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  1. #1
    loopy Ulaes's Avatar
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    Default Getting someone to lose weight

    The person I have in mind is an ISFJ who's been overweight for almost 20 years, increasingly so with age. She's in her mid 50s and, like a lot of overweight people, works at a stressful desk job and has no other hobbie but watch TV and have snacks. i think that's her stress release time.
    It's gotten to the point where we (her family) are open and directive about wanting her to exercise for her health. No one's enough of a pig to use the F word to her face except her ENTJ husband (who's in denial about being a similar situation). All this does is depress her.
    She hates her size so she wants to loose weight. She made a big step a while ago by joining a gym, but by now, she's given it up. We used to make her go walking in the evening but that has stopped now also because everyone is so busy (it's a group activity). She is also sick a lot of the time, or just says she is. I've tried a lot of direct and indirect moves and they've worked but only for a while. I've confronted her head on, told her that she doesn't have much choice in this anymore because no one in her family wants to let her get sick, and she complies and tells me her plans but she never follows through. I can't be there with her, holding her hand and stroking her hair while she does a few bar bell reps. I'm a bit puzzeled by her diet. I don't see what she eats most of the time but this is what i know. She's drinks a lot of coffe and coke, skips breakfast, eats empty crappy snack food for meals such as seafood extender, crackers with peanut butter on them, etc. At times, it seems she eats like a near anneorexic but then where is all this weight comming from?
    I always ask her to come with me to gym, to go for a walk with me, to stop buying junk food (her pantry is gradually improving), to stop getting up at night and snacking, to eat properly at meal times (she's very nutrient deficient which makes her tired and sick), etc.

    People who smoke will suddenly stop after a shocking doctors evaluation, even though people have been pushing them to stop for years. How do i get this kind of thing happen to someone who's overweight. What does it take to flip the switch for an overweight person and ISFJ? Has any one had any sucess with people like her?


    EDIT
    I read over the OP and realised that it made thigns look worse than they actually, although i know now that i still had an erroneous perspective. i don't send her out on marches by herself or anything like that. i've never tried to get her to exercise by herself. My behaviour is very much like what cafe said. I'm just full of attitude and frustration and it came out in the OP. I overplayed my forcefulness.
    Last edited by Ulaes; 10-22-2010 at 10:20 PM. Reason: heh

  2. #2
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    Victim mentality. Unless she comes to the realization that the only person able to help her is herself and that she has to do things on her own without a constant helping hand nearby, there is absolutely nothing anybody else can do if she doesn't change her mindset, no matter how much they try. I think the things you've done for her have been very good, but you're not responsible for her and that's all you can do. Even though it hurts to see people close to you giving up on themselves, all you can do is express your worry and then just let it go. It is up to them to take responsibility for their lives. Waiting for the switch to flip...it usually comes at a time when things have gotten to the point of no return, unfortunately.

    Edit:

    Ok, thought about it some more, I don't like to give up on people like that, it is frustrating to watch them do harmful things to themselves without doing anything about it. Cooperation and showing support is helpful, this should be a family effort, not just on you or on her. She has to take responsibility for herself, but show her that she's not alone. Everybody in the family should be working towards the goal and make changes in their lifestyle, not just for her but for themselves as well. Call it an intervention or whatever, being honest and direct, even harsh, works. It will depress her but you can show her that she can do things to help herself but they're not going to get any better unless she does something constructive to change her mindset about the reality of things.

    Try to engage her in activities that make her see that eating healthy and doing some exercise is not something that should be dreaded, that it's not something that takes an unbelievable amount of effort. You can keep on encouraging her to make healthier choices with food and to be aware of how things influence her, what kind of food she eats, what other choices could be made and why she turns to food in the first place, it's an emotional crutch to her. When it comes to exercise, going to a gym is not the only option, there are other things that are beneficial to her health that she can actually enjoy. Trying out several things is a good idea so that it wouldn't become repetitive and easy to give up on. Losing weight should not be such a huge negative obstacle, having a positive attitude helps a whole lot, so there really is no need to think how hard things are before you do them.

  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Agreed with the post above. However...see if you can get her interested in taking some cooking classes...preferably the kind where you explore healthy cooking. Show her she can have fun with food, and achieve a great result that is great for the family as well. And do it in a structured method. Get her to learn new recipes, the right ones and make the mpart of her routine. It's the first step to losing weight anyways. Exercise is just a way of keeping down your weight without really fixing the problem (which are the unhealthy food and snacks). It can help, but focus on the cause first, the rest can come later

    For that matter (though I dunno if you can get her to read it), here's a site with some great recipes and tips:
    http://summertomato.com/

    Also realize that for a person who has effectively a 'food-addiction' and is habit oriented, it can be really hard to stop what theyre' doing as well..you have to eat. Quitting cigarets is undoubtebly hard, but you do not *need* it to survive. So it's easier to avoid the temptation. Sure, you have to be around people who smoke but you dont' *need* to smoke. Someone who's eating unhealthy is faced with having to eat three times a day, having to focus on that and put energy in making those meals healthy (while it's sooo easy to just get ready made stuff). So your shock therapy thing is unlikely to ever happen

    The most important thing is to show her it can be a fun project. To get her interest. Kinda like taking sewing classes
    Make her wanna invest time and energy into this. And to provide her structure, considering she's ISFJ. Make the info and what she needs to do readily available to her. Walk her through it. Get her to see that eating healthy doesn't have to be a diet. It's a lifestyle. Have her be proud of what she learned, implemented and picked up. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. And ISFJs rule at making things a habit. Give her a reason to make this a habit, and have her keep a food diary. TEll her she doesn't have to show it to anyone (it can be hard to face what you eat and make you utterly ashamed of yourself), but that it will help her keep on track. And tell her, for gods sake, that it is alright if she messes up, as long as she starts over again. This will take time
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  4. #4
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I don't think you can. I tried to "motivate" my dad to lose weight and exercise to ward off a slew of health problems, but ultimately, I regret handling it the way I did. My family tried everything, cajoling, nagging, tough love, trying to give him a reality check, etc. All with good intentions, because we wanted him to live a long and healthy life. I think all it did was make him feel alienated and ganged up on. So I decided I would rather let him make his own choices and have a better relationship with him than to nag him into eating better and exercising, and him resenting me for it or having bad feelings about his family.

    I think a lot of the times, if there's a significant weight problem, the person feels bad enough about it as it is, so to get a lot of external flak about it on top of the internal flak they're already giving themselves? It's just overwhelming and depressing, producing an overall feeling of "why bother?"

    I think your best bet is to help her to frame it in a positive light, encouraging her to set smaller goals so she doesn't feel like she has to lose all the weight all at once. Make small, incremental changes, and be supportive, rather than derisive--your post sounds like you don't have a lot of affection for this woman. You sound kind of disgusted by her. I realize you probably don't speak that way to her, but she could be picking up on an undertone when you talk to her about it. She's not going to accept advice from you if she doesn't feel like you genuinely care, or if she feels like you're trying to "fix" her.
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  5. #5
    loopy Ulaes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Victim mentality. Unless she comes to the realization that the only person able to help her is herself and that she has to do things on her own without a constant helping hand nearby, there is absolutely nothing anybody else can do, no matter how much they try. I think the things you've done for her have been very good, but you're not responsible for her and that's all you can do. Even though it hurts to see people close to you giving up on themselves, all you can do is express your worry and then just let it go. It is up to them to take responsibility for their lives.
    she's totally got a victim's mentality. I can't let go unless i know for sure that she'll snap out of it. If i let go, she'll be dead within 10 years. If i don't, she may never develop the resolve to help herself.
    I can't let go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    Agreed with the post above. However...see if you can get her interested in taking some cooking classes...preferably the kind where you explore healthy cooking. Show her she can have fun with food, and achieve a great result that is great for the family as well. And do it in a structured method. Get her to learn new recipes, the right ones and make the mpart of her routine. It's the first step to losing weight anyways. Exercise is just a way of keeping down your weight without really fixing the problem (which are the unhealthy food and snacks). It can help, but focus on the cause first, the rest can come later

    For that matter (though I dunno if you can get her to read it), here's a site with some great recipes and tips:
    http://summertomato.com/
    That's an excellent idea, thankyou. I think i'll try learn some healthier recipies myself. she can only take to something if someone is doing it with her.

  6. #6
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    Actually I disagree with Satine - get this person moving. Exercise is paramount to an overweight person who eats badly. Some physical activity will help to burn the extra calories consumed, and serve to speed up the metabolism, and even eventually build muscle which also helps metabolism. Exercise may also help ward off (temporarily) health problems related to the obesity, especially since she is in her 50's.

    But all of the rest of it....yeah. I've been around an ESFJ who started crying when people tried to help her eat better even though she's obese and only 24 and already has high cholesterol and type II diabetes. It's infuriating, like I don't know how to deal with someone like that honestly, other than to say it seems to work if you EAT WITH THEM. Show her what you eat and make it a team effort. It will pacify that co-dependent need she has for support and may help her to gradually make some changes.

  7. #7
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Exercise is just damage control though and it's really uncomfortable for an overweight person to do physical activity, making them hate it even more. You're better off focusing on one thing, aka the food, and only having exercise come in later, when they already feel motivated and fitter.

    Also, it takes some time to find somethign they'd find enjoyable, or can incorporate into their daily routine and too many changes makes it harder to keep up. My ISFJ mom likes biking and my ISFJ friend likes getting up early and having a half an hour to herself to just clear her mind and run, but if she's into the whole group thing, you might wanna eventually get her to dance classes or something
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  8. #8
    loopy Ulaes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    I don't think you can. I tried to "motivate" my dad to lose weight and exercise to ward off a slew of health problems, but ultimately, I regret handling it the way I did. My family tried everything, cajoling, nagging, tough love, trying to give him a reality check, etc. All with good intentions, because we wanted him to live a long and healthy life. I think all it did was make him feel alienated and ganged up on. So I decided I would rather let him make his own choices and have a better relationship with him than to nag him into eating better and exercising, and him resenting me for it or having bad feelings about his family.

    I think a lot of the times, if there's a significant weight problem, the person feels bad enough about it as it is, so to get a lot of external flak about it on top of the internal flak they're already giving themselves? It's just overwhelming and depressing, producing an overall feeling of "why bother?"

    I think your best bet is to help her to frame it in a positive light, encouraging her to set smaller goals so she doesn't feel like she has to lose all the weight all at once. Make small, incremental changes, and be supportive, rather than derisive--your post sounds like you don't have a lot of affection for this woman. You sound kind of disgusted by her. I realize you probably don't speak that way to her, but she could be picking up on an undertone when you talk to her about it. She's not going to accept advice from you if she doesn't feel like you genuinely care, or if she feels like you're trying to "fix" her.
    woah, reality check. thanks for that. You're right and I've been blind to it. I'm frustrated with her, certainly. Not just about this but about a lot of things. But I'm head coach on this weight loss thing.
    You're description of what it's like for the overwieght person was enlightening. thanks.

  9. #9
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    +10000 @ Tallullah. These people already feel self-conscious and as failures..pushing them is only going to make them eat more, as a stress-relief mechanism.

    I especially like the suggestions for smalll, managable goals, considering the 'mountain' they have to climb.
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    Exercise is not "damage control" it is a normal human thing that people are SUPPOSED TO DO.

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