I think almost every dieter has experienced weight loss sabotage.
Not the kind that happens when you eat foods that you think are low in calories, but then find out are fattening. I mean sabotage by people who know you're on a diet. Maybe even people who've been pestering you to lose weight.
Especially if you need to lose a lot of weight, friends and family can often be your worst enemies. Even if they don't mean to be.
Have you ever had a friend or relative sabotage your weight loss by insisting you eat more than your diet permits?
"Oh, it's just one little piece of cake," they say with smiles sweeter than frosting.
You try to protest. But eventually you give in and that cake finds a home in your ever-expanding belly.
If it only happens once, it won't destroy your weight loss efforts. But if it happens a lot, you'll never reach your target weight.
Sometimes, the people close to you mean well. Other times, it's fear, jealousy or their own insecurities that cause them to act that way.
There's a dynamic in every family and often in friendships, too. Each of us has our place. The strong one… the funny one… the smart one… the foolish one…
The Fat One.
As you lose weight, you often become attractive to more people. It's common to get more attention from the opposite sex.
You may become bolder, happier, more self-confident and excited about life than you have been in a long time. And that may frighten some of your friends and family members who feel you'll leave them behind.
If they're insecure, they'll try to put you back in your place.
The Fat One.
Which may be why they tried to sabotage your weight loss in the first place.
If you let them, their sabotage can be remarkably effective. Here's why.
Suppose you have a small wound on your leg. When you press hard on your uninjured skin, you feel nothing. But apply even slight pressure to your wound and the pain is excruciating.
Your friends and family members know where your wounds lie.
They know where to apply pressure with their actions and words to hurt you. Whether it's just the insecurities that go with being fat or whether it's something else.
And yet, so many of us allow it to continue.
If a stranger acted that way, you'd toss him out of your life immediately.
But we often put a higher value on the judgments of our friends and family members, even when it doesn't make sense.
Sometimes, we even let those judgments determine our level of happiness with ourselves and the rest of the world.
In extreme cases, your only option is to get away from the people who hurt you. Permanently.
But that's too much in most cases.
You won't want to walk away if there are children involved. Or maybe the problem isn't bad enough to justify removing someone from your life completely.
So how do you change things?
Sometimes, you just need to stand up for yourself and insist the other person stop their hurtful behavior. It may take several times before it works, but often people hurt us just because we let them.
You need to stand firm. Let them know you won't give in this time.
Or you may need to put some distance between you and the people who treat you badly. Without completely cutting them off.
How you deal with the people who try to sabotage your weight loss will vary. Every situation is different.
But one thing is always the same.
You may not be able to change the people around you, but you can change you.
If they don't like it, that's their problem.
So if you really want to lose weight, don't let other people use their hurtful behavior to stop you from achieving your goal. Make a commitment to lose weight. And stick to it.
You know what you need to do to succeed.
As Nike says, "Just Do It."
Copyright (c) 2007 Debbie Fontana
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