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Obese Family Member. How to discuss?? Advice please!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ok. I'm going to try and make this short and sweet because I don't have a lot of time and chances are you probably don't either.

I recently visited my family in Georgia.
Both of my parents (and most of my extended family members) are obese, have been as long as I can remember. Nothing new there. My concern at the moment is for my brother. He is 23 years old and weighs around 340 pounds. He has always been 'big' but has put on about 150 of those pounds since graduating high school 5 years ago. What really concerned me while I was there was not necessarily WHAT he ate (I'm used to the 'southern menu') but how MUCH and how OFTEN!! I know that WHAT he's eating is a matter of preference and that will be harder to change. But the quantity is just a habit. He's USED to eating that much so he thinks he needs that much. Right?? That's how I was before I joined Spark and really learned what I needed.

I am truly concerned about his health and nutrition and want to help him understand how unhealthy his eating habits are and how badly he needs to work on changing those habits. I want to discuss it with him - I am going to discuss it with him. I feel like I have to because he's my brother and now that I'm (slightly) more knowledgeable about health and nutrition, not saying something seems irresponsible. I don't want the conversation to be about weight but about nutrition.

I'm sure many of you have been in similar situations. Maybe you've had this conversation with a friend/family member? Or maybe a friend or family member had to have this conversation with you? I don't want to offend him and I don't want to make him uncomfortable but I do want him to know that I'm worried and here to help if he wants to make a change. Do you have any advice? Suggestions? What SHOULD I say? What SHOULDN'T I say?

Thanks gang,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLIMINTY 4/25/2012 8:49AM

    I hate to say it, but it's likely no matter what you say, at first he will be both hurt and offended. Talking about what and how people eat can feel like an attack, even when you're healthy!

What I've done, every time I go home to my parents, is encourage them to exercise: even a little. I go swimming with my Dad (which makes him feel great, because even though I'm now I'm small, he can still out-swim me till the cows come home!) and I go for walks with my Mom.

Everyone I can find, I tell to find something they love doing. And if you do those things with him (but not push him beyond his limit), he'll have happy memories and potentially continue. Also, if he comes out feeling exhausted, you can always take him out for food -- or kidnap the kitchen for a night -- and talk about food as fuel (tasty fuel!). If you can convince him that healthy food can be easy AND taste awesome, he might decide now is the time!

My Spark happened when I decided that I didn't want to feel like I was dying in Softball games, so maybe that will Spark him too! Good luck!

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KJDOESLIFE 4/12/2012 8:51AM

    I agree with Blue - it's a difficult conversation to have, and if he isn't ready, it doesn't matter what you say. He could be very hurt and upset by it all. I'd start by asking how he is and if he's happy. Don't let him blow off the question. Ask him if he's *really* happy. Let him discuss it if he wants. Offer suggestions. Remember that different things work for different people. Avoid saying anything like "You must do THIS or THAT to lose weight." Good luck!

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BLUE42DOWN 4/11/2012 7:54PM

    Sometimes saying as little as possible, while making the opening overture, is the best course.

Think back to where you were BEFORE you were ready to make changes. How would you have felt being told you were obese and needed to eat less when you weren't ready to hear it from yourself?

Especially if he, as well as everyone else, has seen your changes to healthier living and the results - if he hasn't asked or come to you or opened the conversation, he may not be ready to.

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Right now, Right NOW?!?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The following is an actual conversation I witnessed between my neighbor and her teenage son:

Mom: Clean your room.
Son: Yes, ma'am.
-one hour later-
Mom: I said, clean your room!
Son: I WILL!
Mom: Do it right now.
Son: Ok.
-one hour later-
Mom: Why is this room not clean??
Son: Oh..did you mean like......right now, right now???

Betcha didn't know there was a difference between 'right now' and 'right now, right now', did ya?? :)

I've been contemplating a challenge for myself. I keep saying...I'll start Monday. Or...I'll start tomorrow. I'm sure you've been there, yes? Funny how much drive and determination can be lost between right now and 'tomorrow' or 'Monday'.

Today, I realized that I need to start like...right now, right now. (Actually, I need to start like...yesterday, yesterday..but what can ya do?!?) I have to quit putting it off. It's far past time to get down to bizznass.

I've been very unsparkly lately. Logging on to check in with a friend or two, read my favorite bloggers new posts and..log back off. I need become more active. I don't mean giving goodies and changing my profile around. I mean by tracking my food to ensure consistency and reading fitness articles for new workout ideas.

This evening, I'm going to finalize the 'rules' of this personal challenge for myself and set a time line. I'll post details and make sure to track my results.

I'm excited to jump back into and use this wonderful site to my full advantage to finally reach my weight and fitness goals!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADZOE 9/9/2011 10:58PM


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MOMTOMONKEYS2 9/8/2011 1:48PM

    I'm witcha on the challenge..... right now, right now.

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FRANCO1230 9/6/2011 11:46PM

    Get your spark on, girl.....right, right now!!! emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 9/6/2011 11:14PM

    Go girl!

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IBSHAUN 9/6/2011 8:20PM

    So with you on this one! I log in every day, spin my wheel and start to keep track but then I don't finish. August is gone and there wasn't much Spark in it for me. (Made me giggle when you said, "unsparkly" :) I can relate!) Sigh... I need to make it a priority but just feel overwhelmed by other stuff right now. Maybe you are right though... just doing it right now, right now... will help.

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CMHARRISON12 9/6/2011 6:45PM

    We can do this!! emoticon

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WILLOWCAT1 9/6/2011 6:44PM

    Yaaay for right now, right now! :) Great job on looking into whats going on and taking the steps right NOW to point yourself in the direction of success!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/6/2011 6:25PM

    lol! hey if you nees some sparking chk out my Watch Me Srink Pic challenge ;p
pick and outfit, post wkly, crop head off if you need too.

we are all on day 1, chk out my blog for detail.
and i posted mime last night! about to cry1
up 20lb and back to 8/10 2 months away from SP!!!!

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METTA4ME 9/6/2011 6:10PM

    I'm rooting for you!!!! I'll be keeping up with your blog! emoticon

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Miami Pics

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

quick blog just to share a few pics :)
playing catch up at work after my vacation - will post full updates later!

my favorite place in the world!

with my gf, getting ready for a night on the town! (and too many margaritas)

with my other gf, after a few of those margaritas :)

lunch at the Hard Rock. I had a greek salad w/ grilled chicken and no dressing. Trying to make up for all those margaritas.

and finally...back home with my favorite little cuddle partner, AKA - Skittleface

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 8/18/2011 1:23PM

    Awesome pics!! You look beautiful!! And look at that collarbone in the last pic! Woohoo!! Thanks for sharing! Skittleface is such a CUTIE!!!

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MOMTOMONKEYS2 8/11/2011 11:17AM

    Glad you had a wonderful time...and that your little guy(s) were happy to see you!

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IBSHAUN 8/10/2011 11:34PM

    ahh... I love your favorite place! Looks like you had fun!! Welcome home. :)

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KAMAPERRY 8/10/2011 3:04PM

    Awesome pics, you look great!! I love "Skittleface" Cute!

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DIY Challenge Entry - Beach. People. Eyes. Ya dig?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

********DIY Challenge Entry Form******

My Challenge Name: Beach. People. Eyes.
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My Starting Weight: 140
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Four Other things I will be measuring during this challenge & their current stats:
1. the unwavering post-baby-belly-pooch (2" below navel) - 37.5"
2. upper thigh - 23.75"
3. BMI - 26.81%
4. Jog Ability - usually make it about 2 miles. Aiming for 3.

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If I am going to be 100% honest with myself, the reason I am doing this challenge is because: I've been stuck in a rut for a while and I need something to shake me up. Because in 5 weeks I'll be going to beach with some of my best friends which means I'll have to wear a swimsuit. In public. In front of people. People who are ALIVE. And have EYES. So there¡¦s that. Also, because I want to be able 100% (not 85%) comfortable with my body no matter what I'm wearing. Even if what I'm wearing is just a smile and stilettos.
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I feel like the reason that I have not been progressing as well as I hoped I would be is because: 50 pounds ago I was disgusted with what I saw in the mirror. Now, I'm not. It's easy (ish) to go from 'disgusted' to 'okay' but (for me) it's proving to be much more difficult to transform my body from 'okay' to 'bangin'.
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This time, I commit to finishing my challenge because I know that: in 5 weeks I'll be on South Beach with some hotties.
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I'm scared of: my belly fat. It's so hard for women (generally speaking) to lose the fat that stores there. What if I can't do it?!?
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I want to: have some Facebook worthy pictures of me on the beach. NOT standing behind anyone. NOT wearing a ridonkulous cover-up. NOT sucking in until my face turns purple waiting for the flash.
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But I have faith in: a) Google - Google will help me find out just what I need to do, or NOT do, to lose the pooch. B) Sweat Sessions - can't hurt, right?!?
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And THIS TIME, I will NOT quit, because THIS TIME: Uh - perhaps this is getting a little redundant but...because THIS TIME I'm going to the freaking beach. With people. People who are alive. And have eyes. Remember this?
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My top five non-health related motivations right now are:

1. Again with this...Beach. People. Eyes. Ya dig?
2. High school reunion next spring. Did I mention my ex-husband and his new wife (aka, my former best friend and maid of honor at our wedding) will be there?!? Motivation? I think so.
3. Tattoo. I want a full back piece. But with this gut, I wouldn't be able to show it off. I want to lose the extra poundage so that I can finally get some new ink.
4. Trophy wife. DH is 16 years older than I am. He introduces me as his 'hot young biotch'. I wouldn't mind actually fitting that description. He deserves it.
5. Boy shorts. Sexiest underwear ever, yes? Yes. Except when wrapped around these thunder wonders I sometimes call 'thighs'.
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The best way to motivate me is to: challenge me to do more. I'm the girl who runs through the neighborhood naked because someone double-dog-dared me to.
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The best way I can motivate myself is to: look at a picture of myself in a bikini then look at a picture of Megan Fox in a bikini. Instant motivation.
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My name is E and I will sweat.
My name is E and I will run.
My name is E and I will succeed.
My name is E and I will work hard.
My name is E and I will rock tha bikini.
My name is E and I will beat the pooch.
My name is E and I will finish.
My name is E and I will see an ab muscle or two.
My name is E and I will be back. Ha.
My name is E and I approve this message.
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*disclaimer: this will only be a 5 week challenge for me. I guess this is me getting carried away with all the Do-It-Yourself-Ness. Vacation starts in 5 weeks, not 6, and as I just read yesterday in Yoovie's terriffic blog - "If I can't finish it, that is not an excuse to avoid starting it" Imma rock these 5 weeks and enjoy my vacation during week 6!!! Let's get it!!!

Step 2 - before pic. Done during yesterday's swimsuit shopping trip. Yikes.

Step 3 - Redec sparkpage - Done yesterday as well. Will make more changes tonight.

Step 4 - Printing a calender later today. Will buy stickers and jack the kid's crayons.

Step 5- Picked up a new water bottle last week. (It has a straw. Woot, Woot!)

Step 6 - This one's easy considering my iPod was jacked this weekend (from my car. in my driveway. ridiculous, no??), I'll be picking up a new one before Friday and will download plenty of jammin new tunes.

Step 7 - Workout clothes - washed.

Step 8 - Already subscribed to SELF and Fitness. May look in to SHAPE or Women's Health.

Done and DONE.
Let's GET IT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBDB001 6/30/2011 1:07PM

    O.K.!! You totally MOTIVATED ME!!!! I'm on it with you for the next 5 weeks and then some, my vacation isn't until Aug. 31st - my DH b-day, 5 days in St. Louis with his family, I got to have atleast 10lbs gone!! I can do 5lbs in 5 weeks!!! I'm going to rock it with you in July!!! Pinky Swear!!!
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KAMAPERRY 6/29/2011 11:04PM


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FRANCO1230 6/29/2011 4:43PM

    Go for it!!! Bangin' body on the beach....great motivation!!!

Oh, ya, and I TOTALLY agree with this one, too...
"my ex-husband and his new wife (aka, my former best friend and maid of honor at our wedding) will be there?!? Motivation? I think so."

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REDRUNNERMOM713 6/29/2011 12:35PM

    What great goals! I love your style of writing. I'm in the challenge too and I'm going to add you as a friend so we can push ourselves and both look bangin in our swimsuits...out in public....where people have eyes! Hope that's OK! ROCK this challenge girl!! emoticon

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LESLIES537 6/29/2011 12:03PM

    GET IT, GIRL!! I love this challenge and look forward to hearing your results! You're gonna look BANGIN' in that swimsuit. In front of people. Who are alive! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon--you're too cute! Love it! emoticon

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WILLOWCAT1 6/28/2011 8:23PM

    "It's easy (ish) to go from 'disgusted' to 'okay' but (for me) it's proving to be much more difficult to transform my body from 'okay' to 'bangin'."

I totally get that. In fact, I never really thought about having a 'bangin' body, lol! Really! That is actually true. hmmmm... I wonder what would happen...........

Good luck with your goals! Your motivation is Definitely working in your favor!! :)

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MOMTOMONKEYS2 6/28/2011 5:46PM

    Ah E, you never fail to impress me with your drive and make me laugh with your humor. You will do great in the next 5 weeks...and if I am lucky you will rub off on me!

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JESSIEJUICE 6/28/2011 5:19PM

    Wooohoooo!!! I feel the same way about boy shorts- who ever said they were flattering on bottom-heavy women was totally delusional but they are SO CUTE. We'll both be rockin' them soon!!!!

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MOMANDNURSE150 6/28/2011 3:37PM

    I can't contriubte anything motivating or thought provoking.



made me laugh really hard. I can totally relate. Thanks!!!

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Miami Beach

Friday, June 24, 2011

These 2 words have motivated me more than anything...EVER. Motivated me to put together a strict diet and workout plan for the next 6 weeks.

Miami Beach.

Why is that so inspiring??

Uhm....because....I'm GOING!!!

That's right. Me. To Miami Beach.

No kids. No hubster. Just me and some of my besties.

For a whole 4 days, we're going to pretend like we don't have businesses to run or diapers to change or houses to clean or bills to pay. We're going to act like we did 5 years ago. We're going to drink beer with our lunch and cocktails with our dinner. We're going to nap. We're going to dance. We're going to party. We're going to sit on the beach and tan, and read and play volleyball. And (here comes the part that's got me all motivated to get my tone on) we're going to wear swimsuits! Eeeeeeeeeek!!!!

Just when I think I'm looking pretty good and maybe I can slack off a little, ya know what snaps me back to reality?? Swimsuit shopping. I put on a swimsuit...I look in the mirror and...all of a sudden from out of no where, I hear that crazy music from the shower scene in Psycho blaring over the loudspeakers and it makes me scream, or cry, or both and frantically reach for something with which to cover up the frightfulness before my eyes. (A tad melodramatic? Yes. But depresses me.)

And I'll be damned if I'm going to spend my first real vacation in 4 years worrying about whether I'm sticking my ass out enough to keep my cellulite from showing or whether I sucked in my belly pooch enough before someone snapped a picture.'s on like Donkey Kong.

My name will be sononomous with sweat. My workouts will be considered cruel and unusual punishment. My diet will be void of 'extras'. It will be bland and boring and I will hate it. But it will be nutritious and sufficient.

Sidenote: if you now feel the need to lecture me on the unsustainability of such a diet, please feel free to NOT do so. I understand. This is temporary. I will not starve myself or in any way neglect my body's nutritional requirements. (I kinda love myself too much to treat me too bad.) I simply will not indulge myself either. I'm working towards a goal. It will be met.

Moving on.

I've been eating well and working out regularly for 2 years. About 8 months ago I hit 140 pounds. And here I am today at, drumroll please......140 pounds. I have been maintaing without making the concious decision to do so. I haven't REALLY been pushing myself on the diet or exercise front. I will use this trip as the extra push I need to really work for some forward progress.

It's time to take some 'before' pics and it's time to MAKE some after pics!

Related note: I need recommendations for somewhere to stay! Preferably a beach house, condo or multi-room hotel suite. Anyone got any insight?!?!?!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHWOLFE11 6/29/2011 11:14AM

    You are such a bad ass

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IBSHAUN 6/27/2011 10:57PM

    Your trip sounds ABSOLUTELY DIVINE! I am so jealous!

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LESLIES537 6/24/2011 5:55PM

    Ahhh!! That's SO exciting!! What more do you need to motivate you than that?!! YOU GOT THIS THANG, GIRL!! You are gonna ROCK that swimsuit! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRANCO1230 6/24/2011 4:29PM

    I would TOTALLY do the same 6-week "boot camp" like you for a trip like that! So, I say go for it!!! You're gonna look hot, be hot, feel hot! DO it!!!

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PUNZIE73 6/24/2011 3:56PM

    Dayum! You go girl! You are a woman on a mission. The only problemo is I'M NOT GOING!!! I forgive you. While I can't give you dining or sleeping recommendations while you're in South Beach, I can make one recommendation.

YOU TUBE Beyonce's Video (Run the World, GIRLS!) I'm telling you. I'm not a huge Beyonce fan but this video may just get you up and shakin' ya moneymaker! It had me workin' up a sweat just this morning and wanting to fit into something slinky and fabulous! And, while I'm not ready to don a 2-peice, I would however consider wearing something very scantily clad and just a little naughty after I hear that song! You got this E! Do ya thing!

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KAMAPERRY 6/24/2011 3:56PM

    Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! ENJOY!!

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CINDYHEN 6/24/2011 1:13PM

    Have a wonderful time! You will look and feel awesome!

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