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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Rivière Offline
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Name: Sarah
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Helping my friend help himself - August 29th 2013, 10:59 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of eating disorders, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

One of my online friends I've known for 5 years now has a huge issue with his weight. He doesn't have an eating disorder or anything, or at least not anything diagnosed or that I'm aware of. He often tells me of how much he weighs and more recently that he found out what his BMI is which made him feel horrible because it made him feel more overweight than he already is. A few years ago he was kind enough to allow me to see what he looked like and to me he's not all that big of a guy but I guess this is because I'm a personality kind of person and have never been bothered by how 'large' a person is. I've been supporting him as much as I can and encouraged him on many occasions but we've reached a point where nothing I've suggested seems to be of any help. My friend gets so depressed sometimes and a lot of it's over his weight and width because he hates people seeing him for how large he is and that he hates it when he's been told he's too heavy to do things, that he feels people don't respect him because of his size and because he feels his friends don't respect him either. Yesterday he told me he's started to avoid them because he doesn't want to have to deal with the lack of respect feeling and wants to lose weight.

He's already changed his diet to a more healthier option, he told me last night he's not keeping up with his workouts because he's just felt depressed a lot and when he last saw a doctor after he was weighed he even asked about liposuction and a gastric bypass. Besides the doctor telling him, I also told him the dangers of liposuction and thee differences between that and a gastric bypass. Now he's leaning towards having a gastric bypass but isn't on health insurance so the surgery will cost $3,500 which he nor his parents can afford.

I've suggested to him that he could try working out more, instead of going jogging for 30-45 minutes like he told me last night it's all he's been doing, I suggested he try working out in more areas of his body and work out for about 2 hours.

I suggested that maybe he should keep a sort of timetable or training regime to keep focussed on but he said he feels he's not that strict with himself and doesn't have the iron will to stick to it.

I also suggested that he save the money he gets. (He does A LOT of online surveys to get money for himself) to stop using it on buying games and start using it to buy supplements and exercising equipment.

Then I said that I know he said he has no room in his apartment (he lives on his own) but he should consider making some space and buying some. He'd already said he was considering the gym but doesn't want to go because he feels everyone will "Look at the fat guy burn calories" and would feel embarrassed about it so I thought maybe if he bought a 3-in-one toning system or something similar it'd help.

I've encouraged him by saying that he should use his focus of wanting to get into shape and his desires to earn respect from his friends and everyone around him as a method of working out harder as it'll help him focus on a goal.

Overall, nothing I've said seems to be of any help. I don't want to keep suggesting the same things over and over. I don't want to tell him to stop buying games and start spending his money on something better suited to his body toning because it's his money, his business, a stress coping method and not only that I don't think it's what he needs from me right now. I don't want to up and abandon him just because he's not taking up on the advice I've given him.

He doesn't want to do any of what I've suggested for him even though they are the logical or even better ways of going about himself, nothing I've tried seems to work. I'll keep supporting and encouraging him forever and ever but I want him to try and take more action for himself rather than just say he wants to lose weight and feel so depressed about himself and then do nothing about it. I don't want to keep seeing him stuck in his loop of depression over his weight.

Besides what I've already suggested to my friend, does anyone else have any better ways that I can help and support him? Or even any advice on how I can get him to help himself more?

Life is for living, not for losing.
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Re: Helping my friend help himself - August 31st 2013, 06:45 PM

Hey Sarah, I understand where you're coming from and I'm glad that you're trying to help him, but, and I mean this in the most respectful way, suggestions don't seem to be working and sometimes when people want support or help it doesn't mean suggesting things or telling them what they "should" be doing. Chances are that he already knows what you're telling him because, as you said, logically it makes sense. Personally, I think there's something underlying this with him and suggestions of how to fix it this way probably won't get you (or him) very far. I understand that you mean well, but I just don't think it's going to work. He has to do it for himself and if he doesn't have the motivation then you can only do so much. Also, if there is an underlying problem, he may need to deal with that first before he has the motivation for the rest of it.

One of the best things you can do for him is to listen and let him tell you about how he feels about this without saying that if it makes him feel this way he needs to do something about it. I'm assuming that if he's seriously considering gastric bypass that his doctor has mentioned it as a viable option for him (I have a personal bias about this surgery). It's possible that he could benefit from some professional help, it would be up to him to get it, but you could suggest that he look into it because you care about him and you're concerned. If he's considering gastric bypass, he'll be required to get it anyway as part of the evaluation process.

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Re: Helping my friend help himself - September 1st 2013, 01:16 PM

Thank you very much for your advice Katie.

You're right, it's up to him whether or not he takes the suggestions I give. I suppose in a way I'm just really worried for him because he's gotten to the point where he's started avoiding his friends and I just want what's best for him. In a way it's just a little hard for me to sit and watch because I'm unable to physically be there but I know I must just keep supporting him and be there for him when he needs. Thank you again!

Life is for living, not for losing.
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Re: Helping my friend help himself - September 3rd 2013, 09:53 PM

Encourage him to get some weights and just do some basic movements with them. P90x is probably too extreme for him at this point, but there is little that you need to actually do it.
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