After holding the person in the mirror accountable, I faced the real truth about weight loss. It wasn’t only about the emotions I ate, it was also 80% mental and 20% head knowledge (mirroring the financial freedom process). For those of us constantly on the front line battling the addition of love handles on top of those already holding us hostage, there are other components which render the process even more challenging. A common theme is grenades being dropped onto our private battle fields by our circles of influence. Criticism seems to flow as freely as water from a fountain from those who feel the need to share their expertise. The problem for us is, they aren’t experts.
For some repeat offenders, our weight loss views are as personal as our political and religious preferences. When others insert themselves into our private journey, it adds stress to our already overflowing plates (which tempts us to stuff down our emotions with comfort foods) and strains relationships. It especially bites when those opinions are forced upon us from behind the weight of insecurities, often visible at their own waistline. While I’ve successfully lost 70 pounds and have maintained it for 12 years, it is not my place to educate unless I’ve stepped into my role of Coach. I might inwardly cringe and visualize clogged arteries as others love on their cholesterol and fat filled meals, but I follow my code of keeping my personal thoughts under lock and key, unless asked.
I recently experienced a “moment” which reminded me of why I made a vow of silence. I was gifted a container of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and experienced a high like that akin to unwrapping a Christmas present. I was literally over the moon! To connect the dots of my nerd like level of excitement at what seemed like a small gesture (but was HUGE in my eyes), I allowed my vulnerable side to paint the picture of how my muscles still tense up when others offer negative comments about my eating habits. Instead of this being the bonding “moment” I imagined, I was told I needed to work on why I felt that way. There was no “thank you for recognizing my effort”, and my smiling half moon went back into hiding. For me, the comment was a minor annoyance I quickly bounced back from because reality states those negative comments are more about them and less about me. However, I think about all of the fragile minds currently struggling with transformation and how quickly criticism can shatter confidence and cause them to abandon their efforts. The best way to assist those of us is in the process of change is by actions, not words. We’ve already beat ourselves up enough, we don’t need you to assist in the process.