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Do you ever tell someone they're eating too much?

I see logs of some of my groupmates and think, if they're ever going to lose the 30 pounds they claim to want to lose, they better curtail the eating. I love when I read, I didn't eat that much so I'm not sure why I'm not losing. It's right there in the details. How honest does someone really want you to be with them?

Mon. Oct 22, 12:06pm

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I am sure if you were to look at my log you would tell me I am eating two much. But you also don't know what the other factors are, how hard I am working out, or any medical issues I have, now if you know all of that, I would think of asking what other factors are going on that are making you want to eat? I just think loosing weight is a whole life thing, that eating and food is just one very small part.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 12:15 PM

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Nope - I only focus on changing my own behavior. I might make a suggestion to others that they spend a few days religiously measuring portions and tallying up the calories, but only if asked. That's usually pretty illustrative - much more so than a mini-lecture from me would be.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 12:23 PM

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I think if someone has posted the question, "I'm not eating much, why aren't I losing weight?" I might comment to them that the calories in their food choices may be higher than they realize, and try to suggest some alternatives. If they were receptive, then maybe I'd say more, but that's as far as I'd go without being invited.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 1:37 PM

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I wanted to yesterday as I watched the overweight gal next to me eat an ENTIRE pizza, but who knows if she's trying to lose weight!

I do want honesty. Even if I'm aware of it myself, sometimes it takes that observation from others to make me go 'Ugh...you're right. I can't claim to be 'trying' to lose weight if I keep eating like this.' I think I sometimes get in that mode that if no one else notices, it must not be so bad - it's called denial! And you know, some people really have little concept of portion sizes or calories.

But, since everyone has different feelings on the matter maybe it would help to pose a question to the group - do you want random feedback on your logs or do you only want input when asked?

Monday, October 22, 2007, 2:12 PM

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2:12pm again

I should add, that it would be rude, cruel, and completely inappropriate to say anything to a stranger - I just thought those evil thoughts in my head yesterday. More than anything I was just sad - it's like witnessing someone feeding their addiction, and who knows, maybe it was her only meal of the day.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 2:15 PM

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I have this in my profile, just because I like to make sure that it's pretty clear!

I expect people to call me on my shit, and I will do likewise when asked. This is supposed to help us, and sometimes support means telling us what we don't want to hear or won't admit to ourselves, along with encouragement.

- Hussy

Monday, October 22, 2007, 3:53 PM

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I always want to tell my brother he is eating too much. He is 6'5 and weighs 260. It may not seem so bad yet, but it will eventually get out of control. I acutally tell him all the tie he doesnt need ot eat 4 Eggos for breakfast, or pizza everyday as a snack. I try...i truly do. Does he listen? No. I just don't want him to be like me in the near near future. I don't want him to become depressed because of his weight or have kids pick on him.

I think of him everyday and wonder if he will ever understand.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 4:15 PM

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First, I am not one who wants others to call me on anything. I know what I am eating and if I should or not.
As far as others go, every person that I have talked to about dieting, face to face, not here on peertrainer because the issue has never come up, when someone draws attention to something I am already VERY insecure about all it does is make me want to hide and not alone. With me comes my friends. Potato chips, pizza, candy.....you get the idea.
We all have our own demons we have to fight and the timing is different for everyone. It has taken me years to come to the point where I am ready to face myself and the food and the issues that made food my hiding place. In the midst of that you have to remember that people can be very fragile. I have others around me who are not in that place yet. And feel guilty because they are not following my careful diet. I help them as much as I can but also try to encourage them that everyone comes to it in their own time. If you try and succeed for even one meal you are doing better than the day before. Guilt is always a destructive force.

It seems an easy question to ask but you have to remember we are complex people and individual. Just because one person wants a harsh wake up call, you do that to the next person, (me) and I would quit peertrainer.
I have to say too that I am so blessed to have found groups on here where my peers are kind and encouraging. It has been a great help to me.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 4:44 PM

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I have never / would never tell a stranger on line, but eating with my Mom the other night I did for the first time. She is very compulsive and was eating like there was no tomorrow, it was hard to tell her, but harder to watch her kill herself with food. She said OMG you are right and got up and left the table, no hard feelings or upset words, she said later she didn't even realize what she was doing like she was in a fog or something.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 6:22 PM

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I once had my sister-in-law (who I barely knew at the time) say: wow! that's a lot of butter! - as I was putting butter on my waffle. To her perhaps it was, but I like it that way and I realized right away she was implying that the reason I'm overweight is because I use too much, eat too much, etc. She has no idea, but I found it very judgmental and was greatly offended. So, no, I would never comment on anyone's food amount except for my children who are my responsibility. I think it's easy to look at others and think you know why they are overweight, but I know a lot of people who are thinner than me and eat way more than me. Perhaps they exercise more, or have a faster metabolism. The point is that you can't really judge someone's weight issue on their food intake and say that is their problem; especially when a perfectly 'fit" person can eat that same amount of food and be "fit". The only reason you think the food amount is the problem is because the person is overweight. Everyone's different. Odds are you wouldn't say/think that if the same food intake was being applied to a thin person.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 8:39 PM

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Amen 8:39
Or instead of being judgemental you would be jealous because they can eat that much and be thin.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 12:10 AM

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exactly 12:10

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 12:11 PM

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Never. Even if they looked like they were trying to stuff themselves to death, I'd never say a word. Criticizing a symptom (eating) of a bigger problem (depression, anxiety, etc) is only going to make the problem worse.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 12:59 PM

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But failure to acknowledge that eating is a symptom of a bigger problem and not due to actual hunger is what makes people overweight. If they cannot see it themselves, don't we fail in supporting them if we don't make them aware of it?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:11 PM

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So you think they don't know they're 30, 70, 150 lbs overweight or that too much food = weight gain unless YOU tell them? That's arrogance, not support.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:15 PM

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Wow, way to be an ass in responding to a comment that was only meant to try to help. Anyway, 3 options:

1) They have no idea that they're overeating: not likely, but if so, they might need a gentle comment from someone to make them aware of it.
2) They know they're overeating and simply don't care of sit around lamenting how impossible it is to lose weight: then perhaps they need a genuine kick in the butt.
3) They know they're overeating but they're trying to work on losing weight: then they need the support of people who care about them to help them stay on track when they can't do it themselves. not all of us are superwomen/men and can do things by ourselves.

Either way, I still fail to see why there's such a taboo against telling someone that they're eating too much. This isn't meant to give license to being rude (like the above poster) and trying to make the other person feel bad. This is about providing the support that a person may need, whether they know it or not.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:26 PM

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How about this? Would you say something to a friend if you were concerned they were drinking too much? And let's say they live in NYC so there's never an issue of drinking and driving, but there are concerns about health, relationships, emotional issues, etc. So you say something when a friend is on their 4th martini at lunch?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:29 PM

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Wow, 1:26, you're calling me an ass and you're the one listing assumptions - the most important being that you know more about their weight issues than they do.

And 1:29, your point is excellent. I have two alcoholics in my life that I don't even mention their problem to. Most people respond to "don't stuff your face" or "maybe you've had enough vodka for the night" by stuffing a bag of Fritos or pouring a huge glass of liquor just to spite you (and themselves) - sometimes in front of you, sometimes as soon as you're not looking. No one likes being judged or told what to do.



Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:43 PM

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I disagree with you 1:43. If I had a friend on her 4th martini at lunch in the situation that 1:29 described, I'd probably tell her that maybe she's had enough to drink. I mean I wouldn't tell a complete stranger that, but if she were my friend, I'd tell her.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:45 PM

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You would tell a drunk person that they've had too much? They're drunk. That's the wrong time to start a serious discussion because you'll put so much energy and thought into arguing with someone who won't remember a word of it (or will pretend then don't...they pull that a lot). And god help you if they're the belligerent type who start calling you names and get all loud and obnoxious.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:49 PM

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I just don't see how some of you don't get it.
When you are overweight. I really can speak only for myself though I have many friends and reletives in the same situation and say the same thing. When someone brings it up to me I respond by as one poster said, stuffing my face.
It hurts, it isn't taken as concern but rather the first thought that enters my mind in such situations is "there's another one who doesn't accept me as I am"
Now whether or not that is true isn't the point. That is how I take it and since no one accepts me I may as well numb the pain with food.
I wouldn't be surprised if the alcoholic thinks similarly. Though I have no experience there. I would just be guessing.
As an adult we have the right to make choices for ourselves. And even when it means hurting the ones around us. We all do it in different ways anyway. Not that it makes it right.
I personally have had two times that friends have mentioned to me in different ways that I need to lose weight or eat too much or the wrong foods and I responded two ways. 1 in both cases I proptly gained 200 pounds. Yes really.
2 I have fought guilt over eating ever since. Serious guilt.
Do I think a person should stick their nose in where it doesn't belong-NO

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 2:24 PM

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I have a feeling that those who blatantly don't understand what's wrong with, essentially, telling a fat person that they're fat and getting fatter are people who are "struggling" with a few vanity pounds and consider a size 8 their "fat pants". Their eating issues go no deeper than lifestyle management (working out or not, busy social life, etc) and don't have the intellectual capacity to consider that people overeat for other reasons. The best part is that they think the fat person is the stupid one in this equation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 3:22 PM

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Hear Hear, 3:22!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 3:26 PM

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Back to the original question - I guess I'd only point out the food choices if they were soliciting feedback.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 4:41 PM

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I totally understand what 3:22 is saying (from experience - once being obese and a binger)... BUT I think the questions doesn't stem from criticism... it stems from one freind wanting to help - just because a lot of us know so much about what kinds of foods are good for us and what we need to do to lose weight and get healthy, not EVERYONE really knows this. I think she just wants to know if she should share her insight. I have a groupmate who is successfully losing weight but eats under a 1000 calories a day.. I am guessing that she knows better since we have all mentioned it in a nice way.... but she sees the lbs coming off and feels its working.. what she doesn't realize is how bad that is for her body. I want to make some wise-ass comments like, DUH of course you are losing weight (probably muscle) you eat like a rabbit... This is the dilemma.... do we speak our minds to "help" the other??? I say NO unless they ASK.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 2:08 AM

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People have compared this to alcoholics here.

I don't think there's anyone who thinks you should not try to help an alcoholic, if they are your friend or relative. But people say you shouldn't do it while the person is drunk. What do people do? They stage interventions.

Would that work better for someone who has an eating issue? I don't know, so I'm raising it as a question. If a friend sat you down, when you were not eating and had not just finished stuffing yourself, but were doing something totally different, and said "I'm concerned about you and what you are doing to yourself. I don't want to see you hurt yourself anymore. I see you doing X, Y, Z, and the outcome is A, B, and C. If you don't stop, you're going to end up sick, unable to play with your kids, etc. Here are some ideas of things to do instead." Would that be received better than "you're eating too much right now, stop"?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 12:00 PM

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It could work - there was unofficial one held for me, and a few months later I joined Weight Watchers and started dealing with it (i.e. don't expect an immediate turnaround). Unofficial = seeing my whole family for a special occasion, and the look on their faces was devastating. They didn't say anything at first, they wouldn't humiliate me like that, but they were holding back tears at the sight of me. In a very short time, I'd piled 50 pounds on top of the previous extra 50 I'd accumulated over my post-college years.

I'd suggest not doing it one-on-one because that can look like your personal agenda. While having several people might look like "ganging up" to some, to me it felt like they were showing me that I may not love or care about myself, but they did.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 12:44 PM

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to 12:00.. Doubtful - that approach sounds no different to someone than 'you're eating too much'. You may phrase it differently, but all they hear is: 'you're eating too much' and there's nothing like criticism (perceived or otherwise) to put people on the defensive. And when people are on the defensive they just shut down. It doesn't matter how much you want to help, and how pretty you try to phrase it - the only thing that will come through is: 'you are a bad person'.

You cannot focus on the negative behavior if you truly want to help someone make a positive change. The only people who get a pass on this is doctors and how many folks truly listen to their advice and follow it to the letter? It's soooo much more productive to focus on what the other person is doing well and place the emphasis there. One positive change leads to another and the person is soon encouraged to make even more of them.

To answer the original questions, I would never tell someone I thought they were eating too much. It's not helpful, likely to be perceived as mean, and most likely not going to change their behavior.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 12:45 PM

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everyone doing "wrong" things KNOW,,,,, its like a heavy smoker - you know they are doing something bad... THEY know it,,,, we shouldn't think that we need to tell them something they already know. eating , drinking, etc, the same.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 2:07 PM

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