Do your friends or family sabotage your weight loss success?

Do your friends or family sabotage your weight loss success?

As you make more and more positive changes in your life, you might notice that some of your friends and family really support you and are genuinely happy for your making a positive change for yourself and there are others who undermine you with little comments and looks that might just leave you feeling upset and wanting to go back to your old unhealthy habits.

Remember that you naturally end up spend time with people who are like you. So if used to eat unhealthily,  not exercise, or drink lots of alcohol with your friends and family and now you have decided to change, you are no longer being “like” them in those behaviours.

Some people will find this threatening and challenging, because by you making a stand and choosing to do something differently you are forcing them to notice that the behaviour is unhealthy.

If they are not aware of this happening, they may begin to make snide comments, or pressure you to go back to your old ways so that you can be doing it together and then they won’t feel so bad about continuing in their unhealthy habits

Here’s some suggestions on how to tackle this challenge:

1. Remember why you are making this change and how important it is to you.

Connecting with and remembering your own reasons for making this change will help you to stand your ground, enforce your boundaries and say no!

2. Realise that their behaviour is about them not you

They are not deliberately trying to undermine you or not support you, it’s just that your change has activated some uncomfortable feelings and ideas they don’t want to face yet. It mostly has nothing to do with their love or friendship with you, but is really about them being afraid of making a change themselves. Or maybe they are afraid of losing you if you make such a big change in your life and they don’t.


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3. Talk to them with an open heart, ask for their support

When you realise that their behaviour is coming from their own fear or other emotions, you can be compassionate and help them through it rather than focussing on being hurt yourself. Take some time to talk to them privately, and let them know that you would really like their support in your changes and that you don’t expect them to change too, you just want them to not encourage you to slip up. Remind them why you love them and that if they would like to make a change you are happy to support them and do it together.

4. Maintain your boundaries.

Some people will really take your talk to heart, and some people wont. You must realise that you are in charge of your own life and you are making this change for good reasons. Sometimes that big reward and lifestyle change means saying no when it is not totally easy, or even limiting time with people who are still actively undermining you.  If you must spend time with a person who is actively hostile to your change. Imagine a big white bubble of light protecting you from their negativity whenever you’re around them.

5. Find people who support your new habits and are like the new you.

There are lots of wonderful new friends and colleagues out there who will welcome and be very supportive of your new habits.  Notice who they are and begin to spend more time with people who uplift you, support you and help you on your journey. If you are in an isolated area make use of the wonderful online groups, forums and blogs where you can connect with likeminded people as you make this change.

This shift in your circle of friends will naturally happen over time. So just allow it to happen and know that the more time you spend around people who are on the same journey the more you can embed those new habits and make your lifestyle change even easier.

If you need help to release hurt or anger at a friend or family member who has been undermining you, please send me an email  or comment below.

Comments (2)

  1. Hi I am a male 5ft 4in I joined weight watchers last start weight 13st 101/2 and my i told my gp i want to be 10st 7lb which is in my healthy weight range in uk.

    My auntie came round and said i looked to thin for her liking, which made me annoyed since she was sabotaging my weightloss effort. what can i do to overcome this situation? I have very close friends that have been very supportive. only got 4lbs to go.

    hope u can help to make it easier to deal with. The positive thing my friends have said is i look very healthy and i don’t look to thin.

    • First of all Mark, congratulations on taking action to improve your health and wellbeing! And congratulations on keeping it up, by my calculations you’ve released about 20kgs! Awesome! You are so close to your goal! that will make a big difference to your appearance.

      Your Auntie may or may not have been trying to be helpful when she said you’re too thin, it’s certainly not a comment that you need to take on board. She may have said it because you look so different, and/ or like I say in the article, that you making an effort with your own health, makes her uncomfortable or challenges her own values about her own health?

      It’s ok for her to think you’re too thin. That’s just her opinion. You don’t need to take it on board or give it any importance. If she comments like this again, you could say something like: “Oh well, I’m feeling healthier than I have in years, and I am pretty happy with how I look, thanks for your opinion.” and then change the subject quickly.

      How wonderful that you have supportive friends, focus on the support you get from them, and how YOU feel about yourself and disregard the negative comments from any others. It’s normal that some people will have negative or challenging things to say, think of these things like a test. You can either choose to let them affect you, or choose to stay strong and be true to your own choices and decisions about yourself now.

      This other article I have written is to help with motivation on the last leg of your health journey.

      If you need any more help, feel free to contact me directly or comment below, All the best! Kylie.

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