Helping Someone Lose Weight? Here's Something NOT To Do
Imagine waking up and getting your day started. Usually skip breakfast but today you are trying something new. You nibble down a small yogurt cup and put half the amount of cream in your coffee. It feels good to know you are making changes that support your health, but it isn't easy. You are trying to do this every day, but some days you fall back into old habits. No one's perfect right?
Making changes isn't an easy thing when it comes to moving against your habits. Keep this in mind and remember that supporting someone through changing habits means being their number 1 fan and not a coach.
#1 Fandom vs Coaching
What am I talking about? A coach is someone who tells you how to make changes to do things properly and where you need to improve. Imagine working at something and having a loved one always tell you how you could be doing things better or where you need to be doing things better. From my experience, it is very deflating and de-motivating to have that type of person in your corner. On the other hand a number 1 fan is relentlessly supportive encouraging you do keep going no matter how hard it is and tells you that 'you can do it!'.
I believe the number 1 fan vs coach approach applies for healthcare professionals just as much as it does for support persons. When patients and clients come to see me about lifestyle changes for weight management I always make sure they want my advice before I give it. Never give advice blindly, it's a sure fire way to push someone away. After awhile they may stop showing up to your office because their are tired of hearing it.
Unless someone is asking you point blank: "how do I do [insert behaviour] better or differently" don't say anything about it - just be a forever optimistic fan. Let them know you believe in them, and that they can be successful no matter what. Don't focus on what they aren't doing, or what they aren't doing well - just give them props for doing anything at all.
If you have never tried to change your behaviour, especially if you haven't tried to change a behaviour that is very rewarding to you, you won't understand what they are going through. Accept that it is very hard and focus on encouraging them. Of course saying encouraging things is not your only role as a support person their are a few more important parts of being a support person. What are they? Stay tuned to find out!
Please Share this with anyone who is supporting you or who you now is supporting someone else.
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