Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peer Pressure and Living a Healthy Lifestyle

I truly believe that when you make a decision, you will be tested in some way--not in a malicious way, just to make sure you are resolute in your choice. I also feel that making a choice and truly sticking to it for an extended period of time can be one of the most life changing experiences you can have. Even if it is as simple as pray every day or write every day for 90 months, it can change you. I've seen it happen. I've seen long term commitment to simple choices change people. There is a freedom and promise in discipline. It shows us what we are truly capable of.

Lately, I've been feeling really empowered because I have been working out consistently for a month. Last week I got my diet in order, and I have seen amazing results. I fell down in the past but I got back up, and I've made some significant changes to help me succeed this time.

Yesterday, my friend, who recently found out her boyfriend has cancer, asked me to have a Girl's Night Out. She is being an amazing girlfriend and totally supportive of him and this life-altering struggle for his health. This also so happens to be a friend that constantly stands me up, or will be almost an hour late; not call until she is a half hour late; lie about the time she left or how close she is to the destination.

Last week we were supposed to get together to cook healthy meals and divvy them out--our own version of Nutri-System...well we were making real food, so let's say Diet-to-Go (which I will be trying and reviewing here in August). After I've called several times, the time came when we were supposed to meet, and I could not get in contact with her. A half hour later, I get a text apologizing saying she was sleep. I responded (in hindsight, passive-aggressively)- "I'm used to it, some other time." She sent another text apologizing to which I didn't respond. Two days later, I decided to put my feelings aside and check on her because I know she is having an incredibly hard time, so I gave her a quick call and we chatted.

So when she asked me to hang out, I was hesitant. I asked her what she meant by a "Girl's Night Out" and she said: "You know, get dressed up, go to a club or lounge, let loose." All this was via text message, so I told her to call me. When we spoke, I told her I would like to hang out, but I can't go to an alcohol centered venue. I know myself, and at this point I will fall into the temptation if I go to a club or lounge. I really don't want to derail my diet since I am doing so well. I also expressed my concerns about her time management skills after which she said "Nevermind then."

Me: "So since I spoke up you don't want to hang out?"
Her: "Well you have all these stipulations about what you will and won't do, and I wan't to hang out and not worry about calories and drinks--so nevermind."
Me: "Ookay then"

Later on, I sent her a text of relaxing alternatives (yoga, roller-skating, salsa lessons) to which I received no response. Hours later, when I get off work, I check my phone to see a flurry of text messages:

"I know your time is valuable. I just needed a friend on Friday and you couldn't see past your anger. Then I tell you I want to go out and get away from my trouble and the first thing you say is all this things you don't want to do. What about what I may need. You are sticking to your diet and I respect that but it's not on the top of my list."

Well...it's on the top of MY list....and my list is important too.

Which is basically what I told her when I responded in my text (Did I mention I HATE having serious convos over text? Which she knows...). I don't feel like I am being a bad friend for stating my boundaries. I don't want to be around alcohol. If that's your goal, then I am not the friend for that, ask somebody else. For a second, I thought about giving in. I said to myself, "Aw, she just really needs this night to go out and let loose." I quickly scratched that idea because (1) I just can't lose my focus at this point (which is why I offered healthier alternatives) and (2) a true friend who respected my decisions would...respect my decisions!

Talk about pressure!!

What would you do in this situation? Should I have went out with her anyways considering the situation and battle temptation or am I right to stick to my decision?


rashad said...

I would have trusted my ability to exercise restraint, and gone out with her, since she really needed it..and then while I was out, I'd tell her this was the last time. but i wouldn't drink though

Never200 said...

Well, Rashad, I don't trust my ability at this point. I tried to compromise...