“Am I Gaining Weight?”

It’s a question that if not answered carefully can cause a lot of frustration, word-slinging, and general discomfort for both parties involved. But if a family member or good friend insists on asking, then you have to answer, right?

Here are some ways to tell someone they are gaining weight … ever so gently. (This pseudo-Dr. Phil picture is NOT the way to approach it AT ALL!)

Make it About You – “You think you’re gaining weight? No, I’m gaining weight. In fact, you know what would be a good idea? We should hit the track tomorrow and run some laps. What do you think?” If you find it hard to tell someone about how much weight they might be putting on, make it about yourself. It’s not a “you” thing, it’s a “we” thing. This, my friends, is called deflecting.

Contrast and Compare – “Gaining weight? You? I mean, you may be a tad bigger than you were last year, but who isn’t these days? But compared to, let’s say, a whale, you’re pretty slim and trim.” – This is the contrast and compare method. In that same sentence you have successfully compared that person to their former weight, but you’ve also compared them to something exponentially bigger than them. Therefore, you admit that they’re bigger, but probably not as big as they may think.

Accept that there really is no right way – “You know, I’m glad you brought it up …” Admit it, there’s no PC way to say to someone that they’ve put on a few extra pounds. Just tread lightly and focus on the positive aspect of the question. He or she is conscious of the problem and looking to change. After all, step one is acceptance.

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