Weight loss advice: who are you listening to?
Everyone has an opinion. Especially when it comes to what to eat and how we look. After all, we all have a body and we all eat. There's no way around it, everyone will have something to say and that's absolutely fine, we are all entitled to an opinion after all. But just because people have opinions it doesn’t mean we need to take them to heart. We need to choose whose advice we listen to wisely if we are to avoid having our best efforts undermined.
When you set yourself a goal to do with your body some people will be naturally supportive. They will get on board with what you are working towards straight away. These are great people to be around.
Unfortunately, others will resist or dismiss what you are trying to achieve. This can be for any number of reasons. Maybe they are jealous, scared of change or conscious about their own body or maybe it's something else entirely, the reason doesn't matter. Whatever their motivation is they will weigh in with advice and comments like:
"All diets are rubbish, they don't work"
"Just have everything in moderation"
"The answer is to exercise more"
"Don't worry what people think, you look fine"
Even worse, if you've told people you have a weight loss goal you may feel like your body is open to public scrutiny. You might find that you get more comments on your figure more than ever before. With all these comments flying around have you ever stopped to focus on who you listen to?
Where is your weight loss advice coming from?
I have a friend who is good at putting others people's advice into perspective. Whenever someone says "My mum/boyfriend/best mate/colleague says calorie counting is a waste of time......etc etc"
The first thing he asks is:
"Are they overweight?"
I've seen this play our many times. Initially, I was shocked by his question. Then I was surprised to observe that 9 times out of 10 the person pontificating about weight loss is either overweight or has some issue with food themselves.
For me this provokes 2 questions:
1) Whose advice are you listening to?
And more importantly:
2) Do these people have the results that you want?
Choose who you model yourself on wisely
A great piece of advice I was once given is: choose who you model yourself on wisely.
We have many people in our lives whose views we respect and we take their words to heart because they are important to us. Usually, these people are close to us like friends, partners, parents, bosses etc. While these people may give us really useful advice in some areas of life, they may not be so helpful in other areas if they don't want what we want or value what we value.
You'd be surprised how many people listen to the advice of others who aren't exactly a shining example of what they want to achieve. Next time someone starts dispensing advice or are offering opinions, ask yourself:
Does this person have the results that I want?
If the person dispensing advice is overweight ask yourself if you want their results. This is important because if you do as they say you'll get what they have. Is that what you really want? If what they are saying worked they would have applied it themselves they would not be overweight. They can have an opinion of course but is that advice right for you?
If the person isn't overweight, it's still worth asking yourself if you want what they have. Maybe they are slim but are obsessive about calorie counting and perhaps that isn't for you. Perhaps they have good nutrition advice but they spend 5 days a week in the gym. If you want their results you'll need to do exactly as they do. Are you willing to replicate that?
Maybe someone else looks how you want to look but they don't spend the same amount of time with their children as you. Maybe they don't ever go out to eat with friends. Are you prepared to replicate that way of living?
Who has the results you want?
One major factor in achieving what you want is modelling your behaviour on the right people. Think about the people who have what you want to have and focus on how they did it. By taking the bits that are useful and deciding if you want to replicate the action that achieved those things, you will find yourself listening to people who will help you get to where you want to be.
So next time someone dispenses their advice to you, just take a moment to think about whether they have the results you want? Are they the right model of weight management for you?