Family Matters
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

My dad's weight problem

My dad is 72 and is severely overweight - I imagine he weighs close to 300 lbs now. He wasn't overweight as a child, but he's been overweight for as long as I can remember. There were a couple times when I was growing up that he started to lose weight, but then he would just gain it right back. And there was another time, a few years ago, when he seemed like he might actually be serious about losing weight. He was saying it was his "last chance" to get in shape - he's overly dramatic and exaggerates sometimes because late 60's isn't that old. He had an stair-master in his room and used it regularly for a while, and actually did start to lose weight.

Yet, once again, he didn't stick to it. I don't know specifically what precipitated it this time. My mom has said that she's just stopped worrying about it, because if she did, she'd worry herself to death. I agree whole-heartedly that she shouldn't let it stress her out, but sometimes I feel that there are some things she inadvertently does to contribute to his weight problem. For instance, for a long time, whenever we'd go out to eat, she'd tell him to finish what was left on her plate she couldn't eat. I've pointed that out to her several times and hope (knock-on-wood) I've pretty much gotten her broken of the habit. I'm wondering, though, if she should even be cooking for him on nights they don't go out. He doesn't need to be eating fried chicken, etc..In fact, I imagine the only way he'll lose any significant amount of weight is by drastically reducing his food-intake, particularly given his lack of exercise. In fact, if he did start exercising, I wouldn't want him to try to do a whole lot, at least right at first. I have a feeling that might be dangerous.

 Should I talk to either my mom or dad, or both (or neither) about the cooking issue. I guess it wouldn't be fair to ask her to stop cooking for him - I mean, it'd be kinda hard for her to cook for herself and just say to him "sorry, you don't get any." Yet at the same time, I'm worried about him having a stroke or heart-attack, or simply falling. He's had some balance-control anyway, but the weight makes it especialy difficult.

Any suggestions on how I might be able to handle this? I'm grown now, but am living with them temporarily due to my financial situation, which I guess puts me in a tough spot. I'm not sure if I should criticize them in any way while they're helping me out. I mean, they wouldn't throw me out or anything, but I'd still feel uncomfortable. 

Re: My dad's weight problem

  • Generally, people with these type of health issues have to want to alter their lifestyles. No amount of another person being involved, pleading, or other things causes them to change. They have to own the decision. They have to want it for themselves.

    I think what you can do is to set an example. Exercise. Invite your dad to walk with you. Eat healthy in his presence and don't "tempt" him with poor food choices or snacking.

  • image MommyLiberty5013:

    Generally, people with these type of health issues have to want to alter their lifestyles. No amount of another person being involved, pleading, or other things causes them to change. They have to own the decision. They have to want it for themselves.

    I think what you can do is to set an example. Exercise. Invite your dad to walk with you. Eat healthy in his presence and don't "tempt" him with poor food choices or snacking.

    +1, especially the bolded!

    OP - if you're living there, why can't you cook a healthy meal for the family?  Can you offer to do the food shopping?  Pick up a cook-book with healthy meal options and give it to your Mom with "Hey I saw this and thought it might be good for you and Dad!"  I would say encourage healthier habits but avoid dictating what they should and should not do.  Just tread lightly since you are a guest in their home.

  • You won't be able to tell either of them anything to the point where it will hit home and they'll start to change their diet and habits.

    A person who is fighting the battle of the bulge will tell you how tough it is to get motivated and stay motivated. And I am sure your dad knows he has to lose weight.

    Your mother -- and he  -- can start cooking light -- there's tons of eating light recipes out there where you'll never miss the fat or the cholesterol or any of the other beasties that are bad for your health.

    You could cook some light meals if cooking is part of your "duties" while you're living with your parents --- what about stir fry with veggies and brown rice, or something chicken or fish?  Serve something fruit for dessert.


  • youre right. he should not be eating a lot of fried etc..food. he doesent necessarily need to lessen his food intake btu needs to eat healthy low cal food. why dont you try cooking healty food for them instead of criticizing?
    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • You can change his weight situation about as much as you can change your job situation.  There are things in life that people will just not take well - and health is one of them.  The only suggestion I have is that you take advantage of living with them and offer to do grocery shopping and/or the cooking.  That's really the only way you can do anything about it.  
  • The part of your post that says "he's overly dramatic and exaggerates sometimes because late 60's isn't that old" is a little disturbing to me. The life expectancy of a U.S. male is 76, so even for healthy men late 60s is pretty old. Just sayin'. 

    I think "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" applies here. I feel your pain, my grandmother has high blood pressure and high blood sugar. She is not overweight but her problem is that what little she actually eats is just processed junk food. Chips, candy, frozen dinners, etc. She doesn't like to cook and she lives independently. I have talked to her about healthy salads (with spinach, not iceberg lettuce), using lemon to season instead of salt, etc. but she honestly just doesn't understand the link between diet and health. The older generation didn't grow up with calories/sugar/fat being drilled into their minds like it is now. They are uneducated and for the most part believe that anything home cooked is good eatin'. It's unfortunate.

    I think your only real option is to voice your concern directly to your parents and offer real help. I would say in a very calm and constructive way something to the effect of "I am older but I still need you guys. It worries me that you don't do what you can to live a healthy lifestyle. We need to make changes to our family diet and activity. I've come up with a few options I want to discuss with you both" and look into the following:

    1) a local health club. Most health clubs and wellness centers offer personalized assistance in creating a workout regimen. They will be able to give your dad a list of low impact exercises that will nurture his body instead of put stress on his back and joints. He can also swim which is excellent aerobic activity and a lot more comfortable for people who are overweight.  Personal trainers can also be a great addition and cost around $30 a week for an hour long session once a week in my area. You could offer to go with him at first too. It won't hurt your mom to go work out either even though she is not overweight. Membership fees are sometimes covered in part by insurance especially for senior citizens. 

    2) The number of a nutritionist that is covered by their insurance.  

    3) Some great books on cooking and eating healthy. Ditch the fryer, seriously just throw that thing out. Tell your mom it would be a fun experience for the two of you to learn recipes together.

    4) Create a plan. A meal plan, a workout plan, etc. Don't be too ambitious and make sure there is room for snacks. Perhaps one dinner out a week, 1 special dessert on Saturday nights, etc. Starting out working out just twice a week and maybe going for a morning walk would be ideal.

     Best of luck! I don't see how you could offend them. I think most parents would be touched that their child cared enough to come up with real options for them. 

     

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards