Sabotage & Support
Sunday, September 01, 2019
Has anyone ever had friends or family that do not support their healthy choices? They sabotage yet would never admit, and probably don't even realize, what they are doing?
Most of my friends and family are actually very supportive and on the same page as me. We generally try to eat healthy and sometimes splurge. As we get older, we are more conscious of family healthy issues and keeping disease at bay or under control. We might use some different techniques but ultimately respect and support each other's choices.
I have a handful of good friends. Some I see more often than others. I have one friend that I hang out with more often and take several long weekends with as she is very social and likes to constantly do things. Which is nice because many of my other friends are quite busy.
Over the last few years I have lost about 60 pounds. Which, over 3 years is not some super amazing and fast transformation. Obviously, it has been a roller coaster of consistency and learning what works for me and what doesn't. But in the end, I have done it, kept at it and developed new life long habits. As I get closer to my goal, I have to be much more consistent and diligent in my choices. Letting 1 weekend get out of hand can literally derail weeks of hard work and leave me feeling sick and depressed for the following weeks while I not only undo what I did but delay meeting my goal even longer.
I sabotage myself enough, I don't need it from others. I am also a people pleaser and am very considerate of other people's feelings. I don't go on about my choices and make snooty comments. I would never say "Oh no way. I don't want to eat a tasteless cupcake. It's not worth it." I just say, "No thank you." But then I get pushed. "Why?" "It's just one." "You're so disciplined and probably think you're better than us." I usually react with something like "I'm working really hard towards a goal right now and I have to be super careful." and I get things like, "It's unrealistic to never celebrate or enjoy food." (Who says I don't?) I sometimes want to respond with, "I didn't like that food when I wasn't dieting, why would I like it now?" but I don't. Because that's rude to the person who picked it out and brought it.
But it's getting worse. Last weekend, I actually let loose and I was explaining this to one of the women I had just met. I was saying that I had spent so many times out and long weekends being really strict and striving to meet my goal that I decided to loosen up a bit this weekend. In reality I was tired of feeling self conscious about bringing my own food and getting the questions. My other friend, my good friend that I hang out with a lot, said, "Yeah. It's kind of annoying." in reference to my healthy choices- and that has really bothered me. I don't push my choices onto others. I don't insist we go to a certain restaurant I just make the best choice based on where we decide to go. I don't brag about myself, ever. I just don't toot my own horn at all or ever make comments on other people's choices.
Fast forward to one weekend later and we are out to eat with her daughter and my son and brother. I get a steak salad. I like steak and the salad is generally cheaper without the sides and just right for filling me up without feeling stuffed and bad afterwards. I also get water because I know it's healthier and cheaper. She rolled her eyes and said, "Really? She always gets the "salad". Meanwhile, her daughter is a vegetarian and gets total respect for her dietary choices. If anyone were to treat her daughter the way she treats me, they would get an earful. The realization of this has really got me into a place where I know I need to say something. I think to myself, what if I said to my friend while rolling my eyes. "You always choose something so unhealthy. It's annoying." or said to her daughter while rolling my eyes, "Why do you always have to choose something vegetarian? Can't you just loosen up once in awhile? It's annoying."
I got together with a couple of other friends and it was so refreshing that they decided to make a meal from the same nutritionist we all have visited. It was delicious and less expensive and we all felt satisfied and happy afterwards. I felt such a sense of relief.
I shouldn't let my self esteem lower because of someone else's defense mechanisms regarding their own low self esteem. Just like my friends negative feelings are really her problem and not mine, the way my self esteem is impacted is also my own problem. That can be tough to realize because I'm pretty mad. There have been many times I made choices based on social expectations that have hindered my goals and I need to stop that. The way I go about it will still be with tact and grace. But I know I need to stand up for myself and ultimately support myself in every way, all of the time.