I watched one episode this weekend where the lady was getting the fatty skin removed and could hardly stand to see the excess loose skin. It gives me a wake up call, tho.
Fitness Minutes: (40)
1,065 4/22/14 9:27 A
I don't know if I would really want to watch that show but I admit to being curious how families could enable and bring all that unhealthy food to someone who was so big they could not get out of the bed or chair or whatever to get their own.
I think Miss Ruth made some very good observations in her posting that explains some of the psychology behind it.
My mother was not an extreme case but probably was about 80 to 100 pounds overweight for most of the last 30 years of her life. She developed diabetes in her 40's and all the serious complications that go with it, so losing weight and watching her diet was doubly important. Yet I know how stressful her life was, and that food was all too often her only comfort. I could never blame her for this, but at times when she became incapacitated after having a leg amputated, for example, she would stay at my house some weekends. I kept her on a diabetic 1200 calorie per day plan.
I could tell she was not satisfied with her portions and wanted more but I suppose I treated her a little like a child and said "That is all you are allowed to have." It made me feel kind of bad but I believe I would have felt worse "enabling" her addiction and giving her what I know was bad for her.
She spent most of the time in her last days with a brother and his wife. His wife was always cooking rich and fattening foods and I don't believe she has ever had any real awareness of calories and dieting, even though she and my brother are also overweight.
Have any of you ever watched the Movie: "Something's Eating Gilbert Grape?" It is an older movie with Johnny Depp and Leonardo DeCaprio (when he was a youth). This movie was a tear jerker for me, but it definitely involved Johnny Depp's character enabling his mother to be that big, but it also showed just how much he truly loved his mother. If you have not seen this movie, try to locate it and watch it.
Fitness Minutes: (151,267)
11,748 4/21/14 11:33 P
I like the show. It shows me what will happen if I overeat every day
Fitness Minutes: (290,807)
10,951 4/21/14 11:12 P
I pray for them and I wish them well!!!!
4/21/14 8:34 P
-the one I watched last night (re-run) was so sad.
it is also sad to see how overweight the rest of the people in the family are. and so many of the people think that the bypass surgery is a miracle cure.
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
2/9/14 5:14 A
Truly inspiring. Good luck on the rest of your journey!
Fitness Minutes: (16,395)
1,280 2/8/14 9:43 P
Love what you said here, SIMPLYME80. I just saw the show for the first time this week, and it's highly compelling. But like you, I'd really find it so much more rewarding if they'd show how a dietitian and the other professional support people you mentioned could be of enormous benefit to the overweight person, as well as just how they'd go about helping them.
We'd all learn so much from that, I feel! I was at 225 at one point in my "dieting history," and I can relate to that loss of control, too, as well as to the desperate, hopeless, frightening feeling of trying to wrestle it back into my life.
There's sort of a co-dependent entanglement I sensed between this week's young lady and her mother, who had a misplaced concept of what real nurturance in this situation could have been...
ANARIE - It's so true about the many faces of "abuse". We, as a society, seem to focus only on physical, beatings-type of abuse. But other forms can be so very psychologically debilitating... maybe worse, because many of them simply aren't visible. This with enabling already-obese partners isn't in that category, but there are too many ways we harm and undermine others. Or *could*. Luckily, I believe those relationships are not the majority... but there does seem to be imbalanced sharings and what *I*, at least, would call "abuse" in many lives.
What a shame. We used to, I thought, have some respect for our partners. Maybe I was living in a fantasyland of my own, there. I've learned it's not the typical behavior I'd once thought it to be.
My heart goes out to all of the folks on this show. The obese person perhaps suffers more... (?) - but the enabler is suffering their own form of psycholgical distress too. They both need some intense counseling. I wish the show would show some of that... and the nutritional counseling I'm hoping is also a part of the process, beyond what the doctor can convey in an office visit.
I have watched the show several times. To me it seems there are more problems than just overeating, So many emotional issues that need addressed along with the weight. I for one can understand and relate how someone can lose control and continue gaining weight, especially if a emotional "trauma" happens in their life. It almost happened to me. No I never reached 600 lbs, but at one point I was 200 lbs overweight. I knew I had to regain control of my life to survive first, then begin the weight loss process. Its so much more than being told not to eat so much, eat healthy, recognizing and saying "No" to a enabler. The overweight person needs to learn to respect themself, their body and along with counseling, start on a journey to a renewed life. Its a long road, and I'm glad they are seeking help. I Hope they are Never Exploited on TV for their attempt-I wish all Success! I would like to see them more often with a dietitian, counciler, and more support other than their "enabler".
Thanks for the insight and interesting additional information about the show, SKIMBRO! I'll have to take a look at it.
Fitness Minutes: (8,689)
1,996 2/3/14 9:16 A
I watched the show from time to time. Mostly for information, motivation and to see what I need to make sure I am not doing...like having my family members become co-dependent in my weight gain.
I think that for some people on the show, it is a life saving documentary. While I have seen a few episodes where I feel the person should not have had the surgery, especially when they have already had 2 prior surgeries. Also, after the weight loss surgery they are more restrictions than before the surgery, so their choices are even more limited. If you are having a hard time before the surgery with self control and following a plan, you will have an even harder time after surgery with a more restrictive plan.
Behind the scenes they do offer counseling, dieticians, etc., but most of the time, that is not shown except in cases where the participant is having a hard time following the strict dietary plan, as the case with one of the episodes I watched over the weekend.
High-five to ya girlie! Inspirational to say the least! You are in my happy thoughts :-)
1/30/14 9:57 A
I've watched the show a few times. From what I've seen, they do not show any counselling for behavior issues/ addiction issues/ emotional eating issues, eating disorders, whatever you want to call it. They show the people seeing the doctor (surgeon), maybe joining a fitness center, seeing a trainer or physical therapist. It's possible the psychological aspects are also addressed, and it's just not shown or I haven't seen it.
Particularly when other family members are also overweight, I should think counselling would be helpful for the entire family. Because it's usually not just the featured, 600 lb. person who has issues going on. The co-dependency other posters have mentioned, for example.
And I will say, it may be easy to sit there and say, I would never do that, I would never be co-dependent. But it's a lot harder to actually practice that. Take for example the child who wants a treat but didn't eat their supper and one of the parents gives in and lets them have a couple cookies. The child who only wants to eat chicken nuggets and canned pears, and so that's what gets fixed for them for supper every night. The child who whines in Walmart for a toy and the parent-- who had no intention to buy toys-- gives in. The bedtime scenario where the child wants "5 more minutes" every single time, and the parent gives in until it's an hour past bedtime. It's a simplified comparison but it's basically the same thing. You don't want to say no, you don't want to be the bad guy, you don't think it does *that much* harm, etc. But it all adds up. You're encouraging/ supporting/ allowing behavior that isn't (overall) in the person's best interests.
The thing about co-dependency is that it can creep up on you. It can be very small things, each seeming not so significant at the time, until it all adds up over time and you're way down, mired into it, drowning in it. And without some kind of help, it would be very hard to change. So counselling or at least a support group or something for the families on the tv show, (I think) would be extremely helpful.
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
1/30/14 9:14 A
I have watched parts of it now and then. I find it one of the saddest shows on tv.
1/30/14 8:38 A
Don't plan on watching ever again. I feel it's a waste of my time to sit and watch shows that don't inspire me. Those people are addicted to food and rely on others to satisfy that addiction.
1/29/14 4:21 P
Sherry, I never even thought about equating the food with drugs...but it's true.
It sounds like you're very clear on what co-dependence entails, SHERRY Sometimes I've wondered where people perceive their actions toward addicts (whether they're addicted to overeating, alcohol, or something else) as loving or maybe even just mollifying - that desire to just keep the peace - rather than remembering and sticking to what's in the person's best interests.
I'm with you: I don't want to give drugs or other harmful substances to anyone I love, either. It never brings peace of mind, or that positive feeling of genuinely helping another to act in their own best interest, in the sense of making a healthy behavior choice easier for them.
1/29/14 2:15 P
I watch the show. The are all co-dependent and hopefully they are getting counseling that we do not see on the show. Even understanding that, it amazes me that these families seem unable to stop their behaviors. In addition, a majority of the family members are overweight or obese- hard all around. I'm not giving drugs to someone I love, and that's what food is for these people- a drug.
What an excellent observation, ANDI, about the weight self-misperception (is that a word? ) When you watch these people express their disbelief about their actual weight, you wonder how it came to be that they became so out-of-touch with their self-image and weight. I have a feeling that most of us are pretty much aware of what that number is, yet there are some who are genuinely in shock to learn the number on the scale... and yet it's life-threatening.
I watched the show last night but had seen it before. I think it's amazing how in denial the people are. They complain about how they spend their lives in bed, can't be there for their kids, etc. but still insist on eating lots. Even weight loss surgery won't help if one lives on milkshakes and the like. I pray for those folks to turn their lives around.
1/29/14 9:57 A
I've watched pieces of the shows. There have been so many shows on over the years about people struggling with weight loss. They really do inspire sympathy. So many of the enablers really do seem to enjoy being in their care taking roles. When the person is more self-capable the enablers don't know what to do with themselves. So they often do sabotage to keep their roles the same. I think what allows many of them to get to the point they are is how in denial they are. I saw an episode where a woman kept insisting that she only weigh 350 when in reality she weighed over 600 pounds! When that kind of denial affects the entire family or whoever enables the person it will be almost impossible for them to be successful in any weight loss endeavors without first coming to grips with the truth and embracing it. I do hope they succeed though.
Thanks for the heads-up, EELPIE! I'll have to remember that time and date (Tuesdays at 9 PM, Tuesdays at 9 PM, Tuesdays at 9 PM)
Yes, it's absolutely true: Without a show of good faith (i.e., at least SOME reasonable amount of weight loss) prior to the procedure, I'd say the chance of success is negligible. Given the risk, I'd do everything I could to lose at least some weight prior to the surgery...
1/29/14 9:44 A
It's on TLC tuesdays @ 9 eastern. At 8 pm they show a repeat of last weeks episode.
The one I watched last night as the 8pm (last weeks). The lady had the surgery, but even after a year, lost no weight. 0.
She kept eating as normal, and lying to the doctor (the doctor said she was living in a fantasy land) saying she had been sticking firmly to the diet.
Every month she said that, and he told her that that was impossible, because if you eat 1,200 calories a day for a month, you will lose weight.
After a year of this (no weight loss at all - unbelievable) she went back home and the show ended.
Just goes to show that weight loss surgery is not a miracle procedure. The person has to do the work as well.
Fitness Minutes: (92,258)
1/29/14 5:16 A
they follow these people for several years. It's very interesting to see how their lives change.
the enablers are kind of pathetic. I can't grasp how you could do that to somebody that you claim to love, just to keep your control over them. It's often parents doing this to their own children.
Too bad they can't get the enablers into some intense counseling.
it also fascinates me how quickly WLS can 'cure' type 2 diabetes.
Fitness Minutes: (54,957)
4,240 1/28/14 10:24 P
I only heard of this show today ... will check it out now from your comments. Thx.
1/28/14 9:51 P
Wow Tearose!!!!!! You are inspiring!!!
I give you every ounce of respect that you deserve :)
1/28/14 9:50 P
It is absolutely mind boggling to see someone get to the point that they cannot even do every day essential chores,like going to the bathroom. Why do people wait that long before they get help I will never know.
Fitness Minutes: (10,050)
1/28/14 9:38 P
The reality of morbid obesity is sobering. I started my weight loss journey at 535 pounds, June 1, 2010, I am an emotional eater, at one time in codependent situations. My life included working full time, however, was restricted largely to a wheel chair. My company actually built me a private handicap bathroom adjacent to my office. I thank a God for the people around me who supported me through my worst times, and took the time to respect my talents and contributions to my industry. I hope that as I continue my loss (now down 174 pounds) and at day 103 on SP that I will be able to impact the decision of others who might feel helpless to succeed. I only wish I had known about SP sooner. I now walk with a cane, started with a trainer, and looking forward to the final quadrant of my life.
1/28/14 8:03 P
OMG this lady on now can't even get out of bed to go pee, her husband has to bring her a bed pan.
The only episode I've seen featured a woman who did successfully (more or less) lose weight. She got down to under 200, relapsed and went back to almost 300, then got back down to about 250 and held it. (I think she was never actually a full 600.) In her case, it was very clear why the husband enabled it; it kept her dependent on him. They had married young and she very quickly outgrew him, but as long as she was too heavy to drive a car or hold a job, she had to stay with him. When the show ended, she was working as a counselor at the weight loss surgery center that had done her operation and making almost enough to be independent, and he was still occasionally trying to sabotage her. It was pretty clear that the marriage wasn't going to last much longer. He was afraid she would leave him if she stopped depending on him, and he was pretty much right.
I think that's a pretty common explanation for these situations. It's a very specific form of domestic abuse. These enablers seem non-violent compared to our image of a wife-beater/husband-beater/child abuser, but they play the same mind games-- "I'm the only one who will ever love you. You're not good enough to go out in the world. You could never survive on your own without me." And when your victim is so obese s/he can't drive a car or even walk around the block, it's incredibly easy to isolate them from anyone who would tell them otherwise.
I do watch the show. I will never forget the episode about the woman named Melissa. She was in the grocery store, in her motorized cart, and an older guy said to her, "If you get any bigger, you're gonna need a bigger wagon". My heart literally broke into a million pieces for her. What a cruel thing to say to a complete stranger! Ugghh.... I agree with you, about it making me make wiser choices and do better for myself. I feel so sorry for what they are going through.
EELPIE, I've only seen snippets of it on YouTube, but my heart breaks for these folks. Their weight problems have gotten far out of their control, and it often seems that family members' actions are not only unhelpful, but often, enabling and counterproductive...
I really fear for their very ability to cling to life..
I have seen it. It's painful to watch people eating themselves to death and their families enabling them. It gives me the creeps but sometimes I watch it anyway.
1/28/14 3:54 P
Sheryl, me too!! OMG. They come up with excuse after excuse after excuse for why they keep enabling them. I wonder sometimes about the whole dynamic of the relationship. Do they get off somehow by having the person so dependent on them, while they are dying?
Fitness Minutes: (160,340)
1/28/14 3:43 P
Never heard of it, that channel used to have some good half hour shows where 2 different people tried to lose weight, I often wonder how they are doing, NOW, because we all know that somehow, we find lost weight.................I should go on their web site and ask. I'll look for this show.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website can be used without the permission of SparkPeople or its authorized affiliates.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.