Dear Living It Up,
I come home from my exercise class really energized. I find my overweight sister glued to the the television on a beautiful day. “Tisha” has always been there for me. I am worried because she is gaining weight, feeling down, and just eating. What can I do without hurting her feelings or making her feel worse?
Puzzled in Puyallup
The key thing is to help “Tisha” get moving in a fun, gentle, easy way. As girls you and your friends probably danced at home to your favorite music. Invite her to join you in reliving some of those happy moments. Don’t pull her off of the sofa. Above all don’t talk about exercise, dance, or movement. If you have to, start with clapping or jump rope songs sitting on the sofa. Keep it fun, light, and even, silly. Make sure that there are healthy food options in the house that are delicious and ready for snacking. When “Tisha” is ready to talk, be ready to listen, listen, and listen.
If she does not respond to your gentle outreach, or if she seems to be sinking deeper into depression, be sure to encourage her to see her doctor for professional help.