So I have this “friend”… okay, you got me, it’s me. I have recently been on a healthy streak. After hitting 35 I decided that it was time to really recognize that I only have this one body, and I want it to last a while, so I’ve been eating healthy and exercising, and it has been going well. And don’t ask why it took so long, or why I tend to go in fits an bursts with these things. I’m one of those all or nothing people, I’m either eating vegetables and running half marathons, or laying on the couch and drinking gravy (not literally, that’s gross… and delicious).
Anyway, the point is I’m currently in veggies and running mode, and I plan on keeping it that way. I haven’t made a big deal of it. I’ve just been bringing my lunch to work everyday (not a normal habit for me) and avoiding all the sugary things that pop up all around me. Now this post isn’t about body image, or weight loss tips, it is about how we support the people around us.
There are two types of friends. There are the ones that are supportive when you are making healthy lifestyle changes. They recognize the work you are doing, they acknowledge when you make great decisions, and they don’t push when you say no to something. These people want to see you succeed.
The other type of friend is the one that can’t get out of their own way and would prefer to keep you in your previously bad habits in order to lift themselves up. “Want a cupcake, Christy? You sure, look at it, so delicious. I can’t believe you won’t eat this cupcake, it has your name on it. The icing is your favourite color…” etc, etc.
Look, if I said no, I shouldn’t have to say it again. No, I don’t want the bloody cupcake. Reality is I want the whole f%^&ing tray of cupcakes, but I have made the decision not to eat them. And instead of making me complicit in your decision to eat a cupcake, which is entirely your prerogative, how about you stuff the cupcake in your mouth to keep yourself from saying things that just make me mad at you.
Look, I’d love to tell you that I have never been the cupcake pusher. Cupcakes, cheese, bread, chocolate, these things are my drugs. But what you realize is that often when pushing something whether it’s food, drinks, other habits, even drugs, on those around you, it is not for their benefit so that they can savour that lovely frosting, it is for your benefit so you don’t feel alone in the decision. I am not saying I’ll never eat another cupcake. That’s just ludicrous. What I am saying is that when I make the decision not to have one you don’t have the right to try and push me into it. As a friend, you do have the right to say supportive things or nothing at all.
And the next time that you find yourself trying to convince someone to do something that they don’t want to do, check your motivations. Are they honourable? If they aren’t you need to rethink your strategy.