Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Today's blog is going to deal with a "touchy" subject but it's one that I feel I should address because some of you are going to encounter it at some point on your journey and I want you to be prepared so that it doesn't send you into a detour!
One would think everyone would be overjoyed to see the pounds coming off but that's not always the case. I'm going to talk about several "real life" reactions (not all mine - some have happened to friends). You probably won't encounter the whole list on your journey but you will probably encounter at least one.
Let's start with your significant other. While some SO's are overjoyed with the transformation some feel threatened by it. If the SO is also overweight there may be fear that you will want "someone new". There is at least the fear that you will attract the eye of the opposite sex with your slimming body. You will have to work hard to assure your SO that your feelings remain unchanged and that you are just a "healthier version" of the same person they have always loved.
Having said that I will caution you that some relationships do not survive drastic weight loss. In fact, some SO's have gone so far as to try to sabotage weight loss efforts because they DO fear potential loss. Open communication throughout your journey will help a great deal. Encourage your SO to participate in your journey if only as a cheerleader and supporter!
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Other Family - If you come from a family where others are overweight and NOT trying to make change you may meet resistance. Your journey may make another obese family member feel "guilty" about their own weight issues. This can play out in avoidance, criticism and even sabotage. They may say things like "You've lost enough already." or "one piece of pie won't hurt" or possibly even "what, you think you are too good to eat my fried chicken?" Try to take the focus off food and onto fellowship and don't try to "drag them" onto YOUR journey kicking and screaming. Your example of health and fitness will be testimony enough and if they are ready they will ASK you for your help!
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Friends - Do you have lots of "fat friends"? Many that begin this journey do as that has been a group that was not "judgmental" and supported the previous lifestyle. I had a group of friends 15 years ago that were all 250+. We ran together (and ate together) and there was "safety" in that group as all were in the same "boat". If you start making a lifestyle change your friends may grow distant as you no longer want to participate in their eating entertainment or you may have to decline a get together as it interferes with your workout schedule. Know that you are making a choice for a healthier life.
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If you are having great success you may find that even those on the journey with you in a weight loss support group or sparkpeople team may distance themselves from you. Know that this is probably because they are not quite where you are on the journey and has nothing to do with you as a person. When some are in a detour seeing others that started at the SAME TIME move far ahead only serves to remind them of their own stumbles. Denial and avoidance are sometimes the response. Keep being you. The problem is not you - it's the person that is struggling with their own journey.
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The bottom line is that many will applaud your efforts and be inspired and motivated by them, but not all will. Try not to let those few deter you from your successful journey. Some of them will "come around". Some may not, but you are not doing this journey for them. THIS journey is for your own health and fitness. THIS journey can only be made by you.
Listen carefully. Do you hear them? Do you hear the encouragers? Go Betty! Go Dave! Go Alicia! Go Bob! Go Andrea! Go Jennifer! You can do it!