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How to deal with friends encouraging bad habits.

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:28 AM   #1
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Default How to deal with friends encouraging bad habits.

Warning long, mostly venting post.

Yesterday it stormed all day, so me and a friend(who I spent A LOT of time with and who also wants/needs to lose weight) decided to walk around the mall since we could not walk outside. I made it a point to eat dinner before I went to the mall so I would not be tempted by anything there. My friend ate a little bit before going and had a small bit of what I had for dinner as well.

We were not at the mall for 5 minutes and she announced she was hungry and had to eat at Chick-fil-A. So I sat down with her and watched her eat her food, then we walked around the mall a few times(about 3 miles). After our walk I decided to get some iced green tea, my friend got a blizzard from DQ.

Now we talk about dieting all the time, she knows that having tempting food around is a real struggle for me and I make it my mission to avoid situations like last night. So why did she feel the need to consume food she knows I have a hard time resisting in front of me?
Afterwards I asked if next time, we could either plan to eat at the mall( it would not be nearly as bad for me if I could have eat something while she was eating(like subway) or if she/we could eat before the mall. She told me maybe I should learn to deal with it because there was always going to be someone eating the foods I was trying to resist.

Is she right? I know I can't control how others eat, but is it asking too much to NOT eat fast food in the middle of exercise?
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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It is definitely not too much to ask her not to eat fast food in the middle of exercise. I think that she is sabotaging you either consciously or maybe unconsciously. You have to decide how important her friendship is to you. She may make changing to a healthy lifestyle difficult for you. At the least, it sounds like she is not a good person for you to exercise with.

Will her eating this food in front of you cause you give in and eat some too? That is an important question for you to ask yourself.

She is partially right. There will be many times when you will be around someone eating the foods that you are trying to resist. But in this situation, one on one with a friend, you should not have to deal with it.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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It's not unreasonable to suggest some sort of a compromise, especially since she is your friend and not just some random acquaintance. Though she has the right to eat what she wants, I think a friend should be more supportive than just telling you to "deal with it." It sounds like that's coming out of her own insecurities with her weight, but even so, I wouldn't think about the fact that she wants and needs to lose weight also, since she needs to make the choice herself to actually do something about it. The best you can do is set a good example, and when she's ready, be more supportive to her than she's being to you.

So, how about suggesting that just once or twice a week, you do a healthy activity together, as a gesture to meet her half way? If she still sabotages the healthy activities, maybe you need to stick to only doing things with her where you know there won't be junk food readily available, like inviting her over to your house on a rainy day, or walking around a museum/ non-mall dept store?

Good luck! Kudos to you for taking the initiative to get healthy
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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It does sound like she's being insecure. No, it's not unreasonable to come to some sort of compromise with your friend but if she isn't willing then control the situations (like what the others have said above me) ...or if you are like me & you have the car keys I would have left her to her Chick-fil-a and went walking on my own. It sounds means but will drive home that you mean business.

It was hard to set my boundaries at the beginning with certain friends but to ease your mind I'm almost to goal and the ones I had problems with trying to sabotage my efforts are still friends...some people just don't want to change (not that they need to) when you do!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:16 AM   #6
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People grow and change. Sometimes relationships are not strong enough to grow and change with them.

Good for you not giving into temptation! There will always be situations where people around you are eating junk. So many special events revolve around a meal. It's all about staying on track!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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Mikayla - Irritating friend aside, way to go resisting the Chik-fil-a! Again, she was being kind of a jerk but she is right that you're going to face more temptations like that. But the great news is: You are strong enough to resist. You know that because your resolve has been put to this test. If you have the power to resist those waffle fries , you can do anything you set your mind to!

All that said, this doesn't sound like the best workout/diet buddy for you. Don't let her sabotage your amazing success!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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She's right to some extent- but there is such a thing as flaunting it in your face...

Me personally I just wouldn't exercise with her anymore if she continues to order food with you when you are trying to get some exercise in.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:47 AM   #9
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I would NOT have sat there and watched her eat... If she had the balls to order crap and eat it knowing you are on a weight loss mission, you should have had the balls to say, "Hey I'm going to do another lap while you are having your dinner, call/text me when you are done and we can met back up."

I don't know if she was trying to be rude or not, but if she was, that would have taken care of the situation nicely. No one preforms without an audiance.

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Old 06-18-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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I'm with them. What she said is true, but to say it that way when she's supposed to be your friend is rather rude and b****y IMO. I would just take some healthy snacks with me and pull them out if she pulls this stunt again or as the poster above said, leave her to eat alone and then meet back up later. At that point I would also make sure not to include her in that sort of activity again.

I agree that she's probably feeling threatened by your new healthy lifestyle for some reason so is consciously or not trying to sabotage you.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:56 AM   #11
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I would bet that she was just as uncomfortable because you wouldn't join in with her.

I agree that you don't have to sit there and watch her eat. If she does this next time (if there is a next time) then keep walking, as Lori Bell suggested.

Your friend is right that you cannot control what other people decide to do/eat, but you don't have to participate or witness it, either.

It sounds to me as though your friend isn't really interested in losing weight, in spite of what she says. More like she's looking for a "partner in crime" who will "pretend" with her that she's getting healthy by walking and then eat as a "reward." So, if you are serious, you may find that these walks at the mall become increasingly irritating for both of you.

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Old 06-18-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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Thanks guys, afterwards I thought about how I could have just walked while she ate, I didn't think about that at the time, next time I will do just that.

We have never walked at the mall before, but she does walk with me every Wednesday, it was just so gross out yesterday and we needed a free place to walk.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:24 AM   #13
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I think your friend was being mean and rude to eat all that food in front of you. I'm surprised that she wasn't embarrased to order a blizzard when you ordered a green tea. One way I get around people like that is to just feel happy that I'm eating/drinking the way I want to and let them have the high calorie crap. Afterwards, I'm always glad I didn't give in. After all, deep down I think that's what your friend wanted you to do.

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:12 PM   #14
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It's such a yucky feeling to be the one who has lost an eating partner - she's hurting because you are moving on and she can't find the inspiration inside of herself to make the change too. Yes, your friend longs to lose weight - haven't we all wished for it while eating something completely incompatible with that idea? She's not ready. And your being ready highlights the fact that she isn't ready to try yet. I'm sure in her eyes, things would feel so much better if you would just go back to the way you used to be. In the meantime, she has decided she's going to eat like she always has and wait for you to come join her again so your friendship can go back to what it was. She's feeling left behind, abandoned somewhat. But it's not your fault either. It's just the uncomfortable spot friendships frequently land in when one person tries to grow and the other wants to remain in the safety of what was.

You don't need to avoid your friend, but be prepared for her to eat in front of you. She's not required to submit all of her choices to you for approval. Personally, I gain a bit of strength in knowing I can stick to my plan in situations like that. Try to plan activities where food is not an option. And if she does what she did this time again, wander off and window shop. You don't have to torture yourself by sitting and watching her eat it.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:11 PM   #15
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The very first thing that came to mind when I read this is that I would NEVER say such a thing to my friends who are struggling with alcoholism. I would ask them if my having a drink in front of them bothered them because I want to treat my friends with respect for what they're going through.

Does she have any suggestions on HOW you are supposed to "deal with it?" It's easy to tell someone to deal, but it would be interesting to see how she would deal if she was in your shoes.
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