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Old 10-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #16  
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thank you. that was very helpful

and kaplods, you did not offend me at all. i did say that im not sure how to be honest and sensitive. thats why i asked for help. i wasn't trying to pretend that i know how to help her, i asked help about how to help her. i have been staying out of it and by the fact that she continues seeking my help shows me that i should start learning how to be sensitive and honest, which is why i posted. Your brutal honesty did not offend me. i dont get offended when people point out my flaws. Im very honest with myself and am being honest when i say that i haven't done anything to help her yet because, like you pointed out, i dont know how to do it with honesty and sensitivity. thank you for outlining the purpose of my point, though you still didn't actually give me any advice on how to be sensitive and honest at the same time, instead you just pointed out what i already know. i appreciate your response though. telling me that i need to learn how to be sensitive and honest may not have been something new, but at least it was honest of you.
I think learning how to be sensitive and honest is kind of a situational thing, that might be why no one can give you the direct advice that you're seeking.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:25 PM   #17  
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i guess i just wasnt expecting people to treat me like i was being a nosy overbearing friend for wanting some advice on how to offer help to someone looking for help. if people dont have advice than they can just choose to not respond to the thread. i dont think that the answer to wanting to help someone seeking for help is to ignore their needs.

I wish someone would have been honest with me when i was super over weight. i had so many people spare my feelings, and i wish that when i had reached out for help and advice, someone would have had honest support for me. i wish that when i had said "im big boned so im not capable of losing weight" someone had had the courage to say "you can lose the weight if you want to" instead of just agreeing with how unfortunate my situation was. im just trying to offer help to a friend who is reaching out for the support that i had always reached out for. Ya, i had to figure things out on my own, and it was rough to have to come to all those revelations on my own. it would have been nice to have had someone there willing to give their honest opinion. i guess i just figured it would be nice for her to not have to start this journey on her own.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #18  
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The problem is there are no magic words you can say to her to make her want to lose weight. It just doesn't work that way. I don't think anyone was trying to sound like you were being a nosy jerk. At least I wasn't. We understand that you care about her and want her to be healthy but that's something she has to come to terms with herself. All of the well-meaning advice in the world can't make her start this journey if she's truly not ready.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #19  
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It's understandable, no one wants to see their friend struggle. But weight loss is a totally different monster to tackle, ultimately the the only person who can push her into doing it is herself. Not many people want the "you're fat" talk from anyone, it's devastating, especially coming from someone you trust. Sure, at some point we all could have used a friend telling us we were delusional, but for most people it would just ruin a friendship. It really is a painful time to realize you need to totally revamp your life, there really isn't a way to make it easier, even if it's totally out of love for your best friend (I totally get this, I'm in the same spot with my best friend). She's gotta start the journey on her own, but she doesn't have to be alone through it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:51 PM   #20  
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If you have to ask "how to become sensitive," I can only say that you're probably about ten years away from learning it.

The most common (and most destructive) way to learn sensitivity by trying and failing and having it blow up in your face over and over and over again, until you get it right. It's a harsh lesson to learn, and it generally leaves a trail of broken friendships and wounded folks including yourself in it's wake.

To learn sensitivity by a less destructive means, you can practice being sensitive and honest on topics that are not so volatile. But on any subject, if you question your ability to be sensitive - then you're not ready. Only when you know that you CAN be sensitive should you even attempt it.

I'm pretty skilled at talking to almost anyone on almost any topic with minimal risk for hurt feelings. And it took me 45 years to become this skilled. It took a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology, and working with all sorts of people in the substance abuse, mental health and other jobs in which I had to work with a wide range of people, with a wide range of life-experiences (such as 5 years as a probation officer, work as a case manager in substance abuse treatment, jobs working with mentally ill and mentally handicapped).

I have to say that in my experience, talking to people about their weight loss is harder and riskier than talking to people about criminal behavior, substance abuse, sexual abuse, parenting, and other very sensitive topics.

I know you want to help, but you're just not qualified. At best, you can talk about what you've found helpful if you're sure she wants yo to (never once criticising her outright or implying that she must do this your way).

The first step isn't even what you say to her, it's what you say to yourself. And you may not be ready for that first step, because that first step is NOT criticising her behavior, even in your own mind.

It's one of the first lessons learned in college (though it didn't sink in until I had to apply it in real life, and failed). Do not judge the person you are trying to help. The behavior you think is self-destructive and illogical - isn't. The behavior may be outside the person's control - or it may be benefiting them in some way. It makes sense, even when you think it doesn't.

Pointing out that the behavior doesn't make sense, rarely works as well as understanding how it does makes sense.

It seems that you believe that being harsh with yourself, so it must be the answer for her. It may not be, and it almost certainly is not harshness coming from you. Pointing out her failings, isn't going to help.

As a probation officer, I learned that. I didn't help people by telling them that their criminal behavior was wrong or didn't make sense (they had people telling them that their whole lives - which just made them think they were stupid, lazy, or crazy - which is how fat folks often feel. None of which makes change easier).

Rather I acknowledged that they had done the best they could at the time, but that there were better, easier, smarter ways to get what they wanted.

For one guy, it was showing him that burglarizing homes did not make him more money than getting an honest job, by helping him calculate the "costs" of getting caught. Taking into account the time in prison, his efforts paid far less than minimum wage.

I also learned that I could never assume that someone was failing because of lack of knowledge or because of "denial" or for any of the reasons I thought they were.

I've been dieting since I was 5 years old. And I've been reading diet books aimed at adults, voraciously since I was 8. By the time I was 12, I knew more about weight loss than most doctors. So "advice" from people to "just eat less," or "just get up and jog before school," was misplaced.

I knew HOW to lose wieght, I just didn't know how to stay committed. And that's something no one could give me. And you can't give it to your friend either.

For me, low-carb was my miracle solution (and learning to stick to low-carb, is still an ongoing struggle - but it's not something anyone can give me).

This is the biggest dilemma of weight loss. You can know what needs to be done, and still not be able to do it. I don't think most folks in our culture suffer from the lack of education, nearly as much as they do the inability to follow through. And follow-through is not something you can give anyone but yourself.

I think your friend would benefit greatly from 3FC, and that wouldn't be a bad suggestion (to say, if you're interested, I've found a lot of support on 3FC). That way, she gets to pick and choose from all the advice that is given here - and yet never feel the advice is the judgement of someone close to her.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:56 PM   #21  
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i guess i just wasnt expecting people to treat me like i was being a nosy overbearing friend for wanting some advice on how to offer help to someone looking for help. if people dont have advice than they can just choose to not respond to the thread. i dont think that the answer to wanting to help someone seeking for help is to ignore their needs.

I wish someone would have been honest with me when i was super over weight. i had so many people spare my feelings, and i wish that when i had reached out for help and advice, someone would have had honest support for me. i wish that when i had said "im big boned so im not capable of losing weight" someone had had the courage to say "you can lose the weight if you want to" instead of just agreeing with how unfortunate my situation was. im just trying to offer help to a friend who is reaching out for the support that i had always reached out for. Ya, i had to figure things out on my own, and it was rough to have to come to all those revelations on my own. it would have been nice to have had someone there willing to give their honest opinion. i guess i just figured it would be nice for her to not have to start this journey on her own.

I have gotten what you say you want, since I was 5 years old. And not only did it not help, it made the situation far, far worse. Because, with everyone telling me what I should be doing, trying it, and often failing at it (and getting more advice and commentary on why I failed) did not help. It made me feel lazy, crazy, and stupid - when I wasn't any of those things.

From my wide experience here at 3FC, and in weight loss groups like Weight Watchers and TOPS, I've met far more people who were hurt by the kind of help you are suggesting than were helped.

I would recommend TOPS for you first (and then you can recommend it, along with 3FV to your friend, if she asks). TOPS is a weight loss support group (taking off pounds sensibly). It's one of the most supportive environments I have ever encountered. You will see how weight loss is different for everyone (so you can't necessarily "teach" your friend what you are doing, it may not help her - but in TOPS and here on 3FC, she will find advice and stories to help her whether she's like you or not. Coming from you, it's likely to ruin the friendship, but if she picks it up herself from what she learns in TOPS or 3FC, it won't damage your friendship).

In TOPS (and here on 3FC), if you're open to it, you will hear and learn from everyone's experiences, and realize that they're not the same. For some of us, weight loss only required knowledge - learning about what to eat and how to exercise. For most of us (I firmly believe) knowledge wasn't the problem. The problem is different for us all, and so is the solution.

Assuming that you CAN help your friend, is assuming a lot. Your friend may know more about weight loss than you do. I certainly knew a lot more about weight loss than many of the people "just trying to help me." The problem was they didn't know how they could help, and they made a lot of false assumptions about my knowledge, effort, desire, willpower, and commitment.

Support coming from strangers is often much more help than support coming from family and friends - because family and friends have an investment in our success. Even when it comes from "love" it creates pressure that is not often pleasant. You feel that if you fail, you're letting down the people who are trying to help. You also fear that the "helpers" aren't going to love you as much if you don't meet their expectations or that the reason they're trying to help is that you're really not all that loveable.

Your friend may need help, but I don't think you're the one to give it. It isn't going to work out the way you're hoping - because it virtually never does. You're just too close to the situation.

I really think 3FC and TOPS could help you both, because you'll see all the different strategies that can help. You'll hear folks talk about what helped and what didn't (and you'll learn that what helps some can cause tremendous harm to others).

Last edited by kaplods; 10-01-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #22  
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if people dont have advice than they can just choose to not respond to the thread. i dont think that the answer to wanting to help someone seeking for help is to ignore their needs.
They did give advice. It wasn't to "ignore" it was to "leave it." I know that's not the advice you wanted, but that was advice. No one wants to give someone else the "TOTALLY TELL YOUR FRIEND BLUNTLY SHE'S FAT!" advice. We have all had friends and relatives take this approach with us, and it's not the right approach. (It's a little bit of an exaggeration, but I'm a little appalled that you aren't seeing it as advice to leave it alone... which is the best advice and looks to be like the most popular).

My sister, my own flesh in blood whom I know better than anyone in the world, is in your friends situation. She does the exact same crap your friend is doing. She looks at me and says, "gee, you look great... I wish I could lose some weight..." but then goes back to excuses.

I have to be harsh on myself or I won't do crap, so I get the idea that you would think being harsh on your friend would make them do something.

From experience, and from all the advice on this thread. The honest answer, is really to leave it alone. No one will work out, want to be thin, or stop making excuses for themselves because a friend is losing weight and pretty much tells them to "get on it or you'll be a cow forever." (Those may not be the words you use, but that's how it feels to the receiver.) If she's anything like my sister, she'll find comfort for being fat by finding a tub of ice cream and hating you for a while for being blunt.

I honestly had lost it with my sister at a point in time. I was sick of her mumbling about how she had gained weight. I was sick of her looking at me and hinting for some sort of empathy for her being so big. I finally said something as nicely as I could that she needed to work out, eat right, and do something. Let me just say, she did nothing. Just looked about ready to cry and went for the frozen pops later and then out for some pizza.

The only thing that started getting her into it, was when I went shopping for new pants (all mine were too big). I came home and she said I looked great. I just said thanks! That all that working out, dieting, and watching what I ate was FINALLY paying off. She then asked to work out with me when she realized how happy it was making me to feel fit and look fit. Granted, she still isn't heartily into it, I'm hoping one day she will be, but I can't force it.

Last edited by kurisitaru; 10-01-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:22 PM   #23  
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They did give advice. It wasn't to "ignore" it was to "leave it." I know that's not the advice you wanted, but that was advice.

Exactly!

I know I tend to be long-winded in my advice, so the advice can get lost in all the other words I throw at it.

I can't help that, it's my way of communicating, telling a story to get across the message, rather than concisely stating my point.

I've been studying weight loss and working at it for more than 4 decades (I'm 45 and I was put on my first diet in kindergarten).

I've met very few people who benefited from "tough love."

As a psychologist, I know that "interventions" generally work only when a professional mental health professional is involved AND the person goes immediately into in-patient treatment, and there is very little in-patient treatment for weight loss, and you are not a mental health professional trained in intervention.

As a result, your help is likely to do more harm than good.

I understand that you don't like to hear that, and even that you probably don't believe it.

So, if you're determined to offer your friend help, you're going to do just that, and the consequences be damned. We're telling you that the likeliest outcome is more harm than help (not only harming your friend, but potentially the friendship as well).

That's not sinking in. You're assuming that trying to help, and doing what you think would have helped you is going to help (even though you have no evidence to support that. You say you wish someone had said something, but there's no evidence that it would have helped - or that you would have appreciated it).

We're saying this because we have experienced that kind of help, or we tried that kind of help and found out that it makes things worse.

Last edited by kaplods; 10-01-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:22 PM   #24  
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hmmm i guess you guys will just have to do things your way and ill do things my way. and i request that no one else respond to this thread, because obviously i have a very different view on the situation (since im the one in the situation) and nothing being said is remotely helpful, but rather is very unhelpful. im very thankful that you guys are not my friends in real life, because i would take honest friends over "just leave it" friends anyday.

can this thread be locked please?
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:28 PM   #25  
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Do you not see the irony in your comment? Sometimes people tell you a truth that you don't want to hear - and isn't that exactly what you want to do "for" your friend?

Do you want your friend to say "don't respond to me, because I obviously have a different view on the situation," or do you want her to listen to your advice even if she believes you don't know what you're talking about or that it may apply to you, but not her situation?

If you cant' take it, how do you expect to give it?

You asked for advice, and we chose to give it rather than "leaving it," (which you're now telling us to do). Instead, we'rve been openly and bluntly honest by giving our experiences and advice (which you say you wanted), and you can't even tolerate our sharing our opinions, so much so, that you're wanting the thread locked?

If you can't take brutal honesty, how do you think it's going to help your friend?




Since you don't want any advice, I'll stop giving it. Good luck with whatever you choose, and if you hurt your friend and your friendship in the process, at least we know we did our best to prevent it.

Last edited by kaplods; 10-01-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:31 PM   #26  
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do you not have any respect for anyone? obviously your precious degrees didn't teach you any manners. please stop responding to my thread. i dont care if you think your right, out of respect for another member of this board you should be able to leave it alone when requested.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:35 PM   #27  
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hmmm i guess you guys will just have to do things your way and ill do things my way. and i request that no one else respond to this thread, because obviously i have a very different view on the situation (since im the one in the situation) and nothing being said is remotely helpful, but rather is very unhelpful. im very thankful that you guys are not my friends in real life, because i would take honest friends over "just leave it" friends anyday.

can this thread be locked please?
Imagine you are your friend right now....... and instead of the advice we are giving of "what to do" is "you need to lose weight"..... imagine your reaction to OUR FRIENDLY advice to HELP YOU OUT..... you just told us all that you're glad we're not your friends in RL and how dare we try to help you in an honest matter. If that's how your friend responds to your advice, on a WAY MORE SENSITIVE TOPIC, then you just lost your friend.

I agree, the irony in this statement is incredible.

My advice is even more present now. Really, really, really, leave your friend alone. You clearly lack the social skills to do any good to her in such a fragile state with such an offensive subject. I say this in kindness, or you could be losing a friend.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:36 PM   #28  
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I respected you enough to point out that what you asked for didn't make sense. I could have given you what you wanted, but I chose to give you what I believed you needed and I thought you were mature enough to hear (isn't that exactly what you're saying that you're wanting to give to your friend).

Now, that I see that I was wrong in my assessment of your ability to see the irony in what you were asking, I will respect your request, as I see there will clearly be no benefit to continue.

Too bad, for you and for your friend.

It just shows how trying to "help" can backfire so very easily. I'm "leaving it" because the help isn't helping. I hope you can learn the same lesson if the help you try to give your friend backfires, as it's likely to.

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Old 10-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #29  
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Do you not see the irony in your comment? Sometimes people tell you a truth that you don't want to hear - and isn't that exactly what you want to do "for" your friend?

Do you want your friend to say "don't respond to me, because I obviously have a different view on the situation," or do you want her to listen to your advice even if she believes you don't know what you're talking about or that it may apply to you, but not her situation?

If you cant' take it, how do you expect to give it?

You asked for advice, and we chose to give it rather than "leaving it," (which you're now telling us to do). Instead, we'rve been openly and bluntly honest by giving our experiences and advice (which you say you wanted), and you can't even tolerate our sharing our opinions, so much so, that you're wanting the thread locked?

If you can't take brutal honesty, how do you think it's going to help your friend?

Since you don't want any advice, I'll stop giving it. Good luck with whatever you choose, and if you hurt your friend and your friendship in the process, at least we know we did our best to prevent it.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 100% ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

And you did ask us to leave it alone. But you're being offensive to our opinions. I think we have a right to point out the irony in an open forum. Really don't ask around here for advice if you plan on insulting everyone after we give honest advice in how to help. That's all we were trying to do. Sorry you're not mature enough to handle real advice when given if it doesn't suit your fancy.

Advice doesn't mean you have to take it. I often get advice I didn't like nor did I think I was good. I never insulted the person giving it. Maybe responded with "what if" scenarios, or more detail to hope for more constructive advice. However, if the census seemed to be all the same, I took that as a hint, even if I didn't like it. If I was asking for advice, and I got it then I would always grateful for it even if I didn't agree with it and even if I didn't use it.
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