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Thread: My fiancee wants to lose weight, how can I be supportive?

  1. #1

    Default My fiancee wants to lose weight, how can I be supportive?

    So for a long time, my fiancee has had a weight issue. As long as I've known her and some time before as well (for reference, we're both 28 and I've known her since we were 18). This has always given her self-esteem issues and she's always wanted to do something about it but has never gotten to it. Also, to be clear, she *is* very overweight. This isn't self-esteem issues making her dislike her body, it's distinctly the other way around. She probably needs to drop around 100 pounds to get to a healthy weight.

    She's always been aware of this and has always had a desire to do something about it. Her problem has always been one of time and prioritizing. Let's say that you have things A, B, C, D, and E to do, but in any given day, only have time to work on three of them. You'd vary which ones you work on each day but make sure the highest priority items get the most time, right? She can't do that. She's a perfectionist and is unable to put down something until it's done and whatever she doesn't get to, she doesn't get to. Before we go further, I'll note she has a great psychologist who's aware of the issue. This impacts her life in many ways beyond the one at hand. Anyway, as a result, she's never really grabbed the bull by the horns to tackle the issue. There have been small accomplishments at point but she's never been able to sustain good habits. A major series of exams will come and all of a sudden, that pattern of eating well and going to the gym disappears because studying is all she has time for.

    But recently I think she may have finally had a come-to-jesus moment about the matter. I don't know what did it, but I think she finally broke down over realizing that she's never gotten to it and that needs to change. She's gone from 18 to 28 without fixing it. I think she realized that unless she changes, she'll get to 38 with the same complaint. Then 48 and... you get the point.

    But frankly, this is hitting at a terrible time. She's a pharmacy student and is halfway through her absolute busiest year of school. How busy? Last year she was a 4.0 student. This year she took on a bunch of leadership activities and went to being a 3.6 (ish) student. I know she failed two exams this year because she just plain didn't have time to prepare for them, and school/leadership literally consumes all her waking time except for the hour or two she spends on Skype with me (we live 1700 miles apart). I know the answer is "make time" and "anyone can find 30 minutes a day", but she works so much that honestly, the only way she can make time is to sacrifice schoolwork. And her schoolwork is already suffering because she took time out of it for leadership positions.

    She has access to a great time gym through her school but realistically it isn't an option. First off, the drive to and from, along with preparing to go out and all that jazz, really compounds the time commitment. Second, she lives in one of the coldest, snowiest cities in the country which makes the matter really difficult besides. So that's not really an option. She has a copy of the P90X DVDs which she hasn't broken out yet (probably will after my visit concludes) and most of the necessary equipment (she lacks a chin-up bar which I guarantee is immaterial at this point). The goal is to kind of just start doing them regularly and see how they go.

    As for food, I know her main issue is portion control. Neither of us makes a habit out of butter and cream-laden meals, but we both like quantity on our plates. Once in a while I spend 6-8 weeks religiously sticking to 1700 healthy calories a day and I literally never feel full. However, I've gotten her some good diet cookbooks in the last year and she's found stuff in them she really likes. So that I'm pretty sure she can stick to.

    So here's the question- what can I do? I can't do this for her. I want her to capitalize on how she's been feeling lately (as I said, I get the distinct impression that she's crossed the Rubicon in wanting to change), but I know that the time is a big difficulty. And I know if she tries and fails, it'll make her a million times worse now and in the future. She already has body self-esteem issues, she doesn't need failure self-esteem issues too. But I also know that I need to treat her time as sacred. If I convince her to devote time to this out of her schoolwork that she honestly doesn't have, her grades WILL suffer.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Getting (and staying) in shape while busy is brutal. Not just from a not having time perspective, but from a motivational perspective. Yes you can find 30 minutes, but being motivated to not veg out with a bag of chips for those 30 minutes during a brutal 90 hour week is hard.

    My key to success (success being very subjective) has been finding physical activities that are actually fun. This may be the area you can help with. Find some activity that you both enjoy. Make it something she'll look forward to (vice spending a half hour running on a treadmill or doing tedious exercise to a workout DVD). Look for local pickup/non competitive "for fun" sports groups in your area. It can be very intimidating, especially if very out of shape, but well worth the effort in my opinion. You may even find something that caters to people trying to lose weight/get in shape.

    As for portion control, I found having more vegetables and other sides with the main meal helps. You have to strike the right balance, and let your body/brain get used to the idea, but I do find it works.

    I think the other important thing (and some people disagree with this, is to make it more about trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle rather than drawing a line in the sand and saying "from this day forth I will only eat carrots!". Change a few things at a time, give ones self a chance to get used to it, focus on reducing rather than eliminating (sometimes you just want a huge chunk of steak and half a plate of potatoes covered in butter and gravy.. and once in a while that's fine. If you are doing it right, your body should shrug it off.

    For me eliminating a lot of the habitual stuff was a big step. I used to guzzle down soda all day, almost subconsciously. Now I mainly drink water throughout the day and have a soda when I'm actually in the mood for one. I'd say the same with chips and junk food. I'll still have a bag of chips from time to time, but I don't go to it as a default.

    I think the really important thing is to not jump onto these fad diets. They almost all seem to be terribly bad for ones self. As someone with a science background you probably know that better than most. The age old "exercise more, eat better" works, it just takes time.
    Last edited by BoundCoder; 31-Dec-2013 at 13:06. Reason: minor reword

  3. #3

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    I think there's a couple of aspects to address:

    First of all: good idea (loosing the weight)...

    I'm a bit of a fitness / sports freak - but I had to loose weight couple of years ago.
    After I got hit by car and spent a longer time out of sports, well I was too dumb to change my eating habits (from someone who previously had done daily at least 1-2 hours of work out to nothing).
    Well needless to say the whole depro-issues from being immobile etc - didn't help either... so I gained pounds quickly... when I was starting rehab and getting back to sports, well it was a difficult road

    P90x and all the other programs - they aren't bad - don't get me wrong. especially if you already have a certain level of fitness and enthusiastic about such programs they are amazing.
    BUT if you START OUT and want to loose weight - they are a tough choice. They require a hell lot of commitment to really work and most people, after having completed one cycle break down to their old habits again.

    In my opinion she needs to look at a few aspect:
    - WHAT is the stuff that makes her GAIN weight
    - What is her diet composed of
    - What does she drink (that's easily one of the major aspect - the damn soda pops and alcohol... sugar sugar sugar... best to ban them (at least the soda pops like coke) entirely .. .and don't think "coke zero" is a good idea either... whilst virtually free of calories - it still triggers certain actions in your body that would be quite similar in terms of "deposit" / storage building than if you'd drink the sugared version.

    Diet: I am an absolute ANTI-ADVOCATE of all "diet-plans" and "weight loss food" - the stuff usually works well in the beginning, is expensive and tastes like crap. Also a diet shouldn't be like 4 month .-.. it's a life long decision to eat HEALTHY.
    Vegetables, Rice, Red meats, fresh fruit & veg. ... basically it's pretty simple (if she can't already) learn to cook healthy. Eat helathy EVERY DAY. stay away from convenience food and fast food and junk food... that stuff makes you fat.


    weight loss:
    rather than trying to loose 20 pounds in 2 month, try to loose 20 pounds in a year. much more realistic - and should be healthier and long term... (less chance of jo-joing)

    Exercise:
    Exercise is VERY important... if you speed up your metabolism, well your body will burn more calories... it's pretty simple.
    But again, instead of doing 3 month of a hardcore program - get into a routine you can do daily...
    The experience shows, at least for most people - if they start extreme - they quit soon.
    For example: start the day with a few push ups, sit ups, etc... nothing serious... like 20 or so each. EVERY MORNING. EVERY DAY. four different exercises - takes five minutes.
    Three times a week do some light cardio work out (swimming is good, as it's easy on the joints if your obese) - running, biking, whatever.. .get on trad mill if that's "your" thing.
    GET A SPORTS HEART RATE Monitor!!! Burning calories happens in the LOWER RATES!!! IF she wants to work out and loose fat, she needs to watch her heart rate.
    Don't go by "feeling" - it doesn't work in the beginning (no references).

    Over time, once she's lost a bit of weight and her general fitness has improved, and if she likes to the amount of sporty activities can be increased... at that point it will be enjoyable.-

  4. #4

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    Weight loss is a tough row to hoe for a driven person. They need measurables. Worse, the weight loss measurables make it more like another job to the obsessive personality. Using the scale as your daily measurable dooms you to failure, because daily variation in weight due to food-in-process, sweat, pee, poop, hormone driven water weight all dwarf day to day changes in fat stores.

    I don't think I need to address the food end of it. With her field and level of education, she probably knows that as well as I do. Knowing and doing are different of course, but we both know she's not going to fall for fad diets or pills. Its really just a matter of fuel in vs fuel used. Best you can do to support is not torpedo her efforts with your behavior. If you happen to fall in love with broccoli, though, it wouldn't hurt to exercise that love that in front of her.

    I'm more qualified to address the exercise end of weight loss. I'm not comfortable giving you all the qualifications as it would make me too easily identifiable. Lets say I went from weekend warrior with an extra 50lbs of ballast in my thirties to elite endurance athlete with 6% body fat in my 40's. The weight loss happened over roughly a year. During that time, I didn't really pay much attention to calories. It might have happened faster if I had, or I might have failed and quit because the combination of hard workouts and not eating (I like to eat) would have been too much for me.

    Exercise-based weight loss requires time, commitment, and consistency. Starting out, exercise isn't going to have much effect. Burning calories requires oxygen. You need to get in good cardiovascular shape to burn a lot of calories. More oxygen transfer capacity = more calories burned. Sadly, 30 minutes a day isn't enough to do much, especially if you're an out of shape beginner who can't cover a lot of miles in those 30 minutes. There's also some adaptation to muscles, bones and tendons that has to take place. They're not going to stand up to a marathon (even if you have the aerobic capacity) until you've put the mileage in over a period of years.

    Starting out, with that much excess weight, running/jogging wouldn't be a good choice. Her joints would be ground to dust before she ever got to where she wanted to be. Some walking would be good, but that should be supplemented with other things. Swimming, cycling, cross country skiing are good choices to build aerobic capacity without inflicting pain and damage. This time of year, icy surfaces and darkness present a challenge. My best friend when I can't do it outside is a bike trainer Travel Trac Comp Mag + Trainer - Cycling Trainers, and the Y pool. I don't do exercise videos, so I can't judge. My thoughts would be that they'd get deadly boring in short order, so doing them a couple times a week supplemented by other things on other days might be a good strategy. There is no single "best exercise". Anything that burns a lot of fuel is good. The important thing is to do SOMETHING every day (and more is better!). If 30 minutes is all the body can handle, then do that, and try for more tomorrow. That's where variety can help, because you don't beat up any one body part too badly.

    Now to the hard parts. Motivation and time management.

    Motivation: To stick with an exercise program, it needs to be something you like, something that makes you feel good, or at the very least something you don't totally detest. I'm more susceptible than many to the endorphin buzz. I know that I'm going to feel really good after a 10 mile run so I keep going, even though I usually feel like crap for the first 2 miles. There are ways to trick yourself into liking things as well. Associating the exercise with something you like is one way. I watch football games, play video games, and/or listen to podcasts from the seat of my bike trainer. I find myself looking forward to it, even though time on the trainer is deadly boring by itself. With my sweat rate, reading an actual book doesn't work. Your SO probably doesn't sweat THAT much.

    Time Management: In some ways, this is a subset of motivation. As you noted, we make time for the things that are important to us. One of the ways to make time is multitasking. Integrating exercise into your life can make you forget that its exercise. Driving to the gym is a huge waste of time. I run or bike to the Y for pool sessions. Most of the good athletes I know generally show up places on foot or on a bike unless driving is unavoidable because of weather, distance, or cargo capacity. Your fiance may think her time crunch is unique, but its not. During peak training weeks, I might hit 8-10 miles in the pool, 200-250 on the bike, and 40-50 miles running, all while married with kids and working 50-60 hours a week. That couldn't have happened without bike commuting, lunchtime runs and swims at 0 dark 30 on the way to work. Obviously, that's at the extreme end of the spectrum, and she doesn't need to go there. But the point is, its possible to sneak in pretty significant amounts of exercise just by not using a car when you don't have to. Its hard at first until its become a habit. Then, you don't even realize you're doing it.

    Experts call it a 'lifestyle change', and it is, but it doesn't need to turn you into some bizarre obsessive health freak. Its just a gradual changing of the way you go about your day. I don't eat a lot of red meat. That's because it made me sluggish on early morning runs, not because I read something somewhere. I still like it and eat it when it won't interfere.

    Lots of people log their workouts and track every aspect from mile splits, to elevation change and heartrate. I quit keeping a log shortly after starting, because I started obsessing about the numbers and getting depressed if I wasn't faster one day vs the next. It started to seem too much like work. The only reason I have a clue about mileage numbers, is that I was training with some other people who kept logs, and I knew I was doing more than them. In the process, I learned about overtraining too. There comes a day when the legs are dead and the heartrate won't come up for anything. On that day he rested.

    How do you support her? Try to be an enabler. If she's waffling on walking to the grocery store 'cause she can't carry that much, offer to be her (rented) mule.



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    GET A SPORTS HEART RATE Monitor!!! Burning calories happens in the LOWER RATES!!! IF she wants to work out and loose fat, she needs to watch her heart rate.
    Don't go by "feeling" - it doesn't work in the beginning (no references).
    Ummm....no. Higher heart rate = more calories burned. Heart rate goes up in response to muscles needing more oxygen to burn fuel and create energy. There comes a point where your muscles outstrip the ability of your cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen. Heartrate at that point is known as your aerobic threshold. Go above that, muscles continue to produce energy without oxygen, building up lactic acid. Your performance starts to suffer, and you're pretty much done with a few minutes of anaerobic effort. Kinda like a fighter jet going on afterburner.

    Muscles use a mix of carbohydrate and fat (glycogen and free fatty acids) as fuel. The proportions change with effort level until above aerobic threshold you're using almost all glycogen. The so-called "fat burning zone" is the point where you are using the highest percentage of fat. Going above that, fat burning may still increase (until you go anearobic anyway), but total calories burned increases faster. Fat burning zone isn't as important for weight loss purposes as total calories burned, since glycogen stores need to be replenished. Where it is important is on long rides, runs, or races where you might need to stretch your glycogen reserves until the next fuel stop. The term "bonk" applies to what happens when you run out of glycogen. Your body can't convert fat to energy fast enough to manage a hard effort on fat alone.

    Heart Rate Monitors can be a useful training tool once you've put in the weeks or months training and racing to figure out what the numbers mean. The generic heart rate curves and zones are only a very rough guide. They're next to useless for the beginner. Your max heartrate, aerobic threshold, and heartrate response curve are unique to you. Two people the same age, same condition, same speed and effort level on a treadmill might have heart rates 15 bpm different. Been there, done that. Aerobic threshold changes with training. Your max heartrate is what it is, but you can push your threshold higher with training. The average couch potato might have a threshold at 80% of max, while an elite runner or cyclist might have a threshold at 95% or even a little more.

    Note: You'll have noted a lot of past tense here. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't compete any more for a variety of reasons including age and old injuries catching up with me. I do still manage a couple hours a day of hard exercise, so I'm still in good enough shape that shedding the extra winter insulation when spring comes isn't hard to do.

    ====
    Me: Call me an idiot. I thought I read the whole post, but I missed the long distance relationship part!

    AEsahaettr: Maxx, you're an idiot.

    Me: Now that we've got that out of the way... I'm at somewhat of a loss to think how you could be supportive at a distance without being a nag. We all know that sharing your goals with others helps motivate achievement, but that's kind of a one way thing. If she doesn't share her daily goals, there's not a lot to do on your end.

    I can think of one way she could double up on time commitments...... I could easily skype with someone while on my bike trainer. Strap the phone or tablet to my aerobars and we're good to go. You might have to wait a little between responses if I was going hard, but its doable.

    Presumably she enjoys conversing with you. If that were to become associated with the exercise.... either she learns to despise you or the bike becomes fun time. Now... how to suggest that without being a nag. You're on your own.

    Edit 2: For your benefit, you could do this lying on your back. The image would then be one of a sweaty woman, breathing heavily, on top of you. (Sorry Moo, just trying to get AEsahaettr and his main squeeze to see exercise as a fun thing, not trying to corrupt anybody)
    Last edited by Maxx; 01-Jan-2014 at 01:12.

  5. #5

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    the mental side of it is the hardest part. encouragement or support can often be to not make a big-deal about it, and definitely not to sound patronizing.
    if she's touchy about her appearance, especially when it comes to having to jump and run about whilst chubby, then privacy is also a consideration for a beginner's exercise regime. finding the time and space for exercise within a household or apartment can be an issue (more so if there are other people about), but it's not an impossibility.

    Dynamic Tension is good for people who need to 'wake up' their bodies to exercise; it's basically just good old fashioned exercising at home. stretching exercises are also good, and not as sedate as they may sound.
    all such can be done whilst watching TV, cooking, etc; and as such things tend to be part of a routine for most, it's easier to incorporate exercising into that.

    also, standing more often, and for longer, will burn more calories.

    if, as and when she's upped her confidence and dexterity, she may want to think about cycling to wherever. from there, it's onto running and going for the 'burn'.
    and what about swimming? doesn't her school have a pool?

    and i'm knackered just thinking about it. need cake!

  6. #6

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    Most of the answers (including mine) seem to focus on what she can do, not what you can do to be supportive. Since you don't live in the same place (I think, based on you saying "my visit"), I think all I can suggest are ideas for what she can try, as things like "go for walks together" won't work. Although, now that I think about it, you could go for walks together. Presumably you talk on the phone fairly often. When you do, you can each go for a walk (weather permitting, etc). That might be an easy way to get some joint exercise in. Anyway, on to the suggestions.

    Consider getting her an activity tracker - fitbit, jawbone, nike, whatever. Maybe it's a bit of a gimmick, but having a number attached to movement/activity might help. I have a fitbit and like it since everything is wireless and I don't have to think about it. Some people like the fact that you have to plug in the jawbone to get the data - it makes it more of a surprise. Really, though, if any friends have them, get the same time so you can use the "social" features of the apps.

    Second, consider weightlifting. Not with machines, but with a barbell. I'm partial to the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe. There's a book, and his website is fairly helpful too. There are only five exercises - squat, shoulder press, bench press, deadlift, and powerclean. An instructor or coach is helpful, but it's possible to do it entirely on your own. You work out three times a week, doing three exercises every time - squats every time, and alternating shoulder press/bench press and deadlift/power clean. Each exercise is done for three sets of five reps (except for deadlifts (1x5) and powercleans (5x3)).

    What's good about Starting Strength is that it's not a huge time commitment (1-1.5 hours three times per week), and progress is immediate and measurable. You add five pounds per workout - so if you start squatting 80lbs, in a week that will be 105lbs, and in a month 140lbs. Of course, such quick progress doesn't last forever, but it is pretty much guaranteed at the start. Progress is much easier to measure than with running, which I also like. You do need some equipment (or a gym with a squat rack), but in terms of return on time investment it's pretty hard to beat.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoundCoder View Post
    My key to success (success being very subjective) has been finding physical activities that are actually fun. This may be the area you can help with. Find some activity that you both enjoy. Make it something she'll look forward to (vice spending a half hour running on a treadmill or doing tedious exercise to a workout DVD). Look for local pickup/non competitive "for fun" sports groups in your area. It can be very intimidating, especially if very out of shape, but well worth the effort in my opinion. You may even find something that caters to people trying to lose weight/get in shape.
    Not really an option- note that we live 1700 miles apart, and she's in an area where it's constantly snowing and below freezing through April.

    Agreed with all the dieting stuff, and we're pretty good about putting most of that stuff into our diets.

  8. #8

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    [QUOTE=LittleAcorn;1141082]

    Consider getting her an activity tracker - fitbit, jawbone, nike, whatever. Maybe it's a bit of a gimmick, but having a number attached to movement/activity might help. I have a fitbit and like it since everything is wireless and I don't have to think about it. Some people like the fact that you have to plug in the jawbone to get the data - it makes it more of a surprise. Really, though, if any friends have them, get the same time so you can use the "social" features of the apps.
    I like this. Most of these things ARE gimmicks, and not all that accurate, but everyone likes to play with new toys, don't they? Better still, sharing her data with you (and local friends) could be one way to help her commit to the program.



    Second, consider weightlifting. Not with machines, but with a barbell. I'm partial to the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe. There's a book, and his website is fairly helpful too. There are only five exercises - squat, shoulder press, bench press, deadlift, and powerclean. An instructor or coach is helpful, but it's possible to do it entirely on your own. You work out three times a week, doing three exercises every time - squats every time, and alternating shoulder press/bench press and deadlift/power clean. Each exercise is done for three sets of five reps (except for deadlifts (1x5) and powercleans (5x3)).
    I don't spend much time lifting compared to other things, but it is worthwhile. As I said before, everything counts and variety is good.



    What's good about Starting Strength is that it's not a huge time commitment (1-1.5 hours three times per week), and progress is immediate and measurable. You add five pounds per workout - so if you start squatting 80lbs, in a week that will be 105lbs, and in a month 140lbs. Of course, such quick progress doesn't last forever, but it is pretty much guaranteed at the start. Progress is much easier to measure than with running, which I also like. You do need some equipment (or a gym with a squat rack), but in terms of return on time investment it's pretty hard to beat.
    Real measurables ARE important when you're starting out, especially since results on the scale can take weeks or months to start showing up.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    P90x and all the other programs - they aren't bad - don't get me wrong. especially if you already have a certain level of fitness and enthusiastic about such programs they are amazing.
    BUT if you START OUT and want to loose weight - they are a tough choice. They require a hell lot of commitment to really work and most people, after having completed one cycle break down to their old habits again.
    Completing one cycle would itself be a new high water mark. I think we'll worry about a relapse later.



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    In my opinion she needs to look at a few aspect:
    - WHAT is the stuff that makes her GAIN weight
    Coping with clinical depression when she was a teenager. She hasn't gained weight in a long time. She's just never lost it.



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    - What is her diet composed of
    Meats, vegetables, usually roasted. We have some really great low calorie cookbooks she really likes.



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    - What does she drink (that's easily one of the major aspect - the damn soda pops and alcohol... sugar sugar sugar... best to ban them (at least the soda pops like coke) entirely .. .and don't think "coke zero" is a good idea either... whilst virtually free of calories - it still triggers certain actions in your body that would be quite similar in terms of "deposit" / storage building than if you'd drink the sugared version.
    Mostly water. She keeps some soda and tea around, but they're pretty strictly for when she's dealing with a caffeine headache. Occasionally a beer, as in 2-3 a week or less.



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    Diet: I am an absolute ANTI-ADVOCATE of all "diet-plans" and "weight loss food" - the stuff usually works well in the beginning, is expensive and tastes like crap. Also a diet shouldn't be like 4 month .-.. it's a life long decision to eat HEALTHY.
    Vegetables, Rice, Red meats, fresh fruit & veg. ... basically it's pretty simple (if she can't already) learn to cook healthy. Eat helathy EVERY DAY. stay away from convenience food and fast food and junk food... that stuff makes you fat.
    We're not going to do that. I refuse to buy diet plan food and when we tried South Beach a few years back, the type of food was so far away from what we're familiar with that we couldn't stick with it. Simply staying with what we know and counting calories works better, as well as using cookbooks to find low-cal variations of the kind of foods we eat anyway.



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    Three times a week do some light cardio work out (swimming is good, as it's easy on the joints if your obese) - running, biking, whatever.. .get on trad mill if that's "your" thing.
    Pretty much out. She lives in one of the coldest, snowiest climates in the country and literally doesn't have time to go to the gym without sacrificing academics. Anything she does needs to be in the home. We also move frequently so buying a cardio machine would be a pain.

  10. #10

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    The best way to be supportive of someone who is trying to lose weight is actually surprisingly simple but will have to be adapted to the scenario. This goes for anyone who knows someone trying to change their ways.

    The first thing I want to introduce you to is called Empathic Listening. This is for when they want to vent frustrations, no matter what the type. Let them dominate the conversation and ask questions especially with phrases to the effect of "Let me get this straight." or "Can I clear something up?" Try very hard to avoid words like "I" or "me" because they just make the conversation about you instead of them. Try to make them feel normal and that their emotions are justified.

    The ultimate let-down for anyone trying to lose weight is the +1 or no change week. This is more physical than mental, and the solution is very simple. Take one day off, this means no workouts, no diet, no stressing. This will get the body out of "emergency storage" mode and allow weight loss.

    Another thing is to just be encouraging but not patronizing. If they set a personal best for weight loss in one week congratulations are in order. If they hit a landmark (i.e. going below an increment of 100 pounds or a multiple of 50 lost) give them a high-five. If they lift more or run farther than they ever have give them a pat on the back. When they reach their goal: Big hug! Pepper these in wherever you see fit, but don't lay it on too thick or it'll just get cheesy and they might get offended by it.

    Lastly you can just ask what's getting under their skin, what annoys them, what ticks them off. This gives the impression that you care and are looking out for them.

    All in all be supportive and encouraging and you'll get a tonne of credit when they do reach their goal weight.

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