During my Weight Watchers presentation, members asked a lot of great questions that I’ll post over the next few days with my responses. The first question has to do with handling family and friends who are not as enthusiastic about your weight loss journey as you.
“How do you deal with unsupportive family and friends?”
I’ve never asked anyone for their support, except for one person and I’ll get to him in a bit. I believe that my health and happiness is my responsibility. I can’t let what others say or do knock me off track. At the end of the day it’s how I feel about myself that’s most important.
Having stated that, I’m pretty lucky that my friends and family support what I’m doing. I get peppered with lots of questions about what I’m eating, how my weight training is going, and what exercises are working. I have friends who offer to workout with me or send me encouraging messages. And that’s just awesome.
Tell Me What You Want. What You Really, Really Want.
My first real challenge came from my husband. Whenever I hit a major weight loss milestone, he always suggested we celebrate by going out to dinner. Really!?!
After much frustration, I finally figured out that’s just his way of showing me how proud he is of my efforts. Before dropping the 94 pounds, it was very common for us to go out and celebrate with frozen custard or a trip to 5 Guys (the most awesome burger ever!). It’s a pavlovian response for both of us.
Then it dawned on me — it’s my responsibility to tell him what type of support I need.
He can’t read my mind and he isn’t going to know what I want unless I tell him. So after figuring out what I wanted, we sat down and had a little chat. I asked him to not suggest food-related celebrations when it came to my weight and come up with other ideas like catching a movie, hiking, bowling or getting me jewelry (hint, hint). He’s been a champ ever since (although I’m still waiting for the jewelry).
Learn To Say Thank You!
One of the support areas my husband is great at is praise. He’s always telling me how great I look and praising how much weight I’ve lost. Unfortunately one of my weaknesses is accepting praise. I tend to deflect his comments and not say “Thank you.” The more you shut down compliments, the sooner the compliments will stop coming your way. Not a good thing. Thankfully, my husband ignores my dodges and still praises my weight loss work while I work on being more accepting.
Sometimes You Got To Move On
As for friends, I’ve only had one who wasn’t supportive and at times was down right snarky to me about my efforts. After spending too much time trying to figure out what I needed to do, I told myself, “It’s not my problem. It’s hers.”
If a friend isn’t supportive, you can’t force it. Just accept it and move on. And that’s what I did.