Do you feel that your partner sabotages you when it comes to losing weight?
If so, have you ever had any of the following thoughts?
“My partner keeps food in the house that I know I shouldn’t have but I can’t NOT eat it if I know it’s there.”
“My partner doesn’t help with cooking or healthy food prep so therefore we can’t eat healthfully.”
“My partner doesn’t want to eat what I’m making or the healthy food I’m eating.”
“My partner doesn’t eat vegetables so we can’t have them for dinner.”
“My partner doesn’t think I can lose weight so why bother; they’re probably right — this time will end just like all the other times.”
“My partner causes me stress and so I eat because of that.”
These are common thoughts and beliefs that some of my clients have when they start working with me. They believe their partner is hindering their weight loss because of their actions.
When it comes to being in a relationship, many of us see this as becoming one solid union — trying to do everything together perfectly in unison.
Marriage and committed relationships SHOULD be a union of working together.
But you’re still two separate people, even if you have a joint bank account.
You’re always going to have different thoughts and ideas about many subjects, even if you’re both on the same page about things such as politics or religion.
You’re going to have different thoughts about things as you go through life together. Some thoughts you will agree on and some you will not.
This is where I bring in The Thought Model which stems from the work of Byron Katie.
The Thought Model
If you’re new to my teachings, I use the Thought Model to help clients achieve freedom from things like emotional eating or to help them achieve what they want in most any area of their life.
The Thought Model has five parts. It is both simple yet profound.
The Thought Model consists of:
We all have circumstances in our life. These are facts about our life that anyone would agree on.
Then we have thoughts about these circumstances. These thoughts are sentences in our brain and they are the meaning we give to our circumstances.
Then we have a feeling or an emotion that arises from our thought. The feeling is usually a vibration somewhere in the body and can feel “good” or “bad.”
Then from the feeling, we take an action. Our feelings drive our actions.
Then our actions create our results, whether they are good results we like or bad results we don’t like. The results we get in our life are a direct correlation back to our original thoughts about our circumstance.
Our circumstances make us have thoughts which make us feel a certain way which makes us take a certain action which creates our results.
The most amazing thing about all of this is we have complete control over our own thoughts (but no one else’s). We have control over our own thoughts, our beliefs about things and the meaning we assign to things.
We therefore have control over our feelings and emotions. And THIS means we have control over our actions and we have control over our own results in our life, especially when it comes to weight loss.
Apply the thought model to your relationship with your partner
Maybe you have a thought about wanting to spend money on painting the outside of the house to freshen up the look. Your partner may disagree but thinks it’s important to spend money on a new deck for the back of the house.
So you’re each having different thoughts about your house and wanting to take different action on something in your life – in this case, it’s where you’ll spend money on your house maintenance.
When it comes to marriage or being in a relationship, many of us think we should be one cohesive unit and be thinking the same thing all the time.
Then if we think the same way, we’ll feel the same way and act the same way and everything will be perfect.
This sounds like a magical rainbow unicorn.
This is completely unrealistic. Of course you and your partner are going to have different thoughts about your house, your marriage, and your lives together. Your relationship with your partner comes completely from the thoughts and beliefs you have in your mind about that person.
And your partner is going to have their own thoughts and beliefs about you. These thoughts are of course created in their mind.
You get to think and believe whatever you want to about your partner and they get to think and believe what they want about you.
No one has control over your thoughts and feelings, only you do
Many times, we think our partner is making us feel a certain way or causing us to take certain actions.
Most of the time, we don’t realize that we control our own thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Then, when something isn’t going right in our relationship, we think the problem is with the other person. We blame them for something that is actually a thought we have about something.
We think that whatever it is that our partner is doing (or not doing) that we don’t agree with is the problem.
For example, your partner buys junk food and brings it home and eats it.
And then you think thoughts like:
“Well, the junk food is in the house — it’s here now so I might as well eat it just like all the other times I’ve eaten it. When that junk food is around, then it’s just too hard for me to resist it. I have no control over whether I eat it or not. If it’s in front of me, then I have to eat it.”
Then you feel hopeless, resentful, angry, or even sad that you’ll never lose the weight. And when you feel these feelings, you usually eat in order to feel better temporarily.
Crazy cycle, right?!
So your solution to your partner bringing junk food in the house is to say to them:
“You shouldn’t bring junk food in the house. It’s your fault that I can’t lose weight because you keep bringing in foods I’m trying to avoid eating. You’re being very inconsiderate.”
Then you start to feel resentment towards your partner. You think they are sabotaging your efforts at weight loss by bringing junk food into the house.
Do you see that these are all thoughts you’re having about your partner bringing food in? These thoughts create your feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Your thoughts are not facts. They are the meaning you are making of the fact that your partner brought food into the house. There is food in your house that was brought in by your partner.
You’re blaming your partner because you won’t stop eating the food they brought in and then you don’t lose any weight. You think “Why do they have to bring that food into the house? They know I can’t resist it!”
So you tell your partner all about your issues and ask them not to bring the food into the house.
Maybe they stop — but most likely they don’t.
You’re asking them to think differently about the food and to feel differently about the food and to take different actions — actions that YOU would take.
You are two different people who have different thoughts and feelings about food, and you each take different actions. You’re letting your brain tell you — with your thoughts — that your partner is the reason you can’t lose the weight.
But actually, your partner can’t prevent you from doing what you want to do. Only you can be the one who sits with the urges to eat the junk food but not eat it anyways.
You have to do the hard work of processing your emotions and looking at your thoughts about the junk food.
What power are you giving the junk food?
What thoughts can you start to shift about not having control over eating the junk food?
Instead of thinking:
“I have no control over whether I eat the junk food or not.”
You could think something like:
“Even though the junk food is in the house and I’ve eaten it in the past, it’s really only food. It just sits there. It doesn’t care about me and whether I eat it or not. It doesn’t even help me reach my goals. I’m choosing to have foods that repair my metabolism rather than damage it.”
This helps you feel different feelings like motivation and hopefulness, which will help you take different action and achieve different weight loss results.
The outside world will never conform to how you think it should be
Your partner won’t stop being who they are to make it easier for you to lose weight.
Sure, if you ask, maybe your partner will do some things differently that help you in your weight loss efforts.
However, truly permanent weight loss is an inside job.
It’s not dependent on anyone else doing anything special for you to be able to follow your eating plan, get enough movement in and drink enough water daily.
No one will ever change because you think they should.
It’s normal to think other people should do different things so that you don’t have to work as hard to achieve what you want.
Rather than thinking it’s your partner’s job to do things that make it easier to lose weight, what if you leaned on someone like me who’s entire job is focused solely on helping people like you implement the tools that make midlife weight loss happen.
No one has to change in order for you to create the results you want in your life. Let your partner be who they are and you create your own results based on your own empowered actions.
Your partner is not making you fat
What causes weight gain is eating more food than your body needs. No one is making you eat any junk food. Take responsibility for how you feel and for what you eat.
“How can I set myself up for success in this situation, regardless of the food that is around me?”
If you want to be a certain size or a certain weight, then you have to take ownership of what it takes to get there. It’s no one else’s job.
I’m encouraging you to look at your weight loss and your partner’s junk food habits from a different perspective. From a place of more empowerment where you have the control over your own actions.
I’m encouraging you to think some different thoughts about your circumstances.
What to do now
I encourage my clients to start journaling about their thoughts and start seeing which thoughts are leading to feelings that cause them to take actions they don’t want to take.
This takes some time and awareness. But when you do this, you’ll never feel that anyone else has control over whether you lose weight or not.
This is complete freedom from the weight loss rollercoaster.
You have to start becoming aware of your thoughts and realize that you have control over them. And because you have control over your thoughts and beliefs, you have control over your actions and the results in your life.
Isn’t that amazing?
If you’d like help working through your own thoughts and beliefs about yourself and your food (and even your relationship with your partner), you can book a free call with me.
We will uncover what is stopping you from achieving the results you want.