Yesterday I blogged about why our friends, family members and co-workers aren’t always so supportive of our healthy eating efforts and vice versa. Among my clients it’s a major obstacle, not only in terms of success but also happiness. If you’re currently dealing with a little push-back, here are a few tips that have worked for me and some of my clients:
Gently confront your saboteur. As I mentioned yesterday, they may not realize how they’re acting or why. Instead of accusing them of not being supportive start with something like, “You know how I’ve been trying to eat healthier? I wanted to ask you how you feel about it.” This kind of wording won’t put them on the defensive and allows them to either think through what may have been unconscious reactions or honestly tell you how they feel (e.g. I feel judged, left behind, jealous, etc.). Listen and try to understand where they’re coming from.
Share your feelings, thoughtfully. You might want to say something like, “You know how much I appreciate our friendship” or “You know how much I love you” and “You’ve been so supportive about (fill in the blank) and I could really use your support now.”
Find a middle ground. The truth is food is an important part of relationships so when you change how you eat it will impact the dynamics between you and the people in your life. Try to find new ways to spend time with people you care about that don’t involve eating or drinking or agree about how you’ll splurge together. The client I wrote about yesterday talked it through with her co-worker and they switched their office escapes from cupcake jaunts to tea trips and window shopping.
Have you resolved a food conflict with a friend? If so please share your story!