(This post is part 4 of my weight loss series. Read part 3 here)
I have said before that there is more to weight loss than just the physical aspect of it. There is the mental side of it as well that can sometimes be more difficult to overcome. Throughout my weight loss journey, I relied on the people around me but also distanced myself as well. This is how weight loss affected my personal life.
When I made the decision to go forward in losing weight, my boyfriend stood right beside me and supported my decision. He truly is my biggest supporter but also my biggest critic. With that being said, he endured a lot during this journey and don’t be surprised if the people around you during a weight loss journey also endure a lot because let’s just be frank about something… this is not easy; it takes a toll on so many things around you.
When I decided to change, I immediately went to the grocery store to start to pick things that were nutritious and that I would need. I could already tell by the different things I had in my cart that my boyfriend was not going to be happy with the changes…. it was like he was being forced to go on this journey with me. Portions were smaller, things tasted different because of different ingredients and it wasn’t high fat meats like hamburger. Oh, and there was definitely no eating out or fast food. He suffered along with me during this and yet he never complained.
My medications that I explained in part three made me incredibly irritable. I will tell you about the tuna incident that thankfully we can laugh about to this day but he still suffers from some PTSD when there is leftover tuna in the house. I made tuna the night before work so I could have some for lunch for the next couple days. I made my sandwich for the day and that was fine. Now it’s the following day and I see that the tuna is almost gone… I mean, there was legitimately a tiny scoop left, barely enough to make a sandwich. I was PISSED. I was mad because I felt like “I am on the diet here, I am the one not eating the things that I want and you can have WHATEVER you like and yet you have what I made specifically for this day and you don’t even leave me enough to make a sandwich knowing I already am barely eating as it is! SELFISH!” M.A.D is what I was. So I confronted him about it and needless to say, we went back and forth about it which resulted in me crying at work, having to leave early, so upset I drove 2 hours to go see my best friend in my old hometown and not a say a word to him. Let’s just say, that’s not exactly a healthy way to deal with tuna drama. And yet despite that, he still cheered me on.
As time went on and the further we got into this journey, it was taking a toll on our relationship. I was so tired from walking 3-4 miles after dinner or pushing myself to jog to get my activity in that there was no time for us. By 8pm, I was in the shower and ready for bed. My days were consumed with working, activities, worrying about my weight, trying to trick myself into thinking that I am not really having cravings in the middle of the night with resulted in my boyfriend being put on the back burner. On the weekends, we did try to make it a point to get to the beach so we can just relax with each other, go on hikes so we can be active together but it just felt like we were always on the go. But he continued to be there for me to listen to why I may have been struggling or expressing my concerns and still wanting me to continue with my weight loss.
With my family and friends living two hours away, they too suffered. I didn’t trust myself to be outside of the structured regimen I created for myself with my eating schedule. Being around food that you just pick at or food that someone else prepared that you don’t know the nutritional value of was something I just wasn’t ready to be around. Remember, food for me was a drug. I had an addiction to it and I needed to break that addiction. So I needed to separate myself from those urges and if I did need to be around it, I relied heavily on my meds or tried to counteract the food with activity. I just knew at the beginning when I was trying to be so strict with myself that I couldn’t afford to fall into those temptations and unfortunately, it meant limited visits with the people I loved.
Now that I am off of the meds and have proven to myself that I can be successful, I have loosened up a bit about the things I eat and I don’t have the irrational irritabilities like I did when I was on the meds. I have developed the healthy mentality that it’s OKAY to have one off day… tomorrow is a new day and just be sure to restart then. With this healthier mentality, I am now able to dedicate more time to my boyfriend because I am not 100% focused on walking 7 miles daily and trying to ward off the cravings. I can be at family get togethers with food around me and just tell myself that tomorrow will be a new day to get back on track. You will have your ups and downs when it comes to this journey but do not let a minor set back completely distract you. This was something that I needed to understand and I am happy that I finally have. So always remember that even if you have tunnel vision on your weight loss, do not forget about the people around you.