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i wish my parents weren't so overweight

(13 Posts)
thefourgp Sat 12-Dec-15 21:38:15

I love my parents dearly. I don't want to lose them to an early grave brought on by overeating. My children are very young and I don't want to them to forget my parents if they die soon. My dad was recently diagnosed with cancer and they can't operate on it because there's a high probability he won't make it off the operating table. He had a triple heart bypass 10 years ago but hasn't lost any weight and they've discovered it's only working at 25%. Both my parents are morbidly obese and despite my sister and I repeatedly talking to them over the years about gentle exercise, eating smaller portions, eating healthier, they've never made a sincere attempt to lose any weight. My dad's getting really upset about dying before my children are old enough to remember him, my mum's getting angry at the docs for not monitoring his heart more closely, my sister's upset she lives so far away and feels helpless. I'm biting my tongue but I'm just so angry with them. He's had so many warnings and chances to change over the years and just shrugs his shoulders and says it's too difficult to lose weight. I know breaking the habit of a lifetime isn't easy but they need to take some responsibility. I want them to lose weight now, do something immediately so they'll be around for as long as possible but I just know that if I say anything I'll be cast as the heartless bitch giving them a hard time when things are difficult as it is. Not really looking for any solution. Just getting it off my chest. Thanks for listening. Xx

Joysmum Sat 12-Dec-15 22:04:51

People who are morbidly obese have a problem where food is their coping mechanism.

Focussing on healthy eating and exercise doesn't help in the long term because what actually needs to happen is that obese people need is to understand the emotional cause, predict their triggers, break the cycle and learn how to cope without turning to food. Diet and exercises se doesn't begin to scratch the surface of that so shoe term losses remain only short term losses and aren't sustsinable.

If we turn to food as a coping strategy, the last thing we need is somebody who doesn't understand laying on the guilt trip and thinking us lazy or selfish. By doing so, you're actually providing another trigger and making things worse.

janethegirl2 Sat 12-Dec-15 22:10:30

It's your parents choice to live life as they see fit.
However I see your point but you cannot control your parents decision.
You can ask them to consider your requirements but that is all.
Tbf if my kids asked me this, I'd say my life, my choice!!

TheExMotherInLaw Sat 12-Dec-15 22:21:15

Joysmum has understood.
Lecturing someone with an eating disorder about sensible eating is as relevant as talking to an alcoholic about recommended safe drinking limits.
Alcoholism is more dangerous to other people, but an eating disorder is just as dangerous to the person going through it. It is possible to give up drinking alcohol, but everyone has to eat, so it's very hard to even contemplate finding a balance.
We do have some alcoholics in our family, and my sister and I with different disordered eating.

janethegirl2 Sat 12-Dec-15 22:25:05

Disordered eating is very relevant with me too.

Potatoface2 Sat 12-Dec-15 22:35:36

they may have an eating disorder but like anything they have to realise that themselves....your mum seems to not be at that stage and is blaming doctors but cant see that they have contributed to their problem themselves....as with any problem you have to be able to help yourself ....they can be offered help but they have to make the effort....you cant do it for them

TempusEedjit Sat 12-Dec-15 22:46:45

I echo everything said above.

pocketsaviour Sat 12-Dec-15 22:57:03

<waves hand as another with binge eating disorder>

Have either your mum or dad ever admitted the scope of their problem with food? Have you ever sat down and talked to either of them about why they eat the way they do?

It's possible one of them is addicted, and the other is just sort of companionably eating the same sort of portions. In that case, if the person with the disorder got help, the other one might find it much easier to lose weight as well.

Overeaters Anonymous could be a place to start. But you can't do it for them. Like any addict, they have to hit rock bottom before they look for a way forward. You would have thought a cancer diagnosis would do it... but many drink and drug addicts don't stop even when terminally ill, either.

What is your dad's treatment plan if surgery is out of the question? Will they consider him for chemo?

Joysmum Sat 12-Dec-15 23:10:23

<<waves at all my eating disorder brethren>> grin

Of course there are people who are a little overweight for whom education, diet and exercise would be pertinent.

Unfortunately, there are people with extreme behaviours who don't fit that. There's nothing more frustrating and infuriating as those well meaning folk who can't see that.

I'm sure most of us would love for our behaviours around food not to control us. It's hard when strangers, let alone our nearest eat and dearest see our problems as a simple case of diet and exercise. sad

pocketsaviour Sat 12-Dec-15 23:19:12

let alone our nearest eat and dearest

Freudian slip there Joysmum grin

Cerrone85 Sat 12-Dec-15 23:23:55

OP, I know how you feel, it's awful my dad is morbidly obese and there's nothing I can do about it he is an emotional eater and has heart disease but isn't taking any positive steps to improve his eating habits. What can you do? They are adults x

thefourgp Sun 13-Dec-15 00:12:44

My mum has had multiple serious unrelated illnesses over the years that have drastically restricted her mobility. She comfort eats. My dad's whole family have weight problems and most have heart problems too. I think his is learned behaviour. The doctor offered my dad a gastric band before and he declined it (which I agreed with because I know it's a mental health issue and there's no quick fix). Any time a doctor mentions their weight they dismiss the doctors concerns afterwards. We're waiting on the hospital arranging radiotherapy for the cancer. It's more likely to come back if they don't operate though. I haven't heard of overeaters anonymous so will look into this and pass on their contact details after Christmas. I know it's not as simple as diet and exercise but surely when your life is at stake then you need to take serious action? Losing weight would put less strain on his heart, help him breath easier, give him more energy etc. My mum's easier to talk to about it but I think they've been this way for so many years now that it's the norm. I'm never so blunt when I speak with them about it because I don't want to make them feel any worse about themselves than they already do. At the same time I just want to shout at them "you're making the choice to kill yourself with food" because it is a choice and I get than some people are stronger willed than others. I'm no twiggy myself. I'm very upset but instead of crying I'm getting angry at them which I know isn't helpful so I bite my tongue. Cerrone85 I don't think there's anything we can do. As pocketsaviour said, they're addicts and they can only do it for themselves. X

GasLIghtShining Sun 13-Dec-15 00:57:14

They have to want to do it. And they need to get help to support them to lose. But you can't make them

My DH is quite bit older than me so consequently his parents were older. My DC weren't even at school when they died and it is sad that my DS who is the youngest can't really remember much at all. My DD does

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