Remember the Raw Food versus series? Course you do.
How this crops up for you will very much depend on the people you choose to have as your friends. If your friends are all jolly supportive, interested, rooting for ya and generally loving you to tiny bits, this blog post is not for you. Sorry darling, but whilst you’re consoling yourself over me not writing this just for your gorgeous ass, you can do a little dance at the fact you have such great friends.
Ok. So let’s assume for the purposes of this post that your friends are NOT buying in to this whole raw food thing.
Nope. They think you have:
lost the plot
lost too much weight
joined a cult
stopped being fun to hang around with
got an eating disorder
left them behind
started judging them for their eating (have you? bitch slap if you said yes)
Let’s also assume for the purposes of this post that none of the above is actually true. Really, it’s just their shit being heaped on you because you’ve decided to take a gigantic leap towards loving and respecting your body and your health and this is shining a not-too-nice light on what they’re doing so they’re a bit pissed. That’s pissed as in the Americanism for annoyed, not pissed as in wasted on Tennent’s Super Lager. Have you ever tasted that? It’s like, the worst drink ever.
What to do if your friends are being a bit arsey.
Here’s what I think, which is why you’re reading this blog so we’re off to a good start, right?
You love your friends. You don’t want to be sans friends ’cause that’s not cool is it?
First of all accept that your friends will judge you, whether that’s because you’re eating raw food or because you slept with Marco from the local Italian restaurant…twice…and everyone knows he gets about!
Friends judge. Fact. That’s why they’re so much fun at times, because they pull us up on our shit, press our buttons, make us think things about ourselves we’d rather ignore.
So, knowing that friends will judge us makes it easier to move on to the next thing.
Ask yourself whether this friend is acting out of love or something that your healthy eating ways is bringing up for them. If it’s is out of genuine concern you’re doing good – that’s a good friend! Do they have a legitimate reason to question what you’re doing? Alleviate their concerns by finding out what their fears are for you, and discussing these openly and honestly. Let them know that you appreciate their concern and that you know you can rely on their support and you will talk to them if anything crops up health-wise. Often people just want to feel like they’re needed and involved in what you’re doing.
If it’s the latter, if it’s because what you’re doing is bringing stuff up for them i.e. perhaps your friend is partial to a pizza or two and a packet of biscuits for breakfast, then it’s even more important that you understand that this is really about them not you. You are essentially holding a mirror up to your friend and he/she doesn’t like what they see.
This means you get the chance to understand and love them even more. It also means an open and honest discussion about why you are embarking on this health journey and what it means to you to have their support, because they are such an important person in your life! I wouldn’t suggest you tell them that you think this is more about their unhealthy eating than you choosing raw, unless you feel confident that your friend can be open to this possibility. Jumping on the defensive tends to do more harm than good. Sometimes your friend just needs a little time to get used to the new you. Tempting as it is, it may not be appropriate to suggest they join in with you on the raw food thing. The reality is that this is your journey and you can’t drag your friend’s ass along with you…
There may be a perceived loss on their part, particularly if you used to go out for meals or get takeaways as part of your socialising together. Your friend may even try to tempt you and persuade you to go back to the ‘old you’, just for one night etc. etc. Staying true to your journey in these circumstances is really tough and your friend may even be cruel and say ‘you’ve changed’ etc.
Harsh, with a capital HAR.
The truth is you have changed. Eating this way will change you on every level – on a bloody cellular level! It’s not just what you put on your plate, eating this way says more about how you’re choosing to live your life than just what you have for your dinner. So your friends are right. You have changed. You probably aren’t the same type of fun you used to be. That doesn’t mean you aren’t still fun, it just means you’re fun in a brand new sexy way baby!
If there is a perceived loss you are going to need to fill the gap where the pizza on a Friday night used to be. Find new things to do with your friends. Go out dancing, preferably to 80s music cause you know, it’s fun, and you can dance funny and get away with it. Do different stuff. Make him or her a giant raw cake with their name on it.
Going raw doesn’t mean you have to find new friends! You know, I see on forums people talking about how they don’t feel they can be friends with their ‘cooked friends’ anymore, not now that they’ve gone raw, cause, you know, their energy is whack! And why can’t their friends see the light etc. etc.
What.the.actual.fuck? Do you only make friends with people because of what they do/don’t eat? I’m really hoping the answer to that is no. Imagine how dull it would be to only be friends with people that thought the same and did the same as you? Bor-fucking-ing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you stick in friendships with people who criticise you, constantly argue about the right and wrongs of what you are doing, bring you down or are generally nasty to you because of what you eat or believe. What I’m saying is that to feel like you can’t be around ‘cooked’ people because of their energy is just a little bit ‘out there’. And coming from me that is most definitely saying something!
Perhaps you have realised that this friend isn’t really a positive and supportive influence in your life. That shit happens you know, raw food or not. Friendships run their course and you both decide to go on your merry way alone. I shared with you here how I lost a friend because of my raw food shenanigans. Lessons learned and all that.
The great news is that for every person that won’t support you or think what you’re doing is a worthy and noble adventure, there are forty billion (ok, a bit less) who are going to be so damn excited about spending time with you because wow, you got some energy girlfriend! AND you make great healthy food. AND you’re always happy and shiny and glittery (sometimes overly so). And that shit attracts let me tell you. You are going to find the old fall away and be replaced by some sexy new people that will LOVE YOUR GLOW and KICK-ASS VIBE!
Chances are you will start to hang out with more like-minded people if you’re joining raw food groups and going to potlucks. And it’s cool to be around people that dig what you’re about. Check out some of my funky tribe. So blessed!
Yeah, it’s a bit sucky to lose friends but the truth is that true friendship will hold strong through the stormiest of err, storms. What’s more important? How you feel or how your friend feels? Look in the mirror, Hello, that’s you. It’s your body. Your life. You do your thang and let your friend do theirs. If you can rock your thang together, great. If not, then it’s time to move on and for both of you to find friends that make you happy.
Ok so to sum up.
Accept your friends will judge you. That’s what they’re here for.
Be open to listening to whatever their concerns are – remember they might be feeling hurt or left out. Usually, people aren’t just being malicious for no reason.
Discuss and alleviate any concerns.
Involve them if you can.
Ask for their support.
Surround yourself with like-minded people to achieve balance
Realise that sometimes it’s time to move on and let go (with love).
Finally, you should totally listen to this. You know, 80s totally rocks.
This blog was written by Raw Food Scotland's previous owner, Emma Calvert. You can reach her at her new website, https://missmanifestation.com/