Staying on plan with a family of enablers - Slim & Save
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Posted on 14 Jun 2021 Views 1161 Comments 13

Staying on plan with a family of enablers

Families are great. They give you the feeling of security, knowing that you have someone who cares for you. Someone you can count on and who never let you down and are always there for you. Except when they aren`t on your side when it comes to losing weight.

Ideally, our families should be our biggest supporters, helping us make the right choices and encouraging us to keep on track, but in the real world we know that sometimes this isn’t always the case. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be in this situation and I will hopefully be able to share some tips that will make dealing with family members a little easier whilst on the plan.

We don’t often speak about family support when dieting as we assume it is a given that they do support us 100%, especially when it is to improve our health and wellbeing, and in most instances this is true. However, the sad truth is that there are situations when your family isn’t always your best support system and, in some cases, may unintentionally jeopardise your success.

So let me share with you a true story.

My husband wanted to lose weight and he set his goal at 100lbs. After many years of gaining weight, he decided to go for it, fully supported by myself and our families. After all, I was the one who helped get him there! Was I the said enabler?

When the first instance reared its ugly head, we were both dumbstruck, this is what happened.

“What are you doing to him Jo, he looks ill! Are you starving him?” He had lost just under two stone at this point and had a further five stone to go, he was given a big slice of chocolate cake to beef him back up! There was a lot of eye-rolling and a “Wow thanks for noticing and I`m not being starved!”

After a few more weeks we all went out for a family meal and I’m pleased to say my husband was making all good choices when ordering his meal. He was taking heed of my eating out tips ;) Order first so you are less likely to be tempted to order what everyone else is ordering. And let`s talk about everyone else, who decided that there needed to be extra sides for him as they know how much he loves those garlic mushrooms and those big chunky homemade fries. We can all share, they said! Rather than causing an issue we let them get on with it and the meals arrived with all of the sides. We finished the meal, but the sides weren’t touched, and to be honest, nobody noticed he hadn’t been picking at them throughout the meal. They only realised at the end of the meal when there was some left. “Oh! You are not leaving all that food, are you?”

Then the good intentions came, - you know the ones!

  • “I can't believe you are not eating all of this lovely food”
  • “Just because you`re on a diet, you never eat properly anymore!”
  • “A few chips won't kill you!”
  • “You are making us all feel guilty for eating so much, can't you just have some?”

He did brilliantly and I was so proud as I know how hard it was for him. He stuck firm with what he was going to have and wasn’t swayed. I know how difficult it was, because as a family, a lot of our gatherings are consumed by food, vast amounts of food, even popping in for a cuppa entails the biscuit tin being brought out and a large slice of cake.

We did have many chats about how he would deal with these instances where it would be turned around to make him feel guilty for not wanting to eat some foods. Just because he was on a diet we didn’t feel that as such we should be excluded from family meals and eating out. It wasn’t an easy ride as we did have to keep reiterating that certain foods were not an option for him as he was making healthier food choices, (which sounded better than I`m dieting) but we got there in the end. Plus over time we noticed little changes in what the family were eating too.

Here are some tips that I hope will help with similar situations.

Be confident when you say no and refuse food, the longer you linger in saying no, the more likely they are to keep pushing food at you. They will push you again, stay strong!

Don`t feel guilty about saying no, why should you feel guilty for wanting to improve your health?

Some go to phrases to help with saying no:

  • No thanks, I can’t just have one bite!
  • That really does look to die for, but I really do have enough food on my plate.
  • I`m so full but would love to take some home!

As he has a wicked sense of humour, he did use this one quite frequently:

I`m allergic and I will break out in Fat!

Food enablers are usually coming from a place of love, they aren’t trying to sabotage you, they just want to please and make you happy. Be confident and strong in your conviction, after all, if you had given up smoking people wouldn’t be offering you a cigarette!

Joanne JonesWhat challenges have you encountered when socialising with family and friends and how did you deal with them? Share your comments below to be in with a chance of winning £10 in points! Our favourite three comments will be chosen on Friday 18th June 2021 at 4 pm!

By Joanne Jones, Customer Care Advisor

Comments on Staying on plan with a family of enablers
Michelle Young 30/06/2021 11:26
This is so true. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago they family were all like, 'Oh, you look so ill, you need to eat more. Here, let's go out for pizzas.' Anyway I was not strong and gave in to every temptation, now I'm big again and the family are all saying, 'Oh, what happened, you used to be so slim and gorgeous.' Just can't win, can you.
Joanne Jones, Customer Care Advisor 23/06/2021 08:28
Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog and sharing your own tips on dealing with food enablers and hopefully, in being strong and committed to your weight loss goals you can succeed in pushing the enablers away.
Helen B 17/06/2021 14:06
My husband and mum have both been guilty of ‘love feeding!’ ‘One won’t hurt!’ ‘Don’t lose anymore!’ but having seen how determined I am and how much I’ve struggled to stay on track, they have both come on board now. Admitting that they are proud of my resolve despite the awful things the year has thrown at me. We got to this point by my reminding them how I’m an all or nothing person who cannot just have one. One will cause me to binge and fill me with self doubt and self hate. Sometimes you need to have that honest conversation with your loved ones and ignore their attempts to ‘be kind!’
Nicky Osborne 16/06/2021 18:43
I’m finding comments said with love and affection the hardest to deal with.. comments like ‘oh, don’t lose anymore, you won’t be yourself’ or ‘you’ve done amazing, you can’t have any more to lose’. It’s lovely hearing them and they’re meant to be complimentary, but they also have the opposite effect of making me question my goals and thinking maybe I’ve done enough. I know I haven’t done enough and I’m not at goal, but when I’m around food enablers, any little excuse to give in can be my undoing.

Then, a friend told me they were ‘marshmallow comments’. Just like marshmallows they’re really sweet and just like marshmallows, they’re no good for you and need to be ignored. So take the love with which they’re intended, but don’t let them knock you off track. I love the analogy and thinking about it helps keep me on track when I get ‘sweet’ comments.
Nicola Shuttleworth 15/06/2021 17:11
My son and daughter in law have a sweet business and they know that is my downfall they keep sending me 2kg boxes and I wonder why my weight was always going up! SNS has helped me say no thank you they can see I am in control at the moment so they eat the sweets and I eat raw mushrooms.
I have started drinking decaf tea since starting sns and that has really helped me this time I enjoy a big mug of tea with my bar and I don’t feel I am missing out whilst the family are passing the biscuits around.
The thing I have to address though is I have become a feeder since being on this diet I’ve been baking for them and all sorts !!!!
angela jones 15/06/2021 08:16
my partner is the worst one he knows my love of chocolate and keeps buying them for me saying go on one wont hurt but I have devised a good way of hiding them I put them in the freezer in an empty frozen veg bag and because he doesn't eat frozen veg, they have been safe for now and he is saying told you one wont hurt because I am still determined to lose this weight
Sarah Taylor 15/06/2021 08:06
It can be hard to navigate family activities when you’re on plan, my top tips would be:

If you’re on simplicity: be open and honest, tell people that you’re on a VLCD diet which involves meal replacements and that you’d love to join them but you won’t be eating. I always ate a pack before going out and drank sparkling water! I’d have a black decaf coffee when people were having desserts.

You could also have a lifestyle day, check the menu 1st and see what can be accommodated.

If you’re maintaining: check the menu 1st and see what you can have that ties in with your maintenance plan. Set expectations and tell people you’re still watching your weight and making healthy choices.

In my experience honesty is the best policy! People often say to me, that I don’t need to watch what I eat and that I’m already skinny enough…. I tell them that I’ve worked exceptionally hard to achieve these results so I just want to be careful and continue to make healthy choices.
Elaine C 15/06/2021 07:05
Hi I really relate to this. Not only are there food enablers but also for drinks whether alcoholic or full of sugar. My new explanation is that my grown up daughter is taking medication which precludes alcohol . This will last six months so I have decided to do the same in solidarity with her.

So far it has 100% worked. The response is what a great Mum you are and the subject changes!
debra grudzien 15/06/2021 05:48
I come from a family of feeders. My strategy is to make sure that we eat at a restaurant that I have chosen. I look up the menus online and choose one that will suit my diet. Then I tell them in advance what I am having and that I am really looking forward to my meal. I pretend to be picky so 'won't fancy' any of the starters and 'phew, I'm too stuffed' to eat a pudding. If they offer me a taste of theirs I look it over for a couple of seconds, so it looks like I'm thinking about it, then I say 'no thanks, you enjoy it'. If sharing sides are ordered I will pick them up and offer them around so it looks like I have had what I want. I also make sure that I drive so I don't drink alcohol as that can lower my inhibitions when eating and has lots of extra calories that I don't need.
Raich iliffe 15/06/2021 05:39
I've only recently started my sns journey. My son is actually been the peer pressure mostly so far:
"Go on mum, one won't hurt!"
"Surely you're hungry? Have a sweetie".
"I feel sorry for you only eating that!"

It's hard making food meals twice a day for my husband and son and not me. But I have to keep remembering my goal and why I want this. I have to keep reminding them why they need to help support me and we need to work together. In past diets I would have given in. But being in ketosis seems an extra step to my previous diets and one I don't want to come out of for a 'bite off plan'. I don't want to go through the first few days again.

Comments I am getting from my mum:
"Don't know how you could do that diet?"
"I'd be starving!"
"I couldn't do it"

I have brushed it off by giving her a step by step encounter of how its going and keep reminding her how much people are losing on this diet. She wasn't having non of it until I mentioned my 11lbs loss first week and now she is impressed.

Family and friends
I have heard a lot of:
"When you can eat again we will..."

It's made me feel a bit anti social. Like I'm having to put my social life on hold because of following this plan. I do feel like it's stopped me doing certain things I maybe would have done if not on plan. I then remind myself I can do these things...but I can do them not stuffing my face with crap. I need to join in and stay strong. Research menus before I go. Look at what I CAN HAVE instead of keep focusing on what I CAN'T HAVE.

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