“You are making me feel bad, just have a sliver of chocolate cake with me!”

“Look at you, you are wasting away!”

“Don’t you think you are overdoing it exercising five days a week!?”

Sound familiar?? Choosing to embark on a new path toward optimal wellness takes a lot of dedication, hard work and breaking some of your old habits. But how do you cope when your friends, family and colleagues begin to sabotage your new lifestyle?

  • Friends: Do you mainly socialize with a particular friend (or group) over fatty foods and drinks?  If so, your lifestyle shift may be making your friend insecure about your changing relationship or may be drawing attention to his or her own unhealthy habits. Tempting you to “fall off the wellness wagon” means your relationship is “normal” and “safe” again. But before taking any drastic measures, kindly explain to him or her that you’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle and would really appreciate his or her support.  You can still enjoy a healthy dinner out, drinks in moderation, cook at home, go to the movies or take an exercise class together. A true friend will understand and want the best for you (and may even be inspired)!!
  • Family: Families often show love through food and enjoy celebrations together. Begin by talking to your family about your new lifestyle and ask for their much needed support. Learn to make healthier versions of your favorite dishes together. And if this is still met with resistance, bring a healthy pot luck dish to share with the whole crew at gatherings.
  • Spouse: If your husband or wife has a tendency to buy high-calorie food and leaves it around the house, it could easily tempt you and hinder your progress. Lovingly set some ground rules ;). Suggest he or she leaves the junk in a special cupboard or drawer away from your prying eyes. Even better, encourage him or her to join you on your road to wellness.
  • Office: Always be prepared and have healthy options available at your finger tips. Bring a “bag” lunch and stock up on healthy snacks.  You will be less likely to indulge in the treats around the office or candy dish on a co-workers desk. Create a “Biggest Loser” type challenge with your colleagues or a “fitness group” that meets to exercise at lunch (walking, stairs, etc.). This will get the whole office motivated and on board with your new lifestyle.
  • Set up your own support system. Recruit friends and family to your cause or join a gym or weight-loss group to make new friends who share your goals. You may also need to temporarily avoid friends, who are a negative influence, until you’re stronger and better able to cope with temptation.
  • JUST SAY NO: You wouldn’t expect to have a drink forced on you if you were a recovering alcoholic.  Tell the food pusher “No, thanks,” or “Not in the mood for dessert today,” end of discussion.  It’s your personal journey and you have to take care of you first! If you don’t, who will?!!