Weight loss when it comes to your friends/family/loved ones
This is a really hard topic for most people. On one hand, you want your friend/loved one to be happy.. On the other hand, you know that they are going down a path that is getting harder and harder to come back from.
Obviously this comes easy when it comes to my clients. They set a goal in their mind and they are literally paying for help in this difficult journey. The real work goes to the significant other when they get home. Maybe your boyfriend/girlfriend is a little more fortunate than you. Maybe they can afford to eat a bit more. Does this mean that the partner has to get a trainer and diet as well? Absolutely not.. What they need is empathy and effort on your part. To understand their struggles of why it takes so long to get ready, or the pressures when going out with work friends and getting a salad when everyone else is getting a burger and beer. This is why I'm going to discuss a few red flags/ triggers that you must be aware of when you have a friend/loved one who is trying to improve their health.
1. They are indifferent/claim they don't care- Typically those who are indifferent actually care the most. They go to brunch, order a ton of food and drinks shrug it off saying "I don't even care, I'm going HAM today." However, you recall them saying they wanted to lose weight over a week ago. By them taking the "oh well" approach, in their eyes they believe that people will just be thinking "he's living his best life!" At this point the food will come an drinks will come, he will get is instant gratification fix and everything will be ok for a while. People are laughing, no judgement is taking place so he keeps ordering and ordering. Fast forward to being home coming down from that massive brunch. The guilt is settling in and that is severely overshadowing the nice 2-3 hours he just had. Now that he is by himself looking in the mirror.. He is no longer indifferent.
2.Signs your partner is extremely self conscious- Wardrobe has to be number one. They have a huge selection of hoodies and zip ups to wear just about any where.. They rely on outerwear even when its a bit warm outside or they buy clothes that are too big, Pictures are your next sign.. They hide behind you or the group, the cover their stomach with their arms, they hold something in front of them. Food selection at parties and events. Even if they are doing so well and they deserve a cannoli or a slice of pizza, they don't want to feel judged eating it in front of anyone. They will either eat like a rabbit or eat nothing at all.
3. How to be there for them- First off, nobody and I mean NOBODY needs sympathy.. Those who are looking for sympathy are typically looking to be enabled and that is the exact opposite of what they need. They also don't need obvious answers... "Oh why don't you exercise more!" "Just eat salads!" "Walk every morning!" You have to discuss what their fears are, what they like, what they don't like, when was the last time they were happy with themselves, what is the main focus behind their motivation etc.. Buy a cook book and cook together, go for walks together, make healthy choices with them.. It's not a diet if it's a lifestyle. No fads, No extremes, No hard set rules... Just hold yourselves accountable. If your significant other loves you, and you say its OK and you keep up with the unhealthy habits.. I promise you they will continue down this unhealthy path because they love you and trust you.. Until one day the whole closet doesn't fit and you have an absolute melt down on your hands.
4. Know the difference between tough love and being a jerk- You want your friend/loved one to improve their health for them.. It's not about you. It should never be about you. The sincere yet stern approach when it comes to addressing your partners weight gain has to be done. When you do address it, it must be done in a private setting and you should be listening to their take on why their health took a wrong turn. Who are you to say how/why it happened? Who are you to be judgmental? They already feel like crap, they don't need to feel any worse from their last lifeline of support. Don't enable, always listen, and always support. That's it!