Fat Friends

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    Oct 19, 2011 10:56 AM GMT
    Okay, so I have two friends, one who is majorly obese - and one overweight, but with quite a few health problems. They are both smokers, drinkers, and binge eaters.

    For the purposes of this post, they are "John" (Majorly obese), and "Joe" (Obese, smoker, health issues [back problems]) Every time I get excited about something that involves physical activity, John laughs and says something about how he will never lift a finger, pokes fun at his own laziness, etc.. If I am ever out eating with either of them, BOTH John and Joe laugh their asses off when I order something remotely healthy ( Or rather less than a full Pizza and side of pasta for myself...). I think they both feel that they are so far away from a normal body image, or even just health, that it isn't worth the massive effort. They're off the deep end.


    I care about my friends, I can't stand to watch them slowly kill themselves... I also can't see them taking this serious issue very seriously in the near future. I know that the best motivation for self change comes from just that, one's self...


    What's a good way to motivate them? I know it's not my responsibility, but it worries me...

    More information available if necessary.
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    Oct 19, 2011 11:26 AM GMT
    You seem like a really good friend!

    Regina%20George.jpg

    Eww why are you hanging out with non-humans?
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    Oct 19, 2011 1:24 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidThat said, articles like this did give me pause: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wirecopy/8501241/Obesity-is-contagious-as-fat-friends-make-you-feel-normal.html
    quoting to emphasize this article
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:10 PM GMT
    FATS AREN'T PPL!
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:28 PM GMT
    I don't think there is all that much you can do. You can be a good role model and continue to make healthy choices when you're around them. And you can provide information and assistance when they want it but to make that kind of lifestyle change they have to be invested and want to do it. You can't force them to be healthy. You can encourage them and make it easier for them but you can't do the work.
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:30 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said

    " It turned into a chance to rebuild my life

    and I just sort of flipped my "I don't care" attitude about being active/eating right

    into an "I don't care" attitude about how much hard work/how long it would take to becoming a more ideal me."



    'I DON'T CARE.......how long it takes....or how hard the effort....

    .....I'M DOING IT.'

    will be the words in my head on tough days.

    Thank You.
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    Oct 19, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidMake sure that when you hang with them, that you are with another friend too that is fit and in shape. This will help set in their mind that fat is not fit. Also, your fat friends don't sound like very good friends if they are making fun of you for eating healthy. It sounds more like they want you to wallow in the obese pool with them. Find new friends.

    That seems a bit harsh. I assume he don't mean that they are evil and making fun of him- just good humour joking?

    Anyhow, I think you already know there is nothing you can do short of inviting them over for every meal and cooking healthy. I have a very close friend who is severely obese and gaining weight every year. It used to be that we could go hiking at least for a few hours. Not so much anymore. She has convinced herself that she is happy just "being her". As she gains weight she becomes more convinced that as long as you accept yourself and love yourself there is no need to try to control your weight.

    I think many people (and probably your friends as well) fall into the trap that their weight is nobody elses business as long as they are happy. I have seen first hand how a person can become used to any situation in their life and it becomes "normal." They can not see what they are missing or even remember who they used to be; the situation (whether it is homelessness or obesity) just becomes a part of their life. Until they decide to question it I don't know what you can do.

    My only advice would be to invite them to tag along with you on a relatively non-strenuous activity; but something enjoyable to show them what part of life they are missing. Perhaps when they realize that the short hike in nature is no longer possible for them but that you don't so much as break a sweat they may realize what they are missing. It didn't work for my friend; she has replaced nature with the couch, the fridge and the television. However, I remain convinced that one day she will want to replace them with freedom and health.

    Best of luck.
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    Oct 19, 2011 3:48 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    BAMF saidFATS AREN'T PPL!

    But Soylent Green is! Mmmmm....Soylent Green.

    soylent_green.gif


    INORITE
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    Oct 19, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    Most of my friends are smokers and even though some are also in medschool with me. I do not like smoking at all (except sisha icon_twisted.gif )

    Whenever they want to light one up (a cigarette that is), I always tell them not to smoke and at least they respect me enough that they don't smoke around me.
    So that being said, I obviously wish they didn't smoke altogether, but they are all adults and have to make their own decisions. The one lesson I can tell you is that change is most powerful when it comes from within. External change is forced upon and the person will reject/rebel against it.

    As long as your friends don't want to change, they won't. This may make you feel helpless, but it is the truth. You can give them the good example and please do not get dragged down in their unhealthy lifestyle, e.g. don't succumb under peer pressure. I can't resist asking them when they will stop smoking though..

    What you can do is give them a good example. My friends see me being healthy and see how much time I put in the gym and the results I'm getting, so that motivates them. One friend started doing yoga, when before he didn't work out much at all.
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    Oct 19, 2011 4:34 PM GMT
    Just be your healthy self around them. Don't try to convince them or passive-aggressively try to shove health and fitness down their throats. It won't work. I used to be the "fat friend" in my high school social circle. No amount of encouragement and pleading ("because I'm worried about your health!") will get them to change their minds - it will only push them even further away.

    The most you can do as a friend is to be supportive when they make the decision for themselves to change.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Oct 19, 2011 4:45 PM GMT
    There isn't a whole lot you can do to help them become more active (less lazy) and health conscious because the problems run deep and involve issues of self esteem and self sabotage. Until they truly want to change, they will likely remain on the course they are on, hard as it is to watch. The best you can do is just lead by example, showing them through example that eating doesn't have to be all about pizzas, pasta, and other fattening foods. Be there for them in the event that they want to do something more active -- like an easy hike, or a bike ride.
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    Oct 19, 2011 4:58 PM GMT
    Encourage them and support them if they show some interest in doing something healthy. Don't beat them up if they slide back into being unhealthy. Ultimately, it's up to them.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Oct 19, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    BAMF saidFATS AREN'T PPL!



    ... but corporations are... oh the world we live in...
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    Oct 19, 2011 5:56 PM GMT
    THANK U!!
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    Thanks guys.

    Yeah, sure - it does carry over to other choices in their lives, but they have both been friends since early in school... I see no reason to end that because of a few character flaws. They're intelligent and kind people. I don't discriminate, and I am also not a sheep. I don't take on the traits of my friends.

    The majority of my close friends ARE very physically active, and it baffles me that I don't see these two show any signs of remorse or jealousy when we talk about things we've done together... camping/quadding, longboarding, basketball, marathon, hiking, etc... The influence IS THERE.... but... I guess I can't and wont understand it


    Guess I'll just have to be somewhat passive and not worry about something beyond me.
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    I didn't read all of the responses because some of them were too long.

    I think the agreement is that you shouldn't let it get to you and you shouldn't try to change what you can't. I've tried talking to obese people about fitness. It can backfire. People get defensive very easily about topics like this. The best you can do is subtly let them know that you are open to helping them and giving them advice, but they need to ask for it.
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:10 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said and giving them advice, but they need to ask for it.



    One of them came to me a few months ago eager to start working out together... That lasted about a week.
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Oct 20, 2011 1:13 AM GMT
    I was the fat friend once. Then I realized that heart disease runs in my family and I am bound and determined to not die from heart attack like my 3 uncles and my grandfather on my mom's side did.
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier said
    DudeInNOVA said and giving them advice, but they need to ask for it.



    One of them came to me a few months ago eager to start working out together... That lasted about a week.


    And it may happen again. It's a vicious cycle that they trap themselves in. Just keep being supportive and willing to help. That's all you can do.
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Oct 20, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    Motivational help for fatties from Eric Cartman.

  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Oct 20, 2011 1:31 AM GMT
    People are so harsh in the internets....

    My advice would be to not do anything but be a good friend. You dont know it yet, but true friends are harder and harder to come by as you get older so hang on to the ones you have. You should never dump a friend for this kind of shortcoming. Only dump ones for egregious acts of assholery or douchebaggery.
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    Jerebear saidPeople are so harsh in the internets....

    My advice would be to not do anything but be a good friend. You dont know it yet, but true friends are harder and harder to come by as you get older so hang on to the ones you have. You should never dump a friend for this kind of shortcoming. Only dump ones for egregious acts of assholery or douchebaggery.



    Untimely death usually ends friendship.
    Also, the inability to do the activities one usually does with friends.

    Would you say your outlook on life has changed since losing weight? Are you the same type of friend you were before losing the weight?
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    Lux_ saidMost of my friends are smokers and even though some are also in medschool with me. I do not like smoking at all (except sisha icon_twisted.gif )


    I smoked all the time until I saw the epidemiological records for smokers... that made it very easy to quit.. but still i know tons of people in school who smoke
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Oct 20, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier said
    Jerebear saidPeople are so harsh in the internets....

    My advice would be to not do anything but be a good friend. You dont know it yet, but true friends are harder and harder to come by as you get older so hang on to the ones you have. You should never dump a friend for this kind of shortcoming. Only dump ones for egregious acts of assholery or douchebaggery.



    Untimely death usually ends friendship.
    Also, the inability to do the activities one usually does with friends.

    Would you say your outlook on life has changed since losing weight? Are you the same type of friend you were before losing the weight?


    Honestly I would say that I'm a worse friend than I used to be. My life is so structured around eating planned things and working out. I can very very rarely enjoy the same fun social activities that my friends do. I wouldnt say my outlook on life has changed that drastically, but I've learned alot, and I'm smarter than I used to be. Plus my brain isnt in a constant fog from sleep apnea and insulin spikes like it used to be so I suppose I'm more engaged.
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    Oct 20, 2011 1:44 AM GMT
    Love them. Compliment them. Have fun with them. Shaming them never makes them better and negative reinforcement doesn't work for this type issue. There are a lot of people who are laughing on the outside but crying on the inside. You are there to be their friend. Continue to eat healthy when you are around them. Sometimes being a great person that does good things is the best motivation and role model.