When you start losing weight, friends and family start to take notice but it’s not always with encouraging words. The truth is when you become more successful along your journey, you encounter more people who want to try to tear you down. Standing up to loved ones can be hard because you want to please them and make them happy. However, you soon find that when you try to please others and not yourself, you wind up self-sabotaging.
Here are a few ways to combat unsupportive loved ones and what to do:
It’s THEIR issue. Not Yours
Realize the criticism and passive aggressiveness is stemming from THEIR issues. You start losing weight and your sister comments on how you look “too skinny”. Dessert comes, and your best friend exclaims, “Oh you can skip Kristen, she won’t eat that, it’s too unhealthy”. It’s annoying. But that’s all it is. Let it go. What you choose to eat or not to eat doesn’t change the time you spend together and shouldn’t have an impact. If it does, maybe your friendship is missing a deeper bond.
Instead, try to surround yourself with like-minded people. That doesn’t mean ditch your friends and family. Invite your friends and family to go on a hike or go to the new healthy lunch spot. If they decline, that’s on them.
You can also start taking group classes, take a cooking class, or search for Facebook circles to join and connect in your area.
Try the Direct Approach
It can be hard to “disappoint” mom when she makes a big meal. But how much is mom really going to benefit by you having a second helping of candied yams? Try giving mom a call ahead of time to talk about your new diet goals. Tell her you want to be able to pass on some dishes without causing offense.
Be nonchalant when questioned about what you are or are not eating. This is a big one. It doesn’t make any sense to start WWIII over what you choose to eat or don’t eat. Friends and family may badger you and try to get you to succumb to a second dessert, and that’s fine. Just casually tell them, “You know what, I feel like having this today,” and leave it at that. If a family member or friend is truly interested in what you are doing, they will ask. Don’t try to sound holier than thou, simply let it go. Lead by example and accept that your friends and family choose to eat, in the same way you would hope they adopt the same attitude with you.
Tell Only Those Who WILL Be Supportive of Your Goals
Sometimes telling friends and family who you know will not understand only creates unnecessary tension and roadblocks for you. If a loved one is set in his or her ways, it may not make sense to try and explain yourself and defend your position. He or she may even try to talk you out of it! You don’t need to and shouldn’t have to explain yourself to anyone. This is for YOU and you made that choice on your own, so have the discipline to follow it through.
However, you might consider telling those who will support you. Tell your significant other so that he or she knows what to add or remove from the grocery list. Heck, you might even motivate him or her to make some changes as well!
Tell your girlfriend and maybe you skip happy hour and try out the new yoga class after work.
Having a buddy is a great way to stay accountable, not to mention it works both ways!
Realize You May Have to Go It Alone
Ultimately these are YOUR goals. YOU made the decision to change and therefore it’s up to YOU to make the choices to get the results you want. Yes, it is new territory and it’s out of your comfort zone. As such, you may be craving more continuous support. However, realize that friends and family may have issues of their own. It is unfair to expect them to change just because you decided you want to change. Don’t mistake their silence for unsupportiveness.
You may need to take a minute and decide what it is you need to be successful and reach your goals. Do you need moral support? Physical support? Emotional Support? Perhaps hiring a trainer to show you how to use the equipment in the gym? Or a nutrition coach to call and hold you accountable.
Making the decision to change is not easy! But you made it this far! Don’t allow others to talk you out of it. You ultimately decide your actions. It doesn’t have to mean you become a hermit either! Just stay true to you and let your friends know what your goals are. If they support you, that’s amazing. If not, that’s ok too because you know how this is YOUR journey and you WILL reach your goals with or without their support.
Make a plan and stick to it! You got this!