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My friend in the weight loss group

Published: July 5, 2016 | Last Updated: July 5, 2016 By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
A woman regrets the split-second decision she made in front of her weight loss group.


Hi Irene:

I am in a weight loss group and have kept my weight off for over 18 years. At a recent yearly convention for this group, a new member attended. She has Parkinson’s and said she often uses a cane to walk. She decided to wear tall heels.

It was less than 15 minutes before I was to receive an award for maintaining my weight when a person approached our table and said there was a woman in the outside hall asking for me. I found the ‘friend’ on a bench. She told me she had fallen. She had not broken any bones or sprains. The hotel staff showed up with a wheel chair to take her to the room. She then asked me to come with her. I said, “I’m sorry, but no.”

I felt terrible and was shamed by one of the other members for not going with her while other members supported me. I still feel bad. Help! And thanks~



Hi Rita,

Congratulations on keeping the weight off and being recognized for it by your group. I’m sure it’s inspirational to others.

By using quotation marks around “friend,” it suggests that this woman is more of an acquaintance than a close friend. Yet, she must have felt somewhat close to you (maybe closer than you felt towards her) to summon you after the fall.

You haven’t mentioned whether you checked in on her afterwards. Since you were being recognized and felt like she was being taken care of by hotel staff, you could have told her you would come to her room when you were done. Perhaps, in the excitement, you neglected to do that.

Don’t beat yourself up over this or allow one of the other members to shame you. You can best straighten out the situation and assuage your guilt by explaining your side of the story, letting the “friend” know that are sorry she fell, and hope that she’s doing okay.

As you suggest, it doesn’t seem prudent to wear high heels if you use a cane but I would just leave that unsaid.

Best, Irene

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Category: Communication, RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (7)

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  1. PeachPie says:

    So, someone you barely know asked you to baby her when she didn’t need it, which would cause you to miss getting an award you’ve worked for eighteen years to earn and had travelled for. You said no, but went up to check on her later. Sounds quite reasonable and fair to me. Listen, you didn’t do a damn thing wrong, but I can name two people who did.

    First, wow, what a selfish request. But perhaps she was shaken up after her fall and not thinking straight.

    Second, the woman who shamed you. I wondered if she was jealous of your weight loss award and just couldn’t pass up the chance to take a public swipe at you. If she was worried about it enough to open her big yap, why didn’t she offer to go with the woman who had fallen?

    I’m so glad you didn’t allow a toxic bigmouth to deprive you of your much deserved recognition. Congrats!

  2. Cheryl (Rita) says:

    The purpose of the convention was to honor those who had worked hard to keep off their weight. it is a yearly statewide event, something we all look forward to. The lady asked me to go up to the room with her 15 minutes before I was to be acknowledged on the stage – and she was fully aware of this. I was sharing a room with this woman plus 2 others. I DID go up to the room immediately after the program and apologized much one of the other members, who shamed me, (but refused to go up herself), chastised me for it. What bothers me if that this woman knew I was just about to be honored on stage after working hard for 18 years to keep my weight off – plus I was expected to help a lady with dementia who was beside me during the program. I felt as if I was placed in a no-win situation. I felt so bad about this that the whole event was ruined for me. The next day the lady was walking around like nothing had happened. Maybe I seem selfish but this is one of the only selfish things I’ve done in my life. I have a hard time believing that I should have gone up to the room to watch her sleep rather than receive an award I worked hard for and deserved. How do you deal with a no-win situation like that?

  3. Tracy says:

    it’s just context Mary. Explaining why poster was getting an award

  4. Sheryl says:

    Sometimes we do things in the moment without thinking about the repercussions. I’m sorry this happened, and I guess the lesson is learned for the future. Good advice as always, Irene.

  5. LauraSL says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You were likely distracted and/or nervous about receiving your award. I would call her to apologize and to check on how she’s doing.

  6. Amy F says:

    This doesn’t sound like someone you consider a friend or treat like one. You wrote “friend” and it sounds like you don’t even trust that this woman even needs a cane. I would have done as you, accepted the award and then gone to check on my friend. I use a cane and wore high heels to a class reunion once. One of the most foolish things I’ve ever done. My feet killed me and I couldn’t walk more than a few steps without almost falling. I thought I was going to break my neck. But I looked great. I ended up taking them off after about 20 minutes and going barefoot. Live and learn.

  7. Mary says:

    Irene said what I was thinking. As an aside, I don’t see how that group being weight loss related has any bearing on the situation.

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