How to Gain Support While Losing Weight

Good morning! Happy Hump Day and happy February 1st!

My day started with cofffffeeeee… and, boy, did I need it this morning. I’m ready for cup numero dos.

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Let’s just say getting out of bed was not an easy task this morning. My bed was warm and cozy with a furry pug quietly snoring beside me. I wish I could have snuggled all morning with Murphy, but as soon as I remembered my ridiculous To Do list for today, I forced myself out of bed. Work schmork.

Breakfast

For breakfast, I added a good amount (3-ish tablespoons) of almond butter + banana slices to a whole wheat wrap and then heated it in the toaster oven until the inside got all melty. So delish. Super filling, too.

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Glow Magazine Debut

One of my health tips was printed in this month’s Glow magazine! Woohoo! I’m going international!

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A few months ago, Glow contacted me for my best advice on feeling fitter and more fabulous in 2012. I gave them a number of ideas, and they picked one to include in their magazine. Cool!

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My idea is lucky #19!

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Here’s my tip:

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I <3 quinoa.

Feel Great Weight

When I was losing weight, I heard a lot of comments from my family and friends about my new healthy habits.

“Oh, you’re not eating dessert?”
“How can you just eat vegetables? I could never do that.”
“Why do you want to go to the gym today? You already exercised this week.”

I knew they cared about me, but these comments often made me feel uncomfortable and even angry at times. Why couldn’t they respect my choice to get healthy and lose weight? I wish I could say that I lost the weight all on my own, but I quickly realized that I needed the support of those around me. What these people said and did could impact just how successful I was with my weight loss. Instead of getting upset with everyone, I got serious about my goals and looked to a few strategies to help me drop the pounds once and for all. Here’s what I did, and what can help you too.

Great Ways to Gain Support While Losing Weight

Question of the Day

When it comes to weight loss and healthy living, how do you gain support from your loved ones?

P.S. I’m hosting a giveaway on Trading Up Downtown to win my favorite Larabar flavors!

93 Comments

  1. Such a great post Tina!! For reals! And congratulations on the magazine tip~that’s actually a great tip when it comes to quinoa, millet, and all those tough grains. xD

    And I totally feel ya about the comments! I didn’t get angry per say, but I got uncomfortable almost all the time when I ate with other people (especially family) for a few years. I wasn’t eating to just lose weight or “diet”, but I was just adopting a healthier lifestyle little by little. And everyone always made a comment about how non-nutritious or unsatisfying a certain food/dish was, but those foods made me feel better and actually had MORE nutrients! But to a heavy meat/carbs/sweets eater’s eyes, anything that’s not “heavy” may seem to lack nutrients. I just tried to remind myself and them that I love it and it’s my choice, and so I’d make healthy delicious foods for them to try and they’d like it! Still, they’d be stubborn to eat them on their own will. I just kept on living by example, and now my parents are loving oatmeal, chia seeds, everything! (Even the things that I personally thought I messed up on taste-wise, they love it) haha!

    Sorry it’s so long! But all this to say that living by example and keeping on is the best way in my opinion. 😀

  2. I’m fortunate that my friends and family are all super supportive, especially the hubs who gladly runs with me and praises my healthy meals even though I know he’d rather be noshing a Big Mac. I find the most negative attention when I eat healthfully from co-workers. If I opt to pass on the office birthday cake, I definitely have some explaining to do.

    By the way, peanut butter stuffed dates. My mind has been blown. Seriously, I need to try that immediately. Thanks!

  3. Most of my friends were supportive, but would toss me the comment here and there. I just kept doing what I was doing, and they eventually caught on and started following along once they realized that I was not trying to starve/deprive myself and that (surprise) they felt better when they worked out more, too.

  4. Wow I totally understand what you’re saying about family and friends comments when you’re trying to make healthy decisions. This happens me to me ALL THE TIME, especially at work.

    People will walk around with donuts in the morning and if I decline atleast one person always says some variation of “oh you’re the healthy one right? you dont’ eat this stuff. Ha, well I DO!” It makes me feel uncomfortable and alienated. Or if we all go to lunch, before I even order someone will make a comment: “I bet Katy is getting a salad!” I’ve even had someone tell me “I couldn’t eat healthy like you, I love food too much” Oh that’s right, because I hate food…that’s why I eat healthy.

    It’s very frustrating and it used to bother me a lot. I used to eat crap just so people wouldn’t make comments like this. I don’t do that anymore. I do what I want and I make healthy choices because they make me happy. Those people making comments like that are usually feeling bad about themselves because they don’t make healthy choices and they’re trying to make themselves feel better. They’re problem…not mine.

  5. Honestly, you can’t make someone support you. If someone thinks that what you are doing is dumb, you aren’t going to convince them otherwise. If they are being truly unsupportive, then I would just try to stay away from that topic. The best thing you can do is lead by example.

    Other times, people just don’t get it. I have ongoing conversations with my aunt who is, quite frankly, insanely unhealthy. She asks me about my work out/eating habits because she is interestered, but then tells me how I’m doing it wrong. For example, I started eating gluten-free and she asked about it. I told her the symptoms that I had been having and how they have gone away and I lightly touched on the ideas behind it. She then started telling me about how sick I will be without wheat, and how if I eat whole wheat it’s ok, and yada yada. I’m going to start steering her to the books and blogs I read rather than have the conversation myself.

    Long story short – get support from the places you can, and don’t listen to the people that just bring you down. (Easier said than done)

  6. My husband is extremely supportive since we both hit the gym during the week and have a schedule that works out for us that does not take away from our family time with our 6 year old son. My parents also are so supportive of all the running I do and all my half marathon achievements…they are constantly encouraging me and saying that I can do it and they are proud of me! It is amazing how hearing your mom and dad say, “we are proud of you, great job” can just push you to try even harder.

    The best support of all is my son Lukas. I had him do his first Kids 1K and he loved it and when we were watching the beginning of the 5K afterwards he told me “I want to do a 5K!” Gotta love him. He also tells me the night before a big race to win and when I come back he always asks if I won. I tell him I didn’t but I did really good and let him wear my medal. 🙂

  7. I have not ever gone through the losing weight thing, but even just working out and eating well seems like a really big deal to people. Do you think it sometimes is a guilt thing? (the other person feels guilty that they are having dessert or not going to the gym today?)

  8. Awesome ideas–and CONGRATS on the magazine debut!!

    I think that with losing weight it has to come from WITHIN first, then surround yourself with people who love and support you. If that desire is not there FIRST though, no amount of support can help. Just sayin’.

  9. That’s a great question. I think it’s very unique for each person. Sometimes it’s easier to be more public about your goals because it helps hold you accountable and others can motivate. However, if you want to lose just a few pounds and are seemingly fit already, I find people can be more discouraging. Ultimately, it is about what feels best for you. I think we all have to remember what works for one person might not work for another.

  10. I’m so incredibly fortunate: my husband is the least judgmental person I know. I’ve been thin, fat, and in-between, and he loves and supports me no matter what. He supports my goals, whether they be professional, personal, weight-related, etc. And he even calls me out (nicely!) when I start getting negative about myself. It’s a very different environment from the one I grew up in, and it makes ALL the difference.

  11. Wow! So many comments above resonate with my experience! I made very positive changes to my lifestyle two years ago. I was more informed about what I ate and made the healthy choices that fit my lifestyle. It’s been difficult to gain support from a few friends who feel that my healthy eating and active living somehow reflects poorly on their lifestyle. I find that I receive comments from some close friends who make a strong comparison to my lifestyle and use that to inflict on me an assumed sense of superiority, that I don’t have, nor will I ever! I believe in individual health and fitness goals, do what works best for you and be happy while doing it!

  12. I find it’s generally more useful to equate working out or weight loss with how you feel instead of exclusively how you look.

    If my husband or friends say something like ‘but you look great’ or ‘you’re find the way you are’ I realize that I don’t work out just to look good but even more so, to feel good. Those endorphins get me every time!

  13. Just wanted to say that your ladybug coaster in the first picture might be the cutest thing ever. And that I can totally relate to the uncomfortable factor when it comes to friends’ and family’s comments about health eating and exercising habits – I usually just try to explain that I’m pretty in tune with my body and doing/ eating things that make it *feel* good are supremely important to me.

  14. Congrats on the article in the magazine, very cool.

    This is actually something I was thinking about on my run last night. Why has it become socially acceptable to be unhealthy and overweight? I get the need to love and accept yourself no matter what your size, I am there. But doesn’t mean I need to be ok with it. I get tired of the “oh dont worry you look fine”, “oh come on youre not fat” “just go ahead and indulge” Well hello people I am 50 pounds over weight and not comfortable. Why not say stuff like, “wanna go for a run” “what healthy thing have you done for yourself today”

    Not to say people should be unacepting of their overweight friends but ignoring it for concern of hurting someone’s feelings doesn’t help either. People are so quick to think I am being mean to myself by saying I am fat, it’s not a self deprecating statement, it is as fact and I need to do something about it.

  15. Great question. I basically relied heavily on myself, my sister and my boyfriend throughout this process. I also relied on the blogging world and forums with people going through the same thing. The rest of the people would say things that I would just ignore if it was unsolicited “advice” or observation.

  16. I hear the same things from friends/family when I’m marathon training. I used to feel guilty when I would pass up on a happy hour, or go but leave early or not drink because I had a long run planned the next or a race. But I’ve learned to care less about their comments and not react. When they see that, they usually stop with the comments or say them less often.

  17. I’ve never had to get encouragement for weight loss, but I always sympathize with people who start a diet and the people around them already assume it won’t last/they will quit/etc. It is much easier to succeed if people believe in you!
    I do struggle with support of my running/exercising. My mom does not understand WHY I like running, especially since I do half and full marathons. She thinks I’m crazy, and is not supportive! I definitely understand how having negative people in your life makes losing weight/living healthy a challenge. Instead, I try to focus on the positive people in my life.

  18. When it was time for me to lose 100 pounds, I got TONS of support and didn’t even have to really ask for it. My friends and family knew I had to lose the weight and was really great about it. After I lost most of the weight I did come across some people who were not supportive and tried to sabotage my efforts. They didn’t stay in my life too long.

  19. I heard those comments while I was losing weight. Don’t lose too much, else you won’t look good. Don’t lose anymore, else you won’t look good. Although I didn’t refuse dessert, it was hard, because I just wanted people to stop. I wasn’t sick and I was aware of how much I wanted to weight and needed to weight based on my height. Yeah, they all cared, but some friends may have been envious… who knows.

  20. I love the idea of making a big pot of quinoa for the week!

    When I was losing weight, a lot of my friends were aware of it. I did the weight watchers program and so I would talk to them about points and a lot of them were intrigued and very supportive of my weight loss. I think if you don’t make a big deal out of it but let people know without being forceful or obsessive then overall they will be supportive. And if not, then bump them and keep it moving! I think it is very important though to have a support group of people that are encouraging when you are losing weight and that’s why I really loved the weight watchers program. I actually lost 60 pounds and have kept it off for the past 5 years!

  21. i recently started working out ( in nov) .. i am so overweight and its just now hit me that I need to do something about it. i’ve totally changed the way I eat ..and i hit up the gym at least 3 times a week. yesterday totally sucked. the gym totally kicked my ass and not in a good way. Instead of leaving feeling awesome i was nothing but discouraged. blah. anyway. I have only told a handful of people that I am making this change. My husband has NO idea ( he’s deployed) the only real support I have is my cousin and his wife. we’re all doing this together. I guess I have my trainer too.. but he is just different lol.

  22. Congratulations on the Glow blurb!!! I’m in Canada, and we have the magazine delivered to our work. I’ll watch out for it… (despite the fact that as I’ve read this post, I’ve read your text already! 🙂 ) I’m very fortunate that most of my family and friends fully support my get healthy goal… Have a good Wednesday.

  23. I feel like so often people in our lives have no idea how their comments affect us. They may think that encouraging us to eat dessert because we’ve “worked so hard” is being supportive. I find the most important thing is to be clear about my needs. I’ve told people “I need for you to please not make comments about what I eat” and I had to tell my husband early on in half marathon training “I need you to be excited every time I hit a PDR and act like it’s a big deal” which some people might think is silly, but as soon as I clearly expressed what was important, people cared enough to make it happen, and that is usually the case–we just need to ask.

  24. Congrats on Glow magazine, that’s awesome. Tough question on gaining support, as a vegan, I’ve become used to a different dietary path from most of my family and friends, which is fine with me. And maybe that makes it easier since most of the food temptations at family gatherings aren’t vegan. 😛

  25. I am so fortunate to have a family that supports me with my healthy lifestyle, but I do get the occasional heckle about the way that I eat. Thankfully, I just let it roll off my back. 🙂 But sometimes there are days where it doesn’t and it does frustrate me just a bit. This is a great post!!

  26. Every time I get on a kick to eat healthy and lose weight my husband does not like it. And my friends and family give me a big lecture about not eating enough etc. It is very frustrating!

  27. For me, it’s about gaining/maintaining, and such a person can be just as in need of support as someone who is trying to lose…I feel very supported by close people in my life who “get” my situation, though! I’m lucky! 🙂

  28. I always struggle with this. When I share too much, it gets thrown back at me sometimes but I could use the support to make healthy decisions. I share my goals with those who I know will support me and then keep things to myself at other times. Guess I don’t have any great advice, but enjoyed reading everyone elses.

  29. Most of the time, I find that it is women who are being discouraging and have a lot of negative comments when they find out other women are changing their eating habits to healthier styles or are trying to lose weight. This is like a guy friend who told me, women want big engagement rings to show off to other women. In some sense, it is true. How many times have we heard men asking, “Can I see your ring?” Are women born to be jealous? Sometimes, I’m very glad that I work in a male-dominated field, where I don’t get into these situations. That being said, it also comes with a host of other problems. One just can’t win. Everything in moderation.

  30. I think this is a great topic because people say things like this all the time. Instead of being discouraged though – I take is as a compliment 😉 Yes I worked my butt off at 5 am this morning becuase it makes me feel good. How do you feel? 🙂

  31. Tina – I am going through this right now and it hurts to here these comments from family, friends and co-worker’s. I’m down thirty pounds from a year ago and have about twenty more to go and I’m being told “You don’t eat” (not true!), “you’re skinny”, “eat something” and on and on.

    I am well within a healthy weight range and it’s about feeling better and getting fit and looking better on the outside is the bonus. Thank you so much for this post.

  32. I was very lucky that comments like “Why do you want to go to the gym today? You already exercised this week” didn’t bother me much when I was losing the bulk of my weight. I had enough people that said they were proud of me that I could ignore the others!

  33. I think it’s so sad when people put a damper on someone’s health efforts with negative comments! We should all encourage and support our friends and family members’ efforts to lose weight or get healthier. I’m a big fan of having a health goal “partner” who you can check in with, work alongside, and do healthy things with. Great post!

  34. I couldn’t agree more! So many people, particularly friends and family, aren’t as supportive as you’d like them to be. You wouldn’t coax a recovering alcoholic into taking a sip of gin, so why tempt a formerly overweight person with a cupcake?

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