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  1. #1

    Default advice for dealing with overweight friend

    Alter, of course, to protect person.

    Backstory: Person is morbidly obese - think 350+lbs, perhaps 5'8''. She does not do much physical activity at all - she is a nice person, and I have no issues with her weight, except she wants to be included in EVERY activity we do, and then somehow I feel like a 'bad guy' when I want to do something thats physically demanding... for example hiking up a mountain, or water skiing, or just hiking around for a couple hours.

    Recently, I invited my group of friends to go camping, she really, really wanted to go - which is fine. I told her the last day I planned on hiking a mountain, and the day earlier we planned on swimming and hiking (trying to warn her/give her a chance to plan something else to do instead, etc). She was very enthusiastic, and talked about really wanting to climb up the mountain. I didn't say anything, but there was literally no way she would be able to make the hike, the mountain was a relatively easy hike - about 3 miles, and just hiking trails - but I don't think she could walk a mile on flat ground. Anyways, closer to the dates we were going to leave she started having a ton of anxiety about said trip, flipping back and forth on even going. She finally decided she needed to leave early the last day, therefore could not do the hiking trip. That morning, she slept in until less than an hour before we were going to leave - we needed to close up and clean up, she was dragging her feet. I told her we needed to get a move on, and she needed to get ready and had about 1/2 hour to pack up. She felt I was being offensive and unwelcoming and for several days following has been very passive aggressive to me.

    I'm not very close to her, I'm very close to a mutual friend, who is ALWAYS his +1. HE is very active, loves the adventure and is a lot of fun to hang out with. SHE is basically in love with him (he doesn't swing that way), and desperately wants to be included in everything. I don't want to leave her out, I just don't want to have to be limited by her limitations. While we were hiking He said something along the lines "next time we do this, I'm going to tell her I'm going away to visit my family for the weekend, and that way we don't have to invite her". I don't think that's very nice, but its really difficult to not invite her to something that is going to be physically active. We are now talking about doing a group trip to Ireland and it was brought up, no one wants to hurt her feelings, but she is not physically able to do the things we have planned for.

    I have struggled with weight issues and have had to face my own limitations with "well maybe I can work out and do that next time!" sort of attitude. She is extremely immature for her age (she is at least 7 years older than I am, and I am well over 25+).

    I've tried to encourage healthier habits in general and have invited her to go to the gym (we all go together, except her, as a support system)... She has lost quite a bit of weight, perhaps 50 lbs over a couple years.

    input and/or advice appreciated.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
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    6,993

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    What is the problem?

    "You can't go, you can't do what we're doing".

    If someone couldn't swim would you include them in swimming trips? Would you bring her to a crab feast if she was allergic to seafoood?

    Time to be honest..."Darlin', you're too fat...you can't walk, won't lose the weight and we don't enjoy your attitude when we won't pretend you're healthy and can do what we want to do."

    It's not difficult not to invite her...just don't do it. If she complains, just give her a nice blank look and don't buy into her fat-guilt attitude. People don't get fat on air, she eats more than she needs...too bad, free while can be a real tough thing.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2010
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    109

    Default

    Saying this as a formerly REALLY big person (close to your friend's size)... If she knows you guys are going to be doing something physically strenuous AND she still wants to come along, well GOOD FOR HER, and if you are a true friend, I'd think you would make accomodations, at least once in a while.

    Let's put it this way... I posted the other thread about my super-obese friend who CAN'T do any of this stuff, nor does he WANT to, but I would LOVE it if he said he wanted to try. If he told me, "hey, I'd like to go hiking with you guys this weekend," you can be damned sure I would tailor that hike to go as slow as he needed, just so that he would come along. ANY exercise is good for him; I would drop over dead from sheer joy if he'd say he even wanted to give it a go.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
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    Westford, Massachusetts
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    Since you aren't very close to her and she is primarily the friend of a friend, I'd ask the friend to deal with it. If she has to go everywhere with him, I'd talk to him about it...he can be the one to tell her that she's not invited on a particular excursion because she'll hold everyone else back or he can choose to do something else with her. Why doesn't he just not tell her every single thing he's doing? Do the live together or something where he has to report where he's going? He could also plan some activities that she can participate in and invite everyone else along too.

    I'm old and married and don't do the number of group things I did in my 20s, but I've always had different friends that I do different things with. Not everyone enjoys the same activities. The friend who likes to shop and doesn't like getting dirty and is allergic to everything is not going to go to the barn or hiking with me, but we can go out to lunch and shop and go to a museum/ go to the movies, etc...



  5. #5
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    May. 26, 2006
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    North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter-a-go-go View Post
    Saying this as a formerly REALLY big person (close to your friend's size)... If she knows you guys are going to be doing something physically strenuous AND she still wants to come along, well GOOD FOR HER, and if you are a true friend, I'd think you would make accomodations, at least once in a while.

    Let's put it this way... I posted the other thread about my super-obese friend who CAN'T do any of this stuff, nor does he WANT to, but I would LOVE it if he said he wanted to try. If he told me, "hey, I'd like to go hiking with you guys this weekend," you can be damned sure I would tailor that hike to go as slow as he needed, just so that he would come along. ANY exercise is good for him; I would drop over dead from sheer joy if he'd say he even wanted to give it a go.
    But the OP says they aren't a close friend.
    I'm not very close to her, I'm very close to a mutual friend, who is ALWAYS his +1.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    If you're not that close, do you know for sure that she can't do these things? One of my friends is morbidly obese, and she goes hiking all the time. It would be no big deal for her to keep up with most people. Not every fat person is completely sedentary.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  7. #7
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter-a-go-go View Post
    Saying this as a formerly REALLY big person (close to your friend's size)... If she knows you guys are going to be doing something physically strenuous AND she still wants to come along, well GOOD FOR HER, and if you are a true friend, I'd think you would make accomodations, at least once in a while.
    Not only are they not close friends, she gives off days of stank attitude when something needs to be done and she's told to do it (like cleaning up the campsite by x time).

    Hell, OP, do you guys even enjoy her company? Saying "well, she's a nice person" means nothing; there are perfectly nice people I wouldn't particularly want to go on an extended trip with. If her weight is making you feel some kind of "OMG I must include her or else I'm a meanie" guilt, disregard her weight - would you invite a non-fat acquaintance who wasn't going to do the things the rest of the group did on the trip, and who'd be all passive-aggressive at you after?



  8. #8
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    If she knows you guys are going to be doing something physically strenuous AND she still wants to come along, well GOOD FOR HER, and if you are a true friend, I'd think you would make accomodations, at least once in a while.

    Let's put it this way... I posted the other thread about my super-obese friend who CAN'T do any of this stuff, nor does he WANT to, but I would LOVE it if he said he wanted to try. If he told me, "hey, I'd like to go hiking with you guys this weekend," you can be damned sure I would tailor that hike to go as slow as he needed, just so that he would come along. ANY exercise is good for him; I would drop over dead from sheer joy if he'd say he even wanted to give it a go.
    well, not me. I'd be ticked off if someone who KNEW she couldn't do the activity planned insisted on coming anyway and made us all wait for her/ completely adjust our plan to accomodate her.
    Plus despite your claims that ANY exercise is good for the very sedentary? well, it's not. You could easily end up out there trying to do CPR hoping the copter will make it in time, or her forcing herself beyond her capacity could cause a joint to blow out. If you're seriously obese and seriously sedentary you should only exercise under medical supervision in medically approved exercises.
    So for the health and safety of the person, you'll need to politely or not so politely tell her she's not invited, and why.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 11, 2007
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    She's not going b/c she wants to go hiking; she's going to keep tabs on the boy and to continue to exercise some passive-aggressiveness. I'm short and chubby, I don't go attempt to play basketball with anyone, ever. She may want to be the kind of person that does go hike, she may be fooling herself about her abilities or her motives, but I guarantee you she needs a kindly delivered reality check. Maybe there is a place for her where she can stay at camp and read or go fishing or be a photographer or paint but hiking isn't her game right now. If she comes along again I'd make it clear-WE are going to be gone hiking during the day. If there is something you'd like to do while we're doing that then feel free to come along. No fuzzy lines.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    It doesn't sound to me like the problem has anything to do with her weight. Instead, it's the fact that she sleeps late on camping trips and inconveniences others, is wishy-washy on plans at the last minute, that she's maybe a little desperate and needy, and that it doesn't sound like you particularly enjoy her company.

    These are totally legitimate reasons to not spend time with someone and not invite them camping. Why is this somehow about her weight?

    As far as inviting her to do stuff... well, you don't have to invite her. If it were me, I'd probably avoid inviting her, primarily due to her lack of planning/respect for others' time and my general disinterest in her company. If she somehow got invited through someone else, I don't see how it'd be my problem to determine whether or not she's physically up to hiking. If a mutual friend always insisted on bringing her, unfortunately that would affect that friendship as well. If he can't manage to resist inviting her, then we'd all be seeing a lot less of each other. Such is life.

    Maybe I'm just getting cranky as I age but I don't really have the time or emotional energy to police others, and especially not those that I don't care much for anyway. No sense wasting energy on friendships that just aren't working.
    If the pony spits venom in your face or produces a loud roar, it is probably not a pony. Find another. -The Oatmeal



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2010
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    Simple question: is she a true friend? (I know the OP said no.) If yes: then for god's sake, get over yourself and be accomodating every now and then. Not a true friend? Then for god's sake, stop pretending you are and just grow a pair and not invite her, if she makes you all that miserable. My guess is, she can sense you all don't really like having her around; no wonder her attitude is p*ssy.

    (I'd love to hear this story from her side...)



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