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Friday, January 6, 2017

When Someone You Love is Overweight

Dear Bro Jo,

My Dad is overweight and I'm afraid that if he doesn't lose weight that he might die and live me so I need advice on how to tell my dad In a nice way that he needs to lose some weight?

He doesn't eat right and I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him to get healthy and lose weight he is age 66.

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

People carry too much weight for lots of different reasons . . .

We can't force people to change, but we can love them, and we do have an obligation to share our concerns when their behavior is affecting their health and welfare.

I think you should start with "I love you".

Let him know that it's because you love him that you're so concerned.

And gently tell him what you're concerned about.

Be prepared to offer help if he asks.

And be prepared to love him even though he may blow you off.

Let him know you're serious.  But also reassure him that whatever he does or doesn't do you won't love him any less.

I guarantee you that if his size is bothering you, it's bothering him, too.

And, understand, that for him to change his life this will have to be something he decides from within.

Lastly, I can tell you from personal experience, that successful long-term weight loss is gradual.  It took me 2 years to lose 60 pounds.  That's an average of just over half a pound a week.  It took some serious self-reflection motivated by sincere unhappiness with myself, and is still a constant battle (I've put 17 of those pounds back on, but every day work on edging them back off).

Love him and be supportive.

And, as in all good things . . . pray.

- Bro Jo

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