Enablers and Detractors

If you want to lose weight or to get fit, there is an important but uncomfortable issue that you may need to confront.

Who around you is helping you to eat? And who around you is not helping you to make the changes you want to make?  The people around you can impact either positive or negatively on your weight loss journey.  I’ve experienced some of the negative, and a fair few folks with an opinion too.  See earlier blog post on that.

First things first. You are 100% responsible for every single thing that you put in your mouth – every single food choice you make.  Believing otherwise is the key to either never losing it or putting it all back on again. There are some things that make sticking to a diet harder.  For me, it is travelling with work, conferences or training courses where there are biscuits at every break, or just simply, the weekends.  But you are still responsible for all of the choices that you make. You are equally responsible for whether you get out of bed and go to the gym, go out for that run, take that Zumba class.

Only sometimes there are people around you who are either activity encouraging you to make bad choices, or helping you closer to them. When you lose weight, you find that other people share their own stories with you, whether those are stories of success or failure.  I’ve heard plenty of examples of enablers and detractors, as well as experiencing my own share too.

Some people are out and out feeders. You may well have seen the slightly strange TV programmes.  Often feeders are men who like a larger lady; they are both actively engaged in a consensual feeding relationship.  Weird?  Maybe.  But it is only an extreme of something that is often much more subtle.

It might be someone telling you that you look beautiful when you are overweight, because they don’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you the truth. It might be someone who is also fat, who wants you to say just as you are because they then don’t have to face their own issues.  It might be an insecure partner filling your plate with giant portions, telling you that he likes you ‘just the way you are’.  It may be someone who uses food to show their love and care for you.  It might be someone making you feel guilty if you don’t want to go out for a meal, eat what they are eating or drink a bottle or two of wine.  Maybe you get called ‘boring’ and it is supposed to be a joke.

Whichever category these people fall into, there is one similarity. This is their issue.  Not yours.  As the saying goes, you cannot change someone else, you can only change the way you react to them.  You may need every reserve of inner strength.  You may even need to remove yourself from these people as much as you able to.  You may need to call it out.

If you have an enabler or a detractor in your life, you will have to face up to it and deal with it in whatever way is most appropriate.

As I have blogged before, I have a rule about those that have an opinion on my weight loss. Those people that have waved chocolate at me or made fun of me.  If the person sharing their views also had a well-intentioned conversation with me about my weight gain, when I was obese and sad, then I will listen to what they have to say.  If they didn’t then I will take no notice.  And for the record, this adds up to precisely no people.

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