How do you help a person who isn’t ready?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I’m such a total and completely different person than what I used to be. That girl I see in pictures in unrecognizable. I can just see the misery there. How even though I’m smiling, it doesn’t quite reach my eyes. I can’t even believe that I used to tell myself I was happy with that way I was. That even though I weighed close to 300 pounds, I wasn’t missing out on life. I can’t believe I told myself such lies.

I was missing out on everything. Seriously.

People used to try and make comments to me all the time about my health, but I would just shake it off. Sure I weigh 300 pounds but that doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy. HA! I honestly, truly thought I was healthy. I blamed genetics. I was just meant to be overweight. Even that was a blatant lie. I wasn’t heavy when I was younger. 90% of my family is average weight. Only my mother and brothers are really overweight. Hmmmm. Maybe it’s not genetics. It’s just my family. I was taught a very unhealthy lifestyle. I was never really introduced to fruits or vegetables. I’m a crazy picky eater, even still. I’m forcing myself to try new foods, but I fight it the whole way.

I sometimes hate the fact that I spent so much time being so overweight. How much life I missed out on. Would I change anything if I could go back? Hell no. I was meant to go through this journey. I would not be who I am, if this didn’t happen to me. I’ve faced so many obstacles in my life, not with just being overweight, and I’m a better and stronger person because of it. I’m just so happy I turned my life around now in my 20s, rather than waited until much later in life.

I look at my mother and I worry daily. She’s getting bigger and doesn’t seem to be concerned at all. She has become so very limited it’s unbelievable. I’m so scared that in a few years she will need a wheelchair to get around. She gets out of breath by just getting ready in the morning. I hear her panting and sweating and my heart just breaks. Even when she cooks or cleans she’s so out of breath. She has no idea that even if she just lost 50 pounds how much better she would feel. How she would get around so much easier. She actually bought a seatbelt extender for her car the other day. She blames the car for having to do this. Not the fact that she’s gained so much weight that she can’t reach the buckle easily.

She’s my number one cheerleader, and has helped me SO much in this journey. She’s cooked for me, buys me whatever food I need. I don’t understand why she can’t do it for herself. I know she’s afraid. I was petrified. I know that those first steps are the scariest thing anyone will ever do. I wish I could talk to her about this but the thing is I know.

I know that until she’s ready and wants this for herself, that there is nothing I can do about it. The only person who can do this for her, is herself. If I were to talk to her, I would only threaten our relationship. She has to want this for herself. She has to be ready to change.

When she’s ready you can bet that I will become her number one cheerleader. I would do everything in my power to help her succeed. I love her more than anything and I only want to see her live for many more years to come.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon I think you hit on a major issue here that a lot of people struggle with and you said it just right - nothing you can say will really make a difference until she is ready and unfortunately, that is that truth. I just had this conversation with my fiance about one of his family members that he is worried about and I gave him the same advice - don't say anything because if they aren't ready, it won't help. It's so hard, but one day, it will hopefully change!
    2176 days ago
    2182 days ago
    I unfortunately have no advice, but I can relate to almost every word of this - hang in there and if you find a way to help her out please share with the rest of us :) It is such a tricky touchy subject and if anyone had tried to bring it up to me, I would have pushed them away so I know what you are saying. You do have to be ready and on your own terms. so frustrating. Just keep being there for her and being a good example and maybe seeing you do it will eventually give her the courage she needs! emoticon
    2184 days ago
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    2186 days ago
    Hey, I know this is a hard subject to bring up, especially with family members. My father-in-law keeps doing this HGC diet that caused him to drop weight quick then had to stop the diet (because its unhealthy... and I kept losing...) and the 500 calories a day thing? Yeah, he tore his meniscus when he tried to play racquetball, something he's been doing for years with no injury. ANYWAY (I know I got off the point here) But family members can be the toughest of the tough... and really, all you can do is set the example. If it is really concerning you, actually sit her down and talk to her about it. If she still says she doesn't care... Well, sometimes you just can't change people, and it is her life and her decisions. I know that sucks, I really do, but it is her body. You can let her know that you care, but in the end... it's her choice. You know? Sorry you are going through this, I know it sucks. You must feel scared and hurt and it's good to know you are reaching out to us here on SP. emoticon
    2187 days ago
    There's not much you can do but set a good example and refuse to engage in any unhealthy behavior with her. Hopefully she'll eventually come around. It must be so hard to watch your mom go through all that!

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    2187 days ago
    It's so hard to watch a loved one struggle and you can't do a thing about it. My dad struggled with alcohol and all though it's not food it's an addiction. My dad always told me there is not a person in the world that can make some stop their addiction until they decide to fight for themselves, when they get that a-ha! moment. I hope your mom gets that moment.

    Congrats to all of your success. You are amazing!
    2187 days ago
    I really appreciate you sharing that with us. I think we all have people we want to help but don't know if or when to say something! Maybe you'll be the inspiration she needs :)
    2187 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon !!! Thanks for sharing!!!
    2187 days ago
    You've got it right - you can't help her until she wants to be helped.

    But you can do a few things sneakily. Does she eat the same food that you do? Would she spend time with you while going on a walk? If it's more about spending time with each other and less about talking fitness, maybe she won't feel like you're pushing her.

    Honestly, part of the reason I started this journey was because my dad sat down with all of us after his mom died. She had been extremely overweight and it had contributed to (and probably caused) her death. He said that he was worried about all of us and that maybe as a family we should start working on becoming healthier. Of course, it went right over the heads of most, but it hit me hard and made me start to think that maybe there were changes I could make. I needed to hear him say that he was concerned before I could admit that I was concerned myself.

    Like you said though, it's not worth threatening your relationship with her. The one thing I cherish most in this world are my relationships. Maybe she'll keep watching what you're doing and will start to emulate you.
    2187 days ago
    The biggest frustration we face when we discover a "secret" that works for us is facing the facts that it IS about us and not about someone we love.

    Leadership By Example is the only help there really is to put out there.... I can only control what I do - not what anyone else does, or thinks, or wants!

    Be the best example you can be every day . . . and enjoy your personal success!
    2187 days ago
  • DEE797
    My heart goes out to you. Just keep setting a good example by continuing your journey and hopefully your Mom will want to join you. You are right you can't change someone unless they want the change. HUGS!
    2187 days ago
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