January 31, 2013

It Takes A Village…To Lose Weight

by Caroline Jhingory of www.CarolineJhingory.com

During my appearance on Access Hollywood, I shared that having a solid support system of family and friends was and is the foundation which enabled me to lose 150lbs and keep it off for a decade. Allowing negative people to stay in your life during your weight loss journey, is like a crackhead attempting to get off crack while still living in the crack house.

You may not be able to give everyone the deuces, especially family members. Still, weight loss is a process of sacrifice and selfishness. It is a lifestyle change, which also means changing some of the people in your life—especially the ones that cause you to emotionally eat—and changing the activities you do with the people who stay in your life. During your weight loss journey, you will have to retrain people how to treat and speak to you. Think of everyone in your life like an elevator: They can bring you either up or down. If people constantly take you to a level that is beneath you, you may have to give them the pink slip from your life, no matter who they are.

Below, I provide specific examples of the people you need and don’t need during your weight loss journey.

 People You Need

• Folks willing to be your daily exercise partner and call or text you to remind you of workouts.

• Individuals who always forward you emails for things like discounted gym memberships, or coupons on fitness clothes.

• A friend who reminds you, “Girl, it ain’t worth it,” when you see a waiter go by with a slice of cheesecake in a restaurant.

• A significant other who, instead of picking up takeout from a greasy spoon joint on the way home from work, cooks you a healthy meal (and feeds it to you), brings you flowers, and who constantly lets you know, “Damn baby, you look good!” throughout your weight loss journey. (Whether or not you’re actually losing any weight!)

• Relatives who make sure there are healthy options readily available for you at family events where potato salad and fried chicken have already RSVP’d.

I promise you: Molding your support system to be like this will not come easy.

(photo:John Ledbetter Sunchase Media) For hair deets, click HERE!

People You Don’t Need

• Friends who know you are trying to lose weight, yet still constantly invite you out for cupcakes or to happy hours with sugary alcoholic drinks and half-off appetizers of mini-burgers, onion rings, and quesadillas.

• “Friends” whose compliments are mixed with insults, such as “You look good, but girl, you know you ain’t gonna lose no weight.”

• Anyone who laughs at how you look in your exercise clothes.

• Individuals who dance and wave around food in your face that you are not supposed to have.

• A significant other who gives you an ultimatum to lose weight and threatens to leave you.

• Morbidly obese aunts, grandmothers, and other relatives who say you are already “too skinny” when a physician has said that you are 50 pounds or more overweight.

Remember, the people you invite into your life are either a blessing or a lesson. Recognize when you need to revoke that invitation.

Caroline Jhingory is the author of the book Half My Size How I Ate To Lose 150lbs. Her weight loss story has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Access Hollywood, the Today Show, Good Morning America, the Huffington Post and in People, Essence and Shape magazines. For more information visit www.CarolineJhingory.com

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