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Help a Sister Out

Hi! Happy Monday! How’s your morning treating you?

I’m off to teach my first yoga-inspired strength class, so hopefully it goes well!

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While I’m “om-ing” and setting peoples’ thighs on fire, I thought today would be a great day for a discussion post.

I’ve removed the edited email to ensure discretion, but the topic is how to approach your friends, family, and loved ones  about food choices that may be doing more damage than good to their overall health.

This is a challenging topic because it’s hard to tell someone you’re worried about them without crossing the line or damaging a relationship.

While I’ve never had a sister, I do have four brothers.us

My brothers can each eat an entire pizza and play sports. I’ve never had to intervene with their eating habits or exercise schedule — they’re young, and they’re boys.

Also, I’ve never had to address a friend about their health. Usually it’s the other way around, leading by example to hopefully motivate friends and family members to take better care of themselves. There have certainly been times when I’ve worried about the health of those I love, but not because they were working out too much or eating too little.. rather, the exact opposite. Sometimes I do wonder if I should say something, but the idea of damaging relationships or making them upset scares me. I’m one of those “avoid confrontations at all costs” kinda people, but the thing is, being overweight is just as dangerous to ones health as being underweight.

That all being said, here’s what I *think* may work:

Talk to your them. Tell them you love them and instead of attacking their new eating style, ask how they’ve been feeling since they made those changes. Tell them you noticed that they’ve lost weight and that you’re worried about them, since they have such an active lifestyle. Maybe by asking them questions instead of assuming/attacking, it will keep them from feeling like they have to defend themselves?

What do ya’ll think?

Have you ever had to talk to someone about their health? What was your experience like?

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts <3

See ya later today!

xoxo

Gina

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72 Comments

  1. Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) on May 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

    ooph this is a tough situation! but i would say she should sit her sister down and just havea friendly chat about whats going on…they are sisters so its not like they would be intruding too much- and its good just to have a heart to heart!! IVe never had a sister either! just an older brother, but id do the same with him!

  2. Kara on May 16, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Unfortunately, a lot of people use stuff like “veganism” to cover up disordered eating. Talking to her sister is a good idea, but her sister may not be ready to listen. She’s obviously not listening to her own body, so I doubt she’ll listen to another person. It’s worth a shot though, just try to be non-confrontational.

  3. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on May 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I agree with you Gina, that an honest chat is probably in order. I’d explain that you’re concerned and even if you don’t know what kind of advice (nutritionally) to give her, suggest that perhaps she should see a sports nutritionist for advice on being a vegan athlete. It’s obviously possible, since top athletes like Brendan Brazier compete successfully on a plant based diet, but maybe there’s just a little bit of education needed. From personal experience, I’ve found that sometimes if the advice comes from someone other than a family member, it sinks in better.

  4. Michelle on May 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I haven’t had to talk to anyone about my health — but I was the one talked to. I was really into the whole “fad diet” thing (first it was a fat free diet and then it was Atkins/no carbs) in my early 20s and honestly NO amount of people telling me I was too skinny or being unreasonable about my diet sunk in. I was stubborn and if anything the things people said made me want to resist more. It wasn’t until I faced infertility problems did I finally wake up and realize that my health was on the line. The best thing that she can do for her sister is be supportive. Instead of telling her she’s worried or too skinny (all the time) – look for and share recipes that fit into her new lifestyle. Actively help her change her diet so it is more balanced. Talk about the positive aspects of her change in diet and remind her that building muscle requires a BALANCE of food.

    Being on the flip side of it — it’s really a sticky situation. Don’t push too hard or too far. You don’t want to push her away!

  5. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) on May 16, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Gina this is a great post and topic…it’s hard to bring up issues of food choices/health/weight with others b/c we dont want to be judgmental or critical of their choices, or jump to conclusions that really aren’t there, and so each situation must be handled individually and differently given the facts at hand.

    I think your advice of addressing the situation out of love and concern and asking her how she’s feeling is a great one.

    I admit I shy away from addressing these types of issues with others unless they ASK for my advice. I figure someone else has already given them an earful and they dont need to hear it from me, too, so right or wrong, I don’t chime in. But that’s me..and I am non confrontational and so stay quiet, usually. Each case/person/situation is different though.

    GREAT post!

  6. Holly @ The Runny Egg on May 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

    That is so tough — Gina I think you had some good advice, to not attack, to just ask.

    I wonder if she’ll read this post and know it is about her (since she is a fan of the blog?) — just curious if that will help her see what she is doing is damaging.

  7. Lisa on May 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I talk to people about their issues with food/body all the time for work. Talking “to” the sister might not even be the right approach—it automatically sends some red flags flying if the sister is anticipating criticism. I’d ask a lot of questions first in an inquisitive way, not judging. The thing is—the sister is going to read this post, and probably recognize that it’s about her. So I’d say there’s a good chance she’ll already be angry or upset….but who knows, since we don’t know her personality!
    If the sister wants to be vegan for health or ethical reasons, I’d say that’s her choice—sounds like she’s an adult. Maybe some good references can be suggested to help make sure she’s approaching it in the healthiest way possible—Brendan Brazier is the first that comes to mind. Each person’s wellness/diet is unique for optimal effects…trial and error comes into play, and sometimes people have to figure out what doesn’t work by experiencing it.
    It’s great the letter-writer is concerned about her sister, and it will be even greater if the issue can be addressed without causing friction. I’d need a lot more info to really know what the right thing to do is!
    Good luck Big Sis!

  8. Mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on May 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

    That’s a hard place to be in, for sure. I mentor high school girls and one thing I always tell them is that those “come to Jesus” talks might be hard in the beginning. There might be hurt and resentment and anger. But, the important part is to do it in love, to show that you’re doing it because you care for the person and want nothing but the best for them. The initial reaction might be hard, but in the long run, you might be saving the person you love from some serious life-long complications. In some cases, it may just in fact save their life. Best of luck, “Jane” – thoughts and prayers to you and your sister in this tough situation. I hope all turns out for the best.

  9. kaila @ healthy helper! on May 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Wait you don’t have a sister!?! Then who is Meg? I thought she was your sister LOL!

    Yeah this is a tough situation….but I think it is best confront her now before her new eating habits lead in to something more dangerous and detrimental. Good luck!

  10. Gillian on May 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I think the best thing would be for her sis to see a nutritionist to go over how she’s feeling and what she can do. The experts know best! I whole heartedly recommend Joy McCarthy at http://www.joyoushealth.ca who does consultations via skype and has an excellent balanced view on health!

  11. Lindsay on May 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I think your advice is perfect Gina. I would sit down with her and just ask her questions about how she’s been feeling and your concerns. Maybe her sister could even do a little research and find a sports dietitian who works with vegan athletes? Sports dietitians often work a lot of the time with athletes who have disordered eating/eating disorders, in addition to working with healthy athletes who want to improve their performance 🙂 Then she could say something like, I noticed your performance has been suffering and you don’t feel so well. I think it would really help you to go here and then you can teach the rest of us what you’ve learned. I would focus too on how the sister has been such an inspiration to her other sister. I hope that helps!

  12. Hannah on May 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I’ve never had to talk to anyone either, but I was on the other end of it. I was overweight and had an unhealthy relationship with food from bingeing and dieting. I went vegan, lost weight and felt great! After a few months though, I got too restrictive and wasn’t eating enough. I got in a huge rut and was no longer healthy. I knew I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food, but I was so scared someone else would notice and confront me about it. Looking back I wish someone would have confronted me. I know my family and friends love me and were worried about me, I wish they would have told me that instead of being scared of making me feel bad. I felt worse in the trap I had created myself in. Once I got out, and began to confront my own issues, I was able to talk about it openly and began to heal.
    Let you’re sister know how much you care about her before saying anything about food. For me it wasn’t about the food, it was about the fear of gaining weight again. Let her talk about anything she wants to before giving advice or saying what she is doing is “bad.” Talking about is the first step, and opens the path to a healthy and happy relationship with food and yourself, whatever that means to you! I hope the best for you and you’re sister! Sisters are the best <3

  13. Allison @ Food For Healing on May 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

    this is such a difficult thing to approach, but its kind of one of those things you just got to do. Don’t attack her. Approach her with love, and I think do what Gina said, ask her how she is feeling after making those changes. Maybe learn to explore more foods together, more vegan proteins. Make it something you can do together and learn together.

  14. Katie on May 16, 2011 at 10:09 am

    in response to your question on twitter about whether or not you should delete this post – absolutely not! this situation could be about anyone, and i think the underlying issue that it addresses can benefit so many people. i think it should stay!

  15. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on May 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

    As a dietitian I have a LOT of opinions about my family & close friends’ habits. One of my professors told us early in our education that we should not try to change our family – and I was shocked. My father has a few conditions that could be tremendously improved by a healthy diet, and he and I have a great relationship, but she was right – he doesn’t want advice.

    You have to meet people where they are, find out what is motivating them. Use a lot of “I” statements too… “I care about your wellbeing”, etc. so you don’t come off as being accusational. Good luck!

  16. Michelle (your girlfriend for fitness) on May 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I agree this is a tough one. I have never had to address this either. I do like the suggestion of asking questions. It is really easy for someone to become defensive when they feel like they are being attacked and then they will not hear what you are actually saying and will not feel you are coming from a caring place.

  17. fittingbackin on May 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Awesome pic, girl -I hope you enjoy your class!

    I’ve had a few tough talks – mostly around friends who I feared weren’t eating enough and were just wasting away before my eyes. I went about it as kind of a hey! You look great and it’s awesome how hard you’re working, but I love you and just want to make sure you’re okay and not losing too fast… then we talk about it, openly, and I just try to be supportive.. it’s hard!

  18. Errign on May 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I have zero experience with this, for the most part, beyond trying to change my parents eating habits (my dad=very active, but crap diet, my mom=disordered eating city), but I would recommend just talking to her. Airing concerns, but in a non-attacking manner. Suggesting other options or pointing her towards helpful books or blogs that are vegan & healthy & athletes would be nice too.

  19. Karen Carloni on May 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Maybe you could do a little research into dietary recommendations for vegan athletes and then “try out” some recipes on her as a little “grease” for the topic. It does sound as if she may need to eat a lot more calories. I have never had an eating disorder, am an omnivore but try to eat a heavily plant based diet but am naturally thin – people are always trying to feed me. My husband is sure that this is evidence that there is something wrong with me since he doesn’t eat veggies at all. LOL The issue may be not that she is engaging in disordered eating but that she fails to prioritize herself and her meals. She may need to eat a lot more frequently and people who have difficulty with seeing themselves as important have trouble with this sometimes.

  20. Tiffany on May 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

    First off, I LOVE your blog and reading it has become a part of my morning routine, thank you.
    I really feel for the reader with this situation. I was in this exact situation but on the opposite end. I used to run EVERY DAY even if it meant I “had to” wake up at 4am to get it into my busy schedule. I was also eating a vegan diet and really limiting what I ate. I thought I was being healthy, but in the end I ended up weighing 90lbs at 5’4″ (at my “heaviest” weight I was about 115lbs). My sister told my mom that I was anorexic, (I wasn’t. In fact I ate every 2-3 hours. It was just that it was mostly steamed veggies and tofu), and my mom started to get worried. My parents have been divorced since I was three and whenever I saw my dad, I usually saw my aunts, uncles and grandparents as well because we all get together for our birthdays and they were all worried as well. I went from being the biggest eater at the table to not even having a bite of dessert when I used to be the one having seconds.
    Since what I was eating was all “healthy” foods and I was just being active by running (and enjoying it), I didn’t see it as a problem. Even when I got mean comments when I was out from people that didn’t even know me! They would say things like I needed to eat a sandwich and I would get really upset about it….Sorry, I’m straying here. I guess my point is this. You need to approach this subject VERY CAREFULLY. Your sister probably has no idea that what she is doing is hurting her. She probably thinks exactly what I did, that she is just being healthy. You need to express your concerns in a gentle manner and NEVER be accusing. I often felt attacked. It wasn’t until I was in a nutrition course and we were learning about different eating disorders that I realized that I had one. I kept thinking about it for the rest of the day and broke down that night and cried for two hours with my boyfriend at that time.
    I hope you can help your sister before she gets to where I was. I am so lucky that I had such a large support group.
    Make sure you tell your sister how strong and amazing she is and give her specific examples of her decreasing strengths and athletic ability, don’t even mention her size. Too many women base who they are on what size they are. Make it about her performance and above all just give her your support and make sure she knows that you care.

  21. lindsay on May 16, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Good call on removing the email. If I was that sister and had identified myself I would feel pretty crummy that an email about me was posted instead of coming and talking to me. But I do agree with your advice 🙂

  22. Krystina (Organically Me) on May 16, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Honestly, there is no easy way to approach it. I think it’s the kind of thing that you either have to be up front and honest about, or not mention anything. A lot of times, people need to figure things out for themselves. I was obese for YEARS before I finally realized that I needed to stop killing myself. I never listened to anyone, but finally did it when I was ready.

  23. Shanna, Like Banana on May 16, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I have had to confront a friend and it was very difficult. But I tried hard to come from a place of love and non-judgement simply letting her know that I will love her no matter what and always want her to be healthy and happy. And if she wants to talk, I’m here.

    Most often, people will only change habits when they are ready to face them. All we can do is bring them to light, and be a good listener/supporter on the other end.

  24. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine on May 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I think it’s important for her to express her concerns to her sister, but maybe just focus on the fueling aspect of it, not so much the vegan part. Undereating is a serious issue that can lead to a lot of health problems down the road, but I do think that some people can eat sufficiently and get adequate nutrition on an entirely vegan diet. I’d say that the choice on WHAT to eat is her sister’s, but it’s absolutely okay to express concern over too much weight loss or a diet obsession!

  25. M on May 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

    This has been on my heart for some time now, I want to talk to my dad about his unhealthy eating habits (it sounds here like the question was about someone not eating enough, but it goes both ways like you said) If anyone has tips on how to approach a loved one about eating too much junk-y food, I would love to hear that as well. I’m really scared for him and want to tell him but I know he’ll get defensive. Any advice please!! Thanks

  26. Laura on May 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

    As someone who has dealt with similar eating issues, I strongly recommend bringing in a 3rd party- such as a nutritionist or counselor to help with the situation before things go too far.
    I think the writer should first confront her sister in a loving and non-accusatory way, reiterating that while she supports her sister’s vegan lifestyle, it’s obviously affecting her performance and mood. Then recommend a sports nutritionist (you can even offer to go with her). If her sister is still in college they may offer this service for free/low cost through the university or she could even talk to her sister’s coach about what services are available. Going to a nutritionist taught me that I needed to properly fuel my body to make me a stronger, better athlete, and it was what ultimately brought me out my cycle of disordered eating. I would definitely recommend counseling as well if you think her recent eating habits are part of a larger issue.

    As far as whether it’s appropriate to keep this post up, I think as long as you asked “Jane” for permission before posting the letter it’s completely fine.

  27. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on May 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I never have but I imagine that it would be an uncomfortable situation. Eating is such a personal thing, I don’t know if I would want to intervene. What they eat is their choice. The most I would do is probably make suggestions like swapping white bread for whole wheat, etc.

  28. Ginna on May 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Gina this is unrelated but what is ur exact recipe for the protein muffin, measurements and microwave time? I am using liquid egg whites, peanut flour and apple sauce. First time was a disaster so i upped the flour and decreased the liquid egg whites. TIA

    • Fitnessista on May 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      1/2 C egg whites
      2 T flour – you may need to use real flour instead of the peanut
      1/2 t baking powder
      1 thing of applesauce
      cinnamon
      microwave for 3 min

  29. Morgan Jones on May 16, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Personally, I like to let people come to me. No one will really change unless they are ready. Those close to me know where I stand on food and physical activity and an overall pretty healthy lifestyle. If they want advice they seek it out themselves (in one way or another). The best thing is to notice when someone is asking for help and what exactly they are asking for.

    Last summer I helped a girl loose over 50 lbs! She was ready to change her lifestyle and I gave her the tools and support to become successful. She has even gone so far as to change her major to Nutrition! I am so proud of her and she continues to know balance and good eating habits 🙂

  30. Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews on May 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Wow I didn’t know that you had 4 brothers!

  31. Coco on May 16, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I have been on the other side of the coin–the one being confronted.

    From experience, this is what DOESN’T work:

    -being condescending or making it seem like it is the person’s “fault”–eating disorders are NOT a choice
    -making light of the issue or making it seem like it’s easy to “just get over it” or “just eat more”
    -arguments
    -DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT bring anything up when food is involved (aka don’t decide to confront your sister while you are out to lunch!)

    What DOES work:

    -telling her you are there for her, concerned for her, and that you are ready to listen when she is ready to talk. DON’T force it. I was much more willing to turn to loved ones when I knew they were concerned but they also gave me space.
    -let her know what you value about her that has NOTHING to do with how she looks. Tell her how smart she is, and caring, and kind.
    -if it gets to the point where a counselor is needed, give her the resources but do not make the call for her. She needs to feel ready and in control of her recovery, and sabotaging her by making an appointment without her knowledge will only backfire.

    Any other questions, contact me. I’ve been through it, and it was tough for my family to approach me, but I am SO glad they did.

  32. Gina @Running to the Kitchen on May 16, 2011 at 11:19 am

    This is always tough. Kind of reminds me of what I’m going through with my husband right now. Not about his weight or food choices but, more about his general well being. He’s had a rough 2 years with neck and back injuries but refuses to change his habits or implement new healthy ones to help himself. He’s kind of stuck trying to figure out why his body “turned on him” (it’s called aging 🙂 ) rather than spending his energy doing something about it. I’ve found that no matter what I say, how I phrase it, what examples I set, this “change” is going to have to come from within himself. It’s frustrating to watch from the outside because obviously I have a vested interest in his well being but I’m kind of stuck at what else to do. When I do see him doing something to take care of himself I do make sure to encourage him and that behavior.

  33. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on May 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Oh this is a toughie because people get so defensive about their eating habits. I worry about my parents a lot because they don’t eat the healthiest diet and basically get no exercise. In the past, I was really hard on them and criticized their lifestyle choices in a way that was overly harsh, and… it didn’t work. It just put a huge strain on our relationship and nothing changed. Now, I try to show them by example. I eat healthy and lead an active lifestyle, and even without me saying anything, it’s begun to rub off on them. They’ve begun taking walks and making better food choices 🙂 So I definitely think the lead by example way is the best way to go.

  34. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries on May 16, 2011 at 11:34 am

    If it’s someone you’re close with, an honest conversation needs to happen. I have a sorority sister who flaunts her eating disorder, and it’s impossible to talk to her about it. I’ve tried and been unsuccessful. I also have a good friend who is overweight, but that’s a hard conversation to have as well because our society places so much emphasis on being thin – so when I approach her, she doesn’t see that I’m worried about her health. She thinks I’m just calling attention to her being “fat.” It’s such a hard conversation to have – no matter if the person is overweight or underweight.

  35. Heather on May 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Hello~ A couple of months ago you were talking about the elimination diet that you did. DId you have intollerences or sensitivites to certain foods that they were wanting you to try the diet. Just curious I had the Leap test done for food sensitivites and have to do an elimination diet~ I am scared not sure why?? Just trying to find out or talk to someone else that has went though this.

    THank you! Heather

    • Fitnessista on May 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      don’t be scared. mine was actually a detox for hormonal reasons, but i am sensitive to gluten. quinoa will become your best friend 🙂

      • Heather on May 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

        Do you have sensitivities to anything else? Did you have the sensitivity test done or how do you know that you are sensitive to gluten. Just curious~ it is nice to have someone to talk to about this and ask questions. None of my friends have this problem so it hard to ask them questions.

        THank you!Heather

        • Fitnessista on May 17, 2011 at 12:25 am

          i had some testing done through my homepath and he told me to stay away from gluten if it was bothering me- haven’t been tested for anything else

  36. Trisha on May 16, 2011 at 11:49 am

    This is so perfect…because just yesterday I was talking to my mom about my dad’s health. I am worried about him. He exercises and tries to eat well, but not very consistently and he is so busy that I think it will hurt him in the long run. I worry about confronting him because I know he already has so much on his plate. So I’m excited to read what people have to think, too!

  37. Clare @ Fitting It All In on May 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Really interesting topic. I’ve never brought it up to somebody, but I do try to lead by example. However sometimes people approach me with concerns and I will discuss it with them then. It’s hard to not sound condemning though so it’s important that they truly want to make the change.

  38. Ann @ Running With Chopstix on May 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve talked to my mom a few times about eating healthier but, truly, the best way to convince someone that healthy eating and fitness is the better path is leading by example. When my mom sees me eating healthier, she’s more likely to eat healthier. If she sees that I’m getting fitter and gaining more energy, she wants to know my secret! It’s one of my key motivators in living a healthier lifestyle.

    I’ve had the talk myself with the boyfriend and, even though I know he’s trying to motivate me, I can sometimes get teary-eyed when he tries to encourage me the wrong way. For guys out there, know that you can’t motivate females the same way you can motivate males. Negative comments and put downs don’t have the same effect. I told my boyfriend so it worked out fine but just a forewarning before you make a girl cry 🙂

  39. Steph @ A Life Without Ice Cream on May 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    This is one I’ve had to deal with for sure. Not because I’m always putting my nose in, but because since I’ve turned to healthy living and lost weight, a lot of people tend to bring up their own eating habits around me… or even treat me as a confessional if they feel guilty. Funnily enough, I’m so not the person to say “yeah you shouldn’t have eaten an entire box of cookes” I’m much more the “we all have bad days but remember that tomorrow is a new one, don’t get down on yourself.”

    I’m not the kind of person who will bring stuff like that up… like yourself, I avoid confrontation.

    However…

    Just last weekend my Mom (who almost never eats any fruits or veggies) started telling me that she’s worried about my dad’s health because he’s put on a few lbs (ok a little more than a few). My Dad is the healthy eater of the 2 of them though and just needs to use some moderation. I didn’t want to get in a huge discussion about this with my mom but very gently suggested that maybe both of them could make some healthy changes. I told her that they way she’s worried dad won’t be around, I worry about both of them. I was very careful and make sure that it came from a place of love.

    I think that’s all you can do. Be very supportive and non-judgemental.

    Also, don’t push it. If the person doesn’t want to hear it, they won’t and will shut down.

    Note that my mom did shut down. But the next day started asking me questions about things she should be eating for healthy snacks.

  40. Ali @ Around the VeggieTable on May 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Great advice Gina! I think it’s important to also avoid comments about the person’s physical appearance. I like the idea of asking her how she’s feeling rather than saying something like, “you’re so skinny you don’t need to be vegan.” Keeping it focused on a health perspective rather than her appearance will hopefully help so that she doesn’t feel attacked.

  41. Haleigh on May 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I’m also the kind of person that tries to avoid confrontation, if at all possible. But, I feel that if a family member or friend is truly struggling with something then I try to mention it. I don’t really know the best way to approach something like that, because I’m sure that most people would become offended when people mention their habits. Maybe the best way is to bring it up in casual conversation, and to not sit them down and have an intervention. If it gets worse, then I think that it’s time to truly have a deep conversation about it without accusing the person of anything or attacking their lifestyle.

  42. Moni'sMeals on May 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    it is tough, what a sensitive subject. I work with many clients and I really think it is about when THEY are ready. Ready to jump, change, LET GO.
    Nothing changes until they make THEIR mind up but you can certainly let them know your concern, I think that is important. Just to know though that nothing is a light switch! Not too pushy just let them now you care. 🙂

  43. Katherine on May 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Since the writer said that she and her sister are big fans of your blog, it might be easy to just direct her to this post and confide that it’s actually from her. Reading the post as well as the comments together might be a nice ice breaker and it would show that she truly just is concerned for her sister’s health.

    • Fitnessista on May 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      i really like that idea.

  44. Mimi on May 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I actually wrote a three-part series on this topic, because it is something very important to me. See, I began getting healthy only after a brave friend expressed her concerns about my health to me. I think it’s a delicate issue, but one that’s important.

    Let me know if you want me to send the links to the posts to you!

    • Fitnessista on May 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      please do!

  45. Dana Marie on May 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I wish I had a sister – I’m a lone dove and even my mom is not really one to help. I was a bit of an ana for a while and she didn’t say anything (she said she even noticed the ‘facial hair’ that you get –and I was from FLORIDA— and she said she thought that it would be ok if gained weight – meaning it was a good thing because I didn’t have to worry. ) A persons relationship with food is such a nuanced thing and even more now because of socio-economic issues. I think we all just have to find our ways and hope we’ll use the resources available to figure out what is best for each of us.

  46. Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily on May 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    My dad is big guy and I were about his health. I know he was happier when he was working out and eating better so I meantioned that one day to him. I told him that he just glowed with happiness and well being when he was talking care of himself and he agreed. He said he wanted to get back to that but wasn’t sure how to start. So we ended up talking about potential game plans and he has been doing so much better.

  47. Stephanie @ StephSnacks on May 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I have definitely been in a position where I felt tempted to speak to someone who I was concerned about, but then became more concerned about what their reaction would be. I think one must really know his/her friend before reaching out about a topic related to food, because it can be so sensitive. This is a great post, really made me think!

  48. Dana Marie on May 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    GINA – I have a reader request–
    I am not sure if you’ve done a feature or not, but I am almost out my morning Greens I take – The sunwarrior Ormus greeens. I was wondering if you have any knowledge to share about your favorite or opinion about greens. I have taken the Greens PLus before and might go back to them when I’m out – but wanted to explore other people’s opinions.
    Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on May 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      i’m partial to sun warrior 🙂

  49. Mary @ Bites and Bliss on May 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’ve talked to people about their health simply because I’m studying it and they’ve come for some advice. I used to force my opinion on people which wasn’t good, but I’ve since learned to wait for people to come to me before I say anything. Unless it’s obvious they’re doing something that could really hurt them, of course.

  50. Laura @ prettylittlewords on May 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Oooh, this is a sticky topic. As much as a I love and care about my fam + friends, I think this is really a conversation I would avoid outside of my immediate family. I feel like that’s really the only time it’s okay to get that involved…but who knows! This is a really interesting discussion, Gina!

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