I've been thinking about this a lot since last Saturday. You know how they say "There's nothing worse then an ex-smoker"? As far lecturing others about their smoking. Does the same go for the formerly obese?
I can't help myself now. I watch what others eat. And I hate to say that there is some judgement involved. Not as far as people's weights most of the time, but when I watch people - fat or thin - eat really processed or bad foods, I do think about how terrible it is for them, etc.
But normally, I know that it's none of my business. If someone asks for my advice or input - well, that's different. And being...delicate...? Not my style. They get my opinion - right in the face.
What about non-strangers - family or friends that aren't asking for my advice? This came in to play during our get together on Saturday with Marc's family. He has a family member who always been on the heavy side, but had gotten into working out and lost some weight. The doctor had told him that, given a family history of diabetes and heart problems, even though he was young, he really needed to do something about his weight because he was playing with fire. Unfortunately, he has fallen back into old and unhealthy habits and has gained back weight and more.
I noticed that he took a sausage patty and a hot dog. Then he went back for another hot dog. Then, when everyone else had stopped eating and were visiting, he went and got a turkey burger. And what was concerning was not so much what and how much he was eating, but how he sounded. He sat down close to me while eating that turkey burger and he was almost...panting. He sounded so out of breath. Then as dessert was served, I watched as he went into the screened gazebo where we had the food and just CRAMMED two cupcakes in his mouth.
He obviously was barely tasting and not even enjoying the food by doing that. Ug... I remember those days!
I'm noticing and commenting on stuff like this not because I have any desire to judge him, but I am genuinely concerned for his health! And I asked Marc if he thought that I should say take this person aside some time and have a heart to heart with him.
And I think back to the recent past and my obesity. NO ONE - not a doctor, friend, or family member - ever took me to the side and had a sit down with me about my weight. I wonder what my reaction would have been if they had. I know I would have felt terribly ashamed. And probably defensive. Would I have been angry? Would it have caused me to change anything? I honestly don't know. I don't know what made me finally "get it" and start losing in the first place. So I certainly don't know if someone said to me that they cared about me and were worried about my health if that would have prodded me into making a life change.
So I still am torn between wanting to help - not just this person, but others that I care about - and my belief that I should mind my own damn business because they will change when - and if - they are ready...