Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is Weight Gain Contagious?

Sharon had some interesting information on this topic in her blog a few days ago.

Take a moment to think about friends and family. Are a significant number of them obese or overweight? Do we hang around with people with whom we have something in common? Is it more comfortable to overeat with other overeaters?

In my closest group of friends that I spend the most time with I am the only one who is obese. Could this be part of my motivation to lose weight? There is a lot of obesity in my family - is it easier to overeat when I am in their presence? I have another good friend, Annie, who battles weight like I do but we don't get to spend as much time together as we used to and both of us are always working on it. Another good friend, Janie, has been a natural slim all her life but is very, very supportive. She has always been my cheerleader. Annie and I commiserate. Jean Ann, another good friend, is a natural slim as well and when we go out to eat with her and her husband, I can always tell when she is full. She takes a deep breath and leans back a little and leaves food on her plate. Doesn't she realize she is paying for that food and should eat it? She often takes some home with her. Carol stays a normal weight but she keeps an eye on it and stays active. Jo is pretty well in tune with her appetite. Jo loves vegetables too. She would take a bowl of broccoli over a piece of pie.

This is probably something we should all think about. Do we avoid the gym because we assume everybody there is in shape? That's not true, by the way. Do we eat little in the presence of others and then binge at home or eat in private? The social aspect of this is very important and we really don't discuss it very much. We have something in common with our blogging buddies - losing weight. We also have something in common with our circle of friends and our families at times - eating.

Overcoming the social pressures to eat is a formidable task. It happens when we no longer feel like we "should". It happens when we realize they will get over it if we choose not to have birthday cake because we know the consequences from past experience. It happens when our desire to lose our weight trumps any social reasons to overeat. If someone asked you to participate in a bank robbery or pressured you to shoplift, why would you refuse (I am assuming you would refuse :-)?  A friend wants you to help him/her cheat someone. Someone wants you to lie for them. We refuse because it does not fit our self-image. I don't lie because I am not a liar. I don't steal because I am not a thief. We won't overeat anymore when it doesn't fit our self-image.

Be careful out there today.


  1. Great post, Myra. The second paragraph is particularly true, and also your observation about social pressure to eat. I still get the "push" from "friends" to "just have a little!" or "I can't believe you're going to miss out on (insert junk food here)!" at gatherings...or "Come on, you can work this off at the gym tomorrow! Live a little!" You are true; we wouldn't (I hope) give in to pressure to do other self-destructive behaviors just because others are; why is overeating/junk food eating any different? You have a good day, too!

    1. The freedom of being able to say "no" without guilt and without concern for what others think or feel about our decision is priceless. Obese people are often "people pleasers". They want people to like them so in order to make them happy and keep the peace they go along to get along. When our recovery becomes more important than their reactions to our decisions, success will truly be ours. I have a lot of support and am thankful for it. I know some people have others in their lives who make it very difficult for them. We are our own worst enemy when we let that happen and we do let it happen - it's on us. Who needs people that undermine what we are doing even knowing how important it is to us? They will just have to deal with it because I am not going to let something as unimportant as a cupcake or celebration of some sort get in the way of my progress. Take care of yourself.

    2. There's actually a book called "Nice Girls Finish Fat," that deals with that issue!!!

  2. OOOH 'societal pressure to eat' yep! you bet!

    I have a friend who theorizes that people don't mind if someone loses weight, as long as they don't lose so much the first person feels guilty.

    That's how you separate out the true friends I think.

    1. It is one of the potholes in our road isn't it? We have to say how we feel about sabotage in a gentle way of course because I really don't think others realize what they are trying to do to us. It is a big step forward when we stand up for ourselves and make it clear what we are doing and what we expect from others in this regard. Take care.