Author: Amber French
Toxic is more than just a Brittany Spears song…
When I was losing weight I felt morally obligated to share my journey (from the roof tops, as they say). I had something to say and wanted to HELP!!
Most people I know that have lost a lot of weight feel the same way and they quickly learn (as I did) that not everybody wants to hear it. I got really good at sniffing out the curious and focused my intensity on them.
Although not everyone wants to hear about what I had for breakfast and my workout for the day, most were supportive in their own way, Others were not…
Most that lose weight know that sometimes you lose more than pounds, some friends and family can be down right derailing and/or toxic. Some may not tough out your metamorphosis at all.
Toxic individuals can be as subtle as stealing your thunder and redirecting compliments away from you and on to them. You may have people who sabotage your efforts by throwing hurdles in your way (family can be good at that, serving up foods that you are trying to avoid or joking about your journey and trying to convince you “One wont hurt you”).
Weight loss may not turn your loved (read: tolerated) ones toxic, they may have been that way all along and your triumphs just bring it all to the surface.
I know one lady whose boyfriend was so jealous of her weigh loss that he all of a sudden started to lavish her with chocolates and chips and fancy dinners at restaurants that offered very little options for her. He would get mad when she bought new clothes and would tell people that complimented her that ‘it was no big deal, anybody could lose weight” he would tell her not to get to excited because they “both knew she was just going to gain it all back”!!!!!
Although that was an extreme and obvious case, toxicity can sneak in and it is up to us too handle it and be prepared when it does happen.
Her are my tips for dealing with the unsupportive and toxic folk:
Call them on it – if you are tired of hearing your loved ones backhand compliments or weight related jokes, make sure first that they know they are doing it and that you aren’t a fan. I have personally told someone in my life “Hey, this is hard enough without your negative 2 cents” they were very taken aback and eventually apologized and recognized that they weren’t happy with the progress of their own journey and eventually became one of my biggest supporters.
Set boundaries – if you have trigger foods or restaurants or people limit how much time you spend around them. if your friends love pubs and you can’t resist beer and poutine, tell them and involve them in helping to solve the issue by picking a different place to meet or holding you accountable when you give the local watering hole a chance. if you have a sister that makes you dive head first into a vat of molten chocolate either take her in small doses and stick to your plan. Review the issue with your supportive person and involve them in your get away plan.
Clean out your Contact List – Use your journey to cut ties with the people that you already knew were toxic. Claiming your health back is more than just healthy eating and exercise. it also involves finding peace and reducing stress. And while you are rocking the weight-loss/health-gain thing why not move on from those that don’t help you serve your purpose on this planet.
Up your Inner Circle – Take the opportunity of trying new run groups or fitness centres to find like minded people that can overtime become your people! Like minded individuals will get your journey and can be great resources, especially if they are further along in their own journey. You never know who you might meet while shopping organic or hitting the local juice bar. Be open to new friendships.
Taking care of your health should reflect in all areas of your life. Don’t let others carve out your path and definitely don’t hand over the power to those that can’t stand to see you succeed!
About the Author: Amber has been in the fitness and recreation game for over 15 years (not including school!!). She made fitness her life because as the age old saying goes, study and teach what it is you need to learn. In other words, she’s battles with some weight issues for many years and wants to share what she has learned along the way.
You can follow her @TheVeganHouse