losing friendships

Lose 100 Pounds, Lose Friends?

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.

Me in Chicago--2 months before I started my Journey

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?