So how do you deal with people like these?
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
One obstacle I'm still working through is how to deal with what I call the "weight-loss" police. It's one of the reasons why I don't announce that I'm trying to lose weight anymore. I make healthy lifestyle changes secretly, and with the exception of this board do this pretty much alone. This has helped me tremendously and I was free of them until recently when one of my co-workers decided he wanted to lose weight. He's trying to do this strict plan and he doesn't want to do it alone so he's trying to get me to do it, but I don't want to do a strict food plan. So I told him very politely that I wasn't interested. I'm not dieting just trying to make lifestyle changes.
So yesterday I'm at my desk eating my snack, red grapes. I love grapes, green, black, red, all yummy in my book. They take care of my sweet tooth and they are actually pretty filling! So they are like a fruit I would love to have as a staple in my house, but I can't get good grapes all year long like I can apples so I get them when they look good regardless of the price and enjoy them.
Any ways he says to me, "You shouldn't be eating grapes. They are bad for you. You should be eating blueberries." Well, I like lost it and went off on him, but it really grated my nerves.
1. Grapes are healthy. I've done research and there are many health benefits to grapes. I'm not knocking blueberries. I know they are healthy and good for me. I just don't like them and I can't get them fresh to see if there was some way I could eat fresh and like them...only frozen and they are tough and bitter so since grapes are accessible and I'm more likely to eat them, I grab them.
2. Let's say grapes weren't a superfood, does that mean they shouldn't be in my diet? Of course not! It's a fruit. I mean it's still healthier than say a cinnamon roll or donut! If anything, how about a pat on the back for that?
3. How does a comment like this help anyone who is trying to lose weight? Seriously. I'm so sick of people judging and criticising me. It's one thing when I'm calling out for help and saying what can I do, but when I'm not soliciting feedback, why, why, why would someone make a person like me feel like what she's doing isn't good enough or not the "right" way? How does that motivate me?
It's like when I was exercising and I asked for advice from my friends who worked out and I was made to feel like I wasn't working out hard enough. So I kept ramping up my workouts and getting frustrated because I wasn't seeing progress and the workouts weren't getting easier, they were getting harder. I kept doing more and more because I was made to feel I wasn't working out hard enough. Well, guess what happened? I injured my shoulder and back and that killed my visits to the gym. Now I've been getting a lot of Sparkpeople articles around exercise and from reading those exercises it sounds like I was over training my muscles and so my shoulder and back took the brunt of the workout. Could have been bad form, but the fatigue and the workouts not getting any easier would point to over training so I don't talk about my workouts anymore. I don't talk about my food anymore. I don't talk about anything that opens to those, "You're not doing it right." comments yet someone is in my business even with not doing that so now I need a game plan.
Why you may ask? Because of the two fun size candy bars I ate today. The devil with the horns on my head was like screw it today and won. Because even though I like making healthier changes, it gets harder to when I have people saying stuff like this. It makes it easier to just say screw it and give up. Why do all this work when I have to worry about someone hangin over my shoulder, criticizing me even when I was pretty dang proud of myself for having grapes than say a bagel or a fruit and grain bar? Why do all this work when it's so much easier to eat that candy bar I want or not exercise and just hide out in my house?
However, I know deep down I don't want to give up. I don't want to be like screw it and go back to my old lifestyle. That path is the slow path to death. That is the path to having less and less energy and more and more health problems. The path to less living, less being here for my daughter. This is not what I want. I want to live a healthier life. I want to feel good about myself. I want to set my daughter up right through my health example.
As always, thank you for listening to me. I don't know what I would do without SparkPeople where I have a group of people I can confide in who cheer me on and help me push forward. Granted, I ultimately know that it's only me who can change me, but you guys don't know how much it's helping me to get encouragement. To hear someone say, "I've been there. Just trust the process. Keep pushing. Keep making changes." But most of all, thank you for believing I can do it when I'm not sure I can myself. I know I will get over this hurdle. I just need help.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I can so relate to this. I used to be so sensitive to what other people had to say. It truly did derail me. I would get stressed and eat in response to 'environmental bumps' like this guy. Then I realized,
I have the power.
If I let my body be flooded with that fat inducing stress hormone cortisol, I am giving HIM the power.
Why in the world would I want to give someone else that power?
Once I had figured this out and built my resilience, that was another emotional trigger to eat that was decommissioned.
That guy could have done you a bigger favour than the one he thought he was doing for you.
Uh, I get that you don,t want to be dieting with him, but might he benefit if you told him about Sparkpeople?
1159 days ago
Comment edited on: 6/29/2013 1:38:22 PM
Just say Get out of here to the coworker.
1160 days ago
You guys are the best. Some of you guys had me laughing really hard and I'm totally blessed to have you guys in my life. I did, finally, make it to the store last night and went shopping with my daughter. We had a great time! Got lots of healthy food choices and had bran flakes with raspberries on them last night and it was good. So good that I had to see what raspberries would taste like on my spoon sized shredded wheat with a little spenda and it was good too! I have strawberries, grapes, and a salad packed in my lunch box.
I know he made the comment he made because he wants me to do that diet with him and thought that would get me to read the dippy book, but I'm about learning to live a healthy lifestyle and I'm doing it one step at a time. I'm not about doing strict carb-reducing plans (which was for 6 weeks btw) and then slowly introducing them into my diet afterwards. Does he not know what we do for a living? We will be the worse technicians ever if we don't have good fuel feeding our brains. LOL
1162 days ago
You can do this, if your co-worker wants to eat a strict food diet that is his choice, you are on this journey for yourself! And you should be proud for picking grapes over a bagel and latte. Grapes are good for you!! Personally I freeze them before I eat them, as I find them very tart. You can do this, the diet police are always out there, and they want so badly to reach their goals, they it seems to me that if you are reaching your goal without following their plan, it is never good enough for them, and they will try and tear you down, because you are reaching your goals by making life style changes and not just having a quick fix!!!
1162 days ago
Sorry to hear about all of this confusion. My advise...do what is comfortable and works for you whether it be what YOU choose to eat, or how YOU choose to exercise. This is your life no one elses. If YOU want sound advise talk with the coaches on SP..
Good Luck ~ Donna
1162 days ago
Sorry about your co-worker. Some people have "frontal lobe" problem and will say anything. Enjoy your grapes.
1162 days ago
I'm a big believer in the wisdom of the Four Agreements. (GREAT book!)
1. Be impeccable to your word
2. Don't take anything personally (this sounds easy, but the wisdom as to why you shouldn't is that people are mostly talking to themselves and about their own reality..not yours)
2. Don't make assumptions
3. Always do your best (you ARE doing your best right now!) and you are not alone, this kind of talk happens ALL the time. Good thing we have spark buddies!
1162 days ago
Okay - first of all I just want to huge bear hug right now. I have sooooo been there - and I am sooooo through with it. I understand your frustration - and that is why ABSOLUTELY NO ONE that I know - knows I am doing this. Well, aside from my husband and my kids. There are days I wish I could keep it from dh - but he means well.
It is really hard - but at some point we all need to come to the realization that what we are doing is best for us - and what we are doing is what we want and what we need. NO ONE - ABSOLUTELY NO ONE - can or should tell us what we should do. NO ONE knows what our abilities are - what our issues may be - our strengths/weaknesses - hell, even we don't know them sometimes!
It takes time to get there - to develop that thick skin. For some - it may be harder than others - and that's okay. In the end - you ARE doing what is right for YOU. You have been making amazing changes - and NO ONE can take that away from you - even if they think they know better. Besides - how many people followed the trend and jumped on some diet bandwagon only to end up back at the starting line. KNOW THAT YOU ARE RIGHT - THAT YOUR CHOICES ARE RIGHT - AND THAT YOU ARE KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE BALLPARK LADY!
I also get easily depressed by others around me - it is a curse, I guess - but I am a deeply feeling person - it has its pluses and minuses, right? I understand the desire to reach for comfort - in your anger - in your aggravation. It totally makes sense to me - because I am the same way. However - try your best - in the future to do what is best for you - despite any idiots who invade your space. Instead of rushing to do something that isn't good for you when they seemingly attack - reach for the things that validate everything you believe - reach for what keeps you on track - so in the end, you will be able to say "screw you mister - I made my goal - and where are you? Perhaps you should have eaten more grapes!"
I know it sounds mean - and really I'm not - but sometimes my head tries to be like a Momma Bear to my heart that can be easily broken by insensitive people. Just remember - that when you reach for those grapes (despite what anyone thinks) - when you go for your walk - you are only that much closer to your goal. In the end - your achievements are going to speak much louder than any words you can say. And - the naysayers WILL EAT THEIR WORDS for sure.
I believe in you - I believe in what you are doing - and I don't care if you prefer grapes to blueberries - I care that you are making healthy changes - in diet - in exercise. I wasn't born an idiot - and I'm know you weren't either. When you do those things - YOU WILL CHANGE - YOUR LIFE WILL IMPROVE - and that knowledge alone needs to pull you through.
Oh - and besides bashing the guy - 'cause I wasn't really there - it is also possible that he THINKS he has some wonderful secret to share. And - while misguided at best - perhaps he is trying to share it with you. I don't exactly know his tone - and for me, it wouldn't really matter - I would see it as a criticism. But, just didn't want to totally take the side that he was completely insensitive - well, the manner in which he approached it may have been - but I have met my fare share of insensitive but somehow well-meaning people.
No matter what you choose to do -I want you to know that HERE you are free to say what you want without worrying about criticism (at least from me - 'cause I'm your long-lost twin, after-all). If you need strength - just know there are MANY people just like you who are struggling toward that goal - and no, we aren't all doing it by eating blueberries!
1163 days ago
Grapes are awesome! When they are in season, I have about 3 ounces of them a day. Red ones are my favorite.
(An awesome article by By Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)
Dealing with the Diet Police
My two cents:
Q: How do I deal with people like that?
A: What they say goes in one ear and out the other. Frankly, since what they have to say is of no interest to me, I let it go. I try my very best to separate their words from my actions. They can say what they want however they don't know the whole story about why I'm eating what I'm eating so I make a choice not to take it personally. Why waste my energy on them?
Q: What I do tell people?
A: I eat healthy and it's a lifestyle choice, one that I'm following to become the healthiest I can be. I choose not to diet because that implies something temporary. I practice moderation, not deprivation. I use a digital kitchen scale and measuring spoons to portion out all my food. I track everything I eat and drink so I know exactly the nutrition I'm getting.
Usually by the time I've gotten to third sentence eyes start to glaze over.
1163 days ago
When I get unsolicited advice about what I am or am not eating (or how much I do or don't exercise) I tell these folks one of two things:
"I can promise you, regardless of what we're eating (or substitute exercising), we're not gonna get out of this alive".
"Do you want to live a long time or just have it FEEL like it was a long time?"
There are no foods I can't have. I just do them in moderation. If other people don't want to follow that it's fine - that's THEIR life. I'M living MINE.
Nothing like unsolicited advice to bring out the snarky in me!
1163 days ago
just tell the guy they ARE blueberries, he should get new eyes.
as for the rest, the minute you put your fate in other people's hands, they will take over. but they will give you advice that's good for THEM not you; or at worst, in their interest, not yours.
you have to develop a feeling for yourself, make your own decisions, find out what's right for YOU. we're all different.
1163 days ago
You will be fine, it should matter what a co-worker thinks, what matters is what you think and it sounds to me you are doing fine on your own. You don't need their help.
1163 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.