What Not To Say To An Overweight Person

I came across the following article, and was so impressed with it that, with having gotten permission, I want to present it here. It primarily deals with what not to say to an overweight person.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult


“I’ve pretty much been ‘heavy set’ my entire life, although I prefer the term fat!  I mean, really, let’s call it what it is. You can mask it all different ways but it’s all fat!

Fat is the last bastion of legal prejudice. See, people can still use your size to ‘keep you out.’  For example, potential employers can not hire you, saying you are a health risk.

Airlines can charge you for 2 seats.

And lastly, people feel free to just say whatever they want under the ruse of “it’s for your own good.”  So what kinds of things are for your own good?

Let me give you a list of things I’ve found offensive:

• ” You have such a pretty face… “(it means: you COULD             be  really pretty if you matched an ideal!)

• “Have you thought about going on a diet?” (Every fat                person is aware of their size. They don’t need to be                  reminded.  And, guess what?  Sometimes their weight             has nothing to do with diet.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

Many kinds of medications have weight gain side effects. Some have other medical conditions that prevent any kind of weight loss.

In other words, what seems obvious may not really be.  Shut up until you know for sure! You’re ‘help’ can set one back in terms of their self confidence.

• ” If you just exercised more, I’m sure you could be                         thinner!” (Again, the obvious isn’t always a fact. You                 have no idea by looking.  So, again, keep it to yourself!)

• “Have you always been ‘heavy?'” (How is this relevant? I           think the thought process behind this is that if you                   weren’t before and now you are, surely, you’d lose the           weight. Rrrriiiiggghhhhttttt!)

• “You’d feel so much better if you lost weight!”(S-o-o-o-o         not true. I’ve been both. I didn’t feel better when I was           thin. I don’t feel bad at my current size.  Either way,                   feeling good is mostly a choice. I CHOOSE to be happy!)

• “I ordered for you off the lite menu…” (this varies: “I                    brought you the low calorie__________ or I made you                  this___________ but I used fat free, low sugar substitutes.)”

Let’s be clear: I am an adult. I don’t need anybody making my decisions. I appreciate the thought process but I will decide for me.

• “You dress well. Is it hard for someone your size to find             clothes? “(We live in a fast paced, ever evolving world.           Take a look around.  EVERY store pretty much has a                  section of larger sizes for both male and female.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

EVERYTHING is available on the internet.  Business savvy dictates that specialty stores are needed and big revenue is being produced.  It’s no harder to find larger than it is to find a size 0.

• ” You shouldn’t eat that. It’s not good for you.” (Again, I              decide for me. If I’m happy with my choices, I follow                   them.  And, to be fair, I may be on a diet plan that                       allows me choices that ‘aren’t good for me.’ Don’t                        judge based on what you THINK.)

•  ” Such a shame, you’re so heavy.” (Really? A shame for                whom? You should be aware that I’m not unhappy. I’m            pretty confident in my abilities and yes, in my                                appearance.)

I may be fat, but I put forth a good ‘picture.’ I take pride in how I dress, in my make-up and my hair.

I always put on my best presentation!  AND, by the way, many notice that. That includes men. There are many men who find me attractive.

Confidence is the best outfit that one can wear. It comes in different sizes, but has nothing to do with the size you wear!

My best recommendation is this:

  • If someone isn’t asking for your opinion or your help, don’t give it.
  • If you think they want it, but won’t ask, just tell them if they need anything you’re available. Don’t assume the way you feel about something is the way everyone feels.
  • Look at everyone through an open mind. Many who differ from you, can teach you much!

Thin isn’t always healthy and fat isn’t always unhealthy. I never assume that the thin, beautiful woman is a happy one.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

We all have something we want to change, or that we aren’t comfortable with. I don’t assume that the obvious one is that one thing they had in mind.  And you pointing that out can make a situation worse. That isn’t ‘helping.’

Be mindful and thoughtful of the other person. Don’t inflict your ideals on others unless they specifically ask for your opinion/guidance/advice/help.

LISTEN to them to make sure you understand how THEY feel and offer yourself once you fully understand.

The truth is this. We are all alike and we are all different.

It’s a beautiful thing, if you allow it to be. Be open-minded and be kind.  Positive words and thoughts can move mountains.

Discouraging words can destroy someone’s world. A smile can change one’s heart. You have the power to do all three. Pick carefully!”

Confessions of an Overweight Adult


If anyone is interested in knowing how I handled my own overweight situation you can go to an article I wrote quite some time ago, or you can simple click on My Weight Loss Story tab in the menu bar at the top of this web page.

Feel free to leave any comments or observations.

10 thoughts on “What Not To Say To An Overweight Person”

  1. Society always has this misconception of how people should look like, or how they talk, or walk, etc, but they never think of the damage words can do to a person. No matter how you look people are always going to say disrespectful things. If you’re happy with the way that you look (fat, skinny, athletic, average, etc) then you should hold on to that. We can’t please anyone, much less anyone should tell us how to live our lives. 

    1. Your comments and observations are very insightful Sephanie, and I thank you for your contribution.


  2. I am so glad I found this article when I did!  I have struggled with my weight for about 10 years.  following a brain surgery, I was incapacitated for 6 months and taking a steady dose of steroids.  I was a pretty built guy before that at 5’11” and 230lbs.  I was a landscaper and driveway sealer so very physical.  During the 6 months after my brain surgery, I gained 70lbs.  I have heard so many of the comments you cited, and I always wondered why people feel the need to comment.  I have come to the conclusion that they are not well meaning at all, and it is just mean-ness or their own insecurities.  I would love to share this article on my personal blog if that is ok.  Thanks for starting a great discussion on the topic!

    1. Thank you Jim.  As I just told someone else here, the more we can share articles like this with others the more we can try to help others.  Thanks for being an ambassador for good in the world.


  3. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful article with us. Your article was interesting and informative. I have got a lot of information about what not to say to an overweight person. Confidence is the best dress. I have to have confidence in the work I’m doing, and my confidence will change my life. Self-esteem enhances human activity. I enjoyed reading this article and found this valuable information. And I think other people like me will benefit if you read this article and get this valuable information. I will share your article with my friends so that my friends can benefit from reading right away. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back to your website later. Thank you for such a beautiful post.

    1. Your observations and kind  words are much appreciated.  Thank you also for bookmarking my site and sharing it with your friends.  My goal is to help as many people as possible and so that all helps.


  4. Hey, Thanks for sharing your awesome help what not to say to an overweight person. If we say anything regarding their weight or exercise to reduce weight. sometime they got very much angry but if a person really serious about their fitness. He/She will 100% follow and ask more about reducing the weight. Positive words and thoughts can move mountains. Keep your guide up very helpful.

  5. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your guide what not to say to an overweight person. After reading your article I know that Many kinds of medications have weight gain side effects. Some have other medical conditions that prevent any kind of weight loss. EVERYTHING is available on the internet.  Business savvy dictates that specialty stores are needed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.