Picture that surprised me.

Intellectually, I understand the physical changes are inevitable with a large weight loss, but this side by side comparison actually blew me away.  

Summer before and after

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Change

I haven’t posted in awhile, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve given up.  But life has been hectic with a lot going on, especially within myself and that hasn’t been easy.  Sadly, though, the hardest part of that has been seeing others’ reactions to my changes.

One of the many things that has surprised me about this journey has been how it has changed the inner me as well as the outer me.  Yes, I expected and looked forward to the physical changes, but I wasn’t expecting my personality and confidence to be changed so much.  Even more surprising is how certain people around me seem to be threatened by those changes and seem to feel the need to attack me because of it.

My new confidence in myself and growing social life as a result has brought me a new circle of friends.  In my pre-weight loss days, I was pretty much a hermit who didn’t go out of my way to meet people and kept to a very small circle of friends.  Even those friends I had, I struggled with feeling like I was “bothering” them if I picked up the phone to call them, so social get togethers were always at their invitation only.  Some of those people (including family members) began to call less and become passive aggressive when I became public with my journey and celebrating the big and small milestones.  No doubt, those are the people who would never follow this blog.  When I talked with friends about some of these strange reactions that I thought maybe I was taking too personally, and I was told repeatedly that these people were jealous and I dismissed that.  I understand jealousy when it comes to kids and even teens, but grown women, I mistakenly thought it appears, would have the maturity to be able to celebrate the success of others without being threatened by it.  Even after being told repeatedly that jealousy was the root of this, I didn’t want to believe it because to me, it just felt wrong.  I have said all along that I am not special, I don’t have “tricks” and this weight loss journey truly is something that anyone can do if they want to.  I still believe that.

Not sure I am making as much sense blogging this as it makes in my head.  But I will try to explain.  There are certain people in my life who decided to publicly shame me after some silly pictures of my socializing appeared on my social networking page.  Silly pictures of a camping trip with a woman friend who brought along a massager and we made jokes about it as well as talked about drinking wine and again, posted silly pictures with wine.  After those pictures were copied and pasted on family members pages with very negative comments about me, I learned that behind the scenes, those 2 people and some former friends (some of whom I had actually pulled back from the friendship because of gossiping issues in recent years) had been burning up text and phone lines with all kinds of accusations about me.  Apparently, I must be a lesbian because I’m hanging out with a very social woman.  Apparently, I also have a drinking problem because I posted about alcohol while on a camping trip.  Hmm.  

Thankfully, another friend of mine who was sucked into this drama chose to be mature enough to talk to me about it.  Again, she pointed out jealousy, including some of these people perhaps feeling like I had abandoned them as friends in keeping busy with a new circle of friends.  Typing this out sounds so immature!!

I will admit that this new found confidence and socializing has opened some doors for me that have been questionable, even to me.  But ultimately, it’s turning out to be a potential opportunity for more growth in my marriage and family that I never thought would happen.  In fact, part of the reason I started taking care of myself was because I had spent so many years taking care (and taking over) other people’s issues and problems until it consumed me to the point I realized I had neglected myself for too long.  

I believe that change is inevitable, and should be embraced.  I am saddened that change causes so much anxiety in some people that their response is to be vindictive rather than helpful.  Judgments are made and rumors are spread rather than questions being asked and clarification made.  This makes me very sad and tells me that bigger changes need to be made in who I keep in my life and who I don’t.  But the strength I have earned n this journey is giving the strength to do it, and for that, I’m grateful.