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You Are Fat

How do you have a discussion with a family member about how fat he is?  Dawn Lermon discussed her embarrassment growing up with a morbidly obese father on Talk of the Nation today.  Her family life as a child, she related, was never normal.  Her dad took up two seats on a plane.  He couldn't walk up the stairs.  When he had to go out, he had to get a special taxi. 

So.  We obviously need to give "stop being so fat" advice to our family members.  It's absolutely appropriate to clue them in that you notice what a hog they are.  That will motivate change!

One listener emailed that her father was very fat and diabetic to boot.  At Christmastime, he had ordered a huuuuuge danish and was about to eat it when the daughter snatched it, told him he shouldn't be touching food like that in his condition, and do you know how many calories are in this thing? 

And she called the pastry chef so that the dad could be educated on how bad this food really is.  Oh yes, she called.  Somehow, the father didn't react well to this discussion!  Can you believe that?  I mean, here is this daugher being oh so helpful, and he goes and gets mad. 

This is amazingly poor taste.  The show hosts didn't seem to have a problem with people confronting others or having "loving discussions" about what a lard-o someone is and how they need to change.

Is it just me?  I'm thinking you just don't everrr have a discussion like that with someone.  Unless you're that person's spouse (and maybe not even then), I can't see how it's even remotely appropriate.  I mean, even my doctor should know better than to bring this crap up. 

You think I don't know how fat I am?  Or how bad it is?  Who in the hell do you think you are if you feel the need to bring that up?  Do you think that if losing weight were do-able that I'd have done it by now?  Oh yes.  I have.  Several times over.  I just always gain it back.  Worse than the last time.  Bah.  Shut up if you notice my big butt, ok?  Thanks.

It's one thing to make a New Year's resolution, but it's quite another to make one for someone else.


  1. From the comments on NPR: "The caller who cut off contact from his dad because his dad committed the horrific offense of being fat is an extreme example of the problem. Was his dad threatening to sit on him? That's really the only reason I can fathom for someone to disown a family member who has done nothing wrong, but is larger than the person wishes. If the caller finds fat people "depressing," that entirely a problem of his own making...there is nothing intrinsically depressing about fat people."

  2. See. Seee. Ugh. And when hubby asks why I don't go the doctor, I have to reply because the doctor is going to ignore any real symptoms and hawk on the fact that I am fat. Like when I went in for an impacted ear... he told me my ear wasn't the real problem. Um... It felt like I had an ice-pick in my ear. It WAS the real problem.

    So after my ear was healed, he insisted on giving my entire family testing for diabetes and high blood pressure and the likes. Guess who was the healthiest person? Me! The biggest person.

    When people want to talk about how fat I am I just say, YES, I NOTICED. That pretty much shuts them up.

    1. Except for a couple raging cases of strep throat, I have not been to the doctor for many years for this exact same reason. All these new initiatives to talk to patients about their weight is backfiring, folks.

  3. It can be hard to have a heavy loved one and not speak up. My mom was heavy, not morbidly so..but still heavy, and she endlessly complained about her weight. To my father, to us kids, her friends, neighbors, etc. After my wedding my mother refused to show any of my wedding photos because of how she looked in them.

    Finally when my sister was planning her wedding, my mother started off on her 'I'm so fat' yabber and I told her that if it bothers her that much that it is making her anxious about a wedding that is a year away, she should take the year and make changes and try to lose some of the weight. She was FURIOUS. She called my sister and said that *I* had told her she was fat. I had not. My sister agreed with me, that this would be a good thing for mom to try to do since she was endlessly making it a conversation with everyone. Mom was now mad and backing out of my sisters wedding.

    Talked about damned if you do and damned if you don't. It took days to talk her out of her tree. By then she had the epiphany that losing weight over the next year would be good for her. :/

    She did end up losing weight, and has kept it off for 9 years. This means no living with ice cream in the house, walking 5 miles a day no matter what, and not buying junk food. I am proud of her that she did it.

    1. I would just prefer everyone not have events at which my picture could be taken. If I heard that I could just take the year to lose the weight from my skinny kid, I'd prolly need talking out of my tree, too!

      It's absolutely logical what you said, though. Of course from your perspective it should be quit whining and accept you are fat, or quit whining and lose the weight. :)

      It just isn't so easy when you're, say, 100 pounds overweight and even losing 30 would be monumental but you'd look just the same. It's a pretty hopeless feeling.

  4. Here's my take: As a fat person, I don't want to be told I'm fat; like you said, duh, I know! My doctor has never suggested I lose weight, unless I bring it up. I used to ask my family to "help" me lose weight by reminding me when I was making bad choices, which only led to me getting mad at them.

    You know what HAS helped? My 16yo son encouraging me to go to the gym with him. He said, "Can you commit to one time a week, Mom?" I said, "Yes!" So, just like that, I'm getting some exercise.

    Being as overweight as I am isn't healthy. Simple as that. I have given up on most diets. I read a lot about different weight loss programs, and nutritional studies. It seems I may (and MANY folks who are overweight, as well) have food sensitivities, which make it a lot easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. So, I am starting an elimination diet to see if these foods are contributing to not only my weight but my mood and energy.

  5. I wish I could have listened to the one about how schools in Florida are changing their standards based upon race and developmental disability. Having trouble teaching the EBD class? No problem, just say they don't have to learn as much.


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