Penny expected to lose a lot of things when she lost weight.
She expected to lose the pain in her knees and hips. She thought she’d lose the awful heartburn she suffered after every meal. She wanted to lose the feeling of lethargy she couldn’t escape when she was carrying around all the extra weight. Most of all she wanted to lose all of her “fat clothes.”
She never expected to lose her husband!
When Penny considered weight loss her husband was extremely supportive. He endorsed her suggestion. He vowed to help her in any way he could. He would be her cheerleader, her personal trainer, and her conscience if she became tempted to go astray.
Her husband kept his promise. He made her goal his goal! He helped her every step of the way from grocery shopping to joining her in morning and evening walks.
Penny got slimmer. Her husband began to be less supportive. He stopped walking with her. He would unexpectedly come home toting large bags full of high-calorie, takeout food that just happened to be all her faves before she began her weight loss plan.
Penny gained confidence and compliments. Her husband became sullen and hateful towards her. He complained that she wasn’t the woman he married. He pushed food at her. He tried to block her from making progress. Penny’s husband clearly hated having a thinner, happier, more confident wife.
Eventually Penny and her husband divorced.
Penny’s experience isn’t unusual. You might have lost weight and feel as though your friends, family and co-workers hate who you. Here’s why:
The balance in the relationship has changed. You may be more social now that you’re slimmer and your spouse is threatened. Your spouse may feel a loss of control over you because you no longer have the same low self-esteem. Your spouse was sincere when he said he wanted you to be happy, but when you actually did what makes you happy, he discovered that your happiness brought out his jealousy.
Family, Friends and Co-Workers
It is common for your weight loss efforts to inspire people around you to do the same. You start out as allies, but then it seems like “the race is on.”
You’re no longer allies but rather adversaries. Not everyone loses at the same rate and if you happen to be the one making the best progress your less successful friends and co-workers start to resent you.
There’s another reason why you can lose friends and/or your positive co-worker relationships when you lose weight. You might have been the biggest person in your family, office, or circle of friends, but you’re not anymore.
That means that by default you’ve put somebody else into that position. That person doesn’t like it. That person might have consoled herself about her weight by looking at you and saying to herself, “at least I’m not as fat as she is!” She could resent you for that and she may start a smear campaign to make others resent you too.
You may have heard from friends that you have changed – you are not the same person anymore.
They are right, you have changed. That happens if your’e going to lose weight and keep it off. You are the same person in your core, but your eating and exercising habits have changed. Your new weight management actions affect the way people treat you and the way you feel about yourself.
Don’t blame yourself for creating “haters.”
Let go of the haters and their negativity. For the other people in your life who are off balance because you’ve changed, help them become comfortable with the improved version of you. Avoid appearing moralistic or judgmental. No comments on anybody’s food or exercise and avoid talking about yours.
Just continue to be yourself and be patient while everybody gets used to You.2