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Entries in denial (1)


I have a very overweight friend who makes me feel guilty when I order healthy or go to the gym. I lost 40 pounds the hard way & she feels like I "rub it in" by making healthy choices. Help!!

Your friend, unfortunately is an enabler of bad behavior. What you are seeing here is not uncommon.

Whenever we succeed at almost anything, we are likely to encounter friends or others that either can’t or won’t succeed in the same way. Your success reminds your friend of his/her failure to deal with her weight issues. As long as you were “just like her,” you weren’t a threat in any way. She could discuss with you how hard it is to lose weight, that she’s tried everything and nothing works, that you are both “genetically designed” to be overweight, and so on as both of you commiserate about your inability to do anything about your problem. This is all just so much denial. Anyone can succeed at weight loss, it’s just that too many of us won’t make the real commitment. It’s difficult.

Actually your friend is trying to make you feel guilty and with any luck, get you to join her once again in the hopelessness of weight loss. Hopeless only because she is unwilling or unable to make the commitment. You remind her of her inability to do what you have done. You remind her of her failure to deal with weight loss.

I  wouldn’t expect her to change so hold your ground. You can and should try to encourage her to do what you have done. Gentle coercion works best! Remind her that it can be done and tell her to change things a little at a time. Tell her to give up that bedtime snack, stop drinking a couple of sodas a day, maybe give up that before or after dinner drink, start ordering meals that are more lean, revisit and re-do that grocery list, skip that dessert for a while, add an exercise class; these are all things that can be done over time and will work for her.

Don’t feel guilty about your success. Help her to find the same success!