I spoke recently for a group, and in the course of explaining how I manage my weight on a day to day basis I mentioned that I had found certain foods that were both supportive, and treats for me. I shared that I loved pineapple and I could eat a whole one in a day easily, and had a few days earlier. A woman in the front row interrupted me and said, “Ooh, that’s bad. You can’t eat that much fruit!”
I smiled and said that it works for me.
The interaction left a bad taste in my mouth, and after thinking it over, I think I know why. There are a couple of elements at play, the first one being that I was brought up to consider it the height of rudeness to comment negatively upon what another person is eating. I would never, ever comment disparagingly on your meal if we were dining together, nor would I ever tell you that what you are eating is “wrong.” It’s just rude. But beyond mere rudeness, it displays a lack of understanding of how varied the available routes to health are. I stood before her, the proof of 8 years of success maintaining a 200 pound weight loss, and she thought to inform me that I was doing it wrong because the program she was currently participating in didn’t allow that much fruit.
There are so many different ways to do it. As many as there are people who want to do it. When it comes down to it, whatever works for you, is what works for you. It may or may not work for me, and my regimen may or may not work for you. I don’t think that the way I eat would work for too many people long-term, but I know that the basic skills I have built will absolutely work for anybody to adhere to whatever path they choose. The specifics are your business, and since I’m not living in your body I certainly am in no position to judge.
But, and this is the crux of the matter for me, I would never, ever call you on whatever you were doing to manage your weight, judge you, or tell you it was incorrect. I would never point at what you were eating and say, “Oh, well I guess some people can eat that…” (which I’ve actually had said to me). In fact, were you to meet me in person you’d find that I don’t bring up dieting or weight management unless you bring it up first, and in fact, I may not even take the bait if you do, unless you very specifically ask me a direct question to elicit my opinion or advice. I’m not selling anything, so there’s no benefit for me to be constantly promoting this blog or my choices, all I’m likely to do is alienate people. I don’t want that.
Weight management is so very sensitive that in general I take an arms-length approach to conversing on the topic at all. It’s part of why I write this blog – almost everything I know and do is here and can be found with a quick google search. People that know me know my story, and that they can ask me if they are interested, but I would never push my methods or advice in person – there are so many more interesting topics to discuss! Please don’t think me rude if I don’t enthusiastically launch into discussions of your weight or dietary choices, I like to think it is the exact opposite.