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MicheleKC 04-28-2007 08:40 AM

My Sister Not Losing Weight
Hi, It's been a while since I posted here. I was able to lose about 12 pounds since January and I've maintained that weight. I cut out fast food mostly, and safely lost a pound a week, cutting out 3500 calories a week. I also started lifting weights 2 to 3X weekly. I walk and do yoga and stretching throughout the week.

My question is about my older sister. She is roughly 5'3" and weighs in the 160s. She is the one who wants to lose weight. She believes that if she lifts weights she will lose weight without worrying about calories and nutrition. She's been doing this for years and complaining about her weight. Finally, I told her what worked for me, that to lose a pound a week, she needs to somehow create a 3500 calorie per week deficit. She's convinced that she is burning 500 calories per workout. I know what her issues are. Her husband works nights, and so her schedule is unusual. He is a large man over 6' tall and eats a lot. She also has a problem with portion control. She eats three times what I eat, even when we eat the same food. She likes working out with weights because it's easy for her, but she doesn't like cardio or cutting back on calories. She doesn't ever see results, even though she believes she is working out and working hard at it.

I have never been on a diet, owned a scale, etc. until January. I heard over and over again how difficult it was to lose weight. Since I was able to do it, I get very frustrated with my sister that she complains about not losing weight but won't consider it's because she eats a lot. She's over 40 and thinks that she's now in the 160s (gained about 30 pounds in the last decade) because it's all muscle. It's not. The next time she complains, should I just listen and be quiet, or should I try again to explain about calories when she asks? The other problem is, she doesn't want to hear it coming from me, even though I can provide other sources, articles, calorie counters, etc. about this concept of 1 lb = 3500 calories. I don't know what to say.

rockinrobin 04-28-2007 08:50 AM

Congratulations on your weightloss!!! You must feel amazing.

As far as your sister. Well, it sounds as if she's in major denial. IMO, you're absolutely right. Lifting weights alone will not result in weightloss. Healthy eating and cutting back on calories to create a deficit is what is needed. If she's eating 3x what you are, it sounds to me like she's just eating too much for that to happen.

It can be so frustrating when people "complain" about their weight and then continue doing the wrong things and just don't want to hear ways to correct it. Unfortunately IMO, the only one that can change her mind is her. No one can make her see the light besides herself. She's just not ready to hear it. You've certainly set a great example for her. Hopefully one day (and soon) she will become frustrated enough with herself, race reality and will be ready to take your advice and actually seek it out. Until that time, you could probably talk til your blue in the face and it want do a bit of good.

On another note, I know EXACTLY how you feel. People ask me all the time how I've lost weight. The minute I start talking about eating healthy foods in normal sized portions they're already on to the next topic. I think too many people are still looking for that non-existient "magic pill".

JayEll 04-28-2007 09:07 AM

Yeah... what rockinrobin said!

Just keep repeating the same story--broken record. To lose weight you need to restrict calories... To lose weight you need to restrict calories... She'll get it or she won't. Go on to other topics. Don't let her weight become a crusade... ;)

Concentrate on your own great success! You've done really well!


Bikini Dreader 04-28-2007 11:04 AM

My sister has seen me go up and down and it wasn't until recently that I have come out and told her I have had eating disorders for years - or disordered eating of some sort. Most recently I gained about 15 pounds by binge eating while still maintaining regular exercise. I think she knew that I had problems but she didnt realize that it was basically an addiction.

I agree that you are right about how to lose weight, but I wanted to add this perspective because there was nothing she could do about my weight gain/loss. All she could do was support me and be my sister. I love her to death and she has always been a support. She mainly just listens to me and talks things through but she didnt pressure me to lose weight even at my heaviest. Even if she told me how to lose the weight, it really wasn't a lack of knowledge or will power that was the problem. It was a deep rooted emotional problem that I continue to work through. Maybe its not that easy for your sister otherwise she might have done it by now. You said her husband works nights, maybe she is binge eating, it's tough to say but for me, working through my emotions and my head basically was the only way to make any changes in my eating.

It sounds like you are a very supportive sister and she is lucky to have someone like you in her life. I'm not saying that i think she has a disorder, just saying it is possible that it isn't all about calories in and calories out for her as it was for me. I couldnt change until I acknowledged what the true issues were and what I was really gaining by over eating.

MicheleKC 04-28-2007 05:04 PM

Thanks. I hope my post didn't sound like I was venting.

I'm frustrated with my sister because her real goal is to get in shape so that she will try to get pregnant and have a baby. She is 41. She had a miscarriage about three years ago, which really scared her.

I think it's great that she wants to get in shape before getting pregnant, but I'm most concerned, as her doctor is as well, about her age and not her weight.

She gave her fitness trainer a pair of jeans she wore when she was in her twenties and her goal is to get into the jeans. Well, that's much different than getting fit to get pregnant.

We're both procrastinators when it comes to having kids. I think that she is really afraid of having a baby or really doesn't want to, which I'll support either way. It seems like there's always so much more to weight loss than just, cut calories and exercise. That's what's frustrating is finding out the real reasons for why it's difficult for people to get fit.

This site was great because I had no idea about calories or much of anything else related to weight loss.

JayEll 04-28-2007 05:12 PM

So MicheleKC, does your sister ever hang out here on 3FC? She could sign up and do some lurking for awhile--I'll bet you already made that suggestion, huh? Duh...


MicheleKC 04-28-2007 05:18 PM

If I tell her to come to this site, then she'll recognize my posts. I'm not sure if she would be the kind to post like this. I'm really not even sure if she should be trying to lose weight or cut calories, etc. if she's trying to get fit to get pregnant. When she said she wants to get into the jeans from her twenties, first, that's when I was getting frustrating that it's probably going to take more calorie cutting to get into the jeans. It might help if she reads books about pregnancy over 40. She's just very sensitive about any suggestions coming from anyone who she thinks doesn't understand, either about the miscarriage or the weight loss.

MariaMaria 04-28-2007 06:16 PM

It's clear that you mean well, but really it's her journey, not yours. She's a grown-up and needs to do this or not do it herself.

JayEll 04-28-2007 06:35 PM

Oh yeah... DUH!!! Sorry about that. Not a good suggestion. :(

Well... it's a tough situation for you. But I think MariaMaria and some other posters are right--that it's really up to her.

And it's understandable that she would be sensitive to suggestions.

It sounds to me like she is having a midlife crisis and isn't sure exactly what she want to do... But let her work it out. Be supportive, be caring... that's about all you can do while she figures it out.

Congratulations again on your weight loss and your positive changes! :carrot: Try not to get too frustrated with her--just keep on with your own plan.


veggielover 04-29-2007 10:59 AM

Michele, I'd say you have some sort of dilemma- (well, maybe not you, but your sister). I have a friend JUST LIKE YOUR SISTER, and believe me, I hate hearing the complaints and such, seeing her scarf down whatever food she does while convincing herself that she's doing well with her 1 workout/week maximum. I don't like HEARING what people say and then watching them do something so counterproductive while denying the fact that they're simply not doing enough. For your sister, I believe that pregancy at this age will be a tough job. She has to want something so bad enough, so desperately enough to listen to you. Otherwise, she's just self-assured and she won't care what you have to say. I'd say, people like my friend are so stubborn they won't ever get to their goals not listening.

almostheaven 04-29-2007 06:28 PM

If she brings it up again, I'd just nod and sympathize, but don't offer anymore advice. Its clear that she's not ready to take the steps she KNOWS she needs to take, is looking for someone to tell her its not her fault when it is, and wants a magic cure that takes no effort. She knows you can't give that, but hope springs eternal. But everytime you try to give her advice, she's just thinking you're throwing up weight loss in her face. She can't see that SHE'S the one bringing it up and that you're only trying to help. So just listen, but don't try to help anymore. Sympathize without really saying anything for or against weight loss. Just an "I understand" and let it go.

As for pregnancy, I just had my son at age 40. I was extremely worried when I found out I was pregnant, but as my doc said..."Don't worry. Lots of women are having babies between 40 and 45." ;)

rachinma 04-30-2007 02:50 PM

I would recommend using FitDay. I recommend to everyone. Once she uses it for a few days, she'll see that she's clearly overeating if she wants to lose weight. Even with a liberal allowance for exercise.

Everything that goes into my mouth now is deliberate, since having my eyes opened by FitDay.

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