What else they don’t tell you when you venture to lose a lot of weight? Not all of your relationships will survive.
I’ve not only said goodbye to approximately 70lbs on this journey, but I’ve also said goodbye to a couple relationships in the process.
I had been best friends with the same girl since we’d met when we were five years old in kindergarten. She’d moved a town over while we were still young, and we sometimes go as much as a year or two without seeing each other- but we’d always been ‘best friends’ and when we DID see each other, things would pick up wherever we’d left them. It was in our early 20s that we started hanging out on a more consistent basis again, but it was a few years later when I was losing weight that we went our separate ways. And not so cleanly. We argued a lot, and could not see eye to eye on how our friendship was going, and ultimately ending. After 20 years, we’d grown out of one another. I saw her a week or two ago, we made brief eye contact- and that was it. The nail in the proverbial coffin, I guess you could say.
My long time boyfriend and I broke up about a month into my weight loss- our lives no longer matching up. We had been high school sweethearts, together on and off for six years, the last ‘on’ stretch lasting just over 2 years. In 2010, I moved 1200 miles away from everything I’ve ever known to live with him in the deep south, and had finally convinced him to move back to my hometown in the beginning of 2012. Summer came shortly after, and I had started to lose weight. As much as he would love to say I chose the gym over him- I simply chose myself over him. I had spent years making sure we lived as comfortably as possible, and that he was as happy as possible, and I had sacrificed a lot for that relationship. He was and is still a good guy, and I thought myself lucky to have had someone who loved me even when I couldn’t love myself. But it was on the journey to finding myself and losing the weight that I found I had to go at this thing alone. It wasn’t that he wasn’t supportive, but he didn’t get what I was doing or why I had to do it. On some level, he must have known it was time to part ways once and for all, because when I told him we had to break up- there was no fight. There was no begging or pleading, no promises of change or bargaining of any kind. He let me go with what seemed like ease, and it was then that I knew that even though it was the hardest thing I’d yet to do, it had to be done.
So not all of your relationships will survive- some of them may fizzle, fade, or completely implode…. But they do so for a reason. To make room for something better to come along.
One of the most annoying things you can say to a single person is that they’ll find someone when they stop looking, that something will come along when they least expect it. I wasn’t looking for anyone, I had ZERO intention of getting involved in any way shape or form with anyone until I had reached all my goals. I was literally focusing all my energy on myself and getting myself ready for the June competition. I had gone on a handful of dates with very nice guys, but had told each of them that there was no chance of a relationship developing until I’d finished this show. But alas, eight months and 60lbs into my lifestyle change- I met Jake and everything changed. I soon found out that the list of qualities I thought I wanted in a partner was ultimately a list of my own insecurities, as he taught me quickly that things like age and height are just numbers and have absolutely zero bearing on how people feel about each other. Everything I thought I knew about relationships went right out the window, and we became inseparable almost immediately. I had been doing this contest prep on my own- and while the support of my friends and family was always invaluable, I didn’t have anyone that really understood what it was like to go through the things I was going through. I found that in Jake, and having someone to talk to about preparation frustrations proved to be a huge release. We had pretty identical meal plans (his in MUCH larger quantities of course!) so we cooked together, would be at the gym at the same time, would go to posing class together, grocery shopped together… We had become best friends, and each other’s go-to for everything.
We’re still in SUCH a good place- and I count my lucky stars every day that I’ve got him by my side. (Well. Figuratively at least. He’s in Florida for about two months right now haha.) We’re not without our flaws, of course, but we love each other, complement each other perfectly, and make a great team.
If you feel like even the slightest thing is off kilter in your life, don’t be afraid to take it on head on. Not all relationships are meant to last forever, and when it comes down to it- you have to look out for number one; YOU. Do what’s best for YOU, allow yourself to be selfish at times. Don’t forget that the most important relationship is the relationship you have with yourself. I fully believe that you cannot properly love someone else the way they deserve to be loved, unless you can fully love and appreciate yourself first. You are an incredible individual and you deserve all the happiness in the world. Believe that.
So in taking on this journey to a better me, hearts were broken and friendships crumbled… But not for nothing- in the long run, I have absolutely zero regrets about any of it. I’m a happier and healthier me, I learned how to love myself again, and I’ve got a great guy who is just as passionate about this life as I am.