We all have at least one true friend, with whom we share everything with. They have been our friend for years, even decades and have been through the good times and bad. Yet – despite all this, there is one topic that still remains firmly taboo. Weight gain.
Rightly or wrongly – our sense of self is intrinsically connected to our weight. Know how you have those ‘fat’ days, where you lament to your friend, partner or mum on how ‘fat’ you feel? Who are you kidding though? You can’t feel fat – rather you are expressing your anger/frustration/boredom on your apparent dowdy figure.
Further to the point – while it would be nice to think that- women are deeply grounded with loads of confidence, the reality is that most women flip out when they or someone else point out their weight gain.
Mentioning her weight gain can merely be an observation and an acknowledgement of your desire to be there for her – yet the truth is she will only see it as an accusation. Failing that, it will merely bring to the fore that her sense of self is heavily embedded in her chocolate coated cookie.
So what to do, if your friend is gaining dangerous weight?
Generally, when a friend remarks that they are packing on the pounds- my knee jerk reaction, regardless of reality, is to quickly shut them down. Some might say I even act a little surprised. The funny thing is I pride myself on trying to be honest (apart from the necessary white lie) so what if I need to tell them it is a resounding yes!?
With 56% of the Australian female adult population overweight, and the mounting pressure of a steadily increasing girth impacting the capabilities of our health systems – maybe it is time to put aside their feelings and realise that calling a spade a spade for the sake of their health is something only a true friend can do.
What can be said about weight – is that it is up to the individual to want to change, before change can happen. If a friend brings up her weight gain, use this as a springboard to sincerely talk about her options. However, until she acknowledges her need to lose those pesky kilos, you can only serve as a mentor for her. Choose to make healthy choices around her and set up your catch ups so that they don’t revolve around food. Catching up for a nice long walk or meeting up at your local farmers market for a fresh produce run, might be just the start of her journey, and you can safely be with her every step of the way.