The Fear of Telling People You're on a Diet

Girl is scared to be offered food when on a diet If you could just escape to a deserted island full of health food and had access to any diet and routine that you wanted, it would be easy to finally have your ideal lifestyle, right?

But, the fact of the matter is that we interact with other people, and our relationships and situations with other people are ultimately what make it really hard for dieters to stick to a plan.

I remember feeling so awkward if I turned down food offered by others. And, I am not talking about receiving a dessert as a gift or something--I am talking about just generally going out with people and passing around a family-style plate of food and proclaiming out loud to other people about whether or not I would accept the offering.

I recall being offered cookies which I really wanted, but chose not to have because I was trying to diet. Saying "no" sounded awkward because I wasn't speaking the truth---I really wanted the cookie. And I felt like the person offering it to me could read my true desire on my face, and if they made any comment about how I don't have to be on a diet or how "1 cookie wouldn't hurt", I felt extremely self-conscious.

I wound up eating many things that I didn't even really want, just to avoid the confrontation of why I was or was not eating something.

The reason I felt this way is because I myself wasn't fully certainly/convinced about what I truly wanted or didn't want. I felt like it was a constant internal battle with myself --- on one hand I was trying to be healthier, but on the other I had cravings. And I hated being in social situations because I felt like people were putting me on the spot and bringing to light this internal conflict that I had.

When I started doing Macrobiotics, for the first time my digestive system started improving and I was convinced deep into my core that it was right for me. I even experiemented with vegetarianism for 2 years which was a quick way to get more people to comment on my eating habits. But the belief I had and the comfort of the eating style was all I needed to have the confidence to say what I wanted and didn't want. After practicing time and time again to say that I was vegetarian, I got used to the comments I received, from the mild "oh, I see" to the condescending "How could you not eat meat?! How else are you going to get your protein?"

I thought about this experience more and more and wondered, from my perspective, what I truly thought of other people when they turned down food or said they were on a diet. And I realized that for a split second I would have a thought, be it a simple "oh I see" or more of a judgemental "gosh that's gotta be hard". But after that, I would completely forget about their dietary requirements and move on.

And what you have to realize, too, is that other people might make a simple comment when you tell them what you do and do not want, but as long as you are not taking away from their happiness, they really couldn't care less about what you eat or not. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that what I say to others matches the truth of what I want in my heart, and this experience helped me confidently be with others regardless of their opinions.

Now, when food is being passed around the table and I don't feel in the mood to eat something, I don't feel obligated to eat it just for the sake of not having someone question me about my food choices. I can say what I want and we can all move on.