How do I broach the subject that my sister is fat?

Viewing 32 posts - 41 through 72 (of 72 total)
  • How do I broach the subject that my sister is fat?
  • alpin
    Member

    As a bloke prone to “providing solutions” myself I have learned over the years that offering helpful suggestions isn’t always the best way to help. Just being a receptive pair of ears and being ready to offer a little positive reinforcement/encouragement and what small assistance you can is often enough.

    Same…

    Women are from Venus, men are from Mars….. 😁

    GF keeps getting me to read it (with my ears, audio book!).

    handybar
    Member

    From the overweight people Ive known, Ive concluded it isn’t genetic as in there is a fat gene, but a lot of people have a sensitivity to stress which they self-medicate with food.
    So saying someone is fat may work for a short while – but they will put the weight back on; or it could make the situation worse.
    It’s all how we respond to stress, the only obese person I knew whose managed to lose the weight and keep it off says mindfulness and cbt were the main factors.

    Premier Icon boomerlives
    Subscriber

    If I’m really honest I find it embarrassing.

    Embarrassing? Then just stand near her and you won’t be shamed by her extra pounds.

    I know that I lack a large dose of empathy.

    From what you’ve posted, there are a few things missing from your social toolbox. If the kids are very young she’s likely putting them first, rather than worrying about how you might feel about her disgraceful lack of standards

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    From the overweight people Ive known, Ive concluded it isn’t genetic as in there is a fat gene

    Genetic influences are a lot more subtle than “if you have this gene you will be fat”.

    For example your body has satiety feedback / appetite suppression mechanisms that let you know when you are full. Someone’s genetics may mean that mechanism is dysfunctional because they produce less than the normal amount of hormones or don’t respond to them at a normal rate.

    Likewise a preexisting genetic condition like diabetes, which the OP mentioned, can alter hunger pathways and can change the way the body lays down fat. Ironically the diabetes medication can also cause weight gain.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Women are from Venus, men are from Mars….. 😁

    I was about to post the same thing.

    We go steaming in with suggestions of gym memberships and childcare, when what they really want is to watch Dirty Dancing with an arm round their shoulder, a litre of ice cream and a bottle of Prosecco.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    So telling her she’s fat is t going to help anything. But ignoring altogether isn’t helpful either. That’s just sweeping things under the carpet.

    Why not do it from a supportive perspective of just asking if everything is ok as you ha e noted she has put weight on.

    I work with a woman who had a gastric band op. She eats so much crappy food it’s untrue, she also feeds the same crap to her kids who are getting fat. You would have thought she would have learned from her own experience

    Premier Icon madmechanist
    Subscriber

    Depression does increase appetite and often the foods you want are not good(have it myself) but once you feel good again from doing something it can push you to try harder… I used to spend lots of time indoors and crashed regularly.. But now I cycle to work and cycle to the girlfriends only about 10 miles.. But excercise releases endorphins, my doctor told me to do more vigerous excersise and less screen time.. Do both and I feel like the king of the world when I do..

    Maybe try to help her feel that good feeling and she might be more cooperative to change, babysit the kids so she can get out(or ask someone to and go with her), depression is common after pregnancy-appetite is mostly controlled by emotion–is she ACTUALLY DOING OK!!, and make sure you are honest about your conserns – she may have a problem that she feels can’t be solved but it can just takes hard work and a bit of help(we’re not 1 man armies)

    It’s nice to have someone offer to help it shows that they care and will probably make her feel like she’s not fighting alone.. it took everyone around me to make my life manageable.. And took 110% of me.. Nearly killed me to do so but now I try to help others not to suffer as I went the other way,DANGEROUSLY UNDERWEIGHT, and was told if I lost anymore permanent damage would be done but now I’m steady 9-10stone..and staying there, all because someone cared.. That’s all it takes

    She may not want your help.. If so don’t force the horse to drink just make sure you are there when or if she wants your help

    Best of luck and for god sake do t tell her she’s ‘fat and lazy’, it will just alienate her..

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Its really difficult to lose weight after having children. All these slim A – Z slebs that pop one out and 4 weeks later are a size 10, well that’s not real life.

    The only suggestion I can give is if somehow she visits a doctor, who will give her the unwanted truth that she’s heading for a life with diabetes.
    A few people I know have had the Dr chat about diabetes and the fact it isn’t too late to prevent it, which has worked.

    It is simple that moving a lot more and eating a lot less (of the right foods) will of course see the weight drop off.

    Maybe once her eldest is at school she can get a bit of time to exercise. Also being with someone to do exercise with will help.

    She needs the advice to come from someone professional, not a brother who has no tact or isn’t sympathetic.

    eddiebaby
    Member

    I love the fact that we are so worried about alpin’s sister. Not so entertained by the digs at the OP.

    48 posts and not one suggestion of “yo mama” jokes? How times change.

    On a serious note, give the OP a break. He asked the wrong question, the intent is quite obvious so drop the holier than thou nonsense. He asked for help so be helpful.

    Its really difficult to lose weight after having children. All these slim A – Z slebs that pop one out and 4 weeks later are a size 10, well that’s not real life.

    Theres a stark difference between baby weight and outright obesity.

    As someone who is no stranger to a fish supper, if my brother phoned me from another country and told me that I was embarrassing him by being fat, he’d be getting one of these…..

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    I always find the sensitivity to weight an odd one. If someone smoked/drank too much or took to many drugs we’d happily tell them and suggest they should stop for their health and for the good of those around them.

    Yet obesity, something that is proven to cause a wide range of health problems, seems to be largely “oh, you shouldn’t say anything, they’ll already know”. Smokers know they smoke, drinkers know they drink, but we’d still try and stop them or tell them the damage being caused.

    Premier Icon nach
    Subscriber

    Don’t.

    If you think your sister’s weight gain has underlying causes or stresses, be supportive and help with those instead.

    taxi25
    Member

     If someone smoked/drank too much or took to many drugs we’d happily tell them and suggest they should stop for their health and for the good of those around them.

    Would you ? Much the same applies with obesity. People often don’t want others telling them how to lead their lives, regardless. Only advise given on this thread that might have a real impact is this.

    If you really want to help her then move back to the UK, buy her a gym membership and offer to babysit her two kids for two hours everyday to let her get to the gym 

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Would you ? Much the same applies with obesity.

    Of course, would you not? I’ve spoken to a friend or 2 and said roughly “look mate, you smoke like a chimney, you’re killing yourself, you need to have a look at it”, same with the guy who drinks like a fish and is rarely at home with his wife and kids as he seems to prefer the pub.

    If I had a friend who was eating him/herself to ill health I struggle why you wouldn’t speak to them.

    Its really difficult to lose weight after having children. All these slim A – Z slebs that pop one out and 4 weeks later are a size 10, well that’s not real life.

    Amazing what motivation you can find if your entire career depends on looking good and being back in the public eye (ideally with impeccably dressed newborn) as soon as possible.

    Seems like a lot of things coinciding with and just preceding the weight gain. She might be eating to feel better. Could be worse, could be alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, hoarding etc.

    Maybe you could just say to the sister that youa miss the old, happy, bubbly sister and want her back and want her around for a long time and how can you help make that happen?

    darthpunk
    Member

    maybe keep your opinions to yourself, unless you like being punched?

    As a massive chunker myself, I find when people tell me i’m fat, an overwhelming urge to push them as hard as I can muster into traffic, you know, just to show that we’re not all the useless drain on society that we’re made out to be, and at least we can still push things over. That’ll be handy one day when the alien overlords finally take over and put us to work in the calcium mines.

    Maybe, as a mum, she’s got enough going on without having to think of your opinion on how fat she’s got as well, which, i’m guessing, due to your prejudices, probably isn’t that fat at all, she just doesn’t seem to be the tiny dancer that Elton John once sang about anymore.

    Go over to Mumsnet and ask the same question, the post the link here, we’ll wait

    alpin
    Member

    Lots of you seem to think it my intention to upset my sister by pointing out that she has put on weight. That’s never been my intention, hence posting here, as generally the advice given is very good.

    And some of you would do well to read the whole thread before jumping to the end to post hard man (fat man? 😉) comments about what you’d do if I told you that you are fat.

    So, I’m a Dietitian who has run numerous NHS weight management programmes. I’m trained in CBT but quit as it was soul destroying.

    Basically people were sent to me instead of choosing to see me. Essentially until someone wants to change they won’t.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Lots of you seem to think it my intention to upset my sister by pointing out that she has put on weight.

    No, I’m sure you are motivated by genuine concern for her wellbeing but upsetting her would be the most likely outcome…

    I mean just run through the imaginary conversation in your head, how do you think you are going to phrase it so that you don’t upset her and she takes it as well intentioned, constructive criticism?

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Lots of you seem to think it my intention to upset my sister by pointing out that she has put on weight.

    Probably more accurate that lots of people are intentionally twisting your words, for whatever reasons 🙂

    Premier Icon LAT
    Subscriber

    Your concerns are genuine and well founded. Approaching the issue from the standpoint or, “you’re fat” (because no matter how you word it that is what she will hear) won’t be productive and eating tasty food is an easy way to get some pleasure or to indulge yourself when you are short of time and energy.

    The only practical thing I can think of (as a male I/we need to find solutions) would be finding out about groups she could leave her children with while she goes for a swim or a walk or something else and letting her know about them

    having children and the way it can completely change your life is not to be underestimated. She will be more tired than anyone without children can understand. Physically and mentally. I don’t think you mentioned the dad. Does he give her any support? Is there anyone else on hand who can help her? Once you’ve kept your children alive for another day it isn’t unusual that you have nothing left for yourself.

    Premier Icon gnusmas
    Subscriber

    Pretty much everything that everyone has said is me!

    Yes, I am fat.
    Yes, I have suffered great loss recently.
    Yes, I am depressed and have anxiety issues bought on by my loss.
    Yes, I am comfort eating.
    Yes, I am raising 4 kids all by myself.
    Yes, I do worry about people’s perception of me. But I don’t care what they actually think.
    Yes, I do want to do something about it.
    No, I have no motivation at all to do anything about any of it.

    I do worry a lot about my health and how it affects and could affect the kids. I was all set to do all sorts of things when the little one started school full time at Easter. Nearly the end of the summer holidays and still haven’t done anything. I was adamant about it too, but one thing after the other happened. It sounds like an excuse, but it isn’t, it’s the truth of the matter. In my experience, sometimes telling people what you think they want to hear is enough to get them off your back about certain things.

    Over the past few years I steadily gained weight and over the past year or so have ballooned massively. I guess by now I’ve put on about 6 stone. I have no plans to do anything about it, but something clicked in my head the other week that made me suddenly want to do things. I just hope it’s still there when the kids go back to school so I can.

    I would certainly ask her how’s she doing and make sure she is coping with grief herself, as mentioned above there may be more to it. I wouldn’t say anything about her weight though. Maybe talking to her will have a knock on effect in the right direction. PM me if you want a chat, happy to help if I can.

    Premier Icon madmechanist
    Subscriber

    No advise from me is intedended to upset her.. It was only constructive advise from my own battle with dangerously low weight and energy reseves(bonked out doing normal things)..

    Change happens from within but sometimes we need people to identify there’s a problem because you can no longer see the extent of the problem..

    As I said good luck but if she’s happy.. Honestly let her be and don’t make her unhappy if not absolutely neccisary..

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Yes, I do worry about people’s perception of me. But I don’t care what they actually think.

    Those that have even an inkling of what you’ve been through know you’re brilliant. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and isn’t worth worrying about.

    Alpin, I’d echo the posts that say just talk to her as your sister. Ask how she’s doing, does she need help with anything etc. Not everyone can always be on physically great shape. Some struggle with lots of things as outlined.

    I worked out four days a week plus cycling up until March of this year. Changes / stress at work, a young family and money being tight mean I don’t have the funds or time now. Add depression coming back big time and my diet has also gone to shit. Doesn’t take long to start putting on the pounds and motivation is hard to come by at present.

    If someone smoked/drank too much or took to many drugs we’d happily tell them and suggest they should stop for their health and for the good of those around them.

    Would you ?

    Would I? No, do I regret every day not telling my brother he drank too much? Yes. Tough one for OP.

    A bloke who is attracted to low weight and not personality isn’t a good bloke

    Hahah.

    No it doesn’t, it means they don’t want their potential offspring to die early.

    One of my sister in laws friends told a family member he was getting fat, he lost it. Nothing like a good bit of social pressure to conform and stay disciplined. 😀

    Premier Icon madmechanist
    Subscriber

    As I’ve mentioned before I have a F*****G dangerous temper and bieng told you are to fat or skinny is never fun(been called much worse-frankly would still happily torture and kill the person who did that) but its a hard truth and that’s the long and short of it..

    Would I change any of the above mentioned anger… Absolutely not .. Besides if he doesn’t and her doctor doesn’t… Who would?..before it’s too late..

    And to note I don’t preciate somebody saying we’re just trying to make his situation worse.. As long :as she’s happy’ is what we’re all saying, no insult intended or conveyed thanks..

    Nico
    Member

    Why not do it from a supportive perspective of just asking if everything is ok as you have noted she has put weight on.

    Or just say, “you don’t sweat much for a fat lass”.

    Interesting that you say “noted”, not noticed, as if you have added it to a list in your little black book of defects. I have noted that a lot of people on here think exercise is the solution to everything (“just get out and ride your bike”). I appreciate that many are “on the spectrum” and need to simplify life as much as possible but this is too important. OP, start from the perspective of what may have the effect you want and work back.

    BillMC
    Member

    I see a group of chunky young mums meet up with a coach in the park quite regularly. They have their kids with them but they do some fun exercises and run a bit, all of which would elevate the endorphins, burn some calories plus the benefits of social contact. See if there’s anything like that going on in her neighbourhood. Local authorities used to run such schemes but budgets were cut with austerity and I imagine the funds now get spent on stomach banding and diabetes treatment instead.

    philjunior
    Member

    Could you go for a gentle bike ride or walk with her? Maybe encourage her to do Parkrun with you or something? Take her out for lunch somewhere really healthy? Don’t mention her weight, just maybe show her that being active/eating healthy can be nice and fun too.

    This kind of thing, plus I would have a chat with her about how she is feeling mentally. My guess is not great/comfort eating/feeling a bit shitter as now she’s fat on top of her other problems.

    A nice walk or bike ride would have the benefit of helping her feel better too, and maybe you’ll have a chance to have a chat about what’s upsetting her too.

    Whilst I’m all for being honest, I think you’re right to think it’s a tricky subject and she’ll know, so just don’t mention it but try to be there to help if she wants to start to sort it.

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