When you embark on a mission to lose weight, you have already had to force YOURSELF to make sacrifices, to make a commitment. Perhaps you buy a new piece of weight loss equipment or invest in a high quality weight loss supplement like Skinny Fiber. You’ve MADE a personal investment mentally, and financially. You’re ready to commit.
The fridge and cupboards are swept clean. You stock your fridge with fruits and vegetables.
You’ve joined the gym, or committed to three days a week of going for a run after work or popping in an exercise video. These commitments, these GOALS are hard enough to start and make happen. However, when you do make this commitment, you expect that the only person who can saboteur or harm your weight loss efforts is yourself. Sadly, this is hardly true.
Jealousy and insecurity can sweep through friends and family who see you making a lifestyle change. If you go out for dinner with a friend and the friend eagerly suggests ordering splitting a hefty appetizer before your main meal or finishing with a rich brownie cheesecake dessert, you are facing instant temptation (and have to mentally note how this will impact your efforts, so you politely decline). There, that should be enough, right? Surely they won’t push you to order something you don’t want to? But they do. They feel guilty about ordering fries with their burger, and dislike the fact that you are ordering a salad because it makes them second guess their own health choices, their own lack of commitment to a healthy lifestyle. You don’t judge them, you don’t comment on their choice or care for that matter, if they order a 10 oz burger and bacon cheese fries. However, they would feel more comfortable eating their meal, if you were eating something similar.
“Come on, treat yourself. A cocktail and dessert isn’t going to kill you.”
“It’s Friday night. I hate drinking all these beer while you are drinking water. Drink with me! Who cares?”
“You’re making me feel bad. Come on, I made all these desserts. Try them!”
They don’t take no for an answer. It’s oddly reminiscent of being back in high school where friends and peers used to pressure you to have a drag of their smoke, a shot of hard liquor or try to coerce you to try a hard drug. It’s peer pressure, and it hurts coming from a friend or family member.
I remember when I was in University. I had gained not just the “Freshman 15” – more like the Freshman 45. I was up to a staggering 225 pounds, when I realized that something had to change. During my second year of university, I went on a strict diet and hit the gym regularly and weight started to shed. After a few months, I would bump into old classmates who were shocked at how much I had changed. But, my other close friends from first year, who had also gained weight during their first year (due to too much fatty residence food, fast-food, drinking, lack of exercise) – had NOT committed to this same lifestyle change. They felt uncomfortable when we’d go out, and I’d be drinking water instead of beer. I laughed, joked around and danced like they did, but they would mock my drinking water or juice and egg me on to have a few beers. Sometimes, I would, but when I did, it was when I had made that CONSCIOUS choice before hand that I would have a treat.
It had to be on my terms, or I would always succumb to pressure. For example – if it was my birthday or a friend’s birthday, I’d allow myself to have a few beers or a piece of cake and know that in advance that I’d be having a day off from my weight loss efforts. If you start saying “Oh fine” every time you go out, then it becomes a regular habit, and you won’t see the results from all your hard effort. After time, I stopped being invited out. I remember losing many friends that year. I was no longer invited out dancing or out to the pubs or restaurants and it hurt me. They never commented on the fact that I had lost over 50 pounds and looked like a different person. I never talked about it, I didn’t brag or boast to them because I knew they had their own struggles. But I never received encouragement from them, only discouragement and disdain. How sad and unfortunate.
So how do you deal with friends who don’t support or encourage your weight loss efforts?
1) Try to resist the pressure and temptation. Decline politely. Insist you’re really craving fish/seafood or whatever it is you are planning on eating.
2) Don’t constantly harp about your new diet/exercise regime. When a person becomes immersed in losing weight and they see results, they get excited and want to share with everyone. Many people are not receptive to this. It is better to wait until people ask you to divulge information about what you’re doing to get the body you’re now sporting. If you constantly talk about how many calories are in cheesecake or how you can’t drink because it’ll make you fat, you will make your friends feel insecure. Don’t judge with the hope that you won’t be judged either.
3) Have Fat-Free Fun and form Fat-Free Friendships. Find other people to talk about health and exercise who are similarly passionate and have the same goals and interests as you do.
Instead of going out for drinks and fatty appetizers, suggest doing other activities with your friends that won’t leave you in a spot or make you feel isolated.
Here is a series of fun activities you can suggest doing with your old or new friends:
1) Go sight seeing in your local area. Explore someplace new.
|Halifax, Harbour, Nova Scotia|
2) Go for a long walk while you catch up with a friend or find a running buddy.
|Road Trip, Nova Scotia|
|Halifax, Nova Scotia|
6) If you’re not one for playing sports, get some tickets and go to a live sports game. If you don’t want to break the bank, support your local team and go to a game close to home for a fraction of the price. There’s always a lot of great energy, cheering, singing, and a heck of a lot of good looking men. (Just sayin’)
|Barrie Colts Hockey Game, Ontario|
There are so many activities to partake in that don’t focus on eating and drinking. Try to partake in other activities with your friends to form new interests together and maintain a cool and comfortable relationship. 🙂
Your body, your rules. If you haven’t made the commitment yet to getting fit and healthy, you’re here for a reason and you know you need to make a change. So why not start now?