When you tell people you are on a weight loss journey, they will sometimes will say things that make you want to give them a firm but solid knock on the head. Today I wanted to share a few things I have heard from well meaning people. These are things that do not help, and if you have a friend who says these to you, I will give you possible responses, but please – not hitting anyone.
These are not in any particular order as to which is the best or worst because to me these are all equally bad because they can stall your weight loss journey and if heard enough times, can make you give up all together.
1. Should you be really eating that? This is probably my biggest pet peeve and it makes me want to ask “I didn’t realize you had joined the food police” but instead, I try to say something like “I am not on a restrictive food plan, so I can have anything I want. It is about portion control. As the old saying goes, everything in moderation.”
2. So have you lost any weight yet? You have been working hard. You have been exercising. You have been watching what you eat, how much you eat, and even why you eat and this person can’t tell if you have lost anything? Seriously? This is the kind of thing that can make a person say “Well forget this. No one even notices.” That could be the end of the journey right there. Your response? “As a matter of fact I have. I am proud to say I have lost (how ever many) pounds”.
3. Is that all you do to work out? You will never lose anything that way. You have to understand I was a guy who when in high school would fake PMS to get out of gym class. The fact I even want to GO to a gym is a minor miracle in itself. I usually get this from people who been thin all their life and have no idea how hard it is for a 400 or 300 pound person to work out. If you are moving and doing what you can to the best of your ability, then be proud of yourself. You know who decides if you need to work out more? YOU or possible your trainer. How do I answer this? “Hey it is better than what I used to do – which was nothing.”
4. You going to waste that food? You hear this one when you go out to eat. Restaurants are notorious for selling us way more food than we need. Portions in some restaurants are ridiculous, and a lot of us grew up hearing “Clean your plate. There are starving children in (where ever)” My mother, bless her heart, grew up in England and lived through the depression AND the war. If you could put food on a plate you were doing well, so you didn’t waste anything. Today if I hear this from anyone, including my mom, I just say, “Oh I am fine thanks. I have had enough.” If it is a nice restaurant, I will often have half the meal boxed up to have later, and so will tell people it won’t go to waste, I will have it later.
5. Don’t you miss having (that thing they know you love) When you first tell friends you are trying to watch what you eat, if they know you well, they know your favourites. They will ask about giving these up because they actually admire your ability to do it. The most often don’t mean to sabotage, but that’s the effect. I have said this before that if you say “I am never having chocolate (or whatever) ever again” that is the thing you will end up binging on. You can answer “I don’t totally give up (whatever). I just have it on occasion and when I do, I totally savour the experience.”
6. You just have to show some self control. Wow. Never thought of that one. Just show some self control. I actually said to someone once “If I had self control, I wouldn’t have gotten to 425 pounds!” What I tend to say is that self control is an issue for a lot of people, including myself, but I am working on it and it gets better every day.
7. Again? A lot of us have been down this road before and failed. I tried almost every diet that you can name and failed at all of them because diets simply don’t work – no matter what kind. I know I have failed before, and I bet some of you do too, but when you hear Again? they might as well say, “well you are going to fail so why even try?” When responding, you can say “I know I have failed in the past but that was because I was using short term solutions. Now I am working on healthy eating and a healthy life style. Yes I am trying again, but this time I have a plan and am going to succeed.”
8. You should try the (latest diet fad)! Every knows someone who went on the latest fad diet and lost some weight. You see, the problem with these fad diets is that they work in the short term. People go on a diet to lose X number of pounds. For some that is 10 for some it is 100 or more. The problem is that they lose the weight and then go back to eating the way they used eat and it all comes back and brings friends. You just tell people “I am not on a diet. I am on a new healthy eating food plan. I am eating healthy and sensibly, and I am exercising.”
9. You know you are just going to gain it back. Everyone does. They may very well be speaking from their own past failures at losing weight. They may be talking about the follow up shows for some of the diet shows on TV and – big surprise- the past winners have gained back a big chunk of what they lost and in some cases ALL of it and then some. I would say “I know some people have gained it back. I know it will be hard but I am sure I can do this, but thanks for your concern.”
10. Oh just have a little bit. I used to hear this a lot at family dinners from both my mom and my mother-in-law because there is a generation that believed unless you left the table stuffed to the ears, they weren’t a good host. If it is seconds, just say “No thank you. I have had enough” and stick to your guns. If it comes to dessert, maybe emphasize that you will have a small piece of whatever it is, but say no to seconds. This is the trickiest because it is often from family so this is the one where you have to be the nicest in your reply. Sometimes though, it is coming from someone else’s guilt because they have had enough dessert from 4 people.
So there you have it. I am sure you have heard most of these. I know because I have heard them but now you have a few responses. Just remain positive, and turn around their negatives.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.