Motivation Articles

How to Tell Others about Your Weight Loss Goals

Get Support Where You Need it Most

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Once again, congratulations on your commitment to improving your life. Your family wants what's best for you, and you'll likely find out that they're willing to help you reach your goals. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and go ask your family if they have a few minutes to chat.

Sample Letter to Family and Friends
Here's a sample letter to show your family. Rewrite it in your own words if you wish, and deliver it however you'd like—via email, face-to-face, or through the mail.

Dear (Kids/Hubby/Wife/Partner/Friend),

I have committed to making some big changes. I'm trying to eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and live a healthy life. It hasn't been easy, but I'm taking these commitments seriously, and I would appreciate any help you can offer.

Be honest with me. I am overweight, and I want to lose weight safely and slowly. Listen to me and offer me advice, but please don't minimize the problem.

Stop lecturing me. Talk to me like you care about me, but please don't yell at me, nag me, or criticize me for wanting to change for the better.

Let me be in control. It's my choice. No one besides me can decide how much weight I'll lose, how I'll do it, or whether I want to lose it in the first place.

Don't monitor my food. Don't tell me I don't need a second helping or such a large portion. It only makes me feel bad about myself, which sometimes leads me to overeat.

Be there for me. Support me, encourage me, and compliment me. I want your help finding affordable ways to exercise and I'd like more healthful foods in the house. Better yet, start eating better and exercising alongside me! I want us all to live long, healthy, happy lives.

Don't exclude me. Don't make me the black sheep because I'm eating differently. Instead of focusing on me, try to get the entire family to take small steps to eat better. Don't make fun of me because I'm overweight or trying to lose weight.

Love me. Tell me that you love me regardless of what the scale says. Tell me I'm smart, beautiful/handsome, successful, loveable and talented at any weight. I need to hear it.

Be patient with me. Losing weight doesn't happen overnight. I want to commit to good habits and that takes time, patience, and sometimes more than one try.

Be realistic. I might never be as skinny as you or others might want me to be. But I will be a happier, healthier—and yes, lighter—me.

Thanks for listening, and please take this advice to heart.


Your name

Editor's Note: These tips come from the SparkPeople experts and the book "Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lose Weight and Keep It Off--and What They Wish Their Parents Knew" by Anne M. Fletcher.
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • I have a housemate who thinks about and wants food constantly. I have to cook for the housemate. She claims to be hard of hearing, but if I "tip toe" in the kitchen to make myself something nutritious to eat, she asks, "What are you doing?" "What are you making?" "Can I have some?" "Will you make me some?" Instead of "her" fending for herself foodwise, I end of having to make her a mammoth of food. I do not want to be around all of the food she expects. How do I tell her to fix her own food in a way that she won't say I "hurt" her feelings? Am I making sense? Thank you! - 8/20/2015 3:24:17 PM
    Best to keep it to yourself. Seriously! Avoid useless comments. - 4/23/2015 8:06:02 AM
  • Super lame article. I don't feel like it is something to make sure to shove in everyone's face. And I guarantee they don't want to hear t either. What's better than watching someone lose weight? Watching them gain it all back. - 4/22/2015 9:22:09 AM
  • I'll share my goals & plans on Spark but that's about it. Friends & family would be um....less than supportive. I envy people for whom this article would help. I'm just thankful online resources are here for an online support group! - 4/18/2015 2:28:37 PM
  • MAX10IE
    I am getting mixed comments from family and friends as to my wanting to loose weight. Fortunately I am not looking to loose a significant amount, but get back to the weight I want to be and my doctor said would be better for my height. Unfortunately friends that are over weight make comments as to wishing I was as small as you are now....I would die to be as slim as you!! Of course I am the one who sees the scale!! And not only I but also my endocrinologist agrees... I have diabetes and really have to watch what I eat, which can be a challenge. I am more conscious as to veggies and fresh foods which help. But, do need other people who are in this same position and can give some encouragement in that area... Anyone who can send encouraging words of wisdom would be helpful. Max10ie

    See if this is at all helpful.

    It was on mom's email.

    Dad.or that weight!! - 4/15/2015 9:45:50 AM
    I do better at weight loss without constantly talking about it to people. In fact, large amounts of congratulations for weight loss has always set me back. It is far easier to deal with it alone, so your spouse or friends won't hound you at every meal, commenting on your every food choice. That becomes nagging, and nagging helps No one! - 4/14/2015 8:44:11 AM
  • I take issue with blaming other people for one's success or failures. Own your progress or lacking of progress. When one relies on the support of others for success, when the support stops so does the success. - 4/8/2015 1:09:43 PM
  • I'm married to my saboteur, and it's been a long hard struggle to face it that he is not going to change. I can only change me, and the way I react to the negative noise around me. I've lost 70 pounds, and I am a changed person - I like me better because I think I'm a better person for not trying to change other people. 8-) - 3/31/2015 8:10:52 PM
  • This is a great article! Just what I needed.

    Family and friends may mean well, but sometimes their kindly meant words hurt more than if they's said nothing at all. - 5/7/2013 9:33:32 AM
  • I LOVE this article. Thank you for posting it...thank you, thank you, thank you!!! When I told my mom I was trying to lose weight, every time I call her she asks "Well how much have you lost?" If I tell her I haven't lost any this week, she asks me "Why not? You must not be trying." That type of support I DON'T need!!! Same way with my husband, BUT, with him I just tell him "I didn't gain all this weight overnight and I sure can't lose it overnight after all Rome wasn't built in a day." Usually that shuts him up for awhile.

    Now that I have something to go by to guide me in telling them, instead of getting frustrated, maybe I can make them understand. Thanks again for this post. - 12/8/2012 12:06:31 PM
  • I have been at or near goal for over 6 years, but my family will still make comments about where we eat out such as..."Can't go there, there's nothing Mom would eat." While I do really appreciate the acknowledgement of my changed habits, I can almost always find something either on or off the menu that will satisfy me. I wish I could say this in a way to derail comments in the future. - 10/21/2012 3:32:40 PM
  • I have been at or near goal for over 6 years, but my family will still make comments about where we eat out such as..."Can't go there, there's nothing Mom would eat." While I do really appreciate the acknowledgement of my changed habits, I can almost always find something either on or off the menu that will satisfy me. I wish I could say this in a way to derail comments in the future. - 10/21/2012 3:32:39 PM
  • I guess I've been very fortunate in the fact that I have many friends and family members who I feel very comfortable talking with regarding my weight loss. Some of them also want to lose weight and I've been able to encourage them through sharing my goals. Some of them do not want to lose weight but cheer me on in my efforts. And all have been very supportive and encouraging, and quick to tell me when they see the results of my efforts, making me feel very good about the struggle, and motivating me to continue trying! - 8/9/2012 8:53:37 AM
  • This will be a helpful key to my success! - 6/7/2012 12:19:35 PM
  • My partner, who is very supportive, often asks me how he can help, what he should say, etc. I have saved this article to share with him later when I'm at home. This will also be helpful in dealing with my family (who live in a neighboring state) as they just don't "get" it (even though they should as most of them are also overweight or obese), and my friends who have never had weight issues, as they don't have any idea what kind of struggle, commitment, and huge life change this is. Thanks for the tips! - 2/6/2012 10:49:43 AM

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