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Tip on dealing with colleagues....

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Tip on dealing with colleagues....

So I've seen quite a few posts on here discussing the matter of sharing, or not sharing, our weight loss efforts with colleagues or people we just happen to eat with (so they see we're not eating certain things, and comment on it).

As I've already mentioned somewhere on here, I'm not very open and easy going about my weight loss. That is, I share with close friends, but I don't see a reason to be a target of (uncalled for) advices, tips, questions and general chit-chating about how fat I am ("you don't look fat at all!")

Fortunatelly (haha!) I suffer of Crohn's disease, which is a digestive disroder. It also means I have to modify my diet to stay well. Having an uncurable condition has one major advantage: people don't question me twice if I refuse to eat something. I can't eat the fries, I can't have the cake, sorry, sorry. For health reasons. Period.

So my advice is, if you don't want to go into details about your diet, just make up a health condition that prevents you from eating junk. Stomach ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, whatever works for you. It ought to be something everyone knows, or heard of, so they can imagine what you're talking about True enough, people might want to talk about your condition instead (give them all the juicy details I say!!!) but you're off the hook as far as diet is concerned. Even the most stupid and pushy people will back off once you explain them the frequency and consistency of diarrhoea this particular cherry pie would give you if you took a bite!

Weight loss journey started mid February 2015. Minigoals:
99,9 kg Met March 16
95 kg
91 kg = 200 pounds - no longer obese!
87 kg = almost there!
85 kg = goal weight!
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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I don't think we need to make up a condition as an excuse for healthy habits. It's dishonest and you risk digging an informational hole you won't be able to get out of.

For someone who is otherwise healthy, simply saying it's a matter of health is honest and should be enough if you don't want to offer any other information. If someone asks a direct question like, "What health issues do you have? I didn't know you had health issues" just saying something non-specific like, "It's just better overall if I stay away from [fill in the appropriate food] right now. It's no big deal" should work. Anyone who persists after that deserves, "I can't imagine why you think what I eat is such an interesting topic! How about those Red Sox?"

I think we have to be true to ourselves to be comfortable, but I think we also need to be honest so that we don't have one more thing to worry about - as in what story we told to hide the real reason for the change in eating habits. In anyone's case - with or without other health issues - if someone catches on and notices the weight loss and then asks a pointed question, be short and sweet with your answer and only share what you're comfortable with. My stock answer to, "You aren't fat," was, "But I'm heavier than I want to be." You can just leave it at that. It's way easier than trying to explain in detail.

Good luck with this. Eating healthy foods isn't always the easiest thing to do, but it's worth the end result.


Life style change started on Jan 13, 2011. I was going to lose 100 pounds by Christmas.
I lost 93 pounds by Oct 1, 2011 and am holding there for now. We'll see what happens.
New goal: To maintain at about 160 Final Goal: To decide if I need to lose more
Just Keep On Keepin' On

Last edited by linJber : 04-21-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:40 PM   #3
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If someone asks me questions I don't feel like answering, I just smile & don't say anything.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:41 PM   #4
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I give way too much away. But at 38 and a guy, I am way too old to give a sh!t any more!

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Old 04-21-2013, 11:29 PM   #5
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I've mentioned to people before that I have to be careful of my blood sugar levels, which is true, and that I'm sensitive to foods and have undergone allergy testing, which is true....And no one really has tried to push food on me or gone all "diet police" etc.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by IanG View Post
I give way too much away. But at 38 and a guy, I am way too old to give a sh!t any more!
What Ian said, but I'm 40 and a woman

I seriously spent way too much of my teens, 20s, and 30s worrying about other people's thoughts. Now I'm upfront and if somebody wants to debate about MY nutritional choices I simply say, "I pay a nutritionist a lot of money for sound nutritional advice, I'm not likely to throw that out the door to take the advice of somebody who doesn't have a degree in nutrition." Then if they aren't in perfect shape I follow it up with, "By the way, I've lost --- pounds this month, how many have you lost?" That usually shuts them up. That being said, the group of teachers I have lunch with are really healthy eaters, grow all of their own fruits and veggies, etc. and have been very supportive of the changes I'm making.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:44 PM   #7
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I'm not a fan of lying or making stuff up. Either I'm fully honest (more often than not), or I don't say anything at all. If it's something like my diet, i especially don't like making things up, because I don't need someone seeing me eat something a week from now and chastising me or calling me out because I said something totally different the week before. I'd rather just stick with "no thanks. "
Start: 210 on Nov 5
Goal: 160 by Feb 24
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:03 AM   #8
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What I say to people, just depends.

To some, I LIE! Because I can see they do not want to hear the bitter truth, which is, eat healthy, and exercise. There is no silver bullet or garlic wrapped cross!

To some, I tell the truth, I am a Weight Watchers lifetime, maintaining member, and I strength train 3 times a week and walk/jog or some other activity 3 days a week. Most of them don't like that either!
If they are really interested I will explain, but I have found most are only looking for the silver bullet and garlic, and it's in my best interest, to give them some blah, blah, and RUN!

What ever it is I say, is done with MY best interest in mind!

3+ year maintainer.
The human body is capable of amazing things! But without the mind, it is nothing. Get your mind in gear and the body will follow!

Be selfish about caring for yourself, you deserve it!
Weight Watcher leader! But always a Member first!
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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I wouldn't lie, I'm a terrible liar and I don't want to crowd my already busy mind with having to remember lies. I'm also very superstitious about lying about health issues. I never say I'm sick when I'm not sick or claim sickness to get out of anything just cause well I want to be careful what I wish for if you know what I mean.

That said, I am not tolerant of too many opinions. That's not to say that I'm rude or dismissive of anyone because I am not retaliative. If I'm questioned about what I'm eating I say "doctor's orders" and that's about it. People don't usually question that.

If anybody said to me "but you're not fat" I would say "I never said I was fat" and look at them quizzically lol. Unfortunately nobody says that to me at my present weight

"If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you've had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist." - Geneen Roth
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by linJber View Post
I don't think we need to make up a condition as an excuse for healthy habits.

About five years ago I moved into a new department at my job. At first, when we had work lunches that included ordering food, people would sometimes comment on the fact that I ate my own food instead of takeout. After maybe the second or third meal, nobody even blinked an eye.

It wouldn't even cross my mind to lie as to why I eat healthy. I eat healthy and I exercise because it's good for my body! Just like I tell my five year old: we make healthy choices and exercise so we can live long lives.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #11
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I agree with those who say it's best to be honest. For my part I have no compunctions about discussing my weight (including numbers) or what I do to maintain it. If someone were to question my food choices or insist that I eat a certain food, I would start by repeating "no thanks" several times. If that didn't work I would probably call the person on his/her intrusiveness. But that's just me.

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Old 04-22-2013, 10:33 PM   #12
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A lot of weight loss gurus advise you to tell people you know that you're trying to lose weight, so that they'll help keep you accountable, but I've always found the mostly well meaning, but often annoying attempts people make at this to be counter-productive.

That's one of the reasons I started my blog. It serves a similar purpose in keeping me accountable, in that I've put what I'm doing "out there" and I'd feel guilty about just slinking away from it or fudging the results if I didn't stick to my plan, without the drawbacks of telling people I have to interact with on a day to day basis what I'm up to.

My parents know and I told one friend. They have been supportive, but all three have also provided annoying and unsolicited advice lol For that reason I haven't shared my blog with any of my non internet friends yet. I may once I'm far enough along that I feel I can confidently say, thank for the advice, but what I'm doing is working for me.

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Old 04-22-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
Trying to be in the 160s
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Well, I'm getting all sorts of people now waltzing into my office almost daily asking me what the heck is going on! I'm not quick enough to make something up. So I just dish the dirt and mostly wait until they go on their merry way.

Today alone, I had the "what's going on with the new clothes?" question.

And the "what are you doing?" question.

Another guy on the "what's at the salad bar today?"

Three separate people. All just appeared. Perfectly nice, just curious/interested.

At 50+ down, I can't BS anyone.

Running because of Diana
Believing because of Sue
Elvis lives!
Getting fashion advice from Sum
ReillyJ and Carpediem saved my knees!
Don't believe the hype. EAT MORE FISH.
If the bar ain't bendin', you're just pretendin'!

Last edited by IanG : 04-22-2013 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:33 PM   #14
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OP, I get where you are coming from. I probably wouldn't straight up lie, but I have to admit that since cutting out wheat (due to possible gluten intolerance), it's a LOT easier to get away with eating foods without advice/comment/etc. This helps with my bf in particular. If he thinks I'm just trying to "be healthy", he will constantly tempt me to cheat, offer me food, and roll his eyes or laugh when I make a healthy choice. However, now that I'm inherently eating better due to the no wheat thing, he hardly ever does this. There's something about it being medical that keeps people from commenting as much. Tbh, I like it a lot better this way lol. So I can definitely relate to you.

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