I am inspired to write this post after reading one of the articles that someone posted over at the Jenny Craig website because it really got me thinking about all of the negative ways other people have tried to “support” me in my weight loss over the years. I think when someone undertakes the idea of weight loss for themselves it is a pretty personal and sensitive journey for them no matter how much weight they have to lose. Over the years I’ve often scoffed at people who were complaining about being “fat” and “overweight” when they needed to just lose ten pounds because I wrongly assumed that they were being superficial and self indulgent but what I’m coming to see is that regardless of how much you weigh, if you are overweight and feel you need to lose weight it is likely that you are not feeling very good about yourself….there are not too many people who wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and remark “I’m so fat and I’m so happy to be so fat”. We are all individuals and every one of our journeys is going to be different and as always what works for one person is not always likely to work for another and so perhaps our friends and families have done or said things to us along the way that they thought was supportive but instead it turned out to be hindering, frustrating, or hurtful.
We all (for the most part) love our family and friends and we know/hope that they want all the good things in life for us including a heatlhy fit lifestyle so I think its important that when you start out in your weight loss efforts you spend some time laying down the ground work…..a weight loss cheerleader code of ethics so to speak….because we all need cheerleaders in our corners, we just need cheerleaders that are right for who we are. If you have someone in your life that is overweight, obese, morbidly obese….have you sat down and thought about your approach with them? Have you ever watched people try, fail, try, and fail again at a diet program only to gain back what little weight they did lose plus more? What was your approach with them when they failed? Did you encourage them to pick up from before the struggle and continue with the diet or did you discourage them, nag them, berate them in some way – maybe you didn’t know that you did….but you likely did. I am not writing this post today to tell you the magical answers for what will work for you during your weight loss but I am writing this blog post to help my own friends and family understand me, my needs during my weight loss journey, and hopefully they’ll all know that they’re on my team and I want them on my team in the most helpful and non-discouraging ways possible.
Here’s how you can be a Cheerleader for Mama Melissa:
Don’t highlight, point out, emphasize my struggles/failures (and there are bound to be some along the way) but rather celebrate my successes with me in any small way that you can.
It’s always great to hear news that someone can notice me getting smaller so please point it out when you have one of those “wow I can really tell Melissa is losing weight” moments.
When I do slip up (like I said, there will be moments of weakness) please do not embarass me, make a comment, berate me, attack me or even question my choice – you can be guaranteed that I already thought out the decision and that I will have enough of my own guilt for the slip up to handle the situation. Instead if I’m talking about the slip up you can encourage me by reminding me that it is just one moment and I can just continue as normal with my diet plan.
Do not offer me snacks that are not good for me! You know what I’m talking about: chips, chocolate, pie, cake, junk, junk, junk….I’m a food addict and if I was a drug addict you would not be offering me crack, cocaine, meth, heroin….would you? No! So, stop it! I’m getting better at saying no….also on that note, if I say no – I mean no! Please dont’ ask me if I’m sure….I said no!!
Invite me to go on walks with you…I’d love to have company and sometimes just one invite is just the encouragement I need to keep moving!
I think these are all a good place to start! Join me, help me, encourage me!!
Please be my cheerleader!?