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I have an obese mother and to be honest I’m sick of it. I love her unconditionally, but she has promised me for the last 4 years that she will try to do something about her weight. She tried once with Jenny Craig and lost about 40lbs in the summer, but then gained it all back. All she does now is say “I’m eating healthy,” and then gives a new excuse every single week about stress or work or something else about why she can’t excercise or diet. I’m tired of it and finally put my foot down and told her I’m not talking to her anymore until she agrees to either do something about it and start a diet, and/or to let me help her get started. So hence we’re not talking and haven’t talked for about a week. She’s pretty upset, but she’s promised me for the last 4 years that she would do something, yet she won’t.
So Wednesday night after my exams are over I have created a system similar to that of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, all of them, that she can follow. The difference, HEALTHY FOODs will be included in it, along with the ability for the participant to choose their own foods. Also, lower glycemic index foods will be in there, healthier fats, and a bit more protein. The main goal of it though, just like for anyone obese is to take in less calories than you eat. So I’ll hvae that ready for anyone who wants it within the week I hope. I just need to go to the store, read some more labels so that I can put a lot more variety in this diet so that people can stick to it. I’ll hopefully make an article out of it.
But I’m posting this post for a reason:
Poll: How have you helped out obese family members? What have you found to be successful?

My mum is overweight, though not obese. Ive done a lot to educate her on food choices, protein supplementation etc. and she listens and implements it. In her case, the problem is really her severe limitations: With double knee-replacement surgery, heart condition and reduced lung capacity she is not capable of much if any strenous exercise. Additionally, her heart medication messes up her thyroid function, leading to weight gain in itself.

My advice: Stay patient, she needs you to do this. If necessary, have her hire a dietician with regular weigh-ins to stay accountable.

My mother is very obese. I have been trying for years to get her to lose the weight, but she always has some health problem that prevents her from doing whatever I suggest. She’s been on a low-fat, low-protein, high carb diet for the past 10 years, at least. She’ll always been fat. I’ve pretty much accepted that she’s going to die much younger than she has to. Good luck.

I feel your pain. I’m in the EXACT situation!

The problem in situations like this is that you assume that the other person has as much discipline to commit long term to their health, and in my mum’s case it is all too easy to give in and have that snack/chocolate/sweet etc. One choc won’r hury will it - of course it fucking will! If it ain’t helping you then it’s hindering you.

She went through a stage where she lost a whole lot of weight and was looking the best she ever had, and if she’d have continued for a couple more months then th only issue would have been maintenence - but she gave in to temptation.

It’s a case of everybody wanting the rainbow and not wanting to endure the rain.

Also the fact thay you’re an expert means nothing because you’re her son. If you were someone completely unrelated then chances are she would listen to you. But the fact that she getting advice from her little boy means she’ll be less compliant. Also the fact that this knowledge and expertise is on her doorstep menas she won’t want it. Things are only precious when we can’t have them or they are too hard to get.

Sorry to not give you any hope - but my experience has been bad. We’ve had many arguements over this.

I’ll try again soon. Could i get a copy of your program and diet that your making.

Thanks, and i hope it goes better for you than it has sone for me.

I hear you man. I have the same problem with my mother. Ever since I have watching my diet and realize that being sensible is actually much easier than what people think. As she continues to get older and heavier, my concern only grows.

A couple of words of advice
1.) Don’t hinge your feelings on what she does. You cannot let your feeling or worth/love depend on if she follows your program. You can only control you and give her a recommended course of action. When working with new consultants, we always told them that the first thing they have to get over is basing their success on what happens afterward. You base it on how well you gave them the tools. What they do with it is their own problem.

2.) Don’t burn your bridges. You only have one mother, no matter what her weight is. While none of us like having out of shape family members, it’s always better than having a bad relationship.

3.) Example is not one form of leadership - it’s the only form of leadership. - Einstein. You need to be there with her showing her how to do it. Don’t just tell her to do it unless you’re willing to be there with her the whole time.

Hang in there man and do the best you can. Let her know that you are doing it because you love her and you are afraid of what may happen as a result of her weight. Good luck always.

There are a few things you need to be aware of when speaking with fats. Usually fats are self-delusional. They say they are eating healthy but they are not. So when your mom fat says she is eating healthy, then ask her how many kcal she had for the day, and what she ate. Also, fats usually over estimate how much exercise they do. So when your mom fat says she exercises, then ask her what she did, how many sets etc. Another excuse as you mentioned is stress. The rebuttal to that is you would not have so much stress if you ate right and exercised. In the end though, it is ultimately up to the fat on what it wants to do with it’s life.

One problem, she really wont change unless SHE WANTS TO. It has to be her choice. No matter how much u want it. Sorry but that is just the way it goes.

Good Luck.

Thanks for all of your advice. I’m doing the best I can. I’ve tried asking her those questions before, based on how many kcals a day she had, or tried to get her to excercise a bit just by walking the dogs everynight. Nothing works. So that’s why I’m doing the I won’t talk to you until you’re ready to be helped situation. I’m hoping her love for me will help her overcome her fear of starting. As for the diet, I have to wait til after my exam on Wednesay, but it will rely on a few simple premises:
Not everyone is a T-person. They don’t keep food logs, they’re too lazy. So going by that she’s about 48 and I’ll guess 230-240, who knows really though…I’m starting the calories off at 1800 a day which will also allow a gradual reduction through time. I’m not going to worry a TON about macronutrients because contrary to what most people think, macronutrients only matter as much as we make them out to be for performance enhancement (and for appetite control). For a case like hers, I"m just more worried about crafting a diet she can follow. So here’s the plan (I’m sorta stealing it from Weight Watchers).
Wednesday after hell is over and I’ve aced my exam which I will study my ass off for tonight and tommorow I will go to Super-Walmart, which is probably the most global of the supermarkets in the US. I will attempt to find 40-50 meal combinations. The meals will either be 300 calories a piece or 150 calories a piece. Each 300 calorie meal will be assigned a value of 1 point. Each 150 calorie calorie meal will be assigned the value of a half-point. The goal: 6 points a day. Also the rules will be to eat every 3 hours or so, no more than 4 hours without food; to switch the coffee from early am to mid-afternoon. To drink more warm beverages to suppress her appetite. To eat baked veggies (low calorie and kill the appetite).
I also might buy her a tv with a vcr to put next to the treadmill so that she can use it while she watches her soaps and I hope that she’ll start utilizing it. I’m not giving up and having her die prematurely on me!

My mother eats extremely low kcals… 800 a day, most day. The problem is that she’s completely sedentary, and a good chunk of that 800 kcal comes from fat-free ice cream. Because, you know, if it’s fat-free, it must be good for you!

Wow. I guess that puts me in the same boat as all of yall. My mother also is rather large, nothing obese, she can go out in public without stares and manages to pick up “friends” when she goes out dancing on the weekends <she is fifty for christ’s sake, how you pick people up that old…> but she is depressed about her weight. She has maybe 10 outfits that fit her out of the hundreds she owns. She has two rooms full of closets and I see her wearing the same clothes week after week.

I have noticed the same things as other’s have mentioned. Regardless of what she shoves in her piehole, she is “eating healthy”, eating 12 pieces of sushi for dinner; no breakfast or lunch. She lies in bed and watches tv all day feeling sorry for herself and must consider that a work out because she says she “exercises” but she doesn’t ever go to the gym or work out at the house.

She also smokes which is just one more catalyst for an early death. It just kills me watching her, loving her, knowing that not only will she die early, but she will die miserable, and even worse, there is nothing I can do. I provide her the info but she simply can not follow it. She is a smart woman, a lawyer who pulls $300 an hour self employed, but when I tell her to try and eat carbs and fats seperately, she will eat peanut butter and fruit together and tell me it is a protien and a carb. It doesn’t occur to her to look at the label, and even looking at the label and seeing 16g fat and 6g protien, she is baffled as to how I am classifying that as fat and carbs with no protien. I am perhaps even more baffled how she can not follow that. If I were explaining to her all of the organic chemistry behind what she was eating, I can understand where she could get confused as to what is what, but three simples words, each given a quantity on the label, requires no superior understanding of math or chemistry.

I admire your efforts Jason and wish you the best of luck but as many have said, do not associate her love with her success on your program. People are blessed with a fountain of ineptness and no matter how we me aim to dry their spickets, it will flow ceaselessly regardless of our efforts, so we are best to enjoy the fountain for the beauty that it is and appreciate the struggle that they face.


I have put the very first stage of the obesity diet together. I emailed it to T-mag in the hope that they will publish it, buy anyone that is interested in seeing it please PM me.