when your friend starts a diet and you feel jealous

When I began eating intuitively, it was so hard when I’d hear about friends who were dieting.

Sure, I could stop reading certain blogs and unfollow all of the diet-y accounts I followed on social media (actually… I didn’t even have social media at the time!) but I loved my friends! I didn’t want to “unfollow” them.

Each time a friend would go on a diet or share about her newest detox, I’d feel myself getting jealous.

I had left dieting behind because of the realities of it:

  • Feeling obsessed, distracted, and fearful around food
  • Ignoring my body’s hunger signals
  • Skipping out on human connection so that I could count everything in my food
  • Eating in a restrictive way that was unsustainable and triggered binges
  • Determining how I was allowed to feel about myself and what I was allowed to do in my life based on my food choice or the number on the scale
  • Living with all or nothing mentality
  • Letting the number on the scale be the main indicator of my “health”
  • Exercising for calorie or fat burn, regardless of how it made me feel physically or mentally
  • Following a plan that was proven to fail in 95% of cases, yet still made me feel like a failure when it didn’t work
  • Neglecting mental, physical, and emotional needs in favor of a definition of health that really meant “skinny”

But, there was a small part of me that still hoped for the fantasy of what dieting promised – aka that everything in my life would improve and I would be more lovable if I was smaller.

And it was that part that felt JEALOUS at the thoughts of my friends experiencing that fantasy.

Have you ever felt this post-dieting jealousy?

You’re so not alone in this feeling. Many of my coaching clients experience it. I definitely experienced it.

Here are three steps that helped me move through that jealousy without going back to dieting, so you can feel supported when you feel it, too:

#1 – Separate fantasy and reality

What are your dieting fantasies? And, what was the reality for you when you dieted in the past? You can TRUST that reality.

#2 – Come back to the relationship with food you want to be experiencing

What do you want your relationship to look like? Do you want it to feel relaxed, peaceful, nourishing? Do you want it to feel easy and fun? Something else?

If so, remember that this is NOT what diets allow you to experience. Come back to your heartfelt desire here and honor it with your choices, even if the loved ones around you are making different choices.

#3 – Find a community of people / friends to cheer you on as you ditch diets

It’s 100% ok to be friends with someone who is dieting or who has a different food philosophy from you. I have tons of friends like this! But, it’s also incredibly helpful to find people who get your intuitive eating journey, too.

xo, Sim

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