Friday, December 11, 2009
Take my advice
In the past few weeks I've noticed a really peculiar phenomenon. People keep telling me they took my advice and it worked. I usually don't even remember giving them advice in the first place. I think these food topics fly out of my mouth so often that I don't even hear myself. Or I think they're well known tips and don't really consider them advice- like substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream or steel-cut oats for sugary instant oatmeal or eating eggs or exercising most days a week or not eating dessert (mostly).
Every time I hear someone say, "I tried making the big batch of oatmeal like you suggested and reheating some each morning and it's really keeping me full," or "I'm adding in whole wheat toast to my lunch so I don't get too hungry in the evenings," or "You're right, I was addicted to sugar." I just get a warm feeling in my stomach. To think that anyone would listen to my ideas and then actually find them helpful is quite heartwarming to me - and the fact that it's about something as silly as oatmeal matters not! It is still fun.
Why are so many people taking my suggestions? Why would anyone listen to me? Maybe it's the "I'll have what she's having," phenomenon.
Despite my complete lack of formal training, I suppose the very fact that I took off 45 lbs basically on my own, and am keeping it off, makes people think my ideas have some validity. I guess I'm approachable, as I was never an overachiever, everything is perfect, straight-A kind of person. My flaws were always on my sleeve so to speak. I didn't discover anything new of course(eat less, exercise more).
I must also be exuding some kind of confidence with how I say things. Because I do feel like a bit of a know it all. I can tell in 30 seconds is someone is serious or not when they ask me for help.And I have taken the attitude that I will not push hard on them (they are usually friends, if I were doing this professionally with strangers I would push back more). In the back of my head I know that on some things it's my way or the highway. You have to exercise. You can't eat a lot of sugar or alcohol. You have to eat whole grains. You have to eat small portions. You have to track what you're eating. You need to eat a lot of protein. These are well-known truths that I did not discover. But to know something and to have lived it are two different things. Maybe we need two different verbs for 'to know' like the French.
I started this endeavor 49 weeks ago, so as I approach the 1-year mark I'm really thinking about how differently I feel and what a big change I made - let's call it my reflective period. Due to the combination of my one year anniversary of my start date and all the people asking me for advice recently I'm working on some longer posts about what worked and what didn't and I'm going to try and increase viewership. You know posting to Facebook more - maybe starting a Twitter feed-yuck. So feel free to forward the url to anyone you want!
Posted by Jenna Nober at 9:35 PM