- 10 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
R and I both grew up very chubby kids, and became independently health conscious. We lost weight through a combination of vegetarian diets (for ethical and moral reasons), learning about nutrition, eating out only about once or twice a month, limiting processed or pre-made foods and sodium intake, and exercising. My parents are also on a much better track, because my mom’s doctor ordered her to learn healthy habits after a knee surgery.
His immediate family, though, has gotten much worse. His parents work way too many hours, don’t sleep enough, and eat fast food just about every single day. They both have weight related health issues (back and knee problems) and are well over what is a little extra weight. Future Mother-In-Law wants to change her ways because she’s a nurse and sees obese patients. Future Father-In-Law doesn’t see a “monetary gain” to eating right, thinks organic foods are ridiculous, etc.
Future Sister-In-Law & Future Brother-In-Law are in the worst boat, in my opinion. Future Brother-In-Law is the biggest person in our family. I know he used to weight about 315 lbs, but has gained weight steadily throughout the past few years. My guess is that he’s about 350-375 now, and is fairly short. Future Sister-In-Law was at a reasonable weight when they started dating for her body type. She was a size 16 or so, and it suited her. Now she’s eating horribly right along with him, and doesn’t care. She says that because she drinks minimally and doesn’t smoke, she’s fine.
I know you can’t tell family what to do. In fact, this weekend Future Sister-In-Law screamed at Future Mother-In-Law for expressing her concerns about the family’s eating habits.
When the conversation comes up, R and I don’t point any fingers, but we stick up for our health practices. We talk about the raised energy level and mental functioning that comes with sleeping enough, eating right, and exercising. But it is actually scaring us, especially in the case of Future Father-In-Law – he was not a big man in his 20s, and is having such a hard time lately. He thinks he is taking fitness into account by walking an extra mile on the treadmill – but he uses that as an excuse for ice cream or pie, and he can barely even walk on the treadmill for that long.
I know you can’t judge, and people have to learn for themselves. We wouldn’t approach Future Sister-In-Law and Future Brother-In-Law at this point, they’re young and stubborn. But would it ever be appropriate to talk to Future Father-In-Law and FMIL? Is there a way to do this correctly?
At what point is obesity and general health a personal matter versus something that close family has a right to bring up gently?