Spry editor Lisa Delaney is one of the rare souls who know what it’s like to be an “after.” This journalist and author of Secrets of a Former Fat Girl shed 70 pounds—and six dress sizes–and has kept it off for 20 years. She answers your questions here each week.
QUESTION: I usually don’t drink (alcoholic beverages, that is) during the week and let myself have two beers or two vodka-sodas or two glasses of champagne on Fridays and Saturdays. But I am going to visit my family for six weeks, and they are big social drinkers. They hassle me if I don’t order a cocktail of some sort (trust me, I have tried)! How can I stay strong? –Alisa
DEAR LISA: I come from a family of drinkers, too … so I know what you mean. I like your plan of only drinking on Friday/Saturdays, and your drink choices are great — you’re avoiding heavy, sweet drinks and opting for lighter, lower-calorie stuff. So good for you. Now, about your family: If you were only going to be visiting for a week or two, I would say not to worry about it too much. But six weeks is a long time to be “on holiday” and indulging. As hard as it might be to deal with the pressure, I think you need to stick to your guns. The thing is, part of being a Former Fat Girl is changing the way other people see you. You play a particular role in your family, you fit a particular box — and it may not be a very healthy one. For instance, I was the pleaser, the giver, the one who never rocked the boat. I also could always be counted on to clean my plate, ask for seconds, order dessert (at least one), etc. When I started NOT living that way, choosing to please MYSELF rather than others, I did get a lot of flack. It took time, but the “healthy” me started to replace the old me in their minds, and my family and friends began to understand that there was a new “normal.”
I think you have a huge opportunity to show your family who you are now. If you don’t do it on this visit, you’re really just delaying the inevitable. When the hassling starts, you have to learn to laugh it off (something I’m continually reminding myself, even now). If you get in a tough spot, though, and you feel like you NEED to get a drink to keep the peace, try ordering something you really don’t like … like whiskey on the rocks — if you’re anything like me, you’d probably nurse the same drink all night and not even finish it.
I hope this helps!! Please have a wonderful visit, and be who you are. I think it’s possible to do both!!!