Since I'm involved in the health and fitness world, I meet a lot of women who are quite open with me about their weight issues. Most want to lose pounds because they're self-conscious about their appearance. I feel uncomfortable when they look in the mirror and make comments about how much weight they've gained, or what parts of their body they wished were smaller. If you know a woman like this, here are some ways you can help:
- Invite her to work out with you. Choose an activity that's exciting and emotionally uplifting so the focus isn't on burning calories. Go for a hike, take a Partner Yoga class, rent kayaks, or try out African dance. If she's enjoying it, then she'll be more likely to stick with it regularly.
- Take a food shopping trip together. Point out all the healthy foods you love that are low in calories, and high in fiber and protein. Teach her how to read labels and choose foods made with whole grains and other real ingredients.
- After giving her some healthy food choices, share your favorite healthy recipe ideas with her, so she'll know how to incorporate these foods into meals. Teach her how to make some easy dishes that will fill her up with nutrition, not with sugar, fat, and refined carbs. If you're not much of a chef, take a cooking class together.
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- Suggest she meet with a personal trainer to help her design an exercise plan with her weight loss goal in mind. That way she won't feel so lost in where to begin on this journey.
- Be honest with her. If she's saying things you know are hurtful to her self-esteem, let her know that it worries you that she's so hard on herself. I'm sure she'll really appreciate that you care and she may even open up about her weight issues. Talking about it always helps.