Please help me to help my sister - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:06 PM   #1  
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Default Please help me to help my sister

Hi All and Happy New Year

Apologies but I'm a newbie and already posted this elsewhere, sorry!

Possibly a bit of a strange situation here but Iíd be very grateful for ANY advice that you can give me so I can help my sister please.

Long story short: After 19 years of various problems and a difficult lifestyle, my sister has gone from an hour glass figure to a size 34/36, weighing in at circa 25 stone, she is only 5í3Ē and has many other problems as a result of the weight gain.

She has been potentially accepted for a surgical band procedure Ė subject to a six month program - but I do not want her to do it as Iím scared she will not come through or, if she does, will abuse the procedure resulting in further problems because she sees it as the easy answer.

I was with her at the docs in November when they told her that she may not see out her 50s (she is 47) but that did not help in making changes. To be fair, the hospital, doctors, community support etc have tried to help but she has never made progress.

Until now:

She has finally agreed to spend EVERY day between 9am Ė 8pm for one month at my house to try and break the lifestyle rut and attempt to lose weight. She will eat all meals at mine and learn how to shop for the right ingredients and prepare them so that even if her husband does not want to involve himself, she will become knowledgeable and self-sufficient when it comes to food.

To be frank, Iím a bit scared at what Iíve taken on but she is so delighted to have a chance that Iíll do whatever it takes but I donít want to make it too hard or put her off.

She has been a SW member at various times and five years ago, I took her to weigh in every Monday and tried to help in between but she only lost one stone in that year. I should point out here that her husband is the main cook of the house and, despite our efforts, refused to follow much of the SW format.

As a last resort, I have now joined this site to access the plans as I believe in the SW format and, after devising food diaries that I feel will work for her, I am hopeful that something good will come of this. She does already go to a weigh in as a member but historically loses a pound or two and gains 5.

Can you help me to help her and succeed this time please? Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

I have to be careful with the exercise aspect for obvious reasons and her doctor will guide me in this (appointment tomorrow) but I would like an answer to the following please:

My understanding is that when a person is in a rut, someone needs to help them as they will find it far harder to do themselves, particularly if home influences are not good? Is this right? And is removing them from the rut situation for much of the time a good thing?

I know I can ask my sister but she really will make any excuse to just sit on the sofa, literally all day Ė and she wonít be doing that at mine!

I really would like help from people who have been in her situation and can see light at the end of the tunnel because I canít do this on my own.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:41 PM   #2  
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I have no idea what SW is so I'm no help there.

I think it's nice that you want to help your sister though I'm not convinced that setting up a codependent situation will be much help in the long run. A person has to want to do something for themselves, what does she hope to gain by spending all day with you? Will you teach her how to cook and how to work out? Or will you just be a crutch for a while?

On the other hand, she may be depressed or have an eating disorder. A diet will just exacerbate both of those conditions because diets don't solve problems, they only mask symptoms.

I do commend you for wanting to help her, this is a big undertaking but I would make sure there is some professional help for her as well in terms of therapy. I've had tremendous success with a nutritional therapist who has taught me how to work on my emotional issues without turning to food.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #3  
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I will tell you one thing. Until I am ready to go on a diet and lose weight, and I have done so MANY times in my life, no one else around could "force" me to do it. They could make me feel bad or guilty or make me extremely mad at them. But until *I* wanted it, it was not going to happen.

You say you do not want her to do the weight loss surgery. If this is something she *wants* to do, you need to support her. You just said she doesn't have a great prognosis to live for the next 3 years. Doing the band and losing some weight will give her a better chance at getting healthier. She needs to lose weight, not just lose weight how *you* think she should lose weight.

She has to find that motivation inside her, you cannot force it upon her. If it motivates her to work hard for 6 months to have the surgery and then be able to use that as a tool to take off weight, support her. At this point in her condition you should be supportive of anything that she chooses to do that will get her on the right track.

If she just has 0 motivation for any sort of weight loss, I would suggest professional help as in counseling. Because there are obviously some deeper issues that need to be resolved for her or that could be worked through to help get her on the right track.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:27 PM   #4  
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At 5'3 and 350lbs (25 stone) she is likely dealing with an eating disorder. SW (Slimming World, sort of like WW for the Americans) is a diet lifestyle but isn't a cure for a likely mental health issue. A tool yes, but part of a plan, not the whole plan. Is she seeking assistance for that? Acknowledging it? You can't cure someone else's addiction.

Last edited by sacha; 01-04-2015 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:35 PM   #5  
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I saw the thread tag, and I was dubious, too, as to whether you could help her. But it sounds like she is willing. She is moving to your house for a month, and that's huge. It may be really helpful to her to have a month of clean eating and responsible exercise. May I suggest watching Extreme Weight Loss on Youtube? That's what your situation reminds me of. Watch especially the first work-out they do and the first few months on plan. It's really, really hard, and so much of it depends on whether the participant is willing to listen to the trainer.

I am not really sure what you're asking in terms of the "SW format," and Google wasn't helpful. Maybe with more information from you, we can give you more of what you're asking.

In the meantime, I will just say how admirable it is that you're such a supportive sister, and willing to do so much for her. But don't lose your relationship with your sister over it. You say, "She won't be sitting on the couch here." That's just not something you can control. She still gets to make her own decisions. Help her, guide her, support her, but be careful not to try to bully her. Accept that it may work, either long-term or short-term, and it may not. It's entirely her decision as to whether she's able to accept the help you're offering. Just love her, and if she decides that the lap-band is the best decision for her, support her in that too.

What a great sister you are! Got room for one more? I would love to spend a month focused on my health and have someone teach me how to cook properly!
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