Self Expression Magazine

How To Tell Someone They've Gained Weight

Posted on the 17 April 2013 by Accordingtoamber @sgwennu
How To Tell Someone They've Gained Weight

I recently stumbled upon this article on How To Tell Your Girlfriend She's Getting Fat. It was the most tactless, insulting, god-awful article in history. It really should have read "How To Ensure You're Promptly Dumped". It was all awful, and I left the site with a bad taste in my mouth. However this did make me think... How do you go about telling someone they're getting fat? 

Is it ever okay to do so? 
When does discussing someone's weight cross the line from being a caring intervention to being plain bullying? 

I had a friend in school, we'll call her Grace, and she was easily hitting 18 stone at 15 years old. We were genuinely worried for her health. We ended up writing an anonymous note, and put it in her coat pocket. Next thing we knew, she was sobbing her heart out and saying she was going to the Headmaster about the (what we thought was quite tactful) note, to report it as bullying. So, we fessed up, and had a long talk with her, and all was well with the world again. 

Despite the happy ending, I look back on that story with guilt and really do cringe at our girlish lack of tact. How could we have done it better?
1. Don't push your preconceptions about body image onto anyone else. Just because we felt she was extremely overweight and needed help, doesn't mean that she did! 2. Have they just gained a few pounds, or are they actually damaging their health? 
This is probably the most important point out of everything, and it's down to your own judgment. It's going to make a huge difference to how you approach this whole issue.  3. Take a good look at yourself first.  Being a hypocrite is probably the worst crime you can commit here, apart from having a lack of sensitivity. If you have noticed their weight/health so much you're even considering mentioning it, you must be prepared to take action yourself about your own faults. 4. Go with a solution at the ready. Pointing out somebody's faults is just a waste of everyone's time unless you're willing to offer them help for it. You wouldn't approach someone you thought was an alcoholic without suggesting they joined a support group, would you? Research some fun exercise classes at your local gym, or find a running program you want to start. Couch25k is a great one. 
5. Discuss this face-to-face.  Don't make the same mistake we did, and hide behind an anonymous note. This should also eradicate emails, text messages and Facebook. Remember that you're there to offer your help and support, not to pass judgment on them.  6. What to say. Sometimes, despite your heart being in the right place, it can all come out just so wrong. Be gentle and supportive. If you've noticed that they've gained weight, then you can bet your arse that they have - whether they admit it or not. 
"I've seen this really awesome class/running program I want to start doing. I really need to get fitter. Would you come with me?"
"I'm going to start a healthy eating program, would you do it with me?"
"I've noticed that you've seemed a little depressed/unhappy recently, and I'm a little worried about your health. I love you to pieces and just want you to be happy. What can I do to help?" 7. Be supportive, always. It doesn't matter if your friend breaks down in tears, or goes on the defensive, all you have to do is be supportive. If they say that they are perfectly happy with their weight/size/health, and aren't blatantly lying - smile, and be glad your friend has such great self esteem. Don't bring it up again unless they do. See point one.  If they decide to take action after your intervention, then be with them every step of the way. Keep checking in on how things are going, but in a "I'm so proud of you, you're doing so well" inspiring way, rather than a "How much weight have you lost this week" way.  I'm writing this from the point of view from a curvy girl that has just joined Slimming World, as I've reached the point where I'm just not comfortable with my weight anymore. I'm lucky and my boyfriend and friends have been super supportive, but, as I've previously discovered - being the supporting party isn't always easy. How would you approach this sensitive topic, is it ever okay to do so? 

How would you react to someone approaching you about your weight? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
How To Tell Someone They've Gained Weight

Liked this post? Follow me on Bloglovin'

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

About the author

Accordingtoamber 30 shares View Blog

The Author's profile is not complete.