We all know the painful truth: people spend too much time judging others.
Even when we’re taking positive steps in our lives, we’re judged. We’re judged for what we wear, how we act, the way we live, and of course…what we eat.
Are You Being Shamed for Your Weight Loss Endeavors?
We know that the fat stigma is a painful reality, one where we’re judged negatively for what others perceive as excess weight.
But what about lean stigma – ever heard of it? That’s when people judge you – negatively, of course – for your weight loss endeavors and even your successful weight loss.
Meg Selig in Psychology Today explains that when one person in a social group attempts a lifestyle change, other group members may feel threatened. As a result, they may try to ‘reform’ the person back to their old ways.
Don’t let lean stigma hinder your weight loss. First and foremost, always remember:
The way that other people judge me is none of my business.
Strategies People Use to Avoid Lean Stigma Judging
A study by Lynsey K. Romo at North Carolina State University revealed two sets of skills that participants developed to avoid the lean stigma.
The first tactic? Let others save face. The second? Allow those around you to be more comfortable with the weight loss.
Examples of these tactics include:
· Claiming non-existent food allergies to turn down unhealthy food
· Taking food that is offered – but not eating it, instead discarding later on
· Avoiding social situations that might involve food
· Bowing out of invitations to eat out or claiming “I’m not hungry” or “I already ate”
· Openly explaining to others that they’re not expected to follow weight loss plans; they should continue with their own eating choices
Can you relate to any of these? At the very least, it can feel awkward when you have to start making excuses why you don’t want to eat a certain food.
At times, those who are successful in their weight loss goals have to downplay their “gains” in weight loss so as not to alienate friends. At that point, it may be worth asking yourself a meaningful question:
Are those really the kinds of friends I want in my life?
Don’t Sabotage Your Own Weight Loss Endeavors
We can’t always blame conditions outside of ourselves when it comes to weight loss.
As WebMD explains, sometimes we set ourselves up to fail – even with all the best intentions.
You’ve set a goal to shed those extra pounds, but you keep putting off starting, promising yourself you’ll start tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.
Perhaps you fear going to the gym, knowing you’ll be embarrassed to be working out in public. You fear, too, that others may judge you or ridicule your weight loss attempts.
Fear of ourselves and of what others think holds us back. We recognize that – but feel powerless to do anything. You don’t need to be discouraged. Recognizing your fear is the first step in defeating it!
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Rethink – Reform – Resolve
There are a few familiar potholes down Weight Loss Road. Probably one of the most common is to view food as a reward.
You’ve had a bad day, so you reward yourself with food. You’ve had a great day, so you celebrate with food.
In either situation, first be aware. When you are, you can then mentally envision a “STOP” sign along your Weight Loss Road. Stop and think about why you are rewarding yourself with food.
Recognize what you’re doing. Listen to the self-chatter going on inside. Write your thoughts down and ask yourself:
· Is this a pattern for me?
· Is my reaction rational?
· Might I respond differently?
Once you realize WHY you’re rewarding yourself with food, you’ll be able to STOP yourself when you recognize the pattern, and RESOLVE to reward yourself with something your body will truly love and appreciate.
7 Simple Strategies to Help You Stay Committed to Weight Loss
Looking for ways to reward or to de-stress yourself? Try these 7 calming treats – with zero calories:
· Indulge in a soothing bath infused with lavender or your favorite essential oils.
· Invest in yourself – enjoy a quick manicure, or whatever simple practice calls out to you.
· Sneak away a half hour of quiet time reading or meditating.
· Practice Progressive Relaxation. It’s an easy and effective technique to reduce stress.
· Explore a new hobby or re-discover an old passion to take your mind off food.
· If you have a pet, spend some time playing or snuggling – that’ll make you both happy!
· Just b-r-e-a-t-h-e. One conscious breath can be incredibly stabilizing and relaxing.
During times of increased stress or when we’re simply tempted, it’s easy to slip back into our old eating habits. In Phase #3 – LIVE IT – of our Why Weight structured weight loss program, we help you identify the foods that may present an obstacle to your goal of remaining thin and healthy for the rest of your life.
What about you? What obstacles have you encountered on your weight loss journey? Whether it feels like others have been sabotaging your efforts, or if you know you’ve been standing in your own way (or a little bit of both), the weight loss experts at Why Weight can help you achieve – and maintain – your weight loss goals.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our transformational weight loss program. No worries if you’re not close to our New Jersey or New York locations – we can chat remotely, too!