Changing your lifestyle and behaviors can be challenging enough. The last thing anyone getting healthy needs are damaging comments that’ll encourage backsliding. I had these type of friends catch me off guard plenty of times. In the beginning my will power was weak and I needed friends that would encourage me to make the changes I wanted to make. Not friends that’ll make it easy for me to wait another day or go off my plan.

Getting your mind right to achieve your goals also includes surrounding yourself with like-minded people or people that’ll encourage you along the way. Here is a breakdown of the three people I’ve realized were well-meaning, but bad influences when first making lifestyle changes for healthier living.

“You’re way too strict” 

These types of friends that question your healthy choices as being too strict sometimes mean well and sometimes do not understand the extent of your transformation. They believe healthy living is a Monday through Friday thing. Or that it’s ok to consume toxic foods in moderation or at least once a week. One of my friends kind of made me feel as if I had an obsession or eating disorder because of my strict diet.

But we’ve learned better. You’ve realized overcoming food and sugar addiction requires complete elimination. Plus those foods don’t really do much for you anyways, but make you sick or bring back cravings. Being strict is how you started seeing changes. Being strict is definitely how I finally started seeing transformation.

Hanging with people that consider your healthy choices as being too strict can negatively influence you in the beginning stages of your transformation. Definitely while you’re still craving foods and overcoming addiction. Becoming mindful of these types of comments and people will help you prepare yourself to think differently.

“You never have fun anymore” 

This one is hard for me to ignore considering I’m still working on disassociating food and alcohol with fun and good times. Believe it or not we don’t need food and alcohol to have a good time. But it is so intertwined in our culture that it’s hard for anyone to respect the task of thinking differently.

Just because you are no longer having the half-off wings and five dollar margaritas at happy hour doesn’t mean you’re no longer having fun. It is hard for some friends to understand this. They might even show you their lack of understanding by accusing you of killing the vibes. Just because you’ve decided to make some changes.

If your friends are understanding and open to your lifestyle changes, a simple explanation might do. However, if your “friends” continue to make this an issue, perhaps it’s time to find new friends. Or meet these friends at engagements that don’t involve food and alcohol.

“Treat yourself sometime. You’ve worked hard enough.” 

Good intentions, but counterproductive. These people are often times holding on to the conventional idea that junk food is ok to “treat” yourself with. To them, it is ok to “treat” yourself with a food that’ll likely cause you cravings, spike your blood sugar, and might even lead to binge eating. Hell, they probably even treat themselves once a week.

When you’re battling food and sugar addiction, however, that “treat” can lead to a huge step backwards. Teaching your friends the seriousness of addiction and the threat “treats” pose to your progress helps plenty. Especially if your friends are supportive and want to understand.