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  1. #31
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Your intentions are good and I know it's really hard to watch someone you love self-destruct, but she really is the only one who can help herself and she might choose not to do that. It's too bad and it's horrible that her husband treats her that way (how depressing and demoralizing would that be?), but we all have to make our own choices. All others can do is try to be supportive, which is what you've tried to do. Just love her, enjoy her, try to keep yourself from getting too stressed out by all this. It truly isn't your responsibility.

    Basically, you're in a kind of co-dependent situation and it's not good for you. You may have to deal with it similarly to how a healthy family member of an alcoholic needs to deal with their situation. Al-Anon suggests a kind of detachment.
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  2. #32
    loopy Ulaes's Avatar
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    thanks for the responses. i'm going to sleep now so i'll get back to this thread later on in the week.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Yeah I have to agree with Cafe, that while the intentions are good to want to see change in her because you care about her health. The approach is going to stress her out much more and she is likely to react by overeating even more to compensate for the stress and pressure she is under by everyone. For the expectation to change to fit other peoples image of where she should be in regards to her health would make her feel even more unhappy than she already is. Personally rewarding her telling her she is trying rather than being critical towards her is far better than creating a fear response to restructure her diet. In that way she might be more able to want to start than not. After all when we gain a negative association with exercise and food then the desire to want to is gone.

  4. #34
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    You can't make anyone do anything. If she wants to lose weight, she will; otherwise, all you can do is make sure she understands the risks of being obese.

  5. #35
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    Someone has to want it for him/herself to change their lifestyle. You can prod them into action for a short while, but they will bounce back.

  6. #36
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    There are a number of things to consider when it comes to someone who has weight to lose and isn't losing it.
    Mental state and perspective plays one of the biggest roles in the process. Part of her may want to lose weight and know she needs to, but part of her might not be ready to try for a variety of reasons. You mentioned the diet being bad due to her living circumstances and other's snacking. This is so related to a person's mental state that it's ridiculous. It can be subconscious and seem like nothing, but it takes a lot fo go against when you're compromised in such a way. I have the first bit of this problem, so I've gone on destruction mode in an attempt to rid my homeplace of bad foods, even if it means I eat some of them to get rid of them quickly. It takes keeping such foods away or gradually instilling and reinforcing willpower. My INFP friend deals with the latter, so I offer her healthier foods when others are eating or move plates out of sight so she isn't tempted.
    There's also the state of mind where she may not believe she can get healthier. It's extremely hard to look at yourself on a daily basis and imagine that your issues with yourself are gone. Perhaps she can't picture herself at a healthy weight and is overwhelmed by the prospect, even if she discusses otherwise. To overcome this, I'd suggest showing her progress pictures or giving her a link to one of these sites http://www.mybodygallery.com/ or http://www.sparkpeople.com/ so she can attempt to see what is realistic and get motivated through external sources.
    Also, assess if she is beating herself up over it, even when she is trying. This is probably one of the biggest issues in attempting to lose weight. People think that being negative toward themselves is a great motivator, but it backfires more often than not. This causes people to give up quickly because they kill all of their self confidence and drive for betterment. It even affects the people who do make progress, as a lot of them can't feel satisfied with what they've accomplished.

    Like others have said, help her set small goals and set up her ability to motivate herself and become ready in her own way. You can only do so much.
    At a point, it may even call for a bit of tough love, but not in a derogatory way. The tough love is more so asking her is she is happy at this weight and what the speedbump is. If it is worth it. Pros/Cons. Etc. These things are the ones that can spark that realization and drive in someone.
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  7. #37
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    What cafe and Tallulah (and others) said - you can't pressure her into doing it, and she's going to resent you for it whether or not you "succeed".

    Some things to think about:

    -drastic lifestyle changes tend to fail. Small steps will be less stressful and therefore more successful (e.g. make 1 healthy meal a week instead of eating out 7 days)

    -I bet she'd like a community pilates/yoga/dance/whatever class, then she can get the social aspect she wants and it'll be encouragement to show up every week. especially if a family member will join with her (and come ON, I know perfectly well you aren't all in perfect health, there's no need to treat her like a charity project - do it for yourself too)

    -if she's seeing that physical activity isn't a part of her family's lives, she's going to be discouraged and depressed that "nobody else has to". Once you're involved in active, fun things, invite her along. even for a nature walk or something. your posts imply to me that you're all treating it like a chore instead of an opportunity for family bonding and entertainment

    -she's getting the sense from everyone that exercise is boring, miserable, and she's being forced into it (by you guys and her weight). loosen up a little and focus on fun activities instead of the boring usual things like running endlessly. there's LOTS of fun things to do that can keep you active. and invite her but don't make snarky comments when she turns you down. That's her right.

    -I wouldn't really pressure her along the food lines. it's really not your business and it's not going to be productive - do you think she doesn't know big macs are unhealthy?
    -end of thread-

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the ENTJ coming down on her like that also kinda sends her overeating into overdrive, due to stress-eating. Not sure you'll be able to help her without also addressing their relationship.
    I totally agree with you on this.

  9. #39
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think if I were her, I'd ramp up the bad eating habits and maybe add some smoking and drinking in excess in hopes of escaping my horrid, meddling, self-righteous family that much sooner.
    yah, i agree with this.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  10. #40
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    I'm going to mention something that will likely be shocking and controversial. Gastric bypass or gastric banding.

    I had to work with an individual who had qualities which negatively affected her health. She has a lazy attitude towards all things (including meal preparation, purchasing and planning) is close-minded about the taste of nutritious food, loathes exercise and is open about it, and used to be very obese. She told me frankly about her days of ordering large pizzas to her home and eating it all herself. She did strike it lucky and was able to take advantage of gastric bypass surgery covered by health insurance. She talked to me about it a lot, and I knew nothing about it so it was kind of interesting to learn about. There are risks involved and very big changes to the nutritional needs of the patient. But honestly I can't imagine anything that would have helped her like that did. Someone told me about his uncle, who had gastric bypass surgery and managed to gain all the weight back. Its hard to believe, but evidently it is possible if the physical changes do absolutely nothing to alter the mental habits. But from what that woman told me, the physical changes constrain most patients habits enough to allow weight loss to occur. She did not have the subsequent operation to remove the excess skin, which left her still rather deformed. But her yet even more disagreeable sister had both surgeries. Sadly nothing so cosmetic can fix the deformed spirits of these women, but the gastric bypass surgeries have improved their qualities of life a lot.

    I have no stake in anyone getting gastric bypass, my only knowledge of it comes from probably the most toxic person I have ever had to interact with regularly. Take from it what you will. Obviously, physical changes can be easier than the spiritual/psychological ones. I know you wish you could help your family member make that positive transformation from the inside out. You have my sympathy.
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