Weighty Matters

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Eating Buddies – Losing Buddies

on July 29, 2013

I just looked at the post count.  This is number 396.  Holy wow.  We’re closing in on 400!

I went out to lunch with friends today.  We don’t often get to do that because our days at work are pretty tightly scheduled, so the fact that we spontaneously thought of it and could fit it in was a great treat.

I started thinking again about how incredibly fortunate I am to have such terrific, unending support from family and friends.   Even when a couple expressed fear that I’d elected to have major, life-changing surgery, they still clearly wanted the best for me.  If I ever make a list of the things someone needs when heading into this kind of effort, a strongly supportive circle would be at the top.

Asking for help and support is not something that easily comes to me.    Don’t laugh, particularly since I just stated that I’ve been running at the mouth, and at my typing fingertips, about my weight issues, the surgery, my recovery, my compulsive overeating/binge eating disorder and everything else for 395 (and a half, now) posts, but talking about my weight and my issues was never that easy.

It was easier when I was in the anonymous rooms of OA or when I was around friends who also needed to lose weight.  The difference is that when I regularly attended OA meetings, I was focused on remaining abstinent from the disease of binge eating.  When I was around my overweight friends, if it was a time when I wasn’t in program, we might talk about our weight, etc., but we kept right on eating.

Being around friends who can also be eating buddies often makes for a food free-for-all.  An Eating Buddy friend is hardly going to judge your Big Mac, Supersized fries and chocolate shake when they’re ordering the same big amounts of food.

The dynamic can shift, and suddenly so, when one of the buddies decides to go on a diet or do something else, to put forth a seriously committed effort to losing weight.   There are some who feel threatened when their eating buddy chooses a different path.  Some have even been known to sabotage the weight loss effort.

It is much healthier to have losing buddies, a network of family and friends who will listen to you, hug you, spent some quality time with you and support you in your effort.  It’s these friends who might offer you a bite of their rich, decadent dessert and understand if you only want a bite or might pass up the cake at all.   It’s those who don’t push food at you as if they need you to overeat or eat off of your food plan so that they ultimately feel better about what they’re eating.

It’s good to have losing buddies now — whether the friend or two who are also working on weight loss, or those who aren’t but who care so much about me that they’re rooting on every step of progress.   It’s good to have those of you who come here, read and comment.   It all reinforces the effort.

My goal for this week is to be aware of, and acknowledge, the support I receive on a daily basis.  My secondary goal is to always be supportive of a friend who is going through a difficult challenge.  To borrow a phrase from OA, together we can do what we could never do alone.


3 responses to “Eating Buddies – Losing Buddies

  1. Hope says:

    There was a study that came out a few years ago about how people whose friends are overweight tend to be overweight as well. It’s so much easier to justify poor eating when everyone else is doing the same. I love that most of our friends are healthy eaters. Now I just need to get my husband to stop bringing home cookies. :p

  2. Skye says:

    That is a really interesting point: the difference between eating buddies and losing buddies. Could the same point be made between “mental illness” buddies and “mental health” buddies? I definitely feel better when I process things on my blog and people chime in with support and perspectives and ideas and advice. (Which is a good enough reason to begin pushing myself to begin writing a couple of posts a week again.)

    It is a whole lot harder to make major life changes alone, without the support of others, without others to listen compassionately and to only offer advice if you’ve asked for it.

    I’m very glad you have such a strong circle of support and I’m proud to be a small part of it. I come in part for you, to support you in your efforts and cheer you on, and in part for me, because you are inspiring. It’s a win-win!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Skye, I think having allies and support in every life effort can only be helpful. Quality support, when someone offers their experience and doesn’t do it to share their drama, is a gift.

      When you process in your blog, it helps you but your story and sharing invariably holds things that may resonate with others. Like you said, there’s a win-win.

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