This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Love 'em where they're at.

Over the last 12 days, I was on vacation and I spent a lot of time with my favorite people in the world-my husband, kids, best friend and her kids. We vacation together every year and it is always fun and relaxing. Nothing better than spending time just enjoying the people you love.

During the trip, I got the inevitable question about what I was doing for weight loss. Weight is something that has been an issue for me and my BFF forever. We were the 2 funny fat girls in high school everyone liked, but nobody wanted to date. We were included in many circles and had a lot of friends. We bonded because of our size, but grew to have a wonderful, close friendship through college and now beyond. Weight is something we're always talking about, fretting about, and struggling with.

She knows I've been exercising and tracking my food. She knows I've been doing C25K. She knows I've been working out at the gym and with a trainer. She knows I've been reading weight loss blogs, but I haven't told her or my husband I have been writing one of my own. (Subject for a later post?? Maybe I need to figure out why I haven't shared this yet??)

Over the summer she has started watching what she's eating more and doing some extra exercise and she's lost a few pounds.(yay!) Of the 2 of us she's the one who has had "success" in weight loss. In high school she lost a lot of weight. Mainly by not eating anything for days on end. But, it worked and she was thin for a time. Of course she gained it all back over the years.She, like me, has tried every diet in the book. Always looking for what will work. But, never getting it off and keeping it off, also like me.

When she asked me about what "diet" I'm doing. I explained, or tried to, about what I'm eating, what I'm exercising. I showed her the Lose It program on my iphone and how it works. I told her about C25K and working out everyday. I tried to explain that this feels different this time. That I know I have to do this everyday and I have to do it now.

She started to get all "gung-ho". She talked about wanting watch her diet, but logging it all seemed complicated. She knew she'd be busy when she got home, but in a week or 2, she planned on signing up for a gym. She couldn't start on vacation to track all her stuff. She wanted to relax and not have to worry about it then.

I told her I'd given up cokes and pepsi. She said she knows she needs to, but can't just stop all the sudden. She has to "wean" off. We didn't buy any at the condo, but we did have to get diet DPs and she drank soda every time we were out. She also went to buy snacks for her and the kids and bought candy bars and cookies and donuts. We had jerky, granola bars, cheese sticks and fruit already. She did keep that stuff in her car so I only saw it by chance. She was too tired to get up early to work out with me when I did.

At first, I felt myself get irritated. Didn't she realize that I don't WANT to "worry about it" on vacation either. I don't want to have to worry about it anytime. I don't WANT to exercise a lot of days. I'd rather be able to eat all the crap and enjoy it. But I know I can't. I won't ever be able to. Not eat it without thinking about how many calories or how much time in the gym it means. Not anymore.

I got frustrated with what I recognize now as rationalizations and excuses I've used all my life and seen on the blogs I've been reading. I was frustrated hearing these from my BFF, things I'd been reading about on Jack Sh*t and the AntiJared. I wanted her to be where I was, be ready to do it with me so I wouldn't be alone. We could help each other, right?

Then, I realized that I can't make her "switch" go on any more than she can do it for me. If it was that easy, we wouldn't be overweight right now. I have to do this alone, in my own way, in my own time. I have to figure this out for myself. There is no book, no program, no diet buddy, no MAGIC PILL. How many times have I said that to patients???

Once I had this realization, I knew the same was true for her. She'll either figure it out or she won't. She can do it if she wants to- just like I can. When she's ready, I'll be there and I'll help however I can. But. I. Can. Not. Fix. Her. The only person I can fix is....ME!! And that's hard enough as it is.

So, I will not be irritated when I hear these things from her. I won't get mad when my husband orders the DOUBLE cheeseburger or spends time on the computer instead of exercising. I will love them and help them if asked. And when the "switch" goes on for them, I will celebrate their victories as they have celebrated mine so far.

Until then, I will be loving myself and making the choices I need to for me- alone, in my own way, in my own time.

What do you think when people ask you how you're losing weight? How do you feel when they use excuses and rationalize why they aren't making healthy choices? Do you share your "blog self" with others in your life? Why or Why not??


  1. Oh, I can sooo relate to this. My own BFF has shared my struggle all along. We both lost together in 2008 and then we both gained again. My switch is "on" now. She wants to lose, goes to WW every week with me, and talks about what she needs to do, but there's always something that comes up that derails her plans. Life is full of "somethings," --birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, vacations, special foods. You have to enjoy these, but still stick to your plans. My heart hurts for her now, she so wants and needs to lose, but, from my perspective, she's not trying. You're right. I can only fix myself. I can love and encourage my BFF, but I can't turn her switch. I'm here with open arms when she's ready. (I wonder how many of my own loved ones have felt that way about me over the years?).
    Great post. Glad you're back.

  2. I get annoyed that people don't ask me more often how I'm losing weight. You're lucky that people DO ask you! I don't typically share my "blog self" with others in my life (except for my husband) unless I know that the person is looking for motivation to lose weight. It's not a secret with me -- I just don't want to be pushy.

  3. It's funny because while I understand you want your BFF to be on board with you, its hard when they haven't flipped the switch.

    I lived in a two flat with my twin sister for five years - my family upstairs, hers downstairs. We never seemed to have our switch on at the same time!

    My husband is my #1 blog fan and is always giving me ideas for recipes. He knows how much I love my hobby and how happy it makes me.

    Just yesterday, I walked in the back door, he was on the computer and said "you had 842 visitors today!"

    I usually blog in the morning, before anyone else is up so its "my" time and I absolutely love it.


  4. @ Trish- Wow! That's a great question about who in your family or friends felt that way towards you. Makes me wonder the same thing.

    @ Christine- Only a few random people have asked me this question. My BFF did because it is a constant topic for us. Maybe you look so great now that people don't realize how much effort it still takes you?

    @biz-That is so cool that you husband is so supportive. I am reluctant to share the whole blog thing yet. I guess I'm keep that for me for now. Maybe someday I'll be ready to share. How do you track how many visitors you have?

  5. I'm finding that I have to just be the example to my friends - I can't do this for them, and what worked for me may not work for them. It's hard, though, especially when they get all gung ho about it and then don't do anything. I'm having that same issue with some friends who say they want to run a half marathon with me, but aren't doing anything to prepare...


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