Thursday, January 24, 2013
Never say you are on a diet unless you are looking for trouble with The Diet Police. If you are foolish enough to actually hire TDP I'll be right here to dry your tears when you come crying to me with your handful of citations. But I'm your Spark friend who believes in tough love so I'll be the first one to wag my finger with an "I told you so" remark. TDP can be a brutal bunch and I ought to know, having grown up with several of them. But today I just want to talk about the three most annoying members that I've dealt with over the years. You probably won't be surprised to hear that these are close family members.
My mother was a lovely woman but she was probably the worst kind of officer on TDP squad because she was self appointed, pious in her belief that she was helpful and consequently counterproductive to any eating plan that I might have established. It was no secret that I struggled with my weight from childhood and I did a pretty good job of keeping my gains and losses within a 5 pound range through my teens and young adulthood but It didn't matter what I weighed at any given moment to dear old mom. She always had something to say about every single thing I put in my mouth. If I had a quarter for every time I heard "Are you eating that?" "Why are you eating that?" "You don't need that!" "You're eating again?!" I'd be sitting on my own private beach being fanned by some hot cabana boy. I was well into my 30's when I finally got up the gump to tell her "I'm a grown woman with a husband, 2 children, a mortgage and a job and I am qualified to decide what I am going to eat." I'm not going to lie, she looked at me like I had hit her but finally standing up for myself about that heckling was very freeing. Oh, she still slipped back into it occasionally but more often than not I saw her biting her tongue whenever I gave her that "Don't you DARE say it" look. Amen!
The next annoying officer is my older sister whom I'll call "Sis". Several years older than me and quite the male magnet, Sis was always eating weird stuff and exercising. She was also always trying to recruit me to do these things with her in my pudgy preteen years. I gratefully drank the kool-aid served up by an older, wiser sister and maybe it was some of her direction that got me on track and helped me turn myself into teenaged girl that teenaged boys wanted to date. But time marched on and Sis got married and moved away and while I always had to be mindful of my eating habits it didn't consume me 24 hours a day. Every time I talked to Sis on the phone she always lead with "How is your diet?" or "Are you staying on your diet?" For the next 20 years every time I saw Sis she would gush with "You look so pretty, your diet is really working!" Of course everyone likes to hear that they are pretty and that they look like they've lost weigh and if I did look good and I had lost weight, I'd thank her. But there we some times when I clearly did not look my best and I was obviously carry more poundage than the last time I had seen her. Finally I understood that Sis was just still encouraging that pudgy 11 year old and not really seeing a grown woman who had more on her mind than losing some weight. So I started answering her diet inquiries with a very firm "I am not on a diet." and then it progressed to "I told you before, I am not on a diet." and then finally she stopped talking to me about diets. Now I just talk to Sis about other things. Phew!
Finally there is my husband (I'll call him Beau). I stupidly gave Beau TDP badge one time and lived to regret it. This man made it clear to me years ago that he loves ME. He loved me when I married him at 118 pounds and he loved me during that awful period when I weighed 230 pounds and he has always loved me at all those weights in between. Well, one time I told Beau to keep snack foods away from me because I was trying to shake off a few pounds and BOOM I had created a monster. It was mom all over again. Actually Beau's method was using a warning noise. It was a high pitched and a bit scary sounding "AH,AH,AH!" every time something that he deemed objectionable was raised to my lips. Oh...My...Gawd! I wisely stripped him of his badge and moved him back into the job of just loving me for me.
The one thing The Diet Police all seem to have in common is that they don't have any problems with their weight which makes them the worst people to have on the squad. I find that it is better to ask for support from people who understand your problem and support your motives. A person who understands won't ever hold a piece of cake against you, they'll forgive you and help you step away from the NEXT piece of cake. I love The Spark because it's manned by The Cops of Kindness and not those nasty Diet Police.