The hardest part about weight loss is keeping the weight off. The ability to keep the pounds off takes self-motivation, but it also requires support. Our loved ones and peers influence many aspects of our lives, and that includes what and when we eat.
When we meet up with friends it’s over drinks or dinner. When we’re dating someone new most dates include food. When we get comfortable in a relationship, we sit at home snacking together in front of a TV. The ones we love get used to our personalities, our habits, and the way we look. Change can be uncomfortable and unwelcomed, but what do you do when you need to change for your health? You can’t put the needs of others before the needs of yourself especially when it comes to your health.
When I lost 85 pounds after high school many of my relationships changed. Friends became foes, my boyfriend became jealous and abusive, and my family found it hard to believe that it was actually happening. My relationships with everyone changed, and not for the better at first. If I was a less self assured person, if I had any doubt of the importance of being healthy, I would have let these negative behaviors derail my goals. Certain friends would encourage bad eating habits, others would put me down to tare down my newly found self-esteem. Jealous friends would say things to belittle me and my appearance. My boyfriend at the time became verbally abusive, in fear that my increased confidence inspired by my weight loss would cause me to cheat or leave him.
Still I knew what I wanted for me. I was tired of not being able to wear what I wanted to wear. I was tired of being looked at and stereotyped. I wanted to feel healthy, lighter, free. I wanted to be confident about my appearance, and I didn’t want anyone else to have an unfair advantage over me. Everything changed when I lost weight. I lost friends, I lost a relationship, but I gained so much more. I made new friends, I found a better boyfriend, I went out so much more, discovered new places, and enjoyed my twenties like I never would have been able to do had I not lost the weight. I also added years onto me life, and prevented myself from getting any of the diseases associated with obesity.
The path wasn’t easy, especially for me with my thyroid condition, but I overcame everything and lost the weight. I’ve kept it off for over ten years now, and will never allow the weight to come back. No matter who wants you to stay the same, if change is what you need to be happy, you can’t let anyone hold you back. Be the you that you always wanted to be, and you’ll always be happy regardless of who else is in or not in your life.