When you’re trying to get fit it feels like everything and everyone is working against you. But guess what? You’re not alone!
- More than 75% of women say they “never” or “rarely” get any support from friends or family.
- And in a 2017 North Carolina State University study, researchers interviewed 40 participants and all 40 said they had someone in their lives trying to undermine their goals.
Today, we’re talking about diet haters and the best strategies to ward off their negativity.
Your Best Friends Can Be Your Worst Enemies
Every day I get emails from clients sharing the motivation crushing comments they’ve received. And these aren’t snide, sabotaging remarks from strangers, they’re delivered firsthand from the ones they love—friends, mothers, and spouses.
And to let you know you’re not alone in this battle, I’ve compiled a list of the most diet damaging comments I’ve heard.
Top 10 Diet Damaging Comments
10. You’re not having salad again today, are you?
9. I made it just for you and you’re not having any?!
8. What? You’re not going out for a drink with us? I guess we’ll stop inviting you.
7. You are SO boring when you’re on a diet.
6. I made your favorite dessert and you’re not having any? Don’t be rude.
5. You can have a tiny slice, can’t you?
4. Why can’t today be your “cheat” day?
3. Come on, we’re on vacation. Don’t ruin everyone else’s fun.
2. I wouldn’t give your clothes away just yet.
And what’s likely the most hurtful comment of all…
1. I notice you’re losing weight, and…I didn’t want to say anything. But you look sick.
I cringe reading those comments, don’t you?! Some are downright vicious. And those are just the most common, I could easily list 30 or 40 more.
Why are the ones you love most the same ones undermining your good intentions?
Why Do Friends Sabotage Your Goals?
A 2014 survey conducted by Nakd Wholefoods found your friends will intentionally lay diet traps, tempt you with a night of dinner and drinks, and try to sway you with pizza, bagels, and cookies.
To name a few reasons: it’s jealousy, guilt, insecurity, they feel like you’re judging them, and they feel exposed for not acting. Whatever the reason is, the fact remains: when you’re looking to make a change, be prepared to dodge stones thrown your way.
To deal with diet saboteurs, you need strategies in place and support you can fall back on.
5 Ways to Deal With (And Prevent) Bariatric Diet Saboteurs
1.) Explain Why You Want to Have Bariatric Surgery Before You Start.
Have you ever told your spouse you’re starting a diet only to have them bring home a pint of ice cream that same night?
(And hands everywhere shoot up.)
But have you ever explained why you’re looking to get fit?
How to turn Saboteurs into Supporters.
Instead of saying, “I’m starting a diet Monday” or “I’m having bariatric surgery on Monday” explain why you’re making a change.
- I don’t feel great. I’m tired and exhausted all the time.
- I want to feel more confident.
- I don’t feel like I’m in control of what I eat.
- I need to set a good example for my children.
Whatever your core reason is, let them know! When your friends or spouse know why and what it means to you, they’re far more likely to push you forward and not off track.
2.) Say Thank You, But…
There are many, many reasons why loved ones derail your diet, but not everyone is out to get you. Sometimes, they’re not trying to sabotage you at all. Food is simply how they express their love.
Imagine Grandma just made your favorite dish. Is she intentionally trying to ruin your diet? Probably not. She knows you enjoy pecan pie and simply wants to see you happy.
So, what can you do?
You can give in a little, which I don’t recommend. Once you start to teeter, you’ll have to fight this battle again and again.
Your two-part game plan is to:
- Acknowledge their effort, and
- Say you’re not hungry right now.
Here’s your script when family and friends tell you they love you with food.
“I know how hard you worked, and I really appreciate it! I love you too. But I’m not hungry right now, so I’m going to pass.”
Grandma, your spouse, and the sweet lady at work just want to do something for you and have their efforts recognized. You can acknowledge them AND stick to your plan.
3.) Build Your Team.
In a perfect world, everyone is on your side. Your friends take lunch-time walks, the family loves the healthy dinners you’re making, and your spouse is your best gym buddy.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But hey, we can dream, right?
So, you’re left with two options:
- Hope for the best (never a good strategy), or
- Recruit a team of supporters.
Let’s think about building healthy habits as a game of tug-of-war.
- On one side, you’re standing alone, heels dug in, fighting for every inch.
- On the other are your diet saboteurs. But they’re not struggling. Heck, they’re not even breaking a sweat.
It’s you against co-workers inviting you to lunch, your husband bringing home chocolate cake and your friends tempting you with wine and dessert.
With so many pulling against you, winning feels impossible, doesn’t it?
That’s why you need to even the odds and recruit people to pull on your side.
- Do you have a co-worker that loves yoga? Great!
- A neighbor that takes an evening power walk? Perfect!
- A friend that just joined your gym? Yes!
These are exactly the type of people we need to balance things out.
Never underestimate the role that positive, supportive friends will have on your choices.
4.) Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Far, Far Away.
“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” – Michael Corleone
While keeping your enemies close is great advice when you’re running an underworld empire, we don’t want to keep company with diet saboteurs.
Just like you need to surround yourself with a team of supporters, you need to distance yourself from those that aren’t on the same fitness page.
Say your friends want you to go out for drinks, but always pressure you into eating too much and staying out too late. If you know how the night is going to end, why not avoid it?
Remember, it’s easier to avoid the dragon than slay it.
I realize you don’t want to become a recluse, and that’s not the goal. You should go out with friends but be on the lookout for tough situations that make change hard, then either take charge of it or leave it alone.
5.) Get Yourself A Coach!
Listen. I know it’s not easy to find supportive friends, convince your family to stop tempting you, and avoid relentless social pressure. That’s why you need someone that’s got your back.
A coach can help you with strategies and pull you through the toughest situations.
If you’re struggling to find motivation, want someone on your side, and need a pro there to make sure you stick to the plan, a coach is exactly what you’re looking for.
This is part of what we do at BariatricA, LLC. We both are coaches for motivational, fitness, and nutritional support. We can give you daily, weekly, or however often you need the support. Just click here to get started.
Sometimes though you need to make sacrifices to get the assistance that you need though, so keep that in mind.
If there is a will there is a way. Any of these steps can help you with someone who you feel is trying to sabotage your success post-bariatric surgery. Sometimes keeping your plans secret from your friends and family who live outside of your home is not the best option.