The hard truth about motivating people to lose weight
The hard truth about motivating somebody else to lose weight?
Losing weight has to be a decision made by the weight bearer, not their moms, dads, sibs, buddies.
Sharing the facts about the problems that extra weight may bring may help someone decide to lose weight. Sharing success stories may help someone decide to lose weight. Demonstrating healthy exercise and eating behaviors may spur someone to adopt similar behaviors.
But cajoling, teasing, hinting, bribing, begging, pleading? Withholding affection, rewards? Establishing goals for someone else to fulfill? That’s almost guaranteed to do more to harm than good. What you’ll manage to do is to make your heavy person feel terrible, unlovable, like they’re letting you down with every breath they draw. Don’t do it.
Love your overweight person, respect them, take an interest in their interests. But don’t nag, and don’t try to make them lose. It almost always backfires.
Model healthy behaviors. Take them places where you both can move and have fun together, change your family or workplace diet to support healthier choices.
If you have an overweight kid, go see a doctor, and let your family doctor explain what extra weight means for their future. But let it be your child’s choice to actively attempt to lose weight. Let them ask you for help.
Meantime, hug them. Love them. Tell them how wonderful they are.
If and when they do decide to work on losing weight, then be there for them with your ears and your time. Just listen and hang out, accompany them to the gym and shopping for workout gear. Recognize that these are hard transitions, big personal risks. There will be successes and setbacks. Encourage them through it all.
It can be very hard to have a loved one or friend who takes no interest in losing weight when it’s clear the extra weight is hard on their bodies, their health. Just wait, with love and care in your heart. Just wait.
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