On Her Side

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

A friend and I agreed to be diet buddies. I have about 20 maybe 30
pounds to lose. She has well over 100 and has a history of non-
compliance, but is now facing very serious health issues that she
swears have motivated her to change her ways. Since I figured I
would succeed faster than her on pretty much any program she would
choose, I allowed her to decide which of the multiple possibilities we
would pursue, as long as it included many servings of veggies and
fruits every day. We also agreed on alternate days to cook and share
entrees. Here’s the problem: No matter what she makes it always
includes more fat or some form of sweetener or something that is
antithetical to the program and success we agree. We agreed to do
this together for a month but honestly two weeks in I don’t find her a
reliable buddy. I want her to live and lose weight but I don’t know that
she’s capable of following rules. I want to keep her as a friend, but not
as a diet buddy. How can I tell her that?

On Her Side

Dear On Her Side:

This is a classic problem among people who claim to have similar goals
but do not. There’s also a simple solution. What you need to do is
invite her for tea, not at your house and not at her house. When you
get together ask her what her goals are for dieting. Then listen after
she answers be sure to listen and confirm that she’s being consistent
in her words if not in her actions. Then say very clearly, My goals of
the same but I want to not do the food trade because your
interpretation of the rules is looser than my timeline for weight loss.
Add in that you’re happy to continue an emotional support relationship
and also to listen to her tsoris about how hard it is to lose but make it
very clear that you want to follow rules.



In truth, a person with serious health issues and more than 100
pounds to lose needs to be under a doctor’s supervision, not choosing
her own program. Sure, unless people are under lock and key, it is
difficult to keep anyone from cheating. But generally speaking, a
doctor saying You are going to die unless you do X, Y, Z, it is far more
motivating than a friend.