reply to post by eightfold
A friend and I just had this conversation over the past two days, and I feel compelled to relay what he said.
A bit of background: We went to high school together, and I haven't seen him for many years. Our contact is via email. My husband has health
issues from being obese (6'1" and 265 lbs) and my friend is 5'8" and about 300 lbs. I've been trying to help my husband take action to lose
weight, to no avail.
This is what my friend told me: His friends and family are all very concerned about him and do everything they can to help him - send articles/links,
give him pep talks, reason with him, etc - and he understands they do it because they love him and want him to live as long as possible. He knows he
should eat differently, he knows he would be sexually attractive like he used to be, he knows his health would improve, he knows he would feel better,
he knows they are right, because he is constantly at war within himself about it already. The more people push him, the more defensive he gets, and
the more he eats to relieve the stress.
What he wants is for everyone to see past his physical appearance, to be loved for who he is right now. He wants people to realize that he struggles
with himself 24/7 about his weight and how it affects his lifestyle. It's like any other addiction in that there are underlying psychological and
emotional issues, and until those are worked out, the circumstances aren't going to change. His loved ones don't understand that they can't force
him to do something he's not ready to do. You can't rush a river.
We each have to be ready to change or it's simply not going to happen. If it's forced, it's not going to last, because the decision didn't come
from within. I have beaten several addictions over the years and am paying the price with health issues now. When people wanted to help me, I had
the same reaction - anger, being defensive, withdrawing from them, denial. I had to bottom out (several times) and managed to survive. Some people
aren't as lucky.
So, my two cents is to accept your friend for who he is and love him while he's still alive. There's nothing else you can do except distance
yourself from him, which would only hurt you both. Everyone struggles with something, and we all deal with the inner battles in our own ways and on
our own timeline.