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Is someone else sabotaging your quest to be healthy and happy?

I hate to break this to you, but you may find that someone you know is sabotaging your health and well-being journey!

It won’t necessarily be a deliberate thing, but I am really sorry to tell you that it is incredibly common to find that someone you know, probably someone you know very well, may be making it difficult for you to stick to your goals.

Let’s see if any of these comments ring a bell with you:

  • “Go on, one slice of cake won’t hurt you!”
  • “Shall we go out and grab a coffee and maybe a muffin, we deserve to treat ourselves.”
  • “I have baked you your favourite biscuits – you have to have one.”
  • “I will bring some chocolate home – I think we need it after today!”

Has anyone said something like this to you before? Something that makes you feel like you are being taken away from your goal rather than helping you head towards it?

It is a terrible truth (particularly with women) that sometimes we sabotage other people’s success or weight-loss goals. If you are honest with yourself, you may have done it to someone else before too.

Why does this happen? It is not because you or your friend/partner is a horrible person, it is just that it is very hard for them to see you losing weight successfully when they aren’t at a point where they can do it themselves.

So, subconsciously and without any malicious intent, they will try to sabotage your success, expose your weaknesses and encourage you to go off track to make themselves feel better about the fact that they aren’t ready to change.

There are also the cases when someone might say to you, “I really feel like a glass of wine, but I can’t have one if you aren’t drinking.” Sound familiar? A lot of people feel uncomfortable eating or drinking something considered to be naughty or a treat on their own, it makes them feel guilty. If you go along with it, you are relieving them of their guilt.

What can you do about it?

Now, before you file for divorce or dump your best friend, remember that a lot of this is subconscious and they aren’t doing it to hurt you. It is just that they haven’t dealt with their own issues and as harsh as it sounds, that is their problem, not yours.

What you can do is work on your own relationship with food and look at creating habits and behaviours which help you reach your goals. Your job in this world is not to relieve other people’s guilt by damaging yourself and my advice is not to eat food or have a drink because other people want you to. If you really think about it, this doesn’t help yourself or them.

Ideally there shouldn’t be guilt around food, even wine, chocolate and other treats. You should be able to include these in small amounts and really enjoy them. To do this you need to work on yourself and disregard the notion that food is somehow ‘good or bad’ – after all, it’s just food.

For more on creating a healthy relationship with yourself and food, grab yourself a copy of my best-selling book, Lose Weight for Life.

Love, Claire x

Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition, and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.

First published: Jul 2014



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