Thursday, June 21, 2012
Investing in others can be tricky business
When you have lost weight, people tend to fancy you some kind of guru. It's like you've discovered the lost city of Atlantis or something. Then they ask you how you do it and when you say portion control, smart, balanced eating and exercise they say "oh, I could never do that!" or look at you like you have 3 heads. It's because of these typical reactions that I get excited when someone I know decides they're actually going to jump on the bandwagon. They want to pick my brain and know everything I know and I'm more than happy to spill it. But I tend to go overboard. When someone asks for tips or pointers, I tend to give them more than enough info to get started and stay on the straight and narrow until they hit a plateau or something.
Problem is, 90% of the people who have asked me for this info end up doing the same thing I did when I wasn't truly ready to change and peter out before week 4 much less ever have a chance to hit a plateau. Then when they stop checking in or gain back weight they've lost or whatever, I feel like either I've failed them somehow (knowing that isn't true) or I get ticked off because I feel like I invested more in their attempt to change than they did. I do it in pretty much any aspect of my life. If someone is going to Hawaii, they know to contact me, I give them way more than they can comprehend, they never write back about it, I ask how their trip went and did they go to any of the places I suggested and I get the wishy washy "ohh no, we didn't get a chance to go there, we went to (insert chain restaurant)" or "we sat on the beach the whole time." Then I feel like "WHY did they ask me if they had no intention of taking myself advice they asked for and why did I waste my time writing a pamphlet of everything from the best restaurants to good and bad parts of town to the best attractions?"
I need to learn to temper this eagerness to give advice to people closest to me who ask for it and not spend more time on it than they are willing to spend on themselves. That's not to say if they ask I won't answer their questions but I will give them the shortest and most to the point answer I've got and nothing more until they've proven they're serious. It's the only way I can ensure that if they don't take what I said to heart that I can avoid taking it so personally.
Have you ever felt like you've invested more in other people's potential weight loss journey than they invested themselves?
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