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AOA

How to talk to a friend who has gained a lot of weight?

163 posts in this topic
On ‎2017‎-‎02‎-‎17 at 3:39 PM, Amore said:

No, that hasn't been my experience, and I will tell you I've had plenty of experience, so it's not just an isolated incident.

They phrase it in Spanish so that it is kind but still it's calling them "little fatty" or "little skinny."  I saw it over and over and no offense was taken.

Maybe this is a generalization - and in some latino cultures there are exceptions, but in a big group (of hundreds) from about 18 different Spanish-speaking countries, that was my observation.

"Little" is used to lessen the harm of something that is known to be harmful. So calling someone "fatty" is harmful and calling someone "little fatty" is a way of expressing love with a word that without the "little" would be offensive. In fact not using the "little" can be understood as someone being severe or expressing anger or resentment, so the "little" (-ito, -ita) is even needed to express care when expressing an idea (many women would expect a respectful and loving man to use the diminutive when addressing them in any sense).

Yes. Somehow people think "latino" can be generalized. We can't. For example, Mexicans have more in common with USA people than with Argentinians, and Ecuatorians have little in common with Nicaraguans. This comes more from the way USA people think of anything south their border (they speak spanish, so they should be more or less the same) and mostly "latino" should only be used to describe immigrants in the USA, else is at best risky.  This can be discussed in another thread.

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8 hours ago, Jalex said:

Little" is used to lessen the harm of something that is known to be harmful. So calling someone "fatty" is harmful and calling someone "little fatty" is a way of expressing love with a word that without the "little" would be offensive.

I've been called idiot or silly with "little" before it and it still felt offensive. It's like wrapping a foul word up and pretending it's endearing. I guess the intention is good, but it's still sorta disrespectful. 

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12 hours ago, Jalex said:

"Little" is used to lessen the harm of something that is known to be harmful. So calling someone "fatty" is harmful and calling someone "little fatty" is a way of expressing love with a word that without the "little" would be offensive. In fact not using the "little" can be understood as someone being severe or expressing anger or resentment, so the "little" (-ito, -ita) is even needed to express care when expressing an idea (many women would expect a respectful and loving man to use the diminutive when addressing them in any sense).

Yes. Somehow people think "latino" can be generalized. We can't. For example, Mexicans have more in common with USA people than with Argentinians, and Ecuatorians have little in common with Nicaraguans. This comes more from the way USA people think of anything south their border (they speak spanish, so they should be more or less the same) and mostly "latino" should only be used to describe immigrants in the USA, else is at best risky.  This can be discussed in another thread.

Yeah, that's what I meant.  I've didn't want to actually post Spanish since I got busted for it before.

Anyway, my point, and sticking to the topic here, is that if someone is obviously on the heavy or light side - why ignore the elephant in the room?  Again, I'm speaking in generalizations of my observations of latinos - I admire how they lovingly acknowledge TRUTH.  In a way, I think it makes it less shameful than walking on egg-shells trying to ignore what's in front of you for fear of offending someone.

Yes, sometimes the truth hurts.  But after the truth pisses you off, ultimately, I think the truth can set you free - because the only way you can improve is by recognizing what needs improving.  Businesses actually pay for customer feed back - good or bad - so they can improve.  I wish more of my society would be more open and loving about truth.

 
 
...... added to this post 3 minutes later:
 
4 hours ago, MissJ said:

I've been called idiot or silly with "little" before it and it still felt offensive. It's like wrapping a foul word up and pretending it's endearing. I guess the intention is good, but it's still sorta disrespectful. 

Yes, I know what you mean.  And in other contexts, it could be intentionally rude.  But in the Latino culture, (from my observations ;) ) it's their way of being loving about it.  If they didn't add the "Little" ("ito/ita) then it could be considered rude.  It's a cultural difference which I admire.

Edited by Amore

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On 2/15/2017 at 6:06 PM, MissJ said:

Losing weight and becoming happier?

What people feel happier about is being healthier. The key, though, is that when you get healthier being more attractive or losing weight are just side affects. Being healthy, though, comes with way more affects. You have more energy, you sleep better, you think clearer, you can just plain do more things, etc. And while breaking bad habits is hard and the first few months of developing a healthy regime are hard - once you get use to being healthy (talking normal ranges here, not body builder), it's very easy to maintain and continue.

As for the OP, though, for someone to gain over 100 lbs in 2 years tells me that there is something else going on that you are not privy to. Could be a medical condition, side affect of a medication, or something else. Clearly she knows how much she weighs. My guess is that whatever it is, she's not talking to you about it given your obsession with weight and beauty.

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23 hours ago, Storm said:

What people feel happier about is being healthier. The key, though, is that when you get healthier being more attractive or losing weight are just side affects. Being healthy, though, comes with way more affects. You have more energy, you sleep better, you think clearer, you can just plain do more things, etc. And while breaking bad habits is hard and the first few months of developing a healthy regime are hard - once you get use to being healthy (talking normal ranges here, not body builder), it's very easy to maintain and continue.

As for the OP, though, for someone to gain over 100 lbs in 2 years tells me that there is something else going on that you are not privy to. Could be a medical condition, side affect of a medication, or something else. Clearly she knows how much she weighs. My guess is that whatever it is, she's not talking to you about it given your obsession with weight and beauty.

I agree that becoming healthier makes people happier, but only weight loss in a healthy manner can give these benefits then. I also agree with the last part, that OP's relationship with weight would not be stimulating for the friend to confide in. 

On 16-2-2017 at 1:29 AM, Porcelain said:

This is actually very true.

Thanks for quoting me :) That wad nice to see. I think OP would not be the right person to ask questions about self esteem to the friend, because as you said, she is mixing worthiness with appearance/fat and will do more harm than good with this mindset, even if the intention is good. 

But actually, OP already made the decision to not mingle into the friend's affair anymore. This thread is a year old already. But it's still an interesting topic. 

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I understand that there are fat people who own being fat. They don’t care about being skinny, they don’t see any reason to change, they’re fine just the way they are. Unfortunately this is not my friend. She is so insecure and sensitive towards her weight that she makes people take down photos with her in it because she doesn't like how they look. (Ok, well then if you don't like it maybe you should change something?)

On 2/19/2017 at 8:08 AM, Storm said:

What people feel happier about is being healthier. The key, though, is that when you get healthier being more attractive or losing weight are just side affects. Being healthy, though, comes with way more affects. You have more energy, you sleep better, you think clearer, you can just plain do more things, etc. And while breaking bad habits is hard and the first few months of developing a healthy regime are hard - once you get use to being healthy (talking normal ranges here, not body builder), it's very easy to maintain and continue.

As for the OP, though, for someone to gain over 100 lbs in 2 years tells me that there is something else going on that you are not privy to. Could be a medical condition, side affect of a medication, or something else. Clearly she knows how much she weighs. My guess is that whatever it is, she's not talking to you about it given your obsession with weight and beauty.

It's ok if she doesn't talk about it with me, but before she became fat she was the person who was the most obsessed with how she looked. (Remember she was a former model?)  The byproduct is that she's friends with a group of 'girly girls' who do talk about weight loss and bikini bods but who now have to censor themselves when talking to her for fear of hurting her feelings. 
 

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15 hours ago, AOA said:

It's ok if she doesn't talk about it with me, but before she became fat she was the person who was the most obsessed with how she looked. (Remember she was a former model?)  The byproduct is that she's friends with a group of 'girly girls' who do talk about weight loss and bikini bods but who now have to censor themselves when talking to her for fear of hurting her feelings.

I understand that there are fat people who own being fat. They don’t care about being skinny, they don’t see any reason to change, they’re fine just the way they are. Unfortunately this is not my friend. She is so insecure and sensitive towards her weight that she makes people take down photos with her in it because she doesn't like how they look. (Ok, well then if you don't like it maybe you should change something?)

So she used to be extremely attractive, and now she's lost it all? Kind of like if a guy was a millionaire and is now broke? Don't you think she misses the attention she used to get when she was a model and thin? Clearly, it upsets her, because she can't have anyone talk about bikini bods now. So obviously, she misses her lost appearance a LOT. Don't you think she wants it back?

If she can't handle others talking about it, then obviously, she isn't someone to open up about her feelings. She's probably a bit private. Since she's private about the things that hurt her, she probably would have tried to lose weight privately. Odds on, she has tried to lose weight, several times, by herself. But she keeps failing. She probably thinks that now that she's heavy, she'll always be heavy. Once a loser, always a loser, eh?

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19 hours ago, AOA said:

I understand that there are fat people who own being fat. They don’t care about being skinny, they don’t see any reason to change, they’re fine just the way they are. Unfortunately this is not my friend. She is so insecure and sensitive towards her weight that she makes people take down photos with her in it because she doesn't like how they look. (Ok, well then if you don't like it maybe you should change something?)

It's ok if she doesn't talk about it with me, but before she became fat she was the person who was the most obsessed with how she looked. (Remember she was a former model?)  The byproduct is that she's friends with a group of 'girly girls' who do talk about weight loss and bikini bods but who now have to censor themselves when talking to her for fear of hurting her feelings. 
 

It is never ok to be fat. You and your friends are enablers and not really her friends.

You should take her by the side and scream wildly :

Quote

  Nuke the whales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nuke the whales!!!!!!!!!!  Man the harpoons!!!!!!!

Why???? Because they are whales!!!!

 

Just like good guys do not let friends lift small weights,good girls do not let their friends become whales.

Edited by GhenghisKhan

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On 2/19/2017 at 10:08 AM, Storm said:

As for the OP, though, for someone to gain over 100 lbs in 2 years tells me that there is something else going on that you are not privy to. Could be a medical condition, side affect of a medication, or something else. Clearly she knows how much she weighs. My guess is that whatever it is, she's not talking to you about it given your obsession with weight and beauty.

 

I have avoided adding my thoughts to this thread until now, as it's not easy for me to discuss my own situation. However, given that I can give potential insight into the friend's perspective, I'm going to put my business out there.

I used to be an intense athlete. Kickboxing, basketball, volleyball, running, etc. I am 6' tall and at my peak fitness, I weighed 165 lbs with a body fat that averaged around 8%. Then I got pregnant and my body rebelled. I don't mean that in a joking "haha I gained 20 lbs and felt so fat" way...I mean my body went freaking haywire. No matter how healthy I ate, no matter how active I tried to be, the weight kept coming. I gained 87 lbs with my pregnancy, and only 15 dropped off after having the baby. Post pregnancy I tried getting back into all of my routines. Biking, kickboxing, all of it...none of it made a difference. The weight not only wouldn't budge, it kept coming, and soon it was nearly impossible for me to do anything beyond riding a bike or walking. My husband at the time liked to "joke around" and call me Bessie because I gave milk and was approaching the average size of a dairy cow (so he said). People commented - always in a "friendly" way - and would ask when I was going to get around to losing the baby weight or asking if the doctor hadn't screwed up and left a couple babies in there. My doctor and I went through so much trying to figure out what the hell was causing it. Just thinking about all the tests and specialists and needles makes me shudder even now. Every comment felt like a knife, though. I knew I was fat. I loathed mirrors, photos, and any reflective surface. Shopping for clothes was a nightmare - I won't share any of the stories of the few times I had to try shopping in person, but trust me when I say that people can be unbelievably cruel. 

One thing we did learn was that I had growths that were pre-cancerous. So, hysterectomy to deal with that. Then we discovered that my body had declared war on any kind of artificial hormone. I got to go through early menopause straight...even taking herbal supplements made my skin break out and all hell break loose internally...my body dealt with the allergy by developing handball sized growths on my liver and kidneys. We played with diet choices, exercise, you name it...none of it helped. I had pretty much accepted that I was going to remain fat the rest of my life. Last year at my physical my doctor told me that it appeared that I had finally finished menopause. She told me that there have been cases where people were able to lose weight more easily once reaching the end of the process. So, I talked to my husband (not the one who called me Bessie) and he agreed to start an initiative with me. High protein, low carbs, lots and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I lost 70 pounds over a year and a half! I hit a plateau at that point (as people from the Science & Health forum know), and just recently managed to break it. If everything continues along the current path, I will hit my target weight by June of this year.  I am walking again, and am getting ever closer to being able to run again.

I shared all of this because I've been there. I've been the woman that people cringed at as I came down the airplane aisle. I refused to go swimming for years, wouldn't wear shorts, and wouldn't wear anything remotely body skimming. I never went so far as to buy a muumuu, but I did consider it. I knew I was fat. I knew what people thought, as many of them were all too happy to express those thoughts out loud. They couldn't loathe me nearly as much as I loathed myself, though. I stopped talking about all the trips to the doc, to the specialists, to the nutritionists. When I would mention them initially, people brushed it aside with "that's just an excuse! All you need to do is eat less and exercise more!" So I stopped. I stopped talking about everything I was trying. I stopped talking about the new diet the nutritionist had given me, the new tests being run, the new exercise program I'd purchased in desperation. I stopped hoping, too, because at some point you have to or the pain just gets to be too much and you start to wonder if death isn't preferable to continuing to live in that condition.

When I dropped to my current pant size, I took a pic (my first ever selfie, for what that's worth, lol) and sent it to my sisters. They called me immediately, screaming and crying. I am not ashamed to say that I cried too.  

I am not saying that the friend in the OP does have a medical issue going on or that she doesn't. There's no way for me to know. Saying something to her in a loving way might help. However, I guarantee she knows good and well how big she is, and you run the risk of adding to the pile of comments she's already gotten, so no matter how lovingly you say it, it can sound like another knife to an already bleeding soul. 

 

Edited by Cinder

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^ There is no cure for the stubbornly ignorant... Most of the time.

 

:blank:

 

For whatever reason, when it comes to being overweight, some people suddenly and magically gain the infallable knowledge of the very best biologists, nutritionists, and cardiologists; not to mention gaining psychic abilities and can tell you everything you are or aren't doing right or wrong with your diet, exercise, and life, regardless of what you tell them.

Edited by holdyourhead

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22 minutes ago, holdyourhead said:

^ There is no cure for the stubbornly ignorant... Most of the time.

 

:blank:

 

For whatever reason, when it comes to being overweight, some people suddenly and magically gain the infallable knowledge of the very best biologists, nutritionists, and cardiologists; not to mention gaining psychic abilities and can tell you everything you are or aren't doing right or wrong with your diet, exercise, and life, regardless of what you tell them.

 

Yep. And when you do try to explain, they're all too happy to say "it's 'glandular'" with the exaggerated air quotes. I admit to having wanted to use my weight to my advantage in those situations. I mean, they had to realize that I was a fairly big girl - I could and would literally flatten them.  

Joking aside, it does get frustrating. I still get comments from time to time - I'm still losing after all. I just wave it off - there is nothing that anyone can say or do now that even comes close to what I heard back then, and I'm almost bulletproof when it comes to fat jokes. 

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On 23. 2. 2017 at 10:25 PM, holdyourhead said:

For whatever reason, when it comes to being overweight, some people suddenly and magically gain the infallable knowledge of the very best biologists, nutritionists, and cardiologists; not to mention gaining psychic abilities and can tell you everything you are or aren't doing right or wrong with your diet, exercise, and life, regardless of what you tell them.

Simply implying that people cant lose weight unless they are biologist. Perhaps even giving birth requires women to be doctors. Thats why most women know how to perform cesarian section. Makes sense. Majority of people dont need anymore advice than what is given to them in relgular diet books etc. However its true that its easy to fall pray to false advice. GIven that there are diet specialist who will tell you to eat only rice or something. Strange thing is people will rather be unhappy than follow simple diet advice that has very high level of success. Probably why people also dont follow economical advice and end up homeless or why some people end up criminals or why some people end up in car accident when they are drinking and driving or why some people burn their house down because they werent in the kitchen when they were making food or why people fall pray to swindlers and so on.

I think being fat is OK. Its shouldnt be stigmatized, but stigmatizing the other people who tell you your fat is just poor defense mechanism that has never worked. It follows that people wont end judging you. Most people know it wont end. Its not helpful to be judgmental, but neither is being passive about it. Sort of like tip toeing the alcoholic problem your dad might have. Well eventually there is consequence to being alcoholic and so much is consequence to being fat. Its well know fact. No matter how far people stick this fact into their head and burry it in the mind to run away from the fact it doesnt change reality. It is true that many people have different priorities. Thats what happens to people for example who get stroke and they keep eating unhealthy and drinking. They die sooner. Its possible that they know about having stroke and dieing sooner, but its also possible that if they were given some advice and life hacks they might have lived longer.

It sort of reminds me of the way alcoholism is accepted thing in society. Like in Russia people drink anything and everything and get drunk almost at every occassion they get. Its socially acceptable to be a complete drunk so much so that telling someone not to drink too much would be the most confusing thing to tell them. So in Russia its alcoholism and in US its being fat. Its a social problem that suddenly got accepted as normal thing. Its simply OK to drink your way to early death in Russia and its OK to be a burger eater in US. I dont judge though. I am fat too. But I find the attitudes towards these health issues borderline counter productive. If one day it maybe that fat people will be laughing at the skinny kids.

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