When Weight Matters Blog

Thanks for visiting our blog, our goal is to provide the latest helpful information both to motivate and inform you. Click the subscribe button and you will receive an unobtrusive notification when we publish a new article
4 minutes reading time (848 words)

The Subtle And Not So Subtle Hurt In Many Relationships And Families, When it Comes To Weight Management.


The Subtle And Not So Subtle Hurt In Many Relationships And Families, When it Comes To Weight Management.

One question I ask my clients is who do you have supporting you thought this process? I ask this because having true care and support and understanding is powerful, and an important part of being able to wade through the muddy waters of hype, misinformation and disinformation that exists about obesity and weight management.

What comes up time and time again is that while our clients feel supported by their team of practitioners, when they return home to the people they live with, that support system is quite often frayed around the edges.

Many people tell me that their partners just refuse to take any of the medical knowledge the science, or the research into account. They insist that their partner who is living with excess weight is just eating too much and they need to join a gym. And when weight fails to shift they blame their partner saying they are not committed to the process, that they need to try harder.

This then becomes a source of tension and sadness within the relationship. It may be the relationship with a significant other, or it may be from the family or friends.

It also can lead to the client questioning themselves, wondering if perhaps they are doing something wrong or if in fact they are not trying hard enough.

The idea that trying is even part of the discussion is a bit futile because it suggests that all that is needed is control and behaviour modification.

Every time I see an article based on research and science on social media I spend a bit of time reading the comments. I feel a sense of despair each time as these comments are highlighting what the broader community might be still thinking. Now I know these comments are actually just an example of ignorance and arrogance but they are loud enough to hurt and shame a person living with obesity.

Underneath the challenge of accessing appropriate and quality care for weight management another problem emerges. This is the unique challenge of living in an environment (home) supposedly built on love and trust that crumbles when it comes to being supportive around weight.

Its a tough one because I have no doubt many partners truly do care and love their significant other and feel worried about their health and wellbeing and will do anything to be informed and supportive. However I see so many people on a weekly basis in tears because they feel under constant scrutiny, criticism and judgement from their inner circle about their weight.

This can be incredibly subtle to an outsider. For example when serving meals the server gives one meal to everyone else but serves a measly salad (no discussion about if thats what the person wants) just an assumption that they are being helpful or considerate.

There are the eyeball rolls, there are the "Should your really be having that? " questions. There are the monitoring of the persons weight by recording what the scales say every day. They ask them what they ate that day. They ask if they are truly doing their best.

Ironically this can lead to secret eating and or binge eating . I have many clients who end up eating in the car while they are alone and can dispose of wrappers before they reach home. This secret eating may or may not contribute to their weight but it s a way of copying with having to pretend at home that they are ok to just eat salads and teeny portions when they feel genuinely hungry.

At the risk of sounding extreme I see a lot of emotional abuse and bullying in this area.

Not only are my clients struggling with the stigma and shame from our society but they are struggling at home where they would like to feel safe and supported. They would like to not be under constant scrutiny and judgment.

Of course Im not talking about every family or significant other, there are many who are learning, supportive and open to hearing about new information coming to light.

OccasionallyI will ask if it would be helpful if a family member or partner would like to attend our session to give the opportunity for education and a greater understanding of what living with obesity means.

Most of the time the answer is no. They insist that it will make no difference . They insist their family member or partner has set ideas about the "eat less move more" tag line and refuse to believe or be open to the idea that we know that this is no longer helpful or true.

Im still wondering what we can do to make a difference in this area until the broader community understands that obesity is not a choice?The cynical part of me says that as long as the diet industry has products to sell and 12 week quick fix promises to  promote, we are facing an uphill battle.

Ginette Lenham © January 2024 

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Looks Can Be Deceptive
What Does Asking Our Patients to "Do The Work"Even...

Make A Booking With Ginette

Call 0418 481 112 or Click the Contact Button

Lets Connect

Contact Me

when weight matters logo white

Zoom, Skype and Facetime Sessions available now.

M: 0418 481 112
E: info@whenweightmatters.com.au  
I: https://www.instagram.com/ginette_letshaveachat