New Book Seeks to Help People
Overcome their “Frenemals”

Former NFL Player and Weight-Loss Surgery Patient
Jamie Dukes On Dealing with Negativity

Published in October 2014 Issue             

Jamie Dukes, the television football commentator and former NFL offensive lineman, is known for telling it like it is, and in his new book “Beware the Frenemals,” he does just that. He uses the term “frenemals” to describe those people in our lives that are barriers to success or enablers of our failures.

Dukes says frenemals, who can take the shape and form of family members, friends or one’s own inner voice, were major obstacles to his overcoming obesity and deciding to have bariatric surgery in 2008.

“My loving parents were softly suggesting I needed to do something about my weight but did not provide the tough love I needed to send me on the path to finding the right solution. Some of my closest friends convinced me that pursuing bariatric surgery was somehow cheating. I guess I was hearing what I wanted to hear, before stepping up the reality that I had a life or death decision to make. I finally realized I had to block out the noise about weight loss surgery and do the research.”

Dukes chose life and since surgery has lost close to 100 pounds and is happier and healthier than ever balancing a busy career on television and radio, and a family life that includes his wife and two children.

“Having bariatric surgery has been one of the best things I’ve ever done because I found a tool that has helped me be a winner in the battle with obesity,”
he said.

Dukes says there are three kinds of frenemals:

Frenemal #1 – Family: Family members can be guilty of enabling or manipulating dysfunctional behavior. Only family can provide tough love. Only family can take advantage of us in an intimate way.

Frenemal #2 – Friends: Fair-Weather friends who stab you in the back. These are the people in our inner space who are like-minded and share our dreams. But if we get in the way, they will turn on us for their own personal gain.

Frenemal #3 – Friend on the Inside: This is the voice within. This voice is particularly dangerous because it’s a friendly voice. This is the voice that can tell us to have the extra drink and get behind the wheel of the car and nothing will happen. This same voice tells us to have that extra helping of food.

“The only way we can overcome challenges in our lives starts with recognizing that they exist. The mission of “Beware of Frenemals” is to make people aware of their existence. When I came to the realization that the Frenemals in my life were a hindrance, I was empowered to do whatever it took to get my obesity under control,” said Dukes.

“Beware of Frenemals” is available at Dukes is also one of the patients featured in the new ASMBS patient video premiering at ObesityWeek 2014.