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.