I was thinking this week on the topic of friendships, what constitutes a good friendship, and what the balance really is between telling a friend how it is (for their good) and putting them down.  Where is the line between healthy competition between genuine friends and then competition where one seeks to sabatoge the other’s success?

What is a frenemy?  It is a difficult definition for sure… and I’ve honestly never wanted to keep such an oxymoron in my life.  Some may say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” but I’ve found that philosophy to be a set up for back-stabbing and major disappointment.  A person who desires, or who constantly plays the role, of being your “enemy,” really has no valid place in your life right now, and certainly not in your future.  I’ve always held the position that “frenemies” should also see the door as soon as possible in one’s life.

What is a friend?

Someone who supports you in life, who is there for you.  Someone who is joyful when they see you celebrating a real success in your life.  I recently had a close friend try to shame me for posting on social media (and here on my personal blog) about my journey in weight loss after the baby, trying to teach other women how it can be done, to encourage them to not gain over the recommended weight from the doctors, and to provide my personal workout routine and advice for how I was able to lose the weight… twice!  Instead of being happy for me like most of my other friends, this girl felt upset when she saw my post… instead of sharing in my joy, she felt negative feelings inside that were her own.  “It doesn’t help” to see someone lose it fast,” she said, and insinuated that I’m shaming the women who can’t lose the baby weight for whatever reason.  We talked about it for about an hour, and eventually I learned her insecurity over my success was coming from her mother telling her growing up that she and her sister were the reasons she had excess weight – that having children ruined her body forever.  She was viewing my success through a lens of fear & scarcity mentality, a false premise that people can’t control what happens to their bodies regarding pregnancy weight gain/loss.  The truth is that we can control the majority of what happens to our bodies, pregnancy or otherwise.  We control what we eat, if we are eating the correct foods that our bodies react well to, how much we gain, and even our hormones can be controlled when they are out of whack.  We control how much weight we gain in pregnancy, and we control if we decide to exercise during it or not.  We control how fast we lose the weight afterwards, and in no small part, that is directly related to how we treated our bodies during the pregnancy as well.

There does need to be caution that we aren’t causing people to stumble, but losing baby weight after a pregnancy is something most people are proud of, and rightfully so!  It is hard work, and takes dedication through either having a very healthy-minded pregnancy, making sure your body is staying strong, or doing the hard work of getting back in shape afterwards.  I already know what I’m going to do for my next pregnancy in regards to controlling my weight and strength and health in general.  With each pregnancy it gets easier because I have more knowledge of what works for my body, and how my body responds.  I’m able to draw up a plan in my mind of how I’m going to better deal with the difficulties next time, because each time I learn something new.

A big part of my success in things like losing the baby weight, or parenting kindly or gently, is making sure I surround myself with friends who are supportive of my goals, and with me in my journey of life.  I learn from other mommy friends what worked for them, or we share how hard pregnancy is – how hard it is to just get yourself off the couch, let alone try to go for a walk or a run!  One mommy friend I have was running regularly up until the very day that she went into labor – and hearing her share that success, filled me with awe and joy for her!  Her success motivated and inspired my own success.  That is a good friendship.

When it comes down to it, we all have to make critical decisions of who we really want to hold close in our lives.  Do you want that person to be close, who cannot share joy when you lose your baby weight fast?  Or who makes rude comments about your furniture mismatching in your house, and then turns around and pretends that she is Miss Etiquette and tries to teach you how to behave when you’re her guest?  Do you really want someone that two-faced close to your heart, where they can conveniently stab it?

My answer is always no.

Friends are not your enemies, and they never should be.

10 thoughts on “Frenemies

  1. That is excellent advice. I had some friends when I was young who dumped me because I would not do what they wanted. I was young, but I let them go and never regreted it.Like I have said before, I am mostly a family guy and have no friends, but I am content.

    Your advice makes lots of sense.

  2. I cherish having friends, to me they are just as great as family!!! But I think sometimes I try to hold on to people who don’t care about me the same way, or I naively think they do and then find out that they just didn’t. Bottom line though, you teach people how to treat you, what you will put up with. I forgot to add that the definition for a ‘frenemy’ is

    “An enemy who disguises themselves as a friend.”

    Enough said!

  3. “Do you really want someone that two-faced close to your heart, where they can conveniently stab it?”

    The answer should be obvious 🙂 Unless, of course, you’re one of those people who either enjoys the toxic competition, or feels sorry for the fake friend and wants to help them.

    That reminds me of Death Becomes Her, the funniest greatest comedy about frenemies (and zombies).

  4. Just wanted to share a different perspective on the baby weight thing.
    I feel that I lost my baby weight too fast after my second child. (I say “baby weight”, but really it was “too much food” weight.)
    When I breastfeed I just get really hungry, and at the time I didn’t know much about which foods I should be eating, so this resulted in some significant weight gain.
    I started getting healthy when by second child was about 8 months old, and by the time he was 10 months, he had more or less self-weaned from breastfeeding.
    In hindsight, I’m sure this was because my cutting down on food drastically reduced my milk supply.
    My goal had been to breastfeed him for 18 months.
    I wish I had just accepted my weight for a bit longer, and focused on losing weight once we were done breastfeeding.
    Having a good body is not the only important thing!

  5. You’re right! Your milk is ultimately much more important! I’m still breast-feeding, and only do a little bit of formula when we can get a date night since I’m not pumping extra right now. But the baby is gaining weight solely on my breast milk, and right on track for his growth, so the breast milk and supply is still doing great.

    My little ones’ pediatrician let me know that you directly influence what is in your milk as far as protein and fat content. She said “Some women make Haagen Dazs (scrumptious ice-cream like milk fat content), and some make pure protein milk with little fat content.” As long as the baby is healthy and still on track for growth, everything is ok. She said that I can even have my milk tested by a lactation consultant if I want to in order to see exactly how many grams of protein are in each ounce of my milk. It’s all so interesting… how much our diet affects our bodies and even the nursing baby’s body.

  6. I agree with everything you said, Dragonflygirl…with the exception that I would advise against running during pregnancy. I was always an avid runner, absolutely love it (I have some sort of tendon injury on my foot that has hindered my running since July…it has been awful not being able to run for months). I always stopped after the first trimester. Pregnancy increases relaxin, making the knees more susceptible to tears. Then the weigh added…it’s always a bad idea to run with weights, even five pounds more weight is a shock to the knees but with pregnancy it’s more like 30 pounds more weight. Damage highly likely. It’s really short-sighted to run during pregnancy…risking longterm damage to the knees is a bad idea (as is jumping, exception trampoline).

  7. I love that article on the foods – we eat a lot of those daily 🙂 This pregnancy was hard for me to eat healthy… I was repulsed by the foods that I normally eat (like spinach leaves, salads and fruit smoothies, etc.) so that was hard.

  8. I definitely agree with you that running during pregnancy is risky… getting an injury – you’re completely and totally right about the relaxin hormone. I actually have two friends that did this though (forgot about the other one in my post), who ran during all or most of their pregnancies. They never got injuries… but I can totally see how it could make it more likely, and then one wouldn’t be able to exercise at all. I remember watching that athlete competing while 8 months pregnant this past summer… but doctors advised that she was an athlete, and her body is used to that kind of pressure and rigorous exercise so it was safe for her to still be competing at 8 months. She looked incredible though, competing while so pregnant. Very different.

    So sorry about your injury – being an avid runner, that must be torture not being able to get out.

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