Blog Post: Welcome to the Neighboorhood

(Note: This is Part 2 in a series on weight loss and lifestyle change.)

When planning your new future, your “New You”, I think it’s helpful to imagine yourself building a house. The house is your life, and you’re building a new one from the ground up. This house is going to be a better, more positive and healthy place than your old home.

When building a house, you might think the first step would be the foundation, but you’ve overlooked a very important step, one that will save you a lot of trouble down the road.

First, you decide where to build it.

You’re going to want your new home in a good environment, with neighbors who share your goals for life and will support each other in living it. Just as you wouldn’t want to move in next door to a crack den, you don’t want the New You to be surrounded by people who will constantly hinder your efforts to live a new lifestyle.

We’ve all had so-called “friends” who stand in the way of us bettering ourselves. Maybe they don’t understand or identify with your problem, and therefore don’t respect it. Maybe they are just mean-spirited types who make “jokes” to conceal their desire to put others down. Regardless, these are people you don’t want living in your new neighborhood. Anyone who does not respect the process you need to go through to live a better life and actively want you to succeed is NOT YOUR FRIEND, PERIOD. You need to let them go and get on with building your house, a place where they are not invited.

It’s always possible some are just oblivious, either due to self-centeredness or simple lack of social awareness. These are the ones who will bring you into tempting situations or bring temptations around you without ever realizing they are creating a problem. The first thing you want to do is talk to them, let them know your feelings and your goals, and what you need for them to do (or stop doing) to help you get there. If they are on board, great! If they are offended by the idea of needing to be supportive, (“Why should I have to blah blah blah?”) get rid of them. Friendship is about mutual respect, self-centered people like that always want things to revolve around them. You don’t want them in your new neighborhood.

It’s not easy to let people go, but it’s something you need to do in order to have the support system you will need to build your house. Just as no one builds a house alone, you will need your community of true friends and family in order to build your new life. Don’t make a scene or announce that you are never speaking to them again. You’re not out to make enemies or start drama. You’re just keeping the right friends and making the right new ones. Quietly move on. Disconnect them from your social networks (an important modern tool for building an extended neighborhood), if they ask why just tell them you’re paring them down to just a few select people. You have the absolute right to make changes that will make you physically and psychologically healthier, you don’t owe anyone any explanation for that. Once that decision is made, you can easily distance yourself from them, not returning calls or seeing them until they have been left behind for good.

Now, construction begins. More to come.

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