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

 
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October 4, 2012 1:09 PM
Generally speaking, I agree with almost everyone.

When you're obese, you KNOW you're obese. And you know that everybody else knows you're obese, even if nobody says anything directly to you about it. Saying anything at all could completely change the dynamic of your relationship with that person, so I'd typically say it's best to keep your mouth shut. It's rude to rub salt in a wound that already hurts so much.

All the same, I think it's all in the delivery and how you phrase your confrontation. Obviously, you won't want to walk up to somebody and say "Hey, you're fat. You need to lose weight". But, with the proper conversation starter, it could be a great opportunity to HELP someone. I remember a day where I thought chicken wings were good for you. I thought, "It's chicken. Chicken is good for you!". I was in denial. I would justify eating a fast food meal by saying beef is the protein, french fries (potatoes) are my vegetables, and the bun is my carb. I convinced myself that I was eating okay because "It was balanced". I thought potatoes were vegetables (which they are "technically", but your body treats it like a carb). I didn't know any better until I got really big. I self educated myself, but I wonder how much different my life would be now if somebody had given me a taste of reality and told me, up front, how bad my eating habits were.
October 4, 2012 1:13 PM
Who do YOU think you are to tell people this? Becuase you're better than them? Do you think THEY don't freaking know? I would likely punch you if you said it to me, I know I'm fat. I don't need some do-gooder idiot to come along and tell me again!
  9513204
October 4, 2012 1:16 PM
QUOTE:

Discussions about the Wisconsin newscaster got me thinking about this. Most discussions of that story have focused on whether the guy who wrote her is a bully.

If the guy in Wisconsin was rude when, if ever, is it appropriate to tell someone he or she needs to lose weight? And how should the topic be brought up? Most of us have had our struggles and have, no doubt, gotten our share of unsoliicited advice. Last year, my mother gave me a hard tiime about gaining weight. Now, that strikes me as fair as I consider it a given that my mother has my best iinterests at heart. On the other hand, a guy I slightly know professionally said something sort of rude to me last spring. (and he hiimself is overweight so go figure) So, how and when to bring things up?

If I take as a given that close friends and (immediate) family are fair game as the relationships are clear, who else to discuss it with. Here are a couple of examples where I have thought about it but, so far, have thought better of bringing it up.

A guy I know who is a professional colleague, even shared office space with him for a year. And, I see him and his family from time to time at social occasions. When I first met him some 15 years ago, he was a normal weight, and even somewhat good looking. But, I would say that over the years, he has gained over 100 lbs, maybe 150 lbs and is now morbiidly obese. In a nutshell, this guy looks terrible. And, he has two young children so one would think that he at least owes it to them to take better care of himself. I don't think he has an illness. I have seen the guy eat (remember we shared office space), so I know why he is so biig. Having been through the exact same thing myself, I think I know what this guy's problem is, but do I dare bring iit up?

Second example. At my gym, there is a woman who works in membership who has gone from slightly overweight to obese in the last few years. IMO, the gym is one of the few jobs where I think the employees need to walk the walk and look at least somewhat fit. (maybe unfair but if I am thinking about joining a gym, want the employees to at least pretend they care about working out.) On the other hand, she is a total stranger to me so my inclination is to just keep my mouth shut.

Any thoughts?



If someone is heavy, they know. It's not really anyone's business to "tell" someone they are heavy. If you love them, and you are worried about their health and potentially losing them, then you can bring up the subject of your concern and perhaps offer support and sidekick status to help them in the pursuit of a healthier weight, but if you're just looking to call someone 'fat,' however politely you might think you're going to say it, it's none of your business. Not yours personally, I assume this is hypothetical, but still.
  10188493
October 4, 2012 1:17 PM
QUOTE:

I'd say something to my friends/family. I think it's out of line to call someone out if you are merely an acquiantence at best.


I agree. Or especially if you only know the person as your local news anchorgrumble. Keep your mouth shutangry!!
October 4, 2012 1:18 PM
It's funny after my sister and I both had lost weight, we were looking at old pictures and she says, "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME I WAS FAT?!" I laughed and asked her the same.

We discussed it and we both knew we had gained weight but neither of us realized personally HOW MUCH weight and really didn't notice it in each other. I think because we love each other so much we just didn't see it.

So to say, "they know they're overweight/obese" to an extent - yes they do but they may not realize, if they're obese how far they've let themself go.
October 4, 2012 1:20 PM
i knew i was obese, no one bothered to tell me about it, i didnt realize how big i actually was until i was 60lbs lighter.

if i had a gf, and i got gradually gained weight, id want her to tell me something about it if she really cares about my health she'll say something to me.

unfortunately everyone just ignores everyone.

I'd start up 5k runs for Obesity awareness lol, but then everyone would think I'm some sort of bully!

People know obesity is there but are they aware of it themselves? no idea, i know I wasnt completely aware that i had a serious problem.
October 4, 2012 1:23 PM
I personally never say anything to anyone I don't know... now, I do have friends that have noticed my weight loss and ask what I've been doing. I am always willing to share and help them on their journey... but, it's their journey.

They know they are over weight and really don't need me to tell them anything. I didn't want to hear it from them... so I don't harp on others or try to impose my opinion on them. Each person needs to come to their own conclusion about their health in their own time.

If you start bugging people or making comments about their health, of course they will be embarrassed and it will only dig deeper into their self esteem. That's never the way to encourage others to make a life long change. In fact, it may have the adverse effect. They may resort to the only friend they think they have, food, for comfort.

I stick to the old rule: if they want my opinion... they'll ask for it.
  3625302
October 4, 2012 1:23 PM
QUOTE:

It's funny after my sister and I both had lost weight, we were looking at old pictures and she says, "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME I WAS FAT?!" I laughed and asked her the same.

We discussed it and we both knew we had gained weight but neither of us realized personally HOW MUCH weight and really didn't notice it in each other. I think because we love each other so much we just didn't see it.

So to say, "they know they're overweight/obese" to an extent - yes they do but they may not realize, if they're obese how far they've let themself go.


This is actually so true. I've been overweight my whole life and I've always been aware, but it wasn't until I lost a decent amount of weight that I truly knew how MUCH I had gained. I could still fit into my jeans from 7th grade as a 21 year old. They didn't look good AT ALL (although I thought they did at the time) because of how much weight I gained, but I really didn't think I looked that different because I could still zip the zipper!
October 4, 2012 1:29 PM
QUOTE:

I don't think you say anything. I have trouble believing most people aren't aware they've gained weight.

The only way I could see bringing it up is as a discussion about healthy habits. I wouldn't mention weight though unless they ask you for help.


I do agree with this in part. I believe if you have a family member or close friend whom you think is plummeting down a dangerous path... You need to talk to them about it. For me, my family and I are very close. I would feel horrible if something had happened, when I could have easily said something to at least "plant the seed" to get them going back in the healthier direction.

That being said... I do think you should be careful when speaking to coworkers or acquaintances. I would start bringing up conversations including healthy food or satisfying workouts. I did the same to an obese coworker, and it actually started him talking about buying a bike so he could bike to work. I think if you just 'plant seeds' without being intrusive or overly suggestive- it can do more than bringing a full on conversation on the topic. Of course, this doesn't work all the time and there are always exceptions. Like it has been said before, the only way a change can or will take place is if the person in question comes to a realization on their own. This is why I believe 'planting seeds' is the better route.

My apologies for the novel, and good luck!
October 4, 2012 3:54 PM
ok... so here's my question... why is it ok for people to tell you..."oh you've lost so much weight" ... "stop dieting now"... "you've lost too much weight"... "you look great now, don't lose any more weight" ... etc... why is that ok?

In many cases, the person has lost significant weight, but is not at goal or even at a healthy weight. But since they were so much bigger the weight loss is very obvious. I think that for some people, this sabotages their weight loss and their resolve to get to goal. They think, I've lost lots of weight, I feel good, I'm looking so much better, I can afford to slack off a bit from my programme. And before they know it, they've gained most if not all the weight back.

So, why is that ok, but if those same people tell that same person... "ok, now you're gaining back too much weight"... "you're getting too heavy"... "it's time to get back on track"... etc. That is not ok?
  787678
October 4, 2012 3:59 PM
My thoughts on that situation are that, well he didn't know her. I think it was bullying.

that is all
  15271863
October 4, 2012 3:59 PM
We are well aware we are fat, we aren't blind no need to tell us
  14529998
October 4, 2012 4:03 PM
I wonder how many of you that think it's so terrible to point out to someone that they are obese think it's A-OK to start lecturing someone for smoking. Obesity and smoking are both very bad for your health and are both a drain on the health care system.

Not that I'm running to tell every obese person I see that they're obese, but I never would have and never intend to tell people whether or not to smoke.
  28346624
October 4, 2012 4:12 PM
I would never say something to a coworker. That could potentially fall under harassment. If they ask you about your weight loss, by all means tell them what you are doing. But save the advice for close friends and family.
October 4, 2012 4:20 PM
QUOTE:

I would never say something to a coworker. That could potentially fall under harassment.


Actually, probably not, and in the case I brought up, it was a professional colleague, not a co worker.
  26556981
October 4, 2012 4:21 PM
QUOTE:

I wonder how many of you that think it's so terrible to point out to someone that they are obese think it's A-OK to start lecturing someone for smoking. Obesity and smoking are both very bad for your health and are both a drain on the health care system.

Not that I'm running to tell every obese person I see that they're obese, but I never would have and never intend to tell people whether or not to smoke.


I would never lecture a smoker on the health benefits of quitting. I would ask them not to smoke around me because I find it nasty. Main difference to me is the obese person isn't force feeding me but I can't help but smell the smoke.
October 4, 2012 4:23 PM
Just don't tell dudes with manboobs that they are fine and they don't need to lose weight. Heard that way too ****in much and I'm not happy about it. If they are barely overweight and express a little bit of concern make them think they are huge it'll be the best thing you ever did for em lol. I pushed all the way to 215 thinking I was actually somewhat thin. Somehow I managed to keep fat off my legs and arms and it literally all went into my stomach/chest until the last 20-30 lbs and my pants started not to fit. Then I figured that **** out. Otherwise they know they need to do something, but do not have the motivation to do it, pointing it out might just make it worse. Don't chance that they will take the initiative from your words unless you spit some damn good game.
October 4, 2012 4:39 PM
It is ok for TOTAL STRANGERS to look down at me and speak AT me in disdain because I am a smoker. But it is not ok to do this to a morbidly obese person.
With the exception of cigs giving off smoke, there is NO difference between the two. Health or appearance wise.

Just my two cents.
Edited by pg3ibew On October 4, 2012 4:40 PM
  14733344
October 4, 2012 4:41 PM
The only time it appropriate is if you are a doctor, and you are talking to a patient about their health.
October 4, 2012 4:42 PM
I am sure if you notice someone is obese they already know it.... no need to say anything..... and I wrote this without reading any other posts....
October 4, 2012 4:43 PM
Oh come on...people know they are overweight. They even know HOW over weight they are. They don't need anyone to tell them. If you are their spouse and you are concerned about health...you can mention it. If you are their doctor and you have concerns about medical issues and/or family history...you mention it. If you are a random stranger that doesn't know someone and they don't know you...shut your freakin' pie hole!!! It's none of your damn business.
  155522
October 4, 2012 4:44 PM
QUOTE:

I am sure if you notice someone is obese they already know it.... no need to say anything..... and I wrote this without reading any other posts....


Actually, I didn't realize how fat I had gotten until I saw pictures of myself.
  26556981
October 4, 2012 4:44 PM
I thank God everyday that my best friend told me that she noticed I was gaining weight and that it was affecting my mood and my self-esteem. I was in denial and needed someone to point it out. Did I know? Yes, of course. But having someone point it out to me lovingly opened my eyes. Would I do the same for a friend? Absolutely, IF I felt that they would value the advice.
October 4, 2012 4:51 PM
Funny you should ask this. I had a friend of mine comment about my weight this summer. We have been friends for years. She is one of these skinny minnies and can eat and eat and not gain weight, but she is not healthy. Quite frankly, I told her I knew how much I weighed and she did not have to mention it to me or take pictures of me because I knew what I looked like. I also suggested to her that we compare numbers on our blood work.

I know that I am overweight and I do not need someone reminding me of it all the time.

Also, I know a lot of skinny people that are not very healthy and I am tired of hearing that overweight people are a burden on the healthcare system. smile
October 4, 2012 4:51 PM
There is never a right time. No matter how kindly or lovingly you say it -- it hurts. Overweight people know they are overweight. Most of them are already hurting because of their weight. Just don't!
  28138144

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