You might think trying to lose weight would garish all kinds of support from family and friends. After all, who wouldn’t want to see you improve your health and well-being?
Yet, in a recent national survey, women trying to lose weight said their worst enemies are the people they are closest to and love the most—their spouses, family, and friends. In fact, 66% of women who have dieted or are dieting say they have felt family and friends don’t respect their attempts to lose weight.
The survey of more than 300 women ages 25 to 55, who have dieted or are dieting, was commissioned by Medi-Weightloss Clinics.
Who didn’t respect their diets? According to the survey, 60% say their husbands or significant others; 55% say their friends; 52% say their relatives; 44% say their colleagues.
The reasons participants felt family/friends did not respect their diets? 23% say because of competition; people around them didn’t want them to look better; 34% say the people around them are either jealous or insecure of their dieting efforts.
Don’t let these saboteurs derail your weight loss efforts.
Always keep this in mind: You don’t need your friends and family’s blessing to lose weight—this is all about you. But they will benefit from your improved health, even if they don’t see it right away. Avoid this barrier by opening up a clear channel of communication.
Articulate why you want to lose weight and why you need their support. Explain what is in it for them. Be clear about your why—the honest reason you’ve decided you finally want to lose weight. Your decision is probably about more than just looking good. You may want to lose weight to be healthier, happier, live longer, or have more energy. You may also want to be a better wife, sister, mother, daughter or friend, be more successful at work, or want to set a good example for the children. Explain how your choice will allow you to have more fun together, avoid future medical expenses, and other important life goals you both want.
Once a friend or family member realizes the deeper meaning behind your weight loss—and how it can benefit them too—you may find they will be happy to see you succeed. If you can’t get them to come around, limit the time you spend with them (if possible) until you followed your weight loss plan for a while and have begun to see and feel results. If friends continue to be downright negative, or keep interfering with your efforts, it might be time to upgrade your inner circle.