Thursday, 16 August 2018.
It’s been a stressful day at work. You’re frustrated and starving. You call your spouse and tell him that you don’t feel like cooking. They respond in the same way they have for years, “Don’t worry about cooking, I’ll pick up pizza (or insert any quick food here)”. And now the word “sabotage” enters the story.
We hear this same scenario over and over again.
Next time, you’re out with your friends and they’re all having a drink. You don’t order one and then they respond the same way they have for years, “Just one won’t hurt. Come on, just have a drink with us. We love you just the way you are!” And again, sabotage, and now also guilt, enters the story.
Your friends and family don’t actually want to sabotage your healthy eating plan. They support you. They love you. They want you to be successful. They want to help you reach all your goals and be there to cheer you on along the way. The problem comes because the way that they supported you in the past, is not the kind of support you need now. So here’s some basic steps that would really help you get your strongest tribe in your corner.
Have the conversation with them…tell them that you need their support to make the healthy lifestyle changes. Tell them you will NEED them to help you through this change, but that what you need from them now will likely be different than what you needed from them in the past (or how you may need them in different situations). This conversation alone will not be enough. You’ll have to give them specific examples like this:
When I call you and tell you I’m stressed and don’t want to cook and I really WANT pizza, cheesecake, or wine (or all three), that you respond: “I got your back…grilled chicken and vegetables coming right up!”
When I meet up with you and everyone orders a drink you say: “I’m so proud of you for staying focussed on your goals. Can I get you a sparkling water?”
When I tell you “I feel so restricted” you say: “Do you remember how restricted you felt when you were not nourishing yourself well? Every time you work towards that healthy weight, there are more and more things you’ll be able to do. Your restricted diet now will lead you to far less restrictions in life. Can I help you find a new recipe?”
When I tell you “I’m starving” you say: “Can I cut up a cucumber for you?”
Support comes in many ways. Often as friends and family we are natural problem solvers for our loved ones. Remind them that you don’t necessarily need them to eat the same things as you do, but just knowing that they understand that you want to be successful without feeling guilt, would make a huge difference in your journey.
And when that conversation is complete, be sure to call that friend that is trying to jump on a healthy track too and let them know that you are here to “support” them too!