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Old 04-15-2006, 11:51 AM   #1
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Thuja HB User
Unhappy Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Hi all, this is my first post here, and we have a problem.
My son is just 18, and very overweight - his BMI is 31. He has always had a tendency to overeat, even as a little boy so was always a little bit on the chubby side, but never overweight as such. His food intake was always kept in check by me as far as I could - but I would do dinner and then in secret he would raid the fridge and help himself to a whole block of cheese or something, so this is where the extra weight came in.We are a family of five - my husband is thin, my younger son also is slim, my daughter is slim, I am about 10lbs over what I would like (just to give you an idea!)

His weight has been steadily rising year by year but the last two years he has absolutely ballooned in weight.Most of his weight is concentrated on his lower half from the waist down - huge huge buttocks and thighs.

Since having a part time job these last two years,he obviously has had his own money and therefore has been able to(and he has) buy whatever extra food he wants and I certainly have no control whatsoever over what he eats. Here is the crunch - we have had endless discussions about his weight, diets have been started, I have spent a fortune on special foods to follow recipies for him, we have dieted together,I have been as supportive as I possibly can.He will not stick to a diet for more than a few days.

He fluctuates between wanting to and knowing that he has to lose weight to claiming he doesn't care. Well I care - I care about his self esteem, I care about his body being covered in stretch marks, I care about him being able to buy clothes that fit and look good, I care about his future, I care about his health.

I am actually very concerned for his health and have asked him to go and speak to a doctor, alone or together, his choice but he won't go. I have a vision of him getting so fat that he won't be able to do anything.He has put on at least 8lbs in the last six weeks and I am now desperate to help him. Advice please!!!!

 
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

I CANNOT make him go to the doctor. I have told him of all the risks to his health, and I haven't beaten around the bush either.Yeah yeah yeah. I know, I know, I will go on a diet. I don't care. These are the replies I get.
What anm I supposed to do - just stop giving a siht? I feel for him. He must feel physically awful - he looks terrible, and knows it but claims not to care, he will not exercise, he IS lazy,not motivated,and I have tried everything but it is no good. He has said to me before that he is on his *healthy eating* plan,and that is great - I buy extra yogurt, fruit, fat free muller rice etc you get my drift,I grill chicken, make extra salad, and then I find 2 or three empty biscuit TINS and empty packs of chocolate hobnobs hidden under the sofa or in the wardrobe.
He did a slimfast diet for two weeks and gained weight - he had slimfast AND lunch and dinner and extras.

I do not buy junk food so there are no temptations in the house - he buys his OWN. My daughter has the occasional kitkat in her liunch box - a pack of 32 or whatever was disappearing in a matter of 4 days - I have had to buy magnetic locks for the cupboards in the kitchen to keep him out.

Quite honestly I am scared he is going to to pop- he literally waddles when he walks he is getting so heavy. I need to find a way of helping him or getting him to see that he HAS to do something NOW before it gets to the point of no return.

Last edited by Thuja; 04-16-2006 at 12:47 PM.

 
Old 04-16-2006, 01:47 PM   #3
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Lightbulb Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Hello
Could your son be suffering from depression??? If he is then he is finding comfort in what he is eating. The more that you get on to him about his weight the more that he will comfort eat. Take it from someone whos mother is the same. If your son is over weight, dont keep getting on at him. I know that you are a caring mother but children need to grow up and learn from there mistakes. The more that you tell him that he is obese, the more he will indulge. Try to be calm with him and ask him if there is anything worrying him, he might confide in you. If there is a problem and he is feeling depressed then take him to see a doctor and give him lots of encouragement and let him know that you are there for him.

I hope this is helpful. Just be patient and you should be fine

Pyewoman

 
Old 04-17-2006, 10:45 AM   #4
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whackedback HB Userwhackedback HB Userwhackedback HB User
Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Thuja -

You asked for advice... here's mine. Stop. Just stop.

He's 18 years old. The harder you push, the harder he will push back. If he is going to make a change to lose weight, it will have to be his decision, not yours. If you keep up your adversarial behavior with him, he's just going to rebel that much more. You say he's gained 8 pounds in the last 6 weeks. Do you weigh him yourself? Let the man (yes, he's a man) have his privacy.

Why not tell him this. You are going to give up your overbearing ways and quit harping on his weight. In return, you expect him to make a trip to the family doctor for a full physical and blood work. Let him talk with the doctor about his condition. The doctor may have more luck on convincing him to take better care of his health.

wb

 
Old 04-17-2006, 12:42 PM   #5
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by whackedback
Thuja -

If you keep up your adversarial behavior with him, he's just going to rebel that much more. You say he's gained 8 pounds in the last 6 weeks. Do you weigh him yourself? Let the man (yes, he's a man) have his privacy.
Why not tell him this. You are going to give up your overbearing ways and quit harping on his weight. In return, you expect him to make a trip to the family doctor for a full physical and blood work. Let him talk with the doctor about his condition. The doctor may have more luck on convincing him to take better care of his health.

wb
I of course do not weigh him - when I say he has put on 8lbs,this is information that he has volunteered himself, after yet another long discussion about his weight. I don't know why you have the impression that I am overbearing and *harp on* about his weight - he lives with me! Of course I am going to be concerned. I have tried to convince him to go and see a doctor but he will not.As you have so kindly reminded me, he is a man, his own man and can do what he wants, when he wants.

 
Old 04-18-2006, 06:32 AM   #6
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Your son is probably feeling depressed from living in a house where all his family is thin. Even you being just 10 lbs overweight really is still thin to him. You said that his weight ballooned up over the past 2 yrs. and he also started a part time job 2 yrs. ago. There must be some connection there. He's probably feeling VERY self-conscious about being out in public among many other people that are thin. That puts a great deal of stress on someone who is obese. That feeling can actually make a person want to hide at home and never go out in public. I know this from my own experience. My BMI is MUCH higher than your son's and having to go thru this stressful pain on a daily basis takes its toll on him by him "comfort eating". This is the only way he knows to cope.

You have said that your son is lazy, not motivated and looks terrible. I just hope you haven't said those words to him in person. Words like that would be a stab in his heart to hear them from a loved one. It's bad enough when he hears the comments of strangers, as I'm sure he has, but he needs his family to love him and accept him unconditionally, no matter his size. Your POSITIVE support is needed on a daily basis. Praise him for going out and getting that job, for everytime he says he's trying to diet, everytime he volunteers his weight information with you. He's reaching out for someone to care and understand.

 
Old 04-19-2006, 08:24 PM   #7
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

I have to agree with Wackedback.... As a mother myself, I understand how much you want to help your son...... But I grew up overweight - the difference with me and your son is that my parents never understood the importance of healthy eating, etc.....so I never learned HOW to eat healthy. Eventually I learned on my own.
But, to get on him about it is only going to make things worse...... We are not here to judge you for how you are mothering your son. You do what you have to do. But you really really REALLY need to give him some space. Your constant talking to him and all of what you said may only hurt his self esteem more - for the time being. As he gets older he may realize that you are only trying to help him and eventually he will get it. The light will turn on and one day he will realize the importance of good eating and exercise.

Try to do your best to just support what he is doing. If he lives with you, you need to make healthy meals, etc.......

Please keep us posted......we are here for you. Its rough but it will be okay.

Jen
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:35 AM   #8
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Although the previous advice has been good, i would say its wrong.

I myself am 18 years old, and was a very chubby kid for many many years. I was in exactly the same boat your son is in. What you need to do, is to sit him down and explain to him that he has a problem. Dont just give him the health side of things, tell him social problems that arise too. What it boils down to, is that girls dont like fat guys, so if he wants to get girls, he has to lose weight. tell him you will support him in anyway he would like. I also recommend he starts weight training.

 
Old 04-26-2006, 11:56 AM   #9
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

I like the previous post's suggestion about weight training...I have 3 boys and my middle son was always fighting his weight as he is a very big eater..but my husband got him into weight training and he loved it . The difference in just 8 months was amazing and he still eats whatever he wants. Maybe you could ask your husband to help and see if maybe that would be something your son would like to do with his dad. hope this helps

 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:08 AM   #10
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

I disagree with Whack......

Thuja you have been given advice some you may take on board others you may not.

Here is my experience with my son who is much younger than your own but similar situation.

My son is 13 i noticed that he was gaining weight, not from food i was cooking or food i was giving him but from being at school, buying his own dinner, going out in the evenings with his friends and the worse part was when he used to stay at his grandparents and they would let him eat anything!!! So again alot of it was out of my control as i wasnt there at the times he was over eating.

I done a couple of things...........when i was making his tea i would put smaller sizes on his plate and then increase the veg........i never told him that i was helping him to diet as i believe it can cause other problems. With me doing this he still felt he was getting the right amount of food.

For dinner time at school i reduced the amount of the money i gave him, therefore he was limited to what he could buy and had to make sure what he bought did fill him.

He exercises alot as he plays rugby for the area 3 times a week so that wasnt a problem.

I never preached to my son...............i never weighed him..........had no need i could tell by looking at him...............one day i sat him down and had a long talk to him, i never told him he eats too much, i made suggestions and said he would benefit from it as he plays sport and he was showing interest in girls.......i suggested drinking more water or soft drinks (not fizzy), i watched a program with him about heart disease and obese kids, i asked if he was ok at school and was everything ok with his friends and being here at home.......every answer was yes, therefore i realised he was eating due to boredom. I gave him lots of suggestions as to how he could stop the boredom.

I aske dmy son what he has he always wanted to do, and due to be being very supportive of charities he said he wanted to do the great north run.............anyway myself, my son and the rest of my family have signed up for the 5km run in manchester in aid of british heart foundation. We are all doing it together, therefore my son doesnt feel as though he is the only one who needs to be healthy as he is seeing all of us do it.


I disagree with whacked telling you to back off and leave him...........doing that is irresponsible, yes i understand he is 18 and he does alot for himself, earns a living etc but care can be shown in the right way and if your son sees that you are concerned then as he gets older he will not resent you, nor will he try blaming you. Maybe you could ask your son does he want any help from you? if he says no then make it clear in a nice way that if ever he needs to talk or he needs anything you are there for him...........if you tell him he is overweight and he needs to diet then no doubt he will get worse, change the type of food you buy and if you have other children tell tehm that junk food is limited....ie chocolate and crisps....then if your son sees others following you may have better luck.


Goo dluck i hope you can get abit of advice from this..............i know the age difference is there but it can be dealt with in a similar way.

 
Old 04-27-2006, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Where in the heck did I say quit? Now I did say back off. If you start butting heads with a lot of kids this age, they are going to do the opposite of what you want just for the sake of irritating you.

It's up to parents to teach by example. I still think the idea of getting the child to accept the lead responsibility for his health and see a doctor and hear this same info from a doctor will probably hold more "weight" than hearing it from mom and dad.

I'm sorry if what I said was misinterpreted. If beating me up makes you feel better about yourselves and your parenting skills, good for you. Rock on. I accept full responsibility for your children's weight problems.

wb

 
Old 05-02-2006, 03:39 AM   #12
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

when reading your posting my heart went out to you. We are having the same problems with our son who seems to grow bigger every week. The bigger he gets the more lathargic he becomes and we have all on to get him to take a walk. We have explained to him all the problems associated with being overweight but he says he hasnt a problem with it. I cannot remember the last time he went to the Dr and has refused point blank to go for a health check, insisting that the dr will have a lot to say about his weight. Now he is 17 i have no control over what he eats and have recently discovered his friends at college buy him all sorts of treats during the day. He insists that once he has passed his driving test and gets a job after his course he will lose weight but, who would employ such a young person who is so grossly overweight. It has got to the point where i am buying him xxxl clothes. When I look at old photos no more than 7 years ago he looked so handsome and healthy. My only hope is that he will eventuallly lose it as his brother did when he started a very physical job, going from a 38" waist to a 32" in less than a year. I know it is only him who can make the changes in his life but i only hope he does it sooner rather than later.

 
Old 05-02-2006, 04:27 PM   #13
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Sounds like my son. He has gone from 34" waist to 42" in two and a half years. He BUYs his own food and other crap and then comes home and eats more.
It upsets me to see him stomp about after a shower in his bathrobe and see the backs of his knees all red with stretch marks.
I hate to admit that it is starting to bother me to see him eat - at the table he always finishes his food 10 minutes before everyone else and is always on the lookout for more.

 
Old 05-03-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

Hi Thuja, I just have my own experience to share here but maybe it will help. It may very well be possible he is suffering from depression. I am 25 now, 5'10, weigh about 167 lbs. So that is a very healthy and nice weight for me. Except for the longest time I was about 205-210, for years before this. I too was very depressed and down about being overweight. I had a summer job where most of the guys were in good shape, and although no one said it to my face, I knew what they were thinking. And there are many social factors too - I never had a girlfriend until I was 24, when I started losing weight, and although I am starting to attract some beautiful girls, I still have many confidence and self-esteem issues with keeping them resulting in a lack of experience, partly of which was from being so overweight before. I look at my old photos, with my gut spilling out and my expanded face, and I am quite disgusted by it, it is not a surprise I could not attract a girl!

Looking at pictures of myself now and comparing them to even two or three years ago is such a huge difference. I am even embarrased to show my older photos to people because of all the stigmas. I ate alot of comfort food too, I guzzled Coke on a daily basis and regularly chomped on chips and chocolate. Now that I am fit I feel guilty if I drink an iced cap or one of those sugary coffee drinks once a month or if I eat a bag of chips. Basically what I did was I decided to change my life because I was sick of all the ridicule, and I wanted to feel healthier. I worked out on a regular basis, running, weights, cardio. I still generally stuck to the same diet except cut out alot of the junk food and excess beer and such, never went on any sort of diet. If most of your family are slim except him it may be a similar case that he can do the same. I would recommend weight training (VERY good!), some running, a cardio machine, at a gym, try for 3-4 times a week. It would really help in the beginning if he has a friend that also wants to get into shape or regularly goes who could help keep him motivated. Actually my dad was in a similar boat, he went to the hospital once with a very high blood pressure, since then he has started to run on a daily basis and looks and feels great. If there is another family member working out at the same time it may help motivate him more too. Maybe do something like go for runs yourself and see it he follows your lead? Once the pounds start to come off the confidence rises and the urge to eat drops quickly. I dont know how you can convince him to do so, but it would be very good for his own self-worth if he can - particularly at this crucial age, I hope he dosent wait 6 years before he makes the change! Good luck!!!

 
Old 06-14-2006, 12:50 AM   #15
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Re: Obese son - need advice (bit long maybe!)

When I read this thread, it sounds like I was reading a story about my past. I was 330 pounds at the age of 17, I gained 80 pounds in one year, just from depression that I was faced with, a few kinds made a story up about me in school, it wasnt true, and it bothered me so much, it was a joke that got out of control. I think somethin has to be bothering your son, somethin has put him over the edge, to no longer care about himself. that is what happened to me, and your son needs to know that you can come back, you can make it, dont let others decide what you do to yourself, I let them defeat me, tell him to not let them beat him. I was 6'1 330 pounds my junior year in high school, as of today im on a diet going strong and 6'3' 237, its a long road, but it can be done. tell him about my message. I reallly believe I feel his pain, and understand what has happened.

 
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