There is a very good reason why all the weight loss guides suggest an exercise buddy or a dieting buddy or some variation of the buddy system. You will need support while you break up with your best frenemy, delicious fatty preservative filled foods. Just like a good friend keeps you from texting your lame ex, a good friend help you deal with a bad day sans Cherry Garcia. In some weird ways it feels like kicking an addiction. You constantly check to see if it has worked for anyone else, secretly doubt whether they are really happier for it, try it and realize it does feel better but keep relapsing. This is why a buddy is so helpful. They totally understand why you’re grumpy every time you drive past that place with amazing French fries, or the difficulty of finding a way to soothe your frazzled mood that doesn’t include calories. For all the inevitable undercurrents of competition and jealousy when they’re doing better than you, there is also an incredible degree of accountability and commiseration.
The really hard part is that it’s more like you both broke up with the same person. Unlike a real break up, where one of you has a somewhat logical and impartial view of the lame ex, you are both a little obsessed and unreasonably biased. You could probably spend hours talking about how hard it is not to just go make those brownies and eat the whole pan, how good and warm and chewy they are. Just like your friend who only remembers the good about their ex, it’s now your job to remind your buddy of all the bad things about all that food. Like that it betrays you the very next day, that all that Chinese food will leave you with indigestion and awake all night with heartburn, and that all those empty calories keep you so full you don’t eat the food (i.e. fruits and vegetables) that give you what you really need. For some people mottos like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” work. For me, that just makes me shove a whole bunch of cake in my mouth and say “oh yea, oh yea?”, so this is not entirely helpful. “Do you really want to eat that” evokes pretty much the exact same response. But reminders of the things I actually hate about delicious but unhealthy foods, things that affect how I feel rather than just what others see, stops me dead in my tracks.
In the end do whatever works for you and your buddy, just remember not to romanticize your crappy ex. It’s also important to make sure your buddy is someone who can effectively talk you down when you’re talking yourself out of doing the right thing, and that you can do the same for them.