This week, I want to take some time to have a real talk with you all about friends about how sometimes they can be the awesome support system you need, and other times they can make it difficult for you to stick to your plan. I don’t consider myself someone who has a lot of friends, I’ve got a pretty decent core group of friends that I’m very close with and a whole lot of other people who I’m friendly with but maybe don’t see or talk to often. Anyway, this core group of friends have been pretty awesome throughout the course of my weight loss journey. Everyone has been very supportive of my endeavor and definitely given their fair share of encouragement along the way. However, they’ve all also encouraged me to splurge a little or in some cases a lot and while that’s not bad advice occasionally when it becomes consistent it’s difficult.
One of the biggest “calorie sucks” you’ll encounter if you’re losing weight is alcohol, because often times drinks hide their high calorie content. I used to be the kind of girl who drank vodka cranberries, several beers, or rum and cokes, but when I started trying to lose weight that all changed. I’ve never been much more than a social drinker, but when I started tracking calories my alcohol intake definitely decreased a lot, not only because losing 90 pounds makes you a total lightweight but also because often times I would rather use my calories on food. Unfortunately, this makes going out with friends kind of a bummer if you’re trying to be strict with calories like I’ve been in the last 15 months. Sure I would have a bourbon and diet coke (my current drink of choice) or maybe two but then I would be pretty tipsy and already thinking about how far I was going to need to run the next morning to make up for it. But every once in a while it’s nice to go out with friends, have some drinks and have a good time. Like everything else with this lifestyle change it has to be done in moderation.
The other unfortunate side effect of losing weight and counting calories when it comes to friends is how difficult it is to eat out. For those of you that haven’t ever looked at the calorie content of your favorite eatery, you’re in for a rude awakening because pretty much everything at a restaurant is going to have more calories in it than the same thing would at home. If I’m prepared to be going out, I’ll make sure to allot myself some extra calories, maybe do an extra 10-15 minutes on the elliptical and cut back my snacks during the day. It’s when the idea of going out to eat is sprung on you that the panic sets in, at least for me. Some restaurants have the “lighter fare” type menus that provide you with some options to stay within you budget but other times it’s harder. Most of my friends don’t know how much I plan and count and stress over the idea of finding something to eat to stay within my calorie goal, but for them I rarely hesitate to do it.
Out to dinner with my second family, The Tyo’s, celebrating Will’s graduation!
Now that I’m done explaining how much of a bummer I am now that I’m thin and “watching my figure” like the movie stars used to say, I can talk about how great it is to have friends to lean on throughout this journey. Over the last year or so, I’ve grown closer with some of my friends who’ve been very supportive of my journey and become more distant from some people who haven’t. It’s been unbelievable how much support I’ve had from some people who I haven’t seen or talked to in years, and the people I’ve grown closer to because of my new lifestyle. While I’ve always had a good relationship with my godmother Suzanne and her family, I’ve definitely found a fitness mentor in her and become even closer. We text each other about how awful the humidity is on a run or a great new recipe one of us found and the other has to try. It brings me so much joy to have someone like her in my life to push me to succeed when I’m ready to give up. It’s also been great to have the opportunity to inspire some of my friends to begin their own weight loss journeys. My Irish Sistah, Emily, has been working hard since the spring and she’s managed to lose 45 pounds and I’m so proud of her! I’ve talked several people into using MyFitnessPal, like I do, and start working on improving their eating. I can’t put into words how great it makes me feel to help people start on the road to being healthy, or even just inspire someone to want to do this.
Emily has made such awesome progress in a matter of months, I’m so proud of her!
As much as I don’t want to brag more about Chris and how he’s the most amazing boyfriend, I can’t help myself. Chris and I recently moved in together and I was a bit worried about the transition of having access to bad foods and someone to possibly distract me from my fitness goals in my own home. Unsurprisingly, he has been amazing and more supportive than ever. He’s so noble and dedicated to helping me that he graciously ate most of the peanut butter Oreos he brought home so I wouldn’t be tempted while he was at work. (Love you baby!) Chris has not only allowed me to keep up with my meal prep routine and stay within my goals, but also has been great about making healthier food for himself which allows us to share. Let me tell you, I was not about to eat 8 days’ worth of skinny chicken Parmesan casserole so it was nice to have an alternative and have someone to eat 3 or 4 servings I wouldn’t finish. We both love to cook and it’s great to be able to cook together and share, or as it sometimes happens having a chef to make me a delicious dinner while I’m out for a 3-mile run.
You too can have a live-in chef to cook for you, just sink your hooks into a culinary master like my man!
I suppose that this was my long-winded way of saying that weight loss is great, and has so many benefits but it can also be tough sometimes. It will bring you closer with the good people in your life that want to support you, and maybe some people will come back into your life that you had forgotten about. At the same time, you might find yourself struggling to maintain some friendships and that’s ok. Just remember that when it comes down to it, this weight loss journey is for the better and you’ll be happier at the end than you could’ve ever realized.
As always, Tina Belcher puts into words what I’m thinking.