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Old 05-10-2010, 04:59 PM   #31
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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.
Tell him the factual truth, without telling him the reasoning behind things. "Those are for my lunch. Sure, you can have one. If you start wanting to eat them regularly, I can pick up extra for you at the store. How about if you let me know about that, OK?"

You don't have to give him the whole saga about how you're wanting to eat better and working at weight loss and etc etc. Just the facts, ma'am.

For example, when I quit eating sugar, I didn't tell my husband that; but he does most of the grocery shopping for the family, so when he asked me whether or not I wanted him to get a new bag of chocolate for me at the store, I just said, "No, thank you, but I would like to have some..." whatever. I didn't tell him why, I just told him what I wanted.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:38 PM   #32
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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.

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.
I have been enjoying and applying this insight with a friend and it makes it much more tolerable of off putting remarks. I try and focus on the good and leave the rest. Key word is try. I am not always successful and sometimes boundaries need setting. kaplods is 100% right on.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:33 AM   #33
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It used to aggravate me that my husband would eat food I had planned for myself (even though we're both dieting, we have different trigger foods and sanity saver foods).

I'd get angry that he wouldn't want an apple until there was only one left (and he wouldn't tell me he ate the last one, until I went looking for it).

When this happened in the past, I'd get angry - even though he'd offer to go out and get me what I wanted (even if it meant going to the 24/7 Walmart).

He didn't understand why I was so angry - especially when he could get to the store and back with what I wanted in less than 15 minutes (we have a nice grocery store only a couple blocks from the house).

Once I got so mad at him that when he asked if I wanted him to go to the store to replace the item he ate - I said YES! And he did - and wasn't the least bit angry about it. I had cooled down by the time he came home, and I kissed him and thanked him - and he said "See that wasn't so bad, was it?"

We don't have that problem any more because if I want something we don't have, I don't stress about going out and getting it (or asking hubby to). It's a lot easier that way.

I know some problems aren't so easily fixed - but there are always solutions. Sometimes they're hard to see, because when habits develop, it's hard to think outside the box.

When I first realized I was seeing sabotage when none was meant, and using it as an excuse to blame other people for my poor choices, it was really hard to decide when someone was trying to help and when they were trying to undermine my new lifestyle - I finally decided that it didn't matter. I decided to assume that the person never realized that their response wasn't the one I wanted or needed (yeah sometimes even I knew I was just pretending).

But it works. Whether or not someone is trying to intentionally sabotage my diet, I feel more in control (and much less stressed) when I think of them as a poor, misguided imbecile - rather than an enemy, because on some level an enemy has earned your respect. An enemy is a peer, but an imbecile isn't someone you want to take advice from. It's easier to dismiss an opinion when you see it as idiotic or at least misguided or uninformed.

Confidence. It really all boils down to confidence. Knowing that you've chosen the best path for you. Of course confidence doesn't always come easily, but the more you practice it, the easier it gets. Every time you think "silly husband/coworker/friend" instead of "evil saboteur" the easier it will be to follow your own path and ignore the advice and pressure of people who may or may not mean well.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:39 AM   #34
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And what if it plainly is sabotage? For instance, people who know me are aware of the fact that I have dairy sensitivities and can't eat a lot of dairy-rich foods. Then I go over to a dinner I was invited to at their house and almost everything is dairy that's served! I've even had people think it was funny that I couldn't eat anything, or I had to make do. Which is much like serving all meat when you know that a friend coming over is vegetarian. When I pointed this out and asked them what they would have done if I had food allergies, they plainly said that they probably wouldn't have invited me because that would have been too much to accommodate...
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:56 AM   #35
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And what if it plainly is sabotage? ...
The advice really still applies. If it makes you angry, then you've given them power over you. You don't have to give anyone that power.

Even when it's obviously intentional, I still don't usually get angry. To get angry, I'd have to respect their opinion. Rather, if the person is intentionally trying to undermine my choices, my first reaction (now that I've trained myself to think this way) is for me to assume they're incurably stupid or insane. Again, I'm not likely to succumb to pressure if I don't respect the opinion of the person trying to do the sabotage.

It's important to make your choices clear and stick to them, because if you have a history of yielding to pressure, people will see it as mixed messages (she really wanted to eat the cake, she just needed someone to tell her it was ok).

But if you're firm and people are still trying to push you into eating - you have to push back. "I'm sorry, I will not eat this," is a legitimate choice - and you have to believe it. Otherwise you will yeild to the pressure.

Yes, some people will think you're rude (but that's ok - because you will be thinking they are an imbecile).

I don't let stupid or crazy people, or people who do not respect me make choices for me (I don't let them prepare my food either, if I know they're stupid, crazy or disprespectful).
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:20 AM   #36
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I've even had people think it was funny that I couldn't eat anything, or I had to make do. Which is much like serving all meat when you know that a friend coming over is vegetarian. When I pointed this out and asked them what they would have done if I had food allergies, they plainly said that they probably wouldn't have invited me because that would have been too much to accommodate...
If this happened to me (especially if the people thought it was funny), I would go home. I do not spend time with people who disrespect me.

To some degree, though I do understand the hosts feeling unable or unwilling to accomodate. It can be difficult to do so. When I'm hosting, I personally don't mind, because I'm a very creative cook, and like special challenges, but I know a lot of people who just can't do it. My husband's step-mother is not a very good cook, and her attempts to accomodate my husband and my diet have been disastrous. I'd rather be selective about what I eat (eating the smallest of portions if necessary), than have to turn down food she made especially for us that turned out to be inedible.

My dietary needs are no ones problem but my own. When I'm invited to dinner, I talk to the host(ess) before the party. I explain my dietary issues and ask if I can bring a large salad or vegetable tray - something that fits my needs so that they don't have to make anything special on my account. I wouldn't expect them to make something just for me.

But this is really true for allergies also. I'm allergic to honey and bread doesn't agree with me (I break out in a rash - it might be the wheat or it might be yeast). I also have IBS, so I do have food allergies and sensitivities. I don't eat what I don't want to, and I'm pretty good at getting people to back off without getting angry and without hurting feelings (but if it's a choice between my getting angry and their hurt feelings - I'm going to hurt their feelings before I get angry or yield to the pressure).

We also have a friend who is deathly allergic to onions (luckily he can be in the same room with onions). We have a dinner party gaming night about once a month. I do try to make sure there's stuff he can eat, but it's darned hard to cook without onion (at least the way I was raised and taught to cook). Most of the time I make sure that the main dish has no onions in it. But most of the crowd begs for my chili - and I can't make a good chili without onions, so occasionally I'll make my chili and we'll warn the onion-allergic friend that there'll be plenty of snacks and side dishes for him, but the main dish is going to have onions.

Still ultimately it boils down to personal choice and responsibility. If you see your choices as someone else's responsibility (even partially), you're going to keep making those choices, and it's going to feel like it's "their fault."
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:15 AM   #37
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I've discovered a trigger phrase: anytime I find myself thinking "well, I can't just [whatever]", it usually turns out that I can, it's just weird. Like "I can't just go to a dinner party and not eat", except you can. It feels a little weird at first, but then people get used to seeing you just sipping coffee and after a few times, it's your new normal.

There are lots of phrases like this: "I can't just not have Christmas cookies", "I can't just be late to work because I have to exercise (or "I can't get up at 4:00 AM)", "I can't just tell my husband no over and over again", "I can't just let my grandmother be mad at me".

For me, this whole weight loss process has been about undoing those "I can't just . . "s, and it's been really empowering.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:50 PM   #38
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What is funny is when I've said "I can't have those cookies at this party," there is usually someone there pushing them to me. It also happens a lot with relatives, and it's hard because they tend to get very sensitive. Usually what I try to do now is not say anything, but there's always that one person who insists that you eat everything in sight, and they also get upset when you don't. It's like the person who hosts a party and they get upset when they see that you've been sitting down only socializing with one person the entire evening.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:35 AM   #39
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I've discovered a trigger phrase: anytime I find myself thinking "well, I can't just [whatever]", it usually turns out that I can, it's just weird. Like "I can't just go to a dinner party and not eat", except you can. It feels a little weird at first, but then people get used to seeing you just sipping coffee and after a few times, it's your new normal.

There are lots of phrases like this: "I can't just not have Christmas cookies", "I can't just be late to work because I have to exercise (or "I can't get up at 4:00 AM)", "I can't just tell my husband no over and over again", "I can't just let my grandmother be mad at me".

For me, this whole weight loss process has been about undoing those "I can't just . . "s, and it's been really empowering.

This is definitely something I'm working on at the moment - the big one being "I can't go to a bar with friends or to a party and not drink alcohol"

I managed an hour's chat in the pub with my friend yesterday with just soda water and tomorrow evening I am going to a dinner party and am going to drive so I have no choice of whether to drink or not.

I know that as soon as I have one sip of alcohol my diet is screwed. Not just for that evening, but for the dreaded hangover-hunger of the next day, lack of motivation to do any exercise and guilt leading to more eating.

Also, as soon as I have one night with a few drinks it suddenly seems ok to do that a few nights a week and then my 1200-calories-a-day plan is totally ruined longterm.

I am coming to accept that cutting alcohol out altogether is the only way forward until I've lost a decent amount of this weight. And I'm ok with that, it just seems weird to start with.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:19 AM   #40
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Support can be so tricky...I have been extremely fortunate that my family, friends and coworkers have been very helpful and supportive throughout my journey. But even that got to the point with my family that they were commenting on every.single.thing. I put in my mouth (that looks good/awful, can you have that/this, etc) or what I was doing/not doing for exercise. About 2 months ago I had quite enough of all the support and told them that they weren't to comment on my eating or exercise ever again, I wanted them to act like whatever I did was perfectly normal...things have got much more comfortable.
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