Things your overweight Loved Ones want you to know
Especially as we approach middle-age, many of us either have a loved one who deals with excess weight, or struggle with it ourselves. As someone who falls in the latter group, and who has spoken to many friends who also attempt to lose weight, here are some things that I would offer to help you understand our dilemma. Deep down we know that you only want the best for us, but sometimes in our frustration we tend to become extremely defensive. Maybe this will help:
1. We feel the same on the inside as we did 50 pounds ago. Have you ever passed by a store window and caught your own reflection and thought, “When did I get so (old, bald, etc.)?” That is how we feel when we realize how many extra pounds we’ve put on.
2. It isn’t as easy as simply “pushing away from the table.” Most of us have spent countless dollars and effort on weight loss programs, diets, pills and exercise programs to no avail. It is both disappointing and disheartening.
3. When you say, “I am only worried about your health,” we hear, “you would be so much prettier if you lost some weight.” You may truly be concerned about our blood pressure, etc., but that’s not what we think you mean.
4. Clothing designers have not yet figured out a way to make larger items for our wardrobes that are as attractive as the ones you wear. We often feel frumpy in whatever we are wearing regardless of the effort we’ve put into looking nice.
5. Sometimes when we are carrying extra weight it is difficult for us to walk as fast as we once did. It would be wonderful if you could slow your pace and walk beside us.
6. There is probably nothing you can do to guilt us into losing weight. We have to be mentally ready to do it on our own in order to be intrinsically motivated.
7. Encouragement goes a long way. If you know that we are working hard to lose some extra pounds, let us know that you can tell a difference. Let us know that you are proud of our efforts.
8. If you want us to eat healthy, we might need for you to join us. If you are gobbling burgers and fries, we will too.
9. Being overweight doesn’t have to mean that we are emotionally unstable or looking for comfort from or trying to fill a void with food. For many of us, we simply enjoy the taste and satisfaction of a delicious meal. Many of our happiest moments have been sharing time with family and friends around the table.
The bottom line is that, no matter how we look on the outside, we are still the same person on the inside. All of us strive to live a healthy, fulfilled life. Maybe weight has never been a struggle for you, and
you are one of the lucky ones. Trust me, we envy you. As one who loves us, and whom we love in return, you can be our biggest cheerleader in our efforts to maintain a healthy weight. Maybe now you can understand us a little bit better, and support us in a positive way.