The Truth Hurts…but Sometimes it Helps Too

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a friend at work.  I was telling her about my running, and my goal to run a ten minute mile. I laughed when I told her about my seventeen minute time at the high school track–thinking I would be so fast on the flat surface and all.  But still, generally, delighted that I can run at all.  How good it feels to run fast on the downhill slopes on my road.

And she said, “man, when I used to ask if you wanted to walk out to the parking lot after work, you would say ‘only if you’ll walk really slow.’  And you walked REALLY slow.”  And then she added, a little bit hesitantly, “and you breathed so hard.  You were always out of breath…and you sighed a lot.”

Actually, this didn’t hurt at all.  She for sure did not mean it to hurt.  It was just a good reminder of how I used to live every day of my life.  And I talked to her about how I sometimes watch people who I think are the same size as I used to be, and I really notice that they can’t walk fast.  And I wonder about it.  I have a theory that it is because they just can’t get enough oxygen to their muscles fast enough to move any faster than that.  I wonder if part of it is psychological.  Because if you take the next step any faster, you will feel the pain of that step sooner.

At the same time, I am mulling over (again) how it seems like you can’t say anything to help the overweight person.  I recently read a blog by a young woman who is overweight and already has high blood pressure (sorry, can’t remember who/where it was.)  And she said that she did not realize that she was overweight, and why didn’t someone say something to her.  I find this hard to believe.  I mean, I believe her.  Its just from my own experience I find it hard to believe.  I knew I was overweight.  I knew I was ‘morbidly obese.’  I didn’t want anyone to say anything to me.  And I was pretty guarded, or somehow put out the ‘vibes’ that I didn’t want to hear about it.  But I wonder.  If someone had said something to me, even though I would not have received it graciously, would it have helped me to move forward and lose the weight sooner?  I’m not complaining, but man, its not easy to lose the weight at this age.

I am mulling all this over because I wish so much that I could say the right thing to help people know that they can lose the weight and live a healthier life.  If you say something and it makes them mad, is it worth it to risk that because maybe they will get healthier sooner?  Or does each person just have to come to that realization and decision for themselves?  I guess that young woman who wrote the blog saying ‘she wished someone had told her’ really has me wondering.


7 thoughts on “The Truth Hurts…but Sometimes it Helps Too

  1. I heard a quote the other day by Francis of Assisi “Preach the Gospel. And when necessary, use words.” Did I get that from your other site? Now I can’t remember where I heard it…
    ANYWAY, I think that just by living your healthy life, you are “preaching the gospel” and when someone needs your words, they will ask. Sometimes people will ask, but they don’t want to hear. You’ll know when they really want to hear it.
    I had a friend who lost a good amount of weight, and when I asked her about it she was kind of vague – “I am very careful about what I eat”. It was only when I asked her about it the THIRD time, she realized that I was really serious, and she sat down and told me exactly what she had been doing.
    Anyway, that’s my take on it. You can’t force it on anyone (religion or health), but you can offer your experience when someone is truly ready for change.

  2. imagine if a hidden camera had followed us all for a typical day – ?

    what a shock that would be.

    I always think of the fat/weighted suits that they strap back on with all their ‘lost’ weight (The Biggest Loser – when they are down to their last week at the ranch).

  3. I ponder this from time to time also. I don’t know if I could have gotten to where I am today until I was ready but then again…..I’m not sure. Not a week passes where I don’t think to myself….I wish I would have figured this out sooner as it IS incredibly hard work to get fit as a middle-aged woman.

    I have a niece who is following in her mother and my footsteps into obesity. I can see it so clearly. The signs are all there. I am torn between kindly talking to her about it or not. Do I let her learn the same harsh lessons of obesity that I learned or do I risk her wrath and hurt feelings and talk about it with her. It’s a decisions I’ve yet to make.

    I can act as an example but I’m not sure that is enough. Sometimes I think tough love is required. The question is, am I tough enough to give it?

  4. You can’t force someone to do something they are not ready to, or they will sabotage themselves. Haven’t we been there 100 times?

    It’s a pickle, though. Some people want help, but don’t know how to ask. Some people don’t want help and offering unsolicited advice can ruin a relationship.

    I certainly did not want anyone telling me anything about my weight. I knew I was fat and wasn’t eating healthy, but it was my business. I am the type that if you tell me to do something, I am inclined to do the opposite. I needed to be ready on my own.

  5. It is so true that simply achieving your own weight loss is a great motivator for others. Since I’ve lost my weight, my closest friend has lost twice as much and both of my sisters are losing weight. It’s so much fun to share our stories and encourage each other.

  6. I’m with Lori. I have never wanted anyone to comment on my weight gain. I am aware of the numbers on the scale and the tightness or looseness of my clothing.

    That being said, I have been inspired by friends who have lost weight. So just keep doing what you are doing Debby!

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