This is an extraordinary tricky situation. Obviously, something is going on that prompted your friend to gain all that weight. I have no doubt that he/she is painfully aware of the extra weight and its possible consequences for the health. Many people are not very diplomatic on making their opinion known about it.
He/she has not asked you for advice, I assume, yet is aware that you are in the fitness industry and may be in a position to give assistance.
What I would do is keeping the channels of communication open, not saying a word about ‘healthier life choices’, all the while remaining a good friend and be there.
Invite him/her over for a “cook your own dinner.” Have them help you prepare an amazing healthy meal using the best local, organic, local food you can. Make the preparing of a healthy meal as joyous as the meal itself. While you both are cooking, you can talk about any challenges you may have had with your eating choices and wait for them to open up. (It’s amazing how doing something with your hands like cooking can prompt someone to open up about their own issues…Good Luck!!)
I agree with Karin, something has certainly happened in this person’s life to result in such a dramatic weight gain. The trick is how to approach the situation. Consider the following:
1) how close are you to this friend? is it common for you to discuss personal issues?
2) are you familiar with her personal affairs (issues/happenings that may have contributed to the weight gain)?
3) she may very well know how to make healthier life choices, but is now choosing not to, or is simply unaware of her choices.
4) do you have mutual friends/people you know that can act as support?
I think, above all, if you truly care for and respect this person your words and actions will be understood as coming from a good place; whether or not she is ready to commit to a new path will be the key. Perhaps, more than anything else, she’ll need your time, support, patience, and love.
Hi Angela, this as others have stated is a tricky situation. If you don’t push, you are not helping a friend in need. If you push too hard, you will drive them backward. I would take the approach where you are asking them to join you in activity. Say something like I want to do mare walking and nned someone to be wth. Then ask if they would help you! This is far less threatening then a simple, het I think you need to drop a few pounds buddy! Hope this helps!
I think “encourage” is such a beautiful word. Encouraging a friend comes from such a positive place that I cannot imagine a friend would receive the encouragement in an ungracious manner.
If it is a true friend, somehow I feel the friend would welcome encouragement. If might be what he/she is waiting for.
I would be honest with my friend and offer encouragement and go as far as to assist her in changing whatever the cause of his/her weight gain is attributed to.