Dealing with Weight Loss Trolls
By Staci Amend
December 3, 2014
If you spend any time at all on social media, you’ve probably encountered at least one “troll”—those people who just never have anything nice to say. Online, it’s easy to dismiss negativity with the click of a button or two, so hopefully you took the high road by deleting the comment or blocking the commenter. But in-person trolls can try to insert themselves into your weight loss journey as well…and they can be much harder to deal with when they’re right there in your face! Here are a few basic “troll types” we’ve come across in our 30+ years of helping people lose weight, and what to do when they rear their ugly heads.
We all know people like this, and embarking upon a weight loss program can really bring them out of the woodwork! They’re full of reasons you should throw in the towel. But fortunately, the comments made by this type of troll aren’t based in reality, but in that person’s own deep-seated unhappiness. Debbie is miserable, and she wants company—but that company doesn’t have to be you! When she’s showering you with negativity, try to remember that it’s all coming from inside her. It doesn’t really have anything to do with you.
You might also come across the “my-way-or-the-highway” troll. These folks often consider themselves experts in weight loss, either because they’ve been doing a lot of “Internet research” or because they’ve found a different method or program that works for them. They’ll be happy to tell you ALL the ways their program is better than what you’re doing. The best approach to take with these people is to praise them for whatever victories they’ve had with their method—then share a few from your own journey.
ANY success has the potential to create jealousy, whether you’ve lost 10 pounds, gotten a promotion at work or bought a new car. In the case of weight loss jealousy, the sad fact is that some people can only experience someone else’s victory as their own personal loss. When you encounter people who try to diminish your success because it’s making them feel bad, take a moment to think about the underlying emotions that are causing their behavior. Then talk with them about your own struggles prior to joining Jenny Craig—you never know, YOU might be the little push they need to make a change in their own life.
You’re at a work party, nursing your single glass of wine and feeling pretty good about having avoided the buffet table. And suddenly here comes Pushy Paula, raving about the AHH-MAZING artichoke dip and the HEAVENLY lemon bars. She knows you’re in the midst of your Jenny Craig journey, because you’ve told her this every other time she’s tried to push food on you. And yet she’s still trying to get you to cheat! Like Janet, Paula is motivated by jealousy; she doesn’t want YOU to succeed, because it makes HER feel like a failure. If a firm-but-gentle reminder doesn’t stop her in her tracks, find somebody more supportive to talk to… and don’t be afraid to ask your consultant for other troll-taming strategies.