Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friends, Saboteurs, and Dessert

As you begin to lose weight and feel good about yourself, don't be surprised to find some friends and family practicing subtle sabotage. They can come in the forms of husbands, mothers, and best friends, and the closeness of their relationship to you makes your resistance that much harder. I'm talking about the spouse or partner who takes you out for a 'big meal' to celebrate a promotion at the office or even celebrate your weight loss! The partner who brings you a box of chocolates, your mother you visit who always has your favorite pie or fresh baked cookies for you to take home to the 'kids' knowing you'll be eating it, too. Or the best friend at lunch who always gets dessert, and encourages you to, also, so they won't be the 'only one.' These best friends and close family members in our lives might not be aware of what they're doing, but the damage is just as effective.

How you react is up to you: you can get angry, accusing the person of sabotaging your efforts to win the battle against weight gain, or you can give in to their offerings and suggestions deciding you'll deal with making a better choice later, or you can politely accept these items, if they're food gifts, and then later dump them in the trash, unopened. In the case of lunch with the girlfriend, have a cup of coffee or cup of tea while she digs in. Or if you just can't resist the temptation, agree to get one dessert and split it, giving her the bigger half. And the loved-one taking you out for the big meal? Thank him or her for their kindness, get the leanest item on the menu and if he or she insists on dessert, get two forks and insist they join you.

Again, it's about taking back your power and having that power over food and yes, those people who are perhaps going through their own subtle struggles with your looking and feeling better about yourself. Sometimes a spouse or partner or best friend are afraid of your looking better if they are also struggling with weight. Sometimes a mother has her identity wrapped up in nurturing her family with food, (think of Raymond's mother from "Everybody Loves Raymond"), and feels personally rejected if you refuse her home-baked goods. Don't fall prey to these well-meaning and yes, sometimes subtle saboteurs in your life. And don't expect others, (except me and others like me), to help you with your weight loss. This is about you and your decision, your choice to improve your life. In the end, only you are going to be responsible for the shape you are in.

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