When people find out I am a weight-loss coach and personal trainer, one of two things happen. They will either begin to tell me how many times they worked out and what they ate for the day, or they tell me all about their cousin, sister, brother, or mother who is overweight and in trouble. They talk about this person as if he or she is a problem they are “dealing” with. I know that this person really means well, they love this person and they are afraid for them, but I automatically go into defense mode. I will then explain why this person could be overeating, binge eating, not exercising, and not losing weight. I explain that it has nothing to do with food and exercise, and everything to do with the story going on in their head. Some people agree with me some people don’t.
If you don’t agree that this person you love is dealing with some sort of issue, whether it be big or small, let me throw something at you.
If you are eating out with this person who is “overweight” and you are thin, this person will most likely feel judged by you. I say this because if you can tell me this person’s “problem” then you are holding some sort of frustration inside and preconceived ideas of why this person is struggling (lazy, not motivated, etc.). Unfortunately, if you have these ideas in your head when you are with this person they can sense them. So as you are enjoying your plate full of pasta and bread, the person across from you feels like they need to order dry chicken and steamed veggies, because that is what you believe they should be eating.
The truth of the matter is they can eat whatever they want whenever they want. However, if everyone around you was judging your every choice when it comes to food and exercise, how would you feel? I am not attempting to put down people who are trying to help their loved ones I only want to bring awareness to the judgments that automatically happen when your friends and family members think you need to lose weight. It doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel positive and motivating, and it certainly doesn’t feel like help.
I love helping people lose weight but I also love educating people who have never gained weight about the affect they can have on their loved ones. Being someone who struggled with her weight I can tell you firsthand that feeling like you can’t eat like your friends and family members is one of the worst feelings in the world. Being heavier than your friends and sensing that your friends know you have gained weight is crushing. You can help someone lose weight simply by believing they can, you really have that much power. How do you want to use it?