What do you do when family members, friends or co-workers resist or undermine a client’s healthy changes?
This is a topic I discuss during my consultation with new clients. There are always some sabotaging family members or friends when a person is trying to make self-improvements. I give my clients the heads-up early, and that in itself helps the most. Clients are surprised when their sister, mother or even best friend works to undermine them. I had one client whose best friend shoved a piece of chocolate in the client’s mouth! Officemates are sometimes the worst. Some clients tell me they would go to work only to find a cupcake on their desk every morning, when everyone knew they were on a healthy eating plan.
How to handle this? Tell clients to realize that friends may be comfortable with them as they were but not with this new version. Change makes people nervous and self-conscious. My first line of defense is to give clients words to keep people at bay. For example, when someone tries to feed them sabotaging foods like cupcakes or chocolate, clients can say, “That food looks far better on you than on me!” That always scares people away.
My second line of defense is to remind clients that their new healthy life involves effort. They need some “cheat” meals that aren’t really cheat meals. They can look for healthy, delicious desserts or healthy pizza. Go to www.bodybuilding.com and search for fantastic examples or to www.etsy.com to order protein cookies! Clients can bring these foods to the office for themselves or to share with others. Then they will have something to nibble on while others are consuming unhealthy food. Clients will be surprised when people start following these examples.
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