We are continuing our Ketogenic FAQ’s with a question that comes up a lot, “What do I do if I have no support for this way of eating?” I’m not going to lie, it’s a hard situation for anyone to be in because we are by nature communal people that want to fit in. Being part of a tribe is something that was ingrained in us from our earliest days as a species so when we don’t feel like we are fitting in to our social group or don’t have the support of a tribe, it bothers us on a very deep level.
When we feel like our friends and family aren’t “with us” on our journey, the temptation to quit can be very strong. In fact having talked to probably hundreds of people about this way of eating, I can say lack of spousal support is probably the #1 reason people quit, especially women. If I’m talking to a woman who’s husband is actively resistant to this new way of eating, she will almost always quit after the initial enthusiasm wears off.
So what do you do? Here’s a few tips to help you out when you don’t feel you are getting the support you need from the ones you love.
Get a New Tribe
I’m certainly not saying to get a new family but you need a place with other like-minded individuals. You need somewhere you can go to ask for advice, get recipes, vent, cry, laugh, whatever. This is something new and there is no reason to feel like you are reinventing the wheel every day. There are people out there who have done this for a long time and had great success, you need to tap into that reservoir of experience and wisdom.
Of course, I recommend my Facebook support group because we have great admins and a ton of videos explaining pretty much every aspect of this way of life. But if it isn’t your cup of tea, you can just do a search for ketogenic support groups and probably find hundreds if not thousands of places you can join. The only other ones I spend time on besides my own are the Keto Reddit Forum and the Ketogenic Forums from the guys over at 2 Keto Dudes. (The Keto Science subreddit is pretty good also if you like the science part of it.)
Discipline is Always Better than Motivation
The problem with motivation is that motivation fades. Once that initial rush goes away, you find yourself back in the same ruts that got you fat and sick in the first place. The key here is discipline because where motivation fades, discipline remains.
Discipline is the fine art of separating feelings from action. If you are relying on emotion to keep you faithful to this way of eating, your commitment fades as soon as your passion does and let me tell you, the first few weeks on keto can be difficult so keeping your level of commitment up is just as difficult. It’s important to be disciplined and part of that is making daily commitments, removing temptations, and rewarding yourself when you do well. Having an accountability partner or someone you can check in with is important also, there is a reason why organizations like AA require you to have a sponsor. Change is hard but change with help is easier. (Looking for help? Join one of the support groups mentioned in the first point!)
Attach a Bigger “Why” to Your Health Journey
Why are you making this change? This is the most important question you need to answer and it needs to be crystal clear. The “Why” is the bedrock of your change and what keeps you faithful when you feel like the ones you love the most are against you. Your “Why” is the lighthouse that guides you when you feel like you are in a storm and about to be dashed on the rocks of your old eating habits. This needs to be written down and said out loud clearly and often.
Some examples of good Whys: “I need to get rid of this diabetes.” “My family has a strong history of (fill in metabolic disease here) and I don’t want to get that.” “I’m too fat and need to lose 50 lbs” “I don’t feel comfortable with my body and need to be happier with who I am.” “I have done what feels good in the moment for too long, I need to prove I have the discipline to make this change.”
Whatever your why is, make sure it is big enough and important enough to give you the discipline to finish this race strong.
Convert Your Existing Tribe
This one may take a while but as you continue doing this and start seeing the changes that can happen when you fix your diet, there is the possibility that your friends and family will want to do what you are doing. It took years but now I’m seeing my son in law lose weight, my granddaughter lose weight, my daughter, my son, so many people that I love that are making important changes to their diet based on what Dian and I have done over the last 4 years or so.
It’s exciting when it happens but takes lots of time and it might not ever happen. You can’t control other people but you can be a good example they can look to when they realize they need to make a change. You just keep being the best you you can be and let the chips fall where they may.
Do you have any other tips or stories of how you succeeded with little support? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below.