Monday, November 14, 2011

W45, Day 7: Oversharing

I read an interesting article on about how people shouldn't talk about weight loss with other people.  The article gave two main reasons for secrecy:

1)  That obese people tend to congregate together and by losing weight and talking about it, you make the others around you feel threatened, and they consciously or unconsciously try to undermine your success.  The article continues that obese friends will drift away from you if you lose significant amounts of weight.

Honestly, this feels like poppycock to me.  First of all, everyone with whom I have shared has been incredibly supportive.  People have gone out of their way to be helpful and kind about the whole thing.  This idea doesn't seem very respectful of your friends and family either.  Seriously, anyone who'll leave you because you've lost weight and become more healthy can't be a very good friend to begin with.

2)  The second reason, the article continues, is that if you state to others that you have the intention of losing weight, you will consider the action of stating the intention as deed.  In others words, if you say that you are planning to lose weight, that counts in your mind as doing a good job and since you did such a good job, you might as well have another piece of pie as a reward for a job well done.  You might lose 20 pounds, for example, and then after hearing the praise of others, decide you don't need to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle anymore because you've already done such a good job.  Out pop the donuts.

This reason may have a little more validity to me because I've often dieted to a point, felt I was doing a pretty good job and then slowly fallen off the path because I figured I'd mastered it.  However, I really don't think hearing the praise of others or stating my intentions to others was to blame.

The article recommends that if you must tell anyone about losing weight, tell only a few people at most and have them hold you accountable.  To a large degree, that's why I continue this blog, so that I can be held accountable to you all, but I really can't understand why so much secrecy would be necessary.  I've received so much support and I hope that in turn I can offer support to others.  Losing weight is not a crime or something wrong that should be hidden.  Telling people to hide it like a dirty little secret is makes people feel like being fat or losing weight is shameful.  I'd like to stay that I don't feel any shame, but that isn't true.  What I can say, though, is that I'm proud of my efforts and progress and I think other people are too.  I'm glad to be able to go tell it on the mountain.

Here's the article:
"Want to Lose Weight?  Shut Your Mouth"

1 comment:

  1. I can kind of understand the second reason, though for me it feels more like establishing accountability: once I tell people what I intend, then I HAVE to do it, lest they think I have failed or slacked off. As for the first reason, this seems silly. How shallow must a person's friends be to reject him or her for deciding to lose some weight? Regardless of why, support is such a nice thing to offer - why would anyone want to be surrounded with people who weren't willing to offer support in cases of success as well as failure?

    - chelsea