Ways to Support Fat Loved Ones During the Holidays

Hello, person reading this, and happy holidays. You’re hopefully here because a fat loved one has shared this with you (whether directly or indirectly) because they want you to be prepared to love and support them exactly as they are during the holidays. I’ll keep it short and fairly simple, though that’s not to say it will be easy.

  1. Don’t food police yourself or anyone else. If you’re thinking of commenting on what you or anyone else are eating, don’t do it.
  2. Don’t police your own or anyone else’s appearance. You’re there to celebrate, not to win a fashion contest.
  3. Don’t talk about weight loss. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional weight loss, whether it’s positive or negative commentary, don’t do it.
  4. Don’t concern troll anyone. Your intentions may be good, but your impact will be harmful, so don’t do it.
  5. Do apologize if you slip into one of the aforementioned behaviors. Whether you’re called out or not, this video by Franchesca Ramsey may help you understand how to make a decent apology.
  6. Do steer the conversation away from anyone else engaging in food policing, fashion policing, or weight loss talk.
  7. Do respect people’s boundaries. If someone avoids a topic, respect that as a boundary and don’t keep bringing up the same topic.
  8. Don’t expect a particular response from gift recipients. The joy is in the giving, not in being praised for giving, friends.

Well, what are you supposed to talk about then? Here are some potential conversation starters.

  • How have you been lately?
  • I really enjoyed ________ this year. Can I tell you more about it?
  • This really funny thing happened to me. Can I tell you more about it?
  • Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? May I tell you about mine?
  • What shall we talk about?
  • What’s the most interesting thing you remember from the past year?
  • What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Thanks for helping make the holidays safer and more enjoyable for everyone!

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