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How can I help my sister lose weight?

(29 Posts)
RainDancer Sat 01-Aug-15 13:32:58

My sister is in her 40s and is morbidly obese. Her weight is badly affecting her health. She cannot walk for more than a few minutes at a time. I am very worried about her health, particularly as she has a minor heart problem. She wants to lose weight, but I think may be in denial about how much she actually eats. She knows her health is at risk. Jokes that she might just drop dead one day, but seems unable to do anything about it. I understand that, because all of my sisters have a difficult relationship with food. Question is, what can I do about it? She lives a long way from me so I can't drag her out for walks or cook her meals. I have seen these diet chef things where you basically subscribe and they send you all the food you should eat - do you think they are any good? I would be grateful for any ideas. I am happy to spend a fair bit of money on it. Talking to her about it is difficult because she is understandably very sensitive about it.

BIWI Sat 01-Aug-15 13:34:12

I don't think you can 'make' her, unless she really wants to do it herself.

RainDancer Sat 01-Aug-15 13:37:41

Sadly I know you are right about that. But I want to do whatever I can to encourage her IYSWIM. I think she is is just stuck in a rutof feeling too tired to do anything about it without a push.

purplemurple1 Sat 01-Aug-15 14:01:40

How over weight is she. Would she consider surgery and could you pay for it?

Eva50 Sat 01-Aug-15 14:05:31

Does she bring the subject up with you? If she does you could turn it around and ask her what she would like to do about it. If you are able to throw money at it you could offer a slimming club or gym/swimming membership or diet plan meals or you could suggest she speak to her GP to see what help they could offer. She would have to be motivated and really want to do it though. Does she have a dh/dc's or is she alone? Does she work? It will be difficult if she doesn't acknowledge the problem.

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Aug-15 14:08:04

If she's sensitive then she wouldn't thank you for buying the diet chef thing?
Can you set a goal together? Eg I'd love to do the moonwalk.
Both get fitbits?
Set a spa day or similar as something to look forward to?

Happy36 Sat 01-Aug-15 14:15:54

Does your daily schedule permit her to phone or Skype you each evening after dinner? A good way to stop yourself from snacking or going back for second helpings is to phone someone. Also if you speak to her regularly, you can boost her self-esteem and generally make her feel as though she is not entirely alone in her quest to become healthier.

You should also encourage her to keep a food diary.

Perhaps buy her an exercise DVD?

RainDancer Sat 01-Aug-15 14:21:46

All good ideas, thanks. She has an OH but no DCs. She is extremely overweight - don't know about the surgery route - I doubt she would want to do that. She works full time in a busy job so I think she eats the wrong things because she feels too tired to prepare fresh food, hence my thoughts about the diet chef idea. Maybe it would even be a start to order her a weekly veg box?

BIWI Sat 01-Aug-15 14:23:36

Has she tried to diet before do you know? And if so, how did she try to do it?

RainDancer Sat 01-Aug-15 14:55:11

She lost 2 stone on Slimming World apparently. Said she found it relatively easy, but that was a while back and she hasn't had the motivation to return to it.

shakemysilliesout Sat 01-Aug-15 18:44:09

Book a boot camp week for the 2 of you? Race for life?

RainDancer Sat 01-Aug-15 20:34:21

Not sure she is a boot camp kind of gal!

WipsGlitter Sat 01-Aug-15 20:44:14

Does she want to lose weight?

purplemurple1 Sat 01-Aug-15 21:20:47

How about registering for a charity event and training together remotely?
I did a diet chef type thing for a while i just brought more food. Eventually I lost six stone with cal counting but it was hard work.

Dollyemi Sat 01-Aug-15 21:27:27

Do you need to lose any OP? No, I'm not being rude, I just mean could you say "I'm joining slimming world, can we both join and support each Other?" Even if you're not at the same class you could be in contact daily to pretend you need help with ideas for healthy dinners etc. she'll only do it when she wants to though, I've heard the diet chef things are good but super small portions so she may be tempted to pick at snacks if she's still hungry. Lighter life is an option too and would give her weekly counselling sessions to discuss and improve her relationship with food. She has to stick it out though, it's meal replacement soups and shakes and then to keep it off she needs to follow the maintenance program.

RainDancer Sun 02-Aug-15 13:18:45

She does want to lose weight, yes. I'm not really overweight. Could probably do with being a bit slimmer but have recently cut out sugar and lost a bit of weight through that. I'm not sure she would be convinced if I asked us to slim together because I am much much slimmer than her and also far more active. I wish I could just wave a magic wand! I know I can't though. Just need to get through to her that she really needs to try because we are all worried about losing her sad

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sun 02-Aug-15 13:33:18

Your posts make me angry. You are infantalising your sister. And you are being a right arrogant twit. You are seriously thinking of unilaterally ordering weekly veg boxes and diet chef food because you think she should lose weight. If I were your sister and you did that, I'd tell you to fuck the fuck off in so many ways.

she has a minor heart problem. She wants to lose weight, but I think may be in denial about how much she actually eats. She knows her health is at risk. Jokes that she might just drop dead one day, but seems unable to do anything about it.

Assuming she doesnt have a severe learning disbability, she knows what to do to lose weight and she knows the consequences of not doing it.

The problem is not one of ignorance. Maybe some other MH issues. Or maybe she's not much bothered. Maybe she'd rather eat the food and risk further bad health than be thin and healthy.

If she asks you for specific advice on a specific topic, offer it briefly then shut up.

Maybe being accepted as she is, with the adult choices she makes, without her nearrst and dearest trampling all over her, might help her mind be in a better place.

You are so very very very unreasonable.

60sname Sun 02-Aug-15 13:38:52

Ketchup Frankly if I thought my sister was going to die young I'd take the risk of offending her, even severely, in case I somehow got through to her.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sun 02-Aug-15 14:08:18

There's a world of difference between:

1) Signing them up for a diet programme or other food delivery without their request, knowledge or permission.

2) Saying hey I'm worried about your health, are you worried about it too? Is there anything I can do to help?

One would likely drive the person to donughts and the other might actually help.

antimatter Sun 02-Aug-15 14:12:07

Did you actually ask her if she needs your support?
What I mean is that if she did then you could suggest various things but first of all you need her to want to do it.

Has she had her blood checked for diabetes?

PurpleDaisies Sun 02-Aug-15 15:04:33

A face to face very sensitively worded discussion about her weight and whether there's anything you could do together might be the way forward if you are going to do anything (I like the idea of training for a race for life or something similar) but realistically unless your sister is in total denial she already knows she's overweight. She even knows how to lose it because she's done it before. I would be absolutely livid if someone just signed me up for diet food or gave me an exercise dvd.

This really is your sister's problem and until she is ready to deal with it all you can do is tell her you're there to support her in any way that she wants. Be prepared for that to be not at all. She is an adult and it's her choice.

leadcrow Sun 02-Aug-15 15:37:37

I totally agree with purpledasies...a serious face to face discussion to establish whether she really genuinely wants to lose weight will tell you whether or not you're wasting you're time

RainDancer Sun 02-Aug-15 21:47:03

Blimey Ketchup, you have too much time on your hands if this post enrages you so much. Seriously. Oh and I didn't post this in AIBU, but I disagree that wanting to help my sister not to die young is remotely unreasonable. I know she isn't happy with her weight, that is why I posted. Surprisingly, I know her a lot better than you do. I didn't post here to ask whether I was being unreasonable in trying to help her, I posted to see what ideas people had that I could suggest to her and what I could practically do to help. Thank you everyone else for all your suggestions. I will discuss it with her, but I was trying to come up with things that I could helpfully do for her so that I would be armed with that knowledge once I have the chance to talk to her about it (we are going on a family holiday next week so I will be able to speak to her, I don't see her much otherwise). I figured if I had the lowdown about things like diet chef I could perhaps suggest them to her and see if she liked the idea. I certainly would never just send her an exercise DVD or start sending her diet food - I am not that insensitive!

Jamrollypolly Mon 03-Aug-15 17:47:37

Rain I think your post shows how much you care about your sister.

RainDancer Mon 03-Aug-15 20:30:26

Thanks Jam. I will freely admit that I am the sort of person that tries to 'fix' things for people. Maybe that means I am arrogant, maybe it makes me naive, but I hope I only do it with the best of intentions. Despite a rocky relationship with all of my sisters, since my Dad died we have all made a real effort with each other and I love them all dearly. I just want them all to be healthy and happy.

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