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DSis is morbidly obese. Can I help?

(12 Posts)
Treesinbloom Tue 30-May-17 09:51:56

My DSis is morbidly obese. I see her once a year (I live abroad) and everytime I see her she has put on more and more weight.

I'm extremely concerned about her health and the impact on my young niece (who is also overweight).

I have read many threads on MN saying that the change has to come from the person themselves, and there is nothing you can say or do to help. Is this true? Is there nothing I can do? I am so sad watching her put her health at such risk.

My parents have mentionned it a couple of times (gently) but they get the brush off.

She wasn't overweight as a child, only once she left home.

ppeatfruit Tue 30-May-17 10:56:13

I understand your concern but often people who are sooo OW have been on many diets and find it really hard or impossible to remain on them.

Maybe suggest the Paul Mackenna books and DVDs etc. because he approaches the problem from a different angle, the self hypnosis is brilliant too and his method works with ALL people.

Treesinbloom Tue 30-May-17 11:20:32

Thanks. I'll ook into that.

I don't actually think DSis has been on a diet - at least not to my knowledge. She has never mentionned one.

Thing is, I can see in her diet that there are some really easy quick wins - stopping the litres of coke everyday, only eating one biscuit instead of the packet, not having all the extra sides, stopping the takeaways etc. But I can't say it.

I'm also not entirely sure she wants to lose weight. She has never said it to me. We mentionned her health and the risk she has and she just laughed and said life insurance will pay for my niece's university sad

drinkingtea Tue 30-May-17 11:25:51

You would have to be incredibly close and to have had a supportive, uncompetitive, non judgemental, pretty brilliant relationship for saying anything to have even a chance of being helpful. If there are psychological reasons behind her weight gain (which there are bound to be) then the wrong person raising this is more likely to damage the relationship without achieving some great epiphany.

Treesinbloom Tue 30-May-17 11:39:22

That's what I'm afraid of drinkingtea

We get on well but don't see each other often.

It really doesn't help that all of her friends, her DH and her DH's friends are also obese. So she just sees it as normal IYSWIM.

Before my niece was born I was a bit concerned but thought it was her business not mine. But now any health issues would severely impact my niece, I just wish I could help.

drinkingtea Tue 30-May-17 11:47:16

Stay out of it in that case - unless you're in a position to help practically (suggest going walking or swimming together or something), which you aren't, there is pretty much no way you saying anything if you don't already have a fantastic, close, supportive etc relationship will end well.

ppeatfruit Tue 30-May-17 12:51:16

If you approach her from a different way , like saying you need to lose some weight (only if you do need to) and what YOU'RE doing. It might be a constructive way to be helpful.

She is no doubt aware of it , but does she have an unhelpful partner? dd 2 had a partner who called her fat when she wasn't (he was). So dd2 actually put on a lot weight to prove him right ? !

user1483387154 Tue 30-May-17 12:57:31

with people who are morbidly obese (I was one) there is often an underlying reason for the over eating. I ate to numb my feelings and as a mechanism for coping with several traumatic events which caused huge stress and anxiety.
How is she coping with life in general?

ppeatfruit Tue 30-May-17 13:03:44

Yes user 14833 That is often the case ( or being forced to clear their plates as children). How did you manage to lose weight?

Congratulations btw grin

user1483387154 Tue 30-May-17 13:11:50

Thanks ppeatfruit, I was also brought up to always finish everything on my plate!!. I struggled from being an overweight child and yoyo'd with my size from a size 10 to 36 all my adult life.
I am still overweight but a size 14/16 now which I am ok with.

It took a lot of CBT therapy and the realisation that I needed to look after myself as a priority rather than doing everything for others and having nothing left for myself. To understand that this did not make me a bad person or selfish.

Alongside I tried to cut down on the unhealthy foods and cook more from scratch, plus increase my exercise (walking to start with then using wiifit then eventually swimming and exercise classes when my confidence grew) I found that my mental health improved with more physical activity and the weight loss was more of a side effect and didnt seem as difficult as previously when I had not dealt with the real issues.

I still have times I eat more than I should, and I do enjoy the odd takeaway etc but I try to deal with my weight gain within 7lbs of it happening rather than using it as an excuse to give up and just stuff my face. (which is sooo easy to do)

Treesinbloom Tue 30-May-17 13:47:22

well done user

I've never really had to lose weight apart from pregnancy weight which dropped off fairly easily, so I can't really go in from a "this is what I've done" angle - I'm a size 10/12 and have been for years.

We weren't brought up to finish everything on our plates. Neither did we get pudding every day. We were also both pretty sporty, which she stopped when she went to uni.

When at sixth form college she would buy her lunch - a 6 pack of doughnuts plus a sausage roll, which is where the weight started going on. When she went off to uni she just put on loads.

I have read that overeating is linked to some underlying reason, but unless something happened to her that she's never mentionned, then I really can't see what it is. We weren't deprived of junk food as children, neither were we overfed. She has a good relationship with our parents. She has a huge group of friends and a loving husband.

She doesn't earn a huge amount but has always been able to pay the mortgage and bills.

From a semi-outsider point of view, it really does seem like she is lazy (almost no exercise) and just loves her food.

The problem is that she is so overweight it'll take a huge change of diet and lifestyle to lose the weight. And it's far easier not to.

I guess you're all just confirming what I feared - that I can't help sad She has been overweight for over 18 years now - I'm afraid she's forgotten what it feels like to be fit and healthy (which she was when living at home)

ppeatfruit Wed 31-May-17 10:12:10

Yes Treesinbloom One of the main troubles is that if she watches lot of telly and goes to supermarkets they are continually pushing high sugar\salt junk food and colas etc. which sort of validates her habits.

It's a shame, I suppose it'll have to come from her. if she catches sight of herself in the mirror or a photo that might give her the jolt she needs to change her habits! That's what Paul Mackenna says, non judgmentally it's just habits that were begun so can be changed again!

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