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Support of Friends and Family

There are differences between nagging and encouraging. Having been exposed to both, I am familiar with many of them.

Encouraging someone comes from a place of love, caring, and concern. It is done when someone is open to your input, and when you try to convey it in a way that will be accepted and is meant to help.

Nagging might also come from caring, but it is usually done in a way that will discourage the person. It is done with a tone that can be hurtful or belittling, it might even be accusatory. While it might be intended to help, it can beat the person down and discourage them, having the exact opposite effect.

A couple of months ago, Leslie and I were speaking about my weight loss regimen, and she told me that she was sorry for several things that she had said. I did not understand why and told her so. She reminded me that within the last few days she had:

· Called me when I told her I might be too tired to walk and told me ‘Get dressed and go for a walk, Mister!’

· Encouraged me to not have an extra salad one evening, calling it a ‘gateway salad,’ essentially that if I thought that having the salad with just vegetables was okay, I would not only make it a habit, but would then start adding canned salmon and seeds to it.

· Reminded me on a number of occasions that I was doing well, and to stay strong so that I could accomplish what I wanted to with this diet.

Over the years, I have told several people – not only individually, but I went so far as to write articles on it – that I did not want their input on my weight loss. That was not only about unsolicited advice, but even comments about my progress. When it comes to weight loss, everyone seems to have opinions and advice. It is all meant to be encouraging, but so often has the opposite effect.

I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me something like: ‘You are doing great on your diet! You should try…’ and then shared their advice with me. Folks, if I am doing well, then let me continue doing what I am doing. For that matter, if I falter then the best way for me to get back on track is with the familiar, not with something new.

I have a friend who weighs more than I do and has also over the last few months lost a lot of weight. He is doing incremental fasting, and the results are incredible. We have discussed his methods several times… and he knows mine. What he has not done was told me that I have to try this.

When you are losing weight, it could feel good to hear people tell you how great you look. That is not always the case though, and because of that, sometimes I just do not want to hear it. I like to think that I have a pretty thick skin, but when someone tells me that I am doing good on my diet it is a judgement, and oftentimes I do not want to be judged.

The last few days, as I have written, I have faltered quite a bit. While I walked quite a bit while I was in Montreal, I ate badly. On my second day back from Montreal, I went on an amazing, longest-walk-ever. That was Monday. Since then, I have not exercised, nor have I stuck to my weight loss regimen.

Yesterday evening, my wife asked me if she needed to show me tough love… knowing that I have not been doing well. I told her that I did, and so she told me that if I did not get out for at least two really good walks before coming to Dallas, she would not pick me up from the airport. It’s rather a longer walk than I am comfortable committing to, so I figured that I had better set out today for my first of at least two good walks before Thursday.

Do I think that my wife would have left me stranded at the airport? Of course she would not. She knows me though, and she asked if I wanted her to be tough on me. She knows that she has leave to use the carrot and the stick. I actively seek her encouragement, support, and when warranted, her berating. While most of the people who try to give me advice and encouragement are equally well-meaning, their input is not welcome. Leslie’s is welcomed and actively sought. I do not expect her to lock me out of the house if I don’t walk X number of kilometres this week… but I also do not want her blowing sunshine and roses up my rear what I am having a bad time of it.

I did not break records today, but I had a really good walk, and a really good sweat. I am going to take my shower, and then start preparing my lunch. After that, I will go shopping, and will try to pick up enough provisions to take me through my flight on Thursday. I am usually pretty good, but every single trip to the supermarket is another opportunity for me to falter. I will not! I will, however, buy milk for my coffee, a couple more packages of chicken, and lettuce. I will check, I might also need an onion. I do not think there is anything else that I need, and today’s can be my last trip to the supermarket until I am home from Texas in a month.

Have a great day folks!

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