Weight Loss: When Being Selfish is a Good Thing

by Annie Harris

Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss

Although weight loss doesn’t have to be a painful process, there are usually what I like to call “emotional start up costs” as you find your feet. It’s expected. We embrace it. Hooray for positive change!

Unfortunately, these costs are often accompanied by something far more damaging and insidious. Surprisingly, the source of this negativity is your friends and family – the people who are supposed to love you, house you, feed you, cuddle you when you have nightmares, hold back your hair when you’ve had one too many tequilas, drive the getaway car if you should decide to rob a bank, and so on.

Yup. Friends, family and other miscellaneous loved ones can often get jealous about what you’re doing the minute you start to take care of yourself and get – quite frankly – rude and unsupportive. I have experienced it first hand with my own weight loss and heard stories from the majority of my friends who’re currently on the same road as us all – the one to a healthier life.

Frustratingly, I’ve been in situations before when I’ve been socializing and have had food and drink literally waved under my nose. These are the kind of lines you have undoubtedly been victim of:

You can have one more. It’s a special occasion!

Can’t you just have a night off?

All this healthy eating isn’t good for you. You’ve got to live!

Sigh.

Yes, it is a special occasion. Yes, from time to time, you do need a night off. The last line’s just plain ignorant, in my eyes, but you may feel differently. And yes, it’s been said to me more than once. But what happens when there was a special occasion last weekend too?

Personally, it upsets me that these people who are supposed to do all of the things I listed above actually don’t respect my decision to turn myself into something better.

You have to remember that whether they realize it or not, these sorts of people are usually jealous that you’ve got the drive and commitment to make your life more fun to be a part of. Additionally, they’re often looking for a reason to validate their own bad choices like binge eating/drinking, because if somebody else is doing it around them, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. How many times have we used that tired old excuse?

Who’s experienced this? And how did you deal with it? Probably better than me, I hope. Monica Reinage has got it down way better than I have. My innate ability to “zing back” with something witty is almost non-existent. It’s one of the main reasons why I decided that my career path as a stand up comedian probably wasn’t the right one. I suppose that my usual, polite response of “no, thank you” or “I’m not hungry” or “get that crap away from my nose, you weird, space-invading space-invader” wouldn’t quite cut it as some drunk guy yells “YOU SUCK!” from the back of a darkened room above some grotty bar on the outskirts of the city.

I guess, that in my own roundabout, special way, I’m trying to tell you that you need to do what’s best for you. All the time. Period. Being selfish, in this context, is a good thing.

Anybody who challenges your decision to be happy and be the best you can be isn’t worth having around. Just like Dr. Seuss said.

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