Ep #33: When People Aren’t Supportive

Stopping binge eating can be easier if you have support from people around you. But what if you don’t have that support? What are you supposed to do when you feel like people are sabotaging you left and right?

In this episode, I’m talking about the ways that people show up as being unsupportive and how you can stop binge eating even when they do. Outside support it awesome, but not necessary if you know how to support yourself. Listen in as I teach you how.

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
  • What happens to you when people are unsupportive
  • Why we want people to be supportive
  • Why we don’t need people to be supportive
  • How to handle situations when people seem to be sabotaging you
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Hey! How are you? I’m freakin’ amazing. I just got back from a business workshop right outside of Dallas TX and it was so awesome. I got to see friends I haven’t seen in 3 years and I got to meet a bunch of people in real life that I’ve only met in video chats and I got to make new friends! So much fun. I also of course got some coaching myself and learned a lot of stuff to help with my coaching business, it wasn’t just friends and fun, and I couldn’t be more excited to work on all of it. So yay for good friends and for growing as a person!

In line with today’s topic, it was so amazing to be around so many people who understand where I am, have been where I am, and support me in their own ways. I for sure have supportive people at home, but that room was full of people who are in similar boats as I am and it really lit a fire under my butt. They helped me work on some, and get over some of my own issues that were holding me back from being a better me not just in my coaching business but in my own life. No matter what your focus is that you’re working on, the good stuff you get from it will always trickle out into other areas of your life.

Stopping binge eating is your focus right now and it’s nice to have some support while you’re doing it. It’s a hard thing to do. But sometimes, the support just isn’t there.

For some people, they don’t feel comfortable telling people about it and therefore other people are unknowingly not supporting them, and for some others, the people they do tell don’t support them in the ways they’d like for them to.

They buy your binge foods and bring them into your home, they order unhealthy food that you love when you go out to eat, they offer you food and encourage you to just take a bite of something because one bite won’t hurt.

Or they don’t offer encouraging words. They don’t check in with you to see how you’re doing.

Or maybe they’re very obviously unsupportive because they say hurtful things and put you down or they don’t believe in you and let you know it.

So then what might happen in all these scenarios?

You end up bingeing and you blame them. You blame them for setting you up to fail, for encouraging you to eat foods that trigger you, for making you feel deprived, for saying or not saying things that make you feel bad, unsupported, or lonely.

You think they’re making you feel these feelings and that they’re creating circumstances in your life that make it harder for you to not binge.

So you start thinking they should know better. They should want to help you. They should want to be more supportive.

So many things that they should be doing and wanting.

But why should they? Why should they support you? Why should they want to help you?

Your answer is probably so that this whole process can be easier for you.

But what if they did do what you want them to do and it waseasier for you but, at the expense of what they want to be doing?

Really think about this. You want them to not buy and eat the foods you binge on so you can have it easier and so you can feel unafraid and less anxious. Meanwhile, they don’t get to do something they want to be doing. So you get what you want and they don’t.

Or you want them to check in and encourage you often so you can feel motivated and encouraged. But maybe they’re not the type who does that, those people are definitely out there I hear about them all the time and I’ve known many people like this. So you want them to say things they don’t mean or force them to speak on something they don’t care to, again, so you can feel better while they may not feel comfortable showing support or don’t want to show support through words.

But how about those people who you think are just mean? The ones who you think say hurtful things and put you down? For sure you want them to stop saying those things because you think it makes you feel bad about yourself. But they might not want to say anything different than what they’re saying. It’s what they believe and they think they’re just speaking the truth. They’re being them.

We want people to be different so we can feel better and therefore do better. We want people to make our struggles easier.

But maybe they don’t want to do anything different than what they’ve been doing and if so, they honestly don’t have to do anything different.

We all get to do what we want to do. If they genuinely want to do what you’ve asked them to then that’s great. If you asked them to stop buying cookies and they’re happy to because they want to help then awesome.

But if you ask and they say no because they want to eat cookies at home then that’s okay too. It really is.

If you’re trying your darnedest to eat better and you’re out at a restaurant with your friend and she orders the most unhealthy meal on the menu and an appetizer that she tells you you can share with her then that’s totally fine. She can do that. She doesn’t have to do anything differently because you’re choosing to change your eating habits.

That’s something I want you to remember. If you’re taking the steps toward becoming a healthier eater and are working on not responding to your urges and desires for food then that is your choice to do so. Own that choice. It’s what you want to do. That doesn’t mean anyone else has to change anything just because you want outside help.

Do not blame anyone for not doing what you want them to do because seriously, we’re all adults and we don’t like being told to do things we don’t want to do.

Imagine if a friend asked you to drive to her house on weekdays to walk her dog during your lunch break. She asks because you work really close by and she works long hours far away. But you really don’t want to spend your lunch that way. Should you do it anyway just so you can make her life easier and she doesn’t have to hire a sitter or walker? I wouldn’t. I’d do what I want and she can figure out a different way to handle the situation with her dog.

You can figure out a different way to handle your food circumstances and your feelings.

These people who you think are being unsupportive are giving you opportunities. They’re giving you opportunities to learn to be around food and to manage your thinking and your urges.

Even better, they’re giving you an opportunity to learn to support yourself.

When you do get support from someone else, you feel good, you feel validated, supported, encouraged. But you need to know that it’s not their support that causes you to feel these ways, it’s you and what you think about their support.

Support from other people in whatever way you’re wanting doesn’t cause you to feel anything. They say they are there for you, you believe them and think you have support, and you feel supported. Thoughts cause feelings, people’s words do not.

That same person could says they are there for you and you don’t believe it and you think you’re not really supported and you don’t feel supported.

Any feeling you want is coming from you. Any thought that is triggered by someone else’s words, you can think without them saying it. You can think that you are doing well and that you have what it takes and that you have your own back and honestly, you absolutely should.

It’s not anyone else’s job to keep you moving forward in this process. It’s nice when they help for sure, but it’s your job to keep you going. You are responsible for everything you do, everything you feel, and everything you think and you have to take that responsibility and own it.

As for those people who say mean things, you can believe in yourself even when they don’t. You don’t need them to agree with you. You can disagree and do what you believe you can anyway. You can disagree and believe whatever you want about yourself no matter what they believe.

Our thoughts and beliefs are our own and we can choose to run with whichever ones we want. No permission needed.

The definition of support, according to Google, is to give approval, comfort, or encouragement to and be actively interested in and concerned for the success of something.

You can do all of that for yourself and you have to. Other people’s support without giving yourself your own will be useless.

You have to generate your own feelings of approval, comfort, and encouragement with how you think about yourself and what you’re doing. Otherwise, their words will fall on deaf ears.

It won’t matter what food they bring around and order, you’ll sabotage yourself on your own. It won’t matter what words they say, you’ll negatively talk yourself down.

You also have to recognize how you’re interpreting other people’s supposed lack of support. I like to think about this like love languages if you’re familiar with those. If not, go look them up, it’s such a useful thing to know about yourself and other people.

Basically, we all have different ways of showing our love and different ways of how we want other people to show their love. There’s words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch.

Like this, there are different ways people show their support in regards to your eating. They may acknowledge your hard work, not buy or order the foods you ask them to, make healthy meals, say nothing and listen. You may want one or some of these and not want some of them or want all of them. While they on the other hand may not want to do what you want, while wanting to do exactly what you don’t want which you don’t find helpful.

We can’t fault them for any of it and we can’t make assumptions either. Them ordering or offering you food doesn’t mean they don’t support you. Don’t misinterpret. Most likely if you asked, they’d say they totally support you and they just wanted the food or they wanted to be nice and offer in case you wanted some.

Don’t forget, if this is what they want to do, you have to respect their wants. You can of course request that they do differently, but they ultimately get to choose what they do. As do you.

What I want you to know is that no matter what anyone else says or doesn’t say, or does or doesn’t do, any eating that happens, any sabotaging that happens comes from you, not them.

You feeling a feeling that drives your eating, whether it be resentful, angry, unsupported, frustrated or deprived is all caused by you.

Allow them to live their lives in the way they want to and you get to live yours the way you want to too.

You get to choose to take steps toward stopping binge eating and you get to make any time someone does something that makes it more difficult for you, into a growth opportunity.

You’re going to have to learn to manage your thinking and allow urges and feelings eventually. What better time than now?

Support from other people is great. But it’s also okay if you don’t get any. Not everyone has it available, especially those of you who don’t want to talk to other people about it. I totally get that because that was me. I didn’t think anyone would understand or be able to help me. The few I did tell over the years tried supporting me in their own ways, or maybe they didn’t try at all. I talked to a therapist a couple times but didn’t feel like she understood or could help me. I did find some support in an online message board many many years ago, but that was fleeting. It didn’t help long term. What did help was finding someone who could teach me how to support myself and generate the feelings I was looking to feel. The ones that would keep me going and keep me feeling hopeful.

If you want extra help learning how to do this too, I can help you. I’m here for you and if you want personal help to take what you’ve been learning on the podcast to the next level, sign up for a free mini session with me. You can sign up at coachkir.com/mini and I promise you it really is free, no strings and no obligation or pressure to sign up for my program if you don’t want to. Just a chance for us to talk about your own personal, unique struggles.

I can’t even tell you how good it feels to talk to someone who gets it and to be able to be vulnerable with them. I just went through this this weekend at the workshop when I kept talking to other coaches and sharing my struggles and risking them thinking I was being stupid and irrational and every time I did it, I was better for it on the other side.

I hope to hear from you and if I don’t, I really hope you take the time to start supporting yourself, regardless of what anyone else chooses to do. Become better and grow as they give you the opportunities to do so. Have a great week, bye bye.

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