Should you tell others you’re on a diet?

You just started your new ‘diet’, you’re motivated, you’re excited, but you don’t know whether you should tell others what you’re doing, or whether they’ll judge you? I’ve had the exact same thoughts every time I’ve started on a new diet. Sometimes I tell people what I’m doing, most of the time I keep it a secret, from everyone.
 
 I didn’t plan on telling people that I was on a diet this time (ironic seeing as I have this blog, but having a blog isn’t something I really advertise either). I knew I would tell Ben, I knew he would help me stay motivated without making me feel judged. Its my family that I never know whether to tell or not.
 
 I was speaking to my mum one Sunday that I was round, and she was telling me about how she was going to be going on a diet soon, and had ordered some exercise equipment from Argos. So I told her that I was too, I thought it would make her feel better knowing that someone else is trying to be healthy too, make her feel less alone. That Sunday it was great, we talked about how we were going to lose weight, and joked about what we would do when we’re skinny. I thought I had made the right choice by telling her.
 
 I then called the house last Sunday, I hadn’t gone round as I was in bed with a migraine, so I thought I would call to see how they all are. I excitedly shared the news with my mum that I had lost 4lbs that week, I thought she would be happy — I was wrong. I should have known really, she was in a pissy mood anyway so I should have known not to say anything. Instead of a ‘well done’, or some complimentary words that made me feel proud of myself, kept me motivated, instead I got ‘well thats because you gained like 12lbs the week earlier’, ‘its because you’ve been eating nothing but shit for ages’. I mean, its not necessary is it? Firstly, I hadn’t gained ‘like 12lbs the week earlier’, and I hadn’t said anything to her about my start weight, that was just something to put me down. And yeah, I had been eating crap before, I know that, I don’t need comments to make me feel bad about how I was. I wrongly thought I might get some praise, she knows more than anyone how much I struggle to be healthy, I should have known better, I should have known from past experiences.
 
 By the time I had got off the phone I was in a bad mood, I wasn’t happy with my weight loss anymore, I was just pissed off and feeling crap about myself. Why do I let such a few words get me like that? I don’t know, I think my family can easily get under my skin sometimes. All I wanted to do was eat some crap, sabotage the hard work from my week before. I clearly wasn’t going to do well anyway, why bother.
 
 I decided after that, that I would no longer talk about my weight loss with my mum. I think that is probably best for me, even if she tells me about hers, I will keep mine quiet.
 
 Having told Ben what I am doing, however, has definitely made things much easier for me. He decided he would try and be healthier too, and together we have kept each other motivated. I think if he didn’t know what I was doing I wouldn’t be doing so well.
 
 Honestly? I think the decision to tell people depends on the people you’re going to tell. And only you can really know how that will be, I feel like you will have a gut feeling whether or not they will help or hinder you progress. I won’t tell you not to tell your family, because they could be some of the most supportive people you could have. I won’t tell you to tell you boyfriend, because if I didn’t live with mine I don’t think I would really have had a reason to tell him. You will know what is best. Follow your gut, and if they do put you down, if they do make disparaging remarks, then you know to keep it to yourself in the future. Don’t let them put you off your journey, you’re doing amazing things, and they just don’t know how to react to that.
 
 On a side note, ish, I realise that this post doesn’t pose my mum in the best light. I think its a family trait to lash out when we’re in a bad mood, rather than her being unsupportive of me. In normal circumstances I am sure my conversation with her would have gone differently and I would have come off the phone happy and with the same pride I had going into the call. People have off days, and we shouldn’t judge them solely on that, but if you are having an off day, check yourself, check how you’re treating the people around you.


Originally published at www.sammikm.com on February 17, 2016.

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