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TOPIC: How/When, if ever to tell someone he/she is obese.

 
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October 4, 2012 7:50 AM
I'm fat. I know I'm fat. I was morbidly obese, but just recently I entered the world of "just" severely obese. Now, if you have some new and life changing revelation about me being fat, please share it with me....but, if you're just going to tell me I'm fat and I need to lose weight, well, then, that's not exactly a newsflash for me.
  26750457
October 4, 2012 7:51 AM
QUOTE:

If they complained about their weight to me, yes. Or mentioned it, yes, I would.

Otherwise, nope.


This is good advice as well - even with a friend who was overweight: if they never brought it up, I would most likely let it be, but if they started talking all the time about wanting to loose weight, or being unhappy about their weight, yet still engaged in unhealthy patterns, i.e. eating poorly, not working out, etc, then I would tell the straight: "If you want to change, you have to change what you are doing." Or something similar.
  26303709
October 4, 2012 7:51 AM
The ONLY time you should ever say anything is when you're offering to do something with them, not just giving them advice to go off and do it alone.
Such as 'lets go running together on the weekends' or 'hey do you want to join a gym with me?'. Anything else is just inappropriate in my opinion unless they ask for help.
  25526346
October 4, 2012 7:52 AM
People know when they're overweight. Though some obese people tend to believe they're just overweight and not in the obese category. Still, they know when they're not healthy.
October 4, 2012 7:52 AM
I don't think it is our business to tell anyone that they are obese. We all look in the mirror every single day and know what we look like. Alot of times if you tell someone they need to lose weight it will put them in a tail spin and direct them into the opposite path. All we need to do is love each other for who we are and offer help if the want it.
  10759078
October 4, 2012 7:54 AM
Well, there are more and less tactful ways to bring up this topic. Over the years as I was gaining weight, my mom and husband told me I was fine, I looked fine and didn't need to lose weight. I used the as justification to just keep going. After all, they wouldn't lie to me, would they? Luckily, I listened to the little voice inside of me saying, you are fat (obese), out of shape and can't keep up with your kids.

The lady at the gym seems to be a very informal relation to you. It would kind of be like going up to some stranger on the street and bringing up their weight and diet. I personally don't see a way that this discussion could go well.

The guy you worked with could be different though. If you worked closely together over that time and built even a small relationship, you could find a way to let him know how concerned you are, if you have the right personality and can say it the right way. Saying something like, hey dude, you know you are a tub of lard? is just being an ass. Saying something like, hey, I'm concerned about you, you seem to be having a hard time with..... and you have put on some weight lately. Do you want to talk? Do you want some help? could work just fine.
  5491015
October 4, 2012 7:57 AM
Before I started to lose weight I was in a very bad place emotionally. I knew I needed to lose weight, hated what I saw in the mirror, worried about what it was doing to my health. I knew in my heart that I needed to lose weight and I just needed to find the strength and tools to do it. What I didn't need was anyone else making me feel even worse about myself than I already did. Now that I'm 78lbs lighter I tell people every day how much better I feel and they tell me how much better I look. I've encouraged friends and family to lose weight just by setting a good example. I've never once told anyone to lose weight but since I joined mfp my mum,husband, friend, son, daughter and her partner have all lost weight. You don't need to be cruel to help others to lose weight. If they want to do it they will. If they don't want to do it then that's their choice.
Edited by paulywoo On October 4, 2012 8:03 AM
  14819038
October 4, 2012 7:57 AM
There is a proper time and place for everything and there are times that you are truly concerned for a loved one and it should be brought up gently and in a comfortable setting. That said, I believe that too many people love to "focus on the speck of sawdust in their neighbor's eye and ignore the friggin 2x4 in their own." Pretty sure those are not the exact biblical words, but the idea is there.
  22079653
October 4, 2012 7:58 AM
Just from the responses here you can see there's a taboo around weight. And in my opinion when there's a taboo about anything that's where problems start. I think it's a good thing to talk about how to eat healthy, exercise and maintain a good weight in general.

Just go to the newbie thread and see how many people say something like 'wow I just entered what I normally eat on a day and I'm shocked!' People might know they're fat, but that doesn't mean they realise they're eating habits are so bad. Or that they get so little movement.

So, no, you shouldn't walk up to everyone you see in the street and call them out for being fat. But you definitely should not be afraid to talk about a subject. And this bloody taboo around it is only making things worse. Because it also prevents people from saying something, or from learning something before you're going into the obese category. Wouldn't it be great if before things got out of hand some had handed you some pointers? But unfortunately the way it's now there's no way anyone would say anything if you eat a very unhealthy lunch at work every day. And that needs to change.
October 4, 2012 7:59 AM
QUOTE:

As a "morbidly obese" person, I can honestly say it will hurt them deeply. My mother texted me the other day. I had no idea what had happened in her day ( at the time) to prompt this text, but she said she loved me and was worried about my health. She said she wanted me to outlive her. I replied " right back at ya babe!" with a smiley face... but I was crushed.


Why would you be crushed because your mother was worried about your health? And since you are on MFP it seems you are working on losing weight so why didn't you just tell your mom you are aware of the problem and working on it and that you appreciate her concern and love her too?

You say you are aware that you have weight issues but are you honestly unaware that others know it to? I hope I'm not coming across as offensive, this just seems a very odd reaction to me.
October 4, 2012 8:02 AM
I am considered overweight and I know it.. I work out and eat right and slowly the pounds are coming off.

If someone (random stranger) told me I was overweight I would tell them to F*ck off.

I am aware of me.
October 4, 2012 8:04 AM
QUOTE:

I think one of the key things she said in her message was 'you don't know me'. If you don't know someone well enough to be devistated if they died from their unhealthy life style then it isn't your business

The only time ever that I spoke to my partner about his weight was last weekend when I noticed he stopped breathing in his sleep more often and would wake choking. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't have said a word. Hearing you are over weight whether said in a mean way or constructive or factual way still hurts.

Like the news anchor said if you are over weight you know, you don't need people to tell you


Eliza what you describe sounds like sleep apnea to me - i have a couple of male friends who have it... I'm not a Dr so could be wrong but you might want to look into it?

Vix
October 4, 2012 8:05 AM
People know. If this really is an issue, ask why we don't live healthier. Why is there a 64oz soft drink option on the menu? Why do they assume we want to 'up-size' every meal? Why are man-vs-food gluttony challenges so popular? Why do they make low rise jeans in plus sizes? What are kids learning about nutrition and exercise in schools and in the home? Why is it easier and cheaper to eat nutritionally void fast food? Why is fresh produce more expensive than potato chips? Why has obesity become so prolific? Where is our society failing? What are you willing to do to help change happen?

If a stranger or even a aquaintance was to feel the need to tell me I was overweight, I probably respond with "suck it" and/or a throat punch. I know and I've been working on it and my friends and family are well aware and supportive. A more diplomatic response would be " Hey, did you know you are an a$$?"
Edited by Melolicious On October 4, 2012 8:12 AM
October 4, 2012 8:06 AM
I wish someone had said something to me, even at 270lbs my husband use to tell me I wasn't fat, I was in denial for the longest time, even now I look back at photos and can't quite believe that was me
  12819719
October 4, 2012 8:09 AM
If telling people they are fat works, then why are there so many fat people?

The media bombards us with messages about this every day, either directly or indirectly. Fat-shaming is everywhere. How can anyone NOT know they are fat if they are?

I lived fat-shaming every day of my young life, and guess what: no one needed to tell me I was fat. The shaming/bullying was stressful which led me to eat more. How's that for a counterproductive effect?
October 4, 2012 8:11 AM
In my opinion:

Unless you are a medical professional, and the person is your patient, the correct time is never. If you are a medical professional and the person in question is your patient, it is really only necessary to tell them if you honestly and truly believe they do not already know. You may, as a medical professional, point out that your patient's weight may be an aggravating factor to the condition that led them to come in for treatment, particularly if the connection between weight and the condition are not obvious. Be prepared to explain the mechanisms that justify your statement that weight causes/aggravates the patient's complaint.

If the above circumstances do not describe your situation, I heartily recommend a warm, steaming cup of STFU.

If asked, directly by the person in question, "Am I obese?" I recommend not answering directly, but instead referring him/her to one of the many health and wellness websites with diagnostic criteria for obesity, and let him/her figure it out for him/herself.

QUOTE:

If telling people they are fat works, then why are there so many fat people?

The media bombards us with messages about this every day, either directly or indirectly. Fat-shaming is everywhere. How can anyone NOT know they are fat if they are?

I lived fat-shaming every day of my young life, and guess what: no one needed to tell me I was fat. The shaming/bullying was stressful which led me to eat more. How's that for a counterproductive effect?

Also this, a million times over.
Edited by flobeedoodle On October 4, 2012 8:36 AM
  14685751
October 4, 2012 8:11 AM
My sister is obese and I've often been tempted to say something to her whenever she complains about her back, knees, etc. Her blood sugar is high and I know that it's only a matter of time before something life changing happens to her because of her size. I know that her doctors have told her she has to lose, but it's always "I'm starting a diet next week" or "I'm joining the gym next month". I know I can't say anything to her without her getting all defensive, etc.
  291552
October 4, 2012 8:14 AM
If a close family member/friend seemed to be suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, you would say something. If an acquaintance or stranger was the same, you probably wouldn't. Same deal.
October 4, 2012 8:14 AM
I wish someone would have talked to me. I knew I was uncomfortable, but I had no idea how out of control I was. I didn't see the fat girl in the mirror, I wore oversized clothes that were cozy and made me feel "smaller," I never had my picture taken so there was no concrete evidence of my growing waist band. I don't know what they would have said to me that wouldn't have made me blow a gasket, but maybe after I calmed down, I would have been able to take what they had to say and run with it....maybe....
  1415250
October 4, 2012 8:15 AM
The ONLY times it is ok to tell someone that they are obese is if .

1. You are their doctor, and are discussing health problems with them.
2. If you are their significant other... and this is ONLY if you can find a way to say it without being overly insulting... like suggesting that you both start working out more and eating right to be healthier and be around longer for your kids.

Otherwise... believe me, they already know... and not to be rude but it isn't anyone else's business
October 4, 2012 8:15 AM
Overweight people know that they are overweight. Period. People, especially educated people, know there are negative health consequences to being severely overweight. Unless they specifically ask you, or you are their physician, it is not your business to comment on someone's weight. Personally, I don't think that one should even tell family members or close friends this, because again, *they already know*, but in *absolutely* no way is it your business to tell a colleague, or a near stranger (i.e. the woman that works at the gym) that they are obese or overweight. Mind your own.
October 4, 2012 8:18 AM
QUOTE:

My sister is obese and I've often been tempted to say something to her whenever she complains about her back, knees, etc. Her blood sugar is high and I know that it's only a matter of time before something life changing happens to her because of her size. I know that her doctors have told her she has to lose, but it's always "I'm starting a diet next week" or "I'm joining the gym next month". I know I can't say anything to her without her getting all defensive, etc.


If she is openly complaining about it, I'd definitely say something to her. If you go to the gym, invite her along. Tell her that you need more friends on MFP and she should join.
I really do believe that most people are overweight because they simply don't know where to start or how to do it.
  25526346
October 4, 2012 8:18 AM
QUOTE:

How do they not know already?


... not owning a full length mirror...being in denial...reverse body dysmorphic disorder...it's not hard really
  25631519
October 4, 2012 8:20 AM
Tell people to loose weight? You honestly think an obese person doesn't know?


Fools.
  23597089
October 4, 2012 8:21 AM
The people who claim that "everyone" who is fat is fully aware of that fact are awfully presumptuous about their opinions.
  25631519

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