I had a person ask me what to do about the fact that her friends just did not seem to understand her weight loss efforts. She said that they told her things like, “Just live a little,” or “One good meal won’t hurt,” or “You are no fun anymore.”
That hurts. That’s frustrating. That’s annoying.
I had friends react in a variety of ways to my successful weight loss. (Remember that most of my friends at the time had seen me attempt to lose weight a bunch of times already.) While I did not share my weight loss plans with many people at first, once the weight loss became obvious, I got a lot of grief.
Some friends secretly told John that I wasn’t eating enough and that he should do something about it. Other friends tried to get me to taste their culinary creation because I was becoming a boring guest. Still others deliberately sabotaged me by dropping off cookies or a big piece of cake at the house “for a treat.”
At first I got really annoyed with all of them but tried not to show it. I’d tell them no in the very polite “southern” way that we use around here. That sounded something like this: “Thank you soooo much, but I really don’t want any right now. I appreciate you thinking of me though.” (Read that with a slight southern accent and you’ve got the idea.)
As time went on, I gave up on the southern niceties and just told them a curt, “No thanks.” I did not tell them to “Back Off” but that was the implication and they got the message. That stopped a lot of the sabotage and little comments pretty quickly. It also helped me weed out true friends from the not so true ones.
Only you can decide how to handle friends who do not “get” your desire to lose weight and eat a healthy diet. For me, continually saying no eventually sent a clear message to my friends that I was in this for the long haul, that I was finally serious about losing weight, and that no amount of chocolate cake could dissuade me from my diet plan.
I have known people who felt that the best way to handle friends who do not understand is to take each friend aside and give them the “back off” talk. I never felt comfortable doing that, although it would probably have sent the message more quickly than my attempting to be nice.
The bottom line for me was that it was my body, my decisions on what to eat or not eat, and my life. Some friends got it and we stayed friends and some really never understood. I’m sure there were some underlying issues with jealousy or judgment there, but that’s a topic for another post.
What’s your advice for dealing with friends who do not understand? Have you ever seen friends move away from you because of your food choices? Diane