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Pacific Northwest, United States
I am The Shytrovert a proud, moderately shy INFP and this is my blog. I write about society, relationships, current events and how shy and introverted folks can cope in an extroverted world.

5/10/11

Dieting? Keep your mouth shut and don’t tell anybody either…

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Go public with your weight loss plans - so advises Spark People, a website that encourages people to drop pounds through peer support and calorie counting. Have you heard this crap before?

According to Spark People:

"The more people who know about your goals, the more support you’ll get and the harder it will be to find places where you feel comfortable NOT doing what you’ve said you want to do. Sometimes, embarrassment and peer pressure can be your friends."

*The Shytrovert laughs uproariously* This is bullshit. I’ll tell you why, at least in my experience. When I began on my weight loss journey in 2003, the saboteurs crawled out of the wood work conspiring to keep me  tipping the scales at 195 lbs. Mind you; these weren’t jealous girlfriends or well-meaning co-workers who tried to make me feel better by saying “you,re not that big!”

No, these were people near and dear to me. Like the aunt that claimed that I was too old (30s) to be 120 lbs, my goal weight (Incidentally, 120 lbs is a perfectly reasonable weight for any woman who is 5’3” or 5’4”) or how about my significant other, sister, and girlfriends who would coax me to eat by saying “just one isn’t gonna kill you” or my personal favorite, “Don’t you want just a few fries?”

I’m sure everyone who has ever fought the battle of the bulge can relate to these anecdotes. The unfortunate truth is people don’t like it when you go changing on them. They are used to relating to you as you are, and if you change, by necessity they must also change – and they don’t like that. Sadly, support is not what you get when trying to lose weight unless you’re with people who are also trying to lose weight.

Trust me: your husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend/kids do not want you to take away the foods they like or adapt to your new eating plan and they sure as shit don’t want to get up before 6 a.m. to exercise. They may even feel guilty because they know they should do something about their health, but mentally they’re not there yet . Don’t take it personally. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It’s just human nature.

That’s why I am adamant about NOT involving the people close to you. If you can, don’t say a thing, because people suck and they will try to bring you down out of jealousy, fear or guilt. I know. I know. These are not nice things to think about your loved ones. But human nature doesn’t respect familial ties and if you want to get thin, you likely will have to do an end run around your saboteurs. I’m getting up just before six every day to exercise now. Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning tend to stick with it – I imagine because there’s no bullshit to deal with in the wee hours, typically.

When I decided to cram exercise into my mornings, I didn’t tell my husband anything. That’s right. Love him, but he’s a saboteur. And he asks the most annoying questions. Are you losing weight yet? Is this all I get to eat? Why are you making separate nachos? Urgh!!!!! He’s one reason why I don’t talk about dieting or what I can or won’t eat. I eat whatever, in moderation. I never turn down food saying I’m on a diet.

My job is also rife with sabotage. My boss is the worse; always dolling out cookies and chocolate. No problem. I go ahead and accept them…into the garbage. That’s right. I have no compunction about throwing out “food” if need be. You can do the same.


Bottom line: losing weight requires doing whatever the hell you must to succeed. It is literally war. There are landmines everywhere and enemy combatants committed to your utter failure. Like a good general, you need to keep your plans close to the vest and take offensive action to deflect their attacks. The biggest saboteur you have to deal with is yourself. If you’re not managing your environment and setting yourself up to succeed you are planning to fail.

Ten Hut!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this. This is very welcome.

    My weight has yo-yo-ed and whenever I have tried to lose weight and told people, they have replied with a very angry: "You're not overweight." I'm amazed by how angry people have got with me.

    I have also had so-called friends, who have body dysmorphia issues, telling me that I'm "getting too thin" when my weight has actually increased or trying to get me to eat more than them but putting food from their plate on to mine!

    Weight is a sensitive issue for many people and I think you are right. People don't want you to change because then they'd have to change.

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    1. I have been on many diets and found it to be true that saboteurs lurk at every corner. But we have to be careful that we're being realistic about weight loss, too; even though each of us know our own bodies for the most part. I recommend seeking professional advice before trying to lose weight. Or gain it, if that's an issue.

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