What kind of friends have you got?
With nearly 3 weeks of healthy eating under my belt, my skin seems a lot clearer and my jeans are feeling ever so slightly less tight – Hurrah! It’s really early days, I know, however I’m still feeling really motivated and want to continue this lifestyle choice.
Some of my friends know that I’ve changed what I’m putting into my body as we’ve been out to dinner and I’ve been really explicit that I want to go somewhere where there’s a healthy option. How they’ve reacted to this is how I’d expect good friends to react – being supportive but not too nosey.
This got me to thinking – How do people usually react to me changing my eating habits? What am I expecting and what do I want? Thinking back over the last 15 years, I’ve not always got the support I want and that led me to being very secretive about my diets or not wanting to discuss what I’m doing with anyone else for fear of judgement or negative comments. I’ve broken down my ‘friends’ to the following categories:
1. The frenemy. I had a friend called Lisa. Lisa was also overweight and had been on as many diets as I had but had never really managed to lose weight. When I said I was trying to lose weight, she used to always push me to go to unhealthily restaurants, or used to turn up to my house for a ‘girly night’ laden with maltesers and ice cream… If I said I had lost weight, She used to never say ‘Well done’ but used to moan that she wasn’t able to do the same. It was almost as if she was scared I was going to be successful so wanted to try and sabotage me at any possible point she could.
2. The overly-interested friend. I still have this friend – She’s a very nice person but I’ve just learnt I shouldn’t tell her about my healthy eating. It’s one of the first questions out of her lips ‘How’s the healthy eating going?’ but rather than stopping there, I’ll be given a lecture on how many calories I’m putting in my mouth, or how much fat I’m consuming, followed by asking me how much weight I’ve lost and told I could be losing more if I did X, Y and Z but only on Thursdays or when the moon is full….. Thing is, I don’t want this to be an all-consuming ‘thing’, it’s just a small part of my life and I don’t want to talk about calories for hours on end.
3. The bandwagon friend – This friend is also lovely, however anything that I’m doing – she wants in on it. If I try a new exercise class, she wants to join, if I try a new diet, she’s bought all the books and wants to eat the same as me. ‘What are you eating today Imogen?’ ‘Oh.. I need to eat that, do I?’ It’s like, every possible part of my life is scrutinised and if I decide to eat a muffin, she’s judging me as it’s not healthy or part of my diet….
4. The different-diet friend – I’ve got a couple of these friends, one has had a gastric band and one swears by Slimming World. If I say I’m healthy eating, they’ll talk for HOURS about how their choice of weight loss was the best and how I should get a band / go to Slimming World… How nothing else in the world could work…. However I don’t want to have surgery, nor do I want to go to, what I feel is a bit of a cult (apologies to all those slimming world people, but the idea of going to meetings and being with people is just not a fun thought). Just because it was the right choice for them, it doesn’t mean it would be the right choice for ME.
Then I’ve got my friend-friends and family. The ones who care but just don’t make a big deal about it and are happy to accommodate me by not buying me chocolate for my birthday or ensure there’s a healthy option if I’m eating at their houses. These people are certainly the best and most positive people to have in my life and I’m lucky to count my boyfriend in this group as well. Whether I’m eating a massive bar of chocolate or a salad, he never judges me, nor makes any negative comments – he’s happy to eat healthy food, but also happy to eat junk food. I’m hoping he’s happy to eat healthy food for the next lifetime as I really want this to be a life change that works!