A woman named Deb, who is a fellow member of my weight loss team, The Losing Streaks, e-mailed me today to tell me I wasn’t getting enough protein or vegetables, that fruit is nothing but sugar and rice cakes are nothing but air. She said probably that’s why I didn’t lose weight this week. You and I know better: I binged on Saturday and again on Monday. I was having some symptoms (confusion, agitation) and bingeing was how I responded, unfortunately. I didn’t tell my team. Shame on me!
So I was up 1.2 pounds, and Deb’s criticism didn’t sit well with me. She herself eats very little or no carbs, and seems to think her way is better than mine. I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to criticize my eating, nor do any two people agree on particulars of nutrition. I was doing the best I could, and that was the best I could do.
I could have told her off, told her she had no right to criticize what I put in my mouth, but I thought twice about it. I realized that eating is a sore spot for me, and that I was probably overreacting. Best not to cause trouble. I wrote back a friendly, polite note “thanking” Deb for the advice.
I thought she’d stop there, but she wrote yet another e-mail criticizing my eating, and another, saying, “I raised three kids, I should know.”
You know the type. Know-it-all. At this point I was rather ticked off, and I felt the urge to cry. I realized that my feelings were escalating, and that this stress may bring on more symptoms, so I took a Thorazine and ate lunch.
I came back to the computer. I considered sending Deb a polite note saying, “Get off my case,” but then I remembered the advice I gave in my entry, “On Anger.” Not only did I let go of my feelings, but also I sent back an e-mail thanking her again for her wonderful advice, as if I believed she was truly right and I was always in the wrong.
I realized that if I thanked her enough, she would probably feel good, if not somewhat embarrassed by my compliment.
Yes, I’ve stuffed my feelings. But that is better than allowing annoyance to turn to anger from an ensuing argument. It is better than arguing and then getting symptomatic from stress. Stuffing mild feelings of annoyance is better than stuffing my face. And we all had a better day as a result.