Remember when we were kids, and being a Best Friend to someone was a very important role? And you could only have one BFF? A week or so ago, I was chatting with a friend about how friendships change over time. We talked about how as you age, you no longer have a “BFF” necessarily but you have a group of friends that serve different friendship needs. You have that person you call when you need to laugh, that person you call when you need to confide in someone, and that person you call when you need an honest opinion or perspective. My friend then informed me that I was the person she called when she needed someone to “go out and eat bad food” with her. Hmm…this made me laugh at first, but as I’ve thought more and more about it, that’s not really the type of friend I want to be to anyone.
So, over the course of the last week I have been paying more attention to my different friendships and this role I play. AND…there have been at least 3 or 4 times where I’ve been that person. The one I don’t want to be. It makes sense really. My name is Jen and I am an emotional eater. There…I said it. I eat to celebrate being happy, I eat to comfort myself when I’m sad, I eat to relax when I’m stressed, and I eat for just about every other emotion in the world! Sad, but true. I am not one of those people who is every so upset that I just can’t eat. Never happened…I love food! Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper would say that isn’t true, but that’s how I feel today so it is true today.
When someone wants to cheat on their diet, they call me. When they feel like having Pizza, they call me. And when they don’t want to eat the lunch they brought to work, they call me. When they have an ice cream craving…yep they call me. It’s not their fault…I’ve created this monster. But guess what…more often than not, I’m not sabotaging their diet. I’m sabotaging my own. Because eating is social and emotional for me, I immediately accept every request for dinner or lunch and get excited thinking of where we might go and what we might talk about. I have to change that. No more fatty food friend! I am going to be the person that says “I brought my lunch but maybe we can go for a walk on our break” OR “Instead of eating out, let’s volunteer or do something to make ourselves and our world better.” I am going to be a good friend to myself first, so that I can be a great friend to others.
I am a lot of things to the people in my life – I believe that I am the person people turn to for honesty – I believe that I am mostly positive and help others to find the silver lining in any situation – I believe that I try to encourage and lift up those around me rather than tear them down – I believe I am generous – I believe I am supportive – I believe I am caring and sympathetic – I believe I am strong – I believe I make others laugh – and I believe THOSE are the types of friends I want to be.