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Old 04-18-2010, 03:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Who is your biggest saboteur

So who is it that routinely throws your diet off? Accidentally? On purpose? And what do you suppose motivates them to do it?

In my house it's mostly my 6 year old dd. She's skinny as a stick, but when it comes to my diet, she's the first one to hold a chunk of milk chocolate up to my lips, and heaven forbid I open my mouth to say "no thank you", because if I do she'll shove it right in. And while I can keep myself from eating chocolate, I have less success trying to spit it out once it's in my mouth. The other saboteur is my husband, and he's sneakier. While he's supportive 99% of the time, he'll do things like pour me a glass of wine or bring me a bite of dark chocolate, or bake a batch of brownies even though he knows I'm dieting.

I don't know what motivates our daughter to be like that, but maybe it has something to do with her identity in being the skinniest member of the family. I really couldn't say. The husband has dieted in the past and fully believes that if you cheat every now and again, you can stay on your diet longer. My feeling is that if you cheat every now and again, you have to stay on your diet longer. Sigh.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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that sounds very frustrating! can you have a sit down with your daughter and talk about how important your health is to you and how you want her to help you and support you? then maybe have the same talk separately with your hubby?

maybe point out all the ways that you support them in their endeavors and ask for the same in return? Just so you know, I'm not married w/kids (yet) so maybe my advice is off beat?--but I think that's what I would do.

but to answer your question about who sabotages my diet plans, i think the answer would be that I am usually the one that sabatages myself by over idulging for no great reason. usually this is only for part of the weekend so it never gets totally out of hand, but i do get angry with myself sometimes.

also, if they really aren't supportive, maybe you could come up with lines like "put that on a plate for me and I'll eat it later" and then just throw it in the trash.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Almeeker, I feel for you because you can reason with the husband a little, but I just don't think you'll win against a 6 year old thats just learning to share. Good luck there.

My biggest saboteur (besides me) would have to be my husband (totally unintentional). He is 42 and still wears the same size jeans he did in high school, no cholesterol issues...nothing. He deep fries french fries at 11:00 at night, or sits down and eats a jumbo bag of potato chips, a large pizza, chocolate or whatever. Inside my head is screaming "NO". Thus far, I've managed to keep it in check, but my resistence is breaking down slowly (chip by chip).
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jacquelinepaterson View Post
My biggest saboteur (besides me) would have to be my husband (totally unintentional). He is 42 and still wears the same size jeans he did in high school, no cholesterol issues...nothing. He deep fries french fries at 11:00 at night, or sits down and eats a jumbo bag of potato chips, a large pizza, chocolate or whatever. Inside my head is screaming "NO". Thus far, I've managed to keep it in check, but my resistence is breaking down slowly (chip by chip).
Deep fat French fries at midnight? Oh dear heaven, the smell alone would probably kill me. The last time I went to Pizza Hut I thought they might ask me to leave because all the drool was making such a mess of the table...
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Gee Almeeker - that's terrible! I simply couldn't resist caving if I was in yours and jacquelinepaterson's situations. Knowing that I haven't got a lot of willpower when it comes to food from past experiences I made it very clear to dh what I HAD to have from him (also expressed that I knew it would be hard for him, how grateful I was, how important he was, etc...) I'm very verbal, studied verbal communication skills, etc so I just put those skills to use and stated from the start what I needed from dh & asked him if it was doable for him, he said what was & wasn't and we came up with a doable plan. When he slipped he got a lecture about how important to my success his behavior/actions will always be & I never let it slide since he was developing new habits as well as I was & didn't have the motivation to change except my pushing it.
I always come from the perspective of my needs & feelings and never lay blame on him. In other words I would talk about my needs (health, avoiding foods, or whatever) and how the undermining behavior (never say them so they won't feel defensive. Just mention the act, not them as if they are 2 separate things) made me feel (sabotaged, alone, depressed, sad, hurt, burdened, deprived, etc). When they truly love us, they won't want to be the cause of our feeling bad. I also take time to remember to thank him for his support on a regular basis - recognizing his part in making my success easier is important motivation for him to maintain not bringing or cooking certain foods in the house.

Since she's 6, you can gently explain how you feel sad when your daughter offers you the 'treat' next time--she won't want to make you sad b/c you can't have it. Keeping it simple & not making her feel guilty or bad about doing it is important. If that doesn't work, while in a quiet moment (not while she's giving you treat unless she can't remember why she's offering the treat) ask her why she's offering it to you to help you understand her motivation & purpose. Is she afraid of you changing or afraid of change in general? Of course she loves you just the way you are & to a 6 yr old seeing all the changes can be scary. Maybe she just misses eating snacks with you? You could buy some special snack plates for just the 2 of you & make up healthy snacks to share together so it's a special mommy-dd time everyday.

Since you weren't able to help dh during his weight loss/health recovery process I wonder if he's harboring some unconscious feelings of resentment or anger since he had to do it all by himself (felt alone, misunderstood, deprived, etc) that are coming out as this passive-aggressive undermining of your success. Might be good to have a heartfelt talk.
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Last edited by desertmountain; 04-18-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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DM maybe you're right that I need to open up a channel of communication with them. But truthfully when I started doing this I sort of decided that it was on me to do it, so I didn't make any sort of announcement or anything, I just got started. We still have some junk food in the house, but I figure that if I'm making a lifestyle change then I need to learn and practice self control. Maybe I will have a talk with the little DD, she could be nervous about change and she probably doesn't understand, because seriously it never occurred to me to have a conversation with my skinny child about good nutrition. I'm usually relieved when I can get her to eat something with a little fat and sugar.

I was mostly curious to see if other people had saboteurs, and how they might be dealing with them. I also have a couple of skinny friends that are prone to try and feed me.

My DH is very very supportive, most of the time, for example last night he asked me how much steak I wanted and then proceeded to weigh them and cut one down so it weighed exactly 4oz. You nailed it on the head when you said "passive-aggressive", in fact that nails down the entire in-law side of the equation...
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I figured it could be something along those lines since caring people are supportive unless there's an underlying cause. When people have problems with my eating, I want it to remain their problem--and not mine. And it only becomes my problem if I don't say something. So as gently as possible, not making them feel defensive, I always tell them how their behavior is making me feel. It may take several times to point it out but after a while they always stop. I had a friend who would try to talk me into eating dessert when we have lunch (and would make all sorts of comments about how good it was while she was eating it, including actually smacking while closing her eyes as if in heaven....grrrrrr) so I began pointing out how the behavior was making me feel and after a while just simply asking her (gently with a smile), 'why are you doing that? or Why are you asking me that?' she's finally stopped. At the time I truly felt that my only choice was to stop eating lunch with her b/c it was too hard for me b/c of my lack of willpower during the period of adjustment as I developed better eating habits. I also told her what worked, if she ate dessert, it's hard to watch but doable for me, so she could eat it all she wanted, just not involve me in that process, trying to get me to order one, taste hers or make a lot of comments about it. Uncomfortable? Yeah, at first, but after a while people accept what your boundaries are. If they don't then there's something seriously going on in them that motivates them to keep trying to undermine your best efforts.

I wish your mil & extended family would be more supportive. I grew up not being able to confront or stand up for myself so I learned these communication skills, now I'm better about being vocal about things & stating my boundaries. I find that caring people usually aren't aware of the impact their actions/words have and so explaining it without making them feel defensive is very effective at helping them to change their behavior to respect my boundaries.
Like you pointed out, dh needed or needs to have 'cheats' or 'treats' to stay the course, but your journey is yours, not his & so you need or at least want him to be supportive of your choice, which is to get this part over with as fast as possible. Maybe you'll be where he is after the next 17 (I think that's what you said) pound loss, but for now, having to resist those 'cheats' and 'treats' are just sucking your energy & possibly doing a number on your resolve (assuming here). You could just point out that his way is not your way & then go into why he keeps doing it if he won't stop the behavior.

Oh, there's a great book called 'The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense' that helped me. Actually, the author wrote a series about this topic to help us identify & understand these types of situation. Also explains what to do & what's really going on when people give you a backhanded compliment like, 'Sure, you've lost a lot of weight but what are you going to do about those wrinkles now?'
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am actually very blessed that I don't have any external sabateurs. I have not had any challenges from family or friends, though I do have one friend who constantly complains about how fat she is and how "skinny" I am (we are the same weight but she's 2 inches taller). That was very frustating for me but I finally got her to stop it for the most part by asking her how she would feel if I called myself stupid all the time (she knows I have my Ph.D.), because that would be about as ridiculous as her calling herself overweight. It hasn't stopped it, but it did cut it down. I think some people just have to have something to complain about, or have to be "worse off," you know?

So, that leaves me as my biggest sabateur. Some days I feel like I could rationalize anything, right down to a full bag of Oreos, and I also tend to fall into the trap of comparing myself to other people who are thinner and nothing good EVER comes out of that. So for me this is not only about outwitting my body, it's about outwitting my brain and the self-talk.

As for your fam...everyone goes through this process in a different way, and just because it worked for your husband doesn't mean it will work for you, so do what you have to do and be as firm as you can. Your daughter may need to hear a few times that you can't have certain things...maybe you could explain to her that it's like doing a challenge or a contest and she wouldn't want to do anything to make you "lose" the challenge? Six is kind of young to know everything that goes into this process, so it's hard . Putting chocolate right to your lips...oh, my!

PS...LOL; I weighed out exactly 4 oz. of steak last night myself. Enjoyed every bit of it, too!
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I find some of my friends feel awkward eating in front of me so they try to get me to eat with them so that they feel better. I also dread family functions!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmm, I am not sure how I feel about this one...

I can say that it's my SO... when I met her I had lost from 420 down to 215... I looked AMAZING and felt gorgeous. I was pre-med, saving up for plastic surgery. Little by little she has whittled every single "rule" and "promise" I had ever made myself. Dropped out of the pre-med program because my studying took too much time away, kicked my cat out because she's allergic, etc. She is a hard-core junk food junkie. It took me a full 3 and a half years to even get her to eat a veggie that wasn't on a cheeseburger. She still doesn't ever drink water - it's all still sugary sodas and energy drinks. Chips, chocolate, fats have all lived in my fridge since the moment she moved in. Each and every fight we have had has been about me reclaiming some peice of that healthy me that I was when we met - making room in the fridge for my Brita, buying (and making) veggies, asking her to please, please stop buying so much fast food and chocolate... or if she does PLEASE stop bringing it home and the huge fight when I tried to tell her bacon was not required at every meal.

BUT... while it's easy to blame on her, I was the one who was weak. Now, I just keep thinking of how great I am going to feel and how amazing I am going to look when I get even lower than the 215 I was when we met. Still trying to decide if I want to stay with her when I get there.
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