A person you love wants to lose weight and says she needs your help. Eeek!!
Here is how you can help … without getting punched in the face.
Don’t be afraid. You CAN help. In fact, your behaviour has a bigger impact on her reaching her goals than you might think.
This post is directed mainly to the husband but anyone can use the ideas here to help someone you love reach their weight loss goals.
Below are my five top suggestions to help her out. But please remember that every woman is different and so are their needs, which is why the most important this you can do is…
ASK!! Oh my goodness, please ask her what she needs from you! And ask her to get specific because what works for one woman may not work for another. Want proof? On recent goal setting worksheets I received, one woman would like her family to ask her about the program frequently to keep her motivated but another woman specifically said “Don’t ask me how I’m doing on the program”. Confused? Sounds about right. So ask her what she needs from you!
In no particular order, here are the top five things I’ve found help women the most.
1. Give her the time to exercise…without guilt. If she needs to go the gym, discuss times that work best for your family. If she can exercise at home, give her the space to exercise without interruptions. Kids? Make sure you’re ready to be the awesome fun Dad for an hour. Once the times are set and unless an emergency comes up (“after work drinks” is NOT an emergency), make sure you stick to the plan and be there when she needs you. And please…no guilt because you’ll just be adding extra stress that is counterproductive to weight loss. She doesn’t need to know who had a meltdown or how many diapers you had to change. She doesn’t need her house to look like a tornado blew through while she exercised. She just wants to know she can disappear to take care of herself without her house falling apart. Bonus…exercise is a mood enhancer and she’ll probably be a much nicer person to be around when she is done.
2. Participate with her! I know this isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t need to lose weight yourself but healthy eating and exercise can help everyone! If she asks if you would like to go for a walk, get yourself moving and go whether you want to or not. I promise you’ll be glad you did. BUT, this is one of those “ask her” times though because some women would rather exercise alone and take time to clear her head. Generally though, women who has a friend or spouse exercise with them are more successful is sticking with it. This also means eating healthy with her!! Don’t turn up your nose at every healthy food she tries. You may just find something new you like as well. This also leads to the next tip.
3. Keep junk out of the house. Ok, maybe this is just me but if there are potato chips in my house, I can find those bad boys anywhere! Worse is when they are left out in the open! I can have a chip in my mouth before I even realize what I’m doing! Be thoughtful and don’t leave temptations lying around. If you are seriously craving those candy, go buy it and eat them in your car. It won’t kill you to sacrifice with her for just a little while. It will make her feel less alone and less likely to cave.
4. Don’t harass her that “just one treat” is ok. This one still relates to food and is one that really ticks me off. And this goes to everyone in her life…spouse, parents, friends, co-workers. If you know that someone is trying to lose weight and you pull out a bag of cookies, bring a fatty dip to a social function, or celebrate a birthday at work with a cake, don’t make a big deal if they aren’t eating it! There is absolutely no need for you to insist she have “just a little”. You have no idea how many people may have said the same thing to her that week. A bunch of small “harmless” treats throughout the week can add up and sabotage her efforts. And seriously, why is it so important to you that she eat it? Will it make you feel better about your own unhealthy habits? Perhaps. She doesn’t need the pressure so if you are one of these people, STOP IT!
5. Tell her she looks beautiful! But please don’t say if you don’t truly mean it because she will see through you. But if you genuinely see her losing inches, if her clothes are fitting better, if she is wearing something you haven’t seen in a long time, tell her how great she looks! She is probably thrilled that she is able to wear it again and whether she admits it or not, it makes her feel good when someone notices her hard work paying off.
Just remember, ask ask ask her want she wants from you!! You will both be happier because of it!
As a public service announcement, here are 5 Things That WILL get you punched in the face:
- Send her any info on weight loss if she doesn’t initiate the search.
- Tell her anything she is wearing is too small.
- Roll your eyes, look annoyed or sulk when she tells you she is going to work out.
- Ask “is that on your meal plan” every time she eats anything.
- Ask her how much she weights. Ever! (but DO make a big deal when she tells you how much she’s lost!).
Now enjoy the benefits of having a healthy and fit wife in your house. Everyone will be happier because of it!
For more information on the services I offer including personal training, small group, fitness classes and online weight loss, please visit www.journey2wellness.ca or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!