Thu, May-28-09, 14:30
Originally Posted by SidC
So here's a question. I bet there are a lot of us who struggle to maintain because of external pressures. How to deal with that?
I really struggled the first time around and that, together with a number of other factors, caused me to gain it all back and more. This time, however, I have been determined not to let that happen again. Through the lessons I learned during my particular weight loss programme last year, I have developed a number of strategies to make sure that I don't succumb to pressure.
For instance, I have become quite adept at saying 'NO'
. I also use the 'food allergies/wheat intolerance' card when I need to as well.
I will admit that there are times, however, when I do indulge, but it is always my decision to do it and not anyone else's. I don't do it that often, but when I do, I always cut back food-wise for a few days to get myself back on track.
The following are some excerpts from a couple of weight maintenance books, which deal with this issue and are very similar to the tactics I employ at times:
From Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept It Off, Anne S Fletcher
How the Masters Put Postive Self-Talk to Work: Dealing-with-saboteurs self talk - telling yourself you have to give in to someone else's attempts to sabotage your weight loss or maintenance efforts. So often, well-intentioned (and sometimes ill-intentioned) friends or relatives get in the way of weight control. Dave M. occasionally hears, "You're too thin" and is sometimes offered high-carb food gifts. "In the past, I would have thought, "Oh, they're right - it's time to stop losing weight. I can't refuse food that's given to me." Now he says to himself, "I know that I'm not too thin, and they don't understand what I'm trying to accomplish." So he graciously accepts the food and then gives it away. Joanna D. is also occasionally admonished by jealous relatives and friends that she should be eating more. "But I don't cave in; I remind myself I'm not the sort of person who can be talked into anything. It makes me more determined."
Dealing with Nonsupport: The word 'sabotage' frequently creeps up among weight-control experts. You have control over sabotage and can often put a stop to it.
A common form of sabotage described by many masters is performed at the hands of the 'food pusher', someone who tries to force food upon you. Jim J. says he encounters this all the tim. "I might be sipping Perrier at a bar, and someone will say, 'Are you going to be on a diet your whole life?'" Jim may tell him, "I'd rather save my calories for something later." He adds, "You have to speak your mind and be up-front about what you need." Likewise, Muriel F., who has found that she 'can't eat just one' of certain foods, deals with food pushers by firmly letting them know, "This is not what I care to do or want to do." (She admits that sometimes she takes the unwanted item 'to get the person off my back'. But she then just leaves the food on her plate).
The importance of these skills is reinforced by preliminary results from a study of 224 men and women who completed the Nutri/System Weight Loss Program. Yale University researchers studied these people to determine what strategies they used to maintain weight 2 years after they finished the program. Individuals who said others tried to interfere with their efforts to keep weight off (by encouraging them to eat high calorie foods, for instance) were less successful in maintaining their weight losses than were those who reported no interference.
However, another critical determinant of success was the way people handled interference. Researcher Michaela Kiernan reported that even in the face of interference, people maintained their weight loss as those who had no interference if they took two steps: 1) they refused to give in, and 2) they explicity said, "No."
Whatever the sabotaging situation, psychologist Joyce Nash advises that you give the saboteur a coherent message. She warns, "Avoid saying no with your voice, but yes with your eyes." She also suggests making it clear in your tone of voice and body posture that you really mean what you say. Let the person know you appreciate the offer, but be direct and open, firmly stating what your decision is. In the face of a persistent saboteur, tell him/her to stop asking you, and then change the subject.
From Staying Lean for Life, Cynthia Stamper Graff
It’s hard to understand why someone who loves you would try to sabotage your efforts to maintain your new health habits. Surely those close to you want what's best for you? Yet the fact is that sometimes the people we’re closest to have the most difficult time adjusting to the positive changes we make in our lives. We change, and that sometimes requires them to change, whether they want to or not.
Our experience shows that the best way to prepare friends and family to support you is to prepare them. Tell them what you are doing, and tell them what you want from them (which also includes telling them what you don’t want from them). In a perfect world, the people who love you would know what you want and need without your having to say one word, but rarely seems to be the case.
Here's an example of how you can effectively communicate what you are doing and the support you would like the other person to provide:
- "I want to make some changes in the way I eat. I'm making an effort to eat less for dinner and to skip dessert until I achieve my goal weight." (This is a clear statement of your intentions).
- "You can support me by understanding that when I don't eat a high carb dish you've prepared, it isn't because I don't like it or don't love you." (This is a clear statement of what you would like from the other person).
Make a point to include lots of reassurance and appreciation in your conversation.
Is there someone close to you who seems to be sabotaging your efforts? Using the above example as a guide, what would you like to say to them? Once you've given it some thought, say it! It's the surest way to turn a saboteur into a supporter.
Communicate effectively and turn a saboteur into a supporter.
Eat Better: Saying “No, Thank You”
Sometimes it seems hard to say “No, thank you” that we tend to think of it as a major achievement, something only certain people are capable of. We imagine that it takes extraordinary finesse and skill, not to mention lots of practice. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all!
Here are some simple ways to turn down that piece of homemade chocolate pie or that second gin and tonic:
- "No thank you. I've had all I want."
- "Thank you for asking, but I don't want it at the moment."
- "That looks delicious, but I think I'll pass."
- "I am tempted, as it does look good. But no, thank you."
There are endless variations of a direct, yet both gracious and appreciative, approach to turning something down. But the real question to ask is whether you’re going to please yourself or the person offering the food you don’t want. Is it more important to say yes, or to stay committed to your own programme? If you're appreciative and smile when you say "No, thanks", you'll feel better and your host will feel fine too.