If you’ve decided 2015 is YOUR year to get your health in order then let me say with all the enthusiasm you can feel through a blog post: CONGRATULATIONS and I’m SUPER PROUD of YOU!!! And I mean that. Changing your mind is the first and most important step (in my opinion) to changing your life. I know you may not even know me. And I may not know you personally. I know this part of “our” story. It’s scary, isn’t it? Those first steps, first days, first bites of new foods, first tries (and failures) of new exercises, it’s hard. As much as I hate to break this news to you, I have to tell you it gets harder. I don’t mean learning to love kale, quinoa and do push-ups on your toes. I do mean realizing that a large majority of your cheers may come from people you don’t even know right now and people you know REALLY well will become like strangers.
It’s the chapter people seem to leave out when they write books on weight loss. There should be at least three chapters on friend loss, family losing their mind and how we can lose our desire to please people with our choices. I’m not really how this fits into the discussion of balancing macros. I’m not even sure why anyone cares if we, as individuals, are working on balancing our meals, keeping track of our water and vegetable intake, trying to increase our cardio and decrease our fast food consumption but they DO care. A LOT. I’m not sure if people feel guilty about where they are in their own journey or if the idea of change is just threatening and they are afraid we will become “different” so they beat us to the punch by acting differently first.
You have to be prepared not only to brave the cold, the crowded machines and the stares from the “regulars” at the gym but you have to be prepared to make a stand with those you love most. There WILL be a time when you will be asked to compromise your goals for the “good of the group.” It sucks and it’s a horrible moment. But I’m here to tell you: I found my strength in those moments.
When I became the “not so much fun” friend, opting to go to bed early and make it to the gym during the week than hang out or choosing water over two for one margaritas at Chili’s (the struggle was real) or eating a salad when I really wanted some hot wings dipped in ranch with a Pepsi and a large order of fries and possibly a vanilla shake from McDonald’s afterwards (just keeping it real), things change. I noticed the invitation to chill when I could became less and less. I noticed the stares when my clothes became smaller. i noticed the sighs when I asked questions about the menu. I knew I had to make a change.
This wasn’t about my food preferences. This was about being surrounded by people who were going to support me no matter what. I never asked anyone to change their life for me and I was TIRED of changing my life for them. I had to change my salad dressing AND my space.
Family. That’s another blog post. Let me just say it may be a minute before your grandmother completely understands what you mean when you say you’re vegan. And heaven forbid everyone in your family is “big-boned” and now you look like you’re not. Again, another post.
As you begin to take more steps on your journey, take a look around at who’s jumping out in front of you with Reese’s Cups, dangling them in front of your face telling you “one” won’t kill you (which it won’t but saying no won’t kill you either), who’s walking alongside you cheering you on, maybe even restocking your kale supply and who’s walking behind you being inspired by your ability to stay true to the goals you’ve set for yourself. Your circle is important. Build it well and watch not only a shift in your circumference but in your consciousness. You begin to realize that birds of a feather really do flock together because they understand each other’s drive to fly. And somebody has to teach the other birds how to count macros. 🙂
Ever lost a friend when you changed your lifestyle? Feeling the stress of a friendship now while you’re in the process of making a change? What would be your advice to someone going through it? What’s your next step in resolving the issue?
I’m here. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m listening.