Sister wants to weigh in about siblings obesity – Detroit Free Press

Amy Dickinson Published 12:00 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2021

Dear Amy: I believe you give radiant advice that I try to emulate!

My youngest sister has gradually become clinically obese. This seems to have accelerated after her hysterectomy several years ago.

Additionally, it is clear that her sugar fixation is a super-contributor.

She used to be weight-appropriate, and we have no family history of overweight individuals let alone morbid obesity.

Recently, I saw her for our fathers 90th drive-by birthday celebration.

I am genuinely concerned for her health. I admit I am mortified by her appearance.

We have a family dynamic that avoids acknowledgment of the obvious, yet this obese sister is quick to point out her two sisters faults.

She lives several states away from me, yet stays involved with her family, and is kind, generous and smart.

How do I go about addressing my concern with her?

Should I reach out to her slim husband first? Im the eldest. Im the fixer in the family. Im a Type A big sister.

I want to help her!


Dear Concerned: Im not sure how radiant you will find my reaction to your question, because, as things currently stand, I dont think you are capable of positively influencing or helping your sister to stop mortifying you with her obesity.

People who self-identify as type A are usually type A plus, and someone exuding your extreme and judgmental fix-it energy will likely send a loved-one hurtling straight into her pathology. (Reading your question made me want to dive into a pint of Ben and Jerrys.)

No, do NOT contact your sisters slim husband in order to discuss your sisters weight with him. That is extremely disrespectful.

Obese people know that theyre obese.

And although you have diagnosed your sisters sugar fixation as being the problem beyond food choices, obesity often also has an emotional component that will not respond to dieting advice, especially from someone who has never struggled with eating and weight issues.

You live a long distance away from your sister. The very best way for you to behave toward her is to be loving, nonjudgmental, and emotionally supportive without telling her what to do.

All of your energy should lean toward patience and compassion (this is going to be a very heavy lift for you).

You can ask her about her health. You can ask her about her stress. But then you must listen to what she says without leaping in with solutions. If she brings up her weight you can ask, Has your doctor suggested seeing a nutritionist? And thats it.

Dear Amy: I recently lost the job I had held for over 25 years.

I was one of over 20 people in my company whose jobs were eliminated. Many co-workers remain employed and have been given job assurance.

Amy, those of us who lost our jobs wonder why only a handful of our former co-workers people weve worked with for so long have reached out to wish us well.

Do the majority feel awkward and simply dont know what to say?

I know that if the reverse had occurred, I would have at least texted, if not sent a card, to let them know I was thinking of them.

Maybe your readers could be reminded that such an effort is a simple act of kindness and could take a bit of the sting away for those let go during such difficult times.

Curious and Jobless in CNY

Dear Curious: Youve provided a reminder of how emotionally destabilizing sudden job loss is.

Yes, I believe that many times, those left behind after massive job cuts feel guilty and self-conscious. This sort of survivors guilt can interfere with a persons humanity. People may also instinctively keep their heads down, believing that they will be next. This doesnt justify their behavior.

I hope you and your fellow riffed employees can keep in touch and offer one another vital support and encouragement during a very challenging time.

Dear Amy: Feeling Different said her partner was a drunk.

You blamed HER? She didnt create this monster, his mother did.

You should have advised her that she is in a dangerous relationship and needs to get her son out of there. Either he stops drinking or she takes her son and moves on. PERIOD!


Dear Upset: Feeling Different enabled her partner every step of the way. She seemed incapable of issuing a meaningful ultimatum.

I urged her to recognize the destructive and dangerous nature of this relationship, and to get help on her own.

You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter askingamy or Facebook.

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Sister wants to weigh in about siblings obesity - Detroit Free Press

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