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To Tell or Not to Tell

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Do you tell your friends and family you're dieting? I had made it a general rule to NOT tell anyone I was dieting in the past. There's a simple reason why - so when I gave up there wouldn't be that awkward conversation when they asked me how my diet was going and I would have to come up with some lame excuse why I wasn't doing it anymore. Then I would go home and hang out with my friends Ben and Jerry trying to eat away my feelings of disappointment and failure.

I remember one day at the office several years ago, I had convinced myself that I was going to walk on my two, 15-minute breaks every day. I was really excited about; I was pumped that I was finally going to do something about losing weight. I had typed up an e-mail to two of my friends in the office telling them about my plan and that I really thought I could do it and was looking for walking buddies. I proofed the e-mail and then instead of hitting the send button, I hit the delete button. I was too scared to send it. I stopped walking on breaks three days later.

When I started Weight Watchers online in January 2009 I hadn't planned on telling anyone that I was trying it. For some reason I did tell my friend at work, Stacey. I'm not sure how it came up, but she's just so easy to talk to and I knew she would be supportive so I was ok with telling her.

Shortly after that conversation, Stacey, another co-worker and I attended a meeting in downtown Indianapolis and went to Weber Grill for lunch. As we were walking the tunnels under the State House to get there, the topic of WW came up again and I ended up telling my other co-worker that I was trying it. Well, there went my policy of not telling people that I was dieting.

The thing is it REALLY helped me. At lunch they both asked me all kinds of questions about the program and it was exciting to tell them about. I had already lost about 10 pounds and they were very interested and supportive of my progress. I ordered a healthy meal and only ate half of it. They ordered cake to share and I only had two bites.

Soon most of my friends at work knew I was dieting. And I found it made it easier for me to make smart choices when the staff would eat together. I knew, that they knew, that I was supposed to be eating right and that gave me a sense of accountability to show them that I was still going strong.

For breakfast meetings I would still eat my normal breakfast at home and just get a yogurt and fresh fruit at the meeting instead of filling my plate with eggs, potatoes, bacon and coffee cake. When we have pizza brought in I only eat one piece and eat a salad later in the afternoon.

It took a lot of effort in the beginning to make the right choices. Now it's become habit and I don't have to think about it anymore. I just grab the yogurt and spend more time talking to my co-workers instead of debating a second piece of coffee cake.

Do you tell friends that you're dieting? Does it help you?

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