When PEOPLE hinder your journey.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
As we travel the road to "Health & Fitness" we face many obstacles but progress becomes most difficult when there is chaos INSIDE the car! Making life changes is hard enough when one has lots of support but there are many of you that lack that or have a family member or friend that is putting obstacles in your path.
Significant Other: Those of you that are blessed to have a supportive and encouraging significant other - be thankful, be very thankful. For those who have a SO that is also overweight/obese it can often be difficult if they are not also trying to make lifestyle changes. Issues you will face are:
1) Unhealthy foods and snacks in the house .
2) Cooking unhealthy dishes (i.e. fried chicken, pasta with cream sauces, etc.)
3) Resentment about your "fitness minutes"
4) Insecurity about your changing figure (esp. with men worried their more "alluring wife" will suddenly attract attention.
These are all REAL issues that many will face. The best thing you can do is to sit down and talk openly and honestly with your SO. Ask them for their help. Assure them about your relationship. Find a way to cook so that you can both eat. Look through the spark recipes together. Find ways to exercise together that are fun: skiing, skating, tennis, ping pong, dancing, Wii. You can't expect your SO to read your mind. Be OPEN and HONEST.
Friends: Some friends will not like the "new you" that will no longer "go out for an ice cream" or "barhopping". Some will even feel that your losing weight makes them look "worse". Some may fear you won't want to be THEIR friend once you are "thin" and they are still "overweight". Again, be open and honest with your friend (adopt some of the same strategies as above) and IF your friend can't stop sabotaging your plan then make your involvement with that person less frequent and away from meal times.
Parents: Most parents are happy to see their adult children get healthy but in some cases this isn't so. Some parents want to be "in control" and view your changes in health as a threat to that control. For other parents that are overweight themselves they may view this as a judgment about them. Some mothers sabotage the worst. "You've lost enough already". "But I made your favorite lasagna and pie." "It won't hurt to eat this just once."
1) Remember that you are an ADULT .
2) Avoid mealtimes for parental visits if you have a sabotaging parent.
3) If your parent feels threatened by your changing body/lifestyle assure them you still love them and ask them to be happy for you.
4) Most importantly, do not think for a minute that a critical parent is going to stop being so if you lose weight. They just find something ELSE to pick at. Those few that do this won't change so learn to let it roll off your back.
Emotional Eating - I want to talk specifically here about emotional eating as a response to relational pain. For decades I have used food as a comfort for the pain inflicted by "others". One never stops wanting the approval of their family and closest friends. In some relationships losing weight won't change that. This is when you have to find the strength to be the BEST person you can be for YOURSELF!
To sum this all up: You have to be true to yourself. It's your body, your health, your life. Nobody else knows what life is like in your shoes. If others are encouraging and helpful - WONDERFUL! Invite them to be part of your journey. If they are critical and sabotage your best efforts you may have to distance yourself from them for the journey until you are well set in your new lifestyle.
Never give up! Don't give in to others' wishes and stay true to yourself. You are WORTH it!