I had several paragraphs of a completely different post all typed up, and then something happened that changed my train of thought. A friend on a quest to lose 20 pounds (at least half of which is vanity weight) group texted me and two of her other friends to announce what a GREAT workout she’d just had.
I’m not proud of the fact that I found this deeply annoying, or that my immediate reaction was silencing my phone and turning it screen-down on the couch beside me without responding to my friend, but that’s what happened.
Some of my irritation is because I’m putting unfair expectations on this person. Just because my weight-loss M.O. is not talking about it in person doesn’t mean she shouldn’t. It also doesn’t mean she’s bragging (even though she kind of was); she’s just giving herself congratulations in a group of people whose support she ought to be able to count on. She and I have tip-toed around the subject of my progress on more than one occasion, and she’s even volunteered that I’ve inspired her to take charge of her own mission, so why not check in with her so-called friend who helped her take that step?
More of my irritation is that this girl has like no work to do. It’s easy to be motivated and enthusiastic when you only have 20 pounds to lose. If that was all I had to do, I’d have been done by now. Several times. So, yeah, this is my jealousy coming out in the form of frustration. I still have more than 20 pounds left to go. She’s going to totally complete her mission before I’m done with the second half of mine. I know it’s selfish, but I can’t help it. I’d kill to have only 20 pounds to lose.
MOST of my irritation is that I’m reacting this way. It should motivate me to go get in a killer workout of my own. It should make me proud that I helped her get there in some small way. It should make me genuinely happy for my friend, especially because I know firsthand how hard this process is, and how good it feels to totally crush a workout. Yet it doesn’t. It just makes me kind of bitter.
I think this is the ugly side of why I haven’t been so keen to talk about my weight loss with people in my real life.
Luckily (?), I’ve been on a shopping bender all weekend. My purchases have included some much-needed new clothes, as well as some oh-honey articles for the next size down. I couldn’t afford it by any stretch of the imagination, and the whole point of these shopping trips was supposed to be holiday shopping for other people, but I came home with hundreds of dollars of stuff to hang in my own closet. (I did get some gifts for the people on my list! And… moderate exercise? **bats eyelashes**) Among my buys are 3 pairs of business pants that I can’t freaking wait to wear. It’s expensive and slightly reckless, but the method of having to work in order to play with my new toys has been working for me.
I’ve clearly replaced one compulsion (eating like shit) with another (shopping). That’s another ugly part of my personality: compulsion. The good news is, it is possible to change compulsive behaviors. It’s just really hard.
Which is why support is important.
I’ll have to try harder to give it. Others’ weight-loss experiences are not mine, and aren’t about me. It’s not enough for me to learn to accept praise; I’m also apparently going to need to learn to give it to someone who’s actually asking for it.