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‘Should I tell my family about my life style change?’ 

It may seem an odd question, unless you have walked the path to reach a healthier weight. Ultimately, it bears down to one thing – fear of judgement.

When it comes to diet, nutrition and weight loss, everyone has an opinion. We each strongly believe and stand by ‘our method’ because it either worked for us or for someone we know. We want to share our beliefs with anyone who will listen or when we feel they need the advice…even when they don’t want to hear us!

Weight is a very personal issue. There are very few who carry excess weight without experiencing some cruel joke or comment from friends, family and even strangers in the street. The unfortunate truth is that excess weight is the one ailment that it seems to be universally acceptable to mock, what with “Fat shaming” and “fat jokes”. Derogatory comments of this nature are aimed at making an individual feel judged, disrespected and humiliated. It serves no positive purpose.

Regardless of advice galore, most are genuine in their intention to offer support to a loved one who has initiated or is on the journey to reach their healthiest weight. The challenge is acknowledging and respecting their boundaries. We must respect their dietary choices to accomplish their life style change, even if it differs from our beliefs. We should allow this friend or family member to invite us to share their journey and if they permit us, we can ask how best to support them rather than attempt to impose our beliefs. A definite no-no is to attempt to be the uninvited captain of their ship and to plan or restrict their meals. Refrain from making negative comments on their meal choices because they are on a ‘diet’! Such behavior implies a lack of respect or trust in their ability to make or implement their decisions. Weight loss can only be accomplished by the individual, no one else.

For those undergoing the journey, not everyone will understand your path, it is your journey, not theirs. True support from family and friends can be priceless. Believe they are coming from a place of love and allow them to be a part of your life style change. It is best to provide clear guide lines on how best you can be supported. Invite as many as possible to take the journey with you, that’s right, buddy -up.

With open communication, true dedication and total support, accomplishing the desired amount of weight loss is made that much easier.

“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”