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YOUR HEALTH: With a Little Help from a Friend

Discussion in 'Weight Loss and Dieting' started by CRPetersen, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. CRPetersen

    CRPetersen Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Often when we want to make a significant change for the better in our lives there are people around us who will sabotage that change. This can be for a number of reasons; sometimes your change can cause uncertainty for a family member, co-worker, friend, or associate. They may feel guilty they are not making the same change or may feel your life improvement might put them into a negative light or lessen your relationship. Understand this and never chastise or put the other person down for their choices. Reaffirm your relationship.

    Social influence is very important for any change. Many people have made significant changes in spite of the social influence surrounding them; but change is much easier with social support. One of the primary predictors of obesity is the company you keep. When I lost 115 lbs, after losing about 70, a number of people told me to stop, even though I was still statistically overweight. I didn’t drop out of this category until I had lost 113 lbs. Because obesity has become the norm in many countries, it has become socially comfortable to be obese or at least overweight. Unfortunately, just because something becomes the norm, or socially acceptable, does not mean it is healthy or any less deadly.

    You can be an example for positive change, which over time may make a significant difference in the lives of others. If they do not follow you in your positive changes, continue to love and support them.

    As a member of a group or family loses weight and adopts a healthy lifestyle, it often becomes easier for others in the group to do the same. Eventually the norm can become healthy choices, attitudes, and behaviors. If they do not follow you in your positive changes, continue to love and support them. (Yes, I know I already said that.)

    Because social sabotage is so common and often difficult to overcome, how can you turn this around? Sometimes sabotage can be absolutely on purpose. Someone simply does not want you to change or be successful, at least in this area. Sabotage can also be accidental or an act of ignorance. Most good friends and family members who love you, will want the best for you.

    So, what can you do?

    Ask for help!

    This can be powerful for a number of reasons. Lots of people like to help and feel like thy have been and are a part of your success, change, or improvement in whatever area it may be. (And then some may not.)

    First, explain why you want to make the change. You may even include how it might benefit them in the long run…in ways they will appreciate.

    There is more than one way to address this. Here are a couple:

    1.When you ask for help, be specific. Tell them what you want them to do. Have some things in mind and make it reasonable and avoid asking them to make significant changes in their own life and habits.

    You may ask them:

    A. To remind you about your goals and why you are trying to make the change especially when they see you doing something you want to change. You may even set up some code words so they can remind you in public without anyone else knowing.

    B. To make small changes to the environment, so temptations and/or negative influences are not where you see them frequently, or perhaps even unavailable in your home or work setting.

    C. To teach you skills and provide needed knowledge.

    D. To provide you with or loan you tools. Today tools can be all kinds of things from physical tools, to phone apps, to techniques for doing something such as a goal formula or workbook.

    E. To meet with you or speak with you on a weekly basis about your progress towards your goal.

    F. To provide prearranged (small) reinforcement for the accomplishment of steps towards your goal.

    G. To help hold you accountable.

    (No matter how you ask them to help. You may also want to reinforce/reward anything positive they may do to help you.)

    2. Ask them ways they think they might be able to help. If they are willing but don’t know, share some ideas but still ask them what they can commit to do.

    In some situations, you may even want to enter into a written agreement. Include your goal and the change you want to make and what the other person or people agree to do to help and support you. For example, an office may have a written agreement that only healthy treats will be brought to the office OR if there are unhealthy treats, they will be placed far away from where you are and where you typically go in the office. Always show genuine gratitude for any and all positive moves the other person or people may make.

    edited by a mod
    • Like Like x 2
    #1 CRPetersen, Jul 23, 2016 at 1:20 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2016
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