Well-Meaning Family and Friends

images-1They love you. They care about you. They want you to be happy. They want you to be healthy. So they remind you all the time how big you are and ways you can change it. Or they tell you what to eat, or scold you when you eat. Or they hear about a new diet and call to tell you about it….daily. Or they just say something stupid, like “why don’t you just eat less”.

My parents are AWESOME. They have been great parents my whole life. But they are perfect. My sisters are perfect too. Then there is me. I don’t fit into the perfect mold. They don’t get it. How come I’m not a size 6? What did they do wrong? THEY exercised and kept active their whole life. They watch what they eat (well, actually, my mother just smacks shit out of my father’s hand), and they never had a problem.

I am close with my parents. Close enough that if I skip 2 days talking to them, I get guilt.


But every single conversation ends up with diet talk. “How’s the diet?” is the number one question. “Great mom, I just ate a krispy kreme and two slices of pizza” is not the answer she wants. Lately the calls have been…”I saw on Dr. Oz this morning a new breakthrough…..google it, see if you can find it.” Dr. Oz seems to find a miracle daily, and my mom sees every one of those shows.

So I get off the phone, and I feel guilty for being a failure. I feel pressured into trying something new that I’m not ready for, and I feel scolded, even though she isn’t really scolding me. Just “suggesting”.

Sometimes the suggestions become a little more. Back in November, I got a call from my sister. She had started a new weight loss program (she is like 130 pounds) because she was disgusted with herself. That’s fine, she was her heaviest ever, so she decided to fix it–she had about 20 pounds to lose. Good for her for not letting it get out of control. But she took it a step further by finding a center near me and having my parents deposit the money in my account so I’d have no excuse…then gave me the line that she needed a buddy to do it with. I was not in the mindset to diet, and I cried when I got off the phone, feeling so pressured. I went to the place, and they had to get approval from my Dr. first….they were supposed to take care of that and call me. They never called back and all I felt was relief.

The motivation has to come from within. Nobody else can give it to you. All of those well meaning friends and family members do more harm than good if you aren’t ready to make the change yourself. The guilt of letting them down adds more stress, makes me feel worse about myself, and in turn makes me self-medicate with chocolate. Because chocolate never fails to give me a few minutes of pure bliss.


The question is, what will it take to get motivated? If not other people, what makes that switch click inside that says “I’m ready, I’m gonna do this!”? I guess that’s different for everyone. Tell me, if you have lost weight, what was your motivation? Do you deal with well meaning family and friends? Talk to me 🙂


  1. I have lost weight … not enough … but I did lose 20 pounds. No excuses here, but a big part of my problem was OA and RA, making exercise sometimes excruciating. I began counting calories and keeping a food journal, and when I did lose weight, my knees did feel better. That’s what inspired me to keep going, and do water exercise … until my left knee had to be replaced. Grueling surgery and a LONG recovery process. In fact it takes more than a year for complete healing, and the surgery was last June. I’m getting there, tho. As far as dieting motivation is concerned, it’s alot like getting the motivation to recover, sometimes you just have to dig deep. And if that doesn’t work, actively seek out inspiration. I did it today reading something a personal trainer wrote in his FB bio. It just snapped with me and helped me to haul my ass out the door and to the pool. I was proud and thankful.

    As for well meaning family and friends, there are lots of folks who subconciously sabotage your dieting efforts with well meaning comments, actions, etc. I guess I’d tell them that the topic is “off limits” and you have things under control. You love them and they you, so there should be some mutual respect for feelings. If problems persist, communicate and let them know how what they do is hurting/hindering your plans to take action, whatever you think that should be. Reiterate your dieting/weight lose is just a non-discussion topic from now on.

    I’ve found too that I need to be kind to myself, and if that means an occassional side track away from the diet, so be it. I’ll get back to it and it’s not the “end of the world as we know it.” Have the ice cream cone, the chocolate chip cookie, or the tortilla chips or what have you, but then, quit it! Satify the need and then walk away … kind of like sex.

    You know I may never reach my “goal” weight, but I will lose weight and I will feel better. When I think of the alternative which for me is more joint pain, that’s motivation in and of itself. We’re human so it’s okay to just keep trying because sooner of later, we’ll get to where we want to be. Look at Abe Lincoln, he ran for President 4 times before he was finally elected. Have faith in yourself and nobody else can stop you. Thanks for this blog, by the way, and the chance to share.

    Now here’s a question for you. Did my comment help? Got any questions? Hugs 😉

    • Yes, your comment helped! I love it! With Lyme disease I have very similar symptoms as you. Its in my joints and connective tissues. So hard to hurt yourself more in the effort to eventually hurt less. It’s awesome to have people that can relate here. I am loving all the comments!

  2. Wow, that sounds like my mom. Every time they show a new diet or new pill on Dr. Oz or the Doctors she has to record it and then call me about it. I have told her multiple times that unless I get motivated then it isn’t going to happen. I have to tell her the same thing about my husband. She always comes up with its not about looks its about health BS it is about looks too. I feel fine I am active I just don’t actively exercise, and I have a very bad sweet tooth:-( when I get depressed enough or mad enough with myself I will diet and lose weight but then when I stop it seems like it all comes back with interest. But all I want to do when someone talks diet to me is pig out even more. I do believe in the buddy system as long as you can push each other without pushing back to food:-)

    • Well let’s be buddies online! That’s a big part of this blog-share successes and failures with me. I don’t judge. You know my sweet tooth is awful. But I think you look great Shannon!

      I’m glad it’s not just my mom…

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