Are Family And Friends Supportive Of Your Weight Loss?

weight loss questionsDuring 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.

Attitude Is Everything When It Comes To Weight Loss

Do you have days where you doubt you’ll ever lose the weight?

I’m 113 lbs. away from my goal weight. Yes, I know I’ll hit it. But it ain’t easy. No matter how great a day or week I’ve had, just one little bump in the road and the voice of doubt burrows itself deep in my head.

Well forget that! I’m now my own weight loss cheerleader, dagnabbit!

That doesn’t mean I’m going to start looking in a mirror saying “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”

Nope. That ain’t my style.

I decided to start creating spaces in my home to give me the encouragement when times get tough. Just little reminders of how far I’ve come and what I can do when I put my mind to it.

A work in progress, my little cork board keeps me focused on my goals and reminds me of my successes.

A work in progress, my little cork board keeps me focused on my goals and reminds me of my successes.

Home Office Decor
My home office was the first to feel my craft wrath.  I spend a lot of time in this room creating weekly menus, working out to DVDs and writing my blog.

To keep it simple, my hubby put up a cork board for me. Using my finest kindergarten skills, I’m decorating the board with little motivational touches – quotes, goals, milestones and photos. It’s a work in progress, but then again, so am I.

Kitchen Rewards
I added a reward jar in my kitchen. Every time I workout, I’m adding $1 to the jar. Each quarter I’ll use that money for a healthy treat – a new workout outfit, new music for my mp3 player, or a massage. Just something simple to help me celebrate my success.

In addition to the jar, I took down a lot of old papers posted on our refrigerator door. Front and center is a before and after photo of me. A great reminder of how far I’ve come each time I open the fridge door.

The List
Finally, I put pen to paper and made a list of the bennies of getting back into shape that I’ll carry with me. Each time I find the seed of doubt creeping in, I’ll pull the list out to motivate me. My list includes:

  • Endless energy
  • Increased physical comfort
  • Self-confidence
  • No meds!
  • Able to do Tough Mudder

Bottom line: It’s up to me to reach my goal weight. Keeping a positive attitude is key.  Everyday that little voice always gives me reasons why I can’t. Well, now I’m giving myself the tools to shut that little voice up.