Dear Friends & Family: 7 Things to Avoid Saying to Someone on a Weight Loss Journey

“As she eats her brussels sprouts and chicken, she’s met with looks of confusion, curiosity, and WTFness.”
-ME
“You eat weird.” “Stop, just stop losing weight.” “You’re doing too much.” If you click off of this article within the first paragraph, I’m talking to you. If you continue to read, you’re either intrigued, hoping you don’t become guilty of lack of weight loss etiquette or, you’re like me, a fitness junkie. You might be on a path to becoming one and you’ve heard it ALL. You’re annoyed by it. You’re at the point where instead of responding, you smile to keep the peace.

Before we get into this I’m going to tell you a secret about losing fat: People are happy for you, but they don’t like change. It’s uncomfortable and if they don’t understand it, then it’s something wrong with it right? Kicking it off with number 7:

  1. Only a dog wants bones.

I agree. Men want a little something to hold on to; but thinking this way won’t end well. If you do the right exercises (lifting/Cardio), you’ll develop curves you didn’t know were possible. He’ll think he’s playing with a new toy or cheating on you with you.  Then again, it’s just something about a man who finds hypertension, diabetes, and lack of self-care sexy. Yeeessss! Come through bae….or nah.

  1. “Eating healthy costs too much.”

A study from Harvard School of Public Health found that eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nut costs about $1.50 more per day per person than eating an unhealthy diet, i.e., processed foods. That’s an extra $2,200 per year for a family of four. 

The problem isn’t that healthy food is expensive, but that processed food is so cheap. Healthy diet = lower health care costs which is a huge money saver, making that $2,200 look like chump change compared to medical bills.

  1. You eat weird.

wird-bizarre, quirky, outlandish, eccentric, unconventional

Lean protein, veggies, fruits, nuts, & almond milk is weird? You know what’s weird to me? 10 chicken nuggets for .99, mechanically separated meat, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, and, red dye #40…oh but never mind me, they’re NOW MADE with all white meat chicken, duh.

  1. You have no boobs.

This is a personal one for me because I grew up with huge ta-tas.  I first realized it when a boy shouted “Nieta has some big t*****” at my 6th grade talent show after lip syncing Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” Kids can be so cruel.  Size I cup to be exact. My first adult HR job post grad school, I knew I had to work for a year for FMLA to kick in. I went to the doctor several times for back pain, sometimes it was paralyzing. I practically turned into Ezell from the movie Friday: “My neck and my back!” As soon as the year was up, I scheduled my breast reduction and went on leave. Best decision I’ve ever made. As my husband says all you need is a handful, and this works for me. 😉

  1. How far are you going with this?

At 250lbs, I was pre-diabetic, and only one person expressed concern: My mom. Her saying something was another awakening, because for my mother to say something, there must be a problem. At 250lbs. I was never asked this question. I had to realize there was a problem. Please don’t say this to anyone on a fitness journey. “This” isn’t a project with a start and ending. “This” is for LIFE. My “this” might not look like your “this.” Fitness evolves. Your goals will change. My “this” used to be a size 12, now an 8/10, my “this” look different. I’m going as far as my mind and body will take me.

  1. You want to look like a man?

I hear my husband saying in a Ricky Bobby of Talladega Nights voice: “I’d like to thank sweet baby Jesus and weights for my wife’s sweet a**!” Let’s clear some things up. First, that “You’ll look like a man if you lift” ideal is so antiquated. Step into 2018.  Lifting transformed my body. Where there once was nothing to grab back there, there’s more than a handful. Once afraid to wear tanks because I thought my arms looked like I played for the NFL, now I wear them freely. Being very proud of my journey, I once mentioned a personal fitness goal I made to a friend. I was met with an “I’m proud of you,” but also subsequent pics of women body builders who looked like men. After my initial “umm okay” moment, I let it go. This is me. I LOVE my muscles. I LOVE my bootay. I LOVE my collar bones and you won’t make me feel bad about it. Watch me work, join me, or look away.  When you see women body builders who are ripped and to you, might not look that feminine, they are doing specific things to look that way for competition purposes. Picking up a 15 lb. free weight and doing some things with it won’t make you look like a man. Plus look at these manly legs…Girl, stop…

  1. She looks like a Bobble head.

I can’t help but laugh at this myself because it’s semi true, but this shouldn’t deter you from a better YOU. Erica Kendall of “A Black Girl’s Guide to Losing Weight” explains it best:

“Let’s talk about the human body. Every section of your body is covered in muscle fibers. This muscle also makes up a large part of what we refer to as a person’s “frame.” People who go through rapid weight loss that is the result of a heavy cardio-centered exercises, a drastic reduction in calories, or both, are engaging in a weight loss routine that eats away at much of the muscle that will help you maintain your weight loss.  When you lose that muscle, you are losing your “frame.” When you lose that muscle specifically in your shoulder area, you shrink the width of your shoulders, altering the width between each ear and the outer end of each ear’s respective shoulder. The longer that distance, the less you look like a “bobble head.” The shorter the distance, the closer you get to “bobble head syndrome.”

Long short, how to prevent this: A combination of lifting and cardio. Incorporate arms/shoulders chicas…because I know how you ladies hate arm day….

In my Biggie voice: Follow these 7 rules, you’ll have mad friends for days. Use them or don’t.  These are merely here as a guideline to help you navigate through the wonderful world of knowing someone on a weight loss journey. Be Supportive. Encouraging. Motivating. Loving. If you don’t understand their goal, unless it’s harmful to their health, HUSH. This fit life is hard enough, don’t add to it. That’s all, going to meal prep my weird kale bowls for the week. 😉

 

Nieta is a self-trained chef, fitness addict, wife, and mother of one AMAZING Bumblebee! Her passion is to help others start and stick to their fitness goals with clean chEATing.

1 Comment

  1. Sheila Winfrey Levy says: Reply

    Great read and truth I let folks know. Worry bout yourself…lol

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