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Eating salad for lunch usually makes me feel good.  I feel healthy chomping on fresh veggies.  But not lately.  My discontent has nothing to do with my love for salad or a wish to eat something else for lunch.  It has everything to do with what others are eating.  What can you do when you see your friends making unhealthy choices?  Not much, I’ve realized – unless of course you want to cause a whole mess of hurt feelings and awkwardness.

I like to set a good example.  I am a first-born, so I have tried to be a role model to my younger sisters and brother.  I spent six years as a teacher who was constantly aware of the impression I made on my high school students.  And I strive as an instructor to show the women in my classes that I have a healthy perspective on food and exercise.  However, as a friend, my attempts to steer lunch companions away from fat and cholesterol have failed miserably.

The concern I harbor for the health of one friend in particular is something I may just have to let go of, or I will not be able to meet her for lunch or dinner dates in the future.  Am I crazy for not wanting to watch her eat a mayonnaise-laden sandwich and brownie for lunch when I know she is damaging to her health?  Recently this seems a constant struggle.  Yesterday, I felt like a snob eating salad at a lunch table where everyone else was eating pasta or sandwiches with French fries.  I enjoyed my salad much less simply because I was depressed at what was happening around the rest of the table.

I welcome advice on this topic, as I really do not know what to do.  I care about my friend.  I worry about her.  As a fitness instructor and her friend, I truly want to help her.  I want to see her happy and healthy with more energy.  But what can I do if she hasn’t asked for my help?

-Sarah

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