This is part two of my “Being Fat is Hard” rant. If you missed part one check it out here.
Welcome to my pity party. I apologize in advance for the lack of cheese and crackers and lays potato chips with French onion dip. (Omg, how good would that be right now?).
It’s been over four weeks since my last cheat meal and I’m pretty sure this rant is fueled 100% by hanger.
I’ll tell you being fat is hard, but so is being on a “diet”. We aren’t supposed to use the word diet anymore. Its kind of taboo in the health world. We are supposed to say “life style change.” In other words… there is no light at the end of this tunnel. This is theoretically permanent. Go directly to jail, do not collect $200, do not pass go–(just kidding, its not that bad). This is just how you are supposed to eat now. (Most of the time, anyways).
But when your co-worker offers you a donut or a bagel on a Friday morning at work, you probably don’t say “No thank you, I changed my lifestyle. “I am sorry I will have to pass, I am limiting my processed food intake and cutting back on sugar.” Or you don’t ask for a list of ingredients to dissect to determine whether or not it fits your meal plan. More likely than not a simple “No thanks, I am on a diet” or “I am watching what a I eat, but thanks” usually works better . It shouldn’t be this way, but sometimes a frank “No thank you” just doesn’t cut it.
Which brings me to my first point of my rant. I always seem to have to justify why I’m not eating something that everyone around me is. Every time I decline a slice of pizza, or eat a burger without a bun I feel I owe people some sort of explanation or am greeted with some type of side eye. Often times I am mocked, or straight up pitied. As if I am not doing this by choice and someone has me doing it by force. Now a lot of this could be in my head and a result of my paranoia, but a lot of it is also real. If you have ever been in my position, you know what I mean!
As much as a fat person gets judged for eating slice of cake, so does a fat person who is noticeably cutting back carbs. Being on a diet is hard. For me it is constantly thinking about food and being in situations where there will be food I am not eating at the moment there and how will I handle it. I get anxiety thinking about how I am going to turn down drinks or food at a party. It is a burden I hope someday I will not have to live with. I get nervous thinking about what people will say or think, or how I dread when people tell me “I’m not fun” when I’m not drinking.
There are two challenges when facing the public when on a “diet.”The first is will power. Will power is the strength to eat your meal plan approved food before a party and going in guns blazing full armor ready to disarm every cupcake and cannoli thrown your way. Will power is the determination to stick to your plan and not throw away a week’s worth of counting calories and workout’s to partake in your mom’s Sunday dinner.
Will power is what stops you from ordering what you really want at a restaurant (if you get to go to a restaurant at all) and what stops you from mindless eating what your darkest desires crave. I envy people who do not need to think twice before they eat something. I envy people who don’t have to worry about how many calories, carbs, or fat are in something, or how much exercise they will have to do to work that off. I envy people who just get to eat whatever they want, when they want. That is not something you get to do when you are overweight. This is not something you get to do when you are actively trying to lose weight.
If you have the will power down-kudos! Your next battle is peer pressure and public scrutiny which is waaay harder than willpower in my opinion. “Why aren’t you drinking? Why aren’t you eating that?” as if what I am doing or not doing affects other people. It doesn’t, but people will sure act like it does. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people “No thanks” or “I’m good” and they tell me “Oh come on just have a little, or but you’ve been doing so good!”. “Just have one” (Yeah, that’s like offering a recovering alcoholic just one drink, but seriously!). Sometimes I am honest. Sometimes I feel I have to lie just to get through it. “I’m not hungry, I already ate, I don’t feel good etc., just to avoid having to explain my choice.
I will say, I have I have never walked up to a person smoking a cigarette on the side of the street and said, “You know that smoking those cause cancer right?” Because odds are they are well aware of this fact, and choose to do it anyway. I can’t say I’ve received the same treatment from people when it comes to diets. I’ve had people actually rant lecture me about drinking diet coke while I am drinking it as if I do not know it is unhealthy. When it comes to diets, everyone seems to have an opinion, and many do not have any reservations about telling you how they feel about it.
Yes besides the battle with will power and peer pressure, it straight up sucks sometimes to feel left out of things. To feel like you “can’t” partake in things that other people can or eat things you want. To feel extreme guilt when you do give into an urge. It sucks to hear people talk about where they are going out to eat on Friday night knowing you are going home to your own home-cooked paleo-approved menu. It sucks sitting home on a weekend nights sometimes and seeing all your friends out ,drinking eating, and having fun and you are home because you have to get up early for a workout.
The devil on my shoulder always taunts me with this.Its the weekend though right? We should let lose splurge a little. But if we gave into every temptation or used every “special occasion” to indulge, then you won’t get very far. You will constantly be swimming upstream. I have learned this the hard way several times. On a weight loss journey it is impossible to get results if you eat well all week and blow it all every single weekend night. Or just on “special events.” Especially in my family where it is literally someone’s birthday every weekend. And if its not, we will still find some reason for a cake and lots of carbs. (Being Italian is truly a blessing and a curse).
Sometimes you have to stay strong and keep your eye on the prize. Keep visualizing your goal. Keep at the forefront of your mind the reason WHY you are doing what you are doing. The reason why you eat moderately, and are conscious of your health. Because you made a choice to invest in yourself and your health. Because these will give you more long term happiness than the immediate satisfaction of a cupcake or plate of mac and cheese. Because you are on a mission to look and feel your best. Because you have a goal you want to achieve.
Because let me tell you what I learned. There will always be another time to have the thing that you are passing up. Pizza, cupcakes, chips, margaritas–there not going anywhere. And I’ll tell you I feel far less regret about missing out on a beer or a plate of nachos than I feel the next morning with a hangover or a few pounds up on the scale after busting my butt all week. So sometimes you have to let the comments people make regarding YOUR life choices (because remember, they are yours) and carry on doing your thing! And remember, there is a time and a place to treat yourself! As long as you plan it and make it count.
And remember, during this journey people will continuously ask you WHY you aren’t doing something, they will eventually start asking you HOW you did it.
End Rant –Happy Friday Y’all. If you are a fellow weekend warrior–God speed! And if you read this excessive post–I love you!