I have a friend who has a serious weight problem, and in my opinion has an eating disorder. Actually, it’s more than just an opinion, in addition to my own observations, she’s shared with me that she thinks she has an eating disorder and she even went with me to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting once. But, she doesn’t seem to actually want to get better. She’s stuck in the food and getting out of it seems to be scarier than staying in it.

I’ve talked about her before, and I hate to say it, but I feel at bit uncomfortable around her regarding food now. A few years ago we both started food blogs within a month of each other. I stopped food blogging when I started this diet. It was too counter productive. Now, the way I cook is totally different. We don’t have that in common right now.

I’m also uncomfortable because my “diet” worked and I’m 36 pounds lighter than I was last spring and she sees that. It’s hard to avoid noticing. I imagine she’s frustrated that this diet she told me was crazy and impossible worked for me.

We don’t exchange gifts with each other at the holidays but our daughters do. They were friends in pre-school and kindergarten (although are now at different schools) and we’ve kept the relationship alive. But, in years past we’ve exchanged food gifts. She makes a tray of baklava and gives us a tin. I make a tray of pralines and give them a tin. This year, we talked about the gifts the girls would exchange and set a limit on them. It was a relief.

Then I made an assumption: that since we limited the gifts the girls would exchange and since she knows I am on this diet (and my husband too) that we weren’t exchanging anything else.

I was wrong and when she showed up at my house this morning to drop off my daughter’s gift she gave me a tin filled with homemade candy. I confess I was kind of stunned.

I rolled with it as graciously as I could, telling her how happy my husband would be to see the peppermint bark since I had given some to the kids teachers and not saved any for him (when in reality he was sad but grateful I’d saved him from himself). Then I praised her skill at making the candies and negatively compared my own skills and final product to hers.

But in my head I was thinking, “Shit, why did you give this to me? I don’t want this in my house!”

After she left I opened each compartment of the fancy tin to see what each contained: peppermint bark, caramels, and sugared pecans. I shook my head and thought to myself that it all looked delicious but that none of it seemed all that tempting, except in an abstract sort of way.

Now, I’m thinking along the lines of, “Who can I re-gift this to?”

The funny thing is I’m drawing a blank.

I want to chalk this up to her attempting to be nice and just not believing that I’ve made a permanent change. I mean, that would be logical, wouldn’t it? How frequently do people really make permanent changes to improve their eating habits and never “cheat” especially during the holidays? And how many short lived and unsuccessful attempts to lose weight has she witnessed me try in the almost five years I’ve known her? More than a few.

What she can’t know is that in my mind and in my heart this time feels different. This time is different: I don’t have any desire to cheat.

Yes, I’m still looking for ways to get some treats while still sticking within the parameters of the diet, like the pumpkin custard (I’m brainstorming a chocolate mouse style Dukan allowed custard and a lemon one too!). But I’m not looking to go back to how it was before.

How it was before hurt me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

My sanity is more important than any food.

So, for today, I’m looking to her gesture as kindness not fault. She is my friend, after all. But I am looking to myself to rise above the temptation and move on.

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