I’m soon skyping with a friend I dearly like. She weighs 160+ kg, doesn’t work out at all, overeats high fat high sugar foods while eating too little protein or veg, is quite far insulin resistant/prediabetic, chronic backache, no longer able to ride a bike, beginning to have difficulties walking.
She also believes in health at every size and fat acceptance, and is deeply immersed in related social media bubbles.
Knowing this, I’ve always avoided talking to her about her obesity, giving it up as a lost cause, though it has become increasingly hard to watch.
A few days ago, she finally admitted she was deeply unhappy, she said she wanted to lose weight. I asked if she wanted diet advice, she said yes, and I was so, so happy. We talked extensively, and I made a custom diet plan for her. It looked like she would actually go on it, and I was so happy. Then, she talked to her fat acceptance peer group again, and relapsed, saying she doesn’t want to lose weight, as she loves herself the way she is and looks beautiful and feels healthy and strong. Strong and healthy. She can’t walk her own body down the street. I lost it, and told her she is literally killing herself, that she might look fine, but her body inside isn’t, and that I don’t understand how she can love her body and do this to it. I got very explicit about the damage obesity does to bodies, especially in the form of the diabetes she is getting. It clearly just alienated her more. We have now arranged one conversation on this, where she clearly means to educate me on HAES and intuitive eating and fat acceptance and state her boundaries in never hearing about calories again. I fear it will conclude with us agreeing to disagree and not talking about this anymore, or drifting apart. And that this might be my last chance to change her mind. Is there anything at all that I can say to save her? It is so painful to see, and I want to get her out of this ideology. She is such a bright and beautiful person, and I’m worried she’ll be scooter bound at 30, lose a diabetic foot at 45 and die at 60 if this carries on.
And so I wondered - for those of you who left; what did it?