Can anyone help me get my parents to live a healthier lifestyle?
All of my brothers and sisters live very heath concious lives. We eat great and exercise. The problem is, although my parents are very supportive, they do not live a healthy lifestyle like us.
My dad has hepititus and recently had to get a pacemaker for his heart. He is only 50. He isnt morbidly obese but is definitely not at a healthy weight. He drinks at least 4-5 cans of mountain dew a day and constantly snacks. We all fear that if he doesnt change his eating habits he wont be with us much longer.
My mom has recently gained some extra weight. She has always been very active and healthy but has gained about 40 lbs this past year. She now has constant back pain and has plantar fasciatis. (inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of the foot) I dont think she realizes that its because of her extra weight she has put on. She also is addicted to caffiene- has at least one or 2 cans of coke a day. She knows she needs to change her lifestyle but refuses to take the right steps to do so.
We have tried the following-
-bought and invite them to play wii fit with us
-cook dinner 3-5 times a week (they always end up eating something else instead of or with dinner)
-offered to pay for weight watchers
-invite them to come on family walks
-buy them healthy snacks to replace junk food
-try to suggest healthier restaurants when we go out
-flat out told them to start eating better
-been examples of how to eat and exerise right
I hate to say it but I have to agree with rosequartz. I have known many people with severe physical conditions who would not change their eating and smoking habits. They were neighbors of mine.
The neighbor who smoked: This 65(?) year old man had a heart attack and was in intensive care for about 10 days. When he got home, I talked to him and he said he didn't smoke while in the hospital and he said he didn't mind not smoking. So I asked, "If you didn't mind not smoking, why are you smoking again?" He said, "I just like smoking." Within a month, he had a second heart attack and died.
The 50 year old neighbor with diabetes: He told me his doctor had diagnosed him with diabetes. I asked, "did the doctor tell you that you need to be on a special diet?" He said, "yes, but I have to have my hamburgers." Over a period of a year, I noticed him getting fatter and fatter and his feet were always hurting.
Finally, he told me that the doctor had warned him that he might have to have his feet cut off. I believe he valued his hamburgers more than his feet.
The 50 year old neighbor who suffered a stroke: He was obese and suffered a stroke. It was so bad, he had to stay in a nursing home for several months. Finally, when he came home, I asked him if he would be on a special diet as per doctors orders. He said, "heck NO!" Within a few months, he had a second stroke and went back to the nursing home. His wife later told me that she doubted he would ever come home again.
Why do people throw their lives away for tasty food? It must be a very strong addiction or else they don't value their lives very much. Or maybe both.
Last edited by JohnR41; 06-23-2010 at 08:00 AM.
Reason: line change for clarity
I don't know about other cultures, but in America it very much has become a "live to eat" mentality (as opposed to "eat to live", as it should be). Having recently undergone a HUGE transformation to my diet, I can attest to how difficult it is. Due to my health problems my doctor put me on an anti-inflammatory diet- at first it seemed like all I could eat was rice, beans and vegetables. The cravings for "real food" (as I thought of my normal diet) were unreal. I couldn't envision life without pasta or potatoes, for example. After a few weeks those cravings eased and now I can stick to the diet pretty well but it was hard to get used to. I think it's both cultural and also I think there's a chemical thing that goes on in our brains when we eat -- we're giving our brains an instant satisfaction feeling. Some people can't see denying themselves in that way, even if it might add years to their lives. Also, what Americans think of as healthy often isn't and that creates problems as well.
for my dad i think its just a survival mode still from his youth. he grew up extremely poor with a large family and sometimes didnt know the next time he would eat. now he doesnt have to worry about that but he has never really acknowledged that i think. he still is in that survival mode. he's making some progress though. we've gotten him to go on some family walks and he loves when we make our healthy dinners for him.
my mom has been doing better too. she has been watching what she eats a little closer and sometimes will play tennis on the wii with us.
but both are still completely hooked on their caffiene/soda.
oh well. baby steps.