Competition

I am not a very competitive person. Okay, I am, but not as competitive as some of the other people in my life. But lately I’ve been doing very well on my health kick and I’d like a little credit for it.  Not from the people who are always supportive but for the world in general to notice that something amazing is happening to me.

First, I have been diligently attending and participating in Weight Watchers for the last 12 weeks. I have lost over 30 pounds in that amount of time. And not by chance but through careful and specific and strategic decisions. 30 pounds is huge! Sadly, at my weight, there doesn’t seem to be much physical difference in appearance. My pants are looser but I still wear the same size. My face to me looks thinner but few people who don’t know I’m dieting have noticed yet.

I’m not sure why the validation matters so much to me. It is nice to get compliments encouraging words from my family and close friends. And I tell myself that the only validation I need is from myself. This is about empowering me. But who am I kidding…

So this week I’m spending a little bit extra time with my business partner. He’s an older gentleman who has in the past year lost 80 pounds himself. Which is amazing. But he doesn’t follow the Weight Watcher’s method. According to him this miraculous weight loss has been achieved by just not eating anything fattening for the last year. (Actually he says it took four months to lose the weight but I know differently. Here is some of his diet talk:

  • I just cut out all the sweets and cakes and cookies and candies in my life.
  • I eat a lot of salads with either fat free dressing or balsamic vinaigrette.  I eat a salad every day.
  • All I eat is lean chicken no skin or turkey or fish. No butter, no oils, nothing fattening.
  • I’m not the kind a guy who can have just one small piece of brownie or one small piece of cake. If I have a taste I want to eat the whole thing. So I just cut it all out.

There isn’t anything wrong with what he’s saying. It’s obviously working for him. So why does sitting next to him in a restaurant make me feel like crap? I’m losing weight and I don’t have to eat that way. I can enjoy food. I can eat things other than salad and still be successful. But he’s the one who’s lost 80 pounds and everyone “oohs” and “ahhs” over it. And I feel like I’m just the fat girl sitting next to him.

After the business meetings were over he told his wife that I was trying to lose weight again. (Emphasis on again.) She looked at me a little quizzically. Oh, are you doing that Weight Watchers again? There didn’t seem to be a lot of confidence in her tone. Or maybe I’m just reading things into it.

It seems weird to me that I can be more undermined by somebody whose weight-loss journey is successful yet different from mine then someone who has not yet begun the journey or even considering it.  As empowered as I feel much of the time, I still have a lot of work to do to get there.

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5 thoughts on “Competition

  1. You know if cutting out sweets and skin on my chicken was all I had to do I would never be over weight, it’s like people who tell me they lose weight by cutting out sugar soda, or cream in their coffee. Since even when off program I don’t eat much of those things it’s not helpful at all. Thing is you can’t compare yourself to these other people because their bodies work differently. For instance, they are eating too much of the bad things. I have found through WW I was not eating enough every day and that was leading to my weight gain. It’s all about metabolism.

    Also, cutting those things out for good (never having a brownie or something like that) means that it’s a diet, not a change of life. It’s temporary and at some point your business partner will go back to his old ways. With WW it’s about changing your habits for good. Sure we can fall off program and we can get back to where we were, but it takes a lot longer. I lost 80lbs, and then over 8 years I gained it back, 10lbs in a year isn’t bad if you think about it, I should have tried to lose before I gained the full 80 back sure, but before WW I would have gained a heck of a lot more than 10lbs a year and gaining fast is really dangerous for your health. (so is losing too fast, so there is that)

    Keep it up, you’re awesome

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  2. Whether I am one of those people who are always supportive or not, I want to say that I think you are doing great. Losing thirty pounds is a real accomplishment.

    As far as the competition thing goes – you are winning. I am always competing with the part of me that says I don’t deserve to be taken care of and I should just give up. The part of me that tells me that I haven’t done enough, soon enough, well enough. The part of me that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. That part of me that says, “Okay you accomplished that, but…” And, when I stumble, it can really get the upper hand, if I let it. I don’t even need to hear someone undermine me, like your colleague’s “emphasis on ‘again’,” because I’ve already heard it inside my own head.

    Everyday we take care of ourselves, we are winning the competition with that part of ourselves that doesn’t want us to succeed.

    So, I happily acknowledge your accomplishment. I am glad you are taking good care of yourself.

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    • I’m going to try to replace my inner voice so it says “Everyday we take care of ourselves, we are winning the competition with that part of ourselves that doesn’t want us to succeed.”. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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