How to Deal with Diet and Fitness Saboteurs

November 6, 2012 at 11:02 am | Posted in Diet, Fitness, tips | Leave a comment
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by Juila Buckley

Here’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, not least because many of my fat loss fitness clients have been coming up against them, fat loss saboteurs… Or, as I’ve decided to call them in this post, flaboteurs! (I just made that word up myself. Yes, I am that clever.)

When you first start out on a fat loss diet and exercise programme it’s probably going to take a while for the people around you to get used to the idea.

Problems can range from people tempting you with your favourite sugar-loaded snacks or trying to persuade you to join them in a booze up, to attempting to make you feel guilty for taking time out to exercise, to disputing your need to make changes, to repeatedly telling you you’ll never get rid of the fat and your plan is doomed to failure anyway.

But you’ve had enough of being dragged down by excess body fat and you’ve been intending to do something about it for a long time. Now you’ve finally made the decision to shed the gunk and you’ve got a plan to make it happen. You’re going to change the way you eat and you’re going to start moving around a lot more. In your mind you’ve already made the shift, you’ve committed to making it happen, and about time too…

The problem is other people haven’t been riding your train of thought, they don’t know about all the agonising that’s been going on in your head.  And they might be surprised and resistant to seeing you change your ways. After all, they like you just fine the way you are. Which is nice. But it’s not them who has to live with your flab on their body is it?

Maybe the flaboteur has their own excess fat to contend with, and maybe that’s part of the reason why seeing you set off on a gloop busting mission is upsetting to them. Sometimes the flaboteur’s motives will be complex, possibly to do with their own body issues or personal insecurities, other times they might simply not realise that their behaviours are making it difficult for you to stick to a plan that is going to improve your life.

Whether the flaboteur’s actions are selfish or merely misguided or mistaken, this kind of friendly fire is the last thing fat fighters need. So, how do we deal with it?

Here are my suggestions, I hope you’ll add yours to mix via the comments section…

Share your Why

Explain to them that getting leaner and healthier means a lot to you. Give them lots of reasons why you want to shed flab and talk about how it will make your life better. Let them know you would value their support and explain in very simple terms what they can do to be supportive.

But don’t expect their support right away, or even ever. They may well continue to be unsupportive, but at least you tried to reason with them. Not to worry, you’ll deal with it. By starting on your fat loss mission, you have decided to take control of the amount of fat you have on your body, and by changing your behaviour you, and you alone, can achieve the fat loss you want.

Gain Willpower Guns

Support from others is great when it comes, but it is not essential. What goes into your mouth is totally up to you. You are an adult and no one can make you eat or drink anything you don’t want to. It is also your choice to exercise – it is your body and if you want to move it more you’re free to do that too!

Making healthy lifestyle changes in the midst of flaboteurs can be tough, but by sticking to your plan you will build up strong “willpower muscles” that will help keep you on course through the inevitable ups and downs life will throw at you.

Get Real

Yes, it would be lovely if everyone around you was wonderfully supportive and applauded all your fitness training, never offered you any fattening food and gave you tons of encouragement. But that’s not real life, so forget it!

Expect people to try to tempt you with poor food choices. Anticipate that they will try to talk you into doing other things during your exercise time. Presume that sometimes people will attempt to make you feel guilty about the changes you’re making. And recognise that many people around you will not share your enthusiasm for improving your body (and therefore your life). When you know that’s how it’s going to be, you can plan how to deal with it.

Be Direct

If someone offers you something to eat or drink that you don’t want turn it down politely, but not apologetically. Say something like, “No, thanks” or “Thanks, but I’m not hungry”. Do not say things like, “Oh I really shouldn’t” or “I can’t I’m on a diet”. Because what do you think their reaction is going to be if you say the latter? Even if the food does look tempting, you don’t have to say it.

Read the rest of this article at Julia’s Fitness Blog


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