“I don’t have any support from loved ones” is something I often hear when people believe they cannot meet their goals, or find themselves having a hard time with their goal. And unfortunately, they may be right, they may not have good support. Some people have a hard time asking for support, or communicating needs to someone who could be supportive, and then make misplaced assumptions about not having support. Yet, some people absolutely have those individuals in their lives who are either neutral to their goals or will consciously or unconsciously sabotage their efforts. While it’s important to enlist the support of those around you when you can or when it’s actually helpful, it is also important to set healthy boundaries where needed in order to be your most successful.
My first suggestion is to think specifically about how the people in your life are not supporting you, and use these specifics to determine what you need from each individual, then communicate that need.
Then, take control where you can. When someone in your household is not supportive, this can be hugely difficult, but you can still set limits. Control your meals, all of the time or at least when this person is not a part of your meals. The person who is unsupportive won’t be there for every single meal and snack—you are control of those clean eating decisions. Compromise by still going out to eat or indulging here and there, but less often and less amount. Do not skip out on date nights or time with friends, just work to change how you eat during or the activities you engage in. Exercise before the person at home wakes up, when they are not home, or when they have an alternative activity at home.
Because this person loves you, hopefully they will begin to respect your decision as they see how it improves your overall wellbeing. If they cannot, it is not because they do not love you, it may be due to their own insecurities and wishing they had the strength to be just as determine as you. Here again is where open communication throughout this process is key, or at least setting a firm limit for yourself where there seems to be a roadblock to understanding. Do not let someone else control your emotions or your behavior – this is not malicious, it is setting healthy limits and controlling your own health to be better for those around you.
When you find you do not have the support you need from family and friends, despite communicating your needs and trying to create the support network there, you may begin to feel quite lonely. Go ahead and look elsewhere for support. You may find it in a trainer, someone you meet at the gym, a new friend from a workout class, or someone in an online support group.
Here are some more tips in the Huffington Post from Mercedes Maidana on How to Go for your Dreams when Those Around You don’t Support You…
Remember this: Don’t expect the people in your life to change or to be in the same place you are. Prioritize your health, make smart decisions toward your goals, and keep motivated knowing you’ll be a better friend, parent, family member, co-worker, etc. if you can work toward your goal to be healthy.