I was headed down an aggravating hill. I'd wake up in the morning determined to make that day the best possible...a new start...the first step toward a better life and a better me. I'd have all of these plans about what I would eat, how I would workout, and my day looked awesome in my mind. Yet it never failed. By lunch I had already blown my perfect day with a candy bar or something that had come across my path that I just couldn't say no to.
Because that's just it...I couldn't say no.
Counting up the calories of an ordinary day in my previous life of hefty eating, I would consume nearly 5000 calories. None of it was intentional...I just couldn't say no.
So when I was finally able to find that 'thing' that flipped my switch and turned me from a 'have what you want and tons of it' type of girl, to 'somehow in control and excited about it' girl, I never wanted to go back. Years later, I still go through days where I am stronger than others, but I am determined to keep going and live this life healthy!
What I didn't see coming was the unexpected sabotage.
We all know self sabotage. You know...buying things that you shouldn't at the store, working yourself too hard till you blow out, eating so perfect that you can't keep it up and you go crazy, never allowing yourself to succeed because you're so afraid of failure. These are all ways of self sabotage. Yet that's not what I'm talking about. I expected that...hell, I'm my worst critic.
What I'm talking about is the sudden change from family, friends, co-workers...even strangers. Now, for the most part I'm not sure that they know they are doing it...but let's be realistic...some of them definitely do.
When a drastic change happens in your life (especially, it seems, with eating and exercise) people begin to get uncomfortable. There are a lot of reasons...jealousy, fear of judgment, insecurity and many more. You see, you were living your life free to eat what you want and had no time restrictions because of workout obligations and that was fun. In fact, a lot of times, this can create fabulous relationships.
My biggest example comes from me and my mom. First thing I'll say is that my mom and I have a wonderful relationship now, but it took years to figure out how to have a NEW relationship.
[caption id="attachment_13471" align="alignnone" width="300"]
My mom and I struggled with our new relationship at first.[/caption]
When I was in high school our favorite thing to do was go to the mall after school and pick our desire of treat from the plethora of foods that are available there. Hotdogs, popcorn, candy, large pretzels with cheese sauce, Aunt Bonnie's massive cookies, and the list could go for miles.
Our relationship was made out of enjoying our food and time together. Then, when my life changed and I became a 'healthy' eater, we didn't know what to do. Suddenly I was hearing...
"You just keep losing weight and passing it on to me."
"You're not eating enough."
"Come on, just this one time."
"Yuck, your food looks horrible."
And so much more. I didn't realize that all of these little remarks were, in a way, tearing me down. I would feel guilty, or not fun anymore, or just bad that I was making her feel bad. I mean she had known me to be just as joyful about food as she was.
[caption id="attachment_13470" align="alignnone" width="197"]
I started to workout, but my mom was used to this me...[/caption]
It wasn't fun to work this out...but eventually when I learned that I just needed to stand my ground, we finally came together in an understanding.
But that's just my mom. I can't tell you the countless relatives, friends, and strangers that want to comment daily on my food intake and many other things. Because I'm the type of person to care about others feelings, I started to feel as though I had to hide my healthy side. I started to worry that I was now boring because I wouldn't eat and drink unhealthy. But most importantly, I was constantly treated as though I was judging others, when in reality it was their insecurity that was judging me first and creating awkwardness.
Because let me tell you this...
I don't care what you eat...I love you!
I don't care what you look like...I love you!
I would never ask you to do what I do...because I respect you!
And most of the time I'm jealous of what you are eating and probably drooling beside you.
I'll never forget when I was asked by a family member "Are you not going to eat any of this meal...at all?" I could tell that she was offended because her husband had just made a very large and very unhealthy meal for all of us. I try as hard as I can to be polite but sometimes I just can't take more than one day off.
The only thing to remember with all of the unexpected sabotage is that this discomfort from people is very natural. I have a tendency to look at things this way...no matter how much people have an opinion about what I do, no matter how much I am judged, I need to stick to my guns, but understand and LOVE them as well. Sift through those people that just are no good for you and your new life. When people give you a hard to time, just remind them that you don't expect anything from them and to remember how hard you worked to get where you are.
Unexpected sabotage will be thrown out there. But guess what, you are now confident enough and strong enough to give them a hug and move on. Just remember to be sensitive--it's harder to be on their side, than yours.
Just keep those days of waking up with perfect intentions only to see them squashed in an hour from a cookie in the break room, fresh in your mind. It will help you remember where you came from and give you a heart of gold towards others no matter how they treat you.