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Saboteurs and unhelpful comments--a warning to all (Sparkcoach Blog topic)

Friday, January 17, 2020

As I have stated several times in my sparkfeed, my profile, and likely in the blog, I'm not following the weight loss program set out by spark people. I am following a plan very popular here in the northwest called 30/10 weight loss for life. It costs quite a bit, but it comes with lifelong maintenance with the sign up that makes it more than worth the price of admission and there are a few areas in which spark people doesn't work for me. Spark people for me is more of a tool where I can keep my focus on little milestone along the way, encourage others as they encourage me, log my food and exercise, and so much more.
Regarding today's spark coach topic, most of the people in my life are very encouraging and supportive. My husband has been both a rock and a cheerleader over the past few weeks, only showing a little disappointment every now and then that I don't have a drink with him but then he smiles as he sees how hard I'm working and that this investment in my health is paying off. He's also been in agreement to not tell my inlaws until the results speak for themselves.
I know his mom, Ellie will be a great cheerleader for me once she finds out. We tend to go over there every Sunday to watch football and as she loves to feed people, she's the type to go out of her way to make sure there's something on the table I can eat because she loves to feed people.
Surprisingly, this lesson comes after a couple unhelpful comments came on my sparkfeed last night to two of my posts. While I see that these were somewhat well-meaning, they weren't well received by me. If I wasn't so well supported overall, they could have been much more discouraging and even detrimental. I didn't bother responding on my feed, but I'll go ahead and do so now:

I said: "Had my weekly weigh-in today. Two weeks in and I’ve lost over 12 pounds and 11 of it was fat!"
The response in question was: "To make your weight loss more lasting, you might want to limit your weight loss to no more than 2 pounds per week. Make sure you're eating enough to support your body with all your increased exercise. Keep Sparking friend!"

Why this wasn't helpful: a lot of reasons. (1) it just isn't factual. At the beginning of any weight loss journal, people tend to lose more weight than during the rest of the journey. Seeing as I'm only in week two, I'm obviously in the beginning. (2) people who have more to lose will lose weight faster than those who have less to lose. My body fat when I started this plan was a whopping 46.8% and I was nearly 100 pounds overweight. Weight is going to come off a lot faster for me than someone who is only 10-20 pounds overweight. (3) purposefully slowing down weight loss won't guarantee results to last longer. Diligence and adopting a healthier lifestyle will. (4) This person is assuming that I'm crash dieting just by how much I've lost. If I was bragging about pounds lost alone that would be one thing, but fat pounds are harder to lose and not many crash dieters can say that they have lost such a majority their weight being fat pounds as I have. To summarize, I'm just going to put this here in all caps to emphasize its importance: I AM NOT DOING A STARVATION DIET!!!

I said: "I just made peanut butter cookies for my husband and didn’t even sample the batter in the slightest bit. Go me!"
The response in question: "PB can be part of a healthy planned snack. I'd eat one (unless that's a red light food for you.)"

Why this wasn't helpful: I wasn't talking about peanut butter here! I was talking about cookies. Those come with sugar, flour, oils, and other things I am not allowed to touch with 30/10 as it puts me out of "fat burning mode." Yes, I am aware that this does sound like a gimmicky fad diet with unrealistic promises but 11 out of the 12 pounds I have lost in this last two weeks are fat. The results speak for themselves. I wouldn't dare disrupt it. (to clarify: I am required to have some fat in this program and therefore am allowed oils, but only certain ones. These cookies were made from prepackaged dough, so it's safe to say that the oil in them was certainly not 30/10 friendly.)

Friends, be mindful of how you encourage others on the sparkfeed, in their blogs, or in the community about their weight loss and healthy eating efforts. If you don't know their weight loss plans or where they are in their journeys, don't assume or correct them but lift them up. Unless you actually understand their methods, you shouldn't be criticizing. That could make you a saboteur in their journeys and I know that you don't want your well-meaning comments to be that to anyone on here.

And if you see me on the feed or in posting in your spark team or on the blogs and you're unsure of what I have to say, please message me and ask before making assumptions and correcting me like I don't know what I'm doing. As I often say to others when I'm focused on getting something done: Lead, follow, or get out of my way!
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.