What to know if you love an obese person? Please pay attention. You will want to know this. Many people today are obese and there are various reasons why, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that you probably have someone obese in your life that you love and I bet your last intention is to hurt them.
I was a morbidly obese person, and I am not ashamed of that. Actually, I'm proud I was. I wear all my war scars with me and will never let them go.
Since I can say for myself that I understand “plus-size” people, I wanted to make this article in order to help you understand better someone who you love.
1. Stop loving what we could be, and love what we already are
Accept the people just the way they are. Being overweight has nothing to do with being a good and kind person.
Those are two completely different worlds, and you should not judge a book by its covers (and I bet you already knew that). We understand that you want the best for us, but loving something we could be sometime in the future is the same thing as loving someone who doesn't even exist.
If an overweight person is fine with the numbers on her scale, you should be too.
2. You don't know what is best for us
It's not that you are not a doctor, many doctors and nutritionists do not know what is best for us, it's the wrong intentions. Just because you read some diet online on how to lose some weight in a small amount of time doesn't mean that is exactly what we need.
Yes, being fit and strong is healthy, jogging every morning is healthy, choosing a protein shake over a burger is healthy but those are just pieces of the huge puzzle, and trust me that puzzle is far bigger than you can imagine.
Let's put it this way: if you are spending months completing a 15000 pieces puzzle, and I come over and give you 3 pieces, will find them helpful? If I hand you the piece of a puzzle;
- when you just started building it, you will not find it useful because you absolutely have no clue where does it belong! It's 15000 pieces puzzle!
- while you are halfway to getting it done, you will not find it useful, because by that time you already developed your own system of putting the puzzle together! By doing that, I'm disrupting your process!
- when you are near the end, you will also not find it useful, because I can see on my own where does that go, so in that situation, you would just look at me as a smartass because you completed 15000 pieces puzzle on your own.
See the point? So no, you do not know what is best for us in our process of putting the puzzle together, so please stop with that.
3. We value your support very much
If we are trying to drop a few pounds, your support means the world to us. You have no idea how good is to hear “Wooow, you look great!” or “I can see that new diet is really working for you“. Heck, even “Keep up the good work” is good to hear.
“Your small support could accomplish a big dream.” – Mohammad Rishad Sakhi
4. Don't try to make us change something
Believe it or not, there are MILLIONS of overweight people who just love to be overweight!
Seriously, like, I enjoyed being BIG! Don't know why (psychologist, please, don't even bother), but I loved the strength I had when I had 350 pounds. Sure, I couldn't fit in a couple of chairs, but I loved my massive look and you probably can't understand that, just like the other 90% of people.
If we want to change something we will. We will pick the right time and the right way. Forcing us to do something is selfish. Now, now, don't get triggered here, I'm not saying you don't love us, we know you do. But understand that forcing someone to do something just because YOU want it, and not THEY, is selfish.
5. Just because we smile, it doesn't mean we are happy
Okay, so this is not for everyone. Science said long ago that obese people tend to develop depression much more than non-obese people. But it also said that obese people laugh and act happy more than the others. And this is true.
If we are depressed it doesn't mean it's because of our weight. We are more emotional than other people, and the cause of depression may lay in some other things that are not relevant to our obesity. We don't ask you to resolve our problems. We just ask you to understand and treat us like everybody else.
6. If we stumble and fall stop reminding us about it
So this is one of the most irritating things I experienced in my life.
There was a time when I stopped my diet due to emotional heaviness. There was a time when I stopped my diet because I couldn't take it anymore. There was a time when I stopped my diet because I saw it wasn't right for me. There was a time when I stopped my diet just because it's hard!
But there was also the time when I stopped my diet just to have a regular cheat day, and reward myself for hitting the milestone.
“Eating those burgers and sweets again, huh? That's what got you there in the first place! You just started this new….” blah blah blah…
There is no need for you to remind us that we let our demons to beat us. We already feel sorry and beaten!
If you really want to help, listening would be the right choice. Let us tell you why we dropped it, and if you can't understand it, that is fine! Really, we would more appreciate your “I don't understand, but if there is anything you need I'm here for you“, then fake understanding.
You will also face a situation where we just don't want to talk about it. We know reasons, and if we would want you to know, we would tell you.
Just stop reminding us about the past. Present and future are the things to work on.
7. We already know the price of obesity
People are different. Some of them are okay with all the negative stuff that comes with being overweight, some do not believe they'll get them, some are scared deep down and looking for the solution and some don't give a credit to it. But one thing is in common to all these people.
All of them perfectly know they can get diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and even die young.
There is no point in reminding a pilot that the plane could crash. No matter what are his thoughts about it, he knows really good that is an option.
8. Help us find our “why”
Many overweight people do want to lose all the fat. And many of them try, and many of them fail. The difference between people who fail and people who succeed is “why”
People who know WHY are they losing weight, WHY they decided to do it, WHY such a drastic change, are people who break all barriers.
Their WHY was stronger than every deepest and darkest day.
Finding a “why” is the key to the success, and that's why so many people fail. Because it's really hard to find that strong why. It took me even a few years.
Try to find out what drives us, what motivates us, what is our reason for waking up every morning. Sometimes people can't see simple things, that stand in front of them the whole time. Help them see it, they will be very grateful.
9. Remind us that it's okay to seek professional help
Obesity is almost always followed by shame. It doesn't matter what is shame about, those two almost always come in the package.
Being ashamed to seek professional help is often a case.
Sometimes we forget that nutritionist is the person who studied four to five years about nutrition (which includes obesity) to be able to help people. Sometimes we forget that professional trainers helped hundreds, even thousands of obese people to get rid of their weight. Sometimes we forget those things because we are ashamed
Remind us that there is nothing wrong with not being able to do everything on our own.
10. Our emotions play a big role.
We don't ask you to walk on the eggs and choose the words how you speak with us. We are just like every other human being, and there is no need to treat us any differently.
But understand that most overweight people are emotional eaters.
If you want to help us, instead of choosing words, help us figure out what is triggering emotional eating.
Most of the people can't figure that out for themselves, and they need someone beside them. Knowing what is the trigger we could correct our mistakes, and make yours and our life easier.
Accept us the way we are. Don't judge us. Help us by listening to us and finding what drives us. We know what we are living with already. Don't remind us of our past, build the future with us. Don't sabotage us – stay with us or stay away. We are very grateful for everything you are doing for us.
After you understand and accept all these, we can eat chocolate together.
Founder at Extreme Loser