Weight… weight… weight… it gets pretty tiring to hear everyone telling you the latest trends on losing weight. Especially, when you’re the ‘Fluffy Dietitian.’ I don’t reveal to people I’m a dietitian because it’s one of those subject matters where everyone believes they’re a nutritionist under some degree. Eventually people stop talking about themselves and want to know more about what you do and what your job role is to sustain life.
I am on my own weight loss journey as well as a dietitian, but people that I have just met don’t know that. They don’t know that I go to the gym every single week 3-4 times a week, consistently and that I have worked hard to maintain it as a habit at this point in time. They don’t know the struggle of losing weight is hard even for a dietitian especially if you have dealt with weight loss all your life. Changing the mental thoughts and habits are difficult until you truly believe in yourself to change.
Recently, I felt really great about all my changes but of course there will always be people who mean well but don’t seem to know how to show it. Instead they give unsolicited advice, advice you don’t seek nor want to listen to. As a dietitian, I don’t follow any recent trends nor would I omit an entire food group to lose weight. First, my mom tells me that in Korea, people are losing weight left and right due to their recent diet change of only eating meat and fat. In response to my mom, I told her that it’s been happening in America for a while now and I don’t believe it’s beneficial in the long-run. She tells me that I should just consider it because it’ll help me to lose weight. *Eye-rolling as she talks.* Then she tells me that I need to go to the gym more. Yes, mom I am already doing so. She proceeds to tell me what exercises I should do. “Yes, mom,” I respond as my eyes roll again. Being an Asian American, you have to abide by two cultures… not only do you want to uphold the American culture of being healthy but you are criticized by the Asian culture to be thin to Asian standards. I do have to mention, Asian healthy and American healthy is very different. Asian healthy is to be as thin as possible without much muscle and American healthy is to have muscles. Diet also changes the body’s composition and everyone’s body composition is individually their own, so you can’t compare.
Although in my experience, there are some people who don’t understand the body but they think they know so much because they’re thin. I had a recent encounter with women who were born and raised from an Asian country, and they bluntly tell you how fat you are and that you should lose weight. They immediately give the unsolicited advice to exercise. Then they compare you to them whether it is the arm or some part of your body to theirs. One of the women said, “You have to lose weight if you want to be a personal trainer. Nobody wants to listen to a fat person.” True, a personal trainer should uphold the value of practicing what they preach. But a personal trainer doesn’t only train people to be thin, some people want to know how to live a more active lifestyle. And with my dietetic background, they will also understand diet as well and how to eat. I didn’t respond back to her. Instead later on, she asks me further, “How much do you want to lose?” She was referring to my weight. I told her 40 lbs and I let her know, I wasn’t always overweight. I had a lot of stress and ate a lot. She seemed to understand at that point. She talked of her struggles with life such as her marriage and I got to see her in a different light. Everyone struggles with something.
Letting all people know who is struggling with weight loss, don’t let the critics get to you. Everyone struggles with something, whether tangible or intangible. Weight is a very visible thing, but people don’t understand weight may be a side thing to what you’re truly struggling with deep inside of you. You might be struggling with an abusive parent, or sexual molestation from when you were a child, or stress from work, or loneliness, or something. There’s something deep inside that might be the true reason for your weight gain but majority of what people see is the weight built up around you like a barrier.
During my weight loss journey, I have never felt more compelled to lead a healthier lifestyle. Before, I had a lot of support but when you start to become more solitary and focused on doing well at work, you lose that support. Everyone is different, but I found that I do better with support from those who love me and give me motivation to continue on. Having my friends, family, boyfriend, and his family support me; my support has overloaded. Encouraging words and others telling me that I have the capability of doing so, really encouraged me to believe in myself. Others might criticize you or give you unsolicited advice, but realize they don’t know what you know. Don’t let something hinder you that isn’t true, continue to walk in your truth. Things don’t happen over night, slow and steady wins the race. We all had to get where we wanted to somehow and some way, but it doesn’t happen in an instant. Success comes with preparation. I know that in my heart, I have been doing well with being consistent on exercising and now I am focusing on being consistent with my eating habits.
Everyone may have the same goal, but getting to that goal may end up being a different story. As my boyfriend always says, “Do you.”
I do have to say one more thing, if you don’t know where to begin, consider asking advice from a professional because they will help lead you in the right direction.