What do you deserve?
A recent Mark’s Daily Apple post “Entitled to Sabotage” has got people talking about lip service vs. real, sustainable change. He discusses the phenomenon of “treat” becoming a verb instead of a noun in one’s life, surrendering accountability for health choices to some vague power outside oneself.
Too many people pay lip service to getting healthy, and do exactly as Mark describes, sabotaging themselves and not really changing their behaviors. I’ve been pondering this a lot lately: Why are permanent lifestyle changes are so hard – especially for women? I believe it has to do with the change in social dynamics in your circles when you make that change.
I think this change in social dynamics is the BIGGEST obstacle people face in adopting the Paleo lifestyle. Tara Grant said it so well in an interview for PaleoNonPaleo, how people change when you do. How you lose friends because you’re no longer convenient to be around. How they feel uncomfortable because your success brings their choices into greater focus – and they don’t like what they see. It’s really disconcerting and something you aren’t prepared for when you start such a journey. Jealousy and sabotage abounds. It goes on and on, and many people just don’t have the fortitude to withstand the pressure to conform. So they fall off the wagon.
Orleatha Smith had this to say in her interview for PaleoNonPaleo: “I’m really glad that you asked this question because I never imagined that anyone would have a negative reaction to my weight-loss. I went from 260lbs to 135lbs so I’ve lost 125lbs. I also lost almost every ‘close’ girlfriend I had when I was obese. I remember sitting on my couch crying because my friends had yet another girl’s night without me – of course Facebook tells all.”
It’s true that your entire circle of friends changes when you make a big lifestyle change like getting healthy, losing weight, quit smoking, drinking, or whatever. Mine is now much, much smaller and those friends are all newly-found. I still have a number of “frenemies” that I interact with, and I always have to remind myself that anything I say can and WILL be used against me. Learned that one the hard way a few times. So sad, but true.
Women have this strange reaction to others’ success or good fortune. They see another woman and say “I hate her!” in envy, rather than recognizing they really want to BE her and do something about it. Anything worth having takes hard work and/or hard choices. Our health is no different.
So how do we deal with this?
By remembering why we embarked on this journey to begin with – our health and that of our closest loved ones. Be strong. Make conscious, intentional choices and have faith.
While I have grieved the loss of many a friend this past year, I gained so much more instead. General contentment. No more physical pain and suffering. Renewed vitality in my marriage. More energy to keep up with my child – and the knowledge that I will likely be around a lot longer to teach him and see him grow up!
The benefits of this Paleo lifestyle are worth so much more than the sacrifices. To feel good physically and emotionally, to look good and have more confidence overall, to receive positive attention from others and have the knowledge you can give your best to your family. It’s totally worth it. And so are YOU.