Published August 18, 2013

Why They Won’t Support You

by Helen M. Ryan

They should be happy for you…right?

They should be happy that you’re healthier, able to do more and have more energy…right? They should be happy that you’re happy...right?

Yeah, no. Sometimes they’re not happy for you at all.

Why? You’re changing. Your family or friends aren’t. You’re improving your health and life. Your family and friends aren’t. You had that “a-ha” wake-up moment. Your family and friends did not.

Change makes people uncomfortable. Sometimes those around you will sabotage you and try to make you feel bad. (“You’re so selfish.” “You used to be fun.”)

So, how do you deal with it?

  • Remember that they’re not bad people for not supporting you. (Yeah, they’re just human.)
  • Realize that envy is natural.
  • Understand that they’re afraid of losing the “you” they know. (Hey, stranger.)
  • Try to get them involved in what you’re doing. Suggest going for a walk rather than lunch. Or an easy and fun bike ride. Sneak some new habits onto them so they don’t realize what’s going on. Trickery.
  • Know that there is a season for everything and everyone. Your time with them might be over. Hold on to the good memories, ditch the bad, and move on.
  • Find new friends that share your enthusiasm to help keep you motivated.
  • When I first lost weight, I was told by someone who spent hours a day watching TV that I was “lucky” to have the time to exercise. My “luck” was getting up at 5:30 a.m. to work out. Bringing the kids with me to Spinning classes. No TV-watching, no girls’ nights, and no other “fun things.” I made things happen by re-prioritizing my life. That, apparently, made me “selfish” and “lucky.” Go figure.

You can’t stop people from feeling left behind. You can’t stop people from being envious. The only thing you can control is how you deal with it. (If life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m not responsible for everyone.)

If you’ve lost weight, stopped smoking or drinking, or changed your life somehow, don’t judge others for what they are still doing. Don’t call them lazy or unmotivated.

You were there once.

Remember how it feels to not be ready to make a change or to be overwhelmed and not know here to start.

When you smack-talk those who are still struggling with their weight, look down your nose at others’ “bad” food choices, or frown at a friend’s glass of wine…you can’t expect them to support you.

Live a healthy life no matter what. Know that­—in the end—you are alone with your choices..

But you got this. Deep down, you know you got this. And that you’re doing the right thing for YOU.

PHOTO: Milan Central Train Station, Milan, Italy