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So after I posted pt1:  F**k you for judging me, I had a few requests to show pt2 of the new weight loss mindset I am recommending to my clients:  Don’t Be that Combover Guy/Girl.

But what’s in a Combover?

If you think about it for a second, what do you think when you see a combover?  In Japan they call it ‘bar code hair’ (for obvious but slightly humorous reasons).

You may not have the same problem with your hair.  But how common is this approach when it comes to addressing our weight loss habits?

You may not have the same problem with your hair. But how common is this approach when it comes to addressing our weight loss goals?

Now, let me say this right off the bat.  If you want to lose weight then you have a choice to make.  Eat the right things or eat the wrong things.  You can try to convince yourself that a bran muffin is good for you, but the truth is you are still eating cake for breakfast.  End of story.  If you are going to take the minute out of your life to read this, know that I write this for those who honestly want to lose weight but have trouble making the decisions they KNOW to be right.

Let me roll back to the conversation that started all this with Susan B – we talked about not giving the power to people that might judge us (of course, I said this in a less savory manner in the pt1 post).  But next was the fact that when it came to attending social gatherings Susan felt she had to eat similar things than other people or risk drawing attention to herself and being judged by others in regards to her weight loss attempt.

Catch 22 (once again):

By ordering the same ice cream/glass of wine as our friends in a social gathering, we reduce the chance of drawing attention to ourselves and our potential weight problem.

But by ordering something different we draw attention to ourselves and have worry that other people will notice it and suddenly look at us differently.

You know where I am coming from.  You have ordered a food because other people are enjoying that food.  But of course, this puts you in a situation where you feel conflicted – you want to be true to your plan, but you feel other people will look at you and it will highlight the fact that you are trying to lose weight, because you are overweight and inferior (somehow) to them.

Here’s what I say.  The guy who is losing his hair should just shave it off.  He should just flaunt his hair loss and embrace it -Wear his shiny noggin with pride, like Captain Picard:

Picard.  Tell me this guy doesn't embody the image of a proud bald man.

Ahh, Picard. Tell me this guy doesn't embody the image of a proud bald man.

Let’s put it this way.

If you have a significant amount of weight to lose and you find yourself in a situation where you have a decision to make, choose the healthy decision and announce it to all.

Don’t hide your healthy choice, embrace it and exhibit it.  Don’t act as if you don’t recognize you have a few pounds to lose.

Some things to say:

Man, that donut sure looks good, but the gang at Weight Watchers would go crazy if I told them I ate that.  You enjoy it for me and tell me how good it is after it’s gone.

If you want to pull medical authority into it:

My doctor asked me to try laying off things with sugar/fat/things that make your heart stop.  I mean, it wouldn’t help me to eat that, right?

At which point the people in your group will say things like ‘no, you don’t have any weight to lose’ and at which point you can say ‘well thanks for saying that but I know I’m not where I should be.  If I eat something like a double thickshake with whipped cream then I wont be doing myself any favors, that’s for sure’.

At which point they will feel bad for eating ice cream in front of you.  But that’s not your problem.  It’s theirs.  Let them deal with their problems and you with yours.

Last but not least, you can just straight out lie:

Oh man, I would love to have me some of those chitluns, but truth be told I’m trying to lose weight and that isn’t exactly on my approved food list.  You enjoy though – you can eat stuff like that, I can’t – not right now, anyway.

By embracing our plan and our intention we encourage support for our efforts, not pity.  So accept that people know you are overweight.  Don’t try to hide it or talk around it.  Grab that fat and say to your friends and family “see this?  It’s called fat, and I have more of it than I want.  But I am trying to get rid of it by eating healthy and exercising.  So don’t expect me to go with you to joe’s deep fry shack anytime soon, ok?’

By being the Picard and not the Combover you show your strength, your desire.  You also put yourself in a position where people know you are trying to change.  You won’t get positive support from everyone, but who knows, you might just find support from different people in the most unlikely of places.

Accept that you are in a certain place.  You don’t have to accept being in that place.

But above all, let people know that you know they know.  And then they will know that you know they know. Which gives you freedom to make healthy choices without guilt or fear of judgment of your character.

And now you know 🙂

Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

P.S.  I will post soon on the third and final strategy she is also going to implement, one that I call ‘the seizure’.  This one addresses the moments that make a difference in world and how we can harness them for great change over time.

To view pt1 of this article click here

If you want to make sure you see part 3 of this blog article the second I post it you can always subscribe by clicking here.

  • Kim May 23, 2009 Reply

    Good Point! Embrace it! Own it…Change it! Afterall, we can’t successfully change what we live in denial about, right? AND, the other truth is that we are not alone in out thinking. I am willing to bet everyone at Susan’s table feels somewhat inadequate and is fearing judgment about something and since such a huge percentage of Americans are overweight…what if…they are eating like she is because of a similar fear! What freedom to be able to share that and move forward together! I think we judge ourselves far more harshly than others judge us. At least I do. The things I thought my friends were thinking about me, just were not true. When I thought my friends were embarrassed by me or ashamed of me and my weight, in reality, they are quite proud of me. They think I am amazing for even trying to conquer this battle. They are actually my biggest cheerleaders, but because I wasn’t talking, they were afraid to say something and possibly offend me!

  • theoddbod May 25, 2009 Reply

    it’s even worse if someone knows you are trying to lost weight and they are able to convince you to eat something unhealthy. that’s where the captain picard in you definitely has to step up!

  • Giz May 26, 2009 Reply

    I call that “start where you are”… acknowledge your limitations (and that includes bad habits) and push beyond them. Admit you are where you are, don’t beat yourself up – and definitely don’t let where you are stop you from going where you want to go.

  • Mike May 28, 2009 Reply


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