This is a reprehensible term and I hate it. Yet it serves a purpose in defining just how awful people can be. A DUFF, in case you don't know (good for you) is Designated Ugly Fat Friend. And, depending on the circles you run in, you could be one or have one. If you have more than one circle you might be both.
Comparing ourselves to others (and making ourselves feel better with negative outside comparisons) is an age-old sport and not likely to end any time soon. But this is the first era that I'm aware of that we've become so openly cruel about it.
(This really does have a bearing on your health and fitness. Trust me, we're getting there.)
The most obvious place we see this is when you're adjusting your eating habits, possibly to lose weight, maybe just to get your life together. No matter, you've decided to clean up your diet. No more donuts and Dew for breakfast. Better habits around your schedule, smarter shopping. Taking time to sit and enjoy your meals. Good for you.
The one little mistake you made was telling your friends. On the one hand we want accountability when we take on a commitment. Someone who will hold us to our promise and call us on our BS. On the other hand we have the haters. Those who are threatened by your potential success and will do everything in their power to, subtly but surely, push you to fail.
The vast majority of all of our friends, unless we're very lucky and very discriminating about who we hang with, are haters. Oh, they don't mean to be. At least, they don't sound like they mean to be:
“Oh come on, treat yourself.” “Well, if you’re not going to have a dessert, then I won’t either.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re fine the way you are.” You’ve probably heard these phrases before. You may have said them yourself with nothing but the best intentions.
Make no mistake. You must fail. If you succeed you eliminate an excuse for them to make the effort. When you fail it takes the pressure off: "Why bother? If she can't do it, I don't stand a chance."
The answer? Tell only one loyal, trusted confidante. Possibly someone who you've supported in the same way. Pinky swear, blood oath, whatever. No friends willing to help? Use a social contract app like Stickk.com or Coach.me. These are just some of the ways you can keep your feet to the metaphorical fire.
Pass these ideas on to your well-meaning family and colleagues, too. Give them some love.
If you need help with these or any other health, fitness and longevity topics get with us. We're here to help.