Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

14 posts
tooposhtopush
Posts: 529
Joined: Jul 2009
Options:
Share this post on:

Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby tooposhtopush » Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:14 pm

I'm a long time member of NappyValleyNet and am hoping that this community might be able to advise. One of my closest friends is a large (clinically obese), very successful (professionally) single female who for as long as I have known her has struggled with her weight. She has had some successes over the years shedding her pounds but mostly has just struggled. Lockdown hasn't been easy for her with the result that she is verbally very angry with her lot. 

Sadly my friendship group are at the stage of not wanting to have her along for social events. They feel she is just too intense and don't want to listen to her ranting about how fat she is and how skinny they are. I want to be supportive of my friend at the same time they aren't wrong. She does rant.

I want to help and wonder if it's time to be direct and tell her that she has to get help else she will lose her friends or if that a dangerous thing to do? Should I just keep on lending an ear and encourage her to lose weight in the hope that the penny may drop.

Sorry for the long post. Any thoughts very welcome.
 
Post Reply
anotheranother
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby anotheranother » Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:23 pm

Yes, that's like my story. It would be helpful to be upfront with her BUT i know it would hurt me that people would want to cut me out... and almost feel as damaging...

What im trying to do to shift the weight:
1. Not focus on what i'm not allowed to eat, but rather ensure that i eat the right food (greens/amino acids/omegas etc)
2. Sleep well (lights out after 2300)
3. Try to do 10min of HIIT a day
4. Hot and cold treatments
5. All necessary vitamins
6. avoid all foods with emulsifiers
7. eat between 10 and 18 only
8. And seek help, therapy - over eaters anonymous etc

Thanks for trying to help her.
Post Reply
Namibu69
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2021
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Namibu69 » Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:45 pm

I agree, your story is very similar to my friend's. She was once on the verge of 3rd degree obesity, but decided to change in time.
My advice would be to get outdoors more and be active. That doesn't mean you have to run, jump, and so on all the time. You just need to get outside at least once a day, breathe fresh air and go for a walk. Sunshine will add essential vitamins to your body, which will help boost your motivation. You should limit yourself from consuming free sugar and replace it with sugar found in fruits and vegetables. 
My girlfriend tried to get an appetite suppressant, but I wouldn't let her. Over time I learned that sometimes it helps. But do it at your own risk.
For reference: Free sugar is the same sugar (fructose, glucose, sucrose), but in this case it is extracted from a natural source (instead of being consumed as part of natural fruits, dairy products and some vegetables and grains). It is added to foods and beverages by food companies, chefs or consumers. This sugar has no health benefits and more often than not is unhealthy and calorie-depleting.
Last edited by Namibu69 on Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Post Reply
dudette
Posts: 674
Joined: Nov 2009
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby dudette » Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:40 am

I think giving her advice on how to lose weight would be pointless. You need to stop the ranting and the only way you’re going to do that is to confront her. You don’t have to do it in a confrontational way but you do need to address the issue. Having her excluded from her circle of friends will probably make her weight issues worse, not better. Firstly I would tell your other friends that you’re going to speak to her, and then invite her out for a coffee and just tell her that it’s making your friends uncomfortable and she’s in danger of being excluded if she continues. You need to spell it out (gently!) and although it’s a difficult conversation to have, hopefully she’ll be grateful that you told her. Tell your other friends you’ve told her so they are happy to have her continue in the group. If I were doing something to annoy my friends I’d much rather they told me than they drop me as a friend without my knowing why.
Post Reply
Phoebe79
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Phoebe79 » Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:40 am

It is super tough when someone is obsessed with something they don't have but that they perceive their friends to have. And overweight, obesity (and underweight) is an emotive topic. I would encourage as other posts have done - meet her alone and tackle the issue directly but gently. I encourage you to use curious (rather than attacking) phrases or questions such as 'you seem much more pre-occupied by your weight these days', or 'I've noticed you talking lots about your weight when we are out as a group lately' or 'I've noticed you talk a lot about it when we are out with the group, is there something that bothers you about your weight when we are out in a large group?'
These might not be the right phrases for you, or suit you, but these observations are more curious rather than saying she IS overweight or SHOULD be doing this, that or the other. She can only address her own issues when she is ready to do so, so suggesting she cut out sugar, starve herself 2 days a week etc is not a healthy approach unless she is also ready to address the emotional reason she is eating. It can also be useful to point out that everyone has different mental health issues, or needs support at times. Just because someone is skinny, does not mean they are healthy or in control of their mental health (or emotional health). Starving, binging, purging etc are great examples of ways people get themselves thinner, then get lots of supportive 'you look great' comments, which encourages them to continue to abuse their body in a different way to overeating.
The other thing I would agree from other posts is that I would definitely prefer someone to tell me that I was annoying so that I don't lose that friendship group, rather than losing the group and always wondering what happened. But, her initial reaction is sure to be defensive if you do bring up the idea that other people are frustrated by her non-stop weight talk. She will (likely) see that as that they haven't heard her, or don't understand how hard it is for her.
Post Reply
Flowermummy
Posts: 152
Joined: Sep 2014
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Flowermummy » Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:56 am

I think Dudette’s advice is very reasonable and what I would do as well.

On the topic of weight loss, I’d also mention that there are many daily delivery boxes options (pure package, fresh fitness foods, etc) that may help her start getting healthy.
Post Reply
Spenner
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2017
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Spenner » Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:36 am

First of all, I think a lot of the advice on how to lose weight here is well intentioned, but your friend's issues with her weight are unlikely to be because she doesn't know how to lose weight and there's a real danger that she'll be upset to be offered advice she hasn't asked for. Speaking as someone who used to be obese, I would have died if my thin friend had offered me advice, and I certainly would have felt too ashamed to pursue the friendship. It's VERY different if she actually asks you for advice and in that case you should obviously support her.

Secondly, the reason your friend keeps bringing up her weight is because she thinks you all judge her for her weight, probably because SHE judges herself for it. She can't think about anything else so she assumes you are in the same frame of mind and think about her weight first and her second. The kindest thing you could do is reassure her that no one else ever thinks about it until she mentions it, and that you don't know what to say when she raises it as an issue within the group as you don't want to say the wrong thing to her, but it's so off your collective radar that you're worried you might put a foot wrong. Her weight doesn't make her a different person or not your friend anymore, so if she's worried about fitting in, reassure her that it's not an issue at all, but that talking about it doesn't come easily either. 

Thirdly, when you meet her for a one-to-one (which I think is a good idea), it might be helpful to have a 'problem' for her to advise you on. When you feel low, being needed is actually a huge source of comfort. It will give her a chance to feel like an equal to you rather than the friend who needs a talking-to.

Finally I would say to her that she doesn't seem happy and that you're there for her if she needs you. Try to move the conversation away from her weight. She may feel like a failure compared to the rest of you and the obesity is an outward, unmissable sign of it so that's what she's focused on. She may think that if she was thin all her problems would disappear too, which isn't realistic but it's easier to focus on something you can blame yourself for than something that's more outside your control, like finding a partner.

Ironically it's when we're at our least appealing as friends that we need friends most, so it would be great if you could all agree to draw her in rather than leaving her out. However, some friendships do have a life span, and not all friends get on all the time. If you always do the same kind of things together, try some alternatives that aren't centred on food/drinking or anything that might make her feel self-conscious - the cinema is a good outing that will limit the opportunities for awkward conversation. And thank you for trying to help your friend. Being obese is an awful thing - it saps your confidence, limits your engagement with life and incurs judgement from people who don't know why you have disordered eating issues. Hopefully she will find her happiness again.
Post Reply
ellsbells
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2016
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby ellsbells » Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:27 pm

This sounds more of a mental health issue than a physical health one IMO. If you are going to suggest she gets help then direct her towards a counsellor, not towards faddy diets than involve cutting out food groups. She sounds like she needs some understanding. She may be very frustrated with herself for not being able to stick to a diet or comfort eating. Speaking from experience, as an overweight woman it can be frustrating being out with slim friends who will criticise other women’s weight, worry about what they can and can’t eat at dinner and do competitive under eating (“gosh that’s far too rich for me…”). Do her rants come out of nowhere or are they in response to something?
Post Reply
Rsatterthwaite
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2021
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Rsatterthwaite » Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:51 pm

I've long struggled with my weight so I can sympathise somewhat - defo talk to her. Otherwise she will be excluded and won't understand why. Sometimes directness is the kindest in the long term. 
Post Reply
la_luna
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby la_luna » Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:08 pm

Why are you friends in the first place? I assume it has nothing to do with size or looks, and more to do with her other capabilities and qualities? So definitely do tell her that your group of friends find the weight chat too much, and talk about those qualities that make your friendship worthwhile in stead.

We live in a fat phobic world and covid has just made weight stigma even harder to live with. She might be worried about how the rest of you see her, maybe she needs reassurance that she is still valued and your friendship is based on other things than similar looks and her being different? Body image is something lots of us struggle with, can recommend the book ‘More than a body’ by Lexi and Lindsay Kite.
Post Reply
Ben Milne Coaching
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2021
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Ben Milne Coaching » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:39 am

After seeing this post - I needed to reply as I'm a wellbeing coach!
Like every situation that has/is ongoing, there's of course multiple reasons as to why the "situation" is apparent and currently the way it is. Firstly, nothing will ever change for anyone, until identification can happen at the core, with understanding why certain instances have occurred and been allowed to continue. I'm happy to offer some assistance if you feel I may be able to help out (I offer wellbeing mentoring programs) which consist of multiple wellbeing/mindset practices, all derived from positive psychology. Feel free to reach out "Mentoring" any of my socials @benjamin_milne
Post Reply
Sudifoodie
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2020
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Sudifoodie » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:34 am

As somone who also struggles with her weight, one suggestion if you would really like to help her is to suggest a rota of long walks with friends as this will help someone who finds regular exercise difficult get into the patter.   I wouldn't recommend faddy eating but sensible health forward eating and cutting out cakes, crisps, sugary drinks etc and suggesting substitutes even water with mint or cucumber is more interesting.  

Also, a friend of mine runs Apres Food Co; for body & mind.  These are nutrition packed nourishing ready meals of restaurant standard (she used to have a restaurant in St John St) and very creative recipes..   She uses all organic ingredients (applying for Soil Association certification presently as will be supply Abel & Cole from September) . Presently only available online    She is a single Mum, and, incidentally looking for investment to grow currently!
Post Reply
Jennypppp
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby Jennypppp » Wed Jul 07, 2021 12:17 am

There is a condition called LIPOEDEMA/LIPEDEMA NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH LYMPHADEMIA which is hereditary- if your friend has this neither dieting nor excercise gets rid off the weight. Many doctors do not know about it - although it has been known about for many years. It is now starting to be acknowledge. Help her by checking this condition out first.
Post Reply
tooposhtopush
Posts: 529
Joined: Jul 2009
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Clinically overweight friend in danger of being excluded

Postby tooposhtopush » Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:53 am

Thanks again everyone for all of your very helpful replies. I am going to try and amalgamate as many of the suggestions as possible. Take a problem of mine to her - I think that this is a good idea in terms of making her feel positive about her contributions to our friendship etc., ask her how things are with her, ask how I can help, be a diet buddy. If it is appropriate I will widen the conversation to suggest that she seems increasingly unhappy etc. All of your suggestions have been very helpful, again, thank you for taking the time to reply. I'm glad that I didn't take the blunt approach to the problem. It seems it wouldn't have been the right approach.
Post Reply