Making the decision to get healthy is HUGE. Another important thing when it comes to this decision is having support. Someone is more likely to be successful at something when they have supportive friends and family.
A common thing I hear from my clients is that they don’t have a lot of support at home. This comes in a few different forms like telling someone they don’t need to get healthy, not being excited for them when they see progress, not listening to them when they say to stop bringing a certain food item into the house, not working out wi them (even just once), and so on.
Some people even go as far as to look down on or say condescending things to people who are trying to make a lifestyle change. I know I have been through this.
Perhaps this is an issue because people don’t know how to be supportive.
Here is a list of how to support someone who has made the big decision to get healthy, put together by a personal trainer who works with weight loss clients.
If you live with them, listen to their needs.
If they tell you that they really need to stop drinking soda because they are trying to change their diet to prevent hypertension (just using this as an example), then be supportive! Remove soda from the house and don’t buy it at the grocery store. You could honestly stand to break the habit yourself, honestly. Either way, you can drink your soda when you are not around them and when you are not home.
Don’t be the reason that someone binges on a certain food or beverage and then regresses because you didn’t listen to them.
IF you feel like they are making a request that is just not realistic, then you two need to sit down and talk about it further. Compromise. It makes the world go ‘round.
Be excited for them, even if it’s not your thing.
If you don’t exactly care for the gym or making healthy decisions, then that’s totally fine. You do you, boo. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be excited for them, especially if they are excited to tell you what they are up to! If they see progress and tell you about it, don’t shut them down by not caring. They are sharing with you for a reason: because you are important to them and their health/well-being should be important to you.
Don’t tempt them on purpose or criticize their lifestyle.
This honestly goes both ways. They should not criticize your lifestyle if you don’t workout or eat healthily, but you should not be doing it either. Making someone feel bad about weight loss and getting healthy just demonstrates that you don’t care about their well-being.
If you ARE into health, fitness, and/or nutrition, offer advice.
Your friend or family member might be a little lost at first because weight loss can be extremely confusing and intimidating. If you go to the gym or eat healthily, offer them advice. Heck, go to the gym with them and show them how to use the equipment! Tell them your favorite healthy recipes. They will be so thankful to have someone on their side and it will help comfort them.
Lastly, don’t tell them that they can’t do it OR that they don’t need to if they really do.
If your friend has been told by a doctor that they need to lose weight to prevent a condition or disease, don’t tell them that they don’t need to. If they are classified as overweight or obese, don’t discourage them because of the whole self-love “at any size” movement going on. Don’t tell them that they can’t do it. Avoid ANY type of negative talk that would make them change their minds. If you don’t have anything positive to say, then don’t say anything at all!
Honestly, this entire list should be common sense. If you’re a good person and your friend or family member is important to you, then you will support them. It is as simple as that!
I wear a lot of hats: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. A writer with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. A fur mom and a wife. A mental health advocate and a septic shock survivor. An Airman and an athlete. I live in South Florida and am in love with the ocean. People can typically find me either in the gym or at home, writing or reading.