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How do you tell a friend she needs to lose weight?

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
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Question How do you tell a friend she needs to lose weight?

Hi all
A little history here, I have always had weight issues and at one time I lost 98lbs but it was with pills (PHEN) once I got off the weight came back on because I did not learn to change my life.
I have changed my family's life on Nov 30 by saying no more, it is not about a # on a scale but about being healthy and active. So we are going good, the family has lost over 100 lbs altogether. We are having fun and enjoying life.

We joined a Scaleback Alabama group and ask a friend to join in. She has not lost any weight in the past 5 weeks. I am so concerned for her, she eats a lot of fried foods, has high blood pressure and her daughter will be going off to college in July leaving her by herself.

How to you tell someone that they need to lose weight? I have tried to say things and she shuts me out, she needs to have a drastic change. Any ideas?
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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You can't tell someone to lose weight.

Well, you can, but you can't expect them losing weight to actually come from it.

My advice is if you want to keep your friend, offer your support when she asks for it and only when she asks for it. My guess is she's totally aware that she needs to lose weight. No need in you pointing it out, too.

ETA: I've had "concerned" friends and family members tell me to lose weight. I've even had "concerned" strangers tell me. All it did was make me feel like dirt, which incidentally made me hungry.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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I'm sure she knows she needs to lose weight, whether or not she is ready to do it is another thing. I think the best way to motivate someone is to lead by example, and if they are curious (which they probably will be) to show them how you did it and that it is not impossible.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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Show them through "actions" not words...
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:07 PM   #5
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I don't know, but I am sure she knows she needs to lose weight. I think she has to come to that place on her own. I had been unhappy with my weight and wanted to lose (but was not really ready to make drastic changes) for quite a while before I finally decided that *now* was the time. -Can you relate to that?

My mom is part of that challenge too! Congratulations on your weight loss so far and good luck to you and your family on your journey!
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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Sign my name onto JuneBug's post.

Bottom line - people aren't going to change until they are ready. You may be able to offer her guidance if she asks, once she is ready. Unless you are asked, I'd steer clear of offering unsolicited advice or opinions.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:12 PM   #7
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The most important thing is to lead by example and be as supportive as possible. When you visit your friend don't say let's go take a walk because you need to lose weight but... something more like... It will be nice to get some fresh air - let's go for a walk.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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If you were my friend and you told me I need to lose weight I might just smack you...

Think how it would have sounded to you if the tables were turned.

Like the other posters said, be supportive but don't state the obvious to her--she won't appreciate it.

Good luck! And congratulations on y'all losing!

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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She knows she needs to lose weight. All you can do is be there for her when she is ready.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:34 PM   #10
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I know how you feel, really I do. When I'm losing weight and feeling good, I want everyone to feel the love... Sometimes it feels so great to be "in control" that I just want to be "in control" of every one around me...BUT

Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. Besides my father, no one has ever tried to get me to lose weight...and if they did I probably would have starting bawling like a baby...just like I did when my father would yell and scream about how fat I was. So, I try to keep the focus on myself but will gladly support anyone who wants to tag along on this life journey.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:40 PM   #11
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Just keep inviting her to activities that promote healthy eating and exercise. If she declines, then she declines but unless she says "Stop asking me!" ask her again the next time. Hopefully she'll see your new lifestyle is centered around health and that may influence her positively.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:42 PM   #12
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Over the decades, I've had friends who repeatedly wanted to tell me I needed to lose weight, and it wasn't pretty. It was not news to me (I'm fat, really, are you sure - You mean 350 lbs isn't "normal?" It's not pretty or healthy? You're kidding me right?).

Because their "wisdom" and advice wasn't anything I didn't know, it only acted as salt rubbed into deep and raw existing wounds. Friends who persisted after I requested it to be a non-topic didn't stay friends for very long for one of two reasons. I'd either decide to tell them equally helpful things about their own flaws and self-destructive lifestyle choices. Generally, they didn't take my advice and wisdom any better than I had taken theirs (oh, I see it's ok to talk about my fat, but not your smoking, your loser boyfriend or the fact that you can't keep a steady job). Or, I'd keep my mouth shut and think those things, and whatever I said or didn't say put a real damper on the friendship.

If she shuts you off when you try to talk to her about it, she has told you in her own way that it isn't an ok topic to discuss with her. You can't fix others anymore than you'd want other folks trying to fix you.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horsey View Post
Show them through "actions" not words...
*nods* Yes, this. I knew for years that I needed to lose lots of weight and made a couple of half-hearted efforts, but never got anywhere. I had a relative tell me a couple times that I needed to lose weight (gee, ya think? huh, that had never crossed my mind. ) but just caused me to be resentful and then I didn't open up to that person anymore.

What got me motivated this time was seeing someone's weightloss ticker on another message board. I had known her previously and when I saw how much weight she had lost, I thought "hey, if she can do that then I can too!"
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:12 PM   #14
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Sounds like you might be wanting to push her harder than she's ready for. She'll never lose weight and keep it off it it's just because of something you said. Make sure she feel welcome taking part in your weight loss activities, but don't push her.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:22 PM   #15
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proselytizing really does not work. It doesn't matter what it's about...drinking, losing weight, smoking, exercising. If someone is not actively seeking the information and advice, the result of someone trying to sell them on it, usually has just the opposite affect. It makes them even more resistant. They start to convince themselves why they don't need to change.

If you truly want your friend to change, you need to let her come to you when she's ready. And be positive with her now no matter what weight she is. If she ever does bring up the subject, then you can tell her how it affects you, but I still wouldn't tell her she needs to lose. Unless she specifically asks you "Do you think I need to lose weight?"


I think she already knows the answer to that one.

I've had discussions on weight with my little sister before, and never addressed her weight, just weight in general. When I say it isn't healthy for the human body to carry around a lot of extra weight, she starts defending being heavy as healthy as long as you stay in shape. I just don't discuss it with her any more, but it breaks my heart to see how much weight she has been packing on over the years.
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