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Old 05-09-2010, 03:24 AM   #16
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I know it can seem like we're piling on negativity. We're not, we're just pointing out pitfalls we've all faced before. Almost everyone seems to start with the impression that one of the biggest obstacles is "lack of support," or "sabotage" from the people in their life.

But so often those words are thrown around too carelessly. People cannot read our minds. They can't be expected anticipate our needs and put our needs above their own (often people are unsupportive, simply because it's not a priority in their life, and many times it probably shouldn't be). And most especially, they will never know the right thing to say at the right time.

Even spouses don't do mindreading very well. If you need something from your husband you have to tell him what that is. And if he can't comply, then you've got to shut him out of your weight loss entirely. My hubby and I can't get in each other's weight loss or healthy eating even a little - because we hurt each other too much. Unintentionally, but "help" feels like criticism when you're emotions are rubbed raw from the stress of the weight loss efforts. It's hard work, and when you're working that hard, it's easy to misinterpret even the best meant advice.

The drastic changes of any lifestyle change are stressful - and stress and diet changes can trigger emotional reactions that would otherwise not be normal. You can be so emotional that NO response is likely to be seen as a supportive one. People are either overinvolved and controlling, or their indifferent and don't care about us, or they're sabotaging and enabling. No response is the right response when you're emotions are raw from the struggle. And weight loss is a struggle. It's hard work, and it triggers physiological changes (including hormonal stuff) that make misinterpreting intentions almost inevitable.

The truth is though that when you assume that others are doing the best they can - it feels like support. It's only when you're assuming that they have destructive motives or that they don't care about you that you feel you have saboteurs or no support.

It's mostly not the other people's real behavior that will drive you crazy - it's your interpretation of it. If you think you have no support - If you think that no one understands your situation, you will feel unsupported and sabotaged.

If you think that most people are trying to help (even if they're bungling it miserably), you will see and feel support.


Perception and interpretation become reality.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:09 AM   #17
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Martha -- thank you so much for the clarification. Upon reading your original post, I was under the same impression as many of the responders.

Your situation sounds incredibly frustrating. Most of us face some of the BS from "friends" and relatives but we have an oasis of support -- 3FC is the right place to turn! Again, I'm sorry that the way you phrased your original post caused so much misinterpretation. I'm glad that you took the constructive step to clarify rather than get upset and/or turn away.

And it sounds to me like you are doing all the right things and making great choices in the face of a lot of obstacles. Good job choosing healthy dinners that your hubby disses! Your friends at work "feel bad" because you are eating healthier than they are? Too bad for them! Some day, one or more of them may be inspired to adopt healthier eating and that is so gratifying... to think that you have not only taken the steps needed for good health, but your example has had the same impact on others.

Good luck and please continue to come here for support. Vent about any individual situations you faced. I think that concrete examples are harder to misinterpret than more general situations and so many of us can relate to the difficult social eating situations that you face. And again, good job on making the best of all of them!!!
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:38 AM   #18
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It's ok to hurt people's feelings. Friends come and go in our lives, and even family waxes and wanes. Don't go out of your way to be a jerk, but if people insist on taking offense where none was meant, that's their problem, not yours.

It's also ok to lie. Your diet is none of their business. Say your stomach is "really queasy" or "I think I ate something bad". If pushed, say you have really bad problems right now at "the other end" and that you don't want to risk eating anything so rich.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:03 AM   #19
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When I first started my weight loss journey, I started without my husband, who was also obese. He felt my new way of eating was threatening him and lashed out against what I was doing for a while. I had to figure out how to ignore him and the fatty foods he'd eat in front of me. In some ways, I guess it was good practice for the "real world"! After a few months of my success, he was curious and jumped on board with me!

But I constantly fumble with what's appropriate "support" from him. Sometimes he becomes my excuse for why I haven't exercised or why I eat something I wouldn't otherwise. It's hard to negotiate these kinds of issues in a marriage. I find I am most successful when I can just do what I know is right and not worry about him. Easier said than done sometimes...

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Old 05-09-2010, 08:12 AM   #20
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How about when you sit down to dinner say, "eat it, say THANK YOU or STFU!"
You could also repeat yourself. Please don't be negative towards me. repeating it over and over and over and it might click.

He doesn't need to eat chemicals and chunk food in order to gain weight healthily. His dr may be off and this might just be who he is. Not everyone fits on a graph chart. Don't make his problem affect your diet though. You can offer to bake him a potato to give to him on the side.

I can understand your social issues. As much as you want to share people don't want to join so just smile and nod and ignore them. Oh you're not having a burger? Nope! Smile and move on.. ignore any further comments with semi rude grunts of acknowledgment.

And as for family situations.. take a tiny bit of every plate so it's not a lie when you tell the hostess how good it was and it was just the best thing you've ever had and then walk over to another guest.

I lived in a culture where it was rude to not eat what you were given. I made my boyfriend something crazy like 7 huge cinnamon rolls (in a country where sugar is not important). I was just going to drop them off and let them sit around or be eaten whatever. He sat down and ate them ALL. I tried to leave and he insisted no I had to stay to see he had eaten them ALL. I then learned it was VERY bad manners to not eat what someone had given you. I felt pretty bad and embarrassed. He wedged every last roll down lol. So yeah.. those situations can be really touchy!

It sucks to not have his complete support or not the way you want it but you are strong and you can do this. Write in your journal and make a fun game of it .. like a secret.. that sounds wrong though. I don't want you closet eating! But I can tell you can do this on your own and come to this place to vent
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:39 AM   #21
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Wow Martha!! When I read your first post, I was ready to blast you, but it sounds like you are really surrounded by food pushers and second guessers.

I've never been in your situation before, and I'm not sure what the best approach would be. I'm guessing that you've tried all the usual responses. I'm hoping that you can find at least one supportive friend or co-worker.

With the co-workers who criticize for bringing in your lunch, can you claim that you're trying to save money? If they press too hard, say you're saving for a dream vacation. Maybe an around the world trip? Something so outrageously expensive that you can work in years of cheaper healthy lunches.

I don't know what to do about the husband, but then I don't know what to do about mine either. (He's supportive, but has some bad eating habits and portion control issues that drive me batty.)

Good luck and feel free to come here when you do need support! It's a good group.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:44 AM   #22
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You will find the support and encouragement you need here at 3FC!! I had kind of a similar situation when I started out as well. My husband was supportive and on the diet with me but he didn't really think my weight was a big deal. If you look at my before pictures its obvious that 190 lbs on a 5'3" frame didn't look good. But no one seemed to see it but me. I constantly was told that I didn't need to lose weight. Why are you starving yourself to death? Eat a piece of cake, it won't kill you. My family is really big into food gatherings and it was so hard to be the odd (wo)man out. But with the help from this forum I was able to accomplish my goal and I feel so much better about myself!! You can do this! Support yourself!
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:44 AM   #23
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Martha, another hug for you. And the same advice. This is about YOU. And if relatives/friends/coworkers are rude enough to try and coerce you into eating, it is fair in return to be rude enough to tell them No. And no excuses needed. As long as they influence your food choices, then they are i control and you are not. If your hubby's dr. told him to do a special diet and he doesn't do it...it's HIS choice.

You'll get support here. And sometimes get advice you don't like. But I hope you can know in your heart of hearts that everyone on here has been on the weight loss journey...most of us still are...and understand the difficulty and the pitfalls and so on and truly want to be supportive and help each other out through a very tough time from a caring and knowing perspective.

When my children were little and I cooked something that made them roll their eyes, I gave them another choice: leave the food I prepared on the plate and go hungry. When they were old enough to drive, I told them there were restaurants down the street. But I didn't cook ninetyleven different meals, nor did I allow them to make me feel bad for cooking good food.

And when some0one offers me food I don't wan to eat because it isn't on my plan, I politely say, "No thank you." and that is the end oif that. If they choose to get upset...TOUGH. My body does NOT need ice cream, chocolte cake, butter, deep fried food. Eating those things caused my problem in the first place. You have NO OBLIGATION to eat everything that is offered.

The quick bottom line is that YOU must set the boundaries for others regarding your food requirements. As long as they know you are flexible, they will wheedle and manipulate until you eat. Once the boundaries are set and enforced (by YOU) then they will have no choice but to respect those limits. NON-NEGOTIABLE!

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Old 05-09-2010, 10:07 AM   #24
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I thought of another way to put things. People are often not who we want them to be. The thing is, when they behave in a way that makes things more difficult, you have to think "What can I do to work around this?", not "Why can't they be different?". Maybe they should be. But you don't control that, and getting upset and angry at them is the start of a slippery slope where you end up feeling like a victim who can't live the life you want because of other people. That's no way to live.

Have faith that there are solutions to all these problems, and they lie in changing your actions, not in anyone else changing. Coming up with solutions to these problems is difficult--you may spend a week thinking and fretting about a 30 minute work lunch, coming up with responses and strategies--but that's what it takes. This is the hard work, the planning of weight loss--it's not just about what you are going to eat, but how you are going to deal with these situations.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #25
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Ok i'm going try and post and not sound like a witch with a b when i do it.

You cannot make excuses. You are a grown adult. No body can make you eat something you don't want to, no body should make you feel guilty for trying to be healthy. If you feel that they are then F*** them. Its your life, its you body and that's all it comes down to. You have to do what you have to in order to take care of yourself. Those other people are not your responsibility and what you do is none of their buisness.

I am assuming that all these people around you know that you are trying to lose weight. If not maybe explain it to them next time they are pushy. But otherwise, you just have to ignore them. There will always be someone or something, tempting you to eat crap food. It's a fact of life. If it wasn't like that, we would all be healthy already.

Basically it all comes down to you. You are an adult, a strong grown up woman who is perfectly capable of making her own decisions. If you chose to eat junk food, that is your fault, i dont care who you think pressured you into it. And you shouldn't either!! Unless they tied you down and shoved food down your throat, then its all on you. You cant blame people for the mistakes you make. I understand they can sometimes make it harder. but you have to except responsibility and just do whats best for you. You cant make everyone happy. So try and stick to one persona at a time. I suggest starting with you.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #26
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There will always be challenges along the way during weight loss, but you'll find solutions as you go.

For the family members that push food at you, just tell them (as you have) that you are really full, but that you would love to take some home to enjoy later. This way they feel like their food is appreciated and you can either give the food away or dump it into the nearest trashcan.

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Old 05-09-2010, 02:40 PM   #27
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Well, so much good has been stated here!

You certainly have your challenges set up for you but, yes, it is your life and your health and ultimately your choice. Making big changes can get people in your life scared, annoyed, worried - a lot of folks are put off by change (even if it is for the good). You just have to walk that walk! We're here to support you!

I remember when a close friend of mine in college quit drinking. He was flunking classes, got a dui, really messing up. When he started on his new, sober life a lot of his friends and even some in his family were not supportive! His sister was upset that we wouldn't toast her wedding! I like what he said if someone offered him a drink:

No, thanks. I've had enough.

That being said, you can see how much support and success goes on here. Glad you are here, too!
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:11 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesomebody View Post
How about when you sit down to dinner say, "eat it, say THANK YOU or STFU!"
I had to laugh when I saw this. LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesomebody View Post
It sucks to not have his complete support or not the way you want it but you are strong and you can do this. Write in your journal and make a fun game of it .. like a secret.. that sounds wrong though. I don't want you closet eating! But I can tell you can do this on your own and come to this place to vent
Oh no, I don't want to do any closet eating. That seems like an eating disorder to me and I want to be able to put it out there and say "this is what's going in my mouth, take it or leave it."

I just wanted to point out, I didn't say you gals were piling on negativity...it's the people in my life who are.

My family is also full of food-pushers. The only person I know who isn't a food pusher is my mom, because she's the only female in her family who is actually a healthy weight, looks thin, and makes an attempt to eat healthily and get physical activity. Granted what she's done a lot with me wasn't always healthy (I was on a diet in childhood), but I can see the reason why she doesn't do what my relatives do. For instance, my sister is actually rather thin and will only eat when she is hungry for the most part. An aunt of ours tried to get her to eat some fried food that she had bought and when my sister said no, everyone got really upset with her...so my sister ate it, but then spent the next hour complaining to our mom about how everyone was trying to make her fat. Yeah, I know it's an unhealthy situation.

Sometimes I don't know how to respond to others when they say things like "oh so you must think you're better than us?" because they see that I eat healthily. When I try to explain that the food I am eating is part of a better diet, the word "better" gets tossed around to the point where others take it personally.

I've thought about telling my husband to shove it when it comes to what I buy and the food I eat. At least then he'd know I was serious.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:18 PM   #29
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Quote:
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I've thought about telling my husband to shove it when it comes to what I buy and the food I eat. At least then he'd know I was serious.
In my experience, the way to show one's spouse that one is serious is to simply do it and keep at it, perhaps while saying nothing about it. When I quit sugar 2 years ago, my husband thought I'd never be serious about doing it, and didn't trust that I really had changed and really WAS extremely serious until probably a couple of months into it.

Just do it, ignore what people say, and they'll figure it out eventually. You can't change their attitudes or beliefs about any of it, and you shouldn't let that crap affect how you feel or what you do. It's truly not personal; they simply have issues to work through that have nothing to do with you. Leave them to do it, while you do your own thing.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:37 PM   #30
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I have thought of just going ahead and doing what I need to do, but usually my husband will question me. For instance, if he sees more fruit in the fridge, he'll start asking what they're for, if he can eat them, etc. I'm not always sure of what to tell him.
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