T Nation

Deal with an Obese Family Member?


#1

So yeah thats my question in the topic I Live with my dad he is extremely obese I seriously think hes pushing 40% BF right now.

I mean hes turning 48 in June and like im honestly worried about him in terms of health he had a heart attack about 4-5 years ago and he was on track after that losing his weight and being more active. But Once he got laid off from his job about 3yrs ago he has never thought of his health that much.

Im trying to get him to be more active but it seems I need to hold his hand in order to even have him do that. I mean we have a treadmill in the house and i ask him "So your gonna walk to today?" he just says "Yeah" and then never does it, i mean this has been going on for a LONG time its driving me crazy.

I mean hes turning 48 in June and like im honestly worried about him in terms of health he had a heart attack about 4-5 years ago and he was on track after that losing his weight and being more active. But Once he got laid off from his job about 3yrs ago he has never thought of his health that much.

Only time he will go is if I offer to go walking with him outside on the weekend. I don't mind it but im not gonna lie its boring walking and inorder to have him build up any kind of sweat i have us walk for about 45minutes at least. To be fair I don't ask as often as i should to go walking outside. I kinda feel like im some what of an Asshat when Im doing nothing and I don't ask him to go walking.

And as for food he is like the rest of Americans in the country he hardly eats all day and has a big carb loaded dinner or in general will just have a big amount of food, Almost as much as me and im fucken bulking.

And Families i hate so much they help feed his fatass. Like today we go visit my aunt and she makes enchiladas and makes everybody plate and gives me and my dad 3 enchiladas and everybody else 2. Like WHAT THE FUCK are they oblivious to his weight? I understand kindness and etc but really. I know it may seem small but in its always like that with family members they keep offering him food or giving him extra and my dad doesn't say no to be rude. Its really fucked up.

Worst of all his when he has snacks at night like he will even try to hide him bringing it from the kitchen to his room before he goes to bed its frustrating to me that he does that.

So yeah this is basically a rant and also seeking advice. Honestly I have never confronted my dad about this probably just out of fear of him taking offense to it or him just not doing anything if I talk to him about it, I guess im basically what TC describes in his "Class of 2009" I really never learned how to talk about serious shit with my family. I know im a pussy for not having a long talk with my dad about but I seriously doubt i could do that :confused: .


#2

Wow. This is one I have to ponder for a few seconds.....I appreciate your predicament here.

BTW, how is the bench press going (seriously, have you tried any of the serious ideas suggested??)


#3

Your father is in bad straits. No kidding there so lets deal with the obvious.

With a previous history of a heart attack, especially at this young age, as well as what you have described, he is still at high risk of future events. The behavior you describe, especially post being laid off, sounds awfully similar to the clients I work with who have clinical depression secondary to personal illness and vocational issues.

But how for you to deal with it?

You need to be honest with your Dad and express your concern for his health and well-being, and especially how you feel. You want him to be around with you for as long as possible, so you'd like him to take his health a bit more seriously.

The problem you face is that if he doesn't acknowledge that his health is poor, or does not want to face it, then he may be unwilling to take positive, constructive action. He's too young to be resigned to poor health.

Be honest with him and see what happens from there. Ideally you get him to go to a health professional (no, I'm not just saying a psychologist) to discuss what's going on.

Now usually people can't see a way out when they're stuck. If you'd like to be a bit more proactive one of the rehab/treatment plans that is very effective for individuals out of work is to design as structured and timetabled a life as possible. In this plan should include when to eat, and when to exercise. However, it should also include normal daily chores and activities (doing the shopping, cleaning the car, cleaning the house). For people used to working, this can help them to establish normal daily routines and habits, which is a proactive way to get them back into participating in the normal things in life.


#4

Invite him to the gym on your off days. You can do a light work out with him, or double down on an area you think is lacking. It will get him out of the house, get him moving, and maybe in time become a partner on your regular days. I wish I would have been more proactive with my father, but it's too late for that. If you provide a man with purpose, it changes his entire out look on life. Try to see an oportunity in him being laid off. You get to help your Dad lose weight, gain health and share an activity that you love with him. He gets the health benefits, and spend time eith his son doing some damn manly shit. He may suprise you on his strength. Old guys have "old man stregnth". I don't know where it comes from, but it exists.


#5

Yes, there's more.

You. You have a family history of heart disease, especially so since your Dad has had his event at such a young age. This predisposes you to greater risk, so take care of yourself.

Why should you listen, consider my advice? Well, I do work with individuals like your Dad on a daily basis in what I do. But more importantly I have some VERY relevant experience.

5 years ago my Dad had a stroke. He was 67 and I was there when it happened. He had no events leading up to this, although he had multiple risk factors as well as his age which meant he "ticked the boxes".

Luckily, he recovered quite well. I decided then that I needed to be more proactive with his health, so I got more involved in the various medications he was taking, his dietary habits, and attempted (with mixed success), to get him exercising. He led a relatively good, active lifestyle, although with his previous event now in the mix his risk of a future event was high.

In March of this year he suffered another stroke, and within 2 weeks had continued to stroke out and died.

I miss my Dad every day.

I think about him every day.

I thing about the fact he was the one who got me into weightlifting.

I miss talking to him.

I wonder if I did everything I could in those 5 years to get him to live long enough to see his Grandkids. Its what I do for an occupation. I help people like my Dad every day.

He'll never see my kids. My kids will never have a grandad.

I wonder every day. Did I do enough? Did I really talk to him about confronting his health and fixing his lifestyle? Was I there enough?

You may not be able to change what may happen in the future with your Dad, just don't be left wondering about what you could have done now.


#6

write a letter saying exactly how you're feeling, this has the benefit that he can read it over and over again, you can write exactly what you mean, and it'll be a huge wake-up call for him

if he still doesn't do anything, then he likely never will, just stop helping him (obviously point him in the right direction and stuff if he asks), but he has to do this himself because he wants to


#7

Both of my parents started smoking again when I was in college. I told them that I wasn't coming home to visit again if they were smoking.

I felt like a real dick resorting to blackmail to get them to quit, but it worked.


#8

One of my cousins used to be extremely obese. She always heavy growing up, and then in middle school/ high school she ballooned up. At her heaviest, she was 375lbs at 5'5". Ugh.

I remember seeing her at thanksgiving about 4 years ago when she was at her heaviest. She looked miserable, was always breathing heavy, and would get winded after walking for only a 10 minutes or so and would have to sit down to catch her breath. It was bad. She was obviously miserable, depressed, and insecure, which made me sad for her.

Towards the end of the weekend, when we were alone and talking, I told her that I was worried about her and that she looked ridiculously unhealthy. I told her that this was no way for her to live and that she would be much happier if she made some lifestyle changes and started to lose some weight. I told her it was only a matter of time before she developed diabetes and severe hypertension if she kept on the same path. I told her she would feel significantly better about herself if she was healthier and that guys would become interested in her if she lost weight. Most importantly, I told her that I was worried she was not going to live as long as she could if she was at a healthy weight.

She reacted just the way I expected, with furious anger and rage, telling me that I was an asshole and to mind my own business and stormed out of the room. I didn't mind, I was expecting it and knew that what I had said had begun to sink in.

Coincidentally, my mom had the exact same conversation with her later that day. So did her brothers.

Long story short, she made some serious lifestyle changes and fast forward 4 years to the present, and she has lost about 200 pounds and looks like a completely different person. Its really impressive. She rides a bike everywhere instead of driving, does yoga, eats vegan, has a boyfriend who is actually really cool, and overall is very happy. Its like night and day.

The point is that it's possible for a person to turn it around, but only if they themselves really want to. If you confront the person about their obesity, be prepared for them to respond with a knock-down-drag-out scream fest. Use concrete statements and declarations. Good luck


#9

I think going with baby steps is the key. Many times with people who are in this situation, they literally have no idea where to begin. Imagine how it is for the oblivious person walking the street who has no idea or consideration for nutrition and exercise, how the hell would know where to begin? A million diets and gadgets by people who don't know shit, I cringe at the idea. But YOU know the truth, so you are going to have to teach your dad where to begin.

You might want to start with just a few things at a time, because too much at once is kinda like mental overload. It's just hard for your dad to process all at once.

So step 1, he needs to get moving somehow. Maybe some walking.

Step 2, buy some dumbbells and get him lifting weights. The reason I say buy dumbbells and not get a gym membership right now, is because he might feel weird going to a gym, and he can always use an excuse like "I have no time to get to the gym" or "I am too tired." You need to eliminate the excuses, if he has DB's at the ready, he can get in a workout at any time without leaving the house.

Step 3, starting reducing and/or eliminating the bullshit food he is eating. If you try to go cold turkey with him, it might be too rough. So maybe cut the sugary/fried shit out little by little. Start to show him better ways of how to cook. Instead of soda, he gets Crystal Light. If he wants a burger, he can make his own using the recipes here at T-Nation.

Sidenote: lots of people have contributed with tasty recipes that no longer make it painful to diet down. He can easily have a tasty burger without it killing him in calories.

As he makes progress, continue making the changes. Add in an extra day of exercise, or start to work with the macros. Over time, his adjustment will be less painful and not so much of a "shock" to his body and mind. Change your perception of yourself mentally, and you will be able to stick with your changes physically.

Good Luck and keep us posted.


#10

We have a treadmill in the house and he wont even use the god damn thing for walking. Im thinking about start doing tennis with him do something that isn't as dreary as walking.


#11

My dad is not as fat as yours (probably 40-50 lbs overweight), but he had a heart attack 3 years ago and is about to go back into the hospital for another heart cath at the end of this month. I've tried to help him, but he refuses to help himself. I love my dad but I'm not the one who is ultimately responsible for his health and well-being. I can't exercise/eat healthy for him.


#12

My dad hardly eats out i have tried to stop that as much as i can and i think ive been good at it however at home this is his daily meal plan usually.

Meal 1- hell usually have 2-3 slices of toast with butter on it

Meal 2- hell again have 2-3 slices of toast

Meal 3- Some times hell have left overs of what we cooked last night or just have watermelon

Meal 4- Dinner and hell have as much as me and im eating quiet a bit but i can understand why he is hungry he hardly eats during the day

Meal 5- I think this is the real killer after dinner he usually has some watermelon and its alot hell have and I think its causing him a mad insulin rush promoting the storage of fat, thats what I think at least

Also through out the day hell have handfuls of peanuts to snack on while hes at home working. Worst of all he buys thisFUCKEN disgusting indian food thats basically a type of leaf thats fried and he'll eat the WHOLE fucken bag when the bag clearly says 3 servs. in the bag. HE seems completely oblivious to serving size. I need to stop ranting :confused: .


#13

i have the same problem with my sister.

Id imagine she is somewhere between 23 and 25 stone at about 5ft9

Ive tried and tried, resorting to extreme name calling, hoping to get a reaction like "ill show that fucker".

Her main problem is all her friends keep telling her she is fine and looks great blah blah blah, she eats take away nearly every day and is getting fatter and fatter every time i see her. she is only 19.

Ive ran out of ideas. Ive had enough of being made to feel like the fucktard by her and all her friends and some of our relatives.

Scott


#14

No dude its good, you are starting to see his patterns which are the cause of his weight issues. Sounds like he could ease up on the butter and toast, and the massacre of Indian food. Portion control and maybe some better food choices?


#15

As a FFFIT (Former Fat Fuck In Training) there really isn't much you can do unless he's motivated to do it for his own reasons. Losing weight is like quitting smoking, it's something you won't be able to do unless you want to yourself. It doesn't matter how much people bitch at you, unless you're motivated for it you won't do it.

When I first started out with training and weight loss it was because one morning after waking up hungover and feeling like crap I walked past a full length mirror in my boxers and actually saw how I looked and realized I needed to change. As I'm losing weight, gaining muscle I've found that it carries over in other parts of my life which motivates me to keep going. My family pretty much thinks I'm insane when I eat a meal with them and only grab steak, salmon or chicken breasts instead of taking part in the carb load that is a family dinner.

You just have to catch him at a moment where he wants to change and support him when he wants to. Help him out with a good program, go to the gym with him, suggest that the two of you eat together more often and make sure its healthy food etc.


#16

[quote]thosebananas wrote:
i have the same problem with my sister.

Id imagine she is somewhere between 23 and 25 stone at about 5ft9

holy fucking shit you are like 20 and 260lbs and your sister is 19 and 350lb?

do you have any other siblings? how the fuck could your parents afford to feed you two?

btw well done on your weight loss i follow your log you have made good progress in the last 3 weeks keep it up. should be looking good in 3 months or so.


#17

Sounds like me when I was pushing 265 a couple months ago. lol

OP! Usually when people see the cold hard facts on a piece of paper its helps kick their butt into gear. Have him get a check-up and a lipid profile pulled. More likely than not the doctor is going to tell him what he needs to know. That his current lifestyle is cutting into his life expectancy.


#18

So last night my dad made pasta and he got this Hooge amount on his plate bigger then mine :confused: and im like "Don't you think you got a little to much?" Then he says "Look at how much you got!"... its wierd its like he honestly is blind to his health or the differences in me and him and the difference in our activity levels, or another one of my favorite replies is "I have hardly eaten today!" which is true but how hes eating isn't good.

And like whenever Im making eggs I usually make 3 whole eggs and my dad wants some he tells me 3 eggs as well and Im like "how about i make you 2 whole and 1 egg white?" He is like "well your having 3 whole eggs." Its fucken ridiculous I don't understand how he can think like that :confused:

On the up side Ive gotten him to go walking outside with me for 40minutes but im going to visit my mom at the end of the month and Im almost certain that he wont go walking...

Growing Boy: I tryed asking him if hes set a doctors appointment and he hasn't done it yet he says money is an issue but im thinking its only 20 dollars Co-Pay for a check-up