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Telling friends they could lose a few pounds?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pringle, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    My best friend and his wife visited for two days this weekend with their children. It was a wonderful couple of days with a couple we haven't seen in a while. We can share almost anything with them. We talk about parenting. We talk about issues in our extended family. His wife talks openly about what she has learned about herself through counseling (she had some serious depression issues, much of it traceable to her parents' controlling of her well into adulthood).

    So, the issue: In college, they were both fit and trim and the picture of health. She was hot with a capital "H." He was a 6-5 former h.s. basketball star with the physique to match. Today, I think they have probably gained 150 pounds between then since then. At least. Maybe more. She, in particular, doesn't carry it well at all. I'm frankly worried about their health. It's kind of hard to measure on the Fourth of July weekend, because everyone eats like garbage. But I am kind of shocked at how much bad food they shovel down. Again, I have to caveat that because it is the Fourth. But I couldn't eat that much no matter what the day (granted, he's 6-foot-5 and I'm 5-foot-9).

    Anyway, is there any polite way to say, "You guys probably need to think about getting into shape a little." Again, it's only because I care about both them and their two beautiful children. My wife and I stay in pretty good shape, and I would love to open the conversation with them about how to manage that with children, work schedules, etc., etc.

    But I'm just wondering if this is kind of the third rail?
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    As someone who pays attention to this stuff in others as much as anyone. ...

    I wouldn't touch it. They are college educated. So it isn't as if they don't know being overweight and eating poorly is bad for your health.

    They will live a healthy lifestyle if they decide that is what is important to them. You saying something isn't going to change them, and it has the potential to cause friction, since you haven't seen each other in so long.

    If you do decide to bring it up, don't lecture them. Just give it a quick, "Dude, you used to be in such great shape. What happened?" And then when he says something, "Brush it off with a, 'It would be great if you guys could lose a few pounds. It's just so much better for your health." To which he will probably give a "Yeah, I know." And then let it go.

    But as I said, even with a really close friend, I wouldn't touch it. They know what you are going to say to them already, and they don't do anything about it. Will your comment really make a difference?
  3. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    If you go there, make sure you're OK with them telling you they think your kids are kind of bratty, you're losing your hair, your wife's boobs are sagging a bit, etc. I'm sure they're aware of it when they have to buy new clothes. You're asking for trouble, my friend.
  4. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    Ditto. They have mirrors, they can see how much weight they've gained. Pointing it out is just asking for trouble and won't be taken well.

    YGBFKM Guest

    On the next episode of Fat Intervention ...
  6. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Yeah, they probably already know.
  7. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Point out the furniture they are allowed to sit on in your house, then explain the other pieces are only rated to 300 lbs.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    There is a lot of psychology involved in weight, and not just for 14-year-old girls. Tread lightly, as in not at all.
  9. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I guess me and my friends are a little different. If it's someone that's truly a friend and not someone you're friendly with, lay into 'em. Among my group of true friends, saying "dang, mofu, what the heck have you been eating?" is extremely mild. Now granted, these are guys that I've known for 30+ years and see 3-4 times a week.

    You can't say that about his wife, though.
  10. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    Man, back away.

    I can guarantee you they realize how big they are every time they look in the mirror, look at an old photo, put on a bathing suit, or as Ragu put it, go to buy new clothes. And at the very least it's hard not to know the repercussions of carrying that kind of weight. The absolute last thing they need is their fit friends telling them they should probably lose a few. If you do, be prepared for a giant "FUCK YOU" in return. At the very least some seriously hurt feelings. I'm speaking from experience as someone who had a huge weight gain after college -- more than 100 pounds -- I'm taking care of it now, and it sucks, but I also know that if anyone came up to me and said I need to lose a few without me broaching the subject, I would have been pissed. That conversation would have come to a quick end.

    Especially if there are some serious depression issues at hand, even if they are in the past, if they have gained that kind of weight, there's likely more at work than just eating poorly and being lazy.

    It's like a rich guy going up to his poor friend and asking him why he isn't rich as well, and telling him he just needs to work harder or be more driven.
  11. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    If you're dead set on this, do an end around. Tell him you're looking for someone new to hit the gym with, or someone to shoot hoops with at the Y every Wednesday. If you're that concerned, get him active. At that point don't bring up the weight, don't say "You're overweight, you need to start coming to the gym with me." Help encourage that lifestyle change. But if you live far enough apart where you only get together on special occasions, you can't just lay it on them and not be in a position to help or deal with the fall out. Those phone lines can fall awfully silent.

    If they bring up their own concerns about the weight, absolutely jump in and talk to them about it with a feather touch. BUT don't bring it up out of nowhere.
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you want to help your friends. Invite them out for hikes and other healthy activities. When you entertain show them how you can eat and drink healthily without sacrificing taste. It's subtle, but it begins with small steps.
    I hated the idea of going to the gym but I went a friend's apartment one time and we spent the afternoon watching football in the complex's gym. I joined a club and now when there is a big game on, I'll go watch it at the gym on a treadmill or elliptical instead of on the couch.
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