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Weight Loss Sabotage

Do Your Friends and Family Want You to Succeed?

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Updated February 15, 2014


Ideally, our friends and family would support us in our efforts to lose weight and be healthier. But sometimes, those closest to you -- those you need the most help from -- may actually try to cause you to fail at weight loss by undermining your success.

Why it Happens

It can be the person you least expect who attempts to sabotage your weight loss -- your spouse, a sibling or your best friend. While this situation can happen for different reasons, it is quite likely that the "saboteur" finds themselves threatened by your efforts to lose weight.

Here are some scenarios where someone may be reacting out of fear or insecurity:

  • Friends may think you want to change your life in other ways -- maybe you'll be leaving them out of your "new and improved" circle of friends along with your new, healthy lifestyle.
  • A friend may feel your weight loss makes her extra weight seem more noticeable to others.
  • Your spouse may be jealous of or dislike the attention you are getting from other people.
  • A family member may resent the time you spend exercising or preparing healthy foods (particularly if they themselves partake of neither) when you could be spending time with them.
  • A friend may feel guilty about continuing to eat your formerly favorite foods while you eat lighter fare. Or she may miss her "partner in crime" if you frequently ate together or shared "bad" foods.

What it Looks Like

So, how do you know a weight loss saboteur when you meet one? Here are some clues.

Weight loss saboteurs may...

  • Urge you to eat sweet or fattening foods.
  • Undermine your efforts by making negative comments, such as: "No one ever keeps the weight off!" or "You'll never make your goal weight. You always quit."
  • Continually offer you second helpings of food despite the fact that you say you are no longer hungry.
  • Keep a watchful eye on everything you eat, make snide comments, or check the fridge or food packages to see if you have eaten "bad" foods in their absence.
  • Be overly critical of your weight loss methods.
  • Discourage you from getting regular physical activity.
  • Belittle or make fun of you.

Facing Up to It

If you find that someone in your life fits these characteristics, it is likely you are dealing with someone who -- consciously or unconsciously -- does not want your weight loss efforts to work. It is important to recognize if someone is making your weight loss efforts harder rather than easier; not acknowledging this will only lead to failure and resentment in your relationship. After all, weight loss changes a lot more than just your dress size and you may have to change the way you relate to your loved ones if this becomes a problem.

Continued: How to Cope >>

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