My Coworkers Always Make Me Feel Guilty For Dieting On Medifast

By: Lindsey Price: I sometimes hear from folks who are a bit disappointed that their friends, family, or coworkers aren’t as supportive of their weight loss efforts as they may have hoped. Often, they had  assumed that everyone would only want the best for them. And it’s very disappointing when this doesn’t turn out to be the case.

Common comments are things like: “it was hard for me to make the decision to start medifast. My office is a place where we all live for going out to lunch every day. Our work is very repetitive and monotonous. So going out to lunch together is a highlight of the day. Many of these women have been friends of mine for years. And they know that my weight bothers me. I have talked about losing weight for a long time. And they have listened. But I guess they never thought that I would actually take some action. Once I did, they were less than supportive. When I bring a medifast meal for lunch, they make fun of me. Sometimes they will be talking about going out to lunch and they will look at me and say ‘oh that’s right. This doesn’t apply to you because you’re eating rabbit food.’ It’s like they dismiss me and it hurts my feelings. I’m only trying to better myself. What’s so wrong with that? I still want to go out to lunch with my friends. And they make me feel like they can’t enjoy their lunch anymore because of me.”

This correspondence makes me realize how lucky I was to have such supportive people in my life. Many people in my office were dieting all at once. And that made the process a lot easier. In order to handle this, you need to understand why the coworkers may have been acting in the way that they were. They may have been a bit jealous. They may have been reacting to their own self doubt or lack of motivation.  It is a fair bet that their reaction might have had as much to do with them as it had to do with the diet or with you. People often react this way when they see someone who they care about make positive changes because this makes them feel guilty and complacent by comparison.  As a result, they might lash out. Or, they try to get you to stop making changes so that they can comfortably go back to the status quo.

But of course, you don’t want to go back to the status quo. You deserve to be healthy. And in order to do that and to thrive in your work place, I feel that there are a couple of options. First, you might just be very upfront about this and reply with something like “yes, it’s true that right now I am dieting. And I hope that you will support me. But I won’t be on the diet forever. And I don’t expect for you to give up your lunches out for me. I can go and order a drink and bring my own lunch, or I can order something healthy off of the menu. Or I can just stay here. There would be no hard feelings on my part. I realize that you aren’t on a diet and you shouldn’t have to change your lunch for me. I’m sure that we can work something out. But our relationship is important to me and I hope that it is to you, too.  Our relationship is more important to me than lunches out.”

One great option might be to make lunch the time that you eat your lean and green meal so that you can eat out. Yes, you will have to be careful about the items that you choose and about your portion sizes. But if you are careful, you can usually find something that fits the bill. That way, it wouldn’t hurt your diet but you could still partake in something that you have found enjoyable. Or, you could do a combination of the two and eat the prepackaged meals for part of the week and eat your lean and green at lunch time for the other part of the week.

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