Monday, 11 June 2012


The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential...these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

While some people view the pursuit of health goals as an individual process, many people’s success depends on the support of their loved ones. In order to help a family member, friend or significant other lose weight, Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at California State University in Los Angeles, offers the following tips:

Get on Board:
Words of encouragement and emotional support can definitely help a loved one pursue their goal to lose weight; however, sometimes actions speak louder than words: “Offer to watch children so a new mom can run, or perhaps when it is gift giving time provide gifts that facilitate activity such as running shoes, or a piece of sports equipment.”

Respect Boundaries:
Keep your advice to yourself: Dr. Durvasula says that many families “don’t respect boundaries, they offer unsolicited advice and even criticism.” Saying something like “Why even bother,” “can undercut someone who is trying to make real changes.”

Help on the Food Front:
Dr. Durvasula recommends keeping an open mind when it comes to trying healthier food options, and “when the junk food purge takes place, offer to throw some stuff out too.” Also, favorite foods are often difficult to deal with for people trying to lose weight; don’t act as an enabler by bringing home “things the person loves but struggles with.”

Don’t Live in the Past:
“Never point out past failures. They’ve probably already done it to themselves.”

Find New Activities:
If your family’s activities revolve mainly around food, branch out and find activities that involve exercise, such as hiking. Not only will you be supporting your loved one, you may also discover a new hobby!
“The biggest barrier to making any healthy behavior change is environment,” says Dr. Durvasula, “and environment is largely made up of people. Family is a unique group because the history can make their words and actions even more powerful…the person who wants to make the changes can’t be too heavy handed and just come in and throw out all the goodies, it’s a process, and the more respectful it is from both sides, the more likely it is to succeed.”

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.