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Can you tell someone they need to lose weight?

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Old 05-30-2013, 03:06 PM   #16
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I have had people say things about my weight and please believe me, all it has done is alienate me from them (my choice). I think people think they are being some kind of helpful when they make their backhanded comments about weight but really, it made me go home and eat more.

You said you "heard" she's wearing whatever size clothes. How does someone "hear" that? No wonder people like me cut every tag out of my clothes before I ever went to anyone's house just in case someone wanted to know how really big I was. And I thought I was just paranoid.

Just be a good sister to her and accept each other for what you are. That doesn't mean I don't want her to get healthy. But you and your mom (or anyone else) aren't allowed to tell her what to do.

I almost wish I could be a mean person when people say things about my weight. It's like people think if they don't have a weight problem, then they are perfect and can say whatever they want to a larger person.

I haven't seen hardly anyone in my or my husband's family since I have lost 137lbs. If they couldn't be nice to me at 328lbs, then I don't need them at 191lbs.

Please tread lightly with your sister. Life is too short to try and change other people. And I say that directly from my heart. Enjoy your sister, I wish I had mine in my life.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:48 AM   #17
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Honestly, if anyone in my family (including my little sister) told me that they thought I needed to lose weight, I would tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I would be really ticked off that someone else was judging my body and telling me that they don’t find it acceptable.

Is she noticeably unhappy with her weight or appearance? Is she suffering serious consequences or disability because of it? Yes, health risks increase with too much weight, but does she have any symptoms that are worrisome? If she’s happy and relatively healthy, I think you should leave it alone.

Deciding to go on a life changing weight loss journey/lifestyle change is a very personal thing. Nothing you can say can make that decision for her. The most you can do is be supportive of her (at ANY weight) and keep the door open for her to join you in doing something active or making healthy choices.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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I have basically the same situation with my older sister. The only way I've found to deal with it, is to try and surround her with my own healthy habits while she is visiting me, and to encourage my parents to do the same. We all live spread out, so she only sees me and my parents every few months, but it's better than nothing and some of the habits have stuck.

For instance, we won't discuss her weight, we will just make sure everyone is on a diet of healthy food (which we should do all the time anyways) when she is around. And try and choose activities that involve being up and active instead of watching a movie. (ie, when we go home for Christmas, we all go ice skating, sledding, skiing, etc. or in the summer we all go walk the length of our favorite beach and down the pier, before we do any laying in the sand.) Often if it's presented in a "Well, this is what we are going to do" tone, then it doesn't feel like a jab, or like you are forcing.

In my experience, these types of healthy habits catch on (for instance, my mom and younger sister and I were all doing yoga every morning on one of our family vacations, and she started joining in and now does it a few times a week on her own at home).

It's really tricky but I agree with everyone else, it's something you have to choose to do for yourself. All we can do, as family, is encourage good habits and lead by example.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:57 AM   #19
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I would advise against "telling her" anything. However, I do advise you to share with her. Share your own struggles, share your own feelings about your own weight, what you have tried, what worked, what didn't work, share that you're posting on an online forum about weight related issues, share what's concering YOU. Now, that might be weird and come across as backhanded attempt to influence her if the two of you don't have a close relationship. But, in the long run, I think if you write down and tell her about your own weight loss related issues, preceding that you don't wish to imply that any of it applies to her, since you haven't spoken about it - I think it will more likely than not bring you closer. Just honest sharing, and thus also a signal that she can be equally open with you should she choose to do so, goes a long way. I don't think it should be wrong to open up a conversation about it, but given that it's such a loaded issue and you don't want to bruise her feelings, I think it's prudent to stay away from more directly voicing your concern for her health until it's established that this is a topic the two of you can feel safe to discuss with one another. Perhaps she is concerned for your health as well, but didn't tell you yet?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:23 AM   #20
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Even while thinking you shouldn't say anything, I have talked to my best friend about her weight. I was careful and gentle and concerned and accepting--and addressed it as concern for her health and how much her weight limits what she can do.

Our closeness allowed me to do that--she knows I don't judge her at all--that my weight journey is unconnected to if she has one. (She is more overweight than I am, and has joint issues. I'm the one with diabetes and cholesterol issues. Her cholesterol and blood sugar are normal.)

I guess the distinction is that I wasn't confronting her or judging her or intervening--I was offering help in any way that she might need and expressing love and concern.

OTH, my brother said to me some time ago "Beth, you've gotten so fat". Like I didn't know that? Like I needed him to tell me? Like that was helpful or loving or kind?

So, unless you two have the kind of relationship where you can be loving, kind, caring, and not AT ALL judgemental and tentative enough so that she can shut down the conversation at any time, I vote for saying nothing.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:40 AM   #21
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I know you already made your decision, but I just have to say...lead by example!! My mom brought up my weight gain in probably the nicest, most supportive, best mom way...and I still reacted very defensively.

She will start to consider her health when she is ready, and I think the best thing you could do would be to eat well, go the gym, and invite her along without being pushy.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:31 PM   #22
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I won't rehash the sentiments already stated (I agree it's awkward to say something to her).

What might be better is to encourage her to make sure she's getting her yearly check ups at the doctor (and dentist while you're at it, though that has less to do with weight). That way a) the doctor will likely tell her to lose weight (which may or may not be effective) and b) if there are any health effects they can be caught early.

My mom (love her) always badgered me to get my dentist and doctor checkups and even when I was overweight I never took it amiss as a weight criticism. I knew she was just concerned about my health.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:38 PM   #23
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I wish someone told me I was getting fat. I didn't notice it. I was in denial. I still really wish my husband or bff had said something. I'm obviously a rare case though!
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:05 PM   #24
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Thanks everyone. Since being home and seeing her again I've not changed my decision of "don't say anything". However, I have taken your advice and spoken to her about my new diet and goal to lose weight. I only got back a couple of days ago, and since then my mum and I have noticed that she has skipped her boyfriends cheese on chips and frozen pizza dinners, and was even caught taking a prawn salad and fruit in to work yesterday! So here's to hoping that my health-kick rubs off on her!
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:36 PM   #25
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I'm really glad that you chose not to say something to her. Just lead a good example and when she's ready she'll follow. When my mother says something to me about my weight all it does is make me mad. We end up arguing and I leave. It's hard to spend quality time with somebody when you feel like they are criticizing you all the time. It looks like your good example is working too! I am also concerned about my sister's weight. I don't say anything to her, but I'm hoping that my weight loss journey will encourage her. I want to set a good example for her and when she's ready she'll come to me to talk about it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:02 AM   #26
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I hope that she does!
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #27
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Before I started losing weight, my biggest fear was someone trying to confront me or point it out. I KNOW I'm overweight, I know I need to lose it I was just so lost and honestly was not ready. If someone had confronted me about it, I think it would have stressed me out so much, I would have eaten more and gained more.

I'm so glad they didn't and I was able to decide in my own time I was ready.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:23 AM   #28
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It was the same for me. Last year I decided that it was time for me to move away from my hometown. A big reason is because I wanted to change my lifestyle, but found it hard to do so because people were down my throat about it. So I made plans, found a job, moved 2 hours away on Feb. 28 and started my first day at work on March 4. It took a while to get into a new routine, but now I have one and now I can finally focus on my health. My health insurance finally kicked in, I have doctor's appointments lined up, I've started to exercise, and I've been eating a lot healthier than I did before I moved. I don't have anybody in my ear telling me what I need to do and why. I know EXACTLY how that feels. It's on the side of belittling because I feel as if they're treating me like I'm ignorant about my health.

I now live with my cousin and her husband who have been nothing but supportive of me. When I slip they don't say anything to me, when they go for their nightly walks and I'm home they ask if I'd like to join. We all take turns making dinners and each time they choose something healthy. I don't think I've ever ate so much fish in my life! If they feel like having burgers, they'll cook turkey or veggie burgers on whole grain buns. It's just awesome being around people who truly care, but are also silent. Silence is bliss!

I started that C25K on Friday morning and my cousin was right there with me encouraging me to keep moving and giving me tips along the way. When I couldn't finish, she didn't belittle me. She didn't say anything. When I said, "I should've done better." She countered me with, "You tried and that's what matters the most. You'll get this!" When I cried because I was disappointed, she pretended not to see it. She didn't try to comfort me because that's not what I needed and she knew it.

They are the kind of people that I need to be around. Not somebody in my ear saying:
"You need to lose weight."
"You'd be so beautiful if you'd just lose some weight."
"Men would be after you if you'd lose some weight."
"You'd feel better if you'd lose some weight."
"You know diabetes runs in the family, you need to lose some weight."

etc., etc., etc.

Sorry for the long story, lol. I needed to get it off my chest.

Last edited by SoOverThisFat : 06-16-2013 at 06:32 AM.
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