We often don’t realize the power of our words. A casual remark or unsolicited suggestion may not seem like a big deal to you, but it can take a toll on the person at the receiving end. When this person happens to be someone who’s overweight, the last thing you should do is comment on their weight, health, and appearance.
Here are a few things you should never say to someone who’s overweight.
“I’m Worried About Your Health”
Let’s get one thing straight: being overweight does not necessarily mean that you’re not healthy. While it’s true that being overweight can increase your risk of certain health conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all categorization. Since individuals have different body types and health requirements, being overweight doesn’t always equate to them being unhealthy.
This is why you should never tell someone who’s overweight that you’re “concerned” or “worried” about their health. It involves the assumption that they’re physically unhealthy when that may actually not be the case. And hey, they’re most likely aware of their health requirements and risks better than you are. Don’t enforce your idea of “healthiness” on them!
“Have You Tried This New Diet?”
Just read about a new diet that’s apparently great for losing weight? Think twice before you recommend it to someone who’s overweight. In fact, unless they specifically ask you to share this knowledge, keep it to yourself.
When you suggest a diet plan to a person who’s overweight, you’re making two very dangerous assumptions: A) they haven’t tried to change their diet previously; and B) they want to change their diet.
Most fad diets we read about are actually dangerous in the long run. Just because you heard someone say it worked for them doesn’t mean that it was without consequence, or that it’s going to work the same way for someone else. It also doesn’t mean that the person you’re making this suggestion to wants to try a new diet plan or any diet plan for that matter. Chances are, they’ve probably done their own homework and are aware of what they need to do and avoid.
“I’m So Glad You’re Working Out!”
What sounds like a compliment but actually isn’t one? Somebody telling you that they’re “proud” of you being physically active because they think you weren’t exercising before. Alternately, them congratulating you because they think you’re exercising to lose weight (instead of, you know, staying healthy).
This is unnecessary validation that doesn’t really help anyone. People who are overweight and exercise are automatically considered to be engaging in physical activity to lose weight, perpetuating the idea that it’s something they need to do. This may or may not be their reason for exercising, but the instant assumption that they’re working out to shed a few pounds is a little fatphobic.
If an overweight person comes to you for advice on weight loss, don’t give them uninformed opinions. Instead, direct them to Rena’s healthy weight loss solutions. Her gastric bypass hypnosis and weight loss programs help individuals get off the diet rollercoaster and instead remove subconscious barriers in their weight loss journey.
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