I hate it when people 50+ lbs smaller than me complain to me about "needing" to losing weight. It pisses me off! Ooo... you "need" to lose 15 pounds. You poor thing! Am I supposed to feel sorry for them? Why would they feel a need to complain to me of all people about this?
Notice how I use the word "need". A 5'4" 140 lbs female doesn't actually need to lose weight. It is within a healthy range on the BMI chart. She may want to lose weight to feel like the best healthy version of herself, but she doesn't need to lose weight. Of the two of us, this lady should be the most accepting of her body, but she feels just as bad about herself as I do. So, does she complain to me to feel better about herself or does she have such a distorted body image that she sees herself as big as I am? Is she fishing for compliments or does she really feel that bad?
So, what do I normally do in this situation (yes, it happens frequently)? I usually try to build them up and help them see themselves the way they are. My encouragement seems to help them feel better in the moment, BUT at what cost to myself? I walk away feeling angry, jealous, and terrible about myself. If a lady that is already at my goal weight feels bad about herself then I must be a whale.
Obviously helping them is hurting myself. All people no matter their size should love and accept their bodies. Don't ask me how to do this as I am not there yet... I just know that we all should. Each time I have one of these conversations it steals a piece of my self acceptance. I allow their baggage to make mine even heavier to carry. So until I can fully accept and love myself then I am not going to entertain these conversations anymore. I am going to be politely honest with them (or try to be polite). "Sheila, when you complain about yourself then it hurts us both. I would appreciate it if you would not speak negatively of yourself when you are around me." If they don't understand and get mad then oh well. It's not very considerate of them to complain to me in the first place.
Image from http://www.livescience.com/15604-obese-women-media-stigma.html