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good3yesniper
03-10-2012, 02:32 PM
To give you guys some background, I'd like to consider myself a moderately healthy girl (lifts at least 3x/week, eats several well-balanced meals per day, gets enough sleep, etc.). However, my mom is a different story: eats sporadically as ****, most meals just starchy carbs, never partakes in ANY physical activity. Being that my dad died 2.5 years ago from a sedentary lifestyle, combined with bad eating habits and diabetes, the awareness of imposing death due to a crap lifestyle is more ingrained in me than ever. I have tried to help my mom by saying things like, "Why don't you have some protein with that?," however, usually she just dismisses me. In desperate times, I have even told her that she is shortening her life, and one day she'll leave me and my only brother alone (I'm 20; bro is 23, officer in Marine Corps; she's past 50).

I'm still young to have to even be worrying about another one of my parents dying, yet I do, because my mom is stubborn and puts on her defensive b!tch-shield whenever I nudge healthy suggestions her way.

Can you guys help me find a way to get my mom to start living healthier? It makes me sad to think that one day when I am married with kids, I may have nobody left in my immediate family...

sonti
03-10-2012, 04:46 PM
To give you guys some background, I'd like to consider myself a moderately healthy girl (lifts at least 3x/week, eats several well-balanced meals per day, gets enough sleep, etc.). However, my mom is a different story: eats sporadically as ****, most meals just starchy carbs, never partakes in ANY physical activity. Being that my dad died 2.5 years ago from a sedentary lifestyle, combined with bad eating habits and diabetes, the awareness of imposing death due to a crap lifestyle is more ingrained in me than ever. I have tried to help my mom by saying things like, "Why don't you have some protein with that?," however, usually she just dismisses me. In desperate times, I have even told her that she is shortening her life, and one day she'll leave me and my only brother alone (I'm 20; bro is 23, officer in Marine Corps; she's past 50).

I'm still young to have to even be worrying about another one of my parents dying, yet I do, because my mom is stubborn and puts on her defensive b!tch-shield whenever I nudge healthy suggestions her way.

Can you guys help me find a way to get my mom to start living healthier? It makes me sad to think that one day when I am married with kids, I may have nobody left in my immediate family...

There's nothing that pisses off a mom more than her kid trying to tell her what to do so you really can't be surprised about the bitch shield. Have you calmly sat with her and explained that your father's death really hurt, and that you were worried for the same? Or are you trying to tell her what to do??

Your approach in this is pretty critical, it could blow it if you come off as a smart ass kid.

QueCono
03-10-2012, 04:59 PM
im the same, my mom has always been the fittest, most beautiful woman in our entire extended family, but since she hit 50, she let herself go and started feeling low about it. I basically force eating healthy on her, if shes eating anything unhealthy, i basically snatch it out of her hand and throw it in the bin LOL. thats not the right way of going about it but hey.

The good part is that recently she's been getting inspired by me and the progress that I'm making, she sees my determination of making time for the gym and eating clean 6 days a week, she sees the changes ive been making and slowly she has been picking it up. I also take her out with me on my long walks but im still working on getting her to the gym ;)

Michelle_Rose
03-10-2012, 05:00 PM
i understand your reasons, but i think you should take the time to explain that to your mom.

now, i know it sucks, but youre 20, and its time for you to learn something very important : you don't have control over others' lives. you can help, you can encourage, but thats it.

does you mom like dancing ? skating ? skiing ? what about taking tennis classes with her ? im sure she always wanted to play a sport but she never did it by fear or lack of motivation. try to find an activity she likes and encourage her to do it. you could even go with her.

aproc
03-10-2012, 05:28 PM
Coming off strong could just push her in the opposite direction. I'm sure no parent wants to hear advice coming from their children if it comes off the wrong way. I often worry about my dad because he eats one meal a day and drinks from morning to night along with smoking. I've talked to him about just being concerned about his eating habits but try not to push it. I just offer to cook breakfast or extra of whatever I'm making everytime I go home to visit him. Every once in a while he takes me up on cooking something for him or my suggestion of going for a walk or something together. Just take it slow and maybe try to get her to do some activities she might like with you as a way of spending time together, not suggested to help her in the health aspect. She might catch on or eventually embrace some of it if it isn't forced on her.

good3yesniper
03-10-2012, 06:14 PM
There's nothing that pisses off a mom more than her kid trying to tell her what to do so you really can't be surprised about the bitch shield. Have you calmly sat with her and explained that your father's death really hurt, and that you were worried for the same? Or are you trying to tell her what to do??

Your approach in this is pretty critical, it could blow it if you come off as a smart ass kid.

I didn't think it sounded critical? I am never nasty about suggestions, just maybe persistent. Indeed I actually have tried referring to my father's death, but it still doesn't hit home. A few months ago she started walking every day for a week because her gynecologist said he was concerned for her health, but even that only lasted a week. When I tried asking if she wanted to walk with me, she refused and got mad. I guess there is only so much I can do.

Thanks for all the suggestions, though, guys. It's good to see that some of your parents are heading in the right direction when it comes to bettering themselves :-)

LisaSkinnoble
03-10-2012, 06:40 PM
Sorry to hear you're going through this. No one can motivate someone else to change their lives. It's up to Mom to change her lifestyle.

Someone in the O35 posted (wish I could remember who!) that their mom was kind of the same way. He took her out grocery shopping and showed her just HOW MUCH food she can eat if she eats clean. She loved it. She lost quite a bit of weight, as I remember, and even got her friends eating clean.

A lot of people think that eating properly means depriving themselves of all the foods they love. If you can figure out how to show her that she can eat good, tasty, delicious meals, and that they are clean and healthy, and that she'll actually LOSE weight, she might be really happy. :)

gwnorth
03-11-2012, 02:07 PM
I just wanted to reiterate what the others have said. You can't force someone to change. They have to want it for themselves.

You may also be going a bit overboard as a reaction to having lost your father. Not to diminish the effects of poor diet and and a sedentary lifestyle, but eating starchy carbs is not initself a recipie for death.

My Dad is in the same boat. He's been overweight for almost as long as I can remember, but I've seen photos of when he was younger and very lean. He's got type II diabetes and arthritis in one knee that's agravated by his weight, but apart from swiming once a day, he's sedentary. He also loves his food and refuses to modify his eating. He knows better. He just doesn't care.

On the positive side, he's 76 and still going strong. By all accounts he should be dead.

Sami76
03-11-2012, 02:31 PM
If you want to motivate your mom, just give her a hug. Tell her how much you love her and how happy you are that she's around. Then invite her to go for a walk outside. During the walk, have fun chit-chatting with her. Casually mentioned some of the positives you've gained from lifting weights. Offer to cook her some new meals you've tried. Focus on how tasty the meals are. After she's enjoyed the meal, then tell her how healthy it is.

This is just an example of how to motivate your mom. I don't know the ins and outs of how your mom operates. But the bottom line is, if you make healthier living an enjoyable experience for her, she'll be more likely to follow that path.

Sami76
03-11-2012, 02:36 PM
I didn't think it sounded critical? I am never nasty about suggestions, just maybe persistent. Indeed I actually have tried referring to my father's death, but it still doesn't hit home. A few months ago she started walking every day for a week because her gynecologist said he was concerned for her health, but even that only lasted a week. When I tried asking if she wanted to walk with me, she refused and got mad. I guess there is only so much I can do.

Thanks for all the suggestions, though, guys. It's good to see that some of your parents are heading in the right direction when it comes to bettering themselves :-)

Oh gosh, I didn't see this post. I'm sorry to hear your mom got mad when you asked if she wanted to walk with you. Was it just an off day for her? You say you're persistent. Could it be that you were nagging her? Sometimes we don't always realize how persistent we're being until someone comes back at us in the same manner.

Don't give up on your mom. Change can still happen.

latebloomingmom
03-11-2012, 09:57 PM
Has your mom been eating like this for a long time? Were you guys raised in a household with parents that were both out of shape? just wondering if these habits have been in place for a long time...if this was not something that she and your dad always did together? What has been going on with her since your dad passed away? does she work? is she involved in the community...does she have a group of friends that she does things with?
sometimes, not always, but sometimes...people eat carbs, lots of carbs because they are comfort foods..because it reminds them of things...like holidays with all the kids..happier times.
Yes, sometimes it is very difficult for a parent to hear a lecture from their own children..
most people who are struggling with their own health..know exactly what to do but may not be ready to do it.

savaglauren
03-11-2012, 10:15 PM
I'm sorry to hear about this. It is quite frustrating seeing someone who you love being so destructive. I'm in somewhat of a similar boat with my father, only he started working out and eating well after he had heart surgery. Problem is he has taken it to the extreme. I have a health background and even coming from me (using multiple tactics....scaring him, reasoning with him, guilting him, you name it), it is never well received. Whatever they are going through, they may not be sharing it with us as their children. Remember, they have always been in the position to try to protect us from things, even if it means from "knowing" that they have struggles as well (even when we are old enough to know this of course). So, whenever you bring it up or whatnot, you may be pushing a much larger issue that she may not be prepared or comfortable confronting yet. For me, the only thing I have been able to do is let my father know that I am there for him in whatever way and that I only want him to be healthy and happy. I am not the one to decide what will make him happy or how he should get there. This is not a fun situation and I truly feel for you.

danap3681
03-12-2012, 01:42 PM
I feel your pain on this one... my mother is in her 70's. 3 years ago she was diagnosed with colon cancer and we were thankful it was caught very early on. She had surgery and chemo and is doing well. However she is diabetic... and I have never in my life seen someone eat so unhealthy in my life. She has 5 children and we have all spoke to her about her eating habits and she just blames the box of snack cakes being gone on my nephew. My mother in law has to use an insulin pump and I do not want that for my mother (or anyone for that matter). We have found even mentioning, encouragement or speaking of her diet... she SNAPS and goes off on us no matter what. I even offered to come and cook for her a few nights a week or for her to come to my house for dinner. Nothing works. I have backed off and just do not bring it up anymore because I do not want to fight with my mother even if it is over something as serious as her health. She is grown and she is going to do and eat what she wants. Sad but true!

Madi-J
03-12-2012, 05:05 PM
Add me to the list of people who knows how you feel...

For as long as I can remember, my mom and I have had a terrible diet, very heavy on pastas with red meat or creamy sauces and things of that nature. We've both bounced around from one eat-healthy spree to another. This past year I finally started sticking to a better diet, making 99% of my own meals, and stopped drinking almost completely. I've never been a hardcore nagger or bullied her about it, the best thing I could have done for myself was to stop constantly trying to get my mom to eat better. I will still tell her "no" when she's wavering on whether or not to get something unhealthy; since she's open to directions she will actually follow what I say at those times. Otherwise we pretty much do our own thing, I cook all of my meals separate from hers, with a standing invitation for her to eat some of it if she wants. Slowly but surely, she is coming around and starting to make better choices.

good3yesniper
03-12-2012, 05:27 PM
Sorry to hear you're going through this. No one can motivate someone else to change their lives. It's up to Mom to change her lifestyle.

Someone in the O35 posted (wish I could remember who!) that their mom was kind of the same way. He took her out grocery shopping and showed her just HOW MUCH food she can eat if she eats clean. She loved it. She lost quite a bit of weight, as I remember, and even got her friends eating clean.

A lot of people think that eating properly means depriving themselves of all the foods they love. If you can figure out how to show her that she can eat good, tasty, delicious meals, and that they are clean and healthy, and that she'll actually LOSE weight, she might be really happy. :)

You and the other ladies are right about my mom not changing unless SHE wants to change. The idea of showing someone the amount of how much they can eat, given that it is clean food, is a great idea! Thank you for your positive advice. :)


I just wanted to reiterate what the others have said. You can't force someone to change. They have to want it for themselves.

You may also be going a bit overboard as a reaction to having lost your father. Not to diminish the effects of poor diet and and a sedentary lifestyle, but eating starchy carbs is not initself a recipie for death.

My Dad is in the same boat. He's been overweight for almost as long as I can remember, but I've seen photos of when he was younger and very lean. He's got type II diabetes and arthritis in one knee that's agravated by his weight, but apart from swiming once a day, he's sedentary. He also loves his food and refuses to modify his eating. He knows better. He just doesn't care.

On the positive side, he's 76 and still going strong. By all accounts he should be dead.

While your statement about starchy carbs not being the sole contributor to death is relevant, I guess my post may have had a bitter tone in it due to my dad having diabetes, knowing that he would always say, "The doctor told me it could go away if I just eat healthier." In my mind, that just equated to watching his insulin levels. Granted, you may be right in me going overboard. I tend to be highly critical of myself, so perhaps I do blow things out of proportion when (even though my mom will occasionally choose whole wheat bread for a sandwich), she will neglect to fill it with anything healthy or protein-laden (which, in my diet, 1 wrong and 1 right wouldn't cut it, lol). Thanks for being upfront about how I can be a little dramatic. I appreciate your post, gwnorth. It is happy to hear your dad is still kickin' at 76, maintains some for of physical activity, and has a wonderful daughter who cares!


Oh gosh, I didn't see this post. I'm sorry to hear your mom got mad when you asked if she wanted to walk with you. Was it just an off day for her? You say you're persistent. Could it be that you were nagging her? Sometimes we don't always realize how persistent we're being until someone comes back at us in the same manner.

Don't give up on your mom. Change can still happen.

Don't worry about not seeing my post :) Thanks for sympathizing with me on my mom getting mad when I tried to confront her; no, it was not just an "off day" (she is always like that hahah). I genuinely don't nag her, she just has a grouchy/cynical personality all the time lolol. Your first post was very sweet, Sami. Thank you for helping out. The walk idea seems like it may do the trick. Your optimism really shone through!

Oko93
03-12-2012, 05:54 PM
I feel the same way with my diabetic dad. He will eat healthy during the day but then crush it at night with some fried crap, or massive unhealthy portions. Recently he broke his elbow and he has lost a bit of appetite to the point were he is eating healthy portions of healthy food. He dropped from 232 to 206 in about 2 months, but it doesnt appear to be an unhealthy drop. I just hope he can hold it off.

IndigoWar
03-12-2012, 07:09 PM
I am going through the same thing with my mother, only she is not diabetic, she has other health issues.. Along with eating horribly and drinking only soda and never ever doing anything but watch tv or go out to eat..

Lately, I have been trying to motivate her by voicing my faith in her, and her ability to look and feel great, I just positively encourage her every chance she gets to go walking, or go outside, just small activity to start. I think I just had a breakthrough with this the other day when she mentioned that she really liked the game Frizbee. Perfect opportunity to get her active. Hopefully she starts living a little bit healthier once she realizes the energy that can come from being active.

thecooliocooler
03-13-2012, 05:56 PM
i think i've seen this situation before, unfortunate.

good3yesniper
03-14-2012, 11:43 PM
Hey ladies (and guys!), good news: my mom has agreed to go walking with me outside a few days a week! I convinced her by saying what a good idea it will be, because of daylight savings :) She also asked how my pb/banana/protein smoothie was the other day, and I told her it was delicious! She agreed to try it sometime. It looks like she finally wants to change on her own. Maybe she has been looking through my Internet history, lol! Thank you for all the positive advice, you all are great!!! :)