The topic of one’s weight is never easy to broach. Think of how discouraging it is when we try to hide the numbers on our own scale. Perhaps you’ve noticed extra padding around your friend’s midsection. Or maybe it’s your daughter, eating her way through dorm life with all the wrong foods. We know it’s harmful for them, but we’re worried about approaching the subject for fear of saying the wrong thing. Could I actually be making matters worse by saying anything at all?
Recently, Catherine helped her freshman daughter leave for school out of state. Over the several visits to follow, she witnessed her daughter had increasingly packed on pounds. Late-night snacks and soft drinks meant for energy had quickly turned into unwanted poundage.
Catherine’s words of advice only made matters worse. Her daughter was well aware of her weight issue, and the last thing she wanted to hear from Mom was that she needs to lose weight.
We can all learn from Catherine’s mistake. The following tips will help provide incentives and motivation that work when enticing friends and loved ones to take their health seriously.
–Encourage, don’t preach. Instead of pointing out what’s gone wrong or has not been successful in the past, offer encouragement. The fact that you believe in him/her could greatly boost their motivation.
–Share a meal. Volunteer to eat what they eat (as long as it’s healthy and good for you). Actively participate by coming alongside friends to help them reach their fitness goals.
–Look ahead toward the finish line! Focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle centered around good-for-you foods. Dive into your friends’ goals with them. Often, it’s much easier and more rewarding to tackle situations with someone rather than going it alone.
–Celebrate – but not with food! One milestone conquered, we may feel we’ve earned the right to have “one more bite.” Your restraint will keep both you and your teammate on the path to success. Try a spa day or a simple bubble bath as a celebration tool instead.
Whether you need help with your own weight loss or are interested in helping another, remember that everything you say and do plays a role in its success. Keep negativity at bay by focusing on the truth. And yes, you’re worth it and so are those you love!