sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

How Being a “People Pleaser” Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts After 60

By Karen Donaldson February 06, 2021 Health and Fitness

If you feel like everyone’s walking all over you, taking what they need with little or no concern for your needs, you may have what I call ‘doormat energy’ – pleasing others at your own expense.

You Always Say Yes, Even If It’s Not Convenient

You wanted to go on a walk, but you put your plans on hold because you’re busy helping someone else.

You get stuck coordinating another project at work or running another event at church because you were afraid to say no. You go out of your way to help a friend, but she never offers to return the favor, and you never ask.

Here Are Some Signs You’re Being Too Passive

  • You don’t take care of yourself because you’re too busy taking care of everyone else.
  • You say “yes” when you really don’t want to.
  • You don’t feel appreciated.
  • People take advantage of your kindness.
  • You feel guilty.
  • You avoid conflict.
  • You compromise your values if it means people will be happy with you.

Don’t get me wrong – generosity and helping others is good for the soul, but not when it comes at the expense of your own health and happiness. Seriously, where is it written that you come last?

What Does This Have to Do with Your Weight?

If you’re letting people take from you without refilling your tank through self-care, you will end up exhausted and resentful. And you’ll likely turn to food to replenish your energy – both physical and emotional. Remember, food doesn’t expect or demand anything from us!

Unfortunately, carbs have a clever way of tricking our brains into feeling better – calm, happy, even elated! When we eat or drink those comfort foods, the levels of serotonin and dopamine rise in our brains and we get an instant ‘high.’

Our stressors just melt away and we feel better – at least in the moment. But we’re reminded of the dire consequences when we get on the scale the next morning. We vow to do ‘better’ but for some reason we keep repeating the cycle.

One of my clients, Mary, is a perfect example. Being a wife and mother of five consumed her time. Her husband was a busy medical provider. She took care of his needs and raised the children single-handedly.

When We Don’t Feel Valued, We Eat to Fill the Void

Mary didn’t have time to work, so she didn’t bring in income. Her husband didn’t value her and deep down she didn’t value herself.

She desperately wanted people to like her, so she avoided conflict. She let everyone walk all over her. She rarely spoke up for herself. She tried diet after diet, only to regain the weight she’d lost plus more.

Mary was miserable inside so she ate to feel better… to get that ‘high,’ to feel happy, to feel cared for, to feel loved. She mindlessly inhaled cookies, cakes, candy and bread – whatever it took.

The Reasons for Self-Sabotage Are Buried Deep

Mary didn’t overeat on a conscious level. In fact, she vowed every day that today was the day it would all change, and she’d finally have the willpower and self-discipline to be ‘good.’

But “today” was elusive until she figured out what was really at the root of her cravings and emotional eating. Once she addressed those issues, she was able to lose weight and keep it off.

There Is Hope!

The extra weight we carry is often a symptom of something deeper going on in our lives. We can try every crazy diet on the planet, but unless we figure out our cravings and emotional eating, we’re doomed to be stuck in the same pattern of losing – and regaining – weight.

So, what about you? If you had chest pain, would you keep taking aspirin until you finally had the ‘big one’? Of course not! You’d recognize the symptoms and seek help for the condition.

Our food cravings and addictions are simply a symptom of a deeper issue. With the proper help, you can put an end to self-sabotage.

You don’t have to do this alone! If you are tired of repeating the same cycle over and over again and are finally ready to stop the madness, I warmly invite you to schedule a discovery session with me.

I’ll also send you a free copy of my book, Beat the Belly Fat Blues: Mind-Body Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss. I think you’ll find the stories of hope inspiring!

Do you try to please others at your own expense? Do you find that you are an emotional eater? What strategies have you adopted to stop the cycle? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Author

Karen Donaldson helps women stop their cravings and emotional eating so they can lose the weight and keep it off. She is a Registered Dietitian, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Certified Weight Loss Coach, Emotion Code Certified Practitioner and a Weight Loss Mindset Expert. Learn more at

You Might Also Like