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Krysta Weighs In: The right approach

Published:Monday | January 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer

Approaching a loved one about his/her weight is a very touchy subject to tackle. You don't want to be the Grinch who kills their joy, nor do you want to be the bully picking on the 'fat kid', not if you truly care anyway.

How you go about bringing up the issues of diet and exercise can either make or break them, negatively affecting their already low self-esteem or surprisingly high spirits.

Just joining me? Well, I was one of those 'fat kids' turned 'fluffy adult', who decided once and for all to lose weight, just for me. Welcome to Krysta Weighs In, where I do just that: weigh in on the issues pertaining to health and fitness.

I was never truly unfit, but I know a thing or two about teasing, from children and adults.

When I was child I wanted the freedom to enjoy my childhood: go to school, play games and eat snacks. I got involved in extra-curricular activities from early and found a second home on the stage (got that from my father). My parents tried every approach possible to kick-start getting physical. And I slacked off on every single one, except dancing. So I pursued that professionally.

Don't be too pushy

Now, that's one way of approaching it. Try and get to know your children to see what they like or don't like. Don't be too pushy; just let them help you to actually help them (I sure hope that makes sense).

Growing up, shopping for clothes was always a nightmare. Looks of repulsion came from store attendants as I sorted through the available stock. Some came over to query who was looking for what, and when they discovered I was the one looking, they quickly declared they had nothing in my size. At first, it was overwhelming and scarring: it had nothing to do with what was being said but how it was being said. Others who offered their assistance picked out the ugliest things possible, while under their breath criticising me for letting myself get so big. Instead of stooping to their level, I kept my cool until I got home. Anger mixed with sadness brought tears: these experiences never leave you.

The world will never change, but you can, you can change how they look at you, by becoming an even better you, is what my mother told me - I never knew what that meant until I got older. I've been fortunate to meet many confident full-figured women, so happy for that, but there is still some among us who walk with this cloud over our heads, ready to burst at any time.

It was my mother who woke me up when reality set in that I was going down a rocky road of health issues. My back went out for absolutely no reason, and the only thing the doctor could come up with was that it occurred because I was overweight. An even more serious heart to heart came in play, when we were just having our girls' time. I decided then and there to do something positive with it.

That was the approach that worked with me. Hurtful comments about having too much to eat, how much weight I let myself gain, broke me down. Timing is important and it's best to bring it up when things are at their highest. Have a discussion and offer words of encouragement. It helped too that my mother was on her own personal health and fitness journey, so I was in the right company.

Making Changes

When I started exercising, it was the most challenging thing I ever did, because it was almost as if I was in a battle with myself. The battle still continues, but I am stronger, fitter and healthier for it.

Support came from all over, but what I got from my family, friends and trainer really motivated me to push through, despite adversities.

The change in trainer threw me off quite a bit; I had put on a few pounds and felt like I was starting all over again. But I am so happy to have started a new journey with my star trainer Xavier Grey. We came to an agreement: since I had to have the right approach, so should he. I will follow the programme as best as I can, and in return he would pay attention to my hectic schedule, and my body, with its many injuries. To this day, both parties have successfully held up their end of the deal.

Conquering Fear

Since losing weight, I had to go shopping. Now I wasn't slim, not by a long shot, so you know what that meant: same treatment. By this time, however, I was confident, and was ready for anything they would throw at me. If it was clear that they didn't want my money, then one step at a time, I made my way to the exit. I would go where I was wanted.

At the end of the day, I overcame that fear with a smile.