Friday, October 26, 2007

Support and Sabotage

Have you ever been around someone who is always trying to get you to eat? Maybe it's your mother, baking up goodies and childhood favorites. Maybe it's your thin sister or cousin who begs you to "just have one piece" of the cake she made. It could be an overweight friend trying to talk you into the local buffet. Or maybe it is your co-workers who keep bringing you fattening treats and snacks, even though they know you are trying to lose weight. Why do they do it? And what can you do about it?

Sometimes, I think people are just clueless. They have no idea what a struggle it is for us to stay "on plan" and they think they are being "nice" by giving us something yummy. Other people, though, are truly trying to sabotage our efforts. Some thin folks feel threatened when we start to lose weight. Some fat friends feel the same way (if YOU can do it then it might make them feel guilty for staying fat... or they just want to share the usual camaraderie of having fat friends who are all obsessed with food). Some people are just malicious and like seeing you cave to food. But regardless of their real motivations (which we may never be sure about), our reactions have to be similar: Do Not Cave.

My husband has been a tough person for me to lose weight around. In the past, when I was trying to lose weight, he would come home with a box of truffles for me, or a case (yes a CASE) of candy bars "for the family." Well, I am not keen on giving my kids candy anyway, and he knows I don't need it, so why does he do this? One time, I asked him to get ONE half gallon of ice cream for my son's birthday. He came home with EIGHT cartons of various flavors of ice cream. EIGHT!!!!!!!!! WHY oh WHY does he do this stuff? He is not thin. He could stand to lose 50-80 pounds himself. I have told him not to buy it for me or the kids. But there it is, stocked sky high in the freezer. I also told him I wanted to stop drinking Coke. No one else in my family likes Coke. So why does he bring home 4 cases of Coke?

I gave him a straight talk more than once. I have said, "If YOU want junk food for YOURSELF, please keep it in this specific cabinet, or in your bedroom dresser. I do not want you to buy ANY junk food for me or the kids. No cookies, candy, ice cream or chips." He mutters "okay" and the next thing I know there is a box of Girl Scout cookies on the counter. I put it in his dresser. Next day, they are back out on the counter. He says, "I bought them for YOU." Why????? And why does he need 5 bags of different kinds of full fat, high salt chips in the cabinet, but the minute I buy a small bag of organic, low salt, high fiber vegetable chips, he eats the whole bag? Why are there cartons upon cartons of full fat ice cream in the fridge, but the moment I buy a pint of fat free sorbet, it is gone? So I am working against a double blade here: he brings in loads of junk, and he eats ALL the healthy stuff I buy for myself.

Once, my husband told me: "I am not attracted to skinny women." Ha! Obviously!! Well no risk of that happening. Are you attracted to women who are so obese they can't walk? Are you attracted to a wife in intensive care having heart bypass surgery? Are you attracted to stroke victims or women suffering from diabetes? Because that is what is going to happen if I do not lose this weight!!!

Now, I have lost 26 pounds... the most I have lost in years. how did I do this with all the issues I just mentioned?? I did it because my husband has been GONE for 3 months on business! The minute he walked out the door, I threw away every bag of chips, all the cookies and candy, and all the sodas. I filled the house with fresh produce and healthy foods. I no longer have to sit and watch him eating bowl after bowl of ice cream every night after dinner, or listen to him crunching away on bowls of chips throughout the day. But now I am faced with a dilemma. He is coming home in one week. He won't be going away for months anymore. And while I missed him and will be glad to have him home, I admit I am absolutely terrified that I will regain every last pound. Will he bring back the bags of chips and boxes of huge chocolate muffins? Maybe. Will he sit and eat bowls of junk all day? Most likely. Will he invite me out for lunch at a fattening place every week? Possibly. Will he eat up all the healthy food so when I want some it is gone? Probably. What am I to do? What are we all to do when faced with these dilemmas?

The bottom line is that I am in control of what I put in my own mouth. None of us can control other people. We can talk to them and explain what would be helpful, but if they choose not to be, then there is still no excuse for eating crap.

"But he brings it in the house!" Fine, don't eat it. Walk away.
"But he ate all my healthy snacks!" So what? Buy 10 lbs of apples. He can't eat them all in one day.
"But he eats in front of me!" So? Is there only one room in your house? Walk away.
"But it smells so good!" Yeah, it does. Control yourself. You do not have to eat it.
"But I want him to support me!" Don't we all? Yet we are our own best support, and really the only support we need.
"But he sneaks cream and butter in my scrambled eggs when I ask him to make them with no added fat!" (Yes, he did this...) Okay, so make your own damn eggs.

No more excuses. Support is nice, but not essential. I have all the support I need right here on this blog. When I read your comments, they bring tears to my eyes. All the beautiful, positive words you leave for me boost my spirit and make me feel cared about. I will hang onto that. And there are message boards, email groups, real-life support groups, and real friends who WILL be supportive of your efforts. Take control of your own fate. It is all up to you.


Teale said...

You are absolutely right here. I used to work in rehab, and so many people's family members were enablers... and sometimes regarding food, our friends and family members are also enablers. You're right on the money though, noone is in control of you but YOU.

Would it help at all if only YOU did the grocery shopping? Or would he still go out on his own & get the junk? Obviously he doesnt' mind eating the healthy stuff, if he's eating yours... so why on earth get the junk if he likes the healthy stuff? LOL Men....

Rae said...

I think I do enough sabotaging on my own I guess its reasons like sabotage that I never tell anyone besides the bf(since we live together)that I am on a diet I have enough pressure of my own without someone trying to hurt me more then help me I hate when someone asks you do you want some & you say no thank you and they give you some anyways like they didn't hear a word you said..I hope your husband finailly comes around and finally understand what you are saying good luck

Gibbons-Camp said...

I am so sorry to hear that your husband provides so many challenges to you. I'm tempted to say that maybe he just doesn't get it. It took me a long time to learn that I shouldn't buy my wife salty food during her TOM even though she craved it. We're sometimes a little dense when it comes to that sort of thing, especially when, in our heads, we're doing something extra nice.

You could always try just trashing the junk food he buys "for you" and see if he is more concerned about buying you off limits treats or avoiding wasting money. It would work on me ;)

Chubby Chick said...

OMG... I just wrote the longest comment to you... and I'm not sure if it went through! I hope it did! lol If not, I'll write it again either tonight or tomorrow. lol

If it DID go through... please ignore this. lol

Shannon said...

Personally, I agree with gibbons-camp. Toss it in the trash. Eventually he'll realize that he's wasting GOBS of money on things that end up in the garbage. It make take a couple of expensive grocery months, but it'd be worth it in the long run.

Good luck!

lbs said...

I get in the same situation too. People used to get me to eat stuff that I said I didn't want when I was on my diet.
THey'll said, "Oh, but I've cooked and served it on a plate for you!" and "Oh but I bought it for YOU!" Now, how can I be as ungrateful as telling them to stuff it to their faces or throw the food away?! I always got really angry when this happened...but it was always a battle between my own anger and my own self control...actually, now that I've thought about it, anger does breeds lack of self control. It was so hard to control myself when I was much that I would end up eating the damn thing anyway. Next time, i'll calm down and put the food away for somebody else or portion it for myself. thnx for posting this...your husband is a jerk for eating your health food! I hope the 10lb of apples idea work!...It's going to be hard, but I remember a Buddhist saying that suffering always bring enlightenment...and I think you've got a lot of that from everything that you've gone through.

Lauren said...

Great job on your weight loss thus far. I know you can keep it up. My suggestion, buy your own mini fridge and own like small cabinet and keep your specific foods that you don't want him eating in there. I know it seems pricey, but if you think about all the money you will save not having to re-buy and also the weight you will continue to lose, it's totally worth it, and maybe taking such an extreme step will open your husbands eyes.

alexis said...

i agree with you 100%. the only person that controls what goes in my mouth is me.

when my co-workers sometimes walked around passing treats in the office, i actually kind of liked turning it down (nicely). ive gotten to the point where i really don't like snacking when im not hungry (mostly anyway).

but try explaining it to the person doing the offering! its so strange how hard they try to "push" it to you. ive taken treats before only to pass it to someone else later just to get the person off my back...

Heather said...

God I totally know how you feel! My boyfriend eats a million times a day and its usually fast food and he is a skinny thing. Every time we are together he asks if I want a snack or if I want popcorn at the movie, or if I want dessert, etc. I know hes doing it to be kind and considerate, but really it screws with me!

My family is the same way. Last weekend I had a hard time when they were hear. My grandma is a total food pusher.

It must be hard for you, but you are right. For every excuse, you have a way to challenge it and conquer it. It wont be hard, but maybe one day your husband will get it. Just keep trying!

Leigh said...

I hope you can continue with your great progress, even after your husband is back. I hope he gets a clue and sees how important this really is to you.

Chubby Chick said...

OK... I'm going to try this again. lol

I can totally relate to this! Last fall, my husband and I were planning a move. Hubby had to leave 4 months ahead of me to start a business and find us a place to live. I had to remain behind and sell the house. So after after about 4 months of separation, our house was sold and I was able to join him.

While he was gone, I lost a ton of weight! I ate right and exercised every day... sometimes several times a day. But what happened when we were finally reunited and living in the same house again??? I gained weight... and a lot of it. It wasn't all hubby's fault. In fact, none of it really was. Because, as you said, we are in control of what goes into our mouths. But his bad habits were definitely a contributing factor... along with the stress of the move, of course.

We ate out a lot, and I cooked yummy meals and desserts for him as a sign of my "love." We simply enjoyed eating together because we hadn't done it for so freaking long! It became a leisure activity for us!

Oh... how I wish I had done things differently now! I would be well under 300 pounds if I had stayed on course. But sometimes it was just so hard to resist temptation when hubby brought it into the house and was eating crap right in front of me.

But I KNOW that you will not make the same mistakes that I made! You already see the storm appearing on the horizon, and have definitely mentally prepared for it. Your strategies WILL WORK and you will NOT be undermined by anything that your hubby does!

Just stick to your guns! You are stronger than ANY food that your hubby brings into the house! Buy lots of healthy food and snacks for yourself... and then HIDE THEM! hehe If he doesn't know where it is... he can't eat it. And throw away his crap when he isn't looking. Replace it with healthy stuff.

I'm sure you'll continue to lose weight even when hubby is home. We are here for you any time you need us! Plus... you'll be burning a lot more calories once hubby gets home... hehe... so don't stress about it too much! ;)

Chubby Chick said...

OMG... I'm sorry... but it just cracks me up. lol Every time I read Gibbons-Camp's comment about his wife's TOM... I gotta chuckle. lol

What a total sweetie he is! He is doing an amazing job... and really seems like he's a great guy.

I just had to laugh. lol

Karen (aka Deadbudgee) said...

As usual more awesome thoughts that I can totally relate too!!! Thanks for the great inspiration, Lyn!!!


Mahla said...

Your reading public totally supports you!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is wonderful!! Thank you so much!