Skinny Daily Post


A couple of weeks ago, Devin asked me to come see him play at an end-of-season tennis tournament. I think I was washing dishes at the time and I just nodded casually. Later on, he asked me again. And I said ‘Um, sure.’ A few days later, he repeated his request. ‘Okay, okay!’ I said. After that there was an e-mail to remind me to update my electronic calendar. Subsequently, I got a text message. ‘Will you come watch me on Sunday?’ I can’t recall exactly how many times Devin mentioned the tournament to me, but it took quite a while before it dawned on me …. ‘He really, really wants me to be there!’

I was reflecting on this because, as I’ve mentioned before, Devin often sets up dinner engagements with visiting friends and relatives, and sometimes I feel like all we do is eat at expensive, calorie-rich restaruants. I kept thinking ‘I don’t get it. He knows that eating out is a challenge for me. Why does he keep setting these things up?’

On Sunday, it dawned on me. Several years ago I told Devin I need his help in terms of not asking me to eat out as often. I’ve probably mentioned it to him three or four times since. So, on average, I’ve mentioned this to him once every three or four months. Which, to his way of thinking, is not a very urgent message at all.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize that I usually tell people about my weight management concerns once or twice and then never mention it again. I often end up fuming because I think people ‘should’ know and ‘should’ understand. Why would I have to ‘impose’ my views and ‘insist’ on getting my way!?

I have a feeling that a lot of this taps into a feeling of embarrassment that I’ve had my whole life about being overweight. It has made me reluctant to ‘badger’ people in particular because of the times I’ve lost weight and then gained it back But the fact is, there’s no way I’m going to get what I want in life without asking, and chances are, I’m going to have to ask more than once. Its just the way things work.

So on Monday, I wrote an e-mail to the general manager of my company asking him explicity to consider including healthy food items, and in particular fruits and vegetables, at our next company event. I’ve asked before. Now I’m asking again. I asked Devin to allow me some restaurant-free weekends in the coming holiday season. I’ve even asked some friends for help in supporting my efforts to stay on course.

In the end, this is not about the need to ask, but rather the RIGHT to ask. Nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to hold back about. Ask. Ask. Ask.

By the way. Devin won first place!

4 thoughts on “Ask and you shall receive

  1. jonquil says:

    Good for you, Jonathan! Like I said before, people can’t read your mind. You have to speak up to be heard, especially in the noisy, noisy world we live in today. As you have discovered with Devin and the tennis tournament, it’s not that people don’t want to listen, it’s just a case of too much going on, too many preoccupations, too many open channels. It takes several “broadcasts” for the message to sink in.

    Now if I could just get my husband to wipe his feet on the front doormat! I’ve been working on that one for fifteen years…

  2. kernal says:

    they say that a person has to hear something 7 times before it really sinks in, so keep going!

  3. Denise says:

    I also expected my family to be mind readers.

    To make it a little more challenging, I have a Jekyll and Hyde kind of thing going on.

    For years, dh goes to McDonald’s and brings me a cone… no problem… no communication necessary.

    Then one day, Dh goes to McDonalds and surprises us by bringing me and ds back a vanilla cone. I get all weepy, “You KNOW I’m losing weight and you just show up here with a cone! How could you do that?” Two weeks later, dh goes to McDonald’s and brings back a cone for ds and none for me. I get all weepy, “Why didn’t bring a cone for me? I would have liked a cone… I can’t believe that you left me out…”

    It actually took several weeks before we figured out that dh has to actually say, “I’m going to McDonald’s. Do you want anything?” And then I have to actually decide if I want something or not.

    I know people all over America are going, “Well… duh!” But for 16 years, we didn’t communicate about food… we just ate it.

    You’d think that we would have all of this communication stuff figured out by now. It doesn’t seem all that complicated. But it is funny how losing weight really brought some of our lack of commutation issues to the surface.

  4. Trixie says:

    Hey Jonathan
    It’s like you’re reading my mind!!! This was exactly how I was feeling the other day with my boyfriend. It’s like he has no clue some times. Doesn’t he see how I always pack food,wake up early to work out etc??? I mean,it’s like I want him to remember and treat me with differently…but I guess sometimes I don’t want to be treated different. It’s hard enough as it is! I feel embarressed or like a pain in the neck to request no butter or question what it is he is cooking. I guess you’re right though,people aren’t mind readers. I have to learn it will just take time for him to see this is VERY important to my well being.

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