My weight is nobody else's concern so I don't ever mention it in casual conversation. Same with my food choices, my muscles, my size, my disordered eating history. We can just go down the list checking, "Not your business. Not your business. Not your business." Especially with clueless looky-loos making off-handed comments. It's not worth my time or energy to bring them up to speed, hoping that I've explained it in such a way that they will understand and approve. They don't care. That was a revolutionary notion. Most of the time they're just making conversation. They're not going to go home and lose sleep over my size or choice of ice cream toppings, so why should I?
Once in awhile I will run into someone who is genuinely interested. I'm always happy to talk food, fitness, mind/body with someone who is sincere and receptive, especially if they're asking for my help. That's not most people though. Your average relative or coworker is just making fly-by small talk and projecting their own issues.
Wow it really does. I definitely feel comfortable enough to say that to him and I will. I have had variations of that conversation with him but it feels hard to pluck ourselves out of it each time, or for me to get tempted by it and have him join in (bc hes being supportive). But I think its worth revisiting because if I end up with him, it has to be that way for us so that I can be the best partner and we can have the heightened connection we deserve, free of my food stuff.
Early in our marriage, my husband witnessed some CRAZY goings-on with my weight, eating, and body image. I would eat something seemingly inconsequential and have a total crying rage meltdown, or my clothes would feel tight and I'd cancel plans. Silly stuff. I'm sure to a bystander, it was like I was possessed. He loved me very much and wanted to help, which would lead him to comment on my eating or appearance, which would cause me to twist everything he said, panic, rebel, blame him, want to show him. I think about my behavior now and just cringe. You sound far more mature and logical about the situation! What finally happened is I sat him down and said something along the lines of, "If you love me and you want to help, never say a single word about my body, weight, exercise, or anything I eat. I need to work it out on my own and know that I'm not being judged. I need to be able to eat anything in front of you and not have you comment or give me a look. I don't ever want to sneak food or lie to you about exercise. I do my thing, and you know that your silence and your confidence in my ability to handle it IS super supportive and exactly what I need."
Now, did this go off without a hitch? No! LOL I'm sure the poor man was scared to death about what his eyes were doing while I was eating, or if he might say something off-handed that would cause me to turn into the crazy lady, but after a couple weeks of practice, we fell into a nice routine. He felt good about helping me by shutting up. I felt good about being supported and loved. Years went by, my food issues mellowed out dramatically, and eventually he could joke with me or comment again, but those initial years of quiet support were invaluable.
Maybe that will give you some ideas.
Hello! I haven't been on here in so so long but just came back to the new site- how gorgeous! I came on here to see if there was any advice on managing romantic partners and their involvement in our body/food/fitness stuff. I have an amazing boyfriend who absolutely adores and respects me- my weight has shifted up and down since we met and he always comments on how amazing I am, and how attracted he is to me. He is the type of guy that never ever dieted, is naturally thin, and eats because he has to, not because he really cares- although he enjoys food when he does. He just isnt pulled by it. However, he does have a weightlifting hobby. He is mindful of his physique and wants to be bigger and stronger. Food is really not part of the equation at all- but working out is. So, since weve been dating he has encouraged my fitness...
When we met, I was thinner and totally not really trying to be. I was definitely undereating some days, but I really wasnt trying. I was totally not thinking about it and I rarely did formal workouts. I just walked everywhere, partied a lot with friends, went to a dance class when I felt like it, and ate to enjoy/or feel light so I could feel good in my summer mini dress out on the town.
However, once we became really close I noticed him encouraging fitness. I initially wanted to be or seem open to healthy encouragement, which it truly was, and take some of his weight training advice. But of course, this backfired and as soon as the focus on fit or thin or a different body came into place, obviously my attention shifted towards "have to" or "should" which made me want to rebel, and then led to feeling workout avoidance or dread and forced restriction/overeating.
This was such a small shift from his end. It is not like he told me all the time, and he NEVER made me feel bad. He just honestly wanted to help. However, knowing how I respond to the "have-to" framework- I soon drew a line in the sand. He knew about my food history but I attempted to explain why his advice and guidance was actually counter productive and was actually leading to the opposite effect.
He laid off, but it sort of resurfaced again. I was looking at some walking/light toning program and decided to do it and he jumps in for "accountability". It is insanely sweet and I love the way he encourages my success. But if I ever do "a program" which i would actually have never pursued without him, it would be the kind of loose- if you feel like it its there, and if you're too tired or busy, F-it!- type thing.
Anyways, to wrap up, I know that deep inside that I need everyone to get out of my lane when it comes to this stuff. Probably the biggest reason why is that when I start looking at my body and self as a project for improvement, I stop doing things for enjoyment, I start "trying" to lose weight, get hyperfocused on it all, stop doing other fun things, and end up eating more overall with less enjoyment- and... you know how it goes.
I wonder what your advice would be in this situation. I feel very comfortable with him. I am not afraid to scare him off, but I really want to make him understand how I will actually look/feel/be better without the standard bullshit. That taking the focus off= closer to the body I want to be in and the feelings I want to feel. I have explained some of this stuff to him from a psychological standpoint and he is beginning to understand (he tells me counting calories is bad and weighing myself is bad lol), and so he is open and receptive, I just want to frame things in a way that makes both of us feel good and empowered.
Smile and nod! That's always a good approach. If they're sincerely interested, they'll chase after you with follow-up questions and comments. If they're just making small talk, you've dodged a whole unnecessary thing.
Needed this. Lots of co-workers commenting that my size is shrinking. After 5 months of consistent strength training and now a fat burner being added (not taking for fat loss) I am not surprised people are noticing. I feel myself needing to explain or justify things. Then it gets really awkward because they don’t actually care or want to know. Maybe the smile and nod approach would be better.