Monday, December 6, 2010

Who are your friends really?

I've noticed a lot of changes in the months since I have lost weight and began a healthier lifestyle. Most have been really good, but it seems that there are some consequences to losing weight. How can I describe this? When you lose a significant amount of weight, you start to become a different person. It's not that I have a different personality or like different things, it's more like I'm not willing to put up with the crap I used to. I'm discovering myself, and in doing so, I'm finding out what I'm not willing to deal with.

For example, I used to be the fat friend amongst a group of skinny girls. This was definitely hard on my body image. This isn't really the case anymore. I haven't reached my goal yet, but I'm not the fat friend anymore (I don't think???) Most of my friends have been extremely supportive and have been there for me in every way they can be. But I have some friends who have slipped away in the last few months. Is this because I have changed or because they have changed? I assumed for the last few months that it was because they had changed - until a conversation I had with a family member. They told me that sometimes when people lose weight they'll have friends who can't handle it and will stop being friends with them because of it. I can't process this. Why wouldn't you be happy for a friend for changing their life for the better? I decided to research this.

After researching this, I found out that this adverse reaction from friends to weight loss is quite common. John McGrail, a clinical hypnotherapist and behavior expert says, "Human beings are hard-wired to resist change, so it's not uncommon to encounter some resistance whenever change occurs."

Accomplishing a goal can remind your unhappy friends of their own unsuccessful attempts at accomplishing their goals. It can also bring out their insecurities. These insecurities bring out snide remarks directed at me. Don't worry, I can handle it. My ego is intact.

This article I read suggested that I try to think how I would feel if the situation were switched. How would I feel if I had a friend who had lost weight? Would I feel resentment and anger and stop being friends with them, or would I feel happy for them? Well, I have had friends lose a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight in the past. I was definitely jealous! I wanted to lose weight too! Did I stop being friends with them? No! Was I genuinely happy for them? ABSOLUTELY!

This article and this blog post both had the same thing to say about the quality of friends. The friends you lose due to weight loss aren't that great of friends anyway. The friends who stick with you are friends worth having.

In thinking about this, it is totally true. It's like I said at the beginning of this post. What am I willing to deal with anyway? That blog post really made me think. If a friend can't be happy for me for becoming healthier, how much do I really care that we aren't really friends anymore?

Today, obviously, I'm grateful for my friends who stick with me through thick and thin, literally. :)

1 comment:

  1. I think that just like with any other change in our lives, like when you quit drinking/smoking, getting healthy, you lose what you have in common with those people. I have struggled with that lately too, in trying to be healthy and lose weight, I have cut back on drinking (excessively and partying) and trying to quit smoking, and we end up not going out anymore because that's all our friends do, none of them are trying to be healthier, they are just happy hanging out and drinking every night, and they resent you for trying to be "better" I think, plus you don't have much to talk about with them if they don't care about the same things you do.