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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My friend and i have been going to aqua exercise classes together

Customer Question

My friend and i have been going to aqua exercise classes together and I have been losing weight slowly but surely by changing my bad eating habits into healthy habits. The minute my friend found out that I had lost 5kg's she has become competitive and started dieting drastically and keeps telling me every few days how much weight she is now losing and asks me my weight. I have told her i don't weigh myself often as i don't want to be focussed on the scale but on lifestyle habits. She however continues to talk about her weight losses. This is stressing me out as I feel like I am under pressure to lose weight now and i didn't want this to be about competition but about making changes and my own lifestyle eating choices. How do i cope with my feelings of annoyance each time she continually keeps on telling me her weight losses? I am confused about my own feelings as I don't know if I am just annoyed, irritated, or envious of her losing weight so quickly. Once she found out i had lost 5kg's over the last 5 months. She immediately went into diet mode and rubs it in that she has lost 4kg in 3 weeks! When she first asked me my weight she was horrified to find out that i weighed less than her and that is when she went all out to get her weight lower than mine... however she somehow forgets that I am 4cm taller than her! what does one do to avoid this whole dieting competitive trap? Since this has happened I find myself not focussed on my original goals of changing eating habits but on having to lose weight now! Help me please as i don't want to sabotage my eating habits by having to "diet" ...not sure why I am reacting in this way? I now wish i had not told her how much weight I had lost over the last 5 months, but felt I had to tell her when she kept asking me if I was losing weight. About a year ago we started a diet together which also became too competitive and on one occasion she had a temper tantrum when I had lost weight and she had gained weight...after that I stopped the weighing with her as I realised it was not a healthy situation to be in.Now it feels like the whole dieting competition is back on again which is exactly what i didnt want.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 6 years ago.

NormanM :

Hello, I'm Norman. Are you ready to chat?

NormanM :

Just type when you are ready.

NormanM :

I see that you are still offline, so I'm going to switch this to Question and Answer mode, and leave a reply ready for your return.

Expert:  Norman M. replied 6 years ago.
It looks a little bit as if you sometimes have problems standing up for yourself.

First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on your weight loss achievements - an ask you to bear in mind that weight which is lost too quickly simply piles back on again. Your friend is being very silly, and eventually it will catch up with her. So don't be jealous - she is just digging a hole for herself! You on the other hand, have got it right.

Really, I think what would work with her is simply to tell her that what weight you have lost is information just for you, and you are NOT going to share it. You don't have to give reasons - just a plain simple NO.

I'd like you to use this tool:

This Bill of Rights was one of the tools used by Virginia Satir, a well-known family therapist. Containing some really basic psychological rights belonging to every person, it really helps to identify and deal with areas in which we have problems.

Read the statements. Note down any immediate thoughts or feelings that come to you. Look at yourself in a mirror and read it out loud to yourself. Listen to your voice grow in strength and volume so that you can really start to feel it inside. In the beginning, you may feel silly or embarrassed. You may hear the inner voice say, "That's not the truth". Just hang in there and keep doing it - you'll notice the change within six weeks, if you do it regularly.

1. I do not have to feel guilty just because someone else does not like what I do, say, think or feel.

2. It is OK for me to feel angry and to express it in responsible ways.

3. I do not have to assume full responsibility for making decisions, particularly where others share responsibility for making the decisions.

4. 4. I have the right to say "I don't understand" without feeling stupid or guilty.

5. I have the right to say NO.

6. I have the right to say No without feeling guilty.

7. I do not have to apologize or give reasons when I say NO.

8. I have the right to refuse requests which others make of me.

9. I have the right to tell others when I think they are manipulating, conning, or treating me unfairly.

10. I have the right to refuse additional responsibilities without feeling guilty.

11. I have a right to tell others when their behaviour annoys me.

12. I do not have to compromise my personal integrity.

13. I have a right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. I have a right to be wrong.

14. I do not have to be liked, admired, or respected by everyone for everything I do.

Don't be bullied by her - just say No! I do not discuss my weight loss now - it's part of my plan. Please do NOT fall into the trap of trying to compete - it will simply undo all the great work you have done so far.