Should I Abandon My Best Friends?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 5:31 AM GMT
    I need some advice.

    I have been struggling to lose weight for many years now.

    I used to be thin... and somewhat good looking... but a combination of emotional eating and medications for severe depressions (due to my trouble accpeting my sexuality) lead to my weight gain into the obesity range.

    I have been unhappy for many years and know that many people cannot even tolerate looking at me--I am one of them.

    I have been trying over and over to get motivated--but I feel addicted to food almost.

    I have lost some weight but not nearly enough, and yo-yo dieting seems to be plaguing me these past four years. I'm getting desperate. I have a lot of will power... but it is buried deep within me. One thing that distracts me from my goals are my two friends.

    My best friend, Ashley, has known me for over 20 years. She and her husband, John, are my only two friends. Both are morbidly obese and both are apparently contenet with their body--I am not.

    Ashley: 24 yrs old... ~310lbs... 5'10"
    John: 26 yrs old.... ~500lbs... 6'6"

    They are hard to hang around with:

    1. Many things they want to do include food (i.e. going for ice cream or out to eat)
    2. They are lazy... sedentary... rather hang around the house than do things outside.
    3. They mock me for my healthy food habits and call the foods in my pantry disgusting (e.g. !00% whole wheat pasta, Veggies, Spinach, organic peanut butter, Fiber One Cereal)
    4. They make fun of skinny people... call them stuck up and arrogant.
    5.Their live revolves around pleasure eating.
    6. I get imbarassed to be with them in public... John is unmistakable in a crowd.

    They feed into my own bad habits... habits I am trying to snuff out of my life forever.

    I love them though. But I often here about those in drug/alcohol rehab... "they" are told to ditch there old friends... friends who represent temptation in their live.

    My happiness and mental health is being hinder because of my own self-hatred due to my physical health and apperance. I cannot jepordize my physical health and image.

    Should I ditch them since we have two different lifestyle views and they would eventually dispise me for losing a lot of weight... as Ashley has done in the past...?

    Only thing... they are my only firends. My self image greatly affects how social I am with others. Basically... if I ditch them, I'll be alone--I cannot make friends at this time in my life... my depressive body-image perception prevents me from being socialable with other people... even those that claim not to care about my size. My own insecurities and self-hatred prevent me from socializing.

    I am at a truing point in my life... weight lose needs to happen consistantly until I am healthy again... otherwise I worry about the long term psychological effects. I've even gotten to a point where I have thought about cutting myself whenever I got a craving--I used to cut when I was severely depressed. Replacing one addictive harmful habit (over eating) with another (cutting).

    Basically, I'm at the end of my ropes. I need to be sucessful in my wieghtloss and consistent. my friends are ONE of the things that is making healthy lifestyle commitments impossible to retain thoughtout my life.

    What should I do? Have I come to a point where I need to distance myself from them... for their own bad habits could revive my bad habits?

    Should ... a recovering drug addict be around their druggie friends... a recovering alcoholic be around alcoholics... a recovering unhealthy-foods addict be around morbidly obese food adicts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 6:06 AM GMT
    as appalled as I am to suggest this, since, it would be an incredibly hard thing for me to do my self, perhaps slowly separating your self from these people wouldn't be a bad thing, perhaps just limiting how much time you spend with them so that there influence over you and your eating habits are minimised.

    You say they are your only two friends, then, if this is the case, you need to develop some self confidence, pluck up a little courage and start getting out with other people, join a group, doesn't need to be sports, can be anything you have an interest in, get to know other people, a broader range of people (both big and small) and develop some new interests.

    find a way to keep your self eating properly, my way of keeping my self focused is the obsessively focus on it down to the point of anal retentiveness, everything I eat is counted right down to table spoons or part there of of olive oil, everything is scaled, I know exactly how much and when. I become so focused on the task that everything else can be ignored if I'm not careful.

    But what about you? need things a little easier and might need to think less about it? cook the food on sunday night, portion it out for the whole week.
    Still want to eat something bad, don't have it in the house, what ever, find what will make it doable for you.

    Lastly, you can say no to your friends, they will still respect and love you, if they want to go out to dinner you choose somewhere with food you'll both like and learn to say no, to your self, to friends, to family, cause you can and once you learn you can it gets soooo much easier to say no to those things you don't want but are forced on you.

    And when ever you get to that point where you feel everything is just falling and your head is telling you to not give a shit, fight back and don't give in, remember how you feel in a moment of despair and fight through!

    Oh I"m rambling again heh
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 6:48 AM GMT
    Don't abandon! INSPIRE! Make a weight loss challenge with your friends - watch the Biggest Loser - motivate - find something the 3 of you have always wanted to do but were unable to because of size - you can do it! Replace your eating with something else with them - ask them to support you - tell them your health is important to you - seek the help of medical professionals, nutritionists, and psychologists/therapists - find a support group.
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    Aug 23, 2009 7:39 AM GMT

    At first when I read the heading, My initial thought was why would anyone tag such a thing as abandon my best friend. After reading your battle I think it might be best to find yourself a support system. I myself at one point tipped the scales at 250! I ate and drank thru college and didn't realize how big I'd gotten till it was too late. My motivation was, I wanted and was ready for change, If your friends lifestyle is eating away your spirit and joy to be happy, It's probably best for you to distance yourself. Wrk on being HEALTHY MENTALLY and when your ready the rest will fall in place.

    Best of Luck
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    Aug 23, 2009 7:41 AM GMT
    Good posts so far.

    That's a tough question. Our society revolves around food, and you can't totally shut yourself off to gathering with people where poor food choices are available. You need to communicate with your friends what your needs are right now, and they'll either support you or they won't. They may be comfortable in their bubbles, but I don't think at 310 and 500 lbs they're truly happy. I mean how can you be? They're probably feeling a lot of discomfort physically and mentally which addictive thinking tends to repress, cover up, deny, rationalize, or whatever you want to call it.

    I think Food Addict's Anonymous is one of the best 12 step groups there is. When I went and sat in on a meeting for a class I was really impressed. It's worth checking out at least a couple of times and just listening to what others have to say. There will be people who have been there for many years, and others who are just getting started or testing the waters.

    Also you can look at activity groups which promote a healthier lifestyle. That way you can get some positive healthy influences in your life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 8:43 AM GMT
    saguaroman saidDon't abandon! INSPIRE! Make a weight loss challenge with your friends - watch the Biggest Loser - motivate - find something the 3 of you have always wanted to do but were unable to because of size - you can do it! Replace your eating with something else with them - ask them to support you - tell them your health is important to you - seek the help of medical professionals, nutritionists, and psychologists/therapists - find a support group.

    I got the feeling from what cjcartist1984 wrote that his friends would be overwhelmingly resistant, even hostile, to anything like that.

    I'm sorry to say this, cjcartist1984, but it really does sound like you need to limit the time you spend with them.

    I do think that finding a support group, perhaps a 12-step group as has suggested by others, would be a good start. You would not only find support but you would meet new people around whom you would have no need to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because they're people struggling with the same issues you're struggling with. This might help build confidence about meeting new people and making new friends generally.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 23, 2009 12:08 PM GMT
    This is your call as much as it is your call to change the habits that have been plaguing you the last few years
    We have friends for a reason
    They are there to help us enjoy the things in life that we enjoy
    and to be a positive influence in our lives
    Your friends are who they are and are not going to change
    Only you can change yourself into what you want to be

    Ditch your friends?
    I don't know
    But you need to surround yourself with likeminded people who celebrate you for who your are and who you want to be
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 12:34 PM GMT
    I'm the opposite to you seeing people like that in public makes me more determined and more conscious.

    I usually end up with one long agonized over, box of cookies, tub of Ben and jerry's or kitkat bar sitting in the cart by the time I get to the checkout and some really overweight person pushes past me and empties the shelf in on top of a cart of junk and I just look at her and put my one measly indulgence back and then get secretly mad at her because she spoiled it

    What can I say I'm an irrational person sometimes icon_redface.gif

    same thing happens when I end up at McDonald's with friends and am thinking small cheese burger and diet coke and one of them orders half the menu.

    If you think they would despise you for being a healthy individual and already openly mock you for having a pantry full of health foods....Then I'd say all's fair and your free to have ago at them for their fallacies weight related or other wise

    I don't really think you should look at is as "abandoning" them if they are truly your friends they would be happy that you were becoming the person you want to be regardless. Maybe making the break even if not permanently and just for a couple of months will be the drastic step you need to bring needed will power to fruition
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Aug 23, 2009 12:34 PM GMT
    Don't get rid of these people - they are friends after all, and friends aren't that easy to come by.

    What I think you need to do is lie! Just tell them that your doctor has said that you are borderline diabetic and must lose weight. That way, if they hassle you about your food or whatever, you can just smile and say "Doctors orders!" or "Yeah, I hate it too but the whole diabetes thing has really scared me!". I think you are quite young and probably not all that confrontational so this may be a good option for you.

    But if they still bug you then do lazy things with them like going to the movies or watching DVDs, and save the more active things for another day. And if they STILL bug you, just slowly phase them out of your life. No need for a big confrontation, just lessen your contact with them over time.
  • rockleetpt

    Posts: 77

    Aug 23, 2009 1:01 PM GMT
    Friends come and go but you're stuck with your body for your whole life.

    You're fighting for your core values, their core values are antogonical and a relationship like that can ONLY work if BOTH sides are open-minded and treat eachother issues with no hard feelings. I guess you have to weight how much willpower does it need to maintain such a relationship against how much willpower does it need in keepting yourself above depression? Of course we shouldn't fall for the false dichotomies, maybe there are multiple solutions besides keeping your friends and having a harder life regarding weight loss. Indeed some have suggested being decieteful in order to maintain good relationship with them. Maybe there are more solutions out there. Here's what I'm suggesting:

    Tone down the friendship, not cut ties but not maintaining the current status after all if you're really serious regarding weight loss you'll have less time avaliable for hanging out.

    Also try making really healthy and delicious meals, that way you can keep yourself busy, you'll be focusing on healthy food and maybe your friends will like them. It's one thing to look at labels and veggies, other is to actually EAT and TASTE it.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 1:08 PM GMT
    You need to review how 12 step programs work. The very first thing you need to do is to remove yourself from the environment that causes the problems. You don't tell a drunk to go hang out at the bar, or a meth head to hang with friends from the house, and a fat ass shouldn't hang out with fat asses. You have to break the cycle. Statistics bear out the fact that you're much more likely to be fat, and to fail in you attempts to become a regular person, if you don't get away from them. That's the truth in the matter, like it, or not. It may not be politically correct, but, it's the hard truth. PERIOD.

    While it's important you get away from the "friends" (fat ass enablers), once you are well, you might be able to associate with them on a distant / temporary basis, but, UNDERSTAND, they are DANGEROUS to you, now, and in the future. It's important to (use the old saying) change your playmates and playthings. You can't really expect success unless you modify your behavior and those you associate with.

    You also have to get inside your head to understand why you're so head fucked. You need to figure out why it is that you're so uptight about your sexuality and then..FIX IT. Until you do, you'll be running around in circles without addressing the real issue that you don't like yourself.

    Remember: you're your own worst enemy, or your own best supporter. It's up to you to chose.

    You need to see a pro. You need to stop all the self-induced drama, self-destructive behavior, and move into, through, and beyond your comfort zone (currently fat ass and closeted) to another, better, place, like being miserable. Now, go do something about it.

    Here's something you can take to the bank: as long as you continue to do things the way you are, things will mostly remain the same. If you don't like things being the same, you need to change your behavior and those you associate with, dig in, and fix some shit. It's not gonna' fix itself.
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    Aug 23, 2009 1:54 PM GMT
    There was just an article on MSNBC the other day about hanging around and eating with friends generally leads to eating more, especially if those friends are overweight (you can read it here:

    There is validity to your concern that maintaining your friendships with these two - even though you think they're all you've got and you've known them forever - is going to hold you back.

    However, don't take rash advice from anyone on here who clearly either a> have no friends or b> have no idea how to be one. While you guys are all young, you are adults. You owe it to your friends to be truthful but direct - that getting in shape and losing this weight is your #1 priority and that you cannot/will not do anything to jeopardize your own success, which will include hanging out with them if they cannot/will not be supportive. Nobody in today's society with all of their mental faculties WANTS to be fat - the making fun of skinny people and calling them stuck up is of course partially true in some cases but more an indication of her own jealousy/hurt. Being fat isn't fun. Have an open and honest conversation about that with your friends and tell them that you're done with it and hope that they share your views, but if they don't, that you're going to have to go it alone while you get yourself together.

    Your profile says that you have a trainer that you're working out with and who is helping you. If he/she is your only friend while you're on this journey, so be it. He/she cannot help you deal with all of the other issues you mentioned (sexuality/etc) but should - if they're good - be able to help you with the basic psychology of eating well and exercising vs. eating emotionally and being inactive.

    Ultimately, only you know if you need more professional help than that. If you find that nothing you're doing is making a difference, or the outside is improving faster than the inside, then by all means reach out for some professional support and guidance. Your achievements and success are the most important things for you so don't be shy about enlisting other positive support systems to help you along the way.

    And finally - know that the vast majority of people both on this site and in general want you to be successful at your efforts to get healthier and in better shape. It's not going to be easy, and it's not going to make everything in your life perfect once you get there, but it's a huge step towards being comfortable in your own skin. Best of luck.
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:32 PM GMT
    No you shouldnt. but I wonder if they'll make fun of you or look at you the same way once you get skinnier...

    You shouldnt abandon your friends because of their bad habits unless this is making you follow the same path. If you really feel this is not helping you at all then step away a little from them but you dont have to totally forget about them.

    My question is. Are these your friends cause you really think theyre great people and they really care about you or you tagged them as your friends cause they're the only ones you can hang out with?

    Im not gonna tell you all you have to do in order to get skinnier, you know that way better than me. Im pretty sure uve read articles all over the internet and got yourself very informed about this topic. The only thing im going to ask you is to feel confident about yourself cause even if youre over weight, you really want to do something about it and so many people would admire that. Every little step you make to loose one single pound is something you should be very proud of. Be ashamed and embarrassed only when you give up, you dont deserve to feel embarrassed when you're really trying and you're trying so hard to fight your condition. You really dont deserve it so please get all that confidence back together and make every step count on your favor.
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:33 PM GMT

    A quote I really love is that "good friends are like stars; you don't always see them, but they're still there."

    With this in mind it seems that abandoning friendships is an opposite extreme from hanging out with them all the time. How about spending time apart without sacrificing the friendship? It sounds like you're already under a Doc's care, so get a blood work-up done for blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels etc and have the Doc explain to you what being overweight will do to you.

    Take this to your friends and say that you're going on a health kick that will mean you won't be available for the food fests anymore. Tell 'em what your Doc said about your weight. They sound defensive enough already and won't want to feel you're judging them. If they're good friends they'll be supportive - and that's pretty important - it's one of the indicators of true friendship.

    People we know who've gone through weight loss made LOTS of friends with other people trying to do the same.

    Say, there's an opportunity here - take it!

    -Doug of meninlove
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Aug 23, 2009 2:34 PM GMT
    I sense a pattern developing on this thread, which is "don't ditch your friends".

    I have had similar situations with friends. I advise talking with your friends and explain your goals and how some activities you do with your friends do not coincide with your new goals. Don't blame them, but ask them for help in you reaching your new goals. If you were hurt by some of the things they have said about you or your new lifestyle that you are trying to create, let them know. They might be clueless and truly remorseful that their jabs were taken more seriously than they could have imagined. If they are good friends they will want you to reach your goals, no matter what the goals might be.

    On the other hand, these are your goals and not your friends. Just because you decided to become fit doesn't mean it is their personal goal as well. Accept them for who they are, just like you've always done. In the coming months if they see how successful you are in your health goal, maybe they will be inspired.

    Truly good friends are hard to come by, and they might appreciate your effort to keep them in your life's journey, wherever it takes you.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9196

    Aug 23, 2009 2:39 PM GMT

    Be who you want to be. Surround yourself around good people.
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:59 PM GMT
    I'd saying ditching them is a step too far, but you need to be honest (even confrontational) with them about how they are sabotaging your efforts to get in shape. Be careful not to blame it on them, because they're not putting a fork in your hand and forcing food in your mouth. That's your doing. But friends have a huge influence over us, good and bad.

    These two sound like sad cases. They certainly don't want to be this big, but they don't want healthy friends around them to remind them of how out of shape they are. So they make fun of you for trying to eat better and get in shape. That has to stop. If it doesn't, then it might be time to write them off.
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    Aug 23, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    meh...ditch 'em.

    u say you're addicted to food and an unhealthy lifestyle. if you recognize that, then as any other addict will tell you, it's easiest to hang around other addicts. if you're trying to overcome that addiction then you'll have to stop hanging around the other addicts...

    but keep in mind, losing the friends doesn't have to be some drama filled scene...just find other healthy ways to occupy your time, they won't want to come along and you'll eventually grow happens all the time.
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    Aug 23, 2009 3:24 PM GMT

    Should I abandon my best friends?
    I think the answer is in the question. They can't sabotage your goals and really, what you said about them being happy with their body is what you need right now. Know why, because jock built guys are not going to always accept you the way your friends will. The jocks won't accept you until you look like them and that is a long way off.

    In the interim, you need your just need to get stronger; stick to your convictions, and eating habits. I think the part where you say they tease you about healthy eating is a little silly. SO WHAT? Do you know how often I get teased for eating healthy, all the time and by healthy people.
    Considering your size and the work you have ahead, you need to develop a much thicker skin because you will get teased.

    They call skinny people stuck up. SKINNY people are stuck up, especially if they see someone your size sitting at the diner, no matter what you are eating! If it's a blt, could he possibly pile on more bacon???....and if it's a yogurt, why does he even bother?

    You need your friends around to be like..."fuck em." I wouldn't suggest that if you didn't care so much about what you might over hear, because I fear you do. Here you are wanting to dump your friends because of what might be acceptable in skinny society, rendering yourself helpless in a role you don't fit into yet.

    Don't do it, keep your friends, change your destructive habits. If they don't change theirs so what, because if your weight disappears large people won't. What are you gonna do, turn your nose up and ignore them? Don't be like that.

    If they were meth users, I'd say dump them or alkies. They eat too much, put the hamburger down, pick the chicken salad up; if they rib you about it, tell them to wise up and try the salad, give it right back to them. Keep in mind, they might be teasing you because they are afraid of change, show them it's easy. Change their minds and change the world.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Aug 23, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    have you tried talking to them? perhaps if you explained the situation to them they would be willing to adjust their comments and routines around you in order to maintain your friendship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 3:51 PM GMT
    If they are real friends they will want the best for you and will support you in reaching your goals. If they aren't supporting you it means they aren't real friends. It proves they care less about your well-being and more about keeping you around as a co-enabler of their own unhealthy lifestyle.
    If they don't support you they should be less of a presence in your life. There is no need for any overt break with them. You can simply make a point of spending more time on physical activity -- biking, swimming, hikes, as well as workouts. Invite them to join you but they clearly won't want to.
    The physical activity will be a vehicle for making new acquaintances some of whom will become your new friends. The transition will be hard but not impossible. Just look at some of the posts in the "teased as a kid" thread to confirm how you can overcome great odds to become a happy and fulfilled adult.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Aug 23, 2009 4:04 PM GMT
    ditch might be a bit strong, instead try distancing yourself. this thread screams psycho-somatic response (e.g., emotionally-tied binge eating, self-esteem, self-concept/self-efficacy, thus producing weight gain and the like, etc.) ... re-construct yourself based upon healthier and stable foundations. your present self seems to be precariously stilted on uneven ground; remedy that - today. keep the old saying mind, Rome was not built in a day, as you transcend this mindset.

    you may not like her, I'm sure there are many who do not, but get this (this, being confidence):
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3462

    Aug 23, 2009 4:28 PM GMT
    This is a tough choice, but I think your health, both mental and physical, must come first. Studies show that if your friends are overweight, you will be too. We model what's around us.

    You know what you must do. I'd like to believe that perhaps you'll inspire your friends to follow in your footsteps, but I think you have to be prepared that might not happen. Not all friendships are good for us. I've had to leave behind friends I felt were unhealthy for me or holding me back.

    I don't think you have to cut them off entirely, but I think you need to limit the time you spend with them.
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    Aug 23, 2009 4:36 PM GMT
    I agree w/ GuiltyGear. If you do this, prepare to be lonely. Most of the guys you aspire to look like (including the guys telling you to ditch your friends) wouldn't touch you with a 10 foot glowstick.
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    Aug 23, 2009 4:39 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidthoughts=words=action=character.

    Be who you want to be. Surround yourself around good people.

    Who says they're not good people? Oh, I forgot. He told you their weight.