In general, the "old rules" are all about what other people should do with regards to what I'm doing. It was my way of dealing with people who chose to either judge or harass me about losing weight. At the time, my husband (now my ex-husband) was not particularly supportive, and I had at least one or two passive-aggressive friends. So, now let's look at these rules and I'll discuss how I deal with all of this now.
- Thou shalt not ask her if she has lost weight. You know, to be quite honest, this isn't a problem for me anymore because I lose weight so slowly. And, I occasionally have people question my weight when I've lost nothing at all. I think it was a big deal to me in 2004 because I was coming out of a time when I was going to Weight Watchers meetings every week, and the big question when I got back from a meeting was "Well? What did you lose?" I don't have regimented weigh-ins like that anymore (and don't want it, thank you very much office biggest loser contest). So, no one ever asks if I've lost weight, or how much.
- Thou shalt not comment on what she is ordering and/or eating. I do still get this one, although not very often. When I do go out to eat, it is either with Todd, who knows better, my college friends, who don't care, or my running friends, who would never think to ask. I get the occasional family member who still seems shocked that I eat carbs or whatever, but it's pretty easy to brush this off.
- Thou shalt not guilt trip her into eating. This was a problem for my former in-laws and my former co-workers more than anyone. Food pushing. Do you want a cookie? Come on, have a cookie? Why don't you want a cookie? Come on, just one. People just don't do that anymore, or I can just say I'm not hungry. These days, I'll usually eat a little of whatever to be polite, and that is usually good enough. I honestly think that most of the people who used to do this to me are no longer in my life. Hm.
- Thou shalt not exploit the fact that she is dieting. There was really only one person that ever did this, and that person is no longer in my life. It was embarrassing to be called out in a group as "not eating" because "she's on a diet" and I really just wanted to be left alone. At the time, the diet was so important that eating out was stressful anyway, and all of that attention and other nonsense made me feel more stressed out. Anyway, not an issue for me anymore. At least these days, I'm considered more of a source for running information than dieting information.
- Thou shalt not try to convert her to your diet plan. This is a big one that I still do occasionally find people doing to me. Again, I just brush it off, so it's not a big deal. I'm really not interested in most diet plans, if not all diet plans, so it's no use telling me about your new protein thing that someone told you about.
- Thou shalt not tell her she is losing too much weight. It has been forever since someone told me this. I think the threshold for such comments (at least for me) is about 15 pounds lighter than I am right this second. And, well, I haven't been that weight since 2006. Still, let me just tell you know so we're all on the same page: I'm never going to be anorexic or so thin that I'm in any sort of danger. That is never, ever, ever going to happen, so trust me, I'm fine.
- Thou shalt not sneak high-fat or high-calorie food into her mouth. This is another fault of my former in-laws. Part of the problem was that they invited us down for dinner every single Sunday, and wanted us to eat a big meal down there and basically pig out once a week. I really didn't want to do that. I wanted to splurge on one-on-one dinners with my husband, or dinners with friends. It was a constant tug of war between me and them, which was eventually solved by us not going down there as often, but it obviously isn't a problem anymore. I don't get a lot of people these days trying to pass of regular food as light food, but I don't eat light food anymore anyway, so it doesn't matter.
- Thou shalt not assume that because she is on a diet you are on a diet. Again, irrelevant because my support system has totally changed since then.
- Thou shalt not offer loads of food to her disguised as gifts. I still never enjoy the food-as-gifts thing. And, again, most of the people who previously did this are no longer in my life. The only people who repeatedly do this now are my co-workers, but I've learned to deal with it. It's true that I don't feel that as a woman in my 30s, I need an Easter basket or a bag of Halloween candy as a gift every year. Really, save your money. I don't want it, and if I do want it, I will buy it myself.
- Thou shalt remember that no means no. Indeed, it does. And, I'm having to learn to tell people that I will tell them if I want a snack or cookies or a drink or whatever, and that they really don't need to ask me every few minutes in order to be a good host. Really, I'm fine.
So, there you have it. The reasons why my original 10 Commandments are no longer valid. In general, I don't need rules for other people to follow around me. I will follow my own rules and everything will be fine.