Losing It: Keep the Weight-Loss Advice to Yourself, Please

Unsolicited advice is the worst—especially when it comes to weight loss and fitness.

Robin’s Weight Tracker
Starting: 130.4 pounds
Current: 124.4 pounds
Last week: 124.9 pounds
Goal: 113 pounds

Advice—solicited or not, everyone’s got some to give, especially when it comes to weight loss:

“You MUST try The XYZ Diet/Cleanse. I dropped 75 pounds in two days.”

“Go see my trainer, Buffy, at ABC Fitness. She just had a baby three seconds ago, lost all of her weight already, and is running a half-marathon tomorrow. She’ll whip you right into shape.”

“You have to get the Fatburnicisor from The Insane Shopping Network. Look at these abs.” (Proceeds to lift shirt in the middle of mall. Inappropriate and nauseating, as he was your 10th grade homeroom teacher.)

“I don’t really work out. I’m a vega-veggie-nonglut-dairyfree-nowhitesugar-itarian. So I basically eat grass. But only when it’s local and in-season. Want to come over for dinner?”

Gee, thanks for all of that super unhelpful advice, people I hardly know, but here’s me giving you the finger. Especially you, person number four with your food freakiness and bionic metabolism (which I would have, too, if I ate what you did, as I would spend the majority of my life in the bathroom. You don’t fool me). Steer clear of me or I’m going to creep up on you with an Oreo stuffed inside a Twinkie stuffed inside a piece of white bread stuffed inside a non-free-roaming chicken stuffed inside an elk and shove it down your throat because you are so frail from your diet that even I can take you down. But then I’ll feel bad and spot you a shot of wheatgrass because that’s the kind of girl I am.

Do I sound angry? I don’t mean to, but when I started writing this column people were coming out of the woodwork with all sorts of advice that I don’t remember asking for. The key to weight loss is hardly a secret: eat less, burn more. Or has that changed in the last five minutes?

I was wondering if other people had suffered through the onslaught of unsolicited advice when they started on their weight loss journey, so I posed the question to the Facebook universe. Here are some pieces of advice that my peeps found annoying:

Zach: “You can eat whatever you want as long as you work out.”
Awesome. Then I’ll have one of everything on Barclay Prime’s menu but plan to take a brisk walk the next morning. That should take care of it.

Marla: “Drink an eight-ounce glass of water before you eat to curb your appetite”
I would throw up on the floor instantaneously, then rally and hit that dinner hard.

Amy: “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels”
This is one of my inner monologue’s favorite sayings. She sucks.

Jen paraphrasing Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser: “When I’m really hungry and looking for a satisfying snack to curb my hunger, I eat a stick of sugar-free gum.”
Annoying product placement and Bob’s tattooed hotness aside, this SO does not work. The sugar-free stuff loses its flavor within the first minute, and it’s like you’re chewing on caulk that is sticking to your dental work like glue. Next.

Jess: “Post baby, my mother-in-law once slapped my hand while I was reaching for more fries.”
Oh no she di-int! Slap her back!

And so, skinny people of the world, unless asked for advice, point blank, by someone trying to lose weight, keep your mouth shut and just be supportive. Then you can head home to your ThighMaster and whey protein shakes, gaze at your framed picture of Suzanne Sommers, and have imaginary conversations with her about your mutual fabulousness.

What I Did This Week

The BioFit Infrared Bike—super Star Wars-y, no? Photo courtesy Cardio Infrared Technologies

I swung by Lifestyle Fitness Solutions bright and early Saturday morning to hop on the Biofit Infrared Bike. I was met there by owner/trainer Jen who, after having had a baby three months ago, looked better than I ever have or could hope to. When I asked how she got her body back so quickly she answered, “The bike and strength training”. Um, yeah … I’ll have what she’s having.

The bike looked like it should have been in the latest installment of Star Wars, with its all the screens and lights and moving parts. I laid my towel down, and less-than-gracefully placed my shorts-and-T-shirt-clad body into the belly of the beast. Apparently, if you want this thing to do its job you need to expose all body parts from which you would like fat eliminated—meaning, I would have to hike my shirt up to reveal the belly. I totally love doing that in public. It was actually fine, though, because I was pretty much hidden beneath the light tunnel that Jen slid around me. I’m not going to lie, I felt (and probably looked) like a rotisserie chicken in there, but I could feel the sweat starting to drip off of me pretty quickly. The pedaling seemed tough at first but got easier as time went on. I kept my eyes on the screen that told me whether I was on-target or needed to pedal faster. Between that and chatting with Jen while she handed me my water, the 40 minutes flew right by. When I was done I was drenched in sweat and feeling pretty great. Jen said that after seven sessions you can really start to see a change in your body, and that a client of hers dropped nine inches (!!) in about that amount of time. At $20 a session (for something that costs five times as much on the West Coast), I will be visiting Jen again soon!

Up next: I’m getting together with my old friend Zumba at the Newtown Athletic Club!

Tell us: What unsolicited fitness or weight loss advice have you heard from friends? C’mon, you know it’s happened to you, too.


Robin Raskin blogs about her weight loss journey every Thursday on Be Well Philly. Catch up on the series here, and follow her on Twitter at @RobinRaskin.