Sticking to an exercise/diet routine depends a lot on planning and routine. Some plans have a once-a-week splurge worked in, maybe a Pig-out Friday to let the pressure out, so you can get back to the grind on Saturday. If you're taking exercise classes -- martial arts, boot camp, yoga, pole dancing -- you might only be able to go certain days of the week.
Spontaneous people can throw this all out of whack. Friends who call you up and ask if you want to go out to dinner in the city -- and it turns out their reservation is an hour from now. Or friends who just came from out of town and forgot to tell you ahead of time, but they're leaving tomorrow. Someone who just realized it was so-and-so's birthday and "we have to do something." Or maybe parents that drop by unexpectedly with home-cooked dinners because "you're so busy."
Once in a while, spontaneity is great, but too many free spirits, helpful parents and poor planners in your life can add up to four pig-out nights a week, a month of missing kung fu classes and a completely sabotaged diet.
The people most in a position to ruin your diet without meaning to are family members that aren't on a diet. They don't have to be sadists who keep going, "Mmmmmmm," while eating burgers in front of you. Even if they're totally supportive of your diet, there are just logistical problems.
Say you want to go out for breakfast, and they want to go down to the local greasy spoon diner because you can all objectively agree they have the best breakfast in town, with the bacon and the eggs and the omelets and what, no dish under 2,000 calories. Maybe you could get away with ordering a bowl of fruit but the waitress would look at you funny and the fruit would smell funny and appear to be about 10 days old.
On the other hand, the places that meet your diet plan are places like Subway, and forcing a spouse to eat at Subway with you counts as domestic abuse in many states.
If you cook at home, it's not really practical to make separate dishes for each person, so in reality, you pretty much get to go vegetarian with your spouse or your spouse doesn't go vegetarian. Even if you're just cutting fat, you can't cut the heavy cream out of just your bowl of clam chowder and not the rest of the pot. (Note: If you can think of a way to do this, please let me know.)
It's not completely impossible to switch to a healthy diet without your family taking one for the team and sacrificing some delicious foods from their diet, but being able to do it usually takes some convoluted planning or just black magic.
I'm not saying it's wrong to make fun of people for doing Jazzercise, Tae-bo, Zumba, yoga, powerwalking, soccer, pole dancing fitness or martial arts as an adult, and we as Americans have a duty to come up with humorous quips about our friends' manhood or coolness or funny-looking neon-colored exercise gear, in order to save our declining mainstream sports.
But if your friend is a perennial couch potato who's finally found the motivation to exercise through country line dancing aerobics, after failing to stick with jogging, walking, MMA and any other cool-people-acceptable exercises, you might want to think twice about whether you might be sabotaging his last chance to not die early of heart disease.
Or if, hypothetically, your doughy, physically inept girlfriend takes up kung fu, maybe you shouldn't greet her with, "Oh look, it's Jackie Chan!" and pretend to be scared of her. Because she might unleash a spinning tornado kick at you. And miss, and hurt her back, and then she can't exercise for two weeks. Is that what you want?
Personally, I was making a lot of progress in my weight loss over the past week, ever since that big biohazard emergency. I guess the mandatory quarantine has helped keep out distractions so I could really focus. The weight has literally been falling off of me, like in actual chunks of flesh, which is a little weird, but I guess that makes sense, how else would fat people get thinner?
The only problem is that lately I just keep running into really delicious looking people, just really pink and fleshy, with brains that just melt in your mouth. They have to be like, a million calories. I guess I just need to start avoiding bunkers and fortified buildings entirely, since they're always chock full of tempting, tasty-looking people.
Damn these people, it's their fault I can't go anywhere these days. Well, that and the fact my feet fell off.
Hey, you're actually looking pretty tasty ...
For more from Christina, check out 5 Reasons Riding a Bike Is The Most Humiliating Exercise and 5 Weight Loss Tips for Cynical Bastards.