The biggest piece of advice we can give you is to stop dieting. It’s not a diet; it’s healthy lifestyle CHANGES to lose weight and keep it off. A lifestyle change is very difficult, especially for the people in your life. We had so many problems with our friends and family because it wasn’t only a change for us, it was a change for them too. Both Willie and I were overweight our entire lives and our weight defined us. When it was time to make a change things did get very sticky and possibly people didn’t take us too seriously.
For people who don’t eat healthy or care for “clean” living, what we were doing was a shock. Food is a social thing. Family meals, date nights, reuniting with friends, parties, holidays…all of these involve food. The first thing people couldn’t accept was eating out isn’t something we could do on a REGULAR basis. The truth is many restaurants don’t have nutritional information available and most that do don’t have healthy enough options for us. Just because a restaurant does have that information available doesn’t mean it’s suitable for a person watching their food habits. The people in our lives were just so use to us eating whatever and whenever that it did cause some tension.
As mentioned before we would rather sit at a restaurant where friends want to eat and not eat anything than cause a huge discussion on where we can eat. It’s just not a battle we want to engage in because eating out limits the places we can eat and feel comfortable.
The beginning was a very difficult time for us because it was hard for people to adjust to the new us. There were times when we felt alone and isolated, but we were fighting the good fight. I won’t lie, some relationships were severely fractured because of our lifestyle change. Not because these people didn’t support us; mainly because the transition was quick and hard.
People did question everything we ate and the amount of food we were allowing ourselves to eat. They didn’t understand our need for exercise and questioned whether missing one workout was really that big of a deal. People thought we were being obsessive about the situation which I found very funny. No one ever questioned what I was doing when I was overeating on fast food. No one ever said I was being obsessive about sitting on the couch for hours at time watching television…while eating.
I feel like these questions and accusations were coming out because they felt guilty for not making the healthy choices in their lives. By us doing this, they may have thought we were judging them on their own behavior. When we decided to change to the healthy side, it was s shining spotlight on their own habits. Making a lifestyle change is hard enough; I promise we didn’t have time to worry about other people’s habits. There was/is definitely no judgment coming from us on this point. This was something we chose for ourselves and we never tried to push it off on anyone else (unless they expressed interest in a change and asked for help).
That’s the most important thing you should remember when changing your lifestyle. This is a journey you are taking on your own, so don’t expect others to walk with you or even support you. Don’t forget your new habits on others and definitely don’t talk down to people or preach to them about their lives. If you do that people aren’t going to want to be around you.
Also, don’t let people drag you down. Make your decisions and firmly stick with it. If you don’t want to eat cheeseburgers and friends, you don’t have to. If you want to work out, don’t let anyone stop you. It’s your life and the biggest influence over you is you. People will support you, but there are people out there who want to you fail. Don’t let anyone derail you from achieving your goals because of peer pressure. We are all better than that and if by chance you do fail, remember tomorrow is another day and you get to start over again!