Enlist Friends and Co-Workers in Your Battle Against Sugar - dummies

Enlist Friends and Co-Workers in Your Battle Against Sugar

By Dan DeFigio

Confiding in a small group of friends who know you well can strengthen your support system. However, involving the right friends is important because you won’t receive the right kind of support from everyone you know.

Supporters

The ideal support partners are friends who truly support your goals to free yourself from the grip of sugar and to lead a healthier life that’s under control. Your closest friends may not necessarily be the best folks for you to look to for support because they may not be in your shoes and may not understand what the big deal is all about.

You’ll probably receive the best support and accountability from friends who are looking to improve their own eating habits and lifestyles, even if they’re not your closest friends. Your best ally may turn out to be someone you barely know! Look for people in your circle who are already living the lifestyle you aspire to. They can serve as great role models and wonderful sources of advice and encouragement.

Naysayers

Regardless of how close you feel to your friends and family members, some of them will unknowingly act as naysayers and saboteurs, so be emotionally ready for this to happen.

You’ll have friends or co-workers who may make fun of you for your food choices at restaurants, or your spouse may bring home an ice cream cake the day after you have a tearful conversation about how out of control you feel your life is.

Try to keep in mind that these people are (hopefully) not being mean or insensitive on purpose; they just don’t understand how hard making life changes can be. They probably haven’t considered making any improvements for themselves or just don’t understand what you’re going through because they’ve never tried to overcome any type of addiction.

Whatever the reason for their behavior, try not to hold it against them. People who aren’t interested in adopting healthy behaviors themselves often engage in negative talk about yours or downplay the importance of the changes you’re trying to make. Don’t let it discourage you!

Don’t bother talking about dietary stuff or exercise with naysayers — they’re just not interested, and they’ll only bring you down. You have plenty of other things to talk about, so reserve discussions about your personal goals and progress for supportive people who are interested in hearing about your journey.

Devil’s advocates

Sometimes your best friends can also be your worst temptations. If you have a friend with whom you often share scripted behavior, like having dessert together every time you go out to lunch somewhere, don’t be surprised if she intentionally tempts you with food choices that you’re trying to stay away from.

Don’t let a distorted sense of loyalty dictate your behavior! Your friend doesn’t need you to eat junk food to enjoy your time together, and you haven’t abandoned your friend if you decide not to partake in sugary treats that the two of you have historically shared.

Let your would-be devil’s advocate know that you’re happy with the dietary changes you’re making and that you feel great when you don’t eat sugar. If your friends and family know that you’re happy with the changes you’re making, that’s what should matter to them.

Evangelists

After your friends and co-workers hear about your quest to kick the sugar habit, you may find that one of them latches on to you and evangelizes nonstop about a particular diet or supplement that has worked miracles for her, or a friend of hers, or her brother-in-law’s plumber’s wife.

Though this person may genuinely have your best interest at heart, she may also be involved in a multilevel marketing supplement company and may be trying to reel you in.

Evangelists are unable to carry on a conversation without stuffing your ears full of great tales of their miracle thingy. Politely take their brochures or write down the book title or website they’re espousing, and say, “I’ll check it out, thanks.”

If the evangelist persists at future encounters, let her know that you appreciate her help and input but that you have a system that’s working great right now, and you don’t want to screw it up by trying to take on too much.