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Old 10-06-05, 09:34 AM   #1
kf5nd
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Need help from formerly overweight / obese people

A friend of mine, a triathlete, is having major problems convincing her obese roommate and another obese friend that they have major problems, and that they need to improve their diet and exercise.

She is coming up against major denial, major not-seeing their own life situations... except the pain comes spilling out after a few late night (alcoholic) drinks. But, next morning, "the wall" is back up. This wall is so insidious that it even involves denigrating my friend for being a fit triathelete!

Is there anyplace where they can read inspirational testimonials from formerly fat people who finally Saw The Light and changed their lives for the better?
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Old 10-06-05, 09:59 AM   #2
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Peter,

I'm afraid that all the websites, testimonials and confrontations
won't do much good unless they want to change.
My best guess would be to not try to get both
(your friends roomate and other) to see their situation.
I would imagine that they bolster each other against
the world, they are each part of each others defense
mechanism. One on one will probably have better
success in effecting a willingness to even look at
their situation.

marty
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Old 10-06-05, 10:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf5nd
Is there anyplace where they can read inspirational testimonials from formerly fat people who finally Saw The Light and changed their lives for the better?
http://members.cox.net/incredibleshrinkingwoman/

And if the health benefits of exercise aren't obvious, this article may help:

http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/030407.html
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Old 10-06-05, 10:17 AM   #4
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Motivation.

Mine was being diagnosed with diabetes. I've since lost 50 pounds.

I also think a mistake most people who try to lose weight make is by going on a diet. What is a diet? I think most people think of it as a temporary change in what they eat in order to lose weight. If you want to lose weight, skip the diet, make a change in lifestyle (which, by the way, includes the same change in the way you eat, but now its permanent). That's what I've done, changed my lifestyle.

Good luck!
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Old 10-06-05, 10:19 AM   #5
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As in all things, we must make our own way through life.
Each person must make their own decision and find their own motivation. You cannot talk someone into taking care of themselves (I have tried).
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Old 10-06-05, 10:27 AM   #6
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I second Marty's posting. You can't make a person they realize they need help; they have to do it for themselves. Trust me, I have been playing that game with my alcoholic chain-smoking mother for years. If they wan't help and don't know how to ask or something similar, try talking to them; people who want help will often leap at any opportunity (about half the time). However, if they don't want help with their problem and don't even think of it as a problem (which many people do when it comes to weight, no matter how out of control it is), then they are only going to be hurt and get angry when confronted about it. And the more you confront them about it the angrier they will likely get. Or at least, that has been my experience.
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Old 10-06-05, 10:58 AM   #7
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As a reformed fatty, you can provide all the medical info you want and preach till your blue in the face but that info smackes the obese population on a daily basis. It really boils down to being honest with yourself and wanting to make the change. Untill that time you and your friend can only offer support and let them make their own choices.
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Old 10-06-05, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf5nd
A friend of mine, a triathlete, is having major problems convincing her obese roommate and another obese friend that they have major problems, and that they need to improve their diet and exercise.

She is coming up against major denial, major not-seeing their own life situations... except the pain comes spilling out after a few late night (alcoholic) drinks. But, next morning, "the wall" is back up. This wall is so insidious that it even involves denigrating my friend for being a fit triathelete! ...
This is the same scenario you see with alcoholics and drug-addicts. They don't think they have a problem and you can give them info from the outside all you want, nothing's gonna change. They have to accept it on the inside first and recognize they have a problem before there's any chance of outside help making a difference.

There two ideas I have on this. One is to have the triathlete log all their meals and workouts every day for a month. This is one piece of data you can pull out to show them why the triathlete is trim and fit.

The other idea is to have someone talk to them who's been as big as them and are now slim. This person can show them photos of their former self and tell them their journey to getting fit and losing weight (it has to occur in that order as well).

Finally, death threats work pretty well; we're all selfish at heart. I had gained about 100lbs over my most-fit condition in high-school and was in constant denial, "Oh yea, I can stop the binging and lose weight anytime I want to", "It's just temporary, I can fix my bike next week." blah, blah blah. It was only when the doctor told me he's going to take out life-insurance on me because my blood-pressure had crept into dangerous levels that I was shocked into reality.

I stopped the happy hours, the constant partying and gorging myself with immensely-tasty greasy, dripping-in-animal-fat foods and really watched my diet. Pulled the bike down off the wall and actually started to ride it. Dropped 60lbs so far this year and should be back to my most-fit condition again in 4-months. It's not rocket-science, but you have to open your eyes at some point and see reality. Until your obese friend does that there's nothing you can do.
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Old 10-06-05, 12:24 PM   #9
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AWESOME !


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Old 10-07-05, 07:32 AM   #10
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Tell your friend to look at these websites. This kind of diet change worked for me and this guy is definitely an inspiration. Maybe serving some of his foods, especially his desserts could convert her friends. I had no selfcontrol over what I ate and was also a binge eater. I can binge on low carb food or low impact glycemic impact foods and not suffer a weight gain. I was never successful with portion control or cutting out sweets but changing my lifestyle to replace sugar, wheat flour and high glycemic foods with healthier choices has made a big difference. I've gone done from size 46 jeans to 34 and am still going down. It was a painless process and I certainly don't feel deprived of any types of foods or desserts with this chef's recipes. I even feed them to friends and co-workers with great results.

http://stellastyle.com/newPM/cgi/pm....how&temp=index

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_ll
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Old 10-07-05, 07:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kayakado
Tell your friend to look at these websites. This kind of diet change worked for me and this guy is definitely an inspiration. Maybe serving some of his foods, especially his desserts could convert her friends. I had no selfcontrol over what I ate and was also a binge eater. I can binge on low carb food or low impact glycemic impact foods and not suffer a weight gain. I was never successful with portion control or cutting out sweets but changing my lifestyle to replace sugar, wheat flour and high glycemic foods with healthier choices has made a big difference. I've gone done from size 46 jeans to 34 and am still going down. It was a painless process and I certainly don't feel deprived of any types of foods or desserts with this chef's recipes. I even feed them to friends and co-workers with great results.

http://stellastyle.com/newPM/cgi/pm....how&temp=index

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_ll
ugh don't get me started. The Low-Carb craze is one thing that IMO isn't helping with obesity in the U.S. It's a quick fix that is easy to stay on. Why is it so easy? Oh because you can eat all the red meat, cream, butter, and other high calorie food you want as long as it is "low-carb". In my eyes, "low-carb" is not a healthy lifestyle. It will help you lose weight, yeah but beyond that I really doubt your health will improve that much. George Stella's youngest son even saw this. He not only went on a low-carb diet, but then incoprorated low fat and low calorie foods and began eating HEALTHY. He doesn't eat the desserts his dad makes and if he does happen to eat some, he take a very small bit b/c all of George Stella's desserts are horrible (well almost all anyways) for you. I just think going "low-carb" is going into the wrong mindset when trying to become healthy. Low-carb is for losing weight IMHO, nothing more. Just look at Stella. He lost a ton of weight, but why is he still 50-70 pounds overweight while his youngest son is in prefect shape?
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Old 10-07-05, 08:09 AM   #12
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What you could try is get a picture of them in their skivvies and have them take a good, hard look at it. Also, see if they would go and get some blood work done. They may be sicker then they realize.

If they are not willing to acknowledge their health risk you will never get them to change. Best thing to do is find an active sport that they may like to participate in. If they get hooked they will start to loose some weight and then realize how much better they feel as the weight comes off and they eat healthier.

One thing you do not want to do, not saying you are, is criticize them or compare them to you or your friend the tri-athlete. Most overweight people, not counting the ones with low thyroid and such, have some thing psychological they are trying to cover up. Lots of stress/problems is one major one and another, that is harder to fix, are the people who are over weight because they were either to skinny as a kid and got teased a lot or used to be very nice looking and some a$$hole attacked them so now they feel safer with the extra pounds.

Trying to figure out WHY they are overweight should be your first step. If it is psychological then you will need to find a way to open the door to help them and that is no easy task, especially if they are not ready to face what ever it may be.


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Old 10-07-05, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf5nd
Is there anyplace where they can read inspirational testimonials from formerly fat people who finally Saw The Light and changed their lives for the better?
The "wall" is there because they've heard it all their lives and their sick of hearing it.

But the current issue of Bicycling magazine has a feature about a guy who lost lots of weight on the bike.

Cycledog writes about going from 245# and a 42 inch waist.

The Fat Cyclist blog is pretty good.
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Old 10-07-05, 08:30 AM   #14
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I am fat. I'm working on not being fat, but at the moment, I'm still a solid 320 lbs. Lotek is right that they won't change until THEY WANT TO CHANGE. Just seeing testimonials won't help, I fear.

But...one thing that may help is fear. I have read a book that is a lot about losing weight, so convincing them to read may be hard. However, this book makes many points about how much higher the risk is for many health issues JUST because one is obese. Problems like heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, well, pretty much any cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a whole plethora of other things as well.

The book is called "Eat To Live" and although I had already made the commitment to lose the weight, the book scared me. It made me afraid of what would have happened if I hadn't made the decision.

If there is no way you could convince to give the book a look-see, then maybe you can google some of the info about obesity and increased risk for all those health issues.
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Old 10-07-05, 10:46 AM   #15
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That's such a tricky area. When I had extra weight, it wouldn't have helped to have people constantly remind me of it (I was reminded every time I tried to take the stairs, or I was running late). On the other hand people who said, 'we love you anyway,' also pointed out the extra weight without meaning to. It took me awhile to go from realizing I had extra weight to taking action.

My suggestions:
Set a good example and don't say anything except maybe, "I'm going for a walk to work off my stress from the day, would you like to join me? I could use some company."

Buy some extra blueberries (or some fabulous fruit) and offer them to your friend with a note or a word, "I've already had a carton and I didn't want these to go to waste."

When you finish with a Runner's World (or whatever healthy magazine), say "I know you were interested in starting (or that you've been running/ walking). . . this is my favorite magazine . . . thought you might enjoy flipping through it."


When I started I found it helpful to be around healthy people (and to see healthy images) without feeling self-conscious. I would have been too embarrassed to show up if someone else had actually acknowledged I was fat.

The problem with obesity is our society supports it; everything from tv ommercials to social interactions. I found it hardest to be in transition. My fat friends started being hostile (or perhaps self-conscious) around me with unconscious (and conscious) attempts to sabatoge my efforts. My fit friends were soooo excited to have me join them that I found it to be overwhelming because I couldn't keep up. I was also the most self-conscious during this time. Many of my fat friends have fallen by the wayside, not by my doing. Or else they have contacted me to report their own fitness and weight loss progress.

It is interesting how dynamics change in relationships with weight loss and gain.

My first wake-up call was when a nurse weighed me at a doctor's office and said, 'there's no way you weigh that much." I said, "what do you mean?' When she had me stand back on the scale she said, 'you weigh the same as me' (we were the same height and I had just been thinking 'at least I'm not as big as she is' Apparently, I was bigger).

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Old 10-07-05, 10:57 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the awesome replies. You're just great.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:17 AM   #17
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I've never been obese, but I know that when I need to drop a few pounds, it's best not to look at the total numbers, but just make a few changes.

They might be resistant because they think they could never lose 100 pounds. So, maybe go for walks with them, go out for salads, offer small changes that don't seem so overwhelming. Start with short walks, offer longer ones, take short bike rides. Maybe once they start moving, it might feel so good that they'll get hooked on exercising without even realizing they've made the switch.
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Old 10-07-05, 03:50 PM   #18
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The difference though between overweight people and addicts is that being fat is sort of an accepted reality (especially in America).

Instead of making people feel that they need to change, how about just to get them involved in cycling or better yet a cause that has cycling events (like the Aids cycle ride or Team in training) . Once you get them out there and they feel they need to improve to be ble to participate (and if they really belive in what they are going) then they will do it for the fun of it rather than because someone told them to.
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Old 10-07-05, 06:09 PM   #19
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I will share my experience over a span of 40 years.
Immigrated to America. Weight 190 lb., 74" tall, 22 years, married, 1 child.
Worked full time and went to night college for 10 years.
Switched to sales job, started to drink and eat rich. Gained weight steady over the years.
Age 45, developed stress related health problems. Started light exercise. Felt better but did not loose weight. Started biking at 10 MPH average long distance.
Weight up to 240 lb. and size 40 waist at age 60. Drinking a lot. Went on a cruise. That environment did it.
Finally decided to clamp down. Changed to fish and veggie diet, Oatmeal and fresh fruit breakfast, Red wine only for alcohol. Intensify my exercise to bike over 20 MPH and prioritized exercise to at least 1 hour/day, 4 or more hours on weekends.
Set a goal of going across USA by bike ASAP.
My weight is now 190, waist is 34"
Nowhere was there any input from other people, neither positive or negative. Everybody accepted me for who I was. Now I am noticed and under discussion.
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Old 10-07-05, 08:56 PM   #20
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A friend of mine, a triathlete, is having major problems convincing her obese roommate and another obese friend that they have major problems, and that they need to improve their diet and exercise.
Your friend should mind her own business. Oops, I bet that was offensive. Isn't it interesting that when I tell you the truth but you don't want to hear it, you think *I* am a jerk? Same thing goes for your friend and her roommate.

Seriously... your friend's roommate's health is not your friend's business. She and her associates will all be happier in the long run if they learn to respect each others' personal boundaries.
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Old 10-08-05, 01:00 PM   #21
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Call them fat and ugly. Make them realize that everyone looks down on them. Cruel but will probably be most effective. You know make them Want to lose it. In today’s society people care more about their looks than their health. Then when they lose a little weight talk about how much better they look. The reward will keep them going, not any talk about heart disease or diabeties.
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Old 10-08-05, 03:02 PM   #22
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I would strongly advise your friend NOT to put up with being attacked for being in shape.
That's "crossing the line" and letting them get away with that is the same as endorsing their unhealthy lifestyle.

If your friend is serious about wanting to be a positive influence, the first step is making it clear their attacks on her aren't acceptable.

I'd say to your triathalete friend, treat the roomies with respect. Listen to what they have to say. Ask them if they're happy with the way things are and don't take "yes" for an answer to that question. Ask if they have an easy time climbing a flight of stairs. How about walking around the grocery store?

These are useful:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...78451?v=glance

http://www.totalkaizen.com/lifestyle_change.html
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Old 10-08-05, 05:33 PM   #23
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It's just like anything else - smoking, being overweight, etc. You have to want to loose weight. After many years of "Yo-Yo" dieting, I lost 61 LBS (I'm 5'10" 161 now). The weight has been off for 2.5 years. I owe my success to Weight Watchers, and lots of cycling. I ride approximately 180 miles per week. I also do weights twice a week.
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Old 10-08-05, 09:09 PM   #24
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It's just like anything else - smoking, being overweight, etc. You have to want to loose weight. After many years of "Yo-Yo" dieting, I lost 61 LBS (I'm 5'10" 161 now). The weight has been off for 2.5 years. I owe my success to Weight Watchers, and lots of cycling. I ride approximately 180 miles per week. I also do weights twice a week.
You know, reading your post, I wish more people follow this effort of yours.
But, my best friends cannot be influenced even by a good example such as yours. It is like an addiction.
I mean, I did not wake up until age 60, and I do have will power. Why did I gain weight for such a long time?
Long story not fit for this forum. Perhaps a Psychologist would relate.
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Old 10-09-05, 06:16 AM   #25
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Ah..... no.

It's one thing to be very honest and to-the-point yet respectful in pointing out the good things in life that they're missing (for example... SEX)

It's another thing to attack someone. Attack or ridicule is never good, I would say as a matter of course.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Enthalpic
Call them fat and ugly. Make them realize that everyone looks down on them. Cruel but will probably be most effective. You know make them Want to lose it. In today’s society people care more about their looks than their health. Then when they lose a little weight talk about how much better they look. The reward will keep them going, not any talk about heart disease or diabeties.
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