Weight Loss Support - Obese Family - I May Need to Move Out

12-30-2013, 04:06 PM
(first time posting here)

Anyone else living with an obese family while trying to improve your eating and exercise habits?

I am an adult, unmarried woman, finishing up college (finally) and living with my obese mother and brother. In other words, being unmarried means I don't have a husband to leave, or anything!

They have lots of sweets and snacks around the house. I am developing some self-control habits from The End of Overeating book (Kessler) but it's an uphill battle with all of the obese-making foods kept in the home. I'm a sugar addict and I'm tired of the constant, unsuccessful, struggle against the sweets. I don't see my family changing their habits anytime soon to suit me. They think they eat sugar in moderation.

I used to maintain a healthy weight when I lived alone for many years. I know I can do it again.

I recently got a good job, and I could move out soon. It's just more expensive. Is it overly extreme of me to think moving out is really the only solution? Living in my current home = obesity. I don't see any way around it.
Anyway, I'm just venting. Thank you!

12-30-2013, 04:25 PM
I'm in a somewhat similar boat. When I'm home from school, I live with my family who are not the healthiest eaters. It probably is not as bad for me as it is for you though.
With my family, a lot of my 'trigger' foods are not kept in the house simply because they are no one else's favorites. I'm the one to succumb to stuff like potato chips, breads, crackers, etc. while everybody else in my family chooses things like candy. The only "cross-over" for us are cookies, and that is when I, like you, struggle not to give into them. What also makes it difficult for me is that my family enjoys eating out or take-out, which can pack on some un-needed calories, because I tend to give in those times as well.
Despite being at home, I still managed to lose 30lbs in about 3 months this summer. It's definitely possible!

What I've come to learn so far is that giving into cravings in small quantities is sometimes better than not having them at all (could possibly avoid bigger cravings later) while with other foods it's better not to give into them at all. I've also realized that it gets easier with time. I've noticed lately when I have a 'cheat meal' or day, I'll have bad cravings for the next few days and then after that I won't have those cravings anymore.
Things you could try is separating your food from theirs. Do your own grocery shopping and agree to having a section in the pantry entirely dedicated to your food. That way, when you are prepping your own food, you go directly to that part of the pantry or fridge. If you don't have to constantly see the junk food sitting in front of you, I'm sure it will help you with your cravings. "Out of sight, out of mind!" I would not ask your mother and brother to give up their sweets if they don't want to or share similar weight goals, but I would go ahead and talk to them about your concerns and ask them to be more considerate about where they leave them or place certain foods, so that you are less tempted.

12-30-2013, 04:29 PM
Thank you, Levoguette! Those are some good tips. I will try some out.

Reading your post made me feel a bit more hopeful.

(I did share my concerns and struggles with them today, in an email, since I'm not home today. I took great care to not suggest they make any lifestyle changes. I agree that would be ineffective!)

Thank you again.

Arctic Mama
12-30-2013, 04:42 PM
It's worth it to try and learn how to live with sweets and temptation. For example, what happens when you do have a husband or children? Unless your spouse agrees to eat exactly like you (most don't) there will be the issue of feeding them and dealing with their food, which might not be on plan for you. Same, too, for if you end up with a roommate and they don't eat like you.

Most of the world doesn't follow whatever plan a particular individual chooses - move out from your home if you need to, of course, but if that is the reason I'd think twice. Temptation doesn't stay away from us forever and learning appropriate coping skills to manage the office party, work fridge, spouse snack pile, and even the oatmeal or cookie our healthy children can have and we cannot - this will be crucial to your success.

I wish you the best and speak from experience - I'm the only low carber in my household and cook for five other people three to four times a day, who eat almost none of the foods I do. They do not need my diet structure and I must be intimately involved in theirs - without coping skills and managing temptation I'd be in big, big trouble, and asking them all to eat like me is impossible. It's entirely manageable but it takes commitment and practice. Maybe your family can be a bit of a proving ground in overcoming temptation :)

Just a thought.

Arctic Mama
12-30-2013, 04:44 PM
Oh, and vent away. I totally get that it can be an uphill battle - I really wish I didn't have to smell fresh baked porridge or pizza ever again, but that ain't happening :o

12-30-2013, 04:51 PM
This is sort of similar to what was said up thread, but see if you can ask them to put their tempting foods somewhere you can't see them. Ask if they can keep their cookies and chips in a special cabinet, one which you never open. It really helps to keep them out of the line of sight.

Ask them for their help! They might not be willing to change their eating habits, but they might be willing to be supportive of your lifestyle change. Ask them to help you rearrange the kitchen to make healthy choices (fruit, cut veggies) easier to reach for, and unhealthy choices harder. Ask them to help you plan healthy meals for yourself. They might get into it.

12-30-2013, 05:10 PM
Thanks so much, Arctic Mama and Kilketay.

12-30-2013, 05:11 PM
It would be hard for me too. I moved out for other reasons, but weight loss was definitely a side benefit.

12-30-2013, 05:54 PM
Maybe moving out is what you need? Maybe that's what's finally going to help? hard to say.

12-30-2013, 06:46 PM
Welcome, Renee30! The End of Overeating by David Kessler was the book that started on my successful weight loss journey. I quit junk food cold turkey after reading that book and, after a few weeks, was able to rid myself of food cravings which is such a relief! But I didn't have your challenges!

I have no advice for your situation (but sympathy), so I just wanted to welcome you to 3FC. This place can really help you make decisions that work well for you, both day to day (like what to eat tomorrow) and longer term (like when it might be a good time to find your own apartment).

12-30-2013, 07:12 PM
My husband keeps a lot of junk food in the house. I live by these two sayings: "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." (What will eating that crap get me? Morbidly obese. I'm not going back.) and "That doesn't taste as good as you think it will." This has been proved to me enough that I don't bother. Only one indulgence has ever ever ever tasted good enough to be worth the calories: the Cadbury creme egg. I make space around Easter and let myself have a couple, but I always fit them into my calories.

However, I do keep my husband's junk food out of sight - maybe that would help? But, if you do have any, log every crumb. If you commit to that, you'll either make some room in your diet or ditch it completely because it takes up too many calories and you're left hungry.

12-30-2013, 08:38 PM
Renee :wel3fc: I hope you get a great response to your email from your family and it solves your problem! Good luck!

12-30-2013, 11:01 PM
Hi, I'm new here, but will give my three cents.

I would ask your mother and brother to keep the most tempting snacks in a separate closet where you will not be "as" tempted. If they respect your goal and support your weight loss, I hope they will do this for you.

However, dealing with unsupportive family members isn't nearly as difficult as dealing with family members who will sabotage your attempts to lose weight at every chance. Unfortunately, this is very common. Asking them to be the least bit supportive of you is asking them to consider their own unhealthy eating habits.

I personally believe you should do WHATEVER IT TAKES if you are committed to losing weight and eating in a healthy manner. If I could get rid of my kids for a few months to get me going in the right direction, I'd do that. (haha)

Spouse? Kids in the future? Don't worry about the future. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself today.

Good luck!