(Closed) Need ideas on how to help sister w/weight problem

posted 5 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
3170 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I personally don’t think there is much you can do. She has been offered the help and doesnt take it, she’s a grown woman and doesn’t have the drive to make a change yet. I totally understand wanting to do something though, my sister has always struggled with weight and i’ve always offered to help her or work out with her and she just doesn’t ever do it.

My only suggestion is maybe talk to a friend of hers. See if they can work out with her or help her eat better. It’s usually much worse coming from family, expecially if she feels like its your moms fault.

Post # 4
Member
3050 posts
Sugar bee

@redheadem:  Your sister is 100% aware of her weight problem. No one in your family has to tell her or have an intervention.

Post # 5
Member
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I agree with Birdee. I don’t think there is anything you can do, and definitely since your mom has brought up the topic of your sister’s weight with her multiple times, it might be best for you just to support your sister. From what you’ve said, she doesn’t seem to take it well when people comment on her weight (who would?). She probably needs you to be an ally and friend.

Post # 8
Member
2907 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I really don’t think there’s anything you can do, besides being ready to be supportive if and when she decides to take steps to lose weight or improve her health. One of the things you might consider doing is reading up on the Health At Every Size movement. Rather than focusing on weight loss, HAES encourages people to make healthy choices that will improve their overall well-being. The idea of “losing weight” is an emotionally loaded one, and many folks (myself included) feel like it’s such a losing battle that it’s not even worth embarking on. But creating better eating and nutrition habits, addressing any emotional eating issues or eating disorders that might exist and finding a physical activity or two that makes you stronger, healthier and happier? That’s much easier to do! And if those changes result in weight loss, great. And if they don’t, that’s great too. 

But believe me, there’s nothing anyone can do to get someone to lose weight if that person isn’t ready. Losing weight is difficult. It takes a lot of time and emotional energy and focus that your sister might feel are better spent on other things. She can’t do it just because you want her to, she has to want it herself, wholeheartedly. 

If you do choose to talk with her about it, I’d suggest not bringing up weight or weight loss at all. If she is suffering from health complications, focus solely on those and gently suggest finding a good doctor to help her get her blood sugar under control. (Though are you sure she might be diabetic? I think that’s fairly rare for a 21 year old to develop diabetes through poor eating habits alone.) However, if you start the conversation and she’s not responsive, just let her know you’re there for her if she wants to reach out for health advice and then drop it. Believe me, there is literally nothing you can say that will make her want to lose weight or improve her health if she still isn’t ready, and especially if your mom has a history of shaming or nagging her about her weight, you want to make sure that you remain a “safe space” for her. 

ETA: Is there a specific reason your mom thinks she is diabetic? Unless she’s extremely overweight, I think the chance that she’d develop diabetes in her early twenties is very low. 

Post # 9
Member
1831 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

my family was just discussing this in regards to my brother. he is a college sophomore and has become chunky fairly quickly due to his diet and lack of exercise in college.

he was a little pudgy as a kid- just harmless baby fat- and once he hit puberty he became pretty athletic and fit. he had a very lean/muscular body type, perfectly flat stomach, etc. he also found out that he had high blood pressure toward the end of high school and had to start on meds. (high BP not due to diet or exercise, of course)

but he went to college, ceased all athletic activity and his diet got horrible. probably gained 20 lbs, and its very noticable. his diet was bad before, but its worse now. his doctor always tells him he needs to work out bc of his heart, but he doesn’t do it.

but we’re not saying ANYTHING about it to him directly. he knows he is chunky now, he’s not dumb. my husband and i just started a work-out routine, and my brother was visiting when we were talking about it. we tried to get him to do it with us, but he said no.

i happen to be unhappy with my weight currently, so i think i’ll bitch to him about being chubby and trying to workout/diet and see if he says anything about his own situation to me. hopefully we can get him talking!

good luck to you and your family. i hope it works out for your sister!

Post # 11
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

@redheadem:  If your mother is anxious, she needs to seek therapy for herself. If your sister’s health is in jeopardy, it’s the business of her and her doctor, and your mother needs to BUTT OUT. If your sister has “always been chubby” and your mother has always been at her about it, chances are your sister isn’t unfair or wrong in holding your mother partially responsible for her issues. The best thing you can do is encourage your mother to see a doctor for her OWN emotional problems and encourage her to alter her relationship with your sister so that she focuses on things like your sister’s social life, work, and happiness instead of on her weight and appearance.

Post # 12
Member
763 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I think you need to approach this topic in a very sensitive way.  It’s funny how someone’s weight all the sudden becomes public domain.  As @relaxedabout it said, she is well aware of her weight issues and probably needs no further “helpful” reminders.

Having friends that are fitness buffs and parents that like to remind her that she’s overweight might actually be the problem.  Maybe she feels embarassed to talk about losing weight because she’s afraid of failing in front of such a concerned audience.

As another bee suggested, I think you just need to support her and listen to her.  If she wants to talk to you about her weight, she will.  If she wants advice, she’ll ask for it and then you can be ready to provide some suggestions.  But if she’s not asking, don’t push her.  It’s her body, her life, her goals.  And its embarassing to have people bringing it up all the time.

Talk to her about other things, build her trust and then she may decide to talk to you about her weight.  But if you make it about the weight issue, she may shut down before you’ve even begun.

Good luck 🙂

Post # 13
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

hmm i think that i alsohaveto side with the not your business posters….. if she is avoiding the md or having real symptoms of diabetes (or other illness) ithink that you should encourage her to.see a doctor. if the md feels that she has weight related medical issues they will be up front w her. iabsolutely agree w PPthat your sister is likely very aware of her weight and doesnt nned/want anyadvise. 

 

ifyou want to helpbe a good rolemodel/ ask her to help you (ie i want to trainfor a 5k but need a running partner? would you do it with me)

Post # 14
Member
1628 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Growing up my sister was the “chubby” kid post-puberty and then in her teenage depression her weight did really get out of control and it was impacting her willingness to interact with people.  I was the younger child so I didn’t catch most of it at the time, but when she was 20/21 all the sudden my sister got all this motivation to start losing the weight and while she’s probably not going to be skinny ever she is now in a healthy place with her weight and her body image.  I did once ask my mom what, if anything, she said to my sister about it.  Her answer was that she couldn’t say anything about it because that would have just led to my sister reacting negatively…instead she would start exercising more and invite my sister every time (even when she said no a lot), she would encourage us to go to the beach and swim in the ocean (and swimming in the Atlantic really is a lot of exercise), and she would ask my sister to help her cook so that she could teach my sister (subtly) ways to prepare food that was lower cal.

Post # 15
Member
2907 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@redheadem:  Honestly, I think if you say anything at all, it would be best to just encourage her to talk to a doctor about that slow healing wound issue. It can be an indicator of a lot of different things – and I’m not a doctor, but I think that is something that mostly shows up in the later stages of uncontrolled diabetes rather than something that would be an early symptom. Going to the doctor can be scary for overweight people, as we’re often subjected to a lot of condescending lectures from doctors, so focusing your encouragement there might do a lot more good than focusing it on her weight. 

Good luck! I know it’s tough to worry about a family member who isn’t ready to address their health issues. Again, I’d definitely encourage you (and your mom) to read up on a Health At Every Size philosophy and perhaps use that perspective in speaking with your sister in the future. I know that when I stopped “dieting” and started focusing on proper nutrition, addressing my emotional eating issues and making sure I got enough physical activity in, my health improved quite a bit and I became a whole lot happier. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what her dress size is as long as she has good blood sugar, a healthy heart, a diet full of truly nutritious food and a peaceful soul! 

Post # 16
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

opps double post! (twice the phone autocorrect mistakes!)

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