How Do You Lose Weight When You Are a People Pleaser?

How do you lose weight when you are wasting precious time as a people pleaser?

Look, people pleasing is a time sucker, energy waster, stress increaser and waist line expander.

I sound horrible, right?  Don't I sound selfish and mean?  But really, when we are trying to achieve a goal whether it be losing weight, building a business, organizing a wedding or studying for final exams we always feel like we never have enough time.

How Do You Lose Weight?  Clear out the clutter.....

So many people who are trying to lose weight struggle with this side of things.  I hear it all the time.

  • "But I'm a people pleaser!!"
  • "I'm always doing for others and have no time for myself."
  • "But they need to me to help them!!!"


We spend so much of our day responding to other people's needs that we forget to fulfill our own.

A text or an email comes in and it's like summons for our attention. 

The urge to respond is often overwhelming…..but do we ever stop to ask why?

Or better yet…..if we send a text or an email and DO NOT receive an immediate response what do we people pleasers think?

  • "OMG….she must be mad at me."
  • "I must have done something to upset her."
  • "Did I say something that offended him?"

Then we waste time thinking, obsessing and worrying over their non-response.

Then we come to find out that they were just plain BUSY and absolutely nothing was wrong…..yet we were worried that we did something to offend!!

But they were just going about their day……being busy and getting stuff done.

We have to stop and think why we are doing what we are doing.  Why are we going to such great lengths for others?

What does it fulfill in us?

Maybe approval.

Maybe acknowledgment.

Maybe praise.

Then we go around seeking ways to fill our need for approval, acknowledgment and praise and it becomes an endless cycle that we can never seem to get enough of.

And if not careful it can lead to resentment and bitterness because we feel our "pleasing efforts are taken for granted."

stress eatingStress Eating

"You will never 'find' time for anything, if you want time you must make it." Charles Buxton

People pleasing is a double edged sword and if you do not know your motive for your people pleasing it can become a habit that gets out of control.

In fact, people pleasing has been linked to overeating according to a report published in the current issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

"The study included 101 college students who completed a questionnaire that assessed their characteristics for having a people-pleasing personality, such as putting others' needs before their own, worrying about hurting others and being sensitive to criticism.

Each of the participants was then seated alone with a female actor who posed as another study volunteer. The actor was given a bowl of candy and took a small handful (about five pieces) before offering the bowl to the study participant.

Being a people pleaser was associated with taking more candy, both in the laboratory experiment and in a second study involving the participants' recollection of real-life eating situations." (1)

"Not enough time" or "Too busy" or maybe you are a People Pleaser?

Take this example from Psychology Today:

"Janet is a 42 year old mother of 2 boys, 11 and 13. She works full-time as a nurse.  She is 50 pounds over weight and hasn't lost any weight after 10 weeks in our weight loss program, so we sit down to figure out what might be wrong. She says she hasn’t started exercising or keeping a diet journal and she continues to eat fast food several times a week.  She tells me, “I'm too busy.  My only chance is to get up at 5am and go walking but I then get up and realize how much there is to do.  I find myself getting distracted making lunches, getting on the computer to respond to emails, and other things around the house. I can’t exercise after work because I have to drive straight to the boy’s games.  Jack has soccer on Wed and Sat.  Jason has baseball on Tuesdays and then karate on Friday. By the time we get home we are starving so I just throw something together quick or get drive thru if I haven’t planned dinner in advance. After dinner I feel guilty and start planning dinner for the next day, after that it’s probably 9pm and I’m ready to crash.  I also have to make it out to the nursing home to see my grandmother twice a week, which I fit in on the weekend or a day the kids don’t have a game.  I’m exhausted. There just is no time.”

So when I hear my clients say that they "have no time" or that "they are too busy" I start to dig a little deeper to see if they are a people pleaser because they will always be too busy and will not be able to make weight loss a priority without dealing with their people pleasing personality. 

They will always come last on their list.

How do you lose weight?

Weight loss takes tremendous laser like focus……on YOURSELF.

What it takes to lose weight is often seen as selfish…….but actually you need to become more self-FULL.

We do not have unlimited amounts of time and we need to budget time just like we do our finances and calories.  We cannot spend more than we have and we cannot eat more than we expend.

The obvious result of poor financial management is debt.

And the consequence of poor energy management is weight gain and possible disease.

The result of poor time management is STRESS which affects EVERYTHING.

So if you are a people pleaser… may be time to ask why you keep doing this?

There is a fine line between helping others out when they need a hand and being a genuine people pleaser.

If this is an issue for you… online Lean and Serene Program may be for you.  Inquire here.




3.  Case Western Reserve University, news release, Jan. 31, 2012

Return to the Home Page

Related Pages:

Related Pages:

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.