The Weight Loss Struggle
Someone you care about has weight issues. You want to help. Here's what I've learned from people who struggle with weight about what not to say and how to help:
What NOT to Do
- Don't preach. Nobody likes a preacher unless they are at a religious service.
- Anyone who is overweight knows they are. They don't need you to remind them.
- Stop the passive/aggressive comments. ("I thought you were on a diet...are cookies allowed?")
- Stop looking at their plate. They know you are and it shames them.
- Don't give advice unless asked.
What You Can Do:
There is something perfect and wonderful in everyone. Because of our culture's focus on external appearance, what is inside is often overlooked. When a loved one is struggling with weight issues, draw attention to the many gifts they have. A lifetime of dieting and deprivation leads to fluctuating weight and a terrible sense of frustration and negative self-esteem. Build your loved one up with genuine acknowledgement of their gifts. Through increased self esteem and a sense of being acknowledged for their strengths, you increase their chances of taking care of themselves with better nutrition. Feeling good about themselves will literally 'fill them up' in ways that food never can..
Follow These Steps
- Give genuine compliments 'I notice how you always go the extra step when someone needs help' or 'you have such a nice way with little children/elders/animals' or 'you are such a great singer'
- Seek out their expertise 'would you help me with decorating my home - you have such a natural talent for it'. ' could you help me with social media - I don't know what I'm doing'
- Be an example. Without preaching or saying anything about your lifestyle, live in a way that can be a model for anyone who is overweight. Eat quality food, enjoy occasional treats and keep moving with whatever exercise you like.
- Wait to be asked for advice. If they are looking for a place to start overcoming cravings and eating healthier, my book Food Becomes You - Simple Steps for Lifelong Wellness is an easy introduction to simply healthy eating. Order here by December 12 for a signed, personalized copy.