The Trouble With Change...
…is that it is never easy. I have a client who came to me about six months ago, overweight and ready to take control of her life and health. Since committing to herself, she has put in hours of work, stayed focused, determined and (most importantly) positive in her quest to lose weight and lead a healthy, active life. Her progress is visible and impressive, so when a “friend” suggested they go shopping together once she “lost some more weight,” instead of celebrating the progress she had already made, my client was a little hurt and confused.
A similar situation occurred when I started training for my first half marathon. An inexperienced endurance runner, I accidentally lost a little weight as my body adjusted to the new demands I was placing on it. Rather than cheer my commitment to my goal however, I had “friends” who focused on the temporary weight loss, telling me to “eat a cheeseburger,” and accusing me of having exercise and eating disorders---OUCH!
Change is never easy—and neither is growth---that’s why the term “growing pains.” And when the change you are making is positive and the people closest to you don’t support it, you may be tempted to give up. I know I was—both times. But don’t! This is your journey and yours alone—it is not your job to make the people around you understand it—or support it.
Typically, snarky comments, or backhanded compliments are the result of what’s going on inside the other person. Perhaps they are jealous of your success, maybe they wish they could do what you are doing, or maybe they simply miss you because you no longer hit the bar or the fast food joints with them. Whatever the reasons—you have to decide if these are people that add value to your life or if they are detrimental to your progress.
Your true friends will not have to be begged to be supportive or to celebrate your successes. They will not put you down or belittle you—instead they will be your biggest cheerleaders, sharing every accomplishment with pride. If they don’t, then perhaps the biggest change you need to make is in the size of the role they play in your life.