Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Was Expelled From The Diet Group

Last week, after another long hot summer, the Jewish Festivals, and the recent security situation in Israel I hit rock bottom (again) vis-a-vis comfort eating, weight gaining, and not feeling good about my health in general.

As if by magic, I received two great sources of motivation to get out of this rut. The first was a photo of a friend whom I hadn't seen for about two years. Like me, she'd been overweight but she now looks spectacular. She hadn't just lost some weight, she looked slim in a way that I wasn't sure was possible this side of 50. We chatted online and I've been referring to her photo all week. Thank you dear friend, you know who you are. xxxx

The second source of motivation was being invited to join a group to promote healthy life habits. It's a wonderful idea. You choose a healthy habit to adopt for two weeks, whether it be diet, exercise, meditation, or whatever, and you report in every day for support and encouragement.

I chose the habit of eating three small meals a day with no snacks in between. For the first four days I reported in with a positive: I did it! And I briefly said what I'd eaten for each of my three meals. I also left positive and encouraging comments for other group members. We quickly created a nice atmosphere of warm mutual respect among the group members and it was working for me.

When I went shopping this week I stocked up on fruits and vegetables for making smoothies with spinach and nuts and ground flaxseed. I bought wholewheat bread rolls, tomato juice, nuts... I didn't buy eggs as I'm still striving to be vegan (well pisce-vegan with fish but no mammals or fowl). No sugar things like cakes, biscuits or ice-cream... I was psyched.

On day five I was expelled from the group.

The group leader sent me a pm asking me not to post what I was eating daily as it looked like she was endorsing my food choices and, as a professional in the field, she couldn't do that. Fair enough, although the group was free it was carrying the name of her private practice. No problem, I was only posting the food as a convenient alternative to writing it down in a notebook. I agreed to stop.

However, she also said that my diet was unsustainable and unhealthy (she actually just said I'm eating too little and not enough protein but implied that there was an etc).  Obviously I disagreed with her. For a start she couldn't see my portion sizes which are more than adequate.

It's true that if you write 'avocado salad' and roast potatoes with ketchup for dinner, it doesn't look like a very balanced meal. But if the avocado salad is a large plate of avocado with loads of other vegetables, including pulses and nuts.... Ditto the spaghetti with vegetable soup as a sauce where the soup is a thick vegetable soup made with loads of vegetables and lentils served with pasta. One night I only ate the crusts of DD's pizza which she won't eat - so I don't have a super healthy meal every time but we're talking once in four days here. Maybe she didn't like that I'm not a breakfast person and when I'm on the run it tends to be just a cup of coffee. And I suppose I should have written apple/carrot smoothie instead of apple/carrot juice.

So I replied by pm that I found her assessment unfair but that I won't continue with the food diary. Tbh I don't know why she felt the need to belittle my diet in that way. Even if she did have healthier suggestions, there are ways of saying so without just dissing everything I've been doing. And I am on no way a fad dieter or a starver - I'm far too level headed for that and I need my energy to get through the day.

On my thread in the group I said that I understand about not listing my food choices and that's fine. However, I disagree with your assessment that my diet is unsustainable and I'll prove you wrong. I thought coaches love it when you rise to the challenge and achieve your goals despite negative feedback, or even because of it.

Apparently not. I got a pm saying, in light of what you wrote on the group this isn't going to work, I wish you all the best. And I was expelled from the group.

So what did I learn from this?

1. At only day five of my new healthy habit, being expelled from the healty habit group did not send me diving into the fridge looking for comfort. This was a revelation to me. (Ironically the group leader asked me only yesterday if I'd had any realizations yet and I hadn't as of then.) So five days in, the habit is already takng effect as a habit.

2. If someone tells me that I'm not capable of making sensible decisions about my health and diet, that only challenges me to prove that I am. As long as my actions are positive, healthy, helpful, and that they don't harm anyone (including myself). Not to gloat but for my own satisfaction that I'm capable of making sensible choices and following it through.

3. I've no time for other people's sensitive or controlling egoes (even on their own turf). Nor for people who don't give the benefit of the doubt and start from the belief that I'm a good team player who isn't out to make trouble. People who aren't up for any discussion. Don't we all know that most disagreement in writing is not getting the nuances or full picture from a few words?

4. If someone doesn't want you in their gang you can start your own gang. I almost started a new fb group called, 'Make it a Habit'. My group is about any good habit - reading, studying, learning a language, writing, decluttering, cleaning your house, as well as healthy habits. Whatever you want and however you want to do it. As long as it's not harmful or hurtful to anyone, I won't judge. But then I thought - who needs another fb group anyway? I am going to continue with it on this blog though, adding a new habit every three weeks instead of two weeks (I read that it takes three weeks to really establish a habit).

5. Some ridiculous events in life are nevertheless good blog fodder.

Anyway, at the end of the first week I have lost 5.2lbs. I'm still sticking to my new habit of three meals a day with no snacks in between. And I'm still motivated thanks to my friend with the photo.


23 comments:

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    1. I think I might just do as couple of others have said the same.

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  2. From Margie in Toronto - Good for you! And thank YOU for the inspiration I needed at the moment. I've done really well with weight loss this past year (and all by myself - no program or special foods) but it's been a rough couple of weeks at home and the office and I've found myself slipping back into bad habits. I need to nip it in the bud and get back on track - I find that writing things down really helps so I'm going back to that and cutting out even the occasional sweet treat. Christmas is coming so I'll have lots of treats to look forward to (in moderation) so I can do without for now.
    Do what feels right for you as long as you aren't starving yourself (and it doesn't sound as though you are) and good luck with it!

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    1. Well done on your achievment so far Margie. Definitley get back to it before Christmas - these successes slip away so easily if we're not constantly on top of it. Good luck my friend. Are you on fb? I think I'm going to start that group.

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    2. From Margie in Toronto - I used to be on FB but suspended it a few years ago - just found it all too much I'm afraid.

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  3. I'm in your corner and believe in you....

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  4. Hi - the group leader sounds like s/he has a few problems. Sadly, the very thin friend scenario didn't work for me.... Good luck 😊 Sherrie

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    1. From experience, life coaches are very protective of their business. It's a funny business because you're selling something that friends and aquaintances swap all the time, for free, epsecially on facebook. I think they don't like you to be too independent.

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  5. You've managed to make joining this group and getting expelled from it into a positive experience. And written an entertaining blog post about it too!

    What I will say is that I find that many social media groups do not tolerate a range of opinions, and that can be both boring and unhelpful... It's their loss x

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    1. I think the range of opinions thing was the problem. The group leader mentioned a couple of times that she was running a free service, but it was a group on fb - of course it's free. And fb groups are usually equal participatory - like a group of friends, not someone's own extension of their business.

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  6. This is such a good post for me to read. Like your photo friend motivated you, reading this has motivated me. I need many a new good habit in my life. Being expelled would have had a terrible effect on me as I am incredibly sensitive, so well done on you for analysing it in the positive way you have done here. Such an inspirational blog post on so many levels. xx

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    1. I'm glad you were inpired. You are wlecome to join the fb group if you like. I started it - Make It A Habit.

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  7. GOOD FOR YOU! Honestly, that was not a good FB group to be a part off. Not very encouraging or motivating, is it? Who needs that? There are better, more professional ways for any good nutritionist to approach this, in a way that is more supportive to the members. I just love your attitude to the whole thing and very much look forward to your posts on this. Best of luck! xx

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  8. Good for you Rachel. She obviously felt threatened by your positive presence and encouraging the others. Well dond on the weight loss. That's a great tip re new habits, thank you. You've inspired me too xx

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    1. You can join my fb group if you like. Details tomorrow

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  9. Oh my word, I can't believe it, you are better off out of there! Mich x

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  10. What a crock! How dare she!! I'd love to join the group - why are people such control freaks - fab weight loss xx

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    1. Thank you. Friend me on fb and I'll add you tot he group - Rachel selby.

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