Dealing with the perceptions of other people has been an interesting part of losing weight. I struggle with my own personal insecurities and critiques, so discovering that in addition to my own thoughts that many others seem to have distinct impressions in regards to my health choices has been very challenging.
One close friend has completely ignored the whole thing. I mean, really and truly, has not said one word about the different choices I have been making nor about the weight that has come off so far. I have asked her on multiple occasions to accompany me on walks – which was never something that I would have pursued in the past – yet she remains unmoved to comment on any of the things I have changed.
The truly odd bit is that she has remarked on my husband’s weight loss. I could accept her just being unobservant, but with her noticing his decreasing waistline, it makes me wonder if she is not saying something to me on purpose. Her demeanor when I have touched on topics of nutrition or exercise of late has bordered on scepticism. I am curious if she is expecting me to fail and, if so, if that is why she remains silent.
My mother is another person who threw me recently with her take on my weight loss. About two weeks ago, she asked me what I was down to on the scale. When I told her she was shocked. She had thought that I was at least under two hundred pounds, perhaps even closer to one-ninety. Then I was shocked!
I couldn’t believe that my mom had erroneously estimated my weight by such a large number. I was pleased in the moment, thinking that I carry it as well as I have always suspected I am fortunate enough to, but that emotion was quickly replaced by confusion. Have others always seen me as someone so different than who I really am? Perhaps some believe that I am closer to three hundred pounds. Maybe a few have been put off in the past by my disinterest in activity - not understanding that I was much heavier than they perceived - and never realized that I was hauling around fifty pounds more than they thought. I never realized that others might see me as something I am not.
One last – slightly more detailed – example of this odd misinterpretation has to do with a different friend. Always encouraging about my intended weight loss and exercise plans in the past, she has seemed concerned since I began actually working towards my goals. I don’t believe she thinks I am going about this in the right manner.
The weird part is that a lot of my ideas on how to make walking this path sustainable came from conversations I had with her. She was the one who encouraged increasing my intake of whole foods, moving away from processed items, and implementing walking as a regular activity. These are all basic ideas, but they are ones that have paid off enormously and it helped to talk with her about utilizing them before embarking on this journey.
Yet, on a couple of different occasions that I have seen her, she has actually brought more indulgent foods up to my mouth to hand feed me and have me try them! I am certain that it is coming from her concerns that I not deprive myself. The bit that I believe is being misunderstood is that if I didn’t say no to at least some of my cravings, I would not lose any weight. Plus, I have yet to feel deprived on this journey because of the different mindset that I have this time around; I can always have ‘it’ later, if I so choose.
I think that she views all of these very large changes as dangerous territory. Maybe I am misunderstanding something myself, but it is my belief that her worries stem from not wanting to see me give up if it is too hard to maintain. But I am confident that the decisions I have been making are ones I can repeat indefinitely. I needed to completely change my lifestyle and that is what I have done; this isn’t a diet or a temporary increase in fitness, but a different way to live.
I know with certainty that every one of the individuals I mentioned here are great people who love me very much. I value them as important parts of my life and care about each of them deeply. I just find it interesting that the further along this path to a better me that I go, the louder the perceptions of my friends and family seem to echo. Maybe they are taking more notice now that I am caring for my body, or perhaps it is I who has suddenly become more aware of what the people around me are thinking.
It is admittedly a bit more pressure than I was expecting. It never really occurred to me that my losing weight would result in having to contend with the reactions of others. But, I have already cleared away over thirty-five pounds so I know that I have room for whatever people want to put onto my shoulders. I can take it... bring it on!
FOOD & BEVERAGES:
- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 peach
- 1 mug of decaffeinated tea with milk and honey
- 2 cups of lemon and garlic green beans
- 1/4 cup of pan fried scallops
- 3/4 cup of fat free lemon chiffon yogurt with 1 cup Rice Krispies
- 2 1/2 cups celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter
- 4 large crackers
- 1 plum
- 55 minute walk
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 3 sets of 10 knee push ups
- 3 sets of 15 lunges for each leg