Authored by Andy Chasse’ in Weight Issues
Published on 06-27-2009
Every now and again a close friend starts packing on the pounds, incessantly eating anything in sight and refusing to participate in any activity that actually gets their heart pumping. They won’t listen to reason and they tend to deny and deny and deny the fact that they are starting to become at least mildly unhealthy. We’ve all been there at some point. But is it possible, or our place, to force them to understand what’s going on?
Thankfully, for both parties’ sakes, it is both possible and our place. There are many that will argue that we should respect each other as individuals and let each individual make their own decisions. While that is certainly a valid point, does it still hold true when health becomes a factor? Nobody wants to see their best friend pass away from a weight-related heart attack, especially when the ability exists to help fix this dangerous weight problem.
But where to start? It will be a tough road, to say the least. This step-by-step process just may help smooth that road out.
1) Approach. This is the most tricky and potentially harmful part of the process. Harmful to yourself, that is. The point needs to come off strong, but not strong enough to do any real emotional damage. Yelling and screaming, “lose weight now, fatty!” doesn’t make for a very healthy friendship. That being said, the key to the approach is simple, but very difficult to pull off. Sit down and calmly speak to the friend. Do not make them feel as if they are alone. The majority of the United States has weight issues. In addition, be sure to speak in the most caring tone you can muster. For a successful approach, one must appear as deeply and sincerely concerned as possible. Be sure to let this friend know that your intentions are entirely admirable and you are just worried about their well-being. In plain terms – come off as a true friend.
2) Encourage. If the full effect of the approach is felt, the friend will likely begin to make changes in everyday habit. This is where you come back in as a true friend. Bringing it up and making it known that there is a problem is not near enough to fix anything. You must be there as a closet advisor, so to speak. Provide encouragement at any and every possible opportunity. Suggest a game of football, or offer to participate in a morning run with your friend.
3) Follow-through. The above encouragement stage is not short-lived by any means. It must be kept up with over the course of many months for any serious change to be made. One or two weeks of buddy-buddy working out and running and healthy eating is not going to make the slightest difference. While there are a few people in this world that can simply pick something up and keep it going by themselves, these people are not the majority. Various forms of discouragement, such as a lack of progress, are likely to appear along this road. That’s where you come in. The follow-through is the most important step of this entire process.
Be there for your friend every step of the way, and most importantly – be patient.