How to Stay on Track When Your Loved Ones Aren’t Supportive

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One of the hardest parts of managing your weight is making healthy choices when your friends and family aren’t supportive of your change. Perhaps you feel pressured into buying something other than a “boring salad” when you’re out to lunch with your friends, or you struggle to find time for exercise because of time constraints from family members.

Without encouragement, understanding and support from loved ones, finding success on the weight-loss journey can seem impossible. You end up feeling frustrated, discouraged and too off-course to get back on track again. Similarly, working hard to adjust your habits and form a healthier lifestyle while those around you aren’t willing to change can make you feel alone along the way.

Tips for Handling a Lack of Support from Loved Ones

  • Talk about your goals in advance – Having the conversation about weight, health and making smart choices can be a lot easier if you talk about your goals in advance. That way, you may be able to spare any feelings of hurt, frustration or confusion that may happen “in the moment” – such as going to a parent’s house for dinner and politely declining any unhealthy appetizers.
  • Make room for other activities – Food is a popular thing to bond over. Going out to eat, making meals together, having family dinner – those are all things we use to curb our appetite and reconnect. If your loved ones aren’t happy with your food choices or express frustration, offense or hurt over your new lifestyle changes, try bonding another way. Go shopping, go hiking or see a movie together. There are plenty of other ways to spend time together!
  • Look for support elsewhere – You don’t want to feel alone on your journey. If certain people leave you feeling discouraged and unsupported with your goals, seek help elsewhere! Try other friends, other family members, support groups, coworkers, counselors or even an accountability partner. For tips on finding the right accountability partner, please CLICK HERE!
  • Plan your responses – Know how you’ll handle any unwelcome comments or criticisms ahead of time. For example, if you’re going to a friend’s house who you know loves preparing tons of food for guests to enjoy, you can plan to say “no thank you, I already ate” when offered a food you are trying to avoid.
  • Don’t let them bring you down – This might be a little difficult, but try not to take any comments or criticisms too personally. When a loved one such as yourself wants to take serious steps toward a new lifestyle, that kind of change can be difficult for others to understand and identify with.
  • Focus on yourself, and they might follow – Others might not know how challenging the weight-loss journey can be, but all you can do is focus on yourself! By making changes to your diet, exercise, priorities and other areas of your life, your actions might inspire your loved ones to strive for improved health as well!

Just remember – although finding adequate support for your journey and staying on track through all of the trials and challenges might be difficult, you’re on the way to a healthier you! That’s something to applaud.

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