We are overwhelmed by weight loss tips and suggestions for following our diets and weight loss programs. However, sometimes the people you love the most are the people who get in the way of your objectives. Your spouse, friends, siblings and coworkers can play distinct roles which can sabotage your greatest efforts. This form of sabotage is dangerous because it will slow down your progress or even worse stop you from continuing on journey. We have put together a list of some of the most common and dangerous weight loss saboteurs and some methods to help you handle them.
The enabler is often a friend or loved one that has their own food dependencies. They will often join you in a “pig-out” meal or take part in dinner and drinks. Enablers see food as a nice response to a bad situation, a bad day or just a break from their current reality. Some enablers may be threatened by your choices to live a healthy lifestyle as they feel that you will not longer have anything to bond over. The best way to deal with an enabler is to take food out of your relationship. Find other activities to take part in like shopping, hiking, seeing a movie or going to a spa. There are many ways you can hang out and talk that don’t require food.
This friend or family member is often struggling with their own issues. They will look down on your weight loss efforts and offer criticism over ever decision or move you make. They will question your motives, your goals, your process, what you are eating, how much you are eating, why you are eating and have a negative outlook on all of it. Sometime the best way to deal with a critic is to ignore them. When they see their comments have no bearing on you they will likely back down. You may find the critic annoying as you will find yourself explaining every decision you make. Stand your ground, let them know this is you decision and you’d appreciate their support in your efforts.
The “Supportive” Spouse
Some spouses feel threatened by the thought of their partner losing weight and feeling better about themselves. For one they are threatened that your new way of life will change their current way of life or that you will move on and leave them completely. The spouse will appear to be helpful and supportive of your weight loss but quietly sabotage your efforts. Spouses often take on the characteristics of the enablers and critics saboteurs. Encouraging your spouse and reminding them of their value to you may help them deal with some of their fears. Try doing new activities with your spouse to encourage them to join you on your healthy journey. Remind them that you will love them the same no matter what weight you get to.
The food pusher is often your mother or spouse. They are someone very close to you that will play on your emotions to get what they want. They often use associate food with love or affection. They will use guilt, coercion, persistence and nagging to get you to eat what they are peddling. The best method for dealing with a pusher is to stall them. Tell them you’d like to finish what’s on your plate before you take anymore food. Tell them about your goals and objectives, stand your ground and don’t back down. Remind them that their love and support in your weight loss goals is very much appreciated. Eventually even the most hard core pusher will back down or find someone else to push against.
The Lonely Friend
This friend will often say things like “we haven’t been out in a while, let’s go out for dinner.” The lonely friend will also take on characteristics of an enabler and will pressure you to skip your healthy activities and spend time with them. Again take food out of the relationship and focus on activities you can do together that won’t jeopardize your goals. Encourage the friend that your relationship does not have to change because of your healthy lifestyle. Your love for your friend is still important as they are simply intimidated by your new found confidence and success.
Some Helpful Reminders
1. Stand your ground – don’t be afraid to say no to anyone. This is your life and you make the decisions that are best for you.
2. Recruit support – when your friends and family are getting you down find others that will offer support and encouragement. There are many online peer groups or support meetings you can go to which are filled with like minded healthy supporters.
3. Turn on your blinders – ignore them, you are bulletproof and they can’t break you down. Eventually they will back down and either offer you support or move on.