Weight Loss Support - Rant!: Sabotage!!!




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luckyme0510
09-16-2011, 08:19 AM
I am all about positive thinking and giving people the benefit of the doubt, but for the first time ever I really feel like someone is trying to purposefully sabotage me:?:

So today is my third day of Phase 1 South Beach (basically no sugar or carbs at all!). I live with my in-laws due to a series of recent unfortunate events, and the day before yesterday when I started my plan I clearly informed my mother in law of my plans and asked her not to offer me anything yummy that I shouldn't be eating, and I explained South Beach to her (even though I know she knows what it is because she tried it before and couldn't stick to it). That very same day she went out and came home with ingredients for lasagna. She says to me in an overly chipper manner " Friday we're going to have lasagna, garlic, bread, wine, and some salad!" :mad: Considering I live in her house and I'm off today I can't refuse to help her, so I responded with "oh, that sounds nice, I'll help you but I'm only having the salad" and she had the audacity to ask me why. I reminded her of what I had JUST told her earlier in the day... and she responded with "seriously... it's just one day"... and i said "SERIOUSLY" and left it at that.

She is just as overweight as I am, she weighs a bit more but she is also a bit taller, and she is currently, actively trying to lose weight at the moment so she should understand. And she knows garlic bread and wine are my weaknesses, I just don't understand why she would behave this way when we generally get along. And I know it's been on her mind because last night my father-in-law was giving me the fifth degree on what kind of diet I was on because "mom told me you weren't eating lasagna tomorrow".

I don't feel like I should have to explain myself regarding my food choices. When I was stuffing my face with ice cream no one was asking me any questions. I just feel so frustrated right now, but in the end I guess it's a good thing. Now I feel like I have more resolve than ever to not eat anything that I shouldn't, especially tonight, I need to make a point.

Am I acting crazy? Is the sugar withdrawal getting to my head? Please tell me if you think I'm exaggerating and that the lasagna had nothing to do with an evil agenda against my weight loss plans. I really like to see the best in people, maybe I'm just being sensitive, but for some reason I feel so violated at the moment:shrug:


JayEll
09-16-2011, 08:43 AM
Yeah, I agree that your in-laws are doing some sabotage. What you have to do is stand firm and not fall for it. I'd suggest that you find yourself some food that you can eat while everyone else is eating their lasagna. Can you get some chicken breasts and cook them up? It may irritate your MIL, but she will see that you mean what you say.

BUT--for what it's worth, people who are not on your plan aren't obliged to fix only the foods you can eat. You are responsible for looking after your own program. There's no reason why if your in-laws want lasagna, they can't have it--but the timing does make it suspect, doesn't it.

Look after yourself. Don't cave to the pressure.

Jay

zoodoo613
09-16-2011, 08:49 AM
It's tough, all living together. I hate family drama.

I don't think you're crazy, but I also don't think the lasagna was an evil agenda. She probably just wasn't thinking about you. People spend a lot of time thinking about themselves and not much time thinking about any one else. It's insensitive, certainly, but not necessarily evil.

Your diet looms large in your mind. It has to, if you're going to make it work, especially since you're just getting started on this one. It's THE thing. And there's nothing wrong with that. But it's just not THE thing in her mind.

You shouldn't have to justify your choices, and it's frustrating to have her question you. And the fact that she's talking to her husband about it, well, people talk. You're doing something she wasn't successful at, and it probably makes her a bit uncomfortable. Or maybe she thinks it won't work for you, because it didn't work for her. But none of that matters. You do what you need to do, and she can go on thinking what she wants to think. And if you can direct her judgments into being more firmly committed, all the better.

Good luck!


indiblue
09-16-2011, 08:50 AM
First, congrats on your loss and commitment to stay on plan!

I'm sorry this happened to you. It sounds like though your MIL was not trying to sabotage you. Like you said, you guys generally get along. I doubt she intends malice. I would bet she's a decent person and her actions are coming from some other motivation.

First, remember this is the only third day of your new way of eating. Because it sounds like your MIL cooks at least some of the meals you eat, it's going to take longer than a few days for her to adjust to that. It's just the reality of living in someone else's house and eating (at least sometimes) the food they cook.

Second, since this is not HER way of eating, it's YOURS, she may not understand that on-plan means on-plan EVERY day. It may translate to her that you just want to - in general- eat "better." As she said- it's just one day, one meal. To you, and most dieters, every meal is critical. To her, it's just one meal in the scheme of things.

Third, it can be hurtful/bothersome/threatening to parents when children (or their daughters/sons in law) refuse their food. Regardles of how carefully and politely you explained it, it may be interpreted/received differently. A lot of people experience this when giving up meat. People who live with parents who become vegetarian often experience backlash because the MIL or mother doesn't fully appreciate that this means the individual will be refusing the food she/he cooks.

My future MIL is Mexican and cooks with LOTS of meat. I am a vegetarian. She is very polite but I know it bothers her at least a bit when I refuse her food. It's just a parental instinct to provide for others, especially with some moms. It's a little hurtful when it happens, even if it's totally rational and polite.

Your new way of eating may require a lot more getting used to by your in-laws than you expected. Three days after a lifetime of cooking the way she is accustomed to is quite a change :) Offering to cook meals that accommodate your diet and that they will enjoy may be one way to ease into things. Maybe by leading by example your MIL will feel less threatened/hurt or whatever she is feeling right now. Maybe she will join your commitment to getting healthy. But hopefully first and foremost she will understand and learn to accommodate your new healthy lifestyle.

Good luck!!

K9Owner
09-16-2011, 08:50 AM
Let me say first—I LOVE my MIL and my FIL!
We don’t live together!
But, when my DH and I used to live closer to them, we would eat with them often.
My MIL is significantly overweight (so is my FIL and DH).
My MIL and I used to cook all the time together. We both miss the time together, and when I started slacking going over for dinner or out to lunch, they all noticed.
It was a BIG deal at first, b/c DH would say, “It’s just one meal—on Sunday—after church”. These lunches and dinners were a HUGE set-back for me & contributed to me gaining 20 lbs over a couple of years.

No one ever asked me either--while I was cramming homemade yeast rolls, all different types of cake, cookies, pies, breads, etc down my throat—if the extra weight was going to be an issue with me.

In the long run, I had to make a personal choice & now after church, when I say “I’m going home.” Or “I’m not eating out for lunch.” None of them question it.

Best of luck to you, esp if you have a MIL that you adore, like I do :)

ERHR
09-16-2011, 09:19 AM
I don't think this is sabotage. Sabotage would be like if someone injects sugar into your meat without telling you, or throws out all your Truvia and replaces it in the same bottle with real sugar. Your MIL is simply living her life the way she wants to. Like zoodoo said, she's just not really thinking about you, which is natural. You have to become accustomed to eating the way you want around people who are eating the way they want - especially since you are living in someone else's home. If they offer your something tempting, it's your responsibility to turn it down, not theirs to not offer it. This is achievable - just stay strong like you have been and it will become a habit.

Also, any type of salad you make certainly contains carbohydrates and almost certainly sugar as well. So I think you may be miscommunicating/overstating your plan, which could contribute to confusing the people you live with and making them think you're not serious about it.

Lovely
09-16-2011, 10:21 AM
What indiblue & zoodoo said.

It may seem as though she's doing it on purpose, but it looks like from the outside that she just doesn't "get it", yet.

It's up to you to stand firm, and politely decline the foods that you can't eat right now.

luckyme0510
09-16-2011, 10:31 AM
Thank you all for your comments...

For the record, I would NEVER expect for other people to eat the way I eat, or to expect my MIL to plan her dinner according to my diet. I became upset not because she decided to cook lasagna (even though she NEVER cooks, it's a running joke in the family) it was because she wanted me to help her cook (since I actually know how), and even though I agreed to, I felt like she was still trying to make me feel guilty about not participating in this special, random, family dinner. It was after that when the thought started to simmer that she decided to have this meal, on that particular day for a particular purpose.

I do feel a lot less "dramatic" at the moment, lol. I don't feel like she is trying to sabotage me anymore after reading all of your comments, but I do think she probably thinks I am not serious about this, and why should she think I am after so many times in the past I have said I was on a diet and I didn't go through with it?

She offered me some mango this morning and my FIL was trying to coerce me into eating some corn, lol. I don't feel upset about it at all, I guess I am just going to have to get used to saying no while I live here. I just wish someone would congratulate me for not eating sugar for three days which is an immense feat for me rather than making me feel like I'm doing something silly is all. At the end of the day I am doing it for myself and I shouldn't rely on the support or praise of those around me because that is a recipe for failure (which is why I love 3fc... real unbiased advice and support from people who can relate to me ;))

BTW, that thing about injecting sugar in my meat had me ROTF!

JoJoJo2
09-16-2011, 10:34 AM
It's not sabotage, it's just the way your MIL's mind works. You have stated what you will be eating - the salad - so stick to it, and enjoy the salad. You will feel so good avoiding the lasagna and garlic bread. You really will.

You are off to a great start on your healthy eating, now stick to it. There will be other temptations along the way, that's just the way life happens. Be strong! :wave:

kaplods
09-16-2011, 01:22 PM
I think we're taught to see sabotage, jealousy, and evil motivation at every turn while we're trying to lose weight (and at everyone, including ourselves), because "angry dieting" is the way we're taught to do this.

We're supposed to hate ourselves so much that we use the motivation to starve ourselves and exercise at a madman's pace. And just in case self-hatred isn't enough motivation, we're supposed to see it everywhere else, and we're supposed to decide to "show them," (which wouldn't that be proving them right, not wrong?) Every comment (or lack of comment) gets interpreted as sabotage motivated by jealousy.

Sometimes I feel like I'm going to explode whenever I hear "they're just jealous," because I think it reinforces angry dieting, and for me, anger was the biggest obstacle. I'm an optimistic person, and I don't like being angry, so I made myself more miserable than I was willing to tolerate.

A big step for me was deciding to look at weight loss (and the behaviors it took to do it) as a way to pamper my wonderful self, not punish the bad me. I also had to stop assuming evil motivation and take the word "sabotage" out of my vocabulary. Mainly because giving it such a powerful name, gave it power. After all, it could never be my fault if it was sabotage.

I had to decide that other people's behavior wasn't about me, it was about them - but it was ok for me to make my behavior all about me.

Personally, I had to get rid of the anger - the anger at myself and the anger at others for not making my life easier (especially because if they tried to make my life easier, I would get angry, feeling they were patronizing me or trying to play food cop).

It is hard when you're on a different eating plan than people you're living with, but it gets easier (especially if you can keep anger as small a part of the process as possible).

A support group is so helpful, whether it's 3FC or an inperson meeting or both. I need a lot of support so I have both 3FC online, and TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly) on Tuesday Nights (and I'd love to find a friday weight loss meeting as well so I've started using fridays as the day I watch an inspiring or informative movie on netflix. Right now, I'm watching Season 1 of Ruby).

free1
09-16-2011, 01:51 PM
Another thought....

For a lot of people, and a lot of cultures, food is the way to express love and to give. While I am sure this has contributed to the obesity problem in America, I think it is the way some people show their love and/or pleasure.

When I told my mother that I wasn't eating beef or pork anymore (over 15 years ago), she almost started crying....really crying!!! I realized spoiling me with her big pot roast or fabulous pork chops was her way of also telling me she loved me. She saw it as a rejection of her way of life and her love.

It could have been very innocent. :)

April Snow
09-16-2011, 02:46 PM
the longer you stay on plan, the more others get used to it. On my current plan, I don't eat any grains, starches or sweets. At first, people would say "oh, you can just have a little bit" and things like that. I stopped trying to argue with them about it, I just ate what I wanted to eat on my plan. Almost 4 months and close to 50 lbs later, people are used to it and it's not as big a deal to them, and they've stopped paying that much attention to what I eat.

And on the rare ocassion that someone does say something, I'll agree that I CAN eat it, I am just CHOOSING not to. Not much to argue about there! lol!

dragonwoman64
09-16-2011, 03:22 PM
people have offered lots of good thoughts. I think sometimes too a relative or someone close can feel threatened by a diet or change like that. She might see it as a push for her to make a change in HER diet when she might not feel ready to do it. Even if your dieting has nothing to do with her way of eating. Still, you choosing something different highlights her way of eating, if you catch my drift.

eating has so many social issues connected with it, like others here have pointed out. It's hard for a diet to not involve other people, even when it seems like it shouldn't.

lin43
09-16-2011, 03:24 PM
I haven't read all the responses, but the ones I've read indicate that I may be in the minority with this opinion: I think your instincts are correct. Although I may have accepted that she forgot about your plan when she bought the ingredients for lasagna, the fact that she tried to convince you to eat it anyway and was talking to her husband about it (WTH???) makes me think that she tried to derail you. Now, it may be a subconscious thing. Perhaps, subconsciously, she doesn't want you to succeed at a plan that she failed out.

Stay strong. It can be hard living in relatives' homes, and this is just one of those situations where you'll have to grin and bear it.

Aileen
09-16-2011, 07:55 PM
People will do this to you all the time. You'll need to get used to it. I'm constantly told to eat this or that and it's only one cookie, cupcake, muffin, piece, etc.... What people don't get for me is that one of anything that's a trigger for me (and I have a lot of triggers!) can set me off on a binge that could last weeks. Once I've messed up I have a hard time stopping and starting again. I have to just avoid all those trigger foods...and they are all things people love to offer.

Best to plan ahead for this kind of thing. I know on Monday that a lady is bringing in treats for someone's birthday...and it takes me time to prepare myself not to have any. Prepare your own food, pack your own food, avoid meals with the family, or just sit and enjoy the conversation.

Betwixt
09-16-2011, 09:10 PM
I used to have the same problem with my family (aunt to be exact). She knew I was trying to eat healthier and I would ask for things to not be brought and I was given the support, at that moment. She was the one who would constantly make snide comments so you would think she would be supportive. However... when she would visit, she would bring the worst things, including dessert, and then get offended when I declined what she made. I was ungrateful, I didn't like her food etc. She turned my goal into her being a horrible cook and person!

I think your MIL was maybe testing you? (Makes me wonder if I was being tested, was I being set up to see if I would give in?) I don't think you're exaggerating. I see the timing as odd. Maybe I'm projecting? lol

Hang in there. Keep making the healthy choices for you and let her/them see you mean it. After all, this about you and your health, not her/them.

DezziePS
09-17-2011, 12:57 PM
You know, my mom does not have a weight problem but does this kind of thing all the time. She thinks that it's great when I'm watching weight, but she does not understand why, if I am watching what I eat MOST of the time, I can't make exceptions every once in a while. I think your MIL's intentions were probably more innocuous- maybe she just thought if you dieted all week, why COULDN'T you celebrate with a more indulgent dinner ONE night? This is the kind of thinking that is hard for all of us to break out of, and it sounds like perhaps that has contributed to her lack of success at losing weight before.

Another thing I would suggest is just not telling her you are trying to lose weight or what you will or will not be eating, and just do it. It can be awkward if you do go off plan and then she feels like, "Well, she wouldn't eat my lasagna, but she can eat THAT!"

I would also like to chime in here and ask if you've considered calorie counting? For me, personally, I need the flexibility of being able to eat what my family is eating- so I might have been able to have a small piece of lasagna, a bunch of salad, and a half a glass of wine without anyone looking twice. Though I know some people really do respond better to having less choices and more structure in their diets and plans like South Beach work well for them, calorie counting has consistently been the ONLY plan I could stick to probably because of the flexibility. Also, if you were doing that, you might be able to help MIL by teaching her how to cook more healthily (get whole wheat pasta, sub some of it out for zucchini, get low fat cheese, etc.) and help everybody out.

sontaikle
09-17-2011, 02:59 PM
Sabotage would really be if she was constantly bugging you to eat something you didn't want to. It doesn't involve not bending to your diet. You can't make the entire household go on the South Beach Diet, and it's not really fair to restrict everyone's food. Can you ask? Sure! Doesn't mean they have to do it.

I know dieters are told to keep things out of the house to avoid eating them, but that's not really realistic unless you're living by yourself. We all have to learn to live with temptation and deal with it.

Snide comments aren't sabotaging you either :) They're rude and annoying, but that's really all they are.



I would also like to chime in here and ask if you've considered calorie counting? For me, personally, I need the flexibility of being able to eat what my family is eating- so I might have been able to have a small piece of lasagna, a bunch of salad, and a half a glass of wine without anyone looking twice. Though I know some people really do respond better to having less choices and more structure in their diets and plans like South Beach work well for them, calorie counting has consistently been the ONLY plan I could stick to probably because of the flexibility. Also, if you were doing that, you might be able to help MIL by teaching her how to cook more healthily (get whole wheat pasta, sub some of it out for zucchini, get low fat cheese, etc.) and help everybody out.

Haha this! I still live at home, so I can't really plan all my meals out. I have to work with what's in the house and what's made for dinner. Calorie counting really helps because sometimes I don't know what's for dinner until I sit down to eat it! ;)

My mom makes great dinners though. I usually budget the majority of my day's calories just for dinner so I can enjoy myself :rofl:

luckyme0510
09-17-2011, 03:54 PM
Thank you all for your comments...

For the record, I would NEVER expect for other people to eat the way I eat, or to expect my MIL to plan her dinner according to my diet. I became upset not because she decided to cook lasagna (even though she NEVER cooks, it's a running joke in the family) it was because she wanted me to help her cook (since I actually know how), and even though I agreed to, I felt like she was still trying to make me feel guilty about not participating in this special, random, family dinner. It was after that when the thought started to simmer that she decided to have this meal, on that particular day for a particular purpose.

I do feel a lot less "dramatic" at the moment, lol. I don't feel like she is trying to sabotage me anymore after reading all of your comments, but I do think she probably thinks I am not serious about this, and why should she think I am after so many times in the past I have said I was on a diet and I didn't go through with it?

She offered me some mango this morning and my FIL was trying to coerce me into eating some corn, lol. I don't feel upset about it at all, I guess I am just going to have to get used to saying no while I live here. I just wish someone would congratulate me for not eating sugar for three days which is an immense feat for me rather than making me feel like I'm doing something silly is all. At the end of the day I am doing it for myself and I shouldn't rely on the support or praise of those around me because that is a recipe for failure (which is why I love 3fc... real unbiased advice and support from people who can relate to me ;))

BTW, that thing about injecting sugar in my meat had me ROTF!

sontaikle: Thank you for your response but read above. I saw that most people misunderstood what I was upset about (maybe I wasn't expressing myself correctly in the heat of the moment I was in) so I posted this above which I guess you didn't read before you responded. I, again, would never expect anyone, at all, not even my husband who is also overweight, to abide by any diet or way of life I decided to follow all by myself. :)

twinieten
09-18-2011, 09:01 AM
I'm going to jump in behind lin43, here. While it is possible that there was no sabotage in place, the timing was quite questionable. Then the discussion with your FIL.... Hmmmm...... I believe people will sometimes subconsciously sabotage, but I don't understand why. I think you're instincts are correct, but you should step back and just wait it out first. It probably does have something to do with carbohydrate withdrawal! :)

Back when I began my weight loss journey last year, I experienced something similar. This took place for several weeks before I said anything. I asked my DH, who had begun making regular trips to the store and bringing home junk that I'd want to eat, to reduce his shopping frequency (he literally went from shopping a couple of times a month to a couple of times a week). I asked him and the kids to keep everything stored up high, not eye level. I promised my husband and kids that if anything was left out, it would go in the trash. I kept that promise. They got better.

Stay strong. Just stick with your low carb, and find pride in resisting temptation. It'll be tough with people who aren't following the same diet, but they should come to respect your choices.

kaplods
09-18-2011, 02:48 PM
I think it's important not to use the word "sabotage" even when someone probably is (or even definitely is) trying to undermine our efforts, because it gives the word and therefore the action more power than it deserves.

People are very complicated and so are their motivations. A person can want us to fail and succeed at the same time. WE can want to fail and succeed at the same time, and I think calling other people's behavior sabotage is one of the ways we give ourselves permission to fail.

If we realize that other people's motivations and opinions on our weight loss don't determine our success or failure, then we don't need to waste our time trying to determine what their motivations and opinions are.

People can only sabotage us, with our permission and our cooperation. In fact, we can allow people to sabotage us even if that's not their intention at all (so who is really doing the sabotage).

I've found that completely discounting other people's opinions and desires about my weight loss, has been incredibly helpful. Stress is an enemy to weight loss, and fearing and believing and worrying about other people's intentions, beliefs and motivations regarding my weight loss was extremely stressful.

When I stopped expecting people to make my dieting easier, and stopped worrying about why they weren't making it easier, I cut out a huge source of stress in my life. I don't have to worry about whether someone is trying to sabotage me, because I know they can't unless I allow it.

If I do suspect or know that someone wants to undermine my weight loss, I don't call it sabotage, because that gives it power (after all sabotage is a very serious crime - it's acts like blowing up a building - not making fun of or trying to persuade the builders not to bother).

I call it "their problem," or "their insecurities," and I choose (most of the time) not to get angry (because anger gets me stressed). Instead I choose to see it as a reflection of complicated emotions - I feel a little sad for the person's insecurities. How sad it must be for them to be threatened by the prospect of my success. Compassion and pity are emotions that don't weaken me. Anger and resentment do - so I choose the interpretation that strengthens me.

Support is extremely important in weight loss, but I think we've been encouraged by our culture and the dieting culture in particular to believe that support has to be "the just right, perfect support" (a mythical creature) or it's sabotage. We're taught to believe that there are tons of folks out there, close to us and not, who are anxiously wishing for our failure, and doing everything in their power to ensure it.

It seems we do everything in our power to make weight loss as stressful, unpleasant, difficult in every way, and even paranoia-filled as possible, and then wonder why failure is the usual result.

When you see yourself as strong, and powerful, and feel sorry for the poor fools who don't understand how important your journey is, then you can't be undermined by even their intentional actions (even though most of what we call sabotage is only partially intentional - the person usually wants us to succeed as much or nearly as much as they want our failure. They may not even be aware of their ill intent).

Some days I want me to fail as much as I want to succeed - I can't resent those closed to me for having the same mixed emotions (well I can, but it won't help).

munchievictim
09-18-2011, 04:39 PM
I experienced this with my fiancee's grandmother once. We were out to eat and she ordered something like a bar-be-que sandwich and fries and I ordered a salad. She made several comments about it, and about how she guessed she should be eating salad too (she's a little bigger than me). I absolutely love her, and though I felt awkward that she kept talking about it, I wasn't angry at her. But it did make me think. I believe that people make fun of or try to 'sabotage' us feel incredibly sensitive about their own bad decisions and the only way they know how to reconcile that is to draw negative attention to what you're doing so as to detract attention from their choices and make it look like you're the silly or unhealthy one. I think it makes it easier for them, especially if they're not ready to make their own steps toward good health. I don't think these people are ever motivated by malice, just discomfort and trying to handle the situation flippantly, which also has the effects of detracting from your awesome success. I really agree with kaplods (as I usually do haha) when it comes to viewing healthy eating as pampering rather than suffering. I view it as a spa day for my insides, and why wouldn't I go to the spa every day if I could? I get really excited about eating nutritional powerhouse foods such as seaweed because I focus on it like its some premium spa treatment. Looking at it this way helps you look at people who downplay your success with pity more than anger- we've all been at that point where we weren't ready to get healthy yet. And while most of us wouldn't lash out at those who were eating healthy, some people just do respond that way without even realizing what they're doing. Right now you're holding up a mirror to her ugly ways of eating and that has to be painful, we've all had to face the mirror (or a terrible, unflattering picture). Just pat yourself on the back and keep doing what you're doing. You're setting a great example, and what may be painful now might be the motivator that helps her change her own behavior. Don't get smug ;) hang in there honey.