Before anyone thinks this is a body-shaming article, it's NOT.
It's about genuinely caring about the health of a close friend and deciding whether or not to tell her she should do something about her weight gain. And by something, I mean starting to follow a healthy diet -- quite the opposite of her diet to date.
Curves are great, they ooze sex appeal and a woman should be proud of them, but when a close friend is quite literally eating themselves to death via fast junk food, stress binge-eating and excessive drinking, then when does a friend step in and call a halt to the poor food decisions she's making?
The issues here are less about weight gain and body image and more about poor life and health decisions.
So I've got a friend. A really close friend in fact. We live together, we ride together and we will die together. Recently, she put on quite a bit of weight, more weight that she should in six weeks -- nearly a stone (14 pounds) to be exact.
We used to gym together a lot and prepare the same meals together, but recently she'd stopped going to the gym with me. She had gotten a new job, which in turn brought her a lot of stress.
It's a better paid job in a corporate firm where she wants to make a good first impression. That's understandable, right?
She's in the office until late most evenings and so she started coming home with takeout food, like pizza. On the weekend, she'd guzzle beer to relieve herself of what a stressful week it'd been, which caused the double-digit weight gain in just a six-week period.
Obviously, this caused her to be lethargic and moody, and she even lost a little spark of her bubbly personality. I know taking a new job can be life-changing in many positive ways, but this was not one of them.
I knew my friend was mildly depressed but also wanted to see the few months of her new job through, hoping things would slow down and life would get better.
I suggested a good session to sweat all the anger and anxiety out and even suggested going on weekend walks, but none of it was working.
Instead, I watched her glue herself to a laptop or phone emails with a bag of chips -- quite literally spiraling out of control.
She was so far past wanting to start eating healthy again and focusing on the positive aspects of life outside of work. She'd let work consume her and unfortunately her comfort was junk food.
She never directly asked me if I thought she had gained weight. Honestly, although we've been friends for 13 years, we had always maintained a healthy body weight and never had to ask each other that question in the past.
Also, I knew she was embarrassed that she'd let junk food consume her for longer than a Sunday hangover binge.
I decided to finally bite the bullet and subtly tell her although she was smashing work and doing really well in her career (you go girl!), her excessive and poor eating habits were worrying me.
She broke down crying, knowing I was right. She knew it too, but didn't know how to pull herself out of the vicious cycle she had gotten herself into.
The good news? The weight fell off as soon as she started eating healthy again, but honestly, that was beside the point. She was instantaneously more energetic and doing even better at work because of her newfound energy.
The whole thing taught me honesty is the best policy, and life is about balance. Everything in moderation.
Also, you can't be a friend to someone if you're not going to be upfront with them. That's what friends are for.