What is life all about? In my opinion, it’s about relationships. Jobs come and go, there’s layoffs, school ends, material things don’t really matter. But relationships do matter. A lot. That’s what life is all about.
So how come I lost some friends when I lost 100 pounds?
Friends also come and go. Some friends are lifetime friends. Some friends are in your life for a short time. Some friends make a huge impact on your life; some friends change the way your life path is going. Some friends are in your life simply because of common interests or convenience.
But even with those aspects, it still hurts that I lost those friends.
I’ve debated for months whether or not to even address this issue on my blog. I think it’s an important issue because it happens to people who lose weight. A lot.
There are a LOT of positive things that happen when you start to lose weight. Unfortunately, possibly losing friends is also one of the downsides.
I’m going to be as vague as I can so I don’t offend or hurt an ex-friend who might read this; we may not be friends anymore but I still don’t wish them any harm. This post is not a way for me to vent anger or hurt–instead it’s a way to share experiences I had while losing weight: the positive AND the negative experiences.
When I first began my journey to lose weight, I didn’t really think anything would change in my life. I was still the same person–no matter what I weighed. But in reality, I’m NOT the same person I was when I was 250+ pounds. I’m a completely different person now and that old person is dead.
I didn’t really notice a change in these certain friends — let’s call them the Ex Friends — in the beginning. Some of The Ex Friends were supportive in the beginning. They wanted to lose weight as well; but because everyone’s weight loss journey is different, there’s no fair comparison.
I was focused. I was determined. I was GOING to lose the weight. A fire had been lit inside of me and I wasn’t going to stop until I weighed 150 pounds.
Some of the Ex Friends were with me in the beginning and they tried to lose weight too. Some of them did not. Some of them lost and gained it back. I understand how frustrating that feels and I’m sure that’s part of the reason they did not want to be my friend anymore. It still hurts, though. I feel like I was nothing but supportive.
There was never any big fight or big confrontation. They just stopped being my friend one day.
Before we were no longer friends, the Ex Friends sometimes made rude comments, or back-handed compliments, or used false sincerity. On the flip side, some friends said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. As if I hadn’t lost 100 pounds, as if I was the exact same person as I had been. I noticed this. But didn’t say anything. We were friends, right?
When I was 250, I was the token “fat friend” in some of my circle of friends. I took some abuse from these people even if it hurt. I took abuse a lot of places I went–even from complete strangers. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t think I deserved to speak out and defend myself.
That changed quickly.
I firmly believe that losing weight has a domino effect. You lose weight, you get more energy, you feel healthier, your brain changes and your thinking changes. You find yourself. You find your VOICE. You realize there is more to life than overeating and being unhealthy. Your perspective changes. New things will start happening to you!
I never pushed my views on anyone. I would NEVER tell a friend “you should lose weight” or “let me tell you how to lose weight.” Never never never. Everyone’s journey is their own and it has to start with THEM.
I was angry and hurt and I tried to figure out what I had done?? In the end, I had to realize I’d done NOTHING wrong. I just got healthy. Not everyone in my life would join me on my journey.
I still struggle with that concept.
For the most part I have moved on. The Ex Friends aren’t in my life anymore. I celebrate the victories with my real friends and I’ve made new friends! And honestly, joining the blogging world has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I love meeting new people who experienced things I experienced.
Reading blogs and chatting through email with other wonderful people that have struggled and lost a lot of weight is a breath of fresh air. I no longer feel alone in my journey. Lots of people have struggled like I have. And I sincerely hope my blog reaches out to OTHER people who want to start their own journey to lose weight and get healthy.
I’ve mostly moved on from the hurts. Then once in awhile, the hurt will rear it’s ugly head and I’ll feel sad and wonder “Why aren’t we friends anymore?”
That hurt reappeared recently when a mutual friend of mine and an Ex Friend mentioned to me that the Ex Friend downplayed Hood to Coast. They didn’t think what I was doing was anything special. They weren’t impressed at all. That really hurt. A lot. I wish they could have been supportive, even if it wasn’t something they ever wanted to do.
I suppose I could confront the Ex-Friends and ask “Why?” but part of me doesn’t want to. This is me–honest and open. I’m athletic and happy in my own skin. I want to surround myself with people who are as well.
I don’t know if this post will make any difference. If it helps one person out there who experienced this, than I’m happy.
QUESTION: Where do you stand on this issue?
Lisa, I very much appreciated reading this. What a bare-all kind of story and I think it’s really admirable for you to share it. After my parents died, I sort of had an eye-opening kind of moment. I decided to surround myself with positive people and try and get rid of the negative baggage. Of course I still fall back sometimes, but I really try to remind myself of that. My aunt said something really funny, but really true once and I’ll never forget it. She said, “true friends and family are the ones that know the real you and love you in spite of it.”
And as for HTC, don’t you dare let anyone take away from your accomplishment. I was there…I was tired….I was hurt and it kicked my a** just as much as the next person. You rocked it and you should hold your head up high!
Aw Leslie! Thanks! Your aunt is VERY wise and my mom said something similar. Basically, if they were really my friends, they’d still be around. It’s sad but true.
I found your blog on a twitter link. You are right, I stayed going to the gym more and more as a way to loose weight and my journey has been slow. I had friends that I hang out with and they revolved around food so I tried to cut them out of my life. not everything I do has to revolve around food. Also they told me that I was spending too much time at the gym. I felt that they were jealous because I was trying to better myself and they weren’t doing anything to better themselves. Now I limit my self to how often I see them and I know they feel bad about it but I can’t let them stop me!
I got that in the beginning too…friends complaining I spent too much time working out. We have to take care of ourselves first, though.
Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
I feel like I have grown a lot more distant with some of my friends that just like to party. Since I’m so young, a lot of my friends are still in the single, partying, junk food stages of their lives and I am SO NOT. All the women I work out with are 30+ because none of my friends my age are into running or yoga like I am. It can be disheartening sometimes.
Good for you realizing that the “party girls” aren’t necessarily what you’re looking for. I think that’s common in your 20’s. I definitely went through that.
pttttttt….. Girl, you’ve got it going on! I am so inspired by you and hood-to-coast. I have my first 1/2 marathon coming up in a month and i’m terrified! Seeing you get through HTC made me happy and a little less scared! You’ve gained so much more than you lost! Keep your chin up! This was a great post! PS. I’m making your mac and cheese this weekend! 😀
I LOVE your quote! “You’ve gained so much more than you lost!” I will definitely use that in the future. And let me know how the mac n’cheese goes! Yippee!!
Lisa, I honestly don’t remember how I found your blog — twitter maybe? — but I was *hooked* when you were posting all your Hood to Coast updates. Anyone who wasn’t impressed with that wasn’t reading your blog. Thanks for yet another great post.
Thank you Rob! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Hood to Coast. I loved writing the recaps. I got to relive the experience!
Lisa–what an open and honest post. It was kind of hard to read because it was heart breaking! I had never thought about friendship in terms of weight, but I see that it can easily happen. Right now I am losing one of my best friends because I’ve made the decision to get healthy and she resents it. It’s so dumb to let weight get in the way of a friendship, but it seems to be more frequent than I thought.
Your Ex Friends definitely have lost out on a wonderful person. Although I know you only through your blog, you seem like a very upbeat and fun individual. I’m glad you’ve found new friends along the way that make the loss a bit more bearable.
I’m sorry you are going through it too. And I agree…it seems like such a stupid thing to lose friends over!
By the way…I gave you a blogger award. I love your site–so inspirational and honest.
Thank you! I am so happy I can inspire people. 🙂
Mary (A Merry Life)
Honestly I think it’s impossible not to lose a few friends. If you lose 100 pounds, or even a smaller amount, you change who you are. It’s impossible not to. And sometimes that changes who wants to be your friends. I don’t think it’s a bad thing even though it might hurt like hell, it’s just friends sometimes are friends because of common interests and that changes when you lose weight.
Very true and sometimes those common interests are food, eating, indulging and complaining about being fat–without making any changes.
yes Yes YES! Finding yourself is indeed part of the journey. I’ve had friends fade, not necessarily for your same reasoning, but all the same, I understand.
Wait. I forgot to tell you… you look fantastic.
Great posts and hugs to you, my friend. Losing friends can happen with weight loss, and it can just happen. I’m not sure there’s anyone who hasn’t gone through the loss of a friend. I lost my best friend after 28 years – she just completely walked away from our friendship. Sad but I survived.
But anyone who downplays H2C – that’s just nuts. You see that, right?
Yes, I see that it’s nuts. And I know it’s out of jealousy on her part. I get that…
I lost a friend or two, too. Even if they’re not overweight, they’re jealous of your success. It’s ridiculous. I have RELATIVES who have never once commented on my weight loss.
I found it interesting that you wrote that “the old person is dead.” Do you really think you’ve changed completely? I came across this line in the book I’m reading, and I think it applied to my weight loss: “People grow, but they don’t change.” My habits have certainly changed, but I’m still the same person (mostly).
I think I am a different person. I was a very depressed person when I was 250. I wasn’t happy at all. I am definitely different now. Not just 100 pounds lighter.
There is nothing better in the whole world than being smaller in size, but larger in voice.
I love that. What a great sentiment!
stacia ( midlifeswimmer)
THIS is a freaky fact isn’t it? I have lost so many friends its a trip!
I am also on a great weight loss to better health journey and was shocked recently when one of my BEST friends for the last 25 years did not even respond when I emailed her that I won 2nd place in a health challenge. I sent her a link to the site with my before and after photo and it was just crazy to me that I got no response. I have to assume she got the email (she lives in another state) but maybe there was some glitch. But I think not because I had earlier sent her an email that I was doing this. I am glad you decided to talk about this on your blog!
I’m sorry your friend wasn’t receptive! Congratulations on your accomplishment. I hope it was a glitch that she didn’t respond. 🙁
Jennifer is Always Sick
I’m glad you posted this. I would say that true friends are supportive and happy for you when you make a special achievement, or if you set out to do something and actually DO IT! I think anyone who downplays the accomplishment or treats you differently isn’t really a friend and probably never was. Honestly, and I mean no disrespect, it seems to me like jealousy. They might not even realize it. Of course, I’m not trying to inflate your ego or anything, and I wouldn’t want to think that anyone was jealous of me because that would make me feel horrible, but the green monster comes out sometimes.
Instead of acting like this, they should have looked to you for inspiration and asked you to help them do the same and improve their health and lives too. That’s what friends are for – helping each other out and being there for one another.
Thanks, Jennifer. I think I’ve gotten to the point in my life where the not real friends have disappeared. Sucks, but it’s true.
I have lost 70lbs and lost a close family member due to jealousy… I could not have anticipated that at all! I can’t let that stop me though! You are amazing..
GOOD! Don’t let that stop you!
Seems to me the ex-friends were never true friends to begin with.
What a great post Lisa! This must have been hard to write about . You have a great story to tell!
Thanks for reading Katy! 🙂 -Lisa
Rosie's Healthy Lifestyle Blog
This post means a lot to me today. I have a friend who was my best friend, and we have grown apart over the last few months. I have lost close to fifty pounds over the last few months. My mom suggested to me tonight that maybe it was because of my weight loss. I said to her there was no way that was why! But the thought has been nagging at me ever since. Could that be why we aren’t really friends anymore? Is it because I’m not the fat friend anymore, so she isn’t my “superior” anymore? It’s a lot to take in. Very powerful post.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this. It’s a really hard situation and it’s not easy to just “move on.” At least, it’s not easy for me.
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This means a lot to me. Currently, I can only explain it as growing pains, my friends are overweight as well, and they are sooo bothered by my 5k races, my swimming and my weight loss journey. It really hurts. I can imagine two of them falling completely away. I have also been bothered on the flip side by people who wouldn’t have befriended me when I was heavier, and are the type who only befriend “skinny” people.
Thanks for sharing.
It’s the part of the “losing weight” process that a lot of people don’t talk about. Losing our friends we were “fat” with together. If they don’t make the journey there’s jealousy, resentment and annoyance. Probably on both parts. It’s really really hard.
My friend Jill at getupandgetmoving.net never lost 1 friend. She is my health coach now but I have heard that people to lose friends when they drop so much weight, Jill lost 100 and I am hoping to drop 120 total when I am done. It saddens me that people would lose friends over something so great.
I’m glad your friend didn’t lose any friends in her journey. That’s not always the case, unfortunately.
I found your blog while browsing other blogs. Let me just tell you – I could have written this! I have lost 125 pounds and lost nearly every friend I had in the process. I unfortunately haven’t gotten past the hurt – but your article was very helpful and I hope your words of wisdom help me move on! Thank you for writing this!!!
Jennifer recently posted..Weigh-in Thursday
I’m so sorry you went through it as well. It’s hard to let it go. I struggle with it. Sometimes I feel sad and angry still.
Congratulations on your weight loss. That’s amazing!
I have been on both ends. I have lost weight and did not lose the friends. I gained thhe weight back and found I was more OK with myself. A friend lost some weight in a short amount of time. This may only be my perception but she did become very self-absorbed with posting every single detail of her weight loss to a video of a doctor’s visit. Gone were the emails talking of what friends will share with each other but emails were only of weight loss videos for me to watch. All she talks about now is her new body and how in love she is with herself. It is sad as she has alienated a lot of good people. JMO.
Sure I can see that if someone’s life changes drastically and that’s all they talk about it can alienate some people. Despite having this blog and having this “weight loss persona” online, it’s not something that I talk about all the time in my personal life. I’ve become this person, who I am now, and I often forget about the “old me” and how I used to be. It’s just not something I talk about all the time.
Thank-you for posting my response and for your nice reply. It is really bad when people become this new persona and talk nothing of weight loss all of the time or have to make comments of what they cannot eat at every single gathering. Many people go through changes in life and find the friends closest to them are no more. I would gather it is the same with a divorce where married friends would be afraid that they may end up in the same situation. The friend I know is always talking of how she will never be heavy again and is always trying to push her dieting onto others. Yet, there are people who cannot be happy for another person. That funny thing called “relating to others…” Congrats on meeting your goals.
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I ❤ 2 Eat
Great post, Lisa! I wasn’t a reader back when you wrote this post, but your post just inspired me to also address the issue of losing friends. I’m going to write a post on my blog. 🙂 Thanks!
I ❤ 2 Eat recently posted..When In Doubt, Dig
I will look for your post. Thanks!
i just read this blog and have to agree 100%. unfortunately not everyone is going to be supportive of the weight loss. i lost about 20-25 pounds back in college and maintained that weight loss for nearly 20 years. it’s been hard. along the way, i had people shaming me for looking too slim and not being supportive of my new look. before i lost weight, people made fun of my fuller physique and appearance. basically – no one is going to tell me that i look good. so i had to take it upon myself and be happy with who i am and how i look. i ignore what others have to say (i.e. eat a burger or you’re eating too much!) and do what i want.
i also lost friends from when i tried to dress more professionally. they were jealous and even had the audacity to admit as much. i got comments that i looked snooty and was not the same person. no – i am not, but i want to improve upon myself. anyone who dares to stop a person’s journey to improve is not a good friend, but rather a toxic person.