Staying on Track With Your Healthy Lifestyle: Becoming Immune to Social Sabotage

As you faithfully focus on your new healthy lifestyle, there are certain individuals that may become very jealous of your enthusiasm. It may be difficult to believe, but it happens quite often; in fact, it may be happening to you now. Unfortunately these people may try to sabotage your healthy lifestyle goals.

We can’t always predict who the saboteurs will be, but it’s quite often that they are coworkers, relatives or friends.  As I was trying to figure out why, I came across something that surprised me: studies show that if a close friend of yours is obese, your chances of being obese go up 57 percent. Yes, obesity is actually “socially contagious!”

If you and a friend are in this obese state together, it’s akin to a form of comfort. Basically it helps you feel that you are not alone in your condition:

  • You are not alone when you have to purchase your clothing in a plus-size shop
  • You are not alone when you can’t make it up a flight of stairs without becoming short of breath
  • You are not alone when you enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet and get dirty looks from others who are dining near you

Your obese friend is there with you to share your pain. You both understand the misery. You both comfort each other.

Hey, I’ve been there.  And when I would receive words of comfort from an obese coworker, relative or friend, it would often be while we were eating. I can’t say I’m proud of that: eating as we continuously complained about our obesity!

At least I can say that I was never one to sabotage others. I encouraged anyone who was trying to live healthier and lose weight, hoping that someday I would become as motivated as they were. Unfortunately many of these individuals didn’t get any other encouragement from the people in their lives.

Are you one who encounters those coworkers, relatives or friends who don’t want to be alone in their state of obesity? Do they enjoy pushing unhealthy food your way, saying things like: “Here, I can’t eat this entire candy bar, take the other half.”  Or “I made these awesome cinnamon rolls this morning, have one!” Maybe “It’s too cold outside, why would you want to exercise in this weather?”

I’ve noticed that insensitive comments like these often come from a person who’s having trouble with self-discipline themselves. Please don’t allow them to cause you to fail in your own attempts to become healthier. Simply explain that you have decided to take better care of your health and instead of offering you all the goodies, maybe you can take a 20-minute walk together instead?

We know there will always be someone who will try to sabotage your efforts to become healthier, because it’s “socially contagious.” The fact is they just don’t want to be overweight alone. Challenge yourself into convincing them to join you in living a healthier lifestyle. I also highly recommend that you let them know about this site. This will give you something to talk about that is positive, no more complaining about excess weight!

Make it a goal: help each other stay on track… the healthy living and WALKING TRACK!

Help Me Out: Vote for my Ignite Detroit Presentation!

P.S. I volunteered to share my story of how I lost more than 160 pounds at Ignite Detroit 2 on April 14. All of the proposed presentations are posted on the Ignite Detroit website and you can vote for mine here. All votes help! Even if you can’t attend, the video of the presentation will be posted online and I will be happy to share it with you here.

Photo Credit: Department of Conservation

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