Thursday, August 13, 2009

3 Rules for Helping A Friend Who Is Overweight

Our bodies are the most intimate and personal object we possess. So, it comes as no great surprise that people can be very touchy about comments made about their bodies. Sometimes, we have a friend or loved one that we observe being very destructive to themselves with food and we want to help, but don’t know how.

Often, we don’t say anything to them because we’re afraid of offending them. Instead, we may opt for giving them hints or make covert comments with hidden messages. When those messages go unheeded, don’t be fooled into thinking that your loved one is oblivious to your comments. I can assure you that they are quite aware of what you’re saying and they probably find it very offensive.

Rule one: be straight forward. Tell them what you are observing in their behaviors without being judgmental. “How do you do that?” you ask. Do it without calling them crazy or telling them they are defective in some way.

Don’t tell them that they are wrong. When we make people wrong, they become defensive and then dig their heels in to prove that you’re wrong. They do this by making justifications for their condition and convince themselves that there is nothing they can do about their situation.

To overcome the temptation of being judgmental, emphasize the benefits they’ll gain from living a healthier lifestyle such as improvement in mood, better outlook on life, more energy, and higher self-esteem, as well as, all the physical/medical benefits of having a healthier body.

Rule two: Give them hope. Most of us stay stuck in a destructive behavior because we feel it’s hopeless. We have an image of ourselves imprinted in our minds that we respond to over and over. It is like a mental blueprint deep down in our unconscious mind of who we expect ourselves to be and our behaviors respond to that unconscious blueprint even if it goes counter to what we are consciously trying to achieve. This makes changing a behavior very, very difficult for us to do and it makes us feel very alone in our efforts at losing weight. One effective secret to losing weight is to get down into that subconscious mind and change that blueprint.

To help them counter this feeling of hopelessness, let them know that they are not alone. Let them know that many people today suffer from being overweight but something can be done and there are many people who have succeeded in losing weight down to a healthier level and they’re feeling much better about themselves. Also let them know that you would be willing to support them in their efforts. Then, ask them how you might be helpful for them in achieving their goal. Maybe, you’d be willing to exercise with them, or changing the nature of the meals you eat with them.

Rule three: Show interest in their entire life and not just in their losing weight. There is nothing more destructive to a person’s self-esteem than being judged strictly on their achievements at weight loss. That kind of judgment doesn’t support anybody in losing weight.

But when you do show interest in their weight loss, don’t count the pounds; count the effort. Support them by letting them know how impressed you are at the strides and efforts they are making at improving their health. Losing weight is not an easy thing for most people. By praising the effort, people are much less likely to judge themselves when they slip backwards. Rather, they have a greater tendency to learn from their mistakes and work towards improving their results. Praising the efforts and not criticizing the slips keeps their egos intact and allows them to learn from mistakes without becoming discouraged. For success, people need to feel respected and supported.

You may try applying all three rules with your loved one and still run into strong resistance. In any case, stop using innuendos, dropping hints or outright criticisms. They don’t work and will only serve to poison your relationship. Blaming them will only drive them away from doing anything at all about their weight in a bid to prove to you that they are fine just as they are.

What you can do is mention the options and benefits for losing weight from time to time. In a very measured way, and I can’t stress that point enough, you can pass along articles or ideas from time to time on body health and weight loss. If you do this too often, it will only lead to resentment and stronger resistance.

Express empathy for them by trying to view their experience through their eyes. This can be very helpful in reducing your desirer to blame them. If they desperately need to have a physical exam, it may be helpful to set the doctor’s appointment together.

However, if someone staunchly refuses to do anything about their weight, there is only so much you can do. You can only do what you can do. You then only have two choices: leave the relationship, or accept them completely for who they are without judgment. I recommend the latter.

For more information on weight loss and to listen to free samples of Dr. Walton’s hypnosis weight loss album, log onto “Ultimate Weight Loss.” You can also follow his tips of the day on Twitter at DrWeightLoss_ For more information on Dr. Walton, log onto LAtherapist.com. Press Release

1 comment:

jhowieson.ca/blog said...

My loved one has a weight problem, and it's because she had what was thought to be some (I don't know what?) type of cancer of the thyroid. And so she elected to have surgery, in which 3/4 of the gland was removed - turns out no cancer :)

In the end though, she uses this for her current excuse for a weight problem.

I am of a different personality: While she works in the health system, and goes along with whatever is handed to her, I am s-O interested in new research findings, such as good nutrition, good food and avoiding the "prescription" traps which for my parents resulted in the blood pressure pills, the anti-cholesterol pills, and eventual death from chronic cardio and circular conditions.

The answer to many problems today is the use of Coconut Oil. This Medium-Chain-Triglyceride (MCT) converts into immediate energy, is therefore rarely stored in the body. It satisfies the hunger pangs, and actually results in lowering the usual Big appetite, and therefore looks after body weight over time. It also helps raise body temperatures (she always feels cold) by up to 2 degrees. Most of these problems are caused by today's huge consumption of most commonly-used Long-Chain-Triglycerides (corn, soy, canola . . . ) which are much more difficult to put to use, other than through heavy exercises, and are creating the health disasters of today.
So how do I relay this information to my loved-one, who thinks I'm on some suicide mission, while she's getting the best advice on God's planet?