This post is about a sad reality that happens to too many of us that set upon a journey to change our lives- the loss of people we once considered friends.
Almost 2 years ago i set out to change not only my appearance, but my life and mindset. My journey started when I signed up for the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) program to kick start my 2012. This program, which has since continued to grown in fame, is based around calorie restriction (or awareness) and workout 6 days each week. Never before had I given an ounce of consideration to the word calorie, always priding myself on my positive body image and not falling into any all to common dieting traps (this in itself may well have been an excuse to stay the way I was- but that is a whole other story). Embarking on the program obviously meant I had to become much more aware and careful about what went into my mouth. I had to avoid the seemingly endless supply of treats at work, and my weekend party routine came to an abrupt stop (I still cannot quite fathom how many calories I used to drink each weekend, to be left with only a hangover and probably too many regrets!). But what you quickly come to realise when you make this lifestyle change, is just how food and drink obsessed we are as a society. Have a think about how you most commonly ‘catch up’ with friend or family….Breakfast? Brunch? Lunch? Dinner? or is it Coffee? or Drinks? Can anyone say red flag!? When you are trying so carefully to watch your intake, you quickly find yourself saying no to all the invites you used to jump at…until eventually your ‘friends’ stop asking. I had the dilemma of organising my birthday celebration whilst I was deep in 12WBT mode. I no longer had any interest in going out for a night of far too many beverages, and also didn’t want to blow all my hard work in the final weeks of 12WBT on a big birthday meal consisting of a days worth of calories. Eventually I settle on paddle boarding with a group of friends- it was my BEST birthday yet! So whats my point? When we change our lifestyles, we also need to change our ways of socialising with our friends, or before we no it there will be no friends. left. What can be quite tricky is finding that means of socialising that you can both/all enjoy, many of your friends may not find the prospect of paddle boarding, hiking or going for a ride all that appealing- but keep trying until you find something you can both enjoy (although you may have to settle for a skinny capp or a healthy picnic). As upsetting as it can be when you feel like you are losing your friends, try and take a moment to remember when you were in their shoes…you would likely have been just a hesitant to participate in these activities you now consider fun! At the end of the day, if you have tried to save the relationship from your side and they still aren’t coming to the party, the friendship probably isn’t bound for great things anyway. There will always be some people in your life that just can’t relate to the ‘new you’. Unfortunately this is a part of life….we all grow, change and may well drift apart. These will likely be the people that may make the occasional (or frequent) snide remarks . Comments like ‘you’ve changed’ ‘I miss the old you’ or ‘You used to be fun’ are just some that I have heard far too often. To be honest, these hurt and can even make you question what you are doing (especially when it may seem like you are about to lose people you truly love and treasure in your life). At the end of the day, your new life is for YOU and no one else. I wouldn’t change my life back to how it was for anything or anyone in the world. So take these comments with a grain of salt. Yes you have changed…but for the better! Maybe one day these people will too! They may miss the old you…but do you? The answer is probably a big fat NO! One thing I know for sure is that my definition of fun has changed dramatically from 2 years ago…I wouldn’t be caught dead dancing the night away in an alcohol induced state in a club- YUCK!
Time for some good news? Yes you may lose friends…but you will also make some new ones or form stronger bonds with some you already had. these are the people who will understand you, support you, encourage you and push you to keep going when it all seems too much. I have made some truly amazing friends in the last 2 years, most of whom will be in my life for many years to come. At the end of the day their is a rainbow to every storm.
Stick with it! Ignore the haters! This is for you and YOU only!