I still have so far to go

Today I was talking on IMs with a long time friend.  We don’t get the chance to talk very often any more, due to schedules and being in different time zones, so when we do have the time to chat, it’s nice.  We both also have web cams, so we take the opportunity to do a web cam chat when we can. 

While on web cam tonight, I was also drinking a soda.  It’s diet soda, and I drink it because the regular sodas are way too sweet for me.  I became so used to diet sodas during all the time I was dieting, I just can’t go back to regular sodas now.  So, I took a sip out of the can, and my friend chastised me for it.

He told me that I was “bad” for drinking soda.  That I should drink tea without sugar (he’s in the south, and sweet tea is the default there).  Instead of telling him that I was drinking what I chose, what I liked, or any other of a hundred things I could have said that wasn’t defensive yet also told him what I eat or drink is none of his business, I asserted that what I was drinking was diet soda.  I even held the can to the web cam so he could see exactly what the can said.

Yeah.  I know.  It’s none of his business what I drink.  He doesn’t have any right to tell me what I can and can’t, and should or shouldn’t, eat or drink.  If I want to drink 5 gallons of full sugared sodas a day, that’s my choice.  And yet …

And yet, I found myself reverting back into old habits, explaining my choices, making sure people realized, no, I’m not a bad person for drinking what they think I’m drinking.  See, I’m virtuous, I’m drinking this diet soda!  No calories even!  (And yes, I did say, in my haste to explain, “It’s diet soda, no calories!”)

I managed to make it through Thanksgiving without any guilt.  I ate what I wanted, stopped when I wanted, and enjoyed everything I had.  I didn’t get drawn into the whole “I have to diet after I eat today” or drawn into the whole “we have to really exercise more now that Thanksgiving is over, don’t want to gain any weight” talk that was going on in the dojo for the past week following Thanksgiving.  And yet …

One conversation with an old friend, and I immediately revert to old ways of showing just how virtuous I am (you know, by not drinking the evil nasty high caloric drinks).

I still have so far to go on this journey.  Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to say something like, “I drink what I like” or “my food choices don’t make me bad or immoral”.  At least, right now, I’m starting to recognize when I’m going back into old habits.  And for now, it’s good enough.

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6 Responses

  1. I think most of us have at least one person we keep trying to be ‘virtuous’, or at least not advertise our FA beliefs, for. It’s hard to entirely eradicate fat hate even from ourselves because fat hate is everywhere. We are the salmon swimming upstream and sometimes it’s just too hard or too exhausting or so much easier to let ourselves drift downstream for a minute or two as a way of resting for the continued journey.

    And as you say, recogizing the phenomenon is a step we all have to take on this journey – some of us a lot of times! Any step forward is a good one, including hearing your own internalized fear.

    One step at a time, my friend. With every step we get better at this crazy thing we do. Then maybe those who come along in the next generation won’t have to do quite as much spadework.

  2. diet dr pepper had an ad going about how it tastes so good it belongs on the dessert (screw it, after 4 tries the word STILL looks wrong, its being one of those days…) aisle in the grocery store. (they’re right, too.)

    we know my issues with diabetes. and tea without sugar (or some sort of sweetener) tastes wrong unless its a hot tea with good flavor.

    so yeah, drinking diet soda when i drink it. aside from that? i’m letting myself eat what i am allowed, eating slowly, stopping when i’m full, and enjoying life as much as i can.

    your friend is full of sillinesses. 🙂

  3. I’ve head so often the recommendation to drink tea instead of soda. My husband used to drink almost nothing but iced tea, but has cut back to only the occasional glass at a restaurant because he was developing symptoms of flouride poisoning.. a very real and dangerous side effect of too much tea. Causes joint pain and can make joints stop working.

    No matter what you do/eat/whatever.. there’s always a risk involved and there’s always going to be someone telling you to do something different. Ultimately you just have to do what you feel is right for yourself.. it’s just too much work trying to please everyone else.

  4. Enjoying what you’re doing in the moment and not caring what other people think is what is important to me.

    I have been chastised for drinking diet soda, too, because it’s still soda, and it has artificial sweeteners.

    Each one of us has to decide what is best. The funny part is we can probably find some article or something to support our ideas, no matter what they are.

    Enjoy the moment.

  5. Im sorry… but NO.
    How dare they comment on what you do and what you eat.

    When someone tells you how to bring up your kids, it’s very easy to tell them to go stick their heads where the sun doesnt shine.

    But because we feel guilty about our weight we allow these arrogant stupid people to judge us. They seem not to realise we are intellegent being who for reasons of our own have made a choice.

    We dont like the consequences of our choices, but its our choice still, not theirs.

    Most people who are or have been overweight are…
    Humble since we are not used to compliments
    Understanding and Considerate since we have been judged by the likes of your friend all too often,
    Decent, Patient and Respectful since there have been so many times we have had to be despite people being rude to us.
    Passionate and Loving since when love finds us we are more accepting and grateful for it.
    Interesting since we have had to face more abuse, distaste and prejudice than some.

    We should never let others treat us in any way except with total respect, and if they want to be judgemental then we should consider whether they are good enough to be our friends at all.

    Finally…..

    This is the british comic actress, Katy Brand, who is able to put your situation much better than me.

  6. How dare he chastise you for what you choose to drink? You handled it as well as you could at the time; when a ‘helpful remark’ like that comes unexpectedly it is very difficult to react as one ‘should’.

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