The lost art of keeping a (weight loss) secret

One of the most common debates in the world of weight loss is whether or not you should keep your 'diet' or 'lifestyle change' a secret. 

image source: MS clip art
Image Source: Microsoft clipart
I understand how confiding in a few friends can keep you accountable, but personally, I fully support the secrecy option!  

Why? Just imagine that crushing feeling when your parents / partner / friends find out that you've 'failed' or 'given up'? Who then wants to announce their diet a second / third / forth / Nth time, only to suspect everyone you've told is expecting you to fail - again? I couldn't cope with that additional stress and pressure as I place enough pressure on myself to succeed as it is.  

If you don't fail (and believe me, success is far more possible than you may think right now) and you lose the first couple of lbs, confident that you've nailed this, imagine then eating out with friends and have them looking at you with that "Should you be ordering that?" look, or worse, actually saying it to you in front of everyone at the table who then all turn to look at you and question your food choice. 

Now I'm not accusing all of your friends /families/partners of being evil ill-wishing people, most ask these ask such questions out of
innocence, for example, a few of my friends still can't quite fathom how I eat out three times a week, eat cake once in a while, eat lots of big home cooked meals and still lose weight, so they query it. Well, you would wouldn't you? Especially if you were trying to lose weight yourself - you'd probably demand the 'secrets to be spilled'. Comments I've had range from:

"You must be starving yourself the rest of the time!" - Nope that's not it

"Are you taking them diet pills that make you poop all fats out?" - No, that's not it either - I don't think they even work! (Except for the pooping part, from what I'm told).

and possibly the worst accusation:

"Are you purging?" - No. No I'm not bulimic. 

(The mystery behind it if you're wondering, is clever recipes and (in the case of eating out) plenty of exercise to balance out the calories! When you've swam 100 lengths and walked 3 mile in the same day, you've earned a nice big slice of guilt free, consequence-free fudge cake.)

So anyway, this is why up until the point my weight loss was hard to hide, I kept it a secret. 

For the first 7lb, I kept it from everyone, except the Internet. One website to be exact. As you can read about in my earlier post, My Fitness Pal was, and still is my support network. No one questions you on there, they totally understand the healthy methods, the calorie burns and the treats you're allowing yourself each weekend.  

Once 7lb was lost, I confided in my parents and my other half, as I was a little more confident that I could carry on losing weight. Besides, they kinda figured it out with the apples I was walking around munching, the lack of pizza delivery, the lack of Greggs' sausage rolls bags in the bin, the lack of chip shop visits - oh, and the workout clothes (from working out on the Wii at this point) hanging on the washing line may have 'let the cat out of the bag' once and for all. 

My close friends were not confided in until 20lbs were gone, as I didn't want to risk announcing, "Hey everyone, I've lost over a stone in weight" only to be met with blank expressions because they couldn't actually see the weight loss yet. There was no need for them to find out, I still ate out and ordered my usual meals so no one suspected anything. Eventually however, I quit drinking back in October 2011. I had no issue at all drinking lemonade in the pub, but people start asking questions, yes, including "Are you expecting?". I was so fed up of people thinking this, that I ended up confessing that I'd stopped drinking to make weight loss easier (alcohol has been found by many studies to slow down your metabolism - I didn't want to take that chance and besides I prefer to eat my calories rather than drink them).

Even then I resisted Facebooking any health/weight loss related statuses, though I did have to eventually share with Twitter, there's just something about losing 20-30lbs that makes you feel entitled to brag about your success in public. 

It was only when it got to the point of the 35lb mark that my weight loss became too noticeable to hide. My clothes were 2 sizes too big by that point. People were also noticing that I was going to the gym and pool a lot. Most had some idea that I was 'being healthy'. 

image source: MS clip art
Image source: Microsoft Clipart
By the 40lb+ mark, I think pretty much 80% of those I've ever worked with, studied with and socialised with had noticed. The other 20% either pay very little attention or haven't said anything. I couldn't keep it secret any longer. When someone stares at you and says "You look... different... thinner... have you lost weight?" You just have to say with pride "Yes, Yes I have"

So my advice is: Change your diet and lifestyle in secret. Even lose weight in secret, but then afterwards, tell the whole world about your weight loss! 


Your turn: To keep it secret or tell everyone you know?

6 comments

  1. I did the same thing in not telling anyone about my weight loss. But eventually it was too obvious to hide. It all came out when my friend said, "You look... narrower."

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    1. Haha, I love the creative sentences people develop just to say "you've lost weight".

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  2. Wow!
    And I totally agree...particularly with the part about friends telling you "Should you be ordering that?" ! ARGH! I would like to punch them in those occasions =X
    I loved this post!:)

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  3. I have lost 70lbs with MYFITNESSPAL. No one believes me, but they can see it! Down from a very stretched out size 26-28 to 18-20!

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