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The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Coping with Attempted Sabotage – Envy

There are several reasons why some of the people in your life may – consciously or unconsciously – attempt to sabotage your weight loss maintenance efforts. Envy is one of the most common reasons. You look good and have gained control over a problem that others are still struggling with.

Envy is often confused with jealousy. Envy is an emotion that occurs when someone lacks what someone else has – they feel resentment towards the person they perceive as having something that they value, wish they had, but don’t have. They want to see you fail. They are driven to destroy what they don’t have.

Envy and jealousy are similar but different. Jealousy arises out of a fear or concern of losing, to someone else, what we already have. And so we become jealous when our good friend talks about the good time they had spending time with another friend. And we feel jealous and suspicious when our spouse or partner talks about finding someone else to be attractive, or seems to enjoy spending time with someone else.

How weight loss envy may manifest:

  • Snide comments or discouraging comments
  • Food pushing or just bringing food around constantly (and it’s not healthy food!)
  • Planning activities around food and eating
  • Planning activities that interfere with your exercise schedule

One of my clients, Jana, was lost for words when “friends” would make remarks like these:

“You’ve lost weight before and you regained it all.”

“You look too thin.”

“You’ve lost too much weight.”

“If you lose any more weight, you’ll blow away.”

With some coaching and practice, Jana soon learned some effective ways of responding to these would-be saboteurs:

“I’m happy, my spouse is happy, and my doctor is happy with my weight”.

“I didn’t lose weight for my looks. I lost weight to improve my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. I’m thrilled that they’re now in the normal range – and so is my doctor.”

“It’s true that I’ve regained in the past, but I’ve now learned the skills I need to keep it off forever.”

“I’m healthier and therefore happier than I’ve been for years.”

How to respond to weight loss envy:

  • Create an effective support system for yourself – find people who will respect you and encourage you to stay on the path of improved health.
  • Emphasize the direct connection between your weight loss maintenance and your health.
  • Be assertive, and ask for the support you need.
  • With particularly uncaring and inconsiderate people, you may need to create some distance between you and them.

Please share your experiences of weight loss envy and associated attempts at sabotage by commenting on this post.

With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.

Director, The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management

Creator, The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh™ is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.