Most of the people you call your “friends” are not going to tell you what you need to hear. Most of them would rather support and good-vibe you, which makes them fair-weather friends by my yardstick. “Friends” are people you like and trust as far as it goes, and with whom you share stuff on the phone and whom you invite to dinners or parties or screenings…or vice versa. But if you’ve begun to look like a beefy, middle-aged lesbian due to compulsive carb indulgence and nightly drinking and not working out enough, your friends will never say “you’ve begun to look like a beefy, middle-aged lesbian — you need to change your program.”

I finally saved myself by stopping all drinking (13 months and counting) and adopting a joyless (and yet curiously satisfying) cockatoo diet and doing daily speed walks and weights when I’m within earshot of a club, but that was my doing and my decision. If I had waited for my friends to urge me to wake up, grim up and make some changes, I’d still look like a beefy, middle-aged lesbian and lying to myself by telling myself, “Aaah, I look okay…not bad…sure, I’ll have a beer.” The most your friends will do is hint at a possible way to go. They’ll talk about healthy habits with the idea that you’ll pick up on them. Some of us need need more than that. Some of us need truth jolts.

I owe most of my new regimen and attitude to my son Dylan, who underwent a radical weight transformation earlier this year and subsequently inspired me to go hard-core.