Balancing Family Input

Hi friends! Coach Stefanie here!

As most of us know, navigating the holidays while trying to lose weight is crazy hard. Now, when we add our (sweet) family members to that equation, it doesn’t always equal success. From their helpful suggestions on “how to lose weight” to being pushed into making bad choices because “it’s the holidays, relax a little”, we all have some form of sabotaging family members. 99% of the time, our family members don’t mean to stress us out or sabotage our health journey- but nevertheless, they do. As a veteran weight loser, and a mother; I wanted to encourage you all before the throws of the holidays, for dealing with family.

So what is the best way to deal with them? I have personally found the “don’t ask-don’t tell” method to be the easiest. Especially with family that you don’t see as often. In this scenario, you don’t bring up your weight loss journey. Instead, when questioned why you aren’t eating more or certain things, you simply use more socially acceptable reasons like “Thank you, I’m full” or “I’m just not in the mood for pie right now. I might have a slice later”. I have found most people won’t push back on this reasoning, whereas people tend to have a lot to say if your argument is “No, I’m trying to lose weight!”.

I think this often comes from a good place where your family members don’t want to see you struggle or deny yourself anything but it can make the situation a lot harder on you and your willpower. After all, you’ve come there prepped and with a plan that you want to stick to. You’ve done the work of saving up BITES for the occasion, probably ate mostly 0 BITE foods for the rest of the day and are ready to make better choices. Now you don’t want to have that ruined last minute by the helpful suggestions of family members that may not understand your plan.

I’m not saying they are doing this to make things harder for you. Quite the opposite- most people who never struggled with their weight think they’re being supportive and helpful when they tell you “one piece of pie during the holidays isn’t a big deal”. In general, they are right- one slice won’t derail your weight loss. But a slice you didn’t mean to eat- can!

Here, it’s really more about the psychological significance of the piece of pie (or whatever you give in to) than the actual caloric value. It will feel like a bad decision, like you did something wrong which has a tendency to shift your mindset to the negative “I can’t do this! I’m a failure!”. On the other hand, a slice of pie that you calculated into your budget and are excited about feels great. You’ll think “This is awesome! I can lose weight AND have the pie!”.

So if you do end up giving in, remember that how you phrase your decision is almost more important than its caloric value! We can do this friends! Our family loves us, and they don’t mean to belittle our weight loss journey. Stay connected to your goals and your “why” and lean on your community. Happy Holidays, friends!

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