Your Diet and Public Opinion

Once you start losing weight, whether you shout it from the rooftops or do it quietly off to one side soon enough you can’t really deny it anymore. It’s noticeable. Kind of like a really slow haircut people start to comment on it..”you look nice have you lost weight?”  I mean what is the right answer to that? “Well I’ve always felt I tried my best at my appearance but yes I’ve dropped a few lbs”? 

The support I’ve received over the past year has been overwhelming, it’s driven me to achievements I never thought I was capable of, it’s an amazing thing that I don’t think I could do this whole thing without, but there is a dark side to it and I’m interested to hear what other people have to say about it aswell, please comment, I’d love to hear your views.

When you carry around your decisions, achievements, and failings with you it’s difficult to not become public property. I make myself public property here, I kind of feel like I have a little group of friends here, people who don’t judge the decisions I make, who celebrate with me and who understand what it is to manage a problem like the one I have with food everyday. The difficulty with people outside of those who understand these struggles is that they don’t realise what a problem it can be to battle something you rely on for nourishment.

I’ve had problems with knowing food as something good since I was around 9 years old. It’s tied up in so many emotions that even after years of angsty self reflection I don’t totally understand it, but what I do know is that some people have a better understanding than others, some people have more compassion than others too, even if they don’t understand from experience. I have had the wonderful experience of being bullied in the workplace using my size as a handy stick to beat me with, ironically at a time where I had lost three stone at the time. I gained it back pretty quickly at that point. I’ve had the odd bit of abuse too but nothing too serious. These people are ignorant idiots with small willies and brains so are easy to write off but the others are more difficult.

My experiences vary wildly, I’ve had uber competitive reactions particularly from women, I’ve had the sly, backwards digs, the “should you be eating/drinking that if you are on a diet?” comments, the in depth questions about what I eat, and don’t eat, which if born out curiosity I am cool with but it’s often pretty clear that it’s not. It’s born out of sneering disdain for you and your efforts.

My weight loss has been slow, I’ve been plugging away at this well over a year, I’ve nearly lost 50lbs, but I’ve been up and down like a proverbials knickers and I’m battling things that I don’t fully understand. I sit here currently eating chocolate instead of dealing with my stress. It’s an unhelpful thing. I’m beating myself up a bit but part of that stress has been brought on by feeling intruded upon, unwelcome intrusion in to my personal life and diet life which was neither friendly nor pleasant.

Coming from a background of disordered eating it’s hard to accept uninvited intrusion in to your eating habits. When you are judging yourself already it’s hard to know other people are judging you, particularly when you have other stresses in your life at that time, or frankly you are coming to terms with the fact that you aren’t dieting you are just going for a full lifestyle change. It’s difficult because I judge myself every day for what I put in my mouth.

I don’t know when I will stop caring about other peoples attitudes to me, to my fat, to how my diet is shaping my life but I know that it’s not anyones business unless I make it their business and I have to start standing up for myself a little better. Lets face it, questioning what people are eating is just rude, why should I care what rude people think of me?

Have you had anything similar ?

18 thoughts on “Your Diet and Public Opinion

  1. Fantastic post! I have been exactly where you are, felt what you have and done as you have. I love that you have put all this into words. I have no doubt that this post will help many – if nothing more than because they see they aren’t alone (although I think others will feel inspired more than anything). Well done!

  2. I’m not sure it’s ever possible to truly not care what people think…it’s possible to grow a thicker skin to it, and it’s possible to get to the point where you can stop it giving you such strong reactions, but of course we care if people attack us, however dressed up it is. You’ve done a lot of good for yourself and your family through your weight loss. Don’t sweat it over your chocolate bar…yeah, it’s not a great choice, and maybe you have a few too many…but this once, you can enjoy it and get back to your great Palaeo plan :) Keep up the good work hun, remember how many people you have here who look up to you for what you do! xxx

    • I love the community on here, possibly I’ve been lucky but I’ve never had a negative comment or discouraging word said. Much better than the real world! Keeps my faith in humanity!

  3. I agree, great post!

    I have come to the conclusion that when people make nasty, passive-aggressive comments and/or judgments towards my weight loss, they are just jealous haters. The bottom line is some people will feel better about themselves if you stay overweight. Your fat friends will take comfort in your fatness. Your skinny friends will feel extra skinny if you stay fat. Your change can be hard on the people around you. So if other people have anything to say to you that is less than supportive, just know that your hardwork is causing some insecurity in their brain about themselves that they are projecting on to you.

    I have found as I’m getting closer and closer to goal, most people are very supportive of the changes I’ve made. I hope that is your experience as well.

    It’s a journey & a learning process. Even though it can be tough and sometimes exhausting, try to find the joy in the small things while on your path. This is why NSV’s are so huge. And most of all, be kind to yourself!

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the majority, peoples problems come out of their mouths. I’m glad that people get used to your changes too. I’m kinda frustrated by people I eat out with, they validate the occasion “it’s ok, have dessert, you are having fun!”.

  4. Great post… It’s not just the verbal that gets me, it when people pat my stomach and say “that’s going”, its intended to be positive and I try and appreciate that, but come on!!!

    Many go through the same, so its not just you, so don’t think you’re alone!

  5. Keep your head up! You are an amazing woman who has done great things. People feel free to comment on food and weight in a way they would never comment on anything else in someone’s life. It is very strange and I don’t understand it, but you are not alone by any means. Stay strong, put down the chocolate, and get back to it. Remember, you are amazing!

  6. I loved this post! I can relate to so much of what you’ve said. I’d like to say that I don’t care what others say, but the truth is, it does matter. It does have an impact. Will I let it affect what I do? Not really, but that feeling you get when someone is criticizing you or judging you is not easy to ignore.

    A yoga instructor at my gym recently told me I was beautiful and I blushed, looked down at the ground, and shuffled my feet. He said, are you crazy? Never not acknowledge that compliment (I have a tough time taking compliments). At the very least just say Thank you … but what you should really do is be a Diva and say, I know 😉 It made me laugh. While I don’t have the confidence (yet) to be a diva, I can say thank you. I know I’m working hard, and that deserves recognition.

    The same goes for you. You ARE working hard — you are taking steps to reach your goals. Embrace each step you take and work towards being a Diva :)

    People who haven’t had to lose weight don’t know how difficult it is — it is good to have a community that supports you and can appreciate the struggle … and at the same time give you that push forward that you need (when you need it) because we’re all going through this together, and we want success for each other.

    Sorry for the essay! Stay positive and keep trying. :)

    • Oh I can TOTALLY relate. I am a terrible receiver of compliments, I’ve trained myself to say thank you and move on. Before I’d come back with a smart ass comment.

  7. I completely “get” this post. At first everyone was all encouraging, but when I started making real progress other women in the office became so catty about the topic. No one made a comment about the weight I had gained in the past, why is it now acceptable to feign concern that I’m losing “too much”, or heaven forbid comment on what I eat for lunch? So frustrating!

  8. Oh this post is so true! People can be SO critical when you are in the process of losing weight. (And honestly, even after! I usually eat lots of healthy fruits, veggies & lean proteins… when I indulge and eat McDonalds once every few months, the comments I get… “Oh, so you ARE human too! Ugh!)

    It is hard to ignore the critics. It can also be hard to give advice if people ask (especially since they rarely listen anyway – plus everyone is different!). Stick with YOUR plan. Realize that it does take a LONG time to lose the kind of weight you are trying to lose – it took me FOUR years to lose my 100 pounds… and that is O.K.!! Take each day as it comes, and just keep moving forward.

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