Tracy* and I went walking up the canyon tonight. It was part of a church activity, but we were a little more hard core (and less busy) than the other girls with us, so we went a little farther than they did, which meant we had some quality chat time.
Lately, Tracy has not been my favorite person (incidentally, this figure of speech is called a litotes and it’s a personal favorite, in case you were wondering and yes, I am just that big of a nerd). The reason: we went to dinner a while back and we were talking about running and I was telling her my average pace and she did one of these, “Oh! Oh. Oh…hmm.” Exactly. We had talked about going running together, but after that incident, I had no desire to run with her. I didn’t say anything to her because I knew she realized her error, but when she called me to see if I wanted to run with her, I just didn’t call her back. (Yep, sometimes I am seriously immature). So, being left alone with her tonight was not my idea of a good time (litotes, again).
Funny how less than ideal situations often turn into exactly what we need.
After discussing how our ward (Mormon equivalent of a congregation or parish) needs a little help. We then turned to fitness and food addiction. Yes, there was a segue, but that’s not the point. Eventually we came to the topic of how best to support someone who struggles with their weight. Tracy, while heavier than she has ever been, is a petite size 6 and very cute. She was talking about one of her friends and how she, her friend, struggles with her weight and isn’t happy, so Tracy will sometimes try and get her excited about exercising by inviting her to run a 5k with her.
I told Tracy that I didn’t think that was necessarily the best approach…
Me: (very politely, but direct) You have to understand that the last thing someone wants when they are struggling with eating and exercise is some skinny, little thing who has never really struggled with her weight, to come along and be patronizing. And, I have to admit that, even with as much as I run, I don’t know that I would ever want to go running with you. I mean, you are much faster than I am and I would hate to think I was slowing you down.
Tracy: (equally polite, equally direct and very sincere) Did it ever occur to you that I might be a little lonely and just want some company on a run? Sure, in a race, I like speed, but sometimes I just want to run with someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s fast or slow.
Anyone want to know what humble pie tastes like? About like that.
*name has been changed to protect the innocent
On my first impulse, I probably would have felt exactly like you did. I’m glad y’all cleared the air a bit. I’ve eaten lots of that good ol’ humble pie! 🙂
Jenny, you make some good points. I think it’s more specifically if I haven’t asked for help and I feel I’m being patronized…but those are probably my pride issues more than anything (kind of the point of the post…I have some issues). :-)It really is interesting how easily we get caught up in our own insecurities, rather than thinking of others’.
this is great.i always assumed that my runner friends would be horrified if i actually took them up on the offer to go running with them. but maybe every once in a while it’d be good for both of us. thanks for sharing this
I personally like it when my friends try to help me along,(and yes most of them are a size 8 or smaller.) It helps me feel like they really want me to be happy, and healthy. I am also very honest with them, and I have said how much I HATE running, so they don’t call me when that is what they are going to do for a workout. They call when they are going to the class at the gym that we all love, but kills to do. Or when they are going to run on the tredmill… we can do that together, because I will not be slowing them down if I choose to walk for half of it. I always tell my friends when I am beginning a huge life change, like trying to loose weight, or make some other major changes. If they are good friends they will encourage you along. I have a great friend who I love, and she has always struggled with weight, but she is maintained her goal weight for some time now (5 years)and she is my fav. person to talk to about my weight loss. She gives me the most support because she has been there. It helps me see that I can do it too!