How Do I Stop People From Telling Me About Diets?
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Losing weight is not a matter of willpower. Neither is stopping destructive behaviors of an eating disorder, such as not eating, purging, overeating or compulsively exercising. How do you get other people to stop insinuating it is that simple? More important, how do you stop the most relentless judge of all? Yourself!

1. First, I can not stop anyone else from insinuating or doing anything. The more I struggle, the more it becomes a power play. Ultimately, I know that can lead me back to using food.

2. If I am honestly working on recovery, I do not have to defend myself to anyone. That can put me in a position of feeling less than, not good enough or bad. I can not let myself get lost in those feelings.  All of them push me toward my use of food as a way to alter my moods.

3. I can disagree with people without everything getting out of control. Whenever I shy away from being assertive because I think it will become a CONFLICT, I am reinforcing feeling trapped, helpless and powerless – plus everything else the other person is insinuating.

4. Just because people love me, it does not give them a right to judge my struggle. If they sought out more information, they would learn recovery from weight and eating disorders is complex-–it's not a matter of just another diet.

5. When people toss an uncaring insinuation, I can choose to look at it and let it go. That does not mean I accept it. It is just that I have made the decision it is a stupid remark and I will not waste my time or energy absorbing it or addressing it verbally.

6. I also can verbally set a boundary with that person to demonstrate that I am sincere in wanting it to stop. I can say aloud: “That sounds like an uninformed statement. It makes me feel misunderstood and judged. I need you to stop insinuating  that my struggle is that simple.” Relax! There was nothing aggressive about that. Just the facts.

7. When someone does say something, look inward before you respond. How are you reacting? If you find yourself believing what is said, give yourself some mental direction. Say Stop! Complete a reality check. You know from your own experience it takes more than willpower to change. Talk back to your own negative messages.

8. Don’t accept it any more. It is an important part of your recovery to learn to set boundaries and to stop the pattern of absorbing negative feelings about yourself.

HOMEWORK: During the next week, carry an index card with you. Each time you judge yourself, write it down, along with the message. Either then, or when you get home, talk back to every negative message. You may be surprised at how much energy you have been giving to these negative messages that you can now begin to change.   


For more helpful techniques to get off the diet merry-go-round, you'll want to read Body Sense. It includes many components you may not have considered as being a part of your weight struggles. The empowering book gives you therapist-tested techniques to face emotional issues that have sabotaged you, and the latest information about how your body's neurotransmitters and your reactions to foods impact your weight. It is the missing link if you have struggled with your weight with no apparent answers. You'll find our online course as a powerful companion to your Body Sense experience. Check them both out if you want to put aside old negative beliefs and replace them with positive beliefs about yourself that are no longer dictated by the scales.

Brenda Crawford-Clark, LMHC, LMFT, NCC

Author: Body Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions 

©Copyright 2001 Brenda Crawford-Clark