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

 
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October 4, 2012 12:05 PM
QUOTE:

The people who claim that "everyone" who is fat is fully aware of that fact are awfully presumptuous about their opinions.


The word in the title is obese, which means they aren't just a little overweight...
October 4, 2012 12:07 PM
if you don't really know them, it's not your place to say anything. The reality is that most people know they've gained weight. Now, if they bring it up...be sympathetic and give pointers...this worked for me....

If they are a friend, there is no need to be mean and say "You're obese. You're getting fat." That's just wrong. I think saying something like "Wow! I found this fantastic recipe for cooking broccoli" and then sending an emailed picture may be a nicer way of sharing healthy ideas. You can talk about your fantastic journey and mention how you found this cool website (MFP). If they appear to be enjoying the conversation, ask "Do you want me to send it to you?" Basically, be nice and you'll definitely be able to help a friend. No one wants to be preached at and pestered day after day. But, friends love to share recipes and ideas and they love to do stuff together...so invite a friend for a nice walk at the local park instead of a movie - move! Basically, it's not in what you say but in what you do that makes a difference. I have lots of friends on campus but I don't criticize them, I just get excited and share ideas of what seems to work for me and try to encourage them to stay active. I actually just met someone on campus who emailed me and wanted the information to this website...just losing my 15 pounds had made her think that maybe she can do it too!
Edited by monicalosesweight On October 4, 2012 12:07 PM
  24345402
October 4, 2012 12:07 PM
You can see by my weight loss line I started this whole process at 386. I think that gives me some perspective on this question. In my opinion, for what it's worth, I think the only time a non-family member or very best friend can tell someone they are obese is if the obese person is asking for advice or opinions related to their weight. Otherwise, keep you mouth shut. They know they are obese, it's not going to be a surprise. It's only going to cause embarassement and hurt feelings.

And, as we all lose weight, it's really tempting to see someone who needs to lose and want to reach out and say "hey! I'm doing this, so can you!". Resist the temptation. That is the same thing as above. May be for a different reason, but it's still the same thing.
  26197638
October 4, 2012 12:12 PM
I would say that the rule is don't say anything unless asked. Most of us know full well that our jeans are getting tighter or a favorite outfit no longer fits. These are the daily reminders that we are gaining weight.

If I say to you, "wow! you've lost so much weight" or "what are you doing to get in shape" I'm inviting you to tell about your experience. Only then is it ok to tell me all about what worked for you. You know as well as anybody, nobody can make us change our bad habits. We have to be ready. When we are we might just initiate the conversation.
Edited by needamulligan On October 4, 2012 12:14 PM
  569569
October 4, 2012 12:14 PM
Unless the person is blind and has a sensory dysfunction, I don't see how they wouldn't know they're obese. If the person wants to change, they will. They could very well already be doing it little by little. If you care about the wellbeing of someone who is obese, just walk the walk. Be an example of healthy living. Something you casually do or say related to your healthy lifestyle could spark a conversation on weight loss.
October 4, 2012 12:17 PM
I didn't read all of the previous replies, but I don't think anyone who is obese is ever unaware of the fact. Telling them is rude and unnecessary IMO. If they want help, and want to change, they will ask for help or attempt on their own.

You can't force someone to lose weight or get healthy anymore than you can force someone to quit smoking or drinking.
  7197657
October 4, 2012 12:20 PM
Now, this is only my opinion, but I think the only time to tell someone they are obese is if you are their doctor, and they're your patient. Then it's relevant.
  28948342
October 4, 2012 12:21 PM
He/she already knows.
October 4, 2012 12:21 PM
I would say never. If they don't realize it themselves or ask for help, don't call them out on it.

For example, I've been mobidly obese for about 5 1/2 years now. I just didn't care. Now that I've pulled my head out of my butt, I've decided to do something about it and I've been exercising 60-90 minutes per day 5 days per week and upping the intensity every now and then to continue challenging myself. My entire family even acknowledged how big I got, but they knew that I wouldn't do anything unless I made the decision to do it. They were right. Now they all support me in my weight loss journey and it's a great feeling.

If you just come right out and tell someone that they're obese... no matter how you word it, even if it's paired with "it's just because i care about you and i'm concerned", you will sound like a complete douche canoe to that person, regardless of who it is. They have to want to lose the weight first, and just offer any support and help you can. But NEVER let the word "obese" come out of your mouth. Let them say it first.
  109637
October 4, 2012 12:22 PM
people who are obese KNOW they are obese. what gives anyone the high ground to tell them that????

RME.
  6593535
October 4, 2012 12:24 PM
QUOTE:

Now, this is only my opinion, but I think the only time to tell someone they are obese is if you are their doctor, and they're your patient. Then it's relevant.


So it's not relevant if your spouse, child, mother, father, best friend, etc. has at serious medical problem? I must say I disagree.
October 4, 2012 12:24 PM
I don't think you should say anything to someone you're not close with. You don't know what people are going through. I have a friend who was super slim and fit, but developed thyroid issues, and is now quite heavy and really really struggles with it. She's fully aware, she's really really active, and she's working with her doctor to bring her weight down and get her thyroid under control. I have absolutely no understanding of what she's going through.

But, close friends and family members are fair. I was bugging my dad about his weight the other day, reminding him that his father died of heart disease. I think he took it well, and we're going to start working out together.
October 4, 2012 12:28 PM
Most people are pretty aware that they are overweight or obese. I don't think it's helpful to point it out to them; rather it is very hurtful and embarrassing. They are ony going to change when they are ready to change for the,selves. Just my opinion....
  29302112
October 4, 2012 12:30 PM
I echo what others have said that the two people in your example you can't approach with well intentioned advice. What you can do for these two is be an example. Let them see you and your progress. For the person at the gym who possibly you don't interact with as much, smile and make chit chat with him/her. Make yourself approachable in case they want to ask advice from you about your success. You can't push it on them, but you can be ready if they want to ask about it.

Family members, you can approach...tactfully and if needed, forcefully b/c you love them and need them to be around for as long as possible.
  17284338
October 4, 2012 12:31 PM
QUOTE:

I would say never. If they don't realize it themselves or ask for help, don't call them out on it.

For example, I've been mobidly obese for about 5 1/2 years now. I just didn't care. Now that I've pulled my head out of my butt, I've decided to do something about it and I've been exercising 60-90 minutes per day 5 days per week and upping the intensity every now and then to continue challenging myself. My entire family even acknowledged how big I got, but they knew that I wouldn't do anything unless I made the decision to do it. They were right. Now they all support me in my weight loss journey and it's a great feeling.

If you just come right out and tell someone that they're obese... no matter how you word it, even if it's paired with "it's just because i care about you and i'm concerned", you will sound like a complete douche canoe to that person, regardless of who it is. They have to want to lose the weight first, and just offer any support and help you can. But NEVER let the word "obese" come out of your mouth. Let them say it first.


I see what you are saying, but what would your family have done if you were putting down half a bottle of whiskey a day? Likewise, do you think everyone who is morbidly obese totally comprehends the consequences of diabetes, heart failure, etc. Everyone has a different situation, but I can tell you that if I had a close friend who was 250 pounds overweight they would get a "Don't you want to see your kid graduate from high school" talk.
October 4, 2012 12:32 PM
QUOTE:

Most people are pretty aware that they are overweight or obese. I don't think it's helpful to point it out to them; rather it is very hurtful and embarrassing. They are ony going to change when they are ready to change for the,selves. Just my opinion....


Again same thing I have been saying. What if they are using a lot of cocaine or alcohol. Same thing?
October 4, 2012 12:42 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Now, this is only my opinion, but I think the only time to tell someone they are obese is if you are their doctor, and they're your patient. Then it's relevant.


So it's not relevant if your spouse, child, mother, father, best friend, etc. has at serious medical problem? I must say I disagree.


That is fine that you disagree, because this is MY opinion.
  28948342
October 4, 2012 12:50 PM
I think commenting the weight of someone you don't know is the height of rudeness and insensitivity. People that are overweight know that they are overweight. There are many underlying factors that can affect your weight and if she was slender she wouldn't necessarily be a better role model for health. She could have an eating disorder or smoke or any number of other poor lifestyle choices that would be more detrimental to her health than obesity.
  26246650
October 4, 2012 12:53 PM
The only time it is ever ok to discuss weight is if you are sleeping with the person, gave birth to them, or they are paying for your advice as a professional.

Of course if they ask for help, insight etc..then it is different.

edited to add; I might need to restrict the sleeping with and gave birth to categories :)
Edited by diazwoman On October 4, 2012 12:55 PM
October 4, 2012 12:54 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Now, this is only my opinion, but I think the only time to tell someone they are obese is if you are their doctor, and they're your patient. Then it's relevant.


So it's not relevant if your spouse, child, mother, father, best friend, etc. has at serious medical problem? I must say I disagree.


That is fine that you disagree, because this is MY opinion.


Um, yeah you said that already. But thanks for the permission to disagree.
October 4, 2012 12:56 PM
QUOTE:

The only time it is ever ok to discuss weight is if you are sleeping with the person, gave birth to them, or they are paying for your advice as a professional.


What?! You mean I have to sleep with my brother if I want to tell him I don't want him to kill himself with food anymore. I love my brother but, um ... noway
October 4, 2012 12:56 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Now, this is only my opinion, but I think the only time to tell someone they are obese is if you are their doctor, and they're your patient. Then it's relevant.


So it's not relevant if your spouse, child, mother, father, best friend, etc. has at serious medical problem? I must say I disagree.


That is fine that you disagree, because this is MY opinion.


Um, yeah you said that already. But thanks for the permission to disagree.


Hey, you're welcome!
  28948342
October 4, 2012 1:00 PM
NEVER. People need to mind their own business when it doesn't concern them. Do you honestly think that these people don't know they are over weight? How would you have felt if someone would have approached you and told you that you were obese and needed to do something about it? This is just common courtesy and tact. Just like you wouldn't ever ask anyone what they weigh, how old they are exactly, ect. Have some manners.

And the whole "when it comes to a loved one" you can encourage them by example. Invite them on a walk with you. Cook them a healthy meal. But you still don't have any right to say hey look you're obese and you need to do something about it, even if you try to soften that blow with " I love you".
Edited by DamnImASexyBitch On October 4, 2012 1:01 PM
  20833821
October 4, 2012 1:08 PM
I hate it when people bring up my weight. I mean, I know I'm big. The giant pants were a clue.

I reached out to people who were successful at losing weight and got help from a nutritionist when I felt like I needed a change. If anyone else brought it up I shut them down. There were times when I would leave the place I was at if a relative thought they were being helpful and kept talking about it after I clearly didn't want to. Then I was marked as being "sensitive" about my weight.

I can't stand it when people think they can solve the problem by talking to me about it. As if the switch would flip if just one more person would mention my weight problem.
October 4, 2012 1:08 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

There are three things that I avoid discussing with people:

- their weight - skinny or obese, nobody likes to be criticized,
- their religion - we are all grown ups and make our own choices,
- their political affiliation - same reason as above.

All of the above are unnecessary conflict and allienation creating discussions, so I try to avoid them as much as possible.


What the hell do you talk about then? laugh

Politics and religion are my favorite discussions with my friends. But then, I'm a political activist and a Christian. tongue


In the midwest city I live in, it is much easier to make and keep friends if they do not know I am a "liberal socialist atheist" LMAO.

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