Day Six: A Cookbook for My Dad

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my dad is in need of a major overhaul to his diet and exercise plan. On the drive down to North Carolina I talked with him about our family’s concern. Since he was stuck in the car with me on a six and a half hour trip he had no choice but to listen. I told him that my grandmother and I recently spent an hour on the phone trying to devise ways to support his weight loss initiative. We talked about paying for a gym membership or a personal trainer. We even talked about hiring a personal chef that could teach him how to cook nutritional, make-at-home meals.

I told my dad that we love and adore him, (which he already knows), and that we know that he loves and adores us. I told him that we’re selfish and that we want to keep him around for as long as possible. My brother is particularly worried about my dad. My sister-in-law is currently undergoing treatment for brain cancer, so I told my dad that my brother doesn’t need any additional stress and worry in his life. This includes worry over my dad’s health. This thought seemed to motivate him more than any of the others.

So this week, while we’re on vacation, my mom and I started taking short walks with him along the bike path. Yesterday, while my mom and I were out shopping, my husband walked with him along the beach. I can tell it’s hard for him to walk. His breathing is quite labored and he needs to rest after a very short distance. I didn’t realize his physical fitness had declined so greatly. I don’t think he had this much difficulty walking last fall when we were on vacation.

It’s hard to motivate my dad without nagging him. I bought him a cookbook in the hopes of encouraging healthier eating habits. I know that diet is only half the battle, but after these last few walks, I’m more concerned about his health than ever. I’m hoping any little change will be a positive one.

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