I’m Still Scared Sometimes

Today I worked. I’m a substitute and I only work part-time and solely at my children’s school, where I know most of the teachers pretty well and I see them on a regular basis. After I finished my lunch today I was making a comment about showing my MIL something and how silly it was…yada…yada, because I felt the need to explain to her how I had prepared a certain lunch item.

Someone looked at me curiously and asked, “Huh?”
Well, I realized that I had quickly skimmed over mentioning that MIL might question something I put together for lunch because she knows I’m trying to lose weight. Since I managed to skip skim over that important point, this teacher didn’t understand the point of my conversation.
I quickly offered, “Well, she knows I’m watching what I eat and how much, so she’s trying to be helpful and somehow…’blah’ ‘blah’..”
As I mentioned, “..knows I’m watching what I eat and how much..” my stomach began to knot up a little bit. I was SO nervous and I did NOT want to say, “She knows I’m on a diet.”, because I knew that the minute that fact gets around everyone will begin watching what I’m eating and the comments could start coming.
That scared me so much; and I’m not totally sure why. Even as I write this post my stomach is knotting up and I would kind of like to cry.
Has anyone else experienced this fear of having people know you’re on a diet and/or changing your eating habits?
These are the few things I could come up with that might explain my knotted stomach at the thought of going public with my “diet”:
1. Maybe I’m still scared of failure..okay, no I AM SCARED of failing.
2. Maybe I’m scared of the accountability. People can’t help, but watch what you eat when you say you’re dieting or making better choices.
3. I don’t want someone saying, “Should you really eat that??”.
Having put my thoughts on the matter out there, I have to say that it does look silly, huh? I can answer my own fears with this.
“Leah, you’ve lost 20 pounds, you’re exercising regularly and why are you afraid of people watching you eat??? You took a salad of baby greens with feta cheese, tomatoes, 5-6 kalamata olives and Italian dressing with an apple and a Fiber One yogurt for lunch. Plus, you drank water. You only ate a pinch of the brownies that the cafeteria made for the entire staff (HUGE tray of them) to save room for the non-fat, no whip white mocha you were going to have later.” (I felt like I could’ve skipped the special coffee, but I’ve been waiting like 4 days for that treat, so today was the day.)
Well, there it is. Despite knowing I’m doing better on my food choices, portions and getting regular exercise, I was almost terrified at anyone knowing I was seriously trying to lose weight and change my habits.
I think my food habits changing touches something far deeper than just saying no to brownies, and so by telling everyone that I’m working on losing weight I’m also admitting to them I’m working on some deeper issues in my life. hhmmm….. That just kind of popped out, but now I’m going to think on that.
I also think that I don’t want someone telling me that I can’t have sweets or “junk”, because I do truly feel that everything is okay in moderation. And I don’t think people will believe that everything is okay in moderation when I still have so much weight to lose.
Okay, I’ve rambled on quite a bit now, but I just had to get that off my chest. It was a new scenario that I had to deal with today and something I think I need to deal with sooner than later. It’s so much easier to say you’re losing weight when someone notices that you’re thinner; but for some reason it’s so hard for me to tell anyone that I’m seriously working on it.
I look forward to any comments, questions, criticisms you have to share.

About Leah@MyNewEnding

I'm a 44-year-old wife and mother who begins her day with God and coffee. When my youngest of 3 kids started college I went from a SAHM to a full-time job. I love being an attendance secretary. A lot has gone on since I started this blog in 2009, but one thing remains the same: I will not give up on my health. Join me as I share what that means for the season of life I'm in.
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6 Responses to I’m Still Scared Sometimes

  1. logmyloss says:

    Leah, I think the reason for most of us is twofold, both points are points you hit on. Number one, we don't want to fail. Admitting we are on a diet opens the door up to others potentially seeing our failure. Number two, we don't want to be criticized. Just like you said, by admitting you are dieting, you open the door up for others to be critical of what you are doing. I think your feelings are only natural; however, I also think you have made a decision that this is going to happen for you, so I honestly believe these feelings are not reflective of reality.

    By the way, I never tell people I am dieting. Of course, I don't look at what I am doing as a diet. I just tell them that I have changed my way of eating to a more healthy way.


  2. Leah says:

    Steve, Thanks for your insight. I'm like you, I don't tell people I'm dieting, because that's not how I think of it. I think that's what bothers me also. I'm making lifelong changes and I don't want people to think that I'm just on a “diet” for now.


  3. Leah – I like Steve's comments, but I am taking a little bit different bent. I think part of it is being overly concerned with what people think.

    I struggle with worrying whether or not people approve of me and what they will think if I do certain things.

    I emailed you!


  4. Leah says:

    Diane, and yes I have always worried about what others think of me, my decisions and my life. If Chris or Steph read this, they'll agree. 🙂

    Thanks for your time! I will work through this.


  5. Larkspur says:

    I almost wanted to give you homework: Eat a gooey slice of cake in front of your coworkers AND your mother in law!

    I could write a whole rant on entitlement to eat, but I think Steve and Diane are more to the point. It isn't a diet, right? It's just the way you eat now. It's an ongoing process, it may or may not be linear, but you're headed generally in a happier, healthier direction.


  6. Stephanie says:

    Hey Leah! I loved this post because it was almost soul bearing and what Diane said is true too – and yes I know you well enough and you know ME well enough to know we both struggle with what people think of us. But I'm finding that as I get older – I'm beginning to not care as much. Not sure if that's just age, or what – but you'll come to a place where you are sure of where you are and what you're doing. It's the right thing and I'm proud of you!


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