, or say something like “thanks for your unwanted opinion” – as much as I’d like to. Likewise, with a lot of people I don’t know what I feel comfortable saying. Also, a lot of the time I’m taken by surprise and don’t think of what I should have said until afterwards. Hence now why I’m trying to figure what the best thing is to have ready to say.

    My goal weight is right at the lower end of my healthy weight range. So that’s very slim for a lot of people. Societ now seems to have become so used to overweight being the norm, that anyone that is really slim seems to stand out. Am I right? Have most people become used to people being kind of fat and being happy to eat junk food?

    Could it all be jealousy? Some people try to pretend that they are concerned…like, oh you’re getting so thin…oh you’re not just eating whatever…and I’m like, well, why werent you concerned about my health when I was really fat and depressed? They can’t really be concerned? But why do they think it’s ok to hassle people that have made a choice to be thin and healthier? That’s so mean and it infuriates me.

    Oh, and when I say I had a total of 40kg to lose, I mean I lost 30kg last year, and had 10kg left to lose. I don’t have to lose another 40kg.

    I’m sure this isn’t the case for you and you’re no-doubt right to be affronted but for me many of the “do you think you should stop now?” type comments have come from people who I think were genuinely concerned for me.

    My dad is the most frequent offender (he’s better now) but he has said “Do you NEED to lose any more?” a few times in the past 2 & half years.

    I think it is because he is so used to ‘big’ me. I was big from puberty until the age of 34. I never really fluctuated in size and wore some of the same clothes at 34 that had been in my wardrobe since I was 16/17. That was just his daughter as far as he was concerned. I was never unhealthy with the size. Always active enough to join in everything anyone else was doing and although I was never interested in his sport (running) I was a good swimmer (something he struggles with) so he was pretty proud of my prowess in the pool. I did my first Swimathon (5K) before I even started on 5:2 and never had any health related problems because of my size (that I knew of). So for my dad, he’s just seeing ‘ME’ disappear in front of him and freaking out about it I think.

    The loss has trailed off to a crawl (actually a standstill for the past year but hopefully it will pick up again now) and I think that has helped him get used to the ‘new’ me and he’s happier about me trying to kick start my 5:2 losses again now.

    Whenever he made a comment I was ready to answer his concerns. I would point out that when I started on 5:2 I was literally 6 stone overweight (according to my ideal BMI) and that I am now only 3/2.5/2 stone overweight or whatever. I would also assure him that I had no real intention of ‘hitting’ my ideal BMI and would be very happy to stop and maintain anywhere comfortably within the ‘normal BMI’ range. I know I wouldn’t look good skinny and that is not what I’m aiming for, I want to be at a comfortable, sustainable weight/size that is healthy and easy to maintain. That is my only goal and as my dad he was relieved to hear that I’d thought it through and that health and fitness and not ‘ideal weight’ was my goal.

    Most of my colleagues have been pleased for me really. I must’ve carried my weight well because some of them failed to even really notice how much weight I’d shed in those first 18 months. Some of them have tried 5:2 as well but have either not committed properly or just chickened out in the end. Some of them struggle to get their heads around the concept of it but they are all pleased for me and happy that I’m happy I think. I guess I’m lucky in that.

    You have lost a huge amount of weight to date. Glow with pride.

    ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ Eleanor Roosevelt.I love this quote.

    I believe that it is the change that is threatening.If anyone brought up my shrinkage I would simply say that I had to lose weight as my blood pressure is very high and I don’t want to take statins. It was all true at the time, but as time has gone on they have become more used to the change. I probably have another 14lb to lose and have no doubt that comments will be made, but then they will never have known me slim either.My usual response to any concerns about my weight loss is ‘how interesting, I will give it some thought’. To the ‘my goodness you are fading away’ when I was given boxes of chocolates, I simply assured them that was unlikely and shared the chocolate out with my boys at Christmas. You might have to watch out for sabotage, which may be subtle or very obvious, BUT you have the power to choose what you eat or not. I would accept gifts of food, to have for later and then take them home and give them to somebody else. It is a bit of a minefield, so rather than get angry(which only affects you) smile your biggest smile and say that you feel fabulous too. Do that a few times and they stop commenting. They have failed to get you fat again and now have to come to terms with the new you….it happens.Feel free to use any or all of my responses and remind yourself how fabulous you are too.

    Hello Manda, I have just come across your post and i think it is so true! i lost 30kg once (many years ago) and when i went overseas to visit family (who never had a problem telling me how big i was and that i should seriously do something about it!) they looked at me and asked me if i was sick! and then they continued to tell me i didn’t need to lose any more! being 21 years old i believed them and i put on 10kg which i haven’t been able to take off (until now!)
    My sister also lost between 25-30kg at the end of last year and everyone, including my mum, told her to stop she was going to be ‘anorexic’ and she was still classed in the ‘overweight’ section using the BMI chart.

    It’s like people want you to lose weight for your health and so you can feel good about yourself but if you are going to lose too much they tell you to stop!

    I had this conversation with my sister who said if she had been 60kg her whole life and hadn’t just lost 28kg then people would be encouraging her to lose 10 -15kg but since she had just dropped a significant amount people were discouraging her…it’s funny isn’t it?

    Smile and be proud with your achievement so far. You have a goal and you know where you want to get to so just let the haters hate and keep your head up!!
    In the end this is YOUR body and YOUR life so don’t let anyone tell you that you need to stop losing weight because they will be the first people to tell you that you’ve put on weight, and make you feel bad about yourself.

    I think comments like “don’t lose any more” aren’t necessarily negative. As TracyJ said, it could be genuine concern, or just being used to the way you used to look. I’m lucky that I’ve been surrounded by supportive people. I’ve had the occasional “you’re not trying to lose more, are you?” but I took it as a positive (I had already reached a healthy BMI), but mostly it’s been really positive.

    My sister happened to lose a lot of weight about the same time as me. My mom commented to me that she was worried about her and thought she had gotten too thin. Her face was looking a bit gaunt, but she was definitely not underweight. That’s what I said to my mom.

    My thoughts on the attitude of these people are that they don’t want to believe that YOU are the one who is strong enough, disciplined enough, SMART enough, to be able to make such a dramatic and positive change in yourself, and they aren’t. So, yeah, they are jealous, and their egos have to shine a negative spotlight on YOU so that their inability or refusal to improve THEIR lives won’t be brought to light.

    Yep, they (and most people) don’t know how to handle an amazing person such as yourself! So in my opinion, they don’t deserve a response at all…just a wicked smile, a wink, and a shake of your skinnier butt as you walk away!

    And I also am setting my goal for the low end of normal. I want to be as thin as I can be!

    Manda145 I have had problems with this too. One lady in particular would look me up and down every time she saw me and ask me if I had finished losing weight, “you don’t want to lose anymore” she said EVERY SINGLE TIME! Yes I do I would say, I want a healthy waist to height ratio, I want to be the ideal weight for my height, goodness knows why I felt I had to defend myself when she was talking to me as if I were an imbecile.

    But it was the way she saw it as her right to examine the look of my body and comment on it that drove me mad. One day when I couldn’t take it any longer I asked her why she didn’t advise the fat people not to eat anymore, the ones at risk of diabetes / strokes etc. “after all you were a nurse, you know how unhealthy they are” Her reply “oh I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t want to offend them” Unbelievable!

    Hey Manda, Just keep on keeping on till you feel right. To heck with all the jealousy detractors. I had the same thing happen 30 years ago and became so depressed with all the negative reactions when I went from a size 20 to a size 12 that I just let it all come back on. Now here I am 68 and on the 5/2 for 4 weeks and finding it much easier than anything else I’ve done over the past 30 or so years.

    I don’t care what anyone says anymore……must be an age thing lol……I’m doing this for me, my poor old knees and my self esteem and I feel really great about it. In this first 4 weeks I have lost 4kg and 7cm off my waist.

    I plan to commit to 4 week blocks so it doesn’t become too daunting as I progress when the weight loss inevitably slows down.

    Keep up the great work.

    To be honest .. awful though it sounds ..where there is a lovely slim female there will always be some amount of jealousy. In this climate of 8 out of ten being unhappy with their weight even more so.

    Be proud of your loss …wear it with pride.. I say.

    If their remarks upset you too much just say your Doctor advised it. LOl xxxx

    It’s just started for me….

    My BMI was 24 in september last year and I’ve got it down to 21. The measurement around my belly button is still 36″ so trying to get that down for health reasons.

    Yesterday one of my female colleagues told me, in front of everyone else, that she’s ‘decided I’ve lost too much weight’ – I was rather embarrassed and mumbled something about there not being a problem.

    Today another colleague bought in jelly babies, the above lady offered them around and when I declined she huffed.

    A battle of wills is afoot…..

    Turn the negative comment to compliment.
    – You lost too much weight, you cannot lose any more
    – Oh, you noticed! thank you so much! I feel so healthy and beautiful. Could you believe that I bought a dress size 6 yesterday. I an so happy!

    And walk away with smile!

    coldpizza – building up the confidence to be able to do that. I’ll get there 🙂 it’s a small team and I’ve already got one guy not talking to me after I shut him down on his constant, twice daily ‘so when are you having kids’ questions after my wedding. I’m not sure how she’d react….

    People usually good, and they are intended a “good” comment. Maybe the guy is really care if you have kids soon. 🙂
    Sometimes the little push with joke and smile works the best, and you still having friendly relationships.
    I found that often it takes to change our mind too, to change how we view others’ comments.
    I am from Russia originally, and all of my colleague always mention vodka and imply that I must drink a lot. At first I tried to explain myself that I don’t drink vodka at all, but teasing did not stop. Now I usually reply that I don’t drink vodka, but take bath in it. Everybody laughs, and nobody continue about the subject anymore. 🙂

    I found also, that it is helps to “relive” the trouble situation in your own mind. Believe me, the same or similar situations are happened over and over again. If you find a solution when you “reliving” your situation, your brain will remember it. So when it happened again you will be ready with your respond and it will be in a thoughtful way (since you have enough time to find a solution). I recommended it to my girls, and they said it is very helpful. 🙂

    coldpizza – I think your advice would definitely work for a normal person – but this guy is not normal, he’s a nosey person who revels in winding people up. I did what you suggested until it got to me too much and told him the truth – OH and I are awaiting on genetic testing to make sure I haven’t inherited ALS from my father before we can think about kids. I’m really scared about the results so if you don’t mind, I’d rather not talk about it!

    He told me I was spoiling his fun and now isn’t talking to me.

    I think about the weight thing I’m going to to what you’ve suggested as that’s not a painful subject for me to be reminded about so i can just make joke of it every time.

    Just want to give you a BIG hug! And one MORE!

    coldpizza – thank you 🙂 your bathing in vodka joke did make me chuckle by the way!

    Their jokes must have gotten old and boring after a while too – unless it’s something particularly hilarious, it’s just not funny after 20+ repeats of the same joke.

    I think with this lady who’s concerned about my weight I’ll need to be extra nice, extra big smile, thank her for her concern, say I’m following doctors advice and then finish with a self depreciating joke…. just have to figure out the joke!

    “Thank you for your concern. It’s wonderful that you’re so interested in my weight!”

    Great idea! 😀
    Let me know how it worked.

    atcgirl, is it a good thing that this guy is now not speaking to you?

    K-Lo – yep it definitely is. It’s a tad awkward at times because we’re a small team of 6, but I’d rather this than the alternative! He used to joke that I was ‘fat’ too like he does with the lady I’ve mentioned, I don’t get that anymore either! Same boring joke every time, at least I was able to laugh that one off though.

    I remember that you gave the link to knitting website, but don’t remember what thread it was in. Can you give me the link please?

    Ouch, my memory, what were we talking about….was it

    Looks like the guy is real jerk. GRR!

    Sounds right. Thank you!

    coldpizza, I believe I also told you my name is the same on, so you can find pictures of my work. And try to figure out which picture is ME! (One of my sweaters is getting quite large on me….)

    LOL! I spend too much time on this forum… Now I am getting into another one. I hope I don’t lose my job!


    I like that there’s no bright colours on this forum, makes it look like work from a distance 😉

    So concerned lady is now ignoring me….. if she were to actually turn around and acknowledge my presence she’d see the massive piece of cake and sandwich that I was powerless to resist when I popped out earlier and probably talk to me again…..


    (I sacked off my fast for the day – but I figure I do it 5 days a week, one won’t hurt! I lose the willpower when I have to leave the office and have the opportunity to pick up food. at least it doesn’t happen often)

    oh btw, I do time restricted eating 5 days a week, about 20 hours water fast, 4 hours eating give or take. I don’t fast completely and have a decent amount of food in those 4 hours.

    A guy asked me if I had a cosmetic surgery.
    Another lady said “you have that happy glow… are you pregnant?”
    I count those as compliments! I am glad that people start noticing a change in me. 🙂

    coldpizza – awesome that people have noticed that change! (even if they’re asking personal questions)

    Guess you just have to take the compliment 🙂

    Concerned lady no longer ignoring me but I’m getting a few snide comments from her. Fortunately it’s the kind of tone that works well countered with a positive ‘well my doctor says I’m bang in the middle of healthy weight’ said in an extremely positive way 🙂

    atcgirl, way to go!!!!

    You can start giving them nice and friendly compliments about their outfits, bags, shoes, hair cuts, earrings. Who knows, they might return some nice compliments back? 😀

    I’ve been very thin, bottom of my bmi bracket, for most of my life until about 5 years ago when I got ill (I’m in my early 30s). I was a sports nut from an early age and joined the military so always super fit and strong but about a size 6. People would freely have a go at me about my weight (except for doctors who always thought I was in great health). I’d actually forgotten what it was like but now I’m starting to fit into size 8 again, it’s started up.

    People really have no issue with making little comments and although I’m grateful I don’t have to deal with the opposite end of the spectrum (being overweight and getting a hard time for it), it makes me feel powerless and bullied. If I say anything back people don’t take me seriously. They can’t see my fat tummy because I hide it well, they just see a slim person and think they can say what they want.

    My doctor has said I need to lose the belly and I agree so I don’t wind up with diabetes, but the lady at work doesn’t believe that. She’s going to make a comment now every time she sees me not eating. But at least because she’s getting mean with it, I can now be sarky back!

    Hi, I really admire you that you are smart and determined enough to notice that you are gaining weight while you are size 8. I wish that I made that decision back about 10 years ago. I was always slim (size 4-6 – USA size which are bigger than the same number in UK), and I was completely in denial that I am gaining weight slowly, but surely. During 10 years I was 45 lb heavier and size 12. When some dresses size 12 were getting tight, there was my wake up call.
    You are in charge of your own body, and you are a strong woman, and you are so right to start that battle for your health earlier.
    Don’t make some bullies to belittle you. You and I know, that you are amazing!
    Keep doing whatever fit for your body and for your health. And really who cares what mean people think? In a year or so you will be back to size 6, and looking better than ever. Who will be the winner then?!! 🙂

    thanks cold pizza 🙂 although you give me too much credit :p I did notice my weight was creeping up but had no willpower to do anything about it. What actually forced my hand was my wedding dress getting too tight, so I lost the weight out of vanity rather than concern for my health! Although never actually got into the overweight category anyway – I was a small UK 12 at my largest. I’m not aiming for a size 6, if my stomach was a healthy size now I’d probably stop but aiming to get it under 32″ so I might end up a proper size 8.

    Had a little word with my boss this morning. Concerned woman, let’s call her ‘Kate’, has had ‘fat’ jokes made at her by the rest of the team for years. The thing is that Kate is a healthy weight, so the jokes aren’t serious, and she’s always taken them in good humour. However recently she’s gained a little weight (although still a very healthy weight) and she’s not happy about it and appears to be starting to lash out at me. The three times the boss made a joke friday, she made a sarky comment about my weight each time….. I suggested to him that the jokes might not be going down very well any more. So we shall see what happens.

    My team don’t like me at the best of times, but they tolerate me. She’s now making it very difficult for me so I’m going to have to act. If she makes another comment today I’m going to turn around and say “my weight is not up for discussion, please can we stop now”.

    Well it’s stopped, back to normal. I’m still fasting and losing weight but at least I’m not getting ostracised for it any more. ‘Kate’ has decided to stop partaking in the weekly weigh ins and her weight appears to no longer be a topic of discussion.

    Great that you found a solution. You are strong and smart woman. 🙂
    You might be THE ONE who eventually will change the mood in your office to positive and nice.


    First, congratulations to all on your success with 5:2! =D I am really happy this diet has worked / is working so well for so many people 😉

    There is definitely a lot of envy and jealousy behind many of those comments, especially if they come from women to women, like this ‘Kate’.

    Even the ‘I’m-worried-for-your-health’ comments are not always totally genuine and innocent and are fueled by the green-eyed monster. Most of those comments come from people who are not even ‘entitled’ to be ‘worried’ about me since our relationship simply isn’t close enough for them to be so involved with my life.

    Many people see their own failure in other people’s success and get frustrated with themselves because of their inability to achieve what you have done. They lash out at the person who reminds them that they are not succeeding. It’s sad but that’s how some people react.

    I get they feel awful but that’s no excuse to treat you badly and that kind of behaviour should not be tolerated.

    I’ve also had this kind of comments. If I can definitely tell it’s jealousy I just rub it in by saying how great I feel and how much better I am. I talk about having greatly improved my performance at everything and tell them that I used to be this thin years ago before they met me – which is true. Basically, I explain why losing all that weight is the best thing I have ever done.

    Don’t let others bring you down. In my experience, these comments start when your weight loss is most noticeable but then they dwindle down and eventually stop with time. After all, they can only comment on your weight for so long. Someday they’ll realise that you’ll stay that weight or even lose more and get it in their heads that their comments won’t have any effect or influence on you. I mean, what do they event expect to achieve with their comments? For you to eat more and gain all your weight back?

    The moment they realise their comments are pointless, they’ll stop wasting time making them. At least that’s what happened in my office.

    Sylphadora – ‘gain all you weight back’: I think that’s exactly what they want!

    Also I think we’ve been conditioned as a nation to not think badly of people for being overweight, which I think is great but the flip side of that is that people’s perception of a healthy weight is wrong. There’s a woman in my office with a bmi of about 19 and the general opinion is that she’s way too thin to be healthy, but I think she looks absolutely fine. She’s way healthier than I am! When I started getting a hard time I was right in the middle of the healthy section of the bmi chart – far from underweight.

    People who genuinely like me have either not mentioned my weight at all or been congratulatory about it. I think it’s those who don’t like me who’ve been nasty.

    Finally I’ve started doing something about my colleagues. Am booking some sessions with a psychologist to try and increase my confidence and find a brand new career! Also you never know, increasing my confidence might mean I can finally properly deal with people who point out my small frame, I’d love to not just try and shrink into nothingness every time it happens. Actually push back and not just take the thinly veiled insults anymore.

    Also they do hypnotherapy so I’m tempted to see if they can help me a little with my tendency to comfort eat – usually out of upset or boredom. I’ve managed to cut it down to a huge extent but a little extra would help I’m sure because I still do it on occasion.

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