The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do
I have seen people devastated because of hurtful and careless remarks made by people when they lose weight or make positive lifestyle changes.
When you lose weight, you feel good; a spring comes back to your step, you now get more attention, you change your hairstyle and go shopping for new clothes and discard those oversized dresses and shirts you wore to hide your size. Your self-confidence soars, it’s like being reborn.
Oh well and good for you, but what of your friends, spouse and colleagues? Are they comfortable with this new you?
Some people, who have been using your fat body to feel good will suddenly, find that they have to look for another body to make them feel good. Still others who used you as a topic of discussion and an object of pity will find themselves at a loss about what to do with this new you. You have been keeping them busy for years and suddenly without notice you want to make their lives boring without even taking permission from them. Who do you think you are?
You may already know them – they are judgmental, you feel defensive when you are around them, they are possessive and tempt you with things they know you should not eat, they are insecure
It might be an insecure spouse who will think that you will meet people in the gym, that you may elope with your fitness trainer or you might get your confidence back and stop wearing his torn t shirt and tying wrapper on your chest with your head in a slumber net all day.
He might decide that this is the time to give you TLC. On his way back from work, he will buy a big bucket of ice cream and doughnut for you, and then feel upset when you do not eat them. To keep the peace you may end up eating them and sabotaging you goal.
Here’s how to recognize people who are insecure about your weight loss;
- First they will tell you they love you the way you are – you are my fat, cute darling
- They will tell you that you are wasting money (your money if I may add)
- Why are you wasting your time and energy? There is nothing you can do about this. This is the way you were created to be
- You have kids. It is ok to be fat. Don’t fight it
- Then they will tell you have lost enough weight; you are too thin – don t lose any more weight
- Your fat fits you; you are the same size everywhere. You are portable and soft – You are not fat
- It’s not about losing weight, it’s about keeping it off
- I am giving you just 2 weeks before you get tired of the gym
Believe in yourself even when no one else does
- If you are not married yet they will tell you, you are losing weight to get a spouse as if that desire is a bad thing. They will say it in such a way to make it seem like a dirty desire.
- Finally they will tell you people might think you are sick if you lose any more weight. This might be a good time to ask them where those people where when you were wallowing in fat and lack of self-confidence.
They might even get abusive
Close your ears and enjoy this new found love affair with your body. Smile and walk away when they try to convince you that one big slice of cake will not make you fat. You alone know how much you have sweated and how you feel now. One bite might actually send you on a downward spiral.
It is not about them and how they feel; it’s about you being healthy fit, happy and productive
Remember your reason for changing your lifestyle, hold on to it. Remember what will happen if you were to backslide, you will prove them right and continue entertaining them.
Ask yourself the following questions
- Am I feeling better and healthier now than before I changed my lifestyle
- Do I feel good and more self- confident
- Is the good health and happiness I am experiencing worth the changes I’ve made
Answer the questions truthfully and if they are positive, use them as armor.
What to do
- Make small changes, 1 at a time. Exercising and eating right is a good change. Do not throw in all the bad habits you are trying to change at the same time. It might seem too overwhelming to your body and make you give up. Gradually beat your kitchen into submission by stocking it with the right things, then move to your bad habit of waking up late in the morning, lying down on your bed and staring at the ceiling for 45 minutes. You could use that time to get ready and workout.
- Make a firm commitment to a healthy lifestyle and stay focused. Nobody else but you knows how much you need to lose weight. So stay focused on your goal. Don’t give up. Commit to losing at least 1kg every week. It may seem small but if you commit and focus you will discover that – 1kg a week for 8weeks is 8kg
1kg a week for 20 weeks is 20kg.
Break the weight you have to lose into smaller 1kg you can lose each week. When you keep that up for a couple of weeks the kg will add up and give you a pleasant surprise.
- Have a conversation with the people you live with and tell them what you want to do. Then stick to it. Sacrifices have to be made. It may mean preparing separate dishes. Do it. It may mean getting up earlier so you can go to the gym or workout on your own. Do it. It may mean learning how to prepare new meals and drinks. Do it. You are doing it for you and you are worth every effort you are putting in to get what you want.
- For people you do not live with. Keep them in the dark. Let the transformation speak for you. When people do not know what you are doing, the chance that they will give you unsolicited advice and discouraging words is zero. It also raises your chance of success.
I want people to be blown away when I do what they don’t expect.
- There is no need for you to get defensive. It’s your life. You do not owe anyone any explanation.
- Set functional boundaries. Let people know how you want to be treated and comments you will not tolerate. They must learn to respect your needs.
- Write it down. Experts agree that people who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish it. Write down your everything including your exercise calendar and weekly weigh in
- Realize that you may need help from professionals in the area of weight loss, exercise and nutrition. Ask for help.
- Focus on the positive changes you are experiencing in your health and visualize yourself doing all the positive things you want to do. Visualize yourself in beautiful clothes. Visualize yourself with the body you want. Visualize yourself fit and trim. Visualize and visualize.
Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams
Look for positive support. Seek friendship that will reinforce your goal. Join our fitness group. Feel free to break up with people who continually belittle your effort and undermine your goals. It may well be that they were the center of attraction and now you are in the spotlight. There millions of stars in the sky and none of them is on top of the other. They all have their place.
Losing weight is like finding yourself. It is bound to make some people jealous. When you are fat, you cover other people’s weakness and inadequacy. However, the moment you lose weight those things they were hiding becomes more visible. It may be unhealthy skin or thinning hair line. How they deal with that is their problem. It is not your job to change them. Your job is to stay true to yourself. You made a decision that is right for you. Stop apologizing and explaining for making a change that is for your own good. You are fighting for your life, self -esteem, confidence, health, fulfillment and happiness. You know how you feel, they don’t.
What if they discourage you and get you down to their sad state and 6 months later, you see them in sportswear, going to the gym, without taking permission from you? You may have wasted 6 months.
Devote yourself to an idea. Go make it happen. Struggle on it. Overcome your fears. Smile. Don’t forget – this is your dream
Sometimes people may have genuine concern when they notice changes they do not understand. You will know from your earlier interaction with them if their concern is genuine. It will inform you on how to handle them.
For the others, who want to undermine you, you already know what to do. You have your armor.
“Everyone is working out; the problem is that some are using their body while others are using their mouth to tear them down to their level of inactivity” Nkeoma DND Agu