1005379_10151852123541081_800392990_n-290x387At lunch one day my friend notices that I’m not wolfing down my food like he is.

“I’m eating,” I protest, essentially telling him to chill. But what I’m really doing is picking. I’ve become an expert picker, especially in social settings— moving pieces around the plate and from side to side instead of shoveling food into my mouth. I routinely leave food on my plate, which is what I’ve noticed so many healthy people do— only they get away with it, without attracting any notice or fuss. I’m not there yet. Or at least as far as my buddy Scott is concerned. “This is ridiculous. Not eating is no way to lose weight.”

I’m tempted to laugh—uh, that’s exactly how you lose weight— until I realize that he’s serious and actually quite worked up about it. I know why: he has watched a few friends and relatives take diets to the extreme, and they’ve gotten sick by doing so. His diet theory is that eating reasonable portions of what ever you’d like is the way to eventually lose and ultimately settle into a normal weight.

Possibly true, but I’ve never been disciplined enough to eat reasonable portions of anything I want, which is why I’m fat. But instead of getting into a fight, I smile because I know he means well and there’s no winning this argument. I also know that I’m right, at least when it comes to my personal approach, and the scale in my bathroom backs me up.

I thought that would be the end of his interest in my food intake, but I’m wrong: for months, not a day goes by when he doesn’t ask what I’m eating. I once would have used a friend’s objection as a perfect excuse to quit the plan and resume a pigfest. Oh, someone I like and trust doesn’t approve of my diet? Screw this plan. Let’s eat!

But now nothing and no one will derail my determination. When you make the Shift, other people shift too— and sometimes they shift into nervous mode, criticizing mode, or sabotaging mode. When it comes to doubters andnaysayers, all you can do is tune them out and stay the course.