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I have a question on etiquette realted to a friend's health

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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 11:59 PM
Original message
I have a question on etiquette realted to a friend's health
My buddy, Jon, is a big guy. He weighs about 325. He hasn't always been large, when he was in his 20s he was much smaller. He's now 38-years-old.

Since moving here, he has gotten heavier. But the thing is it's the way he's eating. Whenever I go to his apartment there's pizza boxes and McDonald's bags and all that stuff (Worse yet cause McDonald's delivers in China). Now, I think some of it may be he's not used to the food yet and so he's buying western food for comfort but I don't know.

Anyway, I'm very worried about his health, and to see him eating like this makes me even more worried. But is it over the line to approach him seriously and say, "Look, you have got to stop eating like this, you're going to have a heart attack or something."

I don't want to hurt his feelings, and I'm sure HE knows he needs to stop too, but he just doesn't. Yesterday he had two big mac meals for lunch.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. It might be a nice idea to try to intervene,
but I wouldn't say: "Look, you have got to stop eating like this, you're going to have a heart attack or something." Don't give an order, but encourage him to understand your point of view/concern in 'softer' ways.

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MrsBrady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. my mother eats like that...and my father is an alcoholic
Edited on Sun Sep-19-10 12:32 AM by MrsBrady
I find their problems are really not much different. (they've been divorced for years, not my point, here though)

The only thing I can do is love them, tell them I love them. Show them I love them, but I don't do anything for them that they can do for themselves.

I won't give my father money when he asks (yes, he's that kind of a drunk)
And I will only go see my mother for a few days at a time (because I can't stand to see her eat and eat and eat and eat and eat (she's done this for years))

It is difficult to watch them destroy themselves. Sometimes I feel angry with them, sometimes I have pity for them.

What I do NOT do is tell them what to do, how to eat, or how to drink.
I have said something to Mom, rarely, maybe just a handful of times in my life...to tell her how I (me, myself) FEEL about her eating. not what TO DO about her eating.
Anything more would be an attempt to control her, and I would become a nag. It becomes easy for the addict to blame YOU if you nag them about their disorder.

It has to be on them. And at the end of the day, they are this way because on some level they think they are unlovable. The best thing I can do for them is to love them as they are, for that seems to be what they need.

Do I like it? Is it fair? Can I do anything about it for them? The answer to all of those is no. Is it difficult? You better FUCKING believe it is.

If you want to say something to him, do it with love...tell him how you feel, not what to do...but expect him to do nothing about it.
Not that he can't....but that he may not. And you won't have any control over whether he decides to start taking care of himself.
Also know this. If he does decide to take care of himself after you have told him how you feel, it still with have nothing to do with you.

on edit: never were two people so meant for each other, but they chose to avoid their problems and divorce instead of dealing with their shit....
and divorce they did, and they both never dealt with their shit...that's why they eat and drink to avoid avoid avoid avoid.
it's taken me years to not hate them both. lots of steps and therapy.
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Lil Missy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. MYOFB
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I don't agree with that, personally. If you care about someone you should help them
I think I may try to show him how to eat here. It is hard to eat western food that isn't fast food here. But, if you know how to improvise and such you can use chinese ingredients to make western food.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Sounds like a good idea.
Good luck.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. i think it is over the line. something amazing. people think that other people dont KNOW what
they are doing wrong, or what is unhealthy. that if a person talks to them with concern, sure, that it will be a wake up. your friend knows what he is doing. he knows it is unhealthy. he is making the choice.

you know, like someone telling you smoking is unhealthy. well fuck, thanks, didnt know that.

what you can do is discuss how he is settlin, feeling, what is up within, and if there is something you can do there. if he discusses weight and unhappiness, and if he wants help, and if you want to invest the time

but i always feel it is a bit arrogant for a person to lecture a person on something they are well aware of and chosing to do.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yeah, maybe I'll wait until he brings it up again
And then see if I can get him on some kind of a healthy eating kick. Not that I'm Mr healthy, I could easily lose 20 pounds or so. But, I think the biggest problem for him is he doesn't speak any chinese yet so going to restaurants is intimidating, and he doesn't know how to improvise in a Chinese supermarket. For instance, you can't find canola oil easily, so you use corn oil. Instead of buying sliced chicken and deli meats, you buy chicken breast and pre-cook them, then slice them up for sandwiches. Stuff like that.

I think the restaurant thing would help the most. I lost ten pounds when I moved here just from eating in Chinese places all the time. They are naturally on atkins here, you eat the meat and vegetables first, and the rice comes at the END of the meal to make you feel full if you don't. You general end up eating a tiny amount of rice.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. you might address it just like that.
Edited on Sun Sep-19-10 01:03 AM by seabeyond
not.... you weight is unhealthy. he knows. but, is there something you can do to help him to adjust to the area.

most people eat like that as a comfort food because they are unhappy and this helps to put up a shield, to feel safe, to blame whatever on weight so it isnt who they are but cause of weight, ect....

that would be the real area the man would need to address, and that is why this issue is so hard.

i think the best thing that happened to me, is i talk so much at dinner, i love having my family, i eat so so so slow. everyone has to sit and wait for me to be done eating. so we get lots of family time. and i am eating slower and slower. wonderful habit to get into.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
9. As a large man
I disagree with some of the posters here. If its a good friend, a real buddy, not just an acquaintance, that is. And there is a fine line. But I would say something, and I would expect a friend to say something to me.

Now, there's a fine line. Express your concern. Once. After that, the subject is open and if he wants to speak on it further, he will. And if not, then you have done what a concerned friend should, and then you respect his wish in that as well.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I agree with quakerboy
this is the correct approach - you bring up your concern and then the ball is in his court
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
11. Get him to see a doctor. Take him out for some healthy chinese meals. Don't know
what else to suggest. Yes people who are that heavy often don't make it out of their forties alive. Good that you are concerned.
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. True friends have a duty to cross the line every so often.
Edited on Sun Sep-19-10 04:18 PM by Kaleva
Your silence about his weight and eating habits isn't the sole reason he's your buddy.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. Maybe frame it in the "dude, you can finally eat real Chinese food!"
"Let's go get some!" kind of way? Familiarize him with how to say a few good choice meals? Just stabbing in the dark here; hope it helps.
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