My friend’s obesity is the elephant in the room I’m scared to mention it in case it ruins our friendship – Telegraph.co.uk


Posted: February 24, 2020 at 4:48 pm

Im watching my friend, Sally, on the dance floor. Were at a friends 40th in a local hotel. Shes so full of vitality and charisma, throwing back her head with laughter and strutting her stuff. Everyone around her is joining in. Theyre all having a ball.

But I notice that other people around the edge of the room, who perhaps dont know her so well, are giving her sideways glances, with a mixture of amusement and faint disgust. One of them even sniggers and rolls her eyes at her husband.

I feel boiling anger inside but, at the same time, frustration and fear for one of my best friends who Ive known since I was 11 and love to pieces.

Sally is funny, talented, charming and very, very clever. Shes a CEOwho juggles a huge work load,raises three lovely kids and a gently manages a stressed-out husband who works abroad a lot. Shes a fantastic artist and singer with a million friends and a very busy life. But, weirdly, shes also massively obese.

I mean, not just overweight, but morbidly heavy. Even more weirdly, we never, ever talk about it.

She was always a bit chubby when we were at school together but as shes got older, her weight has dangerously spiralled and I dont know what to do.

When our group of friends goes out, she is literally and metaphorically the elephant in the room. She doesnt seem to eat more than the rest of us, I can only assume she binge eats at home. She likes her wine as well, but not a huge amount Ive never seen her really drunk.

Shes already had one terrifying attack of pancreatitis (which doctors said may be due to overeating and drinking) which was nearly fatal. I suspect shes diabetic, though shes never said anything, and Im terrified of her dying early.

Shes so dynamic and energetic in some ways, but she can barely walk down the road without getting out of breath. Shes only 45 but she looks at least 10 years older. Shes like family to me and I cant bear it.

Ive always been slim, and jokingly she calls me skinny and laughs about the need to fatten me up, but Im not really, Im just normal.

Shes such an intelligent woman, she must know how bad its getting. I don't understand why she doesnt do anything about it. Her husband doesnt seem to see it and calls her beautiful, but this is seriously wrecking her health.

I dont think Sally would take it at all well if I mentioned it and Im scared it would damage our friendship. I absolutely dont give a damn about how she looks. Her sharp wit, kind heart and sense of fun is what I love.

But Im genuinely terrified that one day, the phone will ring and itll will be someone telling me she's had a fatal heart attack.

I know eating and weight gain is complicated. I know that its rarely to do with just loving food or being greedy.

It makes me so sad that Sally might be hiding some horrible emotional problems or abuse of some sort and is self-medicating with food. Im trying to find the courage and the words to talk to her about it.

I think, now, it would be utterly selfish of me not to.

Do you have advice for our writer, or know anyone who has been through something similar? Let us know in the comments section below.

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My friend's obesity is the elephant in the room I'm scared to mention it in case it ruins our friendship - Telegraph.co.uk

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