…it’s not really a strong point of mine!
I spent years playing along and not saying how I felt – certainly at work – and when I gave up work to focus on my health, I vowed that I would throw diplomacy to one side. I don’t want to compromise anymore.
Now those who know me well will tell you that I have never been diplomatic – I say what I think most of the time. Yet at work – when your job, your mortgage, your lifestyle, your company car, etc is at stake – I was. I was screaming inside to tell people what I really thought of them. The guy who headed up our department was a real dickhead…he was one of these guys that liked you to laugh at his jokes – which were shite…and if you didn’t, then your face didn’t fit. My boss, who couldn’t keep her legs shut, yet criticised me at every turn…maybe because she lacked self-respect and respect from others and didn’t like it that I seemed to have both. The hypochondriac secretary who complained about being ‘just a secretary’ yet did nothing to improve her situation and was the biggest and nastiest gossip in the office…who apparently now is sleeping with one of the (married) managers in the department. And it just got worse at my next company…people trying to achieve their dreams whilst stamping over others. Not nice.
So in these situations I compromised. I compromised my integrity in order to pay my mortgage. I just wish that I knew then what I know now.
I compromise no longer. I can be diplomatic. I am not a raging ball of fierceness who tries to prove a point. I have a high level of social and emotional intelligence – and that’s not me blowing my own trumpet…I have been told so by the ‘professionals’ during psychological evaluations! Haha!
I know when to speak up, and I know when to keep quiet. I just have a really hard time of being diplomatic when it comes to arseholes.
Yet I found myself in a situation last night when this word ‘diplomatic’ was used…and it was hinted that I should be it.
How about…no fecking way?!
I won’t go into too many details as this was a conversation that was held in a private and confidential setting. However, I was – and still am – very angry about this particular situation…and as this blog is a way of dealing with my emotions, I feel that I would be compromising the aforementioned integrity by not giving you that level of honesty, that I promise, if I didn’t talk about it!
Also, Mr WLB has told me that I have been a bitch all day and need to rid myself of these emotions. Damn the fact that I no longer use food to deal with this crap!
This situation centred around advice. Very bad and potentially dangerous advice relating to weight loss.
You know my feelings about fad diets. You also know that, as long as the method is not extreme and potentially damaging and is supported with sound nutritional underpinnings, then I fully support the choice of others. After all, what works for one does not work for everyone. I believe this wholeheartedly…to the point that I specifically tell people NOT to follow my meals and eating patterns as you need to find what works for you. Live and let live!
However, being told to remember only to eat a tiny amount of food when there is no basis to this advice really riled me last night. The particular group of people that the advice was aimed at are, in the main, desperately trying to lose and control their weight. There are some vulnerable people amongst them. People who have tried, and perhaps would still try, anything in order to get the body they crave. So I felt a little angry on their behalf…and so did a number of others. Most people have the sense to ignore such advice…but I worry about that one person who might just take it on board!
I am fortunate enough to have been able to underpin my thoughts and views about weight loss with various courses, training, and access to a number of professionals. If I ever give advice, I ensure that it is backed up with sound research and I ensure that I give full and thorough advice…not the half-baked stuff that I was witness to last night. If I ever take someone, and the advice that they have given, on – it is because I KNOW that it is baseless, or incomplete, and therefore could lead to confusion…and worse.
My frustrations do show. I do not like people throwing out advice that could make someone else feel as if they are doing something wrong. Especially when it relates to severely limiting a food-group that we actually need to base a substantial part of our diet upon.
So this ‘advice’ was given. It wasn’t given as a suggestion – such as, ‘this is what works for me…I don’t know why, as it’s scientifically baseless, but it works for me and so might, just might, be worth a try if all of the sensible and healthy guidelines that work for the masses just don’t happen to work for you’.
It was given as a ‘rule’ almost. And it wasn’t even complete. A measurement was given – so you were told how much to eat – but you weren’t told if this was cooked or uncooked weight…which has a bearing on the situation. Also, you weren’t told if it was a level measurement or a heaped measurement. And then – the cherry on the cake – I was informed that this ‘advice’ had come from a ‘nutritionalist’. Now…nutritionists can be nutritionists without a single qualification – it is an unregulated industry. I have a diploma in nutrition and have been told that I can call myself a nutritionist…I wouldn’t dare though – as this qualification is not enough in my opinion.
The only people I would trust and take food advice from are regulated and highly qualified dieticians who are members of the British Dietetic Association, or an organisation that is supported and has polices, processes and guidelines that have been written by such specialists. So why on earth would I call myself a nutritionist? Forgive me if I don’t necessarily agree with all of the advice that they might give either. I met one recently and was told that if I ate what she did, I would look like her. Now given that she was about a foot shorter than me and twenty years older…I strongly doubt that this would be the case! Some of them might give sound advice…but that advice could be lost in translation…as could have been the case with this particular situation. Or, as I have heard firsthand from a number of people and experienced myself, the advice they might give could be utter bollocks!
However, the upshot was that I got riled…very riled. I could not let it go. I wanted other members of the group to see that these words were incredibly silly and not at all thought out…they should never have been written. I wanted people who might be considering taking this advice to see that it was crazy to do so without further exploration and tailored guidance from a qualified individual. I wanted someone to stand up and seriously challenge this individual.
I explained that I ate far more than this crazy recommendation – as do the majority of the overweight and non-overweight population of the country…because we NEED to – and had lost nearly 19st. I said that it was great that this advice worked for the individual in question, but that it was not backed up with science…and that this amount of food would leave a hamster wanting more! There were then a couple of messages exchanged…I was told that this person didn’t like my advice – I hadn’t actually given any though…just highlighted the scientific inaccuracies in the original advice given. I was then called ‘hunny’…which, in the context of the conversation, was not a compliment – so I called the individual out on that backhanded behaviour and offered a face to face meeting to discuss the pro’s and con’s of this food group…I wasn’t taken up on my offer!
I then got too irritated to continue and somebody deleted the conversation…which actually left me even more angry. It felt rather cowardly and as if it was done to keep the peace, rather than doing what was right.
Whilst I appreciate that this might sound like a stupid situation to get worked up over, I have been at rock-bottom with my relationship with food. It very nearly killed me. I searched high and low for tips, hints, suggestions and advice that would help me…I would have been someone who may have followed advice like this…even though I know now, and would have known back then, that it is rubbish…I may have been desperate enough to give it a go.
I get worked up over fad diets, body shame, fat-haters, focus on the numbers and not the feelings…because I know how damaging this is.
I want to show people that the only way to lose weight safely and successfully is to develop a healthier relationship with your mind, body and food. You cannot and should not consider restricting major food groups unless you have a medical reason to do so – a medical reason diagnosed by a fully qualified and regulated individual.
Don’t listen to the rubbish that people spout. You don’t even have to listen to the rubbish that I spout!
Trust your own instinct…if you look at your plate and feel that a tiny rodent could demolish your dinner in a heartbeat…give yourself a kick up the arse and eat more. After all – and this IS scientifically proven – we need a certain amount of food to function or else our body will kick into starvation mode…and I don’t know about you, but I don’t reckon that my mind or body will ever thank me for starving it…and starvation doesn’t sound sustainable to me!
So I am still annoyed. Getting my thoughts down have helped in a way…yet it has given me even greater cause for concern as I worry about what other advice might be out there that people are buying into and considering trying. I am going to stop frequenting online weight loss groups – other than my lovely Slimming World one – as I just cannot stand by and watch people throw such rubbish out there. I am all for supporting people – and in fact spend most of my waking hours doing just that – but I am not all for supporting one individual, and brushing their behaviour under the carpet, at the cost of many others.
I will say it again…trust your own instinct. I am happy to support people who really want to lose weight and change their lives. I am not happy to compromise with this though…so no more ‘groups’ for me! I feel the need to apologise to anyone who may have witnessed this exchange of words and felt uncomfortable with it…however, I would feel far more uncomfortable knowing that there was someone out there today following that advice…so I am not going to apologise for calling someone out over their shonky words!
Right then…I had best work out a way of cheering myself up now. This morning I went to Pilates, which was great…nice and stretchy for me and my still achey muscles from my PT session! We then checked on the horses, headed to the shops, and then came home. Mr WLB is trying to drag me to the theatre again tonight. It is not a show that I particularly wanted to see…and having read reviews of people leaving halfway though – I am not looking forward to it. I am already in a strop and this theatre production could be the thing that tips me over the edge today!
Breakfast: Banana porridge (5 syns).Lunch: Homemade chilli, red onion and turkey burgers (2 x HEA and 2 x HEB).Dinner: Smoked river cobbler with veggies.Snacks: Total Greek yogurt with cherries and chocolate (8.5 syns).My usual for brekkie before Pilates. For lunch I made some pretty immense turkey burgers. I found my turkey mince in Asda and mixed it with an egg, some chilli flakes and some chopped red onion – then shaped them into burgers and oven-cooked them. I used all my Healthy Extras to make cheesy double-decker burgers…and they were delicious! Dinner was some fish with roasted veggies that I made into a ratatouille. And my snacks were the final two bars from my Green & Blacks Christmas present boxes.
Exercise: 60 minutes Pilates.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx