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Advice Needed on Being Self-Conscious Around Skinny Friend

Weigh In: I'm Self-Conscious Around My Skinny Friend

This FitSugar reader sure could use your advice.

Dear Fit,
My husband recently started a new job and invited one of his co-workers over. I instantly hit it off with his wife because we're both teachers, both love yoga, and are vegetarian. We've been getting together a lot lately but slowly I'm becoming more and more self-conscious around her. She's much thinner than I am, extremely toned, and super healthy. Whenever we go out to dinner, she always orders a salad for her meal, and I feel like a cow if I order something that's less than healthy, like a veggie burger and fries or dessert.

Her husband owns a boat and invited us on it this weekend, but I lied and said we were busy, because I'm embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit next to her. I'm working on losing weight and becoming more loving of my flaws, but how can I get over my insecurities and not let it affect our friendship?
— Self-Conscious Carol

If you have any experience with this, or any suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
heartcandy heartcandy 8 years
I feel your pain my best friend, is tiny, petite and beautiful and her style is more punk rock. I think more guys hit on her because she really does stand out in a crowd. Also most people gravitate towards whats in style for the moment. I have always had a low self esteem, so I'm glad I met her becuase it makes me realize that it won't matter how thin I am or what style i have if I can't love me for myslef. Love yourself, just look in the mirror and go I love me to pieces! Believe me its so empowering to not let the world and what they think of as beautiful get to you.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
There's some good advice around here. OP, I think it's best you try to heed the advice for yourself and for your friendship. Personally speaking, I'm petite, fit, and shapely. I've been a target for heavier women. Let me tell you, there's is nothing more unattractive than jealous, resentful women. They came across very ugly (on the inside AND outside). Needless to say, we're not friends. However, I think it's most important to do this for yourself. Nothing beats feeling good, and looking good. Good luck to you.
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
To add--you should just stop having eating dates if they give you a complex. But DON'T turn down time on the boat, are you nuts? Free boat time is priceless! Put on a pretty sundress and get out there and get over it and enjoy sometime that not many people get to!
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
try and remember that she is probably focused on her own issues and not what you eat/weigh (unless she' is psychotic). I used to be a lot heavier and sometimes have to be "boring" when I eat and so on and that's caused strife sometimes since I am so "not fun" and so on. Just trying to illustrate that for all you know your skinny/carefree buddy might be going through her own stuff.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I have to admit, I've felt like this often because I'm probably the largest out of my friends (not overly so, as all my friends are skinny whereas I'm just 'normal'). That being said, let me give you a piece of advice. Even though sometimes it has an actual affect on my mood (eg: not wanting to go out, or seen around them in bathing suits etc) - the minute I purposefully let go of that attitude (be it in a social situation or whatever) and I am more confident & sure of myself - people's attitudes toward me change for the positive. How often have you seen that bigger / curvier girl being swarmed by the men (or women) around her, because she has an infectious personality & presence? That woman doesn't compare herself to other women, and even if she might doubt herself a wee bit - she doesn't let it show. Be THAT girl!
DivaDivine DivaDivine 8 years
You're a work in progress. Quit playing into your self esteem problems and get on with your life.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 8 years
Try to look at things from the other woman's perspective. I've always been tall and thin, but I've had my share of insecurities. Once I was getting ready to do a presentation with a couple classmates when one of my female classmates said that she couldn't stand next to me, because I was too tall and too thin and that she looked short and fat compared to me. I was shocked -- I had always been so hung up on how my appearance could improve that it never in a million years would have occurred to me that anyone could feel self conscious standing next to ME. So, the bottom line is, don't assume that anyone, other than yourself, would be judging you. If the woman works out a lot and is so restrictive with what she eats that she'll only order salads, chances are that she is insecure about her own weight and is so focused on it that she doesn't even think about how you look. On the other hand, I had a roommate who had definite body image issues and who would only eat a handful of edamame or broccoli for dinner. If I ate a normal meal, she would say things like "wow, it must be nice to pig out like that" or "how many calories are in that." If someone is actually judging you, then that person isn't worth keeping around.
jdeprima jdeprima 8 years
I haven't read every comment in detail, but one thing to keep in mind is that your friend almost certainly hasn't noticed what you consider to be your "flaws." I have a lifelong friend who looks like a belly dancer from a 1960s James Bond movie: of north African descent, thin arms and legs, tiny waist, and big sexy curves everywhere else. In other words, gorgeous. We recently had a spa afternoon where we were sitting around naked, and I was completely shocked when she started cringing and covering herself, telling me not to look at her because she was so "fat" and I was so "cute and thin" (I'm smaller overall than she is, but hardly tiny). All our lives, she's been, in my mind, the prettier of us---drawing the most stares and compliments, etc. In 25 years of friendship it never once occurred to me that she was comparing herself unfavorably to me, and I couldn't believe that she thought I might have been judging her appearance. Long story short, I think you should work on your own issues but give your friend credit for liking you as you are; if you get some hint that she *is* judging you, then drop her like a bad habit.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
I struggle with being the "big" girl too, at least in my head I'm "big". When I was a teen, I was the skinniest girl in my group of friends - 5'6" and about 85-90 pounds but with no muscle. It was a running joke about whether I would hit "100" before I graduated. I started working out, and gained muscle, toned up and still only weighed about 95 pounds. When I was 22 and still at this weight (smaller than a size 0), my mom, who is very obese due to poor eating habits and no forms of exercise, told me that I had hit my prime and that it was all downhill from here and that she was going to laugh when I put on weight and didn't know how to cope with it. That I would be fat like her someday. Well fast forward 7 years, and I'm married, and weigh 115 pounds (a size 2-4) but I'm dealing with this complex of being heavier and less fit than my closest friends, who are 3 years younger than me, super fit and size 0 while being 5'9 to 5'11". One of them is a jeans model to boot! I feel so self conscious, short and frumpy around them, that when we hike, I wear jeans while they wear cute little hiking shorts. I'd never be seen in a bathing suit next to them, and I tend to cover myself up more when I'm around them because I feel so self conscious that I'm not their size. When we go out, I am the conservative while they can wear short skirts and tight clothes. I feel guilty because I was that thin and toned for so many years and I've let myself go and get out of shape. I'm working out 6-7 days a week now, and I'm getting more fit but I'm not getting that 6 pack stomach or thin legs that I used to have. I love my friendship with these girls, and they definitely motivate me to eat healthier - you'd never see them eat more than a few bites of dessert, they only eat the healthiest of foods, and they are training to run marathons. We all share a love of the environment, outdoors, dogs, fashion, and art and do so many things together. They just serve of a reminder of what I used to look like and it makes me feel guilty for letting myself go.
kia kia 8 years
Good luck dealing with your insecurities. We all have them. At some point you may just realize you'll never be more beautiful than you are right now and not let your mind sideline you.
lollofit lollofit 8 years
"I'm working on losing weight and becoming more loving of my flaws, but how can I get over my insecurities and not let it affect our friendship?" You know what? I admire Carol's honesty. We all have flaws and I think it's admirable to admit that there are things about ourselves that are hard to love. I don't think it matters what a woman looks like, there is probably at least one part of her body she's been unsatisfied with at some point in her life, no? Like every process of change, I think it's the small daily struggles that add up to a big difference. So, I'd say- try not to let what lies ahead of you be discouraging, and congratulate yourself on what you have already accomplished, let it motivate you forward. ps. I like fries and dessert too.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
I feel a little differently than the rest of the commenters. I find that a lot of times in these situations, you feel this way because the other person is deliberately trying to make you feel this way. In addition to the action named, does your skinny friend say little judgmental comments, give you looks when you order more, or do anything tangible that makes you feel like she's judging you? If so, you need to confront that like you would any other kind of superiority complex and tell her friends are equals! But if she isn't, then it's probably your issue, so just think of all the things that you love about yourself, go out and buy a new swimsuit that makes you look great, and reschedule the boat trip!
nikkisoda nikkisoda 8 years
@Anonymous--I think maybe you read into my post wrong, or maybe I didn't write it right, I just mean that it sounds like she is unhappy regardless. Meaning that if she loses the weight and is all the sudden the same weight as her friend she will probably find that she is still unhappy. I find that in my own self that if I am comparing myself to others and wishing I had what they had I am usually just unhappy with myself. The grass is always greener, ya know. I have the habit of wishing I was as thinner as the next girl but then I always remind myself that a number on the scale is not going to change the way I feel emotionally. It is usually something deeper that is bothering me.
dancinlaughin01 dancinlaughin01 8 years
i dont think this really has anything to do with weight but more with self-esteem. You need to learn to love your body at any weight. Plus, a curve hugging one piece bathing suit can still be sexy and make you feel beautiful!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've been on both sides of the fence. I used to be the "fat friend" and I always felt very self-conscious about my weight when I was with my skinnier friends. What I did was to sort of figure out why they were thin and I wasn't. I noticed that they snacked on fruit and ate salads and yogurts while I pigged out on cheeseburgers and ice cream. I started to adopt some of their eating habits and I learned to like exercise and pretty soon, I wasn't quite as fat anymore. When my friends that are heavier than me comment about my thinness now, I mention that I do know what it's like to be heavier...I just make different food choices and lifestyle choices now.
ali321 ali321 8 years
I think you should lean on her for support rather than shy away from the friendship. I understand how self conscious weight can make you feel. I've recently gained about 20 pounds and it drives me crazy to the point that I wouldn't wear a bathing suit. But than I went shopping and found some cute ones that I felt good in even if they're not string bikinis. So, what? You should still enjoy your life. And don't feel like you have to just eat a salad. There's nothing wrong with you if you enjoy food. You just can't go overboard. But like I said you should have her help you out. You said she was well toned so she probably could gives you some tips. When you start reaching your goals it will help boost your confidence. Don't let it ruin a good friendship.
kristints kristints 8 years
I completely understand the way she feels. My very best friend is much thinner than me (I'm a 12, she's a 6) and I used to be self concious about things in front of her but then we started working out together so we spend 4 evenings a week with eachother and now she is my motivation to keep up with my healthy habits because I want to look like her, I want to be complimented like she is, I want to be able to share clothes with her, etc. so I've stopped feeling sorry for myself because I don't look like her and instead use her as a motivator for me to reach my goals.
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