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Handling an Unsupportive Person

When you're working to eat a healthy diet, it can be difficult enough to resist your own internal temptations. How do you handle a friend or relative who actively pushes you to eat unhealthy foods?

First, you need to make sure that you have actually expressed your wishes in this area. People are not mind readers. If you used to eat pizza all the time, and told everyone that pizza was your favorite food, your family and friends are likely to suggest eating pizza non-stop. They think they are helping you. Unless you tell them, explicitly, that you are changing your eating habits, how will they know to do otherwise?

Make sure you sit down with the people you spend a lot of time with and at least mention your new choice in eating. I have many pages on this site to help you with that conversation, and how to handle any questions that might come up. Having the support of your family and friends is really critical in taking on any task successfully - whether it is getting an education, maintaining your health, learning a new skill, or so on.

So let's assume that you have read those articles, you have explained to your family and friends that you want to do this to be healthy. Now say that there is a person in your life who - despite knowing your desires - actively takes pleasure in pushing you to eat food you've said you don't want to eat. Really, it doesn't matter WHAT the diet style or food is. It could be that you're a vegetarian and the person is continually hounding you to eat steak. It could be that you're a low carber and the person is trying to get you to have chocolate cake for dessert no matter where you go.

Whatever the case may be, the core issue isn't that one food item. It's not critically necessary for you to eat chocolate cake. This "friend" of yours doesn't think that you need that chocolate cake or you will die a horrible death. Instead, it's about the friend not caring what your goals are. You have set your goals. That is your perogative, as an individual. They, as a friend, should support you in the goal you set.

What if you decided you wanted to become an EMT? Would your friend try to take you out to movies every night you said you wanted to study? If so, what does this say about the nature of their friendship with you?

You need someone who supports you in your goals, whatever they are. If this person, despite repeated requests from you to help you eat the way you want to eat, keeps actively trying to sabotage your goals, maybe it's time to take a firmer stand - or to put some distance in the friendship until they start acting more like a friend.

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