Dear friends, family and colleagues

There's nothing more soul destroying when you're trying to lose weight, to observe things and be told things that drive the nail into your coffin of existing self-defeating beliefs.

It's simply a lack of understanding.

This post today is a voice for all the women out there on a weight loss journey.  As a former overweight chick, I hope you will allow me to speak on your behalf to provide understanding to your people.

There are different sections and a brief overview of weight loss at the end.

Dear husbands/partners

Telling your wife/partner that she's spending too much on weight loss, or too much on herself is incredibly counter productive to her results.  What you need to understand is that weight loss is a journey not a diet.  It's hard enough trying to educate your wife on the REAL way to lose weight without you blocking her path.  What your wife is likely to be hearing are the words she echos to herself daily "I'm not good enough", "I don't deserve it", "I'm not worthy".  Your wife IS worth the money she needs to spend.

It grinds my gears when I hear women tell me "I just have to check with hubby".  This is her body, her happiness, her sex drive, her insomnia, her anxiety, her depression, her bloating, her constipation, her binge eating.  Not yours.  This is her misery.  Not yours.  Your wife should not have to check with you at all to alleviate these woes.

Have you wondered why your wife isn't having sex with you?  Have you wondered why she's such a grumpy cow?  Have you wondered why she spends so much on weight loss when others don't?  I'm going to tell you.  Because quite frankly, your wife doesn't actually know how to.  She already knows you're not going to understand, so why should she even bother.

Dudes.  Body fat is a sign of an unhealthy body and an unhealthy mind.  Stress hormones and poor sleep contribute to body fat gain even when your lady isn't pigging out.  I'm sure you've noticed your lady eating well and exercising but still not losing weight right?  Well, there are things you don't understand, and these hormones are one of them.  It is also the reason your lady doesn't want to have sex with you.  Well, notwithstanding the fact that you're proving to be very unsupportive to how shit she feels about herself.

Your wife's psychological state (emotions, work stress, homelife stress etc) is contributing to her body fat levels.  She's emotionally eating, stressed to the max, doesn't know whether she's arthur or martha.  She literally does not know how to stop this, otherwise she would.  She knows its not helping her.  She's spending MORE money, because she may have discovered that she needs counselling, life coaching or that she's found a holistic weight loss coach like myself who actually can help with this.  Yes, people like me cost a lot more than a diet.  

But its people like me who are giving you back your beautiful vibrant wife.

  • Next time you feel like saying to your lady: "You don't need to eat that" or "Why are you eating that".  I have a better idea.  You need to go up to her, give her a rub on the back or a hug or something and say these words "Hun, I know you don't really want that, but tell me, what is it you really need".  

You'll probably find out that she's not the pig you thought she was.  You'll probably find out that she's been bullied at work, or maybe you'll find out that she feels like a crap mum.  You may even find out that she thinks you don't love her.  I dunno, you'll find something out that's for sure, and your lady will finally be allowed to share her emotions instead of eating them.

There are biological issues that affect our body fat levels, like candida, inflammation, liver congestion, adrenal issues, hormones (insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone etc).  The last 5 diets your lady undertook did NOT address these.  So yes, she is going to spend more  money.

Please dudes, be supportive.  This is the top thing your lady is unable to tell you.

"I don't feel like I'm a good enough mum / wife / employee / boss / entrepreneur / woman.  That's why I'm fat, that's why I binge eat, that's why I yo-yo, that's why I'm tired and have no motivation to exercise"

What she wants from you is some support while she gets this sorted out.  It costs money.  Suck it up gentlemen because one day, when YOU find yourself unable to get it up and you feel less of a man, you too may be dishing out the cash to get help.

There's always ways to find money for things that are important.  And trust me blokes, when your lady starts strutting around again for you like the goddess she is, 'putting out', and not being so cranky, you'll be glad she spent that money.  So get out there and help her find it.  Cos if she can't get it fixed ... well, dudes, you've got a miserable future to look forward to.

I've lost count of the number of husbands who gained huge benefit out of their wife's weight loss / transformation journey.

Dear friends and family (part A)

You may have noticed your friend is trying to lose weight.  You might be a close friend, an acquaintance or maybe you're in a weight loss group with her.

Most of you are supportive.  Some of you aren't.

Some of you are unknowingly un-supportive.  Friends this is really ok, because you're unaware of it.  You don't know what you don't know.  So I just need to share a few things with you.

Ok, you may have lost weight yourself.  That doesn't give you the right to start being a weight loss consultant to your friend who is struggling.  I know of a lady who was losing weight perfectly well, until someone who was losing it faster got in her face about what else she could do.  She started freaking out.  Last time I checked, I was the expert and that lady was paying ME the money for the advice.  She was getting perfectly fine, steady results.

Your friend who is trying to lose weight, she's comparing herself to you.  She's comparing herself to the women she sees in magazines.  She feels like a total failure because she's not losing it at the same rate as you.  But having you in her face about what else she can do is counter-productive.  You're just putting a neon sign around her struggles.

You, my friend, are giving her some really shit advice most of the time.  It's shit advice because it was stuff you found on the internet, it was stuff that 'worked for you' or 'worked for someone else'.  A professional coach like myself does not waste time with that bullshit, we work with YOUR friend on HER weight and HER stuff.  We don't tell her what we found on the net or what worked for us.

Which brings me to the most important point.  Just because you are friends, just because you are in the same weight loss group, just because you're doing the same diet does not mean you are going to lose the same amount of weight.  You may have been overweight because you were sexually abused as a kid and body fat became a protective mechanism, or you may have become overweight because no one taught you how to eat properly.  Both situations will require a different strategy and will take a different length of time to lose the fat.

Imagine a victim of abuse who uses body fat as a protective layer just whipping off that body fat at 1kg a week.  How successful do you think this is going to be when she hasn't yet found deep psychological protection within herself.  I've had clients like this and it's near impossible without the added support people to help.

When you ask your friend 'WHY' she's not losing weight.  All she hears is "Why are you such a failure".  This is the dialogue that most overweight women have, and you're driving the knife in by reminding her she's not doing what such n such did.  Not only that, lets say your friend knows she needs counselling for sex abuse - do you really think she's just going to declare "Oh I'm fat and finding it  hard to lose weight because I was abused".  She might do, but chances are she won't.  That's if she even KNOWS the reason why.

I had Binge Eating Disorder for 28 years.  I didn't even know I had it.  I didn't know why I was fat, I thought it was exercise I needed.  So your friend may be experiencing things she has no idea about herself.  She doesn't know why, and quite frankly, you don't actually need to know why - its none of your business what's going on with the deep inner workings of her body.

Which brings me to my third point.  Only 10% of people who lose weight keep it off long term.  your friend may be struggling now, but her 2 year journey may just yield a better result than your 6 month journey.  Maybe she'll be the 10% and you'll be the 90%.  Who knows, I hope not - but I can't fight with the statistics.

What helpful things can you do as her friend or if you're in a weight loss group with her?

  • Stop asking her every week what her weigh in was.  A piece of her dies every time she has to tell you she lost nothing.  Praise her on how healthy she looks.
  • Avoid trying to advise her on what she SHOULD be doing.  You don't actually KNOW what she needs, you simply do not have the knowledge, skills and background.  Instead, reassure her that if she did all the actions required, then she is on the right track.  Empower her for her actions not her results.  Empower her for the woman she is, the smart, funny, beautiful woman that you've come to love.

Dear Family and friends (Part B)  and people who have never been overweight

If you have never been overweight in your life, you have absolutely no right whatsoever to comment on someone who is trying to lose weight.  You don't understand enough to verbally express judgement.  Your knowledge goes as far as eating healthy and exercise.  Well, my fellow slim people, the 'healthy' food that many of you eat, is anything but and your advice is NOT going to help your friend / family member who is trying to improve themselves.

You do not understand the psychological and biological drivers.  You need to zip your lip.  Statements like "Why don't you do some exercise" or "Why don't you eat healthier" is like me coming up to you and giving you parenting advice something like "Why don't you tell your kid to stop crying".  I mean come on, your kid might have twisted bowel and is crying in agony, so how good is my advice to you?  

That's how good your advice is to an overweight person.

To the friends and family who think its all just obsessive and whatever.  I'm sorry, but this isn't your body.  You are more than welcome to shovel in endless painkillers, antidepressants and crap food into your body, but when someone close to you decides they're not - that is NOT for you to make them feel bad about it.  How can you even argue with someone who is trying to improve themselves, what type of person does that make you?  You can't even support a loved one in their decision making.

Your family / friend has chosen to thrive.  And yes, you will be left behind simply surviving.

Your friend / family member is going to leave the herd with or without you.  They are going to eat healthy while you eat shit.  They're going to exercise while you sit on your ass.  They're going to use appropriate supplementation, get massages, physio, life coaching and anything else that helps them.  Yes they're going to spend money and they're going to start putting themselves first.

And its going to either make you feel good (because you want to see this person happy) or its going to make you feel bad (because it's mirroring something for you that you're not happy about).  You get a chance here to have some self reflection.  Why on earth would you tell your daughter she spends too much money on herself when it's beneficial to her health, happiness and future?  Why would you tell someone not wishing to eat bread to "not be silly" when the alternative is her rushing to the toilet with diarrhea.  Why on earth would you be such a negative person to someone trying to positively change their life.  What is wrong with YOU more to the point ... not what's wrong with them.

Mostly, it's because you think it's about you.  Hate to break it to you, It's not.

  • She's not turning down your cake to attack you or be rude to you.  She's turning it down because her body doesn't respond well, and she's taking care of herself.
  • She's not skipping a boozy night out because she doesn't like hanging out with you.  She's missing it because she doesn't feel the need to get fucked up and fuck with her liver any longer.
  • She's not asking you what's for dinner to be fussy and annoying.  She's asking because she has goals and she'd like to make sure she achieves them, she'll probably help you cook dinner if she has specific needs.  You, as a caring friend could easily serve a little bit of what she needs and a little bit of what you want.  It's not hard, sing out if you need coaching on it.
  • She's not avoiding the macaroni and cheese you randomly brought round because she doesn't love you.  She didn't ASK you to bring it, you didn't even check to see what type of food she eats, why would you just ASSUME she wants it and then get offended when she doesn't.

Friends and family.  It's not about you.  So stop making it about you.  Stop making it about your beliefs, attitudes, judgement, insecurities.  Start making it about your friends/family goal.  They're not rejoining the herd in the same way, so get used to it.

If you're pissed off because you can't lose weight and you're jealous of that person.  Get over yourself.  Get beyond the jealousy and find yourself some real help with a coach like myself, the last thing you need with that attitude is another diet that won't work.

Weight loss in general

To all of you.  You MUST understand that body fat levels are an indication of mental and physical health.  How much stress/tension and trauma a person is carrying that is affecting their hormones.  How is their emotional state contributing to their feeding patterns?  Do they have parasites?  Do they even have a well functioning thyroid pathway?  Have they picked up dysfunctional beliefs, beliefs that don't just disappear in one day?

And how is this impacting their body, and how is this impacting their ACTIONS (diet, exercise)

Just because you saw someone lose weight, or watched a TV show, or lost weight yourself, it does not mean you know what is going on for your friend.  That specialist role is reserved for elite weight loss coaches like myself.  Not armchair critics, regardless of whether you lost weight or not.

It is NOT just diet and exercise.  And it's not just a simple $100 and it's fixed.

It's bigger than that.  So please either be supportive to your friend, or just stay quiet so they can get the job done in the way they need to.

From me and your friend to you.  We thank you for your reading this and your new found consideration for your loved one/s. xo

Stacey HancockComment