Dear B. Scott,
My relationship with my best friend is amazing. We’ve known each other for 10 years and we’ve never had any major disagreements. We’ve always been able to be really open with each other from family issues to relationship drama, to work things. Lately I’ve noticed that she’s gained a little bit of weight. Okay, maybe more than a little bit. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a plus-sized woman, but I know in my heart that’s not what she wants. I’m afraid of hurting her feelings because I don’t want her to think that I think anything less of her as a person. I just want to make sure she’s aware of what’s happening from the outside.
Dear love muffin,
Addressing weight gain is a delicate situation. The best advice I can give is to not go into the situation assuming she’s unaware.
Trust me, if her clothes aren’t fitting the way they used to — she’s definitely aware.
As a friend, my first move in addressing her change in physical appearance on the outside would be to address what mental and/or emotional changes could be happening on the inside. Sudden weight gain is often a side-effect of a much larger issue. By making the conversation about something deeper than her physical appearance, it will help you ease into the weight issue without coming across as hurtful or judgmental.
Weight gain is an extremely sensitive and personal topic and it’s something that everyone battles with at some point in their life. I know that I’m a comfort eater myself — especially when I’m dealing with higher levels of stress.
Like I always say, make sure she understands everything you’re saying is coming from a place of love and concern. After all, you’ve been friends for 10 years. Good friends do their best to look out for each other. You can offer to do a fitness challenge together or to be her gym buddy, if she’s interested in making a lifestyle change.
There’s a chance that she isn’t ready to accept or discuss whatever’s causing her to gain weight, and that’s perfectly fine. At that point the only thing you can do is remain a friend and be there if/when she is (and maybe be a bit more conscious of healthier eating options for lunch dates).
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