Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas... and by the way, you are fat!

Last week the BBC online edition posted an article with the headline, “Tell loved ones they are overweight this Christmas” with the subhead, “Christmas may be a time of indulging for many, but health experts believe it is the perfect time to tell a loved one they are overweight.”

via BBC article
My first reaction to this was… are you kidding me?  For many, the holidays can be stressful as it is, and now to top it off, people have to worry about being greeted with comments from their loved ones regarding their weight?  Through my own personal experiences, I have learned that personal health issues such as smoking, obesity, etc. can only be fully addressed and overcome if an individual makes the decision to do that on their own.  As well, I have never met anybody who has not been aware, ON THEIR OWN, that they are overweight and needed a loved one to let them know.

I am speaking from my point of view and from what has been successful with me and with friends.  That being said, this holiday season, if your loved ones make comments indicating that they are are looking to shed a few pounds in the new year, show them that you can be supportive.  Let them know how you can help and offer support rather than you opinion on their weight.

My family and friends have been invaluable throughout the past year as I made a journey myself to lose weight.  Had someone told me last holiday season that I should drop a few pounds… well, I don’t think that would have gone over too well with me.  I made the decision MYSELF to get healthy and to take action to improve my own life.  The goal I gave myself was to lose 40 lbs in 2011 and I am proud to say that I exceeded that goal by 15 lbs!

As I mentioned before, weight gain and obesity is very often caused by underlying issues.  An addiction to food, a method of coping, stress, depression, unhappiness, etc. can all lead to someone being overweight.  Unless they are ready to make a change that involves eating healthier, exercising more, and ADDRESSING the issues that caused them to become overweight in the first place, there isn't a lot of chance for long term success. Family support can only go so far. 

I urge anyone who may have been thinking about having a conversation with their loved one to take a step back and be careful before making the leap.  Especially if you have never had a weight issue of your own, you don’t want to end up pushing your loved one in the wrong direction.  Or at least, wait until after the holidays. January is a great time to start anew.  A  weight loss plan doesn’t need to start on January 1st to be effective.  Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

I would love to hear others thoughts on this.  Has anybody successfully had a conversation with a loved one regarding their weight?  Has anybody ever talked to YOU about your weight?  How did they/you react?  Any advice?

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