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Monday, 15 April 2013

Friendships and doing what is best for you

There are so many bloggers out there that say they have lost friends on their journey to lose weight. And that saddens me. I am lucky that I have supportive friends. We are all different sizes and shapes but we love each other and support each others decisions.

For those bloggers out there that have lost friends, I often ask myself these questions 1. Did you try to explain your journey to them in terms they understand so that they know what role you want them to play? and 2. If they did not accept and support your decisions, could they really be called friends?

Now they probably sound like very harsh questions, but as an introvert I value and choose my friends with care and as a result only have a few friends. But quality over quantity is my motto.

Of course that's not to say you can't have lots of decent friends. Just that I don't.

Losing weight is such a personal journey. No one can understand what the other person is going through, because completely different things might have brought them to that point in their life and is now motivating them to change their life.

Someone who has never lost a significant amount of weight can never really understand the struggle and emotional issues tied up with it.

Someone who has lost weight still might not understand the issues. And often will believe they know they answer and will tout advice.

I have often received advice from well meaning others. At first I took it all on board. Then I got angry, feeling like they were criticising me for the way I was doing things, or for simply not doing things fast enough.

Now that I feel like I am doing enough, training 4 times a week and eating right, I feel like I can go back to the beginning, take it all on board, but politely say that I am doing all I can and am happy with my efforts.

Losing weight is a journey, in more ways than one. Often people do not know how they are supposed to react or be when you say you are losing weight. They do not know whether they should bring it up and congratulate you. When you say you've gained a kg, they do not know whether they should offer advice or commiserate with you or clap you on your back and say that you can do it.

It is often hard to know what someone else wants from you in terms of support. Some people are better at understanding than others and sometimes what you need is not what you want.

I think it is important to be upfront from the beginning and to be clear on how you want to be treated. For the most parts my friends will not bring it up unless I bring it up first. Then they say you look great and ask me what I am doing. That's all I want from them, and that's all I need.

If you are not up front, then you can be hurt by a friends misguided comments and this can affect your progress too. If even after being upfront they still continue to hurt you, do not waste time and energy on them- they are clearly not true friends.

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