There’s an old Italian saying that roughly translates into:
If you want to be betrayed, go to your friends and relatives because they’re the ones who know you and they’re the ones you trust.
It’s a dark, disturbing sentiment. I don’t know where it came from and I no longer remember the exact Italian words.
But my grandmother, who could never hurt anyone, used to tell us this. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of truth to that saying.
In a way, I think it applies to weight loss, too, especially for people who need to lose a lot of weight.
There’s The Obvious Interpretation
Friends and relatives who try to sabotage your weight loss by insisting you eat more than your diet allows.
“Oh, it’s just one piece of cake,” they’ll tell you.
Your resolve weakens until soon that cake is tucked safely inside your ever-expanding belly.
Sometimes, they mean well. Sometimes, it’s jealousy or fear or their own insecurities that drive them.
There’s a dynamic in every family and often in friendships, too. Each of us has our place. The smart one… the strong one… the funny one… the irresponsible one…
The Fat One
As you lose weight, you often become attractive to more people.
You may gain a self-confidence, a boldness, a joy about life that’s new and exciting and possibly frightening to the people around you.
If they’re insecure, they’ll try to put you back in your place.
The Fat One.
Which is why they try to sabotage your weight loss efforts in the first place.
There’s Also A More Subtle Interpretation To That Saying
And it has as much to do with how people betray us as with how we let them betray us.
Suppose you have a small wound on your arm. You can press as hard as you want on your uninjured skin and feel nothing. But apply even a slight pressure to your wound and the pain is excruciating.
Your friends and family know where your wounds lie.
If they wish, they know where to apply pressure with their words and actions to hurt you. Whether it’s the insecurities that go with being overweight or something else.
And The Funny Thing Is, So Many Of Us Let Them Keep Doing It…
If a stranger treated you that way, you’d toss him or her out of your life in an instant.
But we often place a higher value on the judgments of our family members and friends, even when it doesn’t make sense.
We may even let those judgments define us and determine our level of happiness with ourselves and the world at large.
In extreme cases, your only option is to get away from the people who hurt you. Permanently.
Most Cases Aren’t So Clear-Cut
Maybe there are children involved. If not your own, then nieces, nephews, grandchildren. So you can’t just walk away.
Or maybe the problem isn’t bad enough to warrant completely removing someone from your life.
So how do you change things?
Sometimes, all it takes is the courage to stand up for yourself and insist the other person stop their hurtful behavior. It may take several times before it works, but often people hurt us just because we take it.
Other times, you need to put some distance between you and the other person. Without completely cutting that person from your life.
Every situation is different. How you deal with the people in your life will vary.
But One Thing Remains The Same
Even if you can’t change the people around you, you can change you.
If they don’t like it, that’s their problem. Don’t make it yours.
So if you want to lose weight, don’t let other people use their judgments and their hurtful behavior to feed on your insecurities and stop you from achieving your goal.
You know what you need to do to succeed.
As Nike says, “Just Do It.”