Diet Lies – Yours and Your Friends….
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In a recent Facebook post, I wrote about a friend who boasted that she had a large piece of fish for lunch. I commended her on a wise food choice and she accepted my kudos. The next day I found out that the piece of fish was actually fish and chips – breaded and fried and so large it hung over the side of the plate. It reminded me that many dieters lie not only to those around them, but to themselves.
For years I was a superb diet liar. I was able to lie myself to 250 pounds. Here are a few people I have lied to – and probably you have as well.
Diet program instructors
I’ve been in one diet program or another for years. When the scale didn’t show a loss, my creative excuses had no bounds from blame sodium to blame my heavy clothes to blame my mother for forcing me to try her apple pie.
Surprisingly most diet program weigh-in people don’t confront diet lies. They express sympathy and pleasantly project you will do better next week. I suppose that’s part of their training; they are told not to make the customer feel bad and to give encouragement in the face of even the dumbest possible diet excuses.
In all my years of being obese, I never had a doctor warn me about the dire health consequences of my weighing 250 pounds. Perhaps because I always approached my doctor as a contrite and sad overweight person. “I’m trying doctor – really!” This from a woman with candy bar wrappers under the front seat of her car. I would tell the doctor he didn’t need to concern himself with my weight since I would definitely lose it by the next visit. Then I would stop for an ice cream on the way home.
Your friends (and family)
Seeing the gang for a gathering? I used to arrive with the words: “I’m dieting.” Then I would order with abandon noting, “I’m going to take half of this home”(never happened) and ending with “Sure, I’ll have just one bite of dessert” (and eat the lion’s share).
Of course, lying to yourself
I don’t know about you, but in my eat-too-much days, I was not above buying doughnuts or chips and destroying the wrapper evidence before anyone saw it. A part of me believed that if there was no evidence of the eating crime, no one would ever guess I was a bad dieter (certainly the safety pin holding my pants shut didn’t reveal anything!).
The biggest lies dieters tell themselves is the “I can stop at one bite” or “A little treat won’t hurt.”
Finally: People who lie to dieters
Mothers are sometimes the worse. Telling their off spring “You look fine, you can start your diet tomorrow.” Or “A bite of my home made brownies is not going to hurt your diet.”
Then there are sabotaging friends (sorry they exist) who tell us “Don’t lose more weight, you look terrific” or “That outfit isn’t too tight!”
So what’s a diet liar? It’s you and me. It’s also people who love us and don’t want to hurt our feelings; it’s people who see us as one more number at the weigh in scale; and it’s a society of overweight people who would rather fabricate lies than accept responsibility for their bad food choices.
Next time you feel a fib coming on that justifies stopping for an ice cream or sharing a dessert – breathe in and out and judge exactly how tight your clothes feel. Is it worth telling or believing a lie?