A very long time ago when I took my son to his first day of primary school, I met another young mum just like myself named Jenny. It has been over 38 years now since we met and we’re still catching up weekly. We’ve been there for each other through ups and downs, we’ve been there for each other through divorces, dating and infidelity and we’ve been there for each other through kilos. Lots of them!
Although in some ways it’s a very healthy friendship, we’ve also both used our catch ups as an excuse to eat naughty food. A slice of cake here and there, a coffee with one too many sugars or even a sweet breakfast. Then there’s the wine on top of that!
We’ve both ballooned and deflated over the years and nothing has changed. Except for Jenny’s last “deflation”. She’s lost weight – a lot of it. And she looks absolutely incredible! I couldn’t be prouder of her. She’s always been bigger than me as I am lucky to have a quick metabolism but her size has always bothered her. I’m not model proportions by any means, however I am happy with the way my body has looked for the last six years and I plan on keeping it that way.
But with Jenny’s transformation, she’s changed inside – not just on the outside. The easy going, hilarious and honest friend I’ve always enjoyed has turned into someone who’s almost obsessive. She counts calories, she can’t stop to have a break, she refuses to eat any of the things we once did. These are all fine, but I draw the line when her decisions start to affect how I feel about myself.
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I’m so glad that she’s got this newfound sense of confidence and self love, but does she have to put others down to enhance that? If I sneak a cookie at coffee she’ll say, “oh, you’ll never lose that weight if you don’t cut that out”. When I buy something new she asks me, “What size is that top – I bought a size 10 last week”. And our conversations have gone from general updates about our lives and an interest in each other’s work, grandkids, family and hobbies to me listening about clean eating and how fabulous it is to be thin and how her “gym buddies” are all going shopping together to indulge.
I feel like the beautiful woman I once know has lost her weight, and with it her substance. She was always a little bothered by her weight but it never controlled her actions, her thoughts and her relationships like it does now.
It’s all well and good to be healthy, I encourage that (everything in moderation – including moderation!) but this isn’t about health. This is about how she feels about herself.
So today I want to know, have you experienced something similar? How have you dealt with a friend in a similar position? Share your thoughts in the comments below…