I made a new year’s resolution to lose weight and get in shape. I do this same one every year but this year I can feel in my bones I’m going to do it. Last year presented me with several health problems that can be improved, or in some cases fixed, by just taking some weight off. My problem is that I could really use the help of my husband on this. If he’d go with me and conform to some new lifestyle changes it’d keep me on track. He’s in about the same shape as I am but he says he’s not interested in going to a gym. How can I get him motivated so that this journey is a little easier for me?
You can’t motivate someone if they do not already have the drive inside them. I could pump you up about exercise and weight loss because you have the desire for it, but if your husband really doesn’t care about that then there isn’t anything you can really do to instill that in him. You can try to sit down with him and honestly tell him your health requires that you do this and how it’d be easier for you if you had a buddy in it. You could also point out that this could be a relationship-building adventure where the two of you will be growing in the same direction instead of taking different paths. But again, if he’s not interested he’s just not going to be interested. It may be that it will take seeing you stick to it and show progress that instills the desire in him. Once he starts hearing people complimenting you on how much better you look he might turn to himself and feel like a slob and decide he needs to step it up too. Jealousy is often the best motivator.
You, Deborah, just can’t let your husband’s participation, or lack thereof, affect your journey either way. If your health has deteriorated and losing some weight will help you live longer and live better, then you must be focused on it for yourself regardless of his interaction. Do not let 2017 be like all the other years where you failed yourself. I know about this first hand. I was like you, always had in my head how I was going to be in shape by the next year, but I never was. Then I saw a picture of myself with a couple of people that I have always thought had “let themselves go”. I looked exactly like them. I couldn’t believe it because that wasn’t how I pictured myself at all, but it was what I looked like. So, that was my motivation and I started back to the gym where I’d been a member for years but only went sporadically. I made myself go three times a week without fail. Even when I had a cold or didn’t quite feel right, I still went. I may not have done much but I went. It took only a couple of months before I started to see real change. Then others started to see it and that kept me inspired. Now I go to the gym every day because I set a new goal for myself. But you don’t have to get that into it. Just set a rule that you will go three times a week and stick to it. I heard actor Dick Van Dyke interviewed on NPR last year and he talked about how, in his 90’s, he is still energetic, has his mind intact, and his body is strong for his age and he credited it with going to the gym every single day. He said that some days all he can do is get up, dress, drive there, go in, do one exercise and go home—but the act of following the routine and never skipping it has kept him going. If a 90 year old man can do that, Deborah from Alabama can too. It doesn’t matter what your husband does. Don’t fail yourself. You are counting on you and the best part about that is that you can be in complete control on whether or not you let you down. Keep me posted on your progress.
Candace has been my best friend since the 4th grade. Growing up we were like sisters. College we made sure to go to the same school so we could roommate together. She was my maid of honor at my wedding six years ago. Now she has announced that she is getting married, and she’s chosen a co-worker to be her matron of honor. I have been asked to be a bridesmaid. This isn’t sitting right with me. The co-worker and she are friends, I know. And I know that our lives have kind of separated a little bit since I got married and had my daughter. But I made her godmother to her! And it’s not like Candace and I see don’t each other. We get together usually about once a month. This co-worker friend did introduce Candance to her fiancé also. So I know that this isn’t just random. But I am her best friend! Her oldest friend. This has hurt me a little and I admit it. I have not said anything to Candace, nor do I think I should. But I am hurt by it. Do you think I have a right to be hurt by it or am I just overeacting?
I don’t think that you are overreacting but I also don’t think you have a right to be hurt and I’ll explain why. In your reality, your life-long best friend just chose a newbie to stand up with her when she gets married. In Candace’s reality, she just chose her best friend and constant companion to stand up with her when she gets married. You see, though Candace loves you and always will, you haven’t been a really relevant or interactive part of her life in at least six years. When we get married our old friendships we had as wild and crazy single people sort of stay preserved in a time-lock where we left off. Those people who were so important in our lives are always the way we left them in our minds when we move in with our spouses and start living in our married world. We don’t live in the “single people” lifestyle anymore, nor should we, and so we don’t witness how those people evolved and changed after us. When we see them again we see the same old people the same old way, but they aren’t actually. Time didn’t stand still for them after we left. They still date, still travel, still have random brunches on Sunday morning with their friends even if we aren’t a part of it anymore because we’re having Sunday’s with our spouses and married friends. Candace’s life went on without you. And though she always remains frozen in time as the best friend that you carve out some time for once a month, in her world she has a new best friend that she talks to everyday and confides in and probably double dated with. This co-worker’s boyfriend is probably rather good friends with Candace’s fiancé since the co-worker is the one who set them up. They are a foursome of friends and you are a face from the past that they’ve heard about but rarely seen. Candace still loves you and you are every bit as important to her overall life as you always have been, but her immediate reality is centered around these other people and their group and you just are not a part of that. And I am sure it goes the same way with you. If you are being truly honest, who is your best friend right now? I know you think its Candace, but a once-a-month lunch does not a best friend make. If you really examine things your actual best friend is probably another mom. Maybe a friend you made at your daughter’s school. Maybe your daughter’s best friend’s mom? Maybe a neighbor who comes over with her husband on game days and you two laugh and carry on and scream at the TV together. You gossip about the other neighbors in random texts. Who knows? But there is someone in your daily life that you share your life with and it isn’t actually Candace anymore. There isn’t anything wrong with that. It’s a natural progression. We should always strive to hold onto our friends, especially old ones, but sometimes we grow apart and don’t really see each other much. That doesn’t change the love we have. Nor does it change the fact that we would drop everything and run to them if they needed us. It just means that life expanded our horizons and we welcomed in new people who serve new needs as we move on. When we are 70 we will probably have another best friend whom we can’t even imagine now. Someone we brag about grandchildren with. Someone who comes to sit with us while we’re recovering from a knee surgery. Someone we take trips to Key West with. Life is going to trot new people through from time to time. Don’t be bitter if Candace moved on after you. She still had a life to live and hole left to fill where you had been. And this co-worker should be the maid of honor. She is her best friend now and the one responsible for her future since she brought the couple together. Accept the honor that was bestowed upon you as maid of honor and be proud to know that as long as you stay in her life, no one can ever hold the title of “her oldest friend” except you.
As we are entering a new era in politics and a new President takes office, I wanted to write a little something. This election was an ugly and disagreeable experience for all of us and for some it didn’t turn out the way we liked and for some it went just the way we wanted. But as we begin 2017 let’s begin it together. Let’s wipe the slate clean from our old animosities and walk forward under the knowledge that we are all Americans together. There are more commonalities between us than divide us and at our basic level we are all on each other’s side. Nothing can stop an American when another American stands with them. Let’s just get over our politics and start fresh. We can take new wrongs and argue them as they present themselves. We can fight the new fights that might come our way as they come our way. But let’s agree to let all the old ones go and at least try to have some faith in each other and our nation’s future. Nothing has broken America so far and that is because we always come together. Let 2017 begin that way.