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Old 10-01-2011, 02:07 PM   #1  
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So my roommate is about my height, but weighs about 180 pounds wearing a size 14. She was in great shape in high school, being on swim team and being active but once she got into college she started partying a lot and was busy with school and a relationship instead of being active.

I've been losing weight and she has been commenting about how she would like to lose weight too. Here's the thing, shes got all the classic excuses.
"i dont have time to work out" ya, i used to think that too, but instead of sleeping in til 8,9, or 10 o clock, i get up at 7 and go for a run. I do push ups while i watch tv, and when i was hanging out with my man i would suggest we go for a walk instead of going out to eat.

"im just a big boned girl. im always going to be big". i used to think that too. im 135 pounds and a snug size 6 but back when i weighed 170 pounds i was a size 14 too. I thought i was just big boned. a chubby girl. could never be thin and ya i definitly have a body shape but im not disillusioned into thinking that my curves are what make me fat, its my fat that makes my curves fat. and without that fat my curves are still there, they are just natural curves of my body instead of unhealthy curves of fat.

"i dont have time to eat healthy" because stopping at subway takes more time that stopping at mccdonalds? and ordering a salad and soup is more expensive than ordering alfredo pasta?

its frustrating me because she says all the bull**** things that i used to say when i needed an excuse to be overweight. And just like me, she has lied to herself and convinced her self that it is not her fault that she is overweight, but thats its some horrible genetics. Ya, i can't eat cake every day. but she also drinks prolly about 20 beers over the course of every weekend, and then blames genetics that shes overweight?
This girl is one of my best friends and i care so much about her, but i honestly don't know how to be sensitive and be honest about this, because the only way i got myself into shape was to be harsh with myself about what my body looked like and about how unhealthy i was.
Do you ladies have any suggestions for what i can say to her to get her to see that she is capable of losing weight, she just has to actually commit to it?
Thanks

Last edited by 100percentME; 10-01-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:09 PM   #2  
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Everyone has to come to a point where they're ready for this and you can't force it. As much as you want to help her, you pretty much need to mind your own business unless she comes to you for actual help.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:22 PM   #3  
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I agree with shiskeberry
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:28 PM   #4  
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MYOB. Her body, her journey.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:30 PM   #5  
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I have a friend just like that, She takes diet pills but then goes out and eats a box of timbits and mcdonalds. Then she comes to work (I work with her) she complains that she has self control issues and is addicted to eating. She will tell me she is going to the gym and the next day complain about how busy and tired she was. She constantly ask's me how I stay on track when food is just so yummy! I always tell her the same thing, its simple she just doesn't want it that bad.

I think everyone needs to hit their own "rock bottom" and then decide if they are ready to change or not. It unfortunately can't be forced.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #6  
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Just live a healthy life and keep on doing what you're doing. Some of the best lessons aren't spoken, they're watched!!! Don't preach it, live it

Last edited by free1; 10-01-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:49 PM   #7  
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I agree with others here -- she has to get to that "oh my gosh, I need to do something for myself" point. Even though you're encouraging and your heart is in the right place, you can't force her to care about her health or make changes she's not ready for (and I know you're not trying to force her, just that you're concerned).

I would invite her to exercise with you or to eat a healthy meal with you. That might spark her interest and she might ask how to prepare the food or how you manage to stay on plan.

I knew for a long time (in my mind) that I was damaging myself with the way I was eating, but I really had to get to a terrible point before I said "I don't deserve this, and I'm going to do something about it." I made a lot of excuses for a long time about how busy I am, too. The fact is, I work from home and have more leeway in when I work and when I do other stuff than most people in this world -- there's no true reason I couldn't have been making my own meals instead of getting McDonald's chicken nugget meals three days per week.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:58 PM   #8  
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im not neccessarily butting in; she comes to me and says things like "wow you look great...i wish i could lose some weight". She talks to me about how she wishes she could get back to her high school weight but she just can't because shes "just a big girl". I'm left speechless during these conversations because she's looking for a response from me; an answer to her problems but her body type isn't the problem, her lack of dedication is.
Im not trying to butt in, im being brought into it and my problem isn't that im trying to force her to change, my problem is wanting to give her advice but not being able to because i dont want to hurt her feelings when she talks to me about weight loss. i want to help direct her to that revelation about needing to take responsibility; shes clearly looking to me for answers and i want to be helpful and honest with her, i was just looking for advice on how to do so.

but thank you for the responses ladies.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:03 PM   #9  
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So when she says, "Wow you look great--I wish I could lose some weight" she is complimenting you. She doesn't mean she wants you to launch into a lecture or a cheering session. You just say, "Thanks! I've worked hard." And then you shut up.

I don't think she is looking to you for answers--she is looking for you to agree with her. If you can't agree, and you don't want to get into an argument about it, just shrug and change the subject.

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Old 10-01-2011, 03:04 PM   #10  
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You can't help them unless they want to help themselves, and even then it might be difficult. I went through all that mess with an ex-boyfriend, I tried being gentle and supportive, I tried being firm and supportive, encouraging, leading by example and so on and nothing worked in the end, even during the times he said he wanted to make a change in his life and do something about the extra weight. Keep in mind that even when you're very determined to lose weight, eat healthy and exercise, like so many of us here are, it can still be very tough to go through with it. If your friend doesn't have that determination in herself, it's not going to work. The only thing I can think about that you could do to help her is what free1 says: give her a good example through your lifestyle. Exercise doesn't have to be boring or take up lots of time, healthy meals don't have to be bland and if you set your goal and stick to your program you will get results.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:23 PM   #11  
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dude! she IS looking for advice and thats why i started this thread!
Shrugging it off and ignoring it isn't how i treat my friends but if thats how some of you treat your friends than whatever.

thanks for those of you who actually gave me advice in regards to what to do for her. I do lead by example, im just trying to figure out how to help her see that she can do what i do. Shes discouraged about her weight. and yes, i do know that shes looking for help because shes my best friend and my roommate and i actually have these conversations with my friends.
i thought i was frustrated with her denial issues but i found out that im more frustrated by all the people telling me to mind my own business and ignore a friend who is looking for help. when my friends look for help i try and help them. and since i consider you ladies my friends i came looking for advice on how to be sensitive but honest with her.
/rant
guess ill figure it out on my own.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:32 PM   #12  
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I'm going to give you a taste of brutal honesty, though you may not like it (because you didn't like any of the advice you've been given, even though it's good advice). The fact that you didn't take such great advice well, might give you a clue as to how your friend is likely to take the same from you.

I know you want to help, but the advice you've been given (including "stay out of it") is coming from a place of experience for many of us. We've been "helped" by friends in the past (and found it unhelpful) or we've tried to help and had it backfire in our faces, because we weren't able to do it supportively. And to be brutally honest, from your posts, I don't have any confidence that you can do it supportively. To even have a chance of helping, honesty isn't enough. The sensitivity is vital. I just don't see it in you, to be brutally honest (brutal honesty sucks, doesn't it?) This isn't just me talking - you said it yourself that you're not able to be sensitive and honest (but you really want to be honest, that comes through in your post - it also comes through that you would like to be able to dispense with the sensitivity in order to use harshness, because harshness helped you - but it was harshness with yourself not someone else's harshness with you that helped, right?)

Being harsh with yourself may have been your secret to success, but it wasn't mine, and it may not be hers. Trying to "help" without the proper tools, experience, sensitivity and knowledge is like moving a person with a spinal injury because you wanted to help. You can do far more damage by helping than by doing nothing. And that's why we've encouraged you to do nothing, because it's obvious from your post that you do not yet have those skills (you can acquire them, but it takes a great deal of time, effort, and experience to gain those skills).

I think you have a responsibility to your friend (just like the oath physicians take) to "first do no harm." I don't trust from your post that you're in a position to do no harm. Your post comes across as frustrated and judgemental - they're normal frustrations and judgements - but your friend will pick up on the frustration and the judgement and she will not feel helped. She will feel judged and harshly criticised - for most folks NOT HELPFUL.


For me, blaming myself and being harsh with myself didn't work. Some of what you call "excuses" actually was my motivation to change. Believing that there was a genetic component to my obesity gave me incentive to work harder and not judge myself as an idiot or a slug when I made mistakes and didn't succeed as well as "everyone else" seemed to with little or no effort (I was adopted and the only person in my family to ever have been obese or even overweight as a child. Coincidence? I don't think so)

I started weight loss on a crazy tight budget, and yes budget does affect weight loss. It takes extra work to change the way you're used to spending money. Seeing it as an obstacle (but not an insurmountable one) worked a lot better for me than thinking it was simple or easy and that I was a fool for having made other choices.

People criticising my choices NEVER helped me change them. Only people sympathising and telling me ways they dealt with the difficulty without judgement (and without dismissing it as a concern or being harsh with me about my need to change it).


If as you say, you can't be sensitive AND honest, then it's best that you keep your mouth shut on the topic, because it's better to do nothing than to try to help only to make the situation much worse..

I rather doubt your friend is an idiot - the "excuses" aren't keeping her fat, any more than your excuses kept you fat. You knew the truth long before you started acting on it.

If you can't be patient, sympathetic, caring, and 100% supportive of her even when she fails at her attempts, then you'd best stay out of it entirely.

Even if you had the skills to be 100% non-critical, it still would be difficult. At most you can say "I used to think that too, but I did this..... to overcome that obstacle." And if you don't have 100% sympathy and support in the statement (if even a little bit of judgement and criticism comes through in your voice) you'll do more harm than good.

Trust your friend to juggle her own priorities. She may not make the same choices as you have, either because she's not ready or because she's trying and failing. Either way, if you can't offer 100% kind support (and from your post, I kind of doubt that you can - because the frustration you express is going to come through in your voice), it would be better to stay out of it completely.

Last edited by kaplods; 10-01-2011 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:40 PM   #13  
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The next time she says "I wish I could lose weight" and then offers up an excuse to you I would look her straight in the eye and ask her "Do you want my help on this or do you want me to stay out of it?"

If she says she wants your help then follow that up with "I will be 100% honest with you - which means you may not always like what I have to say - are you ok with that?"

Then say nothing mean, but everything truthful. But also make sure it is compatible with her reality, not all about you. Meaning trying to convince her SHE isnt big boned because you used to think that and you arent is not a strong argument. Maybe the bigboned comment needs to go with. "But you CAN be healthier" (or fitter or whatever)


My best friend can be totally blunt and honest with me. She's called "B.S" on me 3 times and twice she was right and the third time I carefully evaluated.

Last edited by ennay; 10-01-2011 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:02 PM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ennay View Post
The next time she says "I wish I could lose weight" and then offers up an excuse to you I would look her straight in the eye and ask her "Do you want my help on this or do you want me to stay out of it?"

If she says she wants your help then follow that up with "I will be 100% honest with you - which means you may not always like what I have to say - are you ok with that?"
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.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:03 PM   #15  
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I had friends who tried to "help" me, even my fiance tried to "help" me and all it did was frustrate me and make me distance myself. Sure, I still felt like crap about being a fatty, and I complimented my friends were losing weight, I even said "I wish I could do that" but, in all honesty, once everyone stopped bothering me about it I finally hit where I realized "I HAVE to do this".. Everyone has different motivations, mine was not wanting to give my future children the life I had with a mother with an exceptional amount of health issues and getting engaged. I've had this mental image of myself on my wedding day since I was a kid, an being fat has never been it. So now I'm trying. I know that on my wedding day I'll look a lot better than I do now and I'll feel good about myself and be a confident bride.. and when we decide to have kids I'll be able to play with them and live to see my grand-children (hopefully).

You should just ask your friend what she wants from you when she says things like that... If she doesn't give you a straight answer then she's not READY for your help. If she says that she doesn't want help, just let her know that you love and support her and you're there for her if she needs you, and if she decides she wants your help then help her.. but be gentle and honest. I'm not going to tell you to butt out, but if that's what she wants, then do it. I asked my friends to butt out and this whole thing stresses me out a LOT less.

We have all been in the spot your friend is in, and we all decided to do something about it in completely different ways at completely different times in our lives.. just because now is right for you, it may not be right for her. She'll realize how ridiculous her delusions are, just like all of us did, but until then, just be her friend - not her coach.
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