Sunday, September 12, 2010

When Friends Aren't Supportive

I'm loving my WW meetings these days. When I first joined there was only one other person under the age of 40 and she was two weeks away from getting lifetime so she wasn't around much once that happened. I really enjoyed the other ladies and have struck up a great friendship with one of them, but sometimes it was odd being the only one who wasn't married and had children yet. In the last eight weeks, however, six other 'under 40's' have joined and we get along very well.

At our last week, one of the girl's was visibly upset when talking in the meeting. A best friend who knows she's doing WW invited her over for dinner and the healthiest option was the Caesar salad onto which the friend dumped half a cup of cheese. She ate very little, ended up having to eat a second dinner when she got home, and finished the day feeling like her friend was trying to sabotage her healthy eating habits. What made the scenario even more unsettling was that almost everyone I've talked to on this journey has had at least one of those people in their lives.

In this case, the friend in question is a bigger girl than my friend, SW, at WW. SW taking the steps to change her life and to get healthy and fit is a reminder to her bigger friend that she is ultimately choosing to remain fat. Some people would use SW as inspiration and start taking some steps towards healthy living. Others, like her friend, want to sabotage her because SW failing is just one more reason for them not to bother trying.

It's not just the fat friends who may be unhappy with a successful weight-loss journey. Fit friends may resent that you're becoming 'the hot one'. Old friends may resent the new life you're creating for yourself. No matter who it is, it hurts when you realise someone you call a friend is not being supportive.

After the meeting, the under 40's hung around and talked about reasons why a friend might not be supportive. In the end, the reason always came back to the friend's own fears and insecurities. It was some comfort to SW to know that she's not the only one who has had friends react like this and that it's not her fault. Hopefully, the information will help her be better prepared next time she is invited for dinner.

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