Dear Ms. Etiquette,
Now that summer is just about over and the holidays will be here before you know it, I am looking at changes I plan to make. I know most people make resolutions after the New Year to lose weight, quit smoking or quit spending excessively, but why wait, I want to begin now. I think I have pretty good will power to do what I set my mind to, no problem. My question, however is for a friend of mine that is joining me on this quest. She is always fussing about her weight problem. Honestly, I don’t see a problem. Do you think it’s just jealously on my part? I mean she looks really great already. How can I tell if she is overly obsessed with her weight? Is it her or me?
– Friend’s Friend
Now don’t go off and get paranoid on me or I will be tempted to say that it is your problem. But here are a few clues on how you can tell if someone has a problem with weight related issues.
The constantly dieting friend–better known as your “on-the-side” friend. You know, dressing on the side, sauce on the side. She never orders anything straight off the menu. Now, not that you’re against diets or anything; you know those weeks when you want to fit into that killer dress and you go on a diet. Well, that’s not what I’m talking about. Her only conversation is about diets, calories, what she will or will not eat today, and on and on and on. She feels like you have an obligation to count calories before ordering or eating and makes a big deal of it in front of her girlfriends. Well boring! Tell her she needs to stop that and no one is obligated to counting calories when socializing with females. Tease her if you have to, or eventually, tell her more firmly to knock it off.
If her eating habits are really strange, you may want to talk to her about it more gently. The difference between someone who is merely diet obsessed and someone with an eating disorder is fear. A person with an anorexic spectrum will have very real anxiety about food and it’s usually palpable. The way she looks at food, the way she puts it on her fork in tiny amounts, the way she chews will all tell you that you’re not just dining with a dieter. You must tread very carefully here; eating disorders are complicated and serious. Ask your friend, in private, if everything is okay. Let her know that you’ve noticed she seems uncomfortable around food. If she seems open to the conversation you might offer her your help in the way of research. Maybe she hasn’t known where to get help and you could go online and look for a doctor in your area who deals with adults with eating disorders. You may also discover that she is well aware of her situation and all you’ll be able to do is offer your support. So you are not really off base here. It’s nice she has you as a friend and are so concerned about her. Well done, fabulous friend.
Some of the informational content was taken from “The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Grace under Pressure” by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh
Irma Wolcott is the owner of Fun With Etiquette. Call her at 956-492-4762 for more information. Website: www.funwithetiquette.com e-Mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org