January 17, 2008


For the past few months, the 3FC forums have been a great community for me to get support. I’ve learned so much from the women there, and I think it’s a big part of what’s helped me get this far in my weight loss (7 pounds down, 5 to go!). Because everyone has been so helpful to me, I try to do my part to give back by providing support and encouragement to other people, and also answering a lot of the same questions that get asked over and over, that I now know the answers to.

Yesterday, someone posted in the Featherweights forum (“for those with just a few pounds, or trying to lose those last few pounds”) that they had lost four pounds in one week. I saw that they were new to the forums, so I posted a quick response cautioning them to be careful with their thinking, because losing four pounds in a week just isn’t realistic if you only have ten pounds to lose (even on The Biggest Loser, when the contestants are morbidly obese and are working out six hours a day, some don’t manage to lose four pounds). I’ve been trying to lose my “featherweight” for a few years, and at the beginning I would always lose a lot, get excited, and follow the same eating patterns/exercise routine the next week. Then I would gain, and it always frustrated me and caused me to do a bit of the “yo-yo dieting” thing. I’ve learned that a four pound loss in one week at my weight really isn’t a four pound loss. It’s a one pound loss with a three pound loss in water weight. The next week, I gain two pounds, which might seem like the end of the world until I realize that I’ve gained back water weight and that I actually lost one pound each week, which is pretty awesome.

Anyway, I was definitely too hasty in my first reply, and the original poster got really upset, so I posted again, apologizing and also trying to explain what I just said above. When you’re just starting to lose weight, it’s hard not to get discouraged if you see a gain, so I wanted to prepare her that it might not be four pounds that stay off. Unfortunately, the poster was still really upset and posted again about how unsupportive I am and that I should keep my mouth shut and not post.

I feel really bad about the whole thing, but I’m also kind of upset. A lot of people gave me that advice when I started losing weight, and while I know my original response came off the wrong way, I thought I fixed it by apologizing and explaining myself. But now I feel like it’s become some battle. I’m not answering or posting anymore in that thread, obviously, but I’m also now really apprehensive about posting anywhere. I want to be supportive of other people, but maybe I need to just take a break from the community altogether for a while? Obviously I don’t know all the answers, but for people who are newer to this than I am, I’d like to share what I have learned. But I’m not a mean or vindictive person, and I don’t want to come off as one. I’m really hurt that that’s what’s being implied now. I’m thrilled when someone can lose weight, any (healthy) way they can, but I don’t want people to get unrealistic expectations, because let’s face it, that’s how so many diets fail.

This sounds so silly, but it has me all upset. Clearly I am becoming way too invested in an online community… I think my solution is just going to be continuing to frequent the forum, but being a lot quieter and not trying to provide any advice. I don’t want to get yelled at for sharing what I learned, and there are plenty of others who can do that – I’ll stick to just posting about my own experiences.


3 thoughts on “Frustrated…”

  1. That’s too bad. Sounds like your heart was in the right place, and unfortunately with electronic communication being what it is, those good thoughts don’t always come across the way they were intended.

    I’m a very sarcastic person, and even face-to-face people don’t “get me” sometimes. That makes it all the funnier to me, though, since I’m very rarely serious.

    Just fogehdaboudit and know that you were trying to help. That’s all you can do.

  2. Awww. don’t make one mistake make you leave a community which you so obviously love. You apologized and can’t do much more. Maybe send the person a private message saying again how sorry you are.

  3. Uh, that’s an annoying situation, indeed. It’s never easy to give advice without coming in an “off” way (and “off” can be whatever, depending on the person on the other end…). I’ve had a few problems myself, especially a few years ago, when my English wasn’t what it is now and some of my replies wouldn’t come out in a very kind way. Language barrier sucks. Ah well. Maybe reading and not posting a lot can help you (but don’t go away completely, after all it’s a good place for support/inspiration/information, and I guess we all need that, even if from time to time only :)).

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