Friday, February 13, 2009

Weight Loss: Family Help or Hinder

Weight and family are a tough combo. Whether your family taught you unhealthy habits or contributed to your "fat genes", your family can and will have a huge impact on your weight loss goals--IF YOU LET THEM! This can be a help. Or a hindrance. It is really UP TO YOU!

Your experience with your family will be different from mine...and even different from that of your siblings (if you have them.) Even though we theoretically grew up in the same family, my brother's experiences were decidedly different from mine and so we have different experiences today when visiting.

The bottom line for any family visit is to remember that your family loves you. It doesn't always feel that way...and sure there are some families out there that are so dysfunctional that love is not part of the equation...but if you are visiting them I'm going to presume there is love involved!

Sometimes that love is expressed as unconditional support for your goals. Some families will bend over backwards to help you to eat healthy and move your body and happily join you on the adventure. Other families will be supportive but not be willing to change any of their routines. And then some families will be downright combative about any change--even if it is for your health.

How your family chooses to help may be wildly different as well. Sometimes in an effort to "help" my mother would comment on every bite that went into my mouth. We talked about that years ago--she understands that for me that was not helpful and I asked her for specific things that she could do to help me instead. That way she didn't feel judged too harshly and she felt like she was helping me, which truly was her intention all along.

Keep in mind, if you have been one way your entire life, then your family is used to dealing with that version of you. If you are making changes then it will take some education so they know what you expect--don't think they will KNOW how you want to be treated and what you need. They cannot read your mind...even though we think they should be able to!

The biggest thing to remember is that your results are strictly up to you. No blaming the families help or lack of help.

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