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Nov 21

I gained weight during COVID, but my best friend got healthier. All she talks about anymore is diet and exercise. – Anchorage Daily News

By Wayne and Wanda

Updated: 12 hours ago Published: 12 hours ago

Yoga on the Anchorage park strip. (Bill Roth / ADN archives)

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I put on weight during COVID. Im not happy about it and Im working on getting back in shape but its slow going and frankly I have trouble sticking with my diet plan or exercising. I wish it was easier for me but it just isnt. I feel insecure at the gym and I realize sometimes I do eat food because it tastes good, not because Im hungry. I know all this, and Im working on it. Thats not necessarily the problem.

The problem is my best friend. She had the opposite COVID experience and somehow over the past two years, she managed to get in great shape and has never looked better, been thinner, or seemed happier. Shes taken up yoga and jogging and is gung-ho about trying some winter sports.

All she talks about anymore is diet and exercise and she is full of advice for me, whether its what to eat or drink or what workouts I should try. She invites me to work out with her constantly even though I always decline. I am so tired of her talking about weight, calories, etc. Its getting to a point where I dont even want to hang out which is lame because she really is a great friend. She must know how insecure I am feeling and it totally doesnt help that getting fit was so easy for her. I need to convey that she isnt being helpful but I dont want to hurt her feelings because I do believe her heart is in the right place. Advice?

Wanda says:

Let me make sure I understand: Youre unhappy and struggling to get on track and regain your health, and your friend is offering you actionable advice and inviting you to participate in sporty activities that support your goals? How dare she!

Not to make light of this I think all women understand how touchy these topics can feel, and I get that her overenthusiastic coaching is totally overwhelming in the worst way. Lets consider the alternatives. She could be the worst kind of friend, tempting you to make poor choices. Whats more common in these situations is friends are passively sympathetic but generally silent on matters that are so intensely personal. She might wait for you to bring up your weight struggles, and maybe offer some tepid advice, but would generally avoid rocking the boat by saying anything that could be perceived as judgmental.

Instead, shes actually trying to help. And maybe she is going slightly overboard, but shes coming from a place of experience. She recently went through her own transformation, and it might have looked easy, but she surely put in the work. If shes as dear a friend as you say, you can handle this frankly without upsetting her. Acknowledge your struggles with your weight and accountability are real, and while some occasional tips could be useful, really you just need your friend, not a personal trainer.

Wayne says:

Yes, your friends heart is in the right place, and like her, I am a firm believer in the many positives of regular exercise. But lets forget about fitness for a moment and check in on your heart. The lack of motivation to get into a groove, the body insecurity, the frustration with your results, the reliance on food for comfort and escape, and the annoyance with your sweat-obsessed friend right now, it sounds more like you need to focus on getting healthier emotionally by exploring your anxiety and depression than getting back into great physical shape and keeping up with your best fitness friends lifestyle regimen.

Anxiety and stress can create major roadblocks to our life and square goals, even the goal of simple daily functioning. They certainly make it tougher to dig out of a hole and get a positive flow started. No wonder its tough to get started when you feel like youre performing in front of a bunch of other people, including your friend, who seemingly already have it all together. Look, theres nothing to be ashamed of and no reason to feel alone. More people than ever are going through some version of your emotional struggles right now. The pandemic and its accompanying stress and strangeness has worked a number on everyone to some extent.

Your friend is an outlier in many ways, so comparing yourself to her or trying to meet her expectations will more likely fuel the issues youre already troubled with and even make things worse. So hold off on the personal trainer and find a counselor to talk things through with. When youre in a better space and ready to get regularly physical with others, Im sure your bestie will be there with a training and diet suited plan just for you.

Read the original here:
I gained weight during COVID, but my best friend got healthier. All she talks about anymore is diet and exercise. - Anchorage Daily News

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