By Lauren Denos: 3/2/2015 (Mindset)

We all have had those people who are a bad influence or bring us down. But fear not, there are ways to handle this issue.

Most of us have friends or relatives that do not understand why we are making certain healthy changes in our lives. You know who I am talking about. These are the people who constantly shove brownies, cake, candy, soda, etc. in your face and cannot understand why you would avoid it. After all, one cookie will not hurt you. While this is true, one cookie won't hurt you; but, you still want them to respect your decisions and not force something on you. So what can you do to handle these saboteurs?

  1. First things first, talk to them. Let them know how important this healthy habit is to you and that you really want their support in it. You can always frame this in a way of being concerned with your health and not about weight loss. If they see that you are dealing with being healthy so that you do not develop something a relative has, like diabetes, then they may be more understanding and be on your side with thing. If they do not respect what you are saying, you could always let them know that if they are going to keep up this behavior that you may not be able to hang around them much.

  1. Keep in mind that many people equate food with love. So they think that if they are bringing you cookies, they are showing how much they care. To address this, you may want to express how much you love apples or some other sort of healthy treat. This way they can still show their love and you can feel good about accepting it as well.

  1. If they are someone who is just constantly undermining you and not adding much benefit to your life, you may want to think about steering clear of them as much as possible. Sometimes friends will do this because they do not want you to change, it can make them feel uncomfortable and many times makes them feel guilty for not taking charge of their own health. It can make them realize that they are in charge of where they are, bad health and all.

  1. Sometimes you simply need to change what you are doing with your friends. If they are used to dinner and lunch dates, start to plan other activities so they feel like they still have fun time with you. Many times, food is the connecting bond so they can feel like they do not have as much in common with you and may lose their friend. You just need to create a new bond, new traditions. Plan hikes together or join a sports league together, or if they are not into any sort of exerting type activity then paint together, take a pottery class, go to the spa. You never know you may wind up being the catalyst for your friends to get healthy as well.

  1. Think of the consequences to the actions they are encouraging. When you are dealing with a coworker it can be had to deal with. In this case, you may want to think about the consequences to eating the garbage they are offering you. You may even want to look at what kind of health they are in. If they have health issues, do you really want to eat like they are?

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