“Whenever I feel sad, I go to my happy place. The fridge!”
This is a tricky question – to tell or not to tell. On the one hand you want to enlist the help and support of your family members, friends, and work colleagues but on the other hand, at the very moment when you’re stuffing a chocolate éclair width-ways into your mouth, the boss and his entourage walk by to catch you in the act. Busted.
So is it a good idea to tell the world and his wife that you are now dieting? In a moment of weakness you can be sure that there will be more witnesses to the event than would be around if you did a charitable act of kindness to someone.
When I worked at a very busy office in London my colleague and friend, Yvonne, would regularly announce on a Monday morning at 10.00am when she arrived: ‘I am now on a diet. Please don’t tempt me with cakes or sweets or biscuits.’ We all nodded. We knew the drill.
Half an hour later she would walk out to the vending machine in the hallway. She would try, surreptitiously, to eat a Mars bar but she was always found out because at the very second she bit into it, her phone would ring or her boss would come out of his office to ask her something. She’d blush a deep crimson and because she’d blown it for that day, she carried on eating.
Does that sound familiar?
Or you’ve done so well with you dieting endeavours and you’ve shed pounds, maybe even stones, and you’re now in clothes one or two sizes smaller and you’re feeling – and looking – good. What happens? Yes, that’s right. A ‘friend’ turns up with a box of chocolates ‘because you’ve done so well on your diet!’ they say gleefully knowing that you’ll never abandon a box of chocolates.
What friend would do that? Only one who feels that you might outshine them now that you’re slimmer and more confident. By keeping you fatter you are less of a threat. Depending on your age and your marital status, as a fatter friend it means you are less likely to get the pick of the crop of single, eligible men (if you’re looking, that is). Seriously? A friend would do that? Yes, and they do.
Saboteurs. That’s what they’re called because they try to sabotage your dieting efforts. ‘You don’t need to lose weight,’ they’ll try to kid you into believing, ‘you’re fine and fun as you are.’ You can be fun whether you weigh 8 stone or 18 stone. You can be fine whether you’re 8 stone or 18 stone. The difference is health. Are you healthy at 8 stone? Are you healthy at 18 stone? What is going on inside your body that could come back and bite you in the bum in years to come?
So if you need to lose weight you need to decide whether telling someone else to have their support is the right thing to do. If you go it alone and you succeed just think how great you will feel knowing you did it without anyone looking over your shoulder asking if you should be eating that cream cake. And if you go it alone then you can fall off the wagon any number of times without someone saying ‘I knew you couldn’t do it. You don’t have any will power.’
If you go it alone and succeed then the glow of knowing that you did it – you lost weight – whether it was a few pounds or a couple of stones – or more – and people start noticing a difference in you. And you feel more confident. And confidence begets more confidence until you find yourself doing things you’d never dreamed of doing before. Whether that’s wearing a bikini on holiday for the first time – or even going topless – or whether you decide to do a bungee jump or wing walking or a parachute jump – the world is your oyster. Losing weight successfully is the most euphoric feeling in the world and what was holding you back – weighing you down – was, literally, yourself! How awesome are you!