Today, Aaron Marino of alpha m. tackles a delicate and tough topic- how to talk to a loved one (friend, family member, spouse / partner) about their weight. One thing you need to know is that as soon as you put it out there, you cannot take it back. You need to handle it with the precision of a brain surgeon. The future of your relationship and their feelings depend on how tactful and sensitive you are.
People don't want to be overweight or have excess body fat, but the bad habit of eating poorly and over-eating is one of the hardest habit to kick. You can't just *kick it*! You can't just stop eating. Also, a lot of times over-eating is tied to emotions which makes losing weight even harder. Further, people in your life that are trying to lose weight want your support. It may not be easy for them so they certainly don't need pressure, being berated, or made to feel badly about themselves.
How You Can Be Uplifting and Supportive
- Do not say, "you need to go on a diet" - shape behavior without being confrontational
- Put the burden on yourself - talk about eating better and have a plan
- Don't ever say, "do you want to eat all that!?" - being critical is not needed
- Don't say you're worried about their health so you want them to lose weight - if you bring up health as an issue, you need to have an open and honest conversation with them (coming from a place of loving and caring)
- Say, "How can I help?" - success rate increases dramatically when someone is in it with them
- Share desserts
- Never (NEVER) associate weight with attraction
- Never ask how much weight they've lost
- Find other ways to celebrate other than going out to eat
- Be a cheerleader, not a coach
This is a touchy subject but there are ways to do it and ways not to. Remember, once the topic leaves your lips, it's floating around in space and you cannot get it back!