“I’m truly ready to change my eating habits, but my spouse/roommate/kids/co-workers (etc.) are completely non-supportive!”

When you’re trying to make lasting changes, quite often it’s a big help if your husband, your best friend or your office mates are on board to support us. Maybe you and your best friend have promised to be there for each other to encourage one another to make it to the gym. Or, your husband is so proud of your decision to lose those last few pounds from the pregnancy that he agrees to stop bringing home the chips and beer. Absolutely an ideal scenario.

Now- what if the opposite situation is your reality? What if you’re trying your best to eat well and exercise and you’re consistently being faced with obstacles and challenges, additional hurdles you certainly don’t need to add on to your own! Your co-worker tells you, “Oh, come on, one cookie won’t hurt you, go ahead, have some.” Your live-in boyfriend says, “Do whatever you want, but I’m not changing my habits. I like my macaroni and cheese with sour cream chips on the side.” You get the picture.

Well, it’s going to be harder for you, there’s no way around it. It will take even more determination and perseverance, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doable.

Following are some ideas that might help:

-First and foremost, be true to yourself. Do you REALLY think you are going to cause a rift in your friendship with your co-worker if you don’t humor her by accompanying her while she stuffs her face with the 2PM meeting’s leftover dough-nuts? Your promise to yourself to be healthier must supersede these superfluous acts. Politely decline and go back to your desk where you can snack on the fresh fruit and raw nuts you brought for your mid afternoon meal.
-At home, designate spaces in the fridge and pantry as your spaces. Fill them with the nutritious things that you want to eat. Work on retraining yourself to go to these places for your food preparation and not to the rest of the kitchen where your roommates keep their soda, chips and cookies.
-Don’t talk about it, just do it. Sit down and have a single, heart to heart conversation with whomever is (directly or indirectly) infringing on your success and tell them your thoughts. Once. Nicely. If they don’t get it, don’t engage with them about it. Make yourself your own healthy foods and if they comment on it, give a polite response and change the topic. Let them eat their own cake, literally!
-Find an outside support source. Maybe your spouse is not only not supportive but directly tries to sabotage your eating plan by bringing home your favorite ice cream and waving it in front of your mouth with a spoon! Take that as a cue to leave the room and call your friend, your sister or whomever it may be that you can go to for support and to talk it out.

Rather than letting the unfortunate situation of being unsupported ruin your attempt to be the healthiest you that you can be, be pro-active about it. It’s such an important part of your life- your body’s health is the very foundation of it!