The Diet Wreckers in Your Life
How to Get Support from Your Partner
Before Allison Orphy, 27, of Iowa, Louisiana, dines out with friends, she checks the restaurant's calorie counts online. She used to look them up at the table, but it drove her pals crazy. It wasn't the phone use that offended them; it was what she was doing. "They'd say, 'Why can't you just order?'" says Orphy, who has dropped 55 pounds in the past two years and wants to lose 60 more. "Most of them think I'm miserable, because I ask for veggies with no butter." But Orphy has quietly persisted, and now her friends are more accepting of her lifestyle change. "Sometimes, one of them will even wave away the breadbasket," she says.
Diet experts say it's not unusual for the people whom you think would support you the most -- BFFs, family members, significant others -- to try to derail your weight-loss goals, especially when you first make changes. You, only thinner, may intimidate them, says psychologist Judith Beck, PhD, president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Philadelphia, and author of The Beck Diet Solution. "They may be scared that you won't need them in your life after you drop a dress size." But you don't have to end a relationship to stay on your diet. Understand why people tempt you with diet-breaking treats, and then use these strategies to clear the air and stay on track.Your Partner
See that sweet guy cuddling on the couch with you? Sure, he loves you, but he's feeling lukewarm about the newly energized eat-right part of you. Jennifer Jacks, 29, of Shreveport, Louisiana, who went from a post-pregnancy weight of 230 pounds to 160, can relate. "My husband says, 'Come on, today can be your cheat day.' That wouldn't be an issue if it weren't every day," she says.
Blame insecurity and even jealousy for driving your guy to shoot down your healthy cooking. "Your lifestyle changes can feel threatening to your spouse," Beck says. "He may feel that if you lose weight, you'll start getting more attention from other people, and maybe you won't find him as attractive."
If you suspect he's intimidated by the new you, Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that you try this script: "I know my new food plan is a lot for you to handle, because we like to split dishes at restaurants and we have fun eating together. I'm concerned about my health, so I'm working hard to eat better. My commitment to us has not changed, though. Would you support me and consider joining me?" Have this conversation during a casual moment and avoid doing it before a meal, when your guy may be more sensitive to the issue.
Jacks and her husband have talked openly about why he tries to get her to cave. "He admits that it's not as much fun to sit down with a pizza or cookies when accompanied by a healthy eater," she says. "And seeing me lose weight makes him more aware that he should eat less." Their solution: a weekly date night. "We try to play racquetball first, which we enjoy together, and then go out for a cheat meal," she says. "It gives both of us something to look forward to."
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