Tuesday, August 19, 2008


When I first started my weight loss journey I had a reason, a will, my motivation if you will. People will say to me, "How did you do it? I can't seem to get motivated." My reason is not the typical motivation for most but it worked for me. I wanted to lose weight to have a 2nd child. Getting pregnant with my 1st was EASY. But after I had him, my life got slightly out of hand. When my oldest was 5 months old I had the BRILLIANT idea to get my masters degree. So between having a new baby, working full time, coaching, AND starting my Masters degree, I let my health get completely out of control. I gained 31 lbs. on top of already being overweight. The added weight plus underlying health conditions were making me infertile. My sister-in-law had joined Weight Watchers and found it to be successful (she lost 50 lbs.). I decided to give it a try along with many other people in January (hhmmm I wonder why). The first week I lost weight and that felt empowering. I decided to stick with it. After losing 30 lb. viola...preggers...with twins! Anyway, no one messed with me the first time I was losing weight. They knew I was getting depressed not getting pregnant, so everyone around me just wanted to leave me be since I was starting to get to a happy place again.

After the twins were born and I stopped nursing, I immediately went back to Weight Watchers (they kick you out when you're pregnant). This time when I started to lose weight I starting noticing these people around me. I don't think they meant to do it, but they were doing it. Who are these people you ask?

They were at my house, at work, and lurking just about every where. The worst for me was my husband. He just didn't get it. He thought maybe I was going through a phase and not serious but whatever he was it was not supportive. He'd say things like, "I'm really hungry, just bring dinner home." "I don't like to eat vegetables." "This dinner tastes funny. I don't like it." "Stop buying me reduced fat mayo. Don't mess with my mayo."
Ok ok who knew? He has gotten better since I've started but it's taken him a LONG time. Some husbands never get better due to an underlying fear of losing their wife. Here's a great article from actual medical professionals about saboteurs.

I also had them at work. My coworkers were great mind you. In fact, I used to be one of the biggest staff members. I work with some very healthy women. Any who, my saboteurs at work were innocent in their intentions and had no idea they were trying to derail me. They were my students and their parents. At least twice a week, they come to me with birthday treats, holiday treats, thank you treats, just because treats, treats, treats, treats. In fact, I had students last year who had for me 2 years. They KNEW I didn't eat sugary crap, but would bring it to me anyway and laugh! I started telling them I appreciate them thinking of me, but please don't bring me chocolate. What did they do anyway?

You get the hint.

So, what did I do to combat these master saboteurs?? Here are a few things:

  • Use the Internet- At first when my husband asked me to bring home fast food, I had to educate myself on what the more healthier (is that an oxymoron?) options were out there for me. I would always order a salad with grilled chicken and fat free dressing, the grilled chicken sandwich, or a small chili and baked potato. Now when I bring my family fast food, I never order anything for myself. I always have an easy, healthy option for me at home. Normally a baked potato with broccoli and cheese, soup and salad.

  • Tell people about your LIFE change not diet- People use the word diet and it usually means something temporary or a thing that should be broken. If you talk about how you've changed to a healthy lifestyle, people seem to be more receptive and understanding.

  • Just smile and say thank you- I work with small children. Many of whom literally get upset if you don't accept their sugary, muffin top (my sweet, darling hubs did not understand what this meant and I finally had to break it down to him last night) creating gift. I finally just smile and say thank you and leave it out of site. When school is out I do the following with it: 1) Give it to my son 2) Try to pass it off to a coworker 3) Give it to my hubs 4) Just throw it away. It's horrible I know and I'm sorry to admit this parents but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Every once in a while, a treat is so overpowering that it's my kryptonite and I do indulge. I'm a big believer in everything in moderation though. Do I think it's healthy to give my son and hubs the treats? Yes as long as it's once it awhile, again moderation.

  • Bring my own food- Whether it be a party or luncheon I'm invited too, I still get nervous eating other peoples food. I don't know how much butter or what not is in it, so I try to bring my own dish for back up. I have done this at Superbowl parties, friend get togethers etc. If it's a breakfast or lunch that I know in advance is being made for work, I try to not be antisocial. I usually bring my oatmeal or lunch and sit and visit with my coworkers while still eating healthy food. Before, I would completely avoid these functions and eat in my room. That wasn't healthy for me emotionally and I want to enjoy my friends with their conversation. It doesn't matter if I'm not eating what they are it's about being together.

How about all of you? Do or have you encountered these saboteurs and how do you deal with them?


spunkysuzi said...

I get that at work a lot! They know i try to eat healthy and they make things at home and come to work and beg me to try it because it's 'healthy'!! So i smile, put it aside and throw it away when i get a chance. I do it because honestly i get tired of arguing about why i really don't want it and i don't want to hurt their feelings.
Home i still get it quite a bit but now after i say no hubby says wow you've got more willpower than i have ;)

Kate said...

I had alot of people in my life that would try to sabotage my efforts. Most prominent was my overweight mother and people at work. The people at work would constantly put stuff on my desk to eat, and my mom, she would purposely make dinner she new I loved, or leave out things she knew I couldn't leave alone. And she would bitch when I would complain about going somewhere for dinner, because they honestly had nothing healthy.

I just fought it with motivation to prove to them that I could do it. And I did. Now they know I don't eat that kind of stuff, and my mom has been trying to eat better due to health problems, so she is much better now too.

ashley said...

Hi! I just found your blog through Thick Chicks and this was the perfect first post to read. Your story is amazing! I love the tips. I'd also add: "Remember to be happy." Because that's really why we're doing it.. but it sounds like you had that under control!

Good for you!

purple_moonflower123 said...

Oh my god! This is totally wha I needed today! I have had people sabotage me right now and also in the past, when my WL attempts went off course. I have been doing WW for a month. I know what my triggers are and I also know who sabotaged me in the past and it will be the same people. Now I am prepared and totally ready this time to change my life.

POD said...

This is a great post and the accompanying article on Saboteurs is great. I passed it onto two people. My saboteur is sometimes my boyfriend who LOADS my plate with food, saying, "You don't have to it ALL OF IT!" And I told him next time he did that I would put the bottle of liquor RIGHT next to his bed and tell him, "YOU don't have to DRINK ALL OF IT!" He understands now. ;-)

N.D. said...

I definitely have these people in my life. They are #1) My parents. They have no clue about healthy eating and actually eating a meal with them is torture. I always bring my own food, which is sad. #2) Work - I am a teacher too and always accept cupcakes and whatever from kids, but I usually give them to someone else or throw it away. I don't need it.

My husband and I work together to destruct each other. We'll give in to something together that we shouldn't have. It's bad.

N.D. said...

The IA stuff is throwing me off a bit (5-7 1:00 IA), it sounds like intervals? Tell me more about this!!

new*me said...

super great tips ;) Gosh, thank God I don't have any of those in my life at present :) I remember them though when I was trying to drop weight in school.........they would be like, just one bite won't hurt..little did they know I couldn't stop at one bite :) You have a wealth of wisdom here :)

Crystal said...

Hi there! I totally agree with you that a lot of people out there try to sabatage our efforts...and some may not even realize they are doing it. We must do our best to stay strong and remember why we are doing this.

...to Lose 80 Pounds said...

I have been very fortunate in that my coworkers haven't pressured me one bit...I work with mostly healthy people.

My husband was great from day one...in fact, just by preparing healthful foods (he's the cook in the family, not me), he lost 50 pounds!

When we go to friends' houses for get-togethers, I always bring something I know the points value of. Same for holidays.

This post was great though...nice strategies.

carla said...

it amazes me how people can thrive and reap evil joy from hinder other people's efforts...but they do huh?

LOVE your time about sharing the LIFE and not the DIETlife.


Melissa said...

I wouldn't call my hubby a saboteur exactly, because he didn't do it on purpose, but I had a terrible time dieting around him. He is a human garbage can--eats anything and everything. And he keeps food by his bed and chows down at night. Arrrghhh.

Now I've decided to stop dieting, so I don't worry about it. But I do insist on having vegetables. He will typically cook only a piece of meat, and perhaps a microwave mac&cheese and be perfectly happy. Arrrghhh.