Losing weight is an uplifting feeling. You see your body change shape, feel more energised and fit into the clothes you always wanted with the confidence you previously only dreamed of. So why are there people in your life trying to sabotage your efforts to lose weight?
We all know someone who does this. There’s the office feeder, your partner, friends and family. Though they may mean well, they will jeopardise your efforts in a flash. You need to identify these saboteurs and either eliminate or address them instantly.
The Office Feeder
Let’s start with the Office Feeder. You know the one; she sweeps through your office with home baked cookies, trays of cupcakes and the like, claiming you simply must try one or she’ll be offended! Have you noticed how she rarely eats them herself? These ‘feeders’ are likely to be insecure in themselves and are scared to see others making changes they don’t feel confident to make themselves. My advice in this situation is as follows:
- Stick to your guns! Be polite but firm and inform the ‘feeder’ that as lovely as her treats look, they are not part of your healthy eating plan and one bite could spiral out of control. The truth is simple and should end the matter. Making other claims such as you’re full or allergic to icing/chocolate or whatever it is, will only put you in a difficult situation when a non-offending offer arrives!
- Do not spend time looking at the treats or imagining how they might taste. Imagination dominates the will and so this activity will make resisting them more difficult. Turn your attention to your work or take a walk and focus on non-food related issues until the temptation passes.
- Make sure you have snacks to hand so that hunger does cause you to succumb to the treats. Healthy snacks for weight loss include fresh fruit with raw nuts or some yogurt with honey and seeds.
Your Loved Ones
It can be more difficult when dealing with your Loved One and there are a number of reasons why they may be sabotaging your diet plan. Often the reason is fear; fear that when you achieve your ideal body you will leave them for somebody else or fear that you will not be that same person that enjoys a take-away with them on a Friday night. Seeing you change can make your partner question whether you will still be compatible and enjoy the same things in life. You need to do the following in this instance:
- Share with your partner all the reasons why you are making these dietary and lifestyle changes and let them know how much their support would mean to you. Let them know how much more confident you feel when you eat well and exercise and how this can only have a positive effect on your relationship. Inform them that you can still enjoy the occasional take-away night can still happen (there’s no harm in having a treat meal each week) but suggest it could be fun to practice cooking healthy alternatives together.
A lack of understanding is another reason for your partner’s lack of support. They will probably say ‘but you look fine as you are’; ‘why do you want to lose weight?’; ‘what are you looking to change?’ These questions may also be linked to fear but more likely your partner doesn’t want to face any changes themselves. Do the following:
- Encourage your partner to join you on your journey so that you can support one another and change together. Weight loss is much easier when you share the experience. Simply point out all the ways he/she will feel better. This will include greater confidence, better health and more energy for daily life and for your sex life (that should seal the deal!) Basically, recall the reasons you wanted to make changes yourself and relay these to your partner.
Your Friends can be the making or breaking of any successful weight loss plan. My advice here is simple: Surround yourself with friends that understand, support and encourage you. You do not need friends that feel threatened or insecure that you are looking to better yourself. These friends will only act to destroy your confidence and make each social gathering a battle. Some say surrounding yourself with your ‘slimmer’, ‘fitter’ friends will motivate you the most. But I say to also encourage your ‘larger’ friends to join you on your weight loss diet plan? Select restaurants with healthy offerings to meet at, throw a dinner party at your house with healthy recipes and swap coffee shop gossip sessions for brisk walk and yoga classes and you will have more fun than you thought!
Lastly, there’s your Family to deal with. Mums in particular like to feed us and remind us of childhood home baked apples pies and casseroles. Ok, not all mums are ‘feeders’ but they do tend to worry if we start looking a little ‘skinny’! Family meals are to be enjoyed and nobody wants their parents to worry. Let them know what your new healthy eating regime involves and how good you’re feeling as a result. Offer to bring a fruit salad or side salad to dinner to ensure healthy choices are available and get everybody outside for a brisk walk after the meal. Failing that, a little of what mum has to offer won’t do too much harm in moderation and you must learn to get back on track after any event that disrupts your routine at some stage.
So, there you have it… my guide to recognising and addressing those who try to disrupt your healthy eating plan. In simple terms, once you have identified your weight and lifestyle goals, inform, educate and recruit those around you and not only will you look and feel good but so might they!