Terri’s View: After I lost weight, some people had no problems reiterating how heavy I once was. I was told, “Oh yeah, no wonder it took you so long to conceive with all that weight on you,” or, “Good thing you took that weight off. You were really up there!” Granted, most people don’t speak like this and only have kind words to say – but sometimes people think they are giving you a compliment.
People who need to lose weight know it. They don’t need to be told that they should change their eating habits. Just saying, “You know, you could stand to lose a few,” will only make them feel worse. You cannot make anyone change their eating or their lifestyle unless they want to first.
I can offer living proof that diet and exercise does work and I always say how I do not have any dieting super powers. I will also be the first to admit I will always have my issues with food and still struggle on a daily basis. But, I would much rather have these issues now than when I weighed over 300 pounds at my heaviest.
I would love to be able to reach out to everyone I speak to about my weight loss and inspire them to change their lives. But, I also know they have to be ready on the inside and that no matter who they speak to or get inspired by, if they do not have it in their heart to make the commitment it’s just not going to happen.
Ed’s View: Talking to people about exercise and weight loss is still an interesting subject. Someone says how good I look, and then asks for the secret. It’s funny to see the look of disappointment when I explain to them it was just watching what I ate and getting into the gym.
I find that a lot of people always make an excuse saying; “I wish I had the time,” or “I just can’t work out because of some type of problem.” I am also amazed looking around the gym how many people with physical disabilities are working out and not letting this get in the way.
Yes, sometimes you can tear down a person’s wall only to find another wall! While you continue to change your habits and feel better about yourself, you want to share your good feelings, but as the old saying goes; “You can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink.”
I remember that it was easy to make the excuses, to eat the fast food and not do any exercise. I used to also say that I wish that I had the time to go to the gym. But it comes down to the person inside. If a person is ready to make the change and make a commitment, then they will make the effort to make it happen.
I find that I get excited talking to friends that have also changed their eating habits for the better. We swap stories about different exercises or how to prepare a low-calorie meal and what ingredients to add to add to the taste and not to the waist.
In closing, understand that while you may be talking about the change you have made in your life, and you are trying to get a relative or friend on board, let them make the decision for themselves. You can set the example, but until they make the choice you will need to continue your journey.