How do I help my friend help herself (weight loss).

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by luvmychicknkids, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I have a friend who is morbidly obese. Not gonna post her height and weight, but she is well within the deadly range. She is a little younger than me and now has shoe inserts because her ankles are breaking down. I sat her down and had a very frank talk with her a few days ago and told her I will do anything I can to help. So far, here is what we have. I am meeting her at the grocery store tomorrow to help her choose better foods. I have also told her to call me any time she has trouble preparing something and I will talk her through it (she is NOT a good cook). She wants me to go for walks with her, but I live too far to do that....gas prices you know. She mentioned it wouldn't be quite so bad if she had an MP3 I bought her one. I did encourage her to get some diet pills...the ones that help decrease mood swings, as I KNOW this is a major cause of her binge eating. She won't talk to a doctor about a weight loss plan....not sure why, she goes for everything else. So anyway, is there anything else I can do? I know I need to lose some weight myself, but hers is a serious and immediate danger. I really do want to help her.
  2. CarolinaGirl

    CarolinaGirl In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2008
    First off, I must tell you what an amazing friend you are to her! My chin dropped at how much you're doing to help her, that is beyond awesome of you. [​IMG]

    I have no huge helpful ideas other than water. Tons of water. I lost the most weight when I replaced all beverages with just water and unsweetened green tea. The green tea is also helpful but to some, an aquired taste without sweetners. It boosts your metabolism among other things.

    I'm just tossing out the other things I did but I'm not sure if it will help her in her situation... worth offering it up, anyway. I'm unsure of her health situation but I took 2 fish oil capsules a day. According to my family doctor, while this is a "fatty" supplement, it boosts weight loss greatly... I also found I didn't eat as much when taking them.

    Huge responsibility and probably unlikely, but I also found it was much easier to go for my walks when I had one of my dogs with me.

    I wasn't fighting nearly the battle your friend is, but I found changing my diet to more fruits, veggies and whole grains plus the fish oil supplement, water and green tea boosted my weight loss massively. Especially the latter 3 things. After fad diets and such, using the above, I lost 20 lbs. in 3ish months.

    Good luck to your friend!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  3. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Thank you. That's all helpful advice and I will definitely suggest them to her. I talked to her about cutting out sugary drinks but never even thought to tell her to drink tons of water. The fish oils is interesting...gonna have to remember that one for myself, too. [​IMG] And I know my father swears by fish oil for his joint pain so that might make her feel better overall, too. [​IMG] Again, thank you. I just always try to do the best I can for the people I care about. [​IMG]
  4. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    My wife is a fanatic about healthy eating. Her simple rule of thumb is: Very little sugar, and no processed foods.

    It's not easy to follow that advice (which is an indication of how bad the American diet is), but if you do you literally can't eat enough to get fat.
  5. tmk

    tmk Songster

    What a wonderful friend you are! [​IMG]
    What your friend could really use is a good support system and she is getting one from you!

    Ummm...I don't think it's a good idea for your friend to start walking just yet.
    She already has serious problems with her ankles because of her weight, and by start walking with all of that weight now may make it worse.
    I hear swimming is a very good excersize without putting a lot of pressure on the joints, you burn calories just being in a water too.
    I wish she would go to the doctor though.
    Her case seems more serious than those who needs to shed a couple of pounds here and there, she may have hidden health conditions that can only be identified by trained eyes.
    She may need more specialized diet.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  6. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Does she have health insurance? If she is in a situation that is dangerous then perhaps you should encourage her to see the Dr. There are options such as gastric bypass which she might be a candidate for - insurance might even pay.

    She really needs to be careful because losing weight - especially very quickly - can have some health consequences. She is probably storing all kinds of fat soluble toxins in her adipose tissue and once you start mobalizing that tissue - those toxins go back into circulation. Plus the gall bladder could be overwhelmed with trying to brak down the fat molecules. The heavier people are the quicker they start losing - this is why I am concerned.

    Personally I think the gastric bypass gives people who've never been successful at weight loss some hope that change is possible. It is drastic, so she definately needs to weigh the pros and cons.

    Please try to get her to a Dr.
  7. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Lots of fibre...bran cereal with psyllium husk, and along with that lots of water. Apple cider vinegar also helps get things on track. I'd be careful with the diet pills. The mood swings could have various causes and should be adressed in and of themselves. Sometimes it is related to hormones, sometimes thyroid (which also can affect hormonal balance) and sometimes it is just plain bad diet choices. I would be very careful about adding diet pills into the mix if her heart is already under stress.
  8. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    All good advice and you are such a good friend to help her like this. If she has cable t.v. have her watch "You are What you Eat" on the BBC channel. I've been amazed at how motivating it is for me. They have people go through an 8 week detox diet and the results are pretty amazing. They fill a table with the things the person has eaten for a week and you would be suprised at how bad it all looks when it's on the table...lots of browns and tan foods, processed to the hilt. They then fill a table with the new menu and the color is incredible, it really puts it all into prospective and seeing it visually really brings the point home. They also discuss vitamins we are lacking and the importance of excercise. It's pretty entertaining and informative.
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    If she is using food to deal with emotional problems, then I think it would help her a great deal to find a support group of other people with that problem. There are online support groups for everything, if there is nothing local for her. It takes time to develop alternative coping skills and repattern your brain. Other people that have the same problems and are working through it could give her support, encouragement and information, in addition to what you are so generously giving to her. I think she's going to need to be able call or chat online a lot, when she feels an overwhelming urge to binge, so she can talk through what she's feeling. If she has particular triggers, maybe she can try to come up with better ways to deal with those situations. I hope she finds her way to a better life and better health. You are such a good friend to her. I'm sure she is grateful to have someone in her life that cares and is trying to help. [​IMG]
  10. BonnieMiranda

    BonnieMiranda In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2007
    Unfortunately a lot (not all by any means, but quite a few) of doctors act like jerks to fat people. If a doctor has shamed her over her weight in the past, she may feel like it isn't worth it to go through that again.

    She very well might have an underlying condition such as thyroid problems, or PCOS, or any number of things, but often times doctors are dismissive and blame the weight gain for all the health problems instead of looking deeper to see if something is causing the weight gain.

    I would be extremely hesitant to suggest diet pills, as they can be dangerous.

    I don't personally believe that diets work. If diets WORKED I don't think that the diet industry would be making the big bucks off of us that they are. Google HAES (Health At Every Size) and intuitive eating, for some (pardon the pun) food for thought.

    The major components of HAES, as described by Jon Robison, are:

    Self-Acceptance: Affirmation and reinforcement of human beauty and worth irrespective of differences in weight, physical size and shape.
    Physical Activity: Support for increasing social, pleasure-based movement for enjoyment and enhanced quality of life.
    Normalized Eating: Support for discarding externally-imposed rules and regimens for eating and attaining a more peaceful relationship with food by relearning to eat in response to physiological hunger and fullness cues.

    A study conducted at the University of California, Davis found that obese, female chronic dieters had substantially better health outcomes after two years following HAES as compared to a control group that followed a standard weight loss program.
    Several studies show that exercise can improve health indicators for people of all sizes. Exercise does not necessarily result in major weight loss for obese people.
    Health at Every Size is also influenced by evidence suggesting that many people have difficulty achieving and maintaining weights in standard recommended weight ranges. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that some weight loss treatments have detrimental effects on physical health (such as diet pills in the stimulant class, and gastric bypass surgery), and that the pursuit of weight loss is damaging to mental health.

    It's obvious that you care about your friend and want her to be healthy, to that end it might help her to put the focus on her health, instead of her weight. Especially if she has a history of dieting and failing at it. And I'd say darn near everyone who diets has a history of failing at it.

    Weight going up and down dramatically is likely worse for you than being a constant weight, even if your constant weight is a high one.

    There is a spectacular post on Kate Harding's blog that lays a lot of information out, but as there is language in it that I wouldn't want anyone under 18 to read, I won't link it. If you're interested then look up the "Shapely Prose" blog and click on the "Don't you realize fat is unhealthy?" link at the top. While I enjoy the blog and think the information they present is brilliant I pretty much filter out the words I don't care for, but I would definately give it an "M" for mature rating.

    Good luck and all the best to you and your friend.


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