When it comes to a list of problems, the reluctance of others to share your enthusiasm for becoming healthier and losing weight probably doesn’t fall on the worst end of the spectrum. But that certainly doesn’t make it feel any better while you are experiencing it.
Picture it: You are (or have been) on one of the most important journeys of your life as you’ve battled old habits and food addictions in order to lose weight, yes, but more importantly to change the trajectory of your life and, well, save it. But with human’s obsession of aesthetics surrounding body image and weight and size, jealously is a tough beast to battle. In all fairness to the plight of envy, it isn’t easy watching a member of your tribe break free into the vast world of possibility, fueled by unstoppable satisfaction and happiness within themselves . . . it hurts so good as it brings out the painful reality of your own challenges. Tribes tend to feel more comfortable, even when it’s an uncomfortable comfortable, when they look similar to their tribe mates.
A recently released survey from MyFitnessPal indicates that people often feel jealous when a close friend or family member drops pounds. Even though it doesn’t feel good to be receiving the stink eye, and the little jabs (“Be careful, don’t get too skinny, your wrinkles are going to show if you lose too much more weight, I’m worried about you, I would be skinny, too, if I ate rabbit food, you need to eat something”) you have the opportunity to lead in silent inspiration.
Going all “skinny bitch” isn’t the answer, although you can begin to see how thinner people have earned a bad rap over the years, especially as the majority of people have only gotten thicker around the middle. Remember that those who bear the stink eye and rude comments are still stuck back where you were just 10 minutes ago, in their own element of misery and envy of those who aren’t battling a bulge. Lead with kindness and grace, lead by inspiration because it’s the right thing to do, and the other side of the survey notes that people are more likely to take care of themselves, through healthier eating choices and/or becoming more physically active, if their friends are also doing so. Bingo! This notion is supported by previous research that shows while friends eat a meal within the company of healthier friends, they are encouraged to order something equally good for them. And a study from the University of Pittsburgh found that women who exercised with a friend lost a third more weight than those who hit the gym solo: each member of your tribe holds the power to lead the group toward a healthier life trajectory. They need you.
So, instead of collapsing into a pile of jelly (jealousy) when a friend or family member goes all hot and healthy, spend more time with them, allow yourself to be inspired to make healthier lifestyle choices and hop on over to the path that leads you to your best, strongest, most vibrant self. And if you’re the one who’s shed some pounds and has received some less-than-supportive vibes from some of your tribe mates, love them anyway and keep shaking those gorgeous new tail feathers. #100YearBody #HelpTheWillingLoveTheRest