Post # 1
I’m hoping to get some advice on the best way to handle this. My teenage half-sister is really overweight. She has always been fuller figured but I feel that I have noticed a large weight gain in the last year. I am worried about her health and want to talk to her about it. I don’t want to make her self-conscious or uncomfortable. I am sure that my dad has brought it up and probably not in the best way.
Is it best that I say nothing? Or, if I talk to her, what is the best approach? I am not overweight and no one in our immediate family is or has been so I am not sure how to deal with this if at all. Thanks.
Post # 3
Do not say a word to her. She is aware that she is overweight, I assure you.
Post # 4
You can’t but you can encourage her to lead a healthier life style. Ask her what physical activities she likes… ask her what heathly foods she might like and expand on both those points.
Post # 5
I agree with Corgi…. She’s aware, trust me
Post # 6
What Corgi said. Bringing it up doesn’t help the matter. Practicing healthy eating and exercising habits with her will help. Ask her to go on a walk with you, ask her if she would like an apple too. It will be good for the both of you, whether you are at a healthy weight or not.
Post # 7
Wow this is a tough one. I struggled with my weight on and off for years and I know I was especially sensitive as a teenager. Being a teenager is hard enough but the added pressure of being the biggest friend and the only one without a boyfriend etc (I’m generalising) is heartbreaking. I cried many secret tears about it.
I’m pretty sure your sister knows she has a problem with her weight and its probably all she thinks about. Finding clothes is hard, you start to avoid social occasions because of not finding anything you feel nice in and activities that’ll highlight your weight (for me it was swimming) You know your sister obviously but however you approach it you are going to make her feel self conscious and upset, even if you are going there with her best interests at heart. Is there another way you could help her? Try to get her involved with more activity with you for example? Or maybe a chat would be the best thing, its hard to say without knowing her. Just know that even if she pretends she isn’t bothered there’s a good chance she is and is putting on a brave face. Be there to support her however she needs and give her some self confidence to try and tackle it herself. Best of luck xx
Post # 8
I agree with the others, I’m sure she knows she’s overweight. What you could do is offer to do things with her in an attempt to get her to be more active, but don’t say it’s specifically so she can lose weight. You could invite her for a bike ride or to take dance lessons together or something like that.
Post # 9
Agree with everyone – she knows shes gained weight, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like being the “fat girl” in high school. Totally not your place to say anything to her… I know you’re concerned and all, but you saying something to her isn’t going to do anything. It’s not going to make her want to lose weight. As a matter of fact, anytime a family member expressed concern over my weight, I would often get so depressed after, and binge and purge even HARDER than I was previously.
Is her Mom fuller figured too? You could ask your Dad to get her Mom to talk to her. Maybe the Mom can get her to go to the Doctor for a physical. She should have her hormones checked if there is no “obesity trend” in your family.
Have you also considered the fact that maybe shes on a medication that causes weight gain, that you don’t know about? She might not be sitting on the couch eating chips and donuts all day, you know.
Post # 10
I dont think you should directly tell her anything about her weight but if you have the opportunity to take her out to eat then you can make a point of choosing something healthy and using that as platform to set an example and mention healthy eating.
Post # 11
I’m in the “say nothing” camp. I have a horrible memory of my mom delicately advising me to suck in my stomach before I left for a middle school dance. She was just trying to help me and honestly didn’t mean to upset me, but it was still awful for me to hear. When you’re that age and already self-conscious about your weight, hearing it from someone else just makes you feel worse and more helpless.
One thing you might try is bringing up “body image” issues to her. For example, sharing a story about something you were/are self-conscious about, and using that to segueway into a conversation about how she feels about herself. Weight gain, esp. suddenly, is such an emotionally charged issue that she might be relieved to have someone to talk to. From there, she may feel like you’re someone she can ask for help when she’s ready to.
Post # 12
I agree with the other bees that she is aware of her weight gain. I don’t think, however, that you should just be quiet about it, pretend that it doesn’t exist and let her deal with it her own way. I think that you are perfectly justified in telling her that you support her, love her, and if she ever wants your help or advice, you are there for her. In my experience, the lectures and suggestions, no matter how well intended, always come off critical and hurtful.
Post # 13
@jacinda10: Her mom had gastric bypass but has gained a lot (if not all) of the weight back. She isn’t on medication. I don’t believe she is sitting around eating poorly all the time. I’m just not sure she has the best example of healthy eating.
Post # 14
Having the “wow you’ve put on weight..is evertyhing ok??” convo is tough. She knows she’s getting pudgy. It’s like knowing your boobs are hanging out lol. I agree with the other ladies that saying something is probably the wrong way to go….however, the right way to go is to encourage healty eating and exercise. Instead of asking her to a movie, ask her for a walk to “enjoy the weather”, or because you want to “get her opinion on something” and then instead of hitting up fast food places, go to your local salad bar. Park further away when you two go out to do something, and encourage her to exercise withouth actually hopping on the treadmill. Prior to having my son I was a size 10/12, with my frame is skinny. I lost a bunch of weight to get there by doing little things, cutting carbs, and eating when I was hungry, and stopping when I was fullish. I ate slow, and still let myself have ice cream (my personal weakness) once a week. The little things added up. It really helps if you have someone who is there to work out with…but not really working out, kwim? As for me, I just need to actually get back in the habit. I’m just too lazy right now.
Post # 15
I agree, say nothing. I got a lot of flack growing up from “well-meaning” family members for being overweight. Their comments really hurt and it’s not something I think should be discussed.
Post # 16
I agree. Don’t have a talk with her, but spend time with her doing active things. Encourage her to be involved with school activities. With her being a teenager, she is not in complete control of what she eats. What kind of food is provided for her in her home? You may need to have the conversation about healthy eating with her parents. If her mom had gastric bypass surgery and gained it all back, it seems the family makes bad food choices overall. Your half sis is not in control of what’s in the fridge. Her parents are. If her mom prepares a high calorie, high fat meal for dinner, what can she do?