The Wellmeaning

Comments like You're fine as you are and You don't need to lose a thing can often be well meaning - but are still a nice sounding way of undermining your decisions about your body. By taking responsibility for yourself you may be reminding others that they are failing to face up to their own weight or health problems. No wonder they are keen for you to maintain the status quo!

Possible solution: Oh, I'm just feeling a bit unfit at the moment implies that you are doing it for health reasons rather than vanity. Few can argue with that.

The Gang

Whether it's a slice of birthday cake, Friday afternoon drinks at the office, kilojoule-laden cocktails when you are out with the girls, or beers with the boys, some people just don't like it when you turn food and drink down. It threatens group dynamics, and may even be showing up their own overeating or drinking.

Possible solution: It's always a good idea to diffuse with humour and do make sure that you are not adopting a holier-than-thou attitude - which is bound to annoy others!

The Dropout

This is the friend with more enthusiasm than staying power. You start your weight-loss plans together and yet they can't grasp the idea that you are committed to eating more healthily. Favourite phrases are 'Let's start tomorrow' and 'Just one more bikkie before we start'!

Possible solution: Ultimately you are responsible for your own body and not your friend. Remind him or her why you are doing this, and he or she may soon be thanking you for your encouragement!

The Rival

This friend seems keen to join you at the beginning but soon his or her obsession with how many kilojoules you had for breakfast and how long you spent on the exercise bike can get a bit too much. And when he or she starts comparing your weight loss, well, you start to feel that it's not worth bothering.

Possible solution: Weight Watchers is about losing weight in a way that suits your lifestyle and your body. What is right for your friend could be just too much too fast for you - or your friend may even be losing weight too quickly and be a prime candidate for putting it back on later. Slow and consistent weight loss is the healthier way. Congratulate your mate on his or her 'success' but refuse to be drawn into rivalry.

The Plain Scared

If you're responsible for feeding the family or a partner, announcing that you're watching your weight can often throw them into panic mode. You may have read up on delicious, healthy recipes but they have no idea what's in store for them.

Possible solution: The best way to get the family to eat healthier, or lose weight alongside you if they need to, is to subtly alter the meals you give them. No fuss, no great explanations. And if they moan when it's fruit for dessert rather than chocolate pudding, they can always make their own!

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