Are your friends making you fat?
Photo: Matthewennisphotography/iStock/Thinkstock
When a cashier makes change, the quarter she hands over could make you sick—even 12 hours later. The virus from the flu can linger without a host for up to 24 hours, just waiting for you to pick it up. And that's not even that long: A foot fungus can live for a month in a shower.

Did you know that emotions carry the same risk, even when the person is not in your presence? You can feel people's needs and demands, and they can create emotional and physical confusion in you, especially in close relationships and even if you haven't seen the person in ages—like your mom, whom you've been meaning to call. I'm sure you have many stories of feeling uneasy, only to find out that someone close to you was in trouble or simply down.

You may be treating someone else's anger, depression, anxiety or even hunger by eating! Food is a drug. Long before we could go to Wal-Mart and fill a prescription, we gravitated to certain plants and foods to treat illness and discomfort. For example, a dose of starchy, sugary food will medicate your brain for depression—the old serotonin boost—while expanding your thighs. That's why we tend to crave these things when we feel low.

As children, we learn to have good boundaries and a clear sense of who we are separate from other people's feelings and expectations. However, while you may have had a healthy childhood that should have fostered these boundaries (I may have met this person once), most of you, like myself, are still human sponges for other people's feelings, expectations and needs. This can make you fat!

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