I dont know if this the right group to ask this but I need to motivate my best friend to get healthy. I love working out and I have done it all my life and honestly it has gotten me through the hardest stages of my life, from university finals, work stress to a bad relationship. As for my best friend, she has gone through a divorce and gained alot weight, which in 3 years of my nagging and push has lost an incredible 30 pounds. She needs to lose at least another 15pounds to be at her healthy weight. For the last month or so she has gotten back to her bad habits and started gaining weight again. Today after 30 mins she gave up working out and so did I. Although I know she wont be running a marathon with me but why go back to an unhealthy life style??? It is so terrible and even more sad to see this happen to a person you care about. What should I do, should I push more or just give up. Would love some good advice!
What should I do, should I push more or just give up.
That's a great question. I had a neighbor who was obese and she was always trying to lose weight. So I tryed to give her some helpful advice from time to time as I could see that she was eating all the wrong foods. I figured, "how difficult could this be?" But here's the problem: She believed that, at her age (about 76), eating is one of the few remaining pleasures in life. So, she wanted to have it both ways: 1) she wanted to enjoy eating all of her favorite processed foods and 2) she wanted to lose weight. Essentially, it's an emotional problem; it usually is.
Do you have a degree in psychology? (Even that might not help.) You probably know it's an emotional problem because you mentioned how she gained a lot of weight going through a divorce. Emotions are part of who we are, part of our personality. Some people are very emotional and some are not very emotional. Can you change who she is? Probably not.
But it doesn't mean you should give up altogether. Sometimes people can improve their emotional IQ through self awareness. If we come to realize why we're doing what we're doing, that may be helpful. Once we come to the realization, we may not need to do it anymore. And you might be able to help her come to the realization.
It seems like she's using food for emotional comfort. She's eating comfort food. So what is it that's bothering her lately? What's upsetting her? Will she talk about it? If she will talk about it, ask her if she can find a more constructive way to deal with it, other than eating a lot of comfort foods.
The Following User Says Thank You to JohnR41 For This Useful Post: missmis (06-25-2011)
Hi John. Thank you for your answer. Ofcourse it must be emotional or maybe the importance of a healthy life was not given to her. Today, we went to the gym together and 30mins into a cardio workout, she wanted to leave. It also ruined my workout. So I told her that I am not available for the next week, which is true bc of work reasons and will attend the spinning classes at night which I did not go to because I promised her that I will help. I made scarifices in my fitness routine for her but she just ignores it like it is not important. She had a significant weight loss of 22kg in the last 3 years, through my motivation and working out together. I think I also have a few issues with people letting themselves go and not being the best they can be. I have had so many examples of it in my life from family relatives to dear friends. So I will not give up on her but will let her decide when she wants to workout. Thanks for a great reply
A lot of people lose interest in exercise due to the redundancy. I absolutely love working out. Like you, it has helped me in numerous occasions; however, you will never see me strap my running shoes on and go for a 5 mile jog, 3 mile jog or even a half mile jog--I hate the idea of running just as much as I hate actually running! What I am saying is that perhaps what would motivate your friend would be to introduce something she enjoys. For me, I live on a mountain bike. I can ride the same trails everyday and still be happy.
Here's a few ideas:
I recently just kayaked from the capital of North Carolina(Raleigh) to the coast(Wilmington) for Duke Children's Hospital. Perhaps you and her could collaborate on an idea for a charity that interests her and do something exercise intensive to raise money for them(biking, kayaking, running, walking, etc).
Join a local sports league. My friend's dad just joined a soccer league with his girlfriend. He has never played soccer and will tell you how bad he sucks, but he goes out there with everyone and has a great time. In fact, the whole team is really awful, they just play for the hell of it haha. It's a blast watching them!
Really the key to losing weight is the diet. Though you don't need to calculate calories and macronutrient ratios to lose weight, these factors will greatly amplify how fast weight comes off. I never eat anything I don't like. If I get veggies, I steam them and toss them with olive oil, salt and garlic...pretty damn delicious if you ask me. Even meat is inexpensive if you shop right. I never buy chicken at full prices because chicken breasts are constantly on sale at the market. Plus, if you want real savings buy a whole bird and cook it. Anyways, I think working out would be a good focal point because it motivates someone to eat well when they see how hard they are working.
Best of luck!
The Following User Says Thank You to acdc554 For This Useful Post: missmis (07-03-2011)
Thanks for the great advice. I love to work out, and I feel so great when I have accomplished after a full day of software in the office. As you said, not everybody is the same but I want the best for my best friend. It is difficult to accept!
Your fitness schedule, kayaking and mountain biking seem incredible but I live and work in istanbul turkey which does not give us such opportunities. Fortunately I live on golf resort with the rest of expacs which allows us certain sports outside.
As for the diet, I don't like it either but after hard workouts i don't feel as guilty.
Wish me luck today, first workout after a week! Hope my motivational skills are high today!
I think it's great that you're looking out for your friend and that you're trying to help her live a healthier life.
I wish I had more friends like you
As for your friend's problem, she's going through a rough time, she's probably not in her best emotional state and it's hard for her to find motivation to diet. Here are a few tips I've learned from my personal experience struggling with weight loss.
What helped me was buying clothes a few sizes smaller than what I was. I got so eager to fit into those clothes that I actually stuck to my diet. So maybe take your friend out shopping and tell her how wonderful she would look in a certain dress if she lost a couple of pounds.
Also, tell your friend not to weight herself too often, because seeing that number on the scale might bring her down. She has to control her weight, but give her a quantum scale (you should be able to find one online), it doesn't display her weight, it records it and informs her when she starts losing weight again. That really helps in dealing with the anxiety once she reaches a plateau.
Positive reinforcement also works like a charm, as long as you don't reward her with chocolate or any other unhealthy treats.
I hope this helped and I wish you and your friend all the best!
The Following User Says Thank You to KatjaJ For This Useful Post: missmis (12-22-2011)
I think you're friend need to comfort himself first. Its a process of accepting what happened before getting back the life that he/she once had. Then that will be the best time to encourage her/him to be on shape, socialize and move on. It's process and nobody should be rushed. In terms of getting shape it should be your friends choice, so that he knows what is his/her goal in getting to the program.