Now this issue has been troubling me again recently since I’ve decided to lead a pre-dominantly cave girl lifestyle. There will be a post on this at a later date not too far into the future (Fitlass gone Cavegirl – seeing it written like that it sounds quite cool actually!!) But in a nutshell it’s about eating clean – no processed foods and no grains. I eat fats, nuts and seeds, fruit, veg and meat. Simple. I enjoy it and I’m already reaping the benefits. However, for some reason it seems to bother a lot of others around me and people are quick to tell me “don’t be so strict on yourself” or “one slice of cake won’t hurt” or worse still “you’ll easily burn it off all those calories with the amount of exercise you do.” Why is that? If I am happy with my lifestyle choice what the hell has it got to do with anyone else?
And I’m not the only one who has experienced this. My readers have told me that this has been one of the biggest obstacles when they decided to go down the route of a healthy lifestyle and/or lose weight. The so-called diet saboteurs – there’s one in every crowd – at the office, among your friends, in your family circle. Sometimes they mean well but sometimes they can come across as a tad malicious. Often they have no idea how they’re sabotaging you. But every time you conquer your battle with food, they’re right in your face, offering you a slice of cake, some chips or an extra helping of pie.
I found from my mini research that experts sum this type of behaviour in a word – change. Getting fit through diet and fitness brings about big changes in your life. You look different and you feel different, and you love these changes. But people around you can’t get their head around it. They can be oblivious, jealous and uncomfortable with your changes. They categorise they characteristics in three ways:
Feel guilty – You’re losing weight and getting in shape and they’re not. By tempting you to fall off the wagon means you’re “normal” again and this makes them feel good.
They don’t understand – They’ve never had a weight problem so don’t realise how hard you have to work to get to your goal.
They’ll miss the “old” you – You no longer bring the cakes in at the office, you may not stick around all night for the drinks after work, and you won’t need to put on a massive show to substitute the way you really feel about the way you look.
If you’re like me and just want to lash out sometimes to make them stop trying to force feed you, don’t over react! Having said that don’t give up either and stick to your guns. It’s taken me a while but try these strategies to keep the saboteurs at bay.
Don’t assume the worst – Unless the sabotage is blatantly deliberate, give saboteurs the benefit of the doubt. For example if your mum serves up your favourite dish with love, chances are she doesn’t want you fat – she equates food with love.
Just say no – Now if you were an alcoholic, you wouldn’t expect a drink to be rammed down your throat. In the same way you should not have to have food rammed down either. Tel the fat feeder “No thanks”. You don’t owe them an explanation or feel guilty for rejecting their food.
Ask for help – remember that your weight loss needs are unique to you. You can’t expect your family or friends to telepathically know what your needs are. Tel them! If you find it hard to be around tempting food, tell them and perhaps they can compromise by keeping certain foods away from you or not eat them in front of you.
Take responsibility – what you put in your mouth is ultimately your responsibility. So, someone wants to ruin your efforts, you shouldn’t give in. Instead flex your control muscles and be firm. At the end of the day you’re adopting a healthier lifestyle for you not anyone else.
If anything, get a kick out of knowing that you are in control of food no matter what anyone says or does to sabotage your efforts. And when you get to your goal weight, it will be you that’s having the last laugh 🙂