I hear from clients that many of their loved ones are supportive in their weight loss efforts. They are complimented: "You look good. You are doing well. I'm so proud of you. How much have you lost? How did you do it?" Then they hear; "Don't you want dessert?"
A client just recently said she had dinner with a friend she hadn't seen in a while. During dinner the friend told her how wonderful she looked and questioned her on her dinner choice. After the table was cleared and the waitress returned, my client ordered coffee. Her friend immediately questioned, "Don't you want dessert?" My client asked me why a friend would say this, and why doesn't she understand?
These are two great questions that I think should be understood. People will say unsupportive comments when you are conquering something they wish they could. And yes, sometimes people just don't understand. What her friend was really saying was, "I want dessert!"
Often people think that when you choose food wisely you are depriving yourself of your favorite food. In reality, the type of food you choose to eliminate or control has been depriving you of your ultimate goals, optimum health, and a healthy body weight, all along. Healthy eating never means you no longer eat dessert, it just means you choose wisely how often and when you eat dessert. It means that this type of food is no longer a staple in your diet.
Dealing with opinions and suggestions can prove difficult, especially when old habits return in weak moments. Stay strong and persevere. Some tips to follow along the way:
- If you tell someone, "I can't eat this item, I'm trying to lose weight, or I'm dieting," what you are really saying is, "Twist my arm a little harder and I'll eat with you." It becomes a challenge to others to see how strong-willed you can be. A simple no, or no thank you, will suffice.
- If you eat every time someone wants you to, or because someone puts food in front of you, you will gain your weight and their weight too.
- You show people how to treat you, you don't tell them. If you continually tell someone you're dieting but your actions say otherwise, nobody listens.
- Some people are supportive to your weight loss/wellness efforts. They understand and instinctively know what your needs are. It could be because they have been there or maybe they just want the best for you. Seek these people out.
Then there are some people who will never change and there is nothing you can do about it:
- Some people will never support your efforts. They don't understand, don't care, don't have time, etc. You may never know why.
- Some people are unhappy, or overwhelmed themselves and have nothing to give anyone else.
- Some people are just jealous!
Ignore what these people say. You need to accept them for who they are and look to others for support. At times, you will need to brush off hurtful and unsupportive comments and not allow the negativity to penetrate your efforts. You are the most important component in any of these relationships. Give power to what gives power to you.
Persistence requires a definite purpose and a plan.