I've been contemplating some of my own pitfalls in the journey of weight loss and one of my key "fails" is the ability to say "No" whether it is politely or not! I was asked why I wanted to be so public in my journey and to be honest, it's taken me 2 years to really start writing this BLOG so I don't think I have jumped into this forum lightly! But now, I am in the right frame of mind to be addressing these issues for myself, and I feel that I need to really express these things to others around me and beyond so that they can gain an insight into who I am but also that who ever reads this BLOG might also stop to consider how they behave around someone who is struggling with their weight.
It's a very tricky situation actually ... fat people don't want to miss out on having fun and being entertained or entertaining with friends, and we certainly don't want to miss out on social events (unless they are introverted and choose differently) and we definitely don't want to miss out just because we have to watch what we are choosing to eat or not eat as the case may be!!?
It strikes me as fascinating that there are adverts on TV in Australia at the moment which are all about people who are attempting to quit smoking and the adverts are asking people not to smoke around people who are trying to quit because it's so hard for them!
This got me thinking about people who are struggling with weight issues ... I've never seen any adverts which ask people to not eat unhealthy (fast) food around people who have a weight problem and are trying to "quit" the weight gain! In fact, it's the total opposite - the TV advert breaks (which are ridiculously frequent - I timed it one night - approximately every 3-5 minutes that you watch a show, you will also watch 3-4 minutes of adverts!!) are constantly bombarding us either directly or in subliminal ways with messages about unhealthy foods! A "McD's" promotion just hit the TV as I'm typing this ... it's subtle yet not so subtle at all! A HUGE majority of these adverts are directly marketing fast food, chocolate, lollies and fizzy drinks!
There are very few, if any, adverts that I know of, that promote eating healthy foods ... unless they are attached to some diet program ie. JC or WW, L&E etc.? If there are, I must have missed them because I don't recall any of them. So when I'm sitting in my lounge room, in previous times, I would be trying so hard not to crave a block of chocolate, or when I was trying hard to do home cooking rather than grabbing some KFC ... then I would spend the night on the "mute" button every time the adverts come to air just to avoid hearing the jingle that got into my mind and sent me to the shop or the local fast food outlet or phoning for a pizza?!
Now I know that there will be people thinking ... but you don't have to eat these foods, it's your choice and if you eat in moderation, and exercise and watch yourself, you should be fine ... but this is not the case for people like myself who are categorized as being "morbidly obese" because one weekend of eating poorly would pack on up to 3-5kgs ... and then it would take me 3-6 months, yes, I mean months to get those kilos off again?! And who doesn't feel like they deserve a treat from time to time ... it's not like I eat junk food every night of the week?! I'm going to post photos of some of the meals that I was eating both now and before ... I've tried hard to be healthy 90% of the time ... but it's the 10% that makes my weight loss a failure every time!
And why? Because I struggle to say "No" ... "No" to myself and "No" to the temptations that are presented every night on TV or around our society and "No" to lovely friends who I don't want to offend or upset, and "No" to feeling cornered or restricted if I choose that option?! And, here's the worst part ... on the odd occasion, in the past, when I did have the courage to say "No, thanks" ... then inevitably, I would receive either cajoling or peer pressure ... "Ah com'on ... just one piece, it won't hurt, you're allowed ... it'll be okay - don't miss out, it's so yummy!" type talk which made me feel guilty for using the "No" words and then I would give in ... eat the delicious morsel ... and feel like rubbish afterwards ... and then the cycle would repeat the next time!
As humans, we are social and relational by nature, and pretty much from the days of Adam and Eve, we have gathered together to enjoy fellowship with one another over ... one thing ... FOOD!! Food is not the enemy ... there have been so many times in my life when I've hated food, I've hated food for the way I look, I've hated food because there are so many options to choose from and I never seemed to get that choice correct ... I always chose the so-called wrong food and it was to my personal detriment! Then the see-saw would tip the other way and I would spend endless hours berating myself for my lack of self-control or willpower, for being weak and wondering why I just couldn't seem to make the choices that would bring me success instead of failure. "No" is the hardest word to tell myself, let alone anyone else!
Finally, I feel it would be remiss of me not to make at least one request to anyone out there who loves their friends or loved one (regardless of their size or shape) to just be mindful that not everyone is going to tell you they are on the weight management journey for fear of judgment, cajoling and/or being left out ... and not everyone is going to be able to say "No"!! So when they do, please, please, respect that decision and don't badger them to change their mind! You never know ... it may have just taken a monumental amount of inner strength to get the words out in the first place without having to justify why they said "No". It also does not mean that they don't like your food or that they are being rude in any way ... they are choosing "No" for so many other reasons! Most importantly, if they do choose to eat the food (whatever it is), please don't judge that action either, because it may be that this choice is their one treat for reward and, you can bet your bottom dollar, they are not just eating that food without having gone through a lengthy debating process in their own mind first - weighing up (excuse the pun) whether it is or is not the correct choice to make at that very moment?! Ultimately, they will be their own worst judge in the end so they don't need additional criticism piled on top of them from you!