How do you know if you are getting the support you deserve from friends and loved ones? For some people, support means regular contact. For others, support means an open ear and a kind heart. But when you are trying to lose weight or improve your health, the type of support that you’ll need from your friends is going to change, and unfortunately, not all of your regular support network may be up to that challenge.
When you make the decision to participate in a medical weight loss program, you are taking on changes that will improve your entire lifestyle. Adapting to a healthier diet, exercising more often, these are positive changes that you need to embrace if you are going to succeed in overcoming obesity and prevent future weight re-gain. However, just because you have made this a priority in your life doesn’t mean that all of your friends and family members will.
Identifying Negative Influences
It is possible that a friend or family member may not feel as positive about the new you as you do. There are a lot of reasons for this, which are as varied and complex as your friend. It may be because these changes could signify a change in your relationship. Perhaps your friend fears that you may not like them as much once you lose weight and have more energy. Perhaps your friend recognizes the need to change themselves, but are not willing to make those changes yet.
Whatever the reason, the reality is that being around someone who is a negative influence on your weight loss program can actually really hurt your weight loss progress. As hard as it may be, it is best for you to acknowledge when someone is not begin positive, and address the issue either by having an open and honest conversation about your concerns, or by limiting your interaction with that person until you feel comfortable and confident enough to be around them without feeling inferior.
You can also avoid potential sabotage to your weight loss goals by developing a plan as to how you will deal with those negative influences. This may include:
- Finding a different support network, such as through your weight loss center, where you can meet with other people who are trying to achieve the same thing you are.
- Reach out to other friends and family members for support and be open about your goals.
- Avoid places where you know the pressure from your friends will be too much, such going out for pizza or to the bar.
- Plan ahead for how you will deal with negative influences. Practice a few phrases that you’ll have ready to retort comments that make you feel bad, and bring healthy snacks with you if you are going to their home.
Friendly fire is often so deadly because it is unexpected. If you recognize that there is a potential negative influence in your life, put yourself on guard and take steps to prevent them from actually damaging your resolve to lose weight. Not everyone will be supportive of your new weight loss goals, but as long as you stay focused and positive you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.