Weight Loss Support - A worried friend..




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Poo Head
11-28-2005, 04:53 PM
Hey everyone! I just ran across this site today and thought of my friend. I could really use some good advice. I'm known my friend since we were in 7th grade and I love her dearly. But over the past few years I've watched her struggle and suffer with her weight. She's always depressed about it. I've tried many different things to help her lose weight,and nothing seems to help-or she just quits and gives up. She's blamed me(seriously) for her weight GAIN after I moved. Of course I feel bad that I'm not as near by as I used to be,but it's far from my fault.

Everytime I talk to her on the phone it seems like she's falling further down that hill. She has joined Weight Watchers,but could hardly stick to it. Any diet she tries,she fails..but only because she gives up so soon!(usually after a couple days) Whenever we get together,we can never do anything fun,such as shopping. She gets pretty grimace towards me because I have no problem finding clothes that fit. Of course there are sizes that fit her(I'm guessing shes around 16 now),but she refuses to try anything on because she believes she'll be my size one day. She says she hates herself and the way she looks. I get so frustrated with her because it seems like shes not even trying. Over the past two years I'd say she's gained maybe 40 pounds. And she constantly makes up excuses why she cant exercise.

I really want to help my friend. I want her to be healthy and happy! But at the rate she's going,she'll never get there. Do you guys have any suggestions of any kind that I can give her? Some kind of motivation? I really don't want to give up on her:(


funniegrrl
11-28-2005, 05:18 PM
That's a tough one. You're a good friend for wanting to help her be happy. The problem is that no one can give her motivation other than herself. Everyone who is overweight hates it, and often hates themselves for being overweight. But, until they want a healthy life MORE than they want their food and inactivity, it's hard to get there. Hating yourself just makes it harder, because you become convinced you are worthless, and that any effort is doomed to failure. Without a sense of optimism and hope, making the sustained effort it takes to lose weight is difficult at best.

I want to suggest a couple of things to you. First, be sure and tell your friend why you like her, and the good things about her, without mentioning her weight or unhappiness with it. Let her know she's a worthwhile person, period. Second, stop making suggestions. You're heart's definitely in the right place, but having a person who's never struggled with their weight trying to "help" sometimes backfires. She probably feels you don't understand (and, honestly, if you've never had a weight/eating problem, you don't). She may even feel a sense of rebellion -- every time you make a suggestion, she may do the opposite just because. Whatever the reason, don't make any offers or advise unless she asks for it.

What you CAN do is say something like, "I know you're unhappy with your life and your weight. I love you and want you to be happy, whether that means being happy with who you are right now, or by adopting a healthier lifestyle. I am willing to help in whatever way I can. Is there something I can do that will help you? It's OK if the answer is 'no.' I just want you to know that I'm here if you think of anything."

Finally, you might want to look at a book called Fattitudes. You can probably get it from the library. It has a chapter written specifically for loved ones of the person trying to lose weight. It will help you understand a little about how she thinks, and what you can do that's helpful, and what's NOT helpful.

LLV
11-28-2005, 05:35 PM
That's a tough one. You're a good friend for wanting to help her be happy. The problem is that no one can give her motivation other than herself.
Exactly.

People could have talked to me till they were blue in the face and it wouldn't have done any good. Finding the motivation to lose weight has to come from within oneself. And making suggestions only made me defensive. Because nobody wants to admit that they're fat.

It's hard being around thin people, especially when they're buying clothes. Unless she suggests clothes shopping herself, I wouldn't do that too much more. It's painful listening to someone hold up a cool outfit and say, "Oh, isn't this cute??? I have to try it on!"

Because we know it won't happen for us. My sister-in-law is very heavy and I avoid doing those things when we're shopping together because I know it depresses her and makes her feel uncomfortable.

There are other "fun" things to do besides shopping.

I also NEVER volunteer information about diets and weight loss to her unless she asks me herself. You can't push those things on heavy people, they'll resent you for it, even though YOU think you're helping.

If and when she decides to lose weight one day, it will have to be her own realization and her own decision. There's really not much you can do except just be her friend and let her know she's loved regardless of how much she hates herself.

The best thing you can do for her is stop 'helping' her. She'll figure it out for herself one day. And if she doesn't, that's not your fault.


Poo Head
11-28-2005, 05:57 PM
Oh my goodness.. she always asks me! And I have said that too her before,about not knowing what it feels like to be overweight,and having those struggles. I know I don't really have any place in telling her how to do things. I just try to make helpful suggestions(or what I think might help anyway). I tell her after awhile..I don't know what to tell you anymore,because you don't really listen to me! I've also said that,until your really ready to loose weight,let me know,and I'll be your number one supporter! She says she ready,but certainly doesn't act that way. I have stopped helping for awhile because I did figure it was best. But she did slip into a depression after a month too after that. She seems to be doing alright with that now. She also has a deadbeat boyfriend whos treats her like royal crap. I wish she would get rid of him as her family and everyone else say. No it's nobodys buisness but her own,but it's horrible to see her suffer that way as well. She was doing pretty good weight wise before him. She was happy and healthy..and was looking pretty damn good too! But you guys are right and saying I should just leave her be and let her figure it out for herself. I wish she would come to this site and get some support here! *sighs* I'll definitly take what you say to heart and see if anything else happens from there. Thanks alot guys:)

LLV
11-28-2005, 06:02 PM
Well hon, then if she asks you all you can do is try. And that's all :)

funniegrrl
11-28-2005, 06:18 PM
If she does ask you, then, I would suggest a couple of things:

First, she might consider Overeater's Anonymous. It's not for everyone -- it's not really for me, for example, even though I've learned a lot from reading OA-related stuff -- but worth looking into. It's free, and there are meetings all over. It's not a diet but about getting your head in the right place.

Second, I would strongly recommend two books for her. Tell her you learned about them from some people who successfully lost a lot of weight. The first is Thin for Life. It explains what it REALLY takes to lose weight and keep it off. It's very inspiring and practical. The second is The Thin Books. It is written by an OA member and I found it incredible in terms of getting inside my head and showing me how the way I approached the world shaped my relationship with food, and how to turn that around.

Finally, you might point her to this web site!

I know how frustrating it is to have a friend with a problem that bothers them, yet they don't do what they need to do to fix it. It sounds like you are doing what you can; that's all you can do.

P.S. I agree about the clothes shopping. Find other things to do that don't involve that and don't involve food. If you must go shopping, go shopping for non-wearable stuff. Even shopping for accessories wasn't fun for me when I was overweight, because it just reminded me how UNcute I was and how pointless it felt to think about jewelry and scarves and purses and the like.

2frustrated
11-29-2005, 06:06 AM
I reckon you could e-mail her with a link to this site, just say you were checking around and you found this great site with all these great people! But she'll never lose weight no matter how happy/unhappy she is with it until she's ready, and there's really nothing you can do about it! It's tough, but there you go! Maybe try being healthy when you're with her, like take her to subway for a nice veggie sandwich or out for dinner and eat salad, maybe think about meeting up and going for a bike ride together, some fun exercise things!

If all else fails, you just have to be there for her when she's ready! You are a great friend - I hope she appreciates you and doesn't blame you too much for moving away! :dizzy:

LovesBassets
11-29-2005, 08:35 AM
until she's ready, and there's really nothing you can do about it!

Exactly. I think most of us on 3FC could tell you about our "lightbulb moment" when something finally clicked/snapped/whatever and we decided to finally lose the weight for the last time. It is such hard work and takes so much determination, stamina, and committment that I really feel the motivation to do it has to come from WITHIN.

Be supportive, e-mail her a link to 3FC, and love her no matter what she decides to do (or not do) :). You're a wonderful friend to care so much!

LLV
11-29-2005, 09:17 AM
I reckon you could e-mail her with a link to this site, just say you were checking around and you found this great site with all these great people!
That's a good idea :)

MorticiaAddams
11-30-2005, 05:25 AM
Exactly. I think most of us on 3FC could tell you about our "lightbulb moment" when something finally clicked/snapped/whatever and we decided to finally lose the weight for the last time. It is such hard work and takes so much determination, stamina, and committment that I really feel the motivation to do it has to come from WITHIN.

Totally on the money

No matter who said what to me I just couldnt stand it when they did say something to me about my weight.
When it clicked for me it changed how I thought and felt about myself.
I couldnt stand myself. I didnt want to look at myself.And I didnt want someone pointing out what I could or should do. It just made me want to stay away from them even more and go have a pizza and drown my worries.
Until she really wants to change she wont. Until she looks in the mirror really good and see what shes becoming she wont change because until you see it for yourself, nothing will change. And you wont try.
I used to glance in the mirror you know okay hair looks decent I can leave the house. Not look at my stomach. look at my things look at myself , what have I done to myself. I need to stop. I need to change things. What can I do. I want to feel better about myself.
You can say look your my friend I cant change you I can only go thru the changes with you. This is something I cant understand but I do care enough to tell you that I want you to be happy with yourself and to see you be all that you want to be.
Try this forum just to let out things you have on your mind.
Sometimes we need to clear the closet out before we can begin to refill it with better things. ;)