Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Fat You and Your Fat Friends

Doesn’t that sound like a book title? A book title for an incredibly mean book?

This post is all about fat-relationships and how they change after weight loss. Now a fat friend doesn’t have to be overweight, just someone who shares the same bad eating habits as you, or as you did before changing your lifestyle, and when you change your eating habits they try to bring you down.

A fat friend can be your family member, your significant other, you can have a whole group of friends who I would consider fat friends, or maybe you just have the one fat friend.

There is a show on TLC called ‘My 600 lbs Life’ a 4-part show that follows cases of extreme stomach stapling patients throughout 7 years of their lives.

I have not seen a single episode where the 600 lbs persons family was thin. Ever.

In this show I have watched the fat family of the patients make fun of them, be mean to them, eat food in front of them and tempt them. Not accepting to make the change in their own lifestyles and instead trying to bring down the person. A little side note, none of the 600 lbs patients kept the weight off throughout the 7 years.

Prawn was a fat friend of mine. Throughout our weight loss journey we had to change our relationship from fat friends who ate out at restaurants all the time, and shared most of their interactions over food, to people who actually did other things together, ate healthy together and cooked their meals at home. It’s a very difficult concept to explain, but if Prawn hadn’t changed his eating habits to match mine, I would have lost him as a friend.

When you change from a fellow fat friend to someone who eats healthily and makes good choices, your fat friends seem to disappear or try to bring you down back to their level. When you are eating McDonalds every day, you like having friends who don’t judge you when you order your 2 double cheeseburgers dressed like bigmacs. You want fat friends who support your decision and sit in front of you with their burgers and fries and pig out just like you.

When you step away from fat friend status what happens? Now all of a sudden you are sitting in front of them with the salad you brought from home while they chow down on the food they feel guilty for, and especially guilty because you are making good choices. Sometimes they feel like you are rubbing your health in their faces, your results, your weight loss, and you lose them as friends.

Can your friendship last? That’s what separates a fat friend from an actual friend. I have definitely lost fat friends throughout this journey. People who I thought were actual friends, but in reality split after I achieved success with my diet and stopped making the same bad eating choices as them.

I was picked on by my fat friends before I stopped communicating with them. Picked on and made fun of. I was bullied by some of them, but that’s for another post.

Dieting is so difficult on it’s own, who needs someone bringing them down? You need to surround yourself with positive people who motivate you to better yourself, not jealous people who try to bring you down.

Just because someone makes bad eating choices doesn’t make them a fat friend, not at all.

So how can you spot a fat friend? Someone is a fat friend if they:

  1. Make you feel badly or guilty for making good food choices,
  2. Don’t accept whatever food decision you are doing and try to pressure you into eating bad or not allowed foods,
  3. Repeatedly tell you the diet wont work or that you will gain all the weight back when it’s over, even after you have told them to stop,
  4. Make you feel negatively about your body or about your new healthy habits.
If someone tries to pressure you continuously or makes you feel sad or guilty, you should probably stop communication with them. Jealous of your success, these fat friends will keep pushing and pressuring and maybe someday they will catch you on a bad day, you will cave and cheat and then how will you feel?


Good luck, and keep on losing! I’m always so proud of you guys for trucking on and losing the weight, as slow and painful as it might seem. You rock.

Surround yourself with positive people, make new, healthier friends.



  1. Great post DD. Its definitely a hard lesson to learn....... Slightly harder when it comes to family. But I agree with all you said, especially the negative influence after weight loss, its hard enough as it is without the extra pressure. xo

  2. This helps explain the studies that were recently publicized, that thin people tend to have thin friends, and fat people tend to have fat friends, but I think they reached the wrong conclusion in some cases. They said that the people around you influence your size, but I think sometimes as you said, when you lose a lot of weight, your friendships change, and you may have to acquire new friends who are more like-minded/shaped. Also true regarding the 600-lb episodes. Only one stayed small in the long-term, the woman who began counselling other potential patients. The families were so unhelpful. I wonder why some of the family members on the Biggest Loser lose weight, but these families did not. Maybe because it was surgery instead of exercise/diet changes, and since the others didn't get surgery, what's the point, it can't be done? I have to add, I have a thin family, and partially because of that I have a low cut-off point as to when I am getting too big, but then again, I'm a bit of a jock at heart, so that helps!

  3. I think a major contributor to the people on biggest loser being successfull while on my 600 lbs life they are generally not would be that the contestants on biggest loser are not surrounded by their friends and family and get to make their choices without the influence of fat friends.

    They also learn the tools to get thin and fit while on my 600 lbs life there seems to be a lack of education.

  4. This is a great post! My husband and I bought a home 400 miles away from family and life-long friends 4 years ago, so our friendships in this area aren't long-term ones (yet), but I've got co-workers that I've known for that 4 years now. 1 of them is my "diet-buddy" so to speak-- we researched and started Dukan together.
    I'm fortunate to have a SUPER supportive husband (while thin himself, he is unhappy when he gains a few pounds that make him feel sluggish), who is always telling me how proud he is of me, and does not tempt me, or put down my efforts.

    Work- is another story. My buddy and I, while not defending ourselves, of course, always feel as if we should be defending our choices. We're now almost six weeks into the program. Each of us has lost 25 pounds, give or take (this week's "official" weights aren't yet in, lol). We share recipes, text each other with ideas, struggles, etc all day/every day. But-- six weeks in, we are STILL having to deal with constant comments and negativity towards dieting any time we're at work. I'm sure we've all heard them all- in one variation or another. "so what do you get to eat- meat? I couldn't do that". "I can't survive without sharp cheddar cheese- every day" " Are you STILL dieting? I can't stick with any diets more than 2 weeks" and so on.

    I wish it would go away, but learning to mostly ignore. I've stopped trying to "educate" anyone on the diet plan, I never defend my choices, and do remind people that I am not 'suffering', starving myself, or lacking nutrients. I also remind them this is my choice, and that I am not asking them to diet themselves, if I'm declining their offer for a chocolate chip cookie ( for the 12th time because some people think if you asked enough, I'll cave). I do have to tell people that by explaining my choices for NOT eating a food, it is not an insult to their food choices ( seriously- get insulted because you're asking why I don't eat olive oil or apples? you asked!)

    Enough of my rant- this was yours :) Thanks for sharing :)

    1. No prob ;) And CONGRATULATIONS!

      Keep it going! It's so sweet that you have a supportive co-worker and hubby. That is so amazing. I believe in you!

      Those comments my dear, don't go away. I have been following Dukan now for almost 11 months and I can tell you, everyone has an opinion and for some reason or another, people just can't believe that losing weight on Dukan is healthy, or think their method is better. etc. People always find a problem with it, especially if they try it and don't lose.

      Good luck!

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