Lent 2014-22: We All Have That “One” Friend….

…. you know the one I’m talking about.  The person who is fit beyond reason.  The person who has an ounce of body fat on them.  The person who plans and preps their meals on Sunday and then eats “clean” all week long.  This person spends hours in the gym working out and usually comes across as arrogant and judgmental.  They have an opinion about your body and they are not afraid to share it with you.  I don’t like this person.  

About six years ago I met this person.  We are about as opposite as we could get.  He looks forward to a night pumping iron and flexing his muscles and I look forward to a night of pot roast and a good book.  But we somehow managed to forge a friendship and shared a fondness for each other.  (I feel like I should also mention that when I say he is “that” guy, he really is “that” guy.  He is in great shape, he has a beautiful family, lives in a beautiful house, goes on fantastic vacations, and you generally just want to punch him in the throat and say, “Enough already”.)  I think we became friends because we worked on the same team and both spoke our minds.  If one of us had an opinion, you were going to know about it.  I think we respected that authenticity in each other.  That’s not to say that we didn’t both cross that line at times.  As if turns out, you don’t actually have to say everything you’re thinking every time you’re thinking it.  Huh!  So, we both had a lot of room for personal growth.  But isn’t that one of the best parts of friendship, being able to watch your friends grow?  

Over the years that I have known him, I have had the opportunity to see growth in him, and I am proud to call him my friend.  He doesn’t always say things in the right or most delicate way, and he doesn’t have much time for sugar coating things (in fact, he would probably judge you for putting sugar on your words, empty calories and all), but his message is always one of good intentions.  He genuinely wants people to be as healthy as they can be so that they can reap the rewards that a healthy lifestyle has to offer.  He has been criticized by many who say that he “fat shames” and maybe he does at times.  But let’s be honest, if you’re overweight and someone mentions it, no matter how delicate they are about the subject, you’re probably going to get defensive.  And that’s normal, especially if you are someone who struggles with your weight, you usually want to pretend that no one else notices it.  But if he does mention it, it is because he wants to help you change it, if that is what you want.  

I was reading a blog today by Dances With Fat.  The purpose of her blog is to increase size acceptance and to let people know that you can be healthy at any size, not just a size six.  One of her posts is called, The Penguin Principle (you should read it, it’s short and sweet).  She ends the post with this quote:
“To me the core of activism is to live from a perspective that works for you and share that perspective with others authentically and without any obligation.  They can take it or leave it – as long as they know that it’s an option, we’ve done our job.  We can never change someone’s mind – they have to do that, it being their mind and all –  but we may be able to expand it with a new idea, a new perspective, a new option and that is powerful.”

As I read this, I realized that this is what my friend is doing.  Hate him if you will, but he is simply giving people another option.  We sometimes get so stuck in our ways that we forget that another way is possible.  We pave a way through the forest of life and decide that our chiseled path is easier than cutting a new path through the brush and overhanging branches.  We become complacent in the lives that we are living and we forget that there is another way, that there are options.  So while he may be brash at times, I am glad that he is my friend and that he is here to remind me that I do have options, whether I choose them or not.  

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ruddyruminations
    Mar 29, 2014 @ 14:11:15

    I like this- I am what people might call a ‘health nut’ but for me it stems from wholly health reasons. I want to be able to share my thoughts with people, but it seems hard to accomplish without offending people. Watching my mother suffer from an autoimmune disease, and then watching her change her life with diet and exercise had a huge impact on my life. Strength, health and happiness always came hand in hand for me. It’s nice to see how open minded you are.


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