From the moment I started practicing yoga, I knew my life was about to change. I could see how this was going to make me stronger, more flexible and more connected to my true self. What I didn’t expect though, was the friends I would lose in the process.
Yoga — or, more accurately, the feelings of fulfillment and power that came from it — suddenly began filling a void in my life. With shelves piled high with self-help books, an office filled with inspirational quotes and a decade spent job-hopping and who-am-I-hopping, it was evident I was on a quest for something. The problem was, I just didn’t know exactly what that something was or how to find it.
Then came my very first yoga class two years ago. I was humbly working my way through the poses, when all of a sudden it struck me: This practice was the bomb. By the end, I felt light, happy and inspired. I felt strong and capable. And I felt satisfied, fulfilled and complete. (Not as in, “You complete me,” but as in, I complete myself).
Along with this transformation that continued for the upcoming weeks, months — and now years, came a new outlook on life. Without getting all yoga-tastic on you, I was venturing down a very different path. Some would call it the “enlightenment” that yogis spend much of their time “Om-ing” for. Whatever it was, an internal light bulb had been turned on and I was a-glow with stronger values, more authenticity and a deeper connection to the universe and others.
I don’t know if some of my friends sensed that change and didn’t feel comfortable with the new, real me, or if I was no longer comfortable with some of them, but I did grow apart from a couple of women. I discovered I just didn’t have as much in common with them as I thought I did. In one case, I chose not to surround myself with a certain person’s negativity and energy-sucking anymore.
I was reminded of all of this when I read a recent article in the Detroit Free Press over the weekend, that addressed the same transformation of social life and friendships when one loses weight:
‘You certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it can,’ they stated. ‘Meeting a weight loss or fitness goal, especially a significant one, often shifts the dynamics of your interpersonal relationships. Friends say you’re different, and that they have to get used to the new you.’
Christy Greenleaf, a faculty member at the University of North Texas’ Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence added, ‘There’s also the potential of people being jealous. Losing a lot of weight and keeping it off is really challenging. Especially if the person is getting a lot of attention for it, that might be hard to watch.’
I think what it boils down to is this: Changing your body in a positive, healthy way will uncover your truest self. And when you find her, all of a sudden relationships will change. You will have the courage to ditch friends who no longer support or fulfill you, and you’ll attract new ones who are more closely aligned with your higher self.
Tell us what you think. Has this ever happened to you?
Photo: Creative Commons