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I love my mom. I just don't wanna be like her.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Okay, okay, so you're probably thinking what I said is kind of harsh huh? Let me give you a little background 4-1-1 on my wonderful parental unit.

As a human, my mom is THE most caring, giving and generous woman I've ever known. She has literally given people the clothes off her back. And her looks? Gorgeous! She's got these big, expressive blue/green eyes. Her perfectly shaped lips are a thing of envy. And her shape? Looking back at old photographs, I KNEW my mom was the cat's meow! Like I said, a complete stunner! Or as most folks would say today, "Hot."

Fast forward a few years and my mom is now 65 and NOT exactly the epitome of health. She's diabetic, has high blood pressure (hypertension), a thyroid problem, and almost everything ending in "itis" arthritis and tendonitis to name a few. She's over-weight, has bad knees and absolutely refuses to believe she can change because she doesn't THINK she has any problems. The fact that she has to prick her fingers every morning isn't an indication that something is wrong. The fact that she has to take 9 different medications everyday hasn't clued her in yet. When will she learn? If ever.

Trust me, longevity does NOT run in my family! We usually drop before the age of 50 of heart related diseases, obesity or diabetes! My dad although very thin, died at age 40. My great-grandmother. 40. My grandmother. God bless her, died at age 75, which is STILL not that old. My uncle, 45. I've had 2 aunts that have had a heart attacks and strokes and this STILL is not a wake-up call to my mother. All but one of my aunties is overweight.

She scoffs when I try to show her someone else's weight-loss success story. The mere mention of the word "calorie" makes her blood boil! Why is she so damn stubborn and set in her ways? She's the ultimate saboteur. She loves to bring over pies and cakes and will buy at least 3 cakes or pies a week, which she can finish by herself in 2 days. Yet, she thinks this is normal. Water? What's that? She's good to get in a single serving in a weeks time. She loves her juice and soda. She thinks because it's not Coke or Pepsi, she's good. Vegetables? Yeah right. Let me not even get started with fruit. (Oh, now she will bake an apple pie and eat that with a heaping bowl of ice-cream.)

I want so badly for her to make SOME little changes. Just drink a bottle of water. Eat ONE fruit or veggie a day. Maybe walk for 10 minutes. Nope. She doesn't have any health problems according to her, although the pharmacy she carries in her purse disputes that myth.

Before you say it, I've prepared dinner for her. Grilled chops, chicken or fish. (She doesn't do grilled or vegetables.) She likes anything fried in oil, battered and greasy topped with an extra heaping of, you guessed it - salt.

Should I just give up and watch her slowly kill herself? Or should I fight for her health even if she doesn't want to? I CAN'T want better health for her if she doesn't want it for herself. Yet, I don't want to lose another parent because of being too old and stubborn to change. What would you do?

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  • REJ7777
    Your mom is a beautiful woman! Now we know where you get your good looks from!

    I could see my son's concern for me in your story about your mom. He'd regularly talk to me about my weight, and try to encourage me to lose. He's very health and fitness conscious. Well, I knew he was right, but it's hard to lose weight. And I was just too busy to do what needed to be done.

    Until the morning I had a heart attack. I was obese, had diabetes, high blood pressure and a stressful job, but thought heart attacks only happened to *other* people. Not to me! By God's grace, it was a mild heart attack, not a fatal one. It was also a serious wake-up call! My doctor, who had also been *begging* me to take care of my health told me I had been in denial.

    As much as you want to *for* your mom, you can't do it for her. She has to want to for herself. You can be a good example for her, encourage her to make the right choices, and support her when she does make the right choices, but in the end, it's her decision to make. You can't make the decision for your mom any more than a parent can make decisions for a teenager who isn't making smart choices. I sure do hope she comes out of denial soon!
    2569 days ago
    Oh, those parents! You can't tell them a thing! I really empathize with this. My mom is 84, in pretty good health, but she is really starting to lose her mobility because she won't do a thing regarding exercise. I feel for her, and I certainly know it's not easy...but if it's a choice between not being able to get around at all or forcing yourself to get out for a short walk every day? This year she's been saying she can't come visit because she can't walk from the front door of the airport to the gate. (She doesn't have any serious health issues.) Makes me soooo sad. Of course I am going to see her, first week of April. I gently encourage her, but get nowhere.
    2569 days ago
  • MARINO124
    All you can do is change yourself. If she knows you love her, that's all there is to it! Does she know you're worried about her dying and you not having a parent anymore? If I put myself in her shoes, I don't think I would like being told how I could change. I would honestly rebel against it (but that’s just me). You know as much as she does that she knows how unhealthy she is or how uncomfortable she is. All you can do is lead by example and let it go. It's got to be the hardest thing, let it go... It's not easy! Sorry for this bluntness but might I add a question for reflection? How does your moms self worth and health serve a purpose for you? Is there guilt involved here that would make you feel better if your mom cared about herself? Food for thought…
    2573 days ago
    I completely understand the frustration. My mom is amazing, but she does not care a bit about diet or exercise. I can relate to a point because I have let myself go in the past few years. I mentioned to her my desire to begin a diet and exercise routine and I even began cooking for her as well. I made a wonderfully healthy dinner tonight and she goes out and gets a dozen doughnuts for breakfast tomorrow. I think the most frustrating thing is that I am trying to feed my kids better, not just myself. She believes it is her right to spoil the grandchildren with McDonalds, doughnuts, and candy. I really wish sometimes that she would join me in getting healthier. We could be eachother's support system, but I guess I have to do this on my own first. I think that is the key, perhaps if they see us improving our lifestyle eventually they will want to join in.
    2578 days ago
    Never give up on someone you love. Just keep being a positive role model, pray for her and stay consistent with your positive message of "small changes here and there"....if she never accepts or changes, you know you did your part...and u never gave up....sort of like the reverse, when a parent have a child who is headed down a path of destruction....loving parents never give up, they keep trying to show that child the right way....whether or not the child changes is up to the child......dont give up, just make sure your message is soft, loving and supportive of her change.....keep showing her all the glorious reasons to change, do it with a smile...and dont (which im sure u dont do), but dont ridicule or point out all the bad things, but more like show her the benefits, and how wonderful the positive side of change is. sometimes when we are trapped in a life of unhealthy circumstances, the thought of change is overwhelming, and its very hard to see anything different for ourselves....she's blessed to have such a barrel of light and sunshine in you....just keep shining on her in a positive way..and never stop helping her!! You are remarkable! emoticon
    2583 days ago
    All I know is that you are are a lovely and loving daughter... emoticon
    2585 days ago
    I'm gonna say, keep doin what you are doin. Lead by the shining, fit, sexy example that you are.

    My dad is a major knucklehead, 320 pounds and mostly incapacitated by pain that is aggivated by the weight. He's seen my work-in-progress and is amazed by it. I remind him (SHORTLY AND SWEETLY) every time he compliments me that he could do it too. And then I give him a "start small" tip - cut down on the bread (he's a bread hound - a loaf a day easy), or do some seated exercises. He doesn't want to hear it, but I will keep saying it every chance I get, because that's just how I am. And since I know how he is, I am hoping that, when no one is watching, he will recall my words and give it a shot.

    You know that you can't get someone to do something they aren't ready to do. All you can do is keep living the truth right in front of them and loving them.

    PS: Now I see where you got your gorgeousity from. Your mama's a LOOKER.
    2585 days ago
    Girl, I feel your pain. I was going through the same thing with my parents. I just made it a point to talk to them about what I was doing. I started telling them how much better I would feel after exercising. Telling my mom how my skin looks better when I eat more fruits and veggies. Telling my dad how I sleep better when I don't overeat. etc, etc, etc. But never saying, "you should try this". It's like giving them the information they need without actually making them feel like you're trying to get them to change.

    I've slowly noticed changes in them. My mom takes her lunch to work instead of eating chicken fingers and fries every day. They work out together every night :) little things like that.

    I really think the best thing you can do for her is set a good example and just drop those hints. And serve her healthy meals when she comes to dinner at your crib! Maybe she'll find something she likes.
    2585 days ago
    Oh sweetie. I totally feel for you. I have a cousin who is over 500 pounds. Yes, 500 and she always says tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow...

    It is a tough situation to watch someone you love treat themselves poorly - but they have the power to choose just like we do - and I know if someone told what to eat I'd bop them.

    You are doing great. Maybe one day you will inspire her to change. Sometimes setting an example really is doing our best.

    2585 days ago
    My daughter had been on me for years to quit smoking; I lost my mom at 50 to heart disease. My 7 year old grand-daughter told me 2 years ago, she didn't want me to die. I quit smoking, soon after. Your mother hears what you are saying. She may be stubborn, but believe me, her hearing is fine! Nagging, or badgering does not work. A little coaxing may help, but the very best thing that you can do for your mom.....is do what you ARE doing. Living your best life. Taking care of you. No doubt, she's watching!!

    FYI /After a year and a half of my new life-style journey, my daughter recently joined SP!! emoticon emoticon
    2588 days ago
    Hi I think you mother might have a food addiction...saw that on Dr. OZ- food addictins. What I would do is live my lfe as healthy as I can and let her see your healthy life style unfold and see if she comes around she just might you never know, my sister is starting to be more healthy, just by me living a healthy life style...healthy is a taboo word around my sister but she sees me all the time and I know I am slowly rubbing off on her lol. Just keep on loving your mom, thats all you can do emoticon She'll see.
    2589 days ago
    Just keep being you.
    Loving, kind and strong.

    Its the best example your mom will have.
    Words and pushing have proven not to work!

    Hey are you sure she's not a teenager?

    : )
    2590 days ago
    Girl I feel ya! My mommy lives in a different state. She's all over me about dropping my weight but yet because she's smaller than me she doesn't think she has a problem. Mother you're overweight also!! She doesn't have any health issues Thank God! But the lady doesn't even know what water is except to cook with it and bathe in it! LOL!
    Then she calls me up one day saying her urine was a dark yellowish brown..H*E*L*L*O Mother!! Your body is telling you it needs water!!! You're dehydrated for one thing!

    Another funny thing since I've been on my little diet I switched over to Coke Zero so she thinks that since its 0 calories she needs to drink this instead of just her regular soda.. Hello again Mother... You need water also! This is not my only drink of choice.. I drink it when I crave a soda.. My primary beverage is WATER!! Girl we can only love our mothers and continue to try and encourage them. They are so set in their ways and think they know everything because they already raised us on all the stuff they have been cooking for all these years.. Why stop now? LOL!
    2590 days ago
    I hear you on this one.. my mom is overweight, diabetic and has high blood pressure, too. (Plus mine smokes!)

    You and your mom are both incredibly beautiful women. I love the advice from SavedByGrace95.. taking her for walks and using that time not only to spend with her, but to encourage her to make healthy choices.
    2591 days ago
    All i'm going to say is this is one beautiful blog! Thanks for sharing it!
    2591 days ago
    Girl, I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. My dad moved to my town 2 months ago and he is morbidly obese and he knows it, but hasn't made it a primary focus of his life. and I told him that when he moved to town I'd be on him because I'm not allowing someone to watch my kids if they're a high risk for a heart attack, and that's where he is! So now he prevents any of my suggestions becuase they'd all be sounding critical to him. Fine, so I lead by example, always telling him about how healthy I'm eating, how much exercise I'm getting, and at one point he shouted at me, "Enough already!" hm...ok. So is the next step saying that "I love everything about you except for how little you love yourself." ?? I don't know, its hard to watch, I'm sure just like anyone who's got a parent who drinks too much or smokes, etc... hang in there, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. and you'll have been there all along.
    2592 days ago
    This kind of situation is so hard because I remember at my biggest I didn't want people to talk to me about my weight. It fell on deaf ears. She will decide if she wants to listen. You have the choice how to handle it but you know what at least you have the peace of mind knowing you tried. You gave her the info again and again. You may not save her realistically but you tried to save her. You didn't give up. She knows she has a problem. She is lying to herself because she can't deal with it. Tell her you love her and don't want to lose her and will do anything to help her.
    2592 days ago
  • ERINBEAR1876
    I am in a similar situation, except my mom only has hypertension with no other illnesses....so she thinks she is doing something right.

    But, good luck with your situation. I am having no luck myself with this.

    I will tell you this, however. I started my health journey because I gave birth to a little girl, who is the light of my life. And THIS blog reminds me of what I *don't* ever want to go back to.

    Because I never want my daughter to say, EVER, that she loves me, but doesn't want to be like me. Not if I have a choice in the matter ;o}

    2592 days ago
    Continue to set a good example for her. I think we all have people in our families that want to do better, but have not taken the steps. Continue being the motivating and inspiring person that you are!
    2592 days ago
    You fight sis!!!!! For every excuse you give her a reason why....for every denial you give her a truth....my mom is a heavy smoker and thinks she's healthy because she's skinny....sigh....been there done that.....Don't give up on her because I tell you that the more you talk...the more likely she will eventually hear *they can't tune us out forever*....Never ever give up.....why? because if you do...you'll regret it later.....hugs, kisses and love....muah!!!
    2592 days ago
    oohhh this sounds so very familiar...

    first of all, kudos to you for caring so much and trying so hard.

    second, people only change when and if they want to change. you have zero control over that.

    third, all you can do is model the behavior you think might help her. show rather than tell. i am a reformed teller, so i get where you are coming from, believe me! good examples go very very far.

    fourth, dont beat yourself up. the best thing you can do for her is keep on taking care of yourself like you are doing! you ROCK!

    2592 days ago
    It can be tough to change somebody when they are set in their ways. But just keep trying, don't push or be pushy about it and don't get upset if she doesn't listen to you. Maybe you will rub off on her. Show her are dead serious about eating right and being active.
    Good luck!

    2592 days ago
    emoticon Unfortunately you can't make someone catch your revelation. All you can do is love them and pray. emoticon
    2592 days ago
    WOW girl the title caught my eye!! I'll throw away the pie I started to throw at you. emoticon . I repent! First love her no matter what. I am speaking as a diabetic and other challenges. She has to want to help herself for herself. We want the best for our families but it is up to them to change. Old habits are hard to break. I met a gentleman who had donuts and I told that was worst thing he could eat. He told me he was 65 years old and he wasn't changing now. Love her and invite her to dinner maybe tell her you love her and that you are worried about her health. Sometimes people don't understand the seriousness of health challenges. Invite her to spark etc. small changes count too. Take walks with her. best wishes. She is gorgeous by the way!!!
    2592 days ago
    I would love her unconditionally and show her by example. I really do get where you are coming from...you obviously love her very much and want what's best for her. Having said that we cannot change anyone else, only ourselves. For me personally when a situation exhausts me I ask God to fix it. He knows how to change a persons mind after all he created her. Ultimately though he gives us choices.

    Big hugs to you for being such a caring, loving daughter.

    2592 days ago
    Same boat! Have no clue. My mother always complains of her weight and that she wants to change, but she lacks discipline and steadfastness. She changes habits for about a day and then, that's the end of that. My family has longevity, but NOT health for that longevity. AAAAND she's a nurse! But she's just not cluing in.

    When you figure it out, let me know... Meantime, I say, never EVER give up on those you love... they're too precious.
    2592 days ago
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