STOP the Saboteurs!

When you are losing weight and starting to look more fabulous, it can be quite amazing the reactions that other people have to your new figure. I’m sure that most people close to you will be pleased for you and will support you in becoming more healthy, and looking and feeling slimmer and more confident as you shed those excess pounds. However, sometimes the very people that you expect to be supportive of your changes, may in fact turn out to be your weight loss saboteurs.

For some of my clients, it can even be their nearest and dearest who will throw a spanner in the works and try to sabotage their weight loss efforts. If you are finding that some of your closest friends or family are reacting negatively to your weight loss, then it may be due to other issues rather than the fact that they are being unkind.


1) They could be jealous that you are taking action and are able to make these changes when perhaps they would also like to be slimmer and lighter

2) They may fear the changes they see taking place in you before their very eyes and may be worried that they will lose the “old” you

3) They may worry that you won’t spend time with them doing the things you used to do together, which perhaps involve eating and/or drinking eg going out for meals together, or being Friday night drinking buddies, or being cookie queens by the kettle at tea break in the office

4) They may associate giving you food with nurturing you and showing you love (this can often be true with mums, partners, husbands, wives)

5) They may feel uncomfortable or threatened by your growing confidence, attractiveness and self-esteem as you lose weight.

When your friends and family experience any of the above negative feelings, it may lead to behaviour that will try to sabotage your best intentions to lose weight; they may try to interfere with your attempts to  create the right mind set and healthy habits to achieve your weight loss. Common sabotage attempts that my clients have reported (and in the past I have experienced too) have included:

  • making fun of your attempts to lose weight
  • trying to make you eat more (go on darling have another biscuit, it won’t hurt!)
  • undermining your chosen way of losing weight (“it won’t work” “it’s a load of rubbish”)
  • Putting you down for how you look (“Your bum still looks too big!”)
  • criticising your plans and goals (“You’ll never lose all that by Christmas”)
  • making unhelpful comments (“You don’t look too fat, you are just big boned” “At your age why bother?” )
  • generally making you feel demoralised about what you are trying to achieve


Well know you now the reasons why they may be behaving like this you can prepare and counter act their behaviour. Firstly, I want you to remember it’s your body, your health and your success that we are talking about here. If you are unhappy with your weight and are taking steps to change this to achieve your own goals, then good for you and you are entitled to make this choice.. So keep this in mind and give yourself plenty of encouragement and recognition for what you are working towards.


1) If you know that there are common situations where someone close to you may try to sabotage your efforts, then think through before hand, what you might say or do to stop this from having the desired effect: For example, if you know that at a family gathering your sister will try and coerce you into having more pudding, then rehearse how you will deal with it. You could say “Thank you but I’m really full up” and then lead the focus away from you, by asking how a particular food was made, or offering to clear the table.

2) If you feel that your partner or loved one is feeling threatened by your new found confidence as you are getting the body you desire, involve them in your weight loss journey. Perhaps you could spend some time sharing with them why you are doing this and how it will positively impact on your relationship with them. eg: more energy to go out and do things together, more confidence to try a new hobby together. Re-assure them that it is still “you” inside, but an even better, healthier, happier version of you.

3) If you have always spent time with a special friend that involves eating, perhaps suggest that some of your meetings you could try something different together: perhaps a new activity, or taking part in an event that isn’t centred around food and drinking.

4) If someone close to you shows their love by buying you food, then be honest and explain that you would love it if they could support and nurture you in a different way, perhaps by buying you non-edible gifts as a token of their love eg flowers, books, a voucher, an experience or whatever you would like specifically.

5) If You feel that someone is jealous because you are taking the action that they would like to take, then share with them what you are doing to achieve your weight loss. You may even motivate them to create the right mind set to take action, so that you can enjoy this journey together.

In my next post we will be looking at the dreaded “E- Word!” ……yes that’s the one  ……EXERCISE!