Tag Archives: Friends

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 2

I can’t believe it has been a week since my last post.  I guess I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. Thanks for hanging with me anyway. This week I worked on eating most of my points for breakfast/lunch/snacks and then having a much lighter dinner.  I think it went really well.  The results of this week’s WW weigh-in:

Weekly Gain/Loss:  – 1.6 pounds

Total Gain/Loss:  – 5.0 pounds

At WW, they like to recognize lots of milestones on the road to your goal weight — 5% of your weight lost, 10% of your weight lost, 16 weeks of membership, and every 5 pounds you lose.  For me these milestones make up mini-goals to aim for along the way. So today, I hit my first baby goal — 5 pounds down!

My 5 pound star! The picture was much better on my phone. Fail.

The topic at the WW meeting this week was people who support/don’t support your weight loss efforts.  The leader mentioned something about a lot people being closet WWers — i.e. they don’t tell their friends and/or family that they are on WW or trying to make healthy lifestyle changes.  I was in the closet for a really, really long time with my weight loss challenges so this really struck a chord with me.

I’ve been trying to lose weight off and on since I was 16.  I have tried almost everything you can try: WW, Body-for-Life, the Grapefruit Diet, simple calorie counting, weight loss pills, etc.  (For the record, my greatest success came while on WW in 2008 – I lost 25 pounds.)  I used to be really secretive about my attempts to lose weight.  I think there are several reasons for this including that when I was young I didn’t want anyone to know that I truly struggled with food.  As a 16/17-year-old athlete, you would like to think that worrying about what you were eating wouldn’t be a huge issue, but for me it was.  (Ah, what I wouldn’t give to go back to that 145-pound svelte volleyball player/cheerleader…) I felt embarrassed and I felt like if I admitted that I was trying to lose weight then I was also admitting that I was fat.

As I got older, pride started coming into play in a way as well.  I thought that if I pretended my size didn’t bother me and that if I didn’t act like I thought I looked bad, then no one else would be bothered or think that I looked overweight.  For a while, this seemed to work.  In the few times I did tell people how much I weighed they always seemed surprised and I prided myself on carrying my weight well.

But eventually, as I got bigger and bigger, these coping and defense mechanisms stopped working for me.  And somehow (although I honestly can’t recall how), I ended up here,  putting my weight loss struggle out there for the whole internet to see.  The funny thing is, it isn’t really the whole world who is aware of it because of this blog. It’s my friends.  It is the people who I hold the closest to my heart that I have hidden my struggle from for so long who now know how hard it is for me sometimes.

The beautiful part is that by telling people how much being overweight sucks and how much I want to feel better physically and emotionally, I gave my friends the opportunity to show me love and support.  By sharing some of my most secret feelings, I have deepened my relationships and learned to appreciate how much the people who love me actually love me.  My family has always supported my weight loss efforts but now I have an even broader network of people who are willing to openly celebrate my successes and share in my struggles and split a salad with me after spin class.  I think that some/most of my friends have probably known for a long time that I was unhappy with my weight on some level, but now we can talk about it.  Now, they can help me in ways that I wasn’t open to before because I didn’t want to talk about it.  Being closed-off about my weight shut out my potentially biggest support base.

If I could go back maybe I would have shared more sooner, but maybe I wouldn’t have.  It took me ten years to get to this place and as difficult as it has been, it was also an important part of my process.  So today, I want to thank my friends for their continued love, support and encouragement.  You guys rock my world every day.

Is it difficult for you to open up to people about your weight struggles?  Who do you turn to for support?

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The Bermuda Triangle: The Pitfalls of Three-Way Friendships

First of all, get your mind out of the gutter!  I’m not talking about menage-a-trois scenarios.  I’m talking about a group of friends that involves three people.  Some famous trios if you will:

Monica, Rachel & Phoebe - Friends

Brenda, Kelly & Donna - Beverly Hills, 90210 (The Original, duh)

Cristina, Meredith, & Izzie - Grey's Anatomy

I have been in my fair share of trifecta friendships.  In fact, I’d argue that I have been in more than most.  I’m not sure if I have some naturally affinity towards trios or if things have naturally fallen into place that way.  However, I am sure of the fact that successfully functioning in a triangular relationship is a daily battle. Here’s why:

1.)  One Friend is always the one that brought the group together.

Me, Mrs. B, & Mrs. K2 at Mrs. B's Wedding on NYE 2008

I would say that in almost all trios there is one person that brought the group together.  I call this person the Common Denominator.  In the B-K-Me trifecta, Mrs. K2 was my little in ye ole sorority so we were very good friends.  Mrs. K2 was also very good friends with Mrs. B from high school.  (I also knew Mrs. B from high school but she thought I was mean… Don’t hold it against her, common misconception.)  One glorious summer, the three of us trekked to the Texas Hill Country to be camp counselors together.  And our trio was born.

There was however an incident.  It was rather intense.  Mrs. B and I had LOADS in common and happened to have the same free periods in our teaching schedules so we spent A LOT of spare time together at camp.  Mrs. K2 had different free periods.  (Can you see where this is going yet?)  There was an altercation. It was not pretty. I will spare you the gory tear-filled details.  The ultimate issue was — Mrs. K2 introduced Mrs. B and I and she felt that Mrs. B was her friend and I was her friend and at the time that she was being pushed out.  Which sort of leads me to the next issue…

2.)  One friend always feels left out.

Miss PoliSci, Miss H, & Me Circa August 2009

Feeling left out seems to be a common problem among groups of friends of any size.  But let me tell you, when there are only 3 of you, it is worse.  Much, much worse.  If for whatever reason, friends 1 and 2 are doing something without friend 3, you can guarantee that 3 is chock full of anxiety about what she’s missing and what they’re saying about her when she isn’t there.  (Get real, we all do it and don’t even try to lie about it.  Venting is a normal part of friendship and as long as no truly hateful things are said or felt, no harm, no foul, IMO.)

Imagine, if you can, the true difficulties of LIVING in a trio.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore Miss PoliSci and Miss H, but I am also confident that they would both tell you that there are times when trying to function in a trio is crazy hard, especially when it comes to including everyone all the time.  Perfect example — making plans.  Say Miss H and Miss PoliSci talk about going to see a movie but haven’t asked me about it yet.  As soon as it comes up in my presence I am bound to pop off something snarky about not yet having been asked.   And it isn’t just me.  I think there are times when they’ve also felt left out of the plan making process or some event or night out or whatever.  There are times when we can’t all be together and that’s okay, but that can also produce some feelings of exclusion and resentment.

3.)  It is almost inevitable that one or more friends feels closer to one member of the trio than the other.

Mrs. V, Mrs. Preppy, & Me at Law School Graduation May 2008

In law school, my closest friends were Mrs. Preppy and Mrs. V.  Mrs. Preppy and I were friends from about the third day of class (She told me she liked my skirt and asked if I wanted to car pool to happy hour. It was love.)  We became friends with Mrs. V later.  But there were times when I felt closer to Mrs. Preppy because of our mutual singleness on-and-off in law school and there were times when I felt closer to Mrs. V because of our generally dark and twisty propensities and the fact that we had every class together 2L year.  I am sure they felt closer to each other in the summer time because I always found a reason to not live in Norman.

I think feeling closer to one friend is probably natural and common but there were times when it made me feel uncomfortable/guilty/lonely/left out/irritable.  It played into the other issues related to the Bermuda triangle.  Maybe the reason I felt closer to one than the other sometimes had something to do with what wave length we were all on and how different we all really are.  I still feel this way in some of my other trifecta friendships.

4.)  If there is a falling out between two friends, the third friend is completely stuck in the middle.

Me, Miss PoliSci, & Miss Rose tailgatin' in 2008

I have been friends with Miss PoliSci and Miss Rose since 1995.  Literally.  We’ve been through varying stages of our relationships and our lives together.  Needless to say, when you’ve been friends for that long, fights happen. Big ones.  In 2008, I started the granddaddy (it was ugly) of them all with Miss Rose and poor Miss PoliSci was stranded in the middle.  To make matters worse, I was preparing to move in with Miss PoliSci and Miss H.  Miss Rose and I weren’t speaking.  It was uncomfortable on ten different levels for everyone.  And Miss PoliSci had to endure tirades and tears from both sides while maintaining her neutrality.  Fortunately, Miss Rose, being the fiercely loyal friend that she is, got me to talk things out, move forward and we are now much better for it.  I have been in the middle of a friend feud before too so I know how torn and frustrated Miss PoliSci must have felt.  Being caught in the middle is a total nightmare.  It is almost impossible not to pick sides and no matter what happens, someone always gets hurt.

Navigating three-person friendships is an emotional mine field.  What have I learned about managing them? Um, well…kind of hard to say. Here are three things that help me:

1) Toughen up — Your friends love you (duh) and would never intentionally exclude you (and if they would they aren’t your friends.)

2) Speak up — Being passive aggressive is lame in general but in a trifecta, you will never survive as Queen of the land of Passive Aggressiva (2 pts for anyone who knows where that expression came from!) .  If your feelings are hurt, tell your friends.  Keeping it inside will only hurt you and making passive aggressive comments makes you look like a total biotch.

3) Lighten up — Try to enjoy the fact that the three of you have so much in common and have such a great time together.  The rest is just crap.  (FYI, I am so not good at this.)

Are you in any triangle friendships?  How do you deal with their intricacies?  Or do they function the same as the rest of your friendships?

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What to Expect….

…NOT when you’re expecting, but just in general.  Lately I have had several conversations with various friends about expectations — both reasonable and unreasonable — that we put on ourselves, and more importantly the expectations that we have for other people.

(Side note: This post is not visually stimulating.  Nothing really seemed to fit. So you don’t feel like I completely failed you, click here for a tune to listen to while you read….)

As I have aged, I have come to realize that the things I expect either from my friends or from our relationships are not necessarily the same as the expectations they have for themselves or our relationship. I have become more and more disappointed/frustrated with them in the past few years. That’s not to say I don’t adore my friends, I really do, but sometimes I feel like they are out of their minds or don’t get me or don’t care or are inconsiderate. I feel disenchanted with them sometimes and it makes me mad/sad. (Smad?)

Recently, Miss Rose told me (and it broke my heart) that she feels like she really can’t count on the people in her life the way she always thought she could.  I think this realization came over time and was a difficult one for her to swallow because for Miss Rose loyalty and dependability are MAJOR when it comes to her friends/family. (And for the record, she is probably the most loyal person I have ever met. Even when I, err, don’t exactly deserve it…) As much as I hurt for her feeling that way, it was sort of comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels disappointed in the people I love from time to time.

But the expectations issue still begs the question: is it them or is it me? Well, as much as I would LOVE to blame it all on them (because clearly I am the best, most wonderful/thoughtful/perfect friend anyone could ever ask for), I know that there’s more to it than that.  Maybe what I expect is too much.  Maybe I’m trying to turn these pretty great people (who seem willing to put up with me) into people they just aren’t. And maybe that’s not fair.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t have ANY expectations for my friends.  I am not a doormat and I am not going to tolerate “friends” who treat me like crap — these are total frenemies, but that is a topic for another day. I expect my friends to be honest (relatively of course, you don’t have to actually tell me if my pants make my butt look big — trust me, I already know) and kind and loving. I expect my friends to have integrity and to be loyal and to remember my birthday. But other than that, should I really have a bunch of expectations for them?

I tend to get all wound up in knots when I try to set expectations and standards for my friends that maybe they don’t set for themselves.  Examples of my possibly unreasonable expectations:

1) I get mad to no end when I have to wait on people — if I’m ready on time, you should be too.

2) I am inflexible with plans. If we said we were going to do X or go to Y, that is what I expect us to do. Changing it up on the fly gets me all in a tizzy. What can I say, I get nervous or something. Maybe I have some undiagnosed social anxiety. Plus, I’m a total control freak so anything changing at the last-minute gets under my skin.

3) I expect my friends to be what I want them to be. You know, I want them to agree with me when I rant about some grave injustice that has occurred in my life. Or tell me that so-n-so was totally wrong and I am completely justified in being pissed. Or assure me that some boy will call or that I shouldn’t want him to.  Basically, I like it when you tell me what I want to hear.  But at the same time, I don’t necessarily give the same lip service in turn to my friends. Wow, I think I just called myself a hypocrite. Ick.

The point is expecting other people to behave a certain way or say or do a certain thing is a one-way ticket to Les Miserables.  I’ve been trying to stop expecting people to be what I want them to be and to start just letting them be who they are.  That’s not to say that who they are isn’t ever going to drive me nuts because let’s be honest, it might.  But if who they are/the way they behave makes me crazy, that’s on them. I have wasted too many hours and too many energy on lamenting about how someone disappointed or annoyed or frustrated me because they didn’t meet the expectations I arbitrarily set for them without their consent.  It really isn’t fair to them. And it isn’t worth my time.

So my expectations are evolving. And I’m thinking more about how I behave as a friend. And the things I do.  And the expectations I can reasonably set for myself. I figure, if I do what I say I will, that’s the best I can do.  And with everyone else, I’m trying to just let them be…

Do you set unreasonable or unfair expectations for your friends and family? Or yourself? How do you manage your frustrations with your friends?

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