Sharing the Wealth -- You are reaching your goals, but what about your friends?
You started getting serious about your workout a couple months ago, and have started to notice your tight pair of jeans require a belt, nowadays. Maybe you have started to spot the advent of visible abs, and now want to share this great moment with your loved ones, but they are being less than receptive. What do you do? Do you snatch that donut right from their mouths? Do you just let them be?
Well, for starters, unless you do not mind getting a punch in the face, snatching the donut is probably not the best idea. Sometimes, going through a workout routine and preparing healthy meals are not the biggest challenges one might face on his/her weight loss journey, but, rather, dealing with friends, family and co-workers can be some of the biggest obstacles. I have to be brutally honest, the weight loss journey can be one of the most rewarding experiences in one’s lifetime, but it can also be the loneliest. Gone are the days of drinking a few beers and fish & chips at happy hour, as are the mid-afternoon “pick-me-up” sweets.
Having to distance oneself is rough, but it is absolutely necessary. However, please to not take this as a proposal to transform into a hermit; going to happy hour is still okay, just as you maintain strict limitations on the drinks and be extra selective on the food choices. Remember, if ordering a salad, have the dressing on the side because restaurants love pouring it on in excess.
Also, it is quite common for individuals to want to get their friends to follow the same program for weight loss, but have trouble convincing them. If this is happening to you, remember that the decision to adopting a healthy lifestyle must be voluntary, and never force-fed. Humans are inherently individualistic, and changing eating habits must be left to the individual—unless your buddy is a toddler, you are not going to succeed in changing his/her diet beyond their control. In fact, it is not uncommon for rebellious behavior to take form, especially when things start becoming a bit “preachy”. This is something that I witnessed, first hand—instead of my friends starting to eat kale salads and such, they were increasing the number of times they visited the nearby taco shop. If you have been eating healthy meals, there is no reason to say it out loud (this includes uploading salad pics to social media every 10 seconds), your friends probably know.
So, what should you do? Let them come to you. Just like you, alone, made the decision to embark upon healthy living, you have to let your loved ones do the same. If they have had to be rushed to the hospital for emergencies related to their poor health, let the doctor be the one to tell them, and just serve as a reminder about the doctor’s orders.
As you may have noticed, adopting a healthy lifestyle has the capacity to result in social changes as much as physical. While trying to force your new lifestyle to others is hardly ever successful, when they come to you, be sure to be generous with sharing the information they want. If you have been working with a personal trainer, refer your friends to that trainer.