Are You On A Diet Journey or Guilt Trip?
Is your diet pleasing you and upsetting others? Here's why your new healthy lifestyle may be a threat to family and friends, and what you can do to change that.
Anyone embarking on a diet plan to lose weight and get fitter is taking real positive steps to change their lives. It takes commitment and courage to make these lifestyle changes; you have to plan ahead, be aware of what you are eating and reassess how you are living your life and treating your body.
But occasionally, other people won't like it. Your new healthy eating and exercise plan might irritate a partner who's starting to think they’re living with someone they don’t know. If your shared boxes of chocolates in front of the TV or takeaways were a tender moment of togetherness, your nearest and dearest may find your new eating plan an emotional threat.
Family, friends or colleagues might find your new resolve makes them feel uncomfortable. If you were ‘one of the gang’ before who went to town on alcohol and curries at the weekends or always went out for doughnuts and morning coffee, your new healthy way of being could now make you feel like the outsider.
People can feel threatened when one of their crowd decides not to join in, get drunk or over-indulge, because unintentionally you are holding up a mirror to their own bad habits and their lack of control.
They in turn may feel you may be ‘judging’ them by not being one of them and doing as they do, and this could lead to you being taunted or teased. Nobody likes to be the party pooper, alienate people or be some kind of moral crusader.
Psychotherapist Sheila Gill comments on this sudden alienation: “Change challenges others and they may react with nastiness and confusion. But really, you are being an inspiration and you will have to find the courage not to be upset by others' comments.”
Gill recommends making small, imperceptible changes in public to minimize the shock of the new you. “The wisest thing is not to broadcast changes and intentions," she says. "Do it quietly and happily and let others see how well you are doing without great chasms of denial or abstinence. Join in but just cut back quietly and in a way that is not an affront to others.”
It is entirely possibly to stay true to yourself and stay connected with your friends and loved ones. But it's worth remembering that if you feel the need to break your diet and eat or drink something you know you don’t want in order to please others, it may be time to reassess your pals and make better friends with yourself.