You are no fun anymore!
“You’re no fun anymore,” they will inevitably taunt. This is the trigger that really messes with our heads because we agree! At some point on your weight loss journey, when you are feeling a bit weary and not quite strong, someone will read your mind and make the dreaded observation. Girls, this is not the time to cave in! This is not the time to revert to your old ways of pleasing others at the expense of your happiness and health! There is the time to get a hold of yourself and stand firm.
When you think about it, most of your social life and relationships are based on food: planning meals, selecting restaurants, eating your way through a vacation, quick trips to pick up your favorite latte, lunch with the girls, romantic dinners, picnics with friends, cooking together, popcorn at the movie theatre…the list is endless, as you know. Then you suddenly make a change and do not participate in many of these normal activities anymore. In the beginning, of course, everyone supports you and marvels at the strong, brave new you, but then something shifts, in you, and in them.
For their part, they suddenly realize that your new lifestyle isn’t going to include long Friday nights at the pizza place or three-hour Sunday brunches. While food is still the foundation upon which their social life is built, it is not for you, which makes your friends and family uncomfortable. First of all, they become uncomfortable with their appearance, and they begin to feel guilty about their behaviors around food, and you too, are beginning to feel uncomfortable. You see the looks they give one another when planning a night out, and you feel guilty for being the wet blanket. So, when they finally get to the point of frustration and resort to taunting, you find yourself agreeing with them and suddenly realize with horror that you might just lose them all! This is a very scary time and one for which you must plan.
Let’s face it; your new way of caring for yourself might in the beginning appear to interfere with “fun”: yours and theirs. You might let down the Friday night gang because it has become too hard to stay strong in the face of all the temptation. You might feel your husband’s disappointment, even anger when you decline a dinner invitation. You begin to feel like the source of everybody’s frustration when you choose not to join their social outings. Listen to these words! Do you hear the messages your friends and family are sending? They are disappointed, frustrated, and even angry with you! For taking care of yourself? For putting yourself first? Why is this a problem for anyone?
Girls, you are still fun! You haven’t changed! You are simply choosing, for a period of time, to put yourself first. Granted, you have probably always put first-their needs, their fun, and their goals-and so they are not accustomed to this new you; however, you can all learn to accept the changes, and you all will, as long as you send the proper message. You must believe that living a healthy lifestyle does not make you a drag; it makes you happier, and it is just something that will take some getting used to!
This is a time when owning what you are doing is important. Once again, you can blame everyone for not being there for you and you can blame them for not eating well and for just about everything that has ever happened! Or, you can own this. Take it back. Take it out of their hands. You have made this choice, this can mess with your head! You should still be able to go out and partake in every aspect of your evening. You may opt out on some things but that is not really anyone else’s business and you can also call them on this one.
Must you opt out of every social function and romantic dinner? Of course not! At first, it might be easier to do so, but eventually, you must learn how to approach food socially, because, in reality, eating is a social event. Once you have more control over your impulse to eat unconsciously, you will discover how to go out and enjoy yourself in any situation. You will laugh, eat, and drink, just not to fullness. There is nothing you cannot do! Please don’t let the insecurity of others sway you from your path. The fact is, You might lose some friends in the process, but the truth is that they were not really your friends or they would still be there. And I am sure you knew that all along.
Quick anecdote: client, great girl, very social with lots of drinking and nightlife with girlfriends and plenty of chips and margaritas. Well, she was doing great but had opted to not going out for a while because she didn’t think she could handle the temptations of the evening, especially while the evening got on the way and so did the drinking. Finally, I talked her into joining them, because this way of eating is not a prison sentence and has not turned you into a leper. We worked out a game plan, no chips, and place them far away from you, talk and laugh more (easy for her) and enjoy the company of her friends. Drink white wine, that she liked and hydro drink! (either water between each drink or white wine spritzers) . She wasn’t sure she could do it but was tired of being and feeling like a drag and her friends were sick of it too. She also announced that she expects them, her friends that love her, to be supportive and not push her into overindulging. She ate an early and healthy dinner and joined in. My phone rang around 11:00 that night, my clients know I don’t sleep much, and when I saw her number figured it had gone terribly wrong. I answered the phone to laughter and a big hello (it wasn’t the alcohol either), “I did it!” I am out!! And I am having a great time! I haven’t touched a chip, a margarita, or any other type of food! Enjoying my friends, didn’t realize how I had missed them and they had missed me, it's not the food it’s the laughter that makes me happy, I didn’t know it. So simple, thank you.”
I still smile remembering the call.
Remember it is is possible and Just Lose It!