Helpful friend dilemma


I'd welcome some advice please. I've just started this plan - with GP approval - to lose weight, as part of an approach to getting over a bad back I've suffered with for the last 6 months. It's made walking etc really difficult and become a vicious circle. So I'm concentrating on food initially with stretching, gentle stuff - and then adding in extra things as I go along with the goal of being able to go back to the gym, dig my own garden etc.

So far so good - I've lost 3kg in 3 weeks and started war on the dandelions in my lawn! 

But a new friend (i.e. someone I've met half a dozen times) is now wanting quite desperately to "help" me. She openly admits it's to help her too. She's about to tell her husband she wants a divorce and is dreading the whole thing and is - naturally - stressed and needy. 

I think I need to say no as I have to do this my way and she's already suggesting we exercise together to suit her schedule not mine and is devising a "regime" for me. Plus I simply can't become an emotional crutch for her - I've done that before for a really close friend and it's tough. But she's a nice woman going through a difficult time so how do I handle this?  

Suggestions welcome - btw she only live 75m away from me in a rural community....


3 Replies

  • Hi Sue, I know how you feel with the whole pain thing and I think you really do need to find a way to do things in your own time! Maybe you could gently say that you are sorting things out with your gp and can only do what they approve but maybe she would like to meet regularly for a coffee, maybe once a week/fortnight so she could keep you updated on how she is getting on and swap some motivational ideas?

    Hope you find a way xx

  • Thanks Miggis

    I've tried gently saying I need to try things out and see what I can do but she doesn't seem to be into listening at the moment....I get the impression she thinks it far easier to fix me than sort herself out (but isn't that always the way). 

    I might just try the "GP consent" way next....


  • Hi susiepet. Well done for losing the 3kg and hope that as you gently introduce more exercise you can really get back to full strength after your bad back. The issue with your friend is a tough one. My first impressions are that she is obviously putting all her energy into 'helping' you to distract herself from her issues with her husband and maybe without her husband to look after she needs another person to take care of. Should that person be you? Sometimes once you start something when you have reservations at the beginning you know its not going to work. So maybe stick with your instinct and keep her at a distance. Do your own thing with the exercise so you can go at your own pace. I always believe honesty is the best policy and as you appear to live close to each other it would be difficult to give any made up excuse. I know she is going through a difficult time so you could offer to be there for her for a chat when she needs it but be honest and say you really want to do the exercise your way and when you feel you want to do it. Not sure if that helps at all but good luck :)

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