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In Need of Advice

My dad, who is in his early 60s, is quite overweight. He needs to lose at least 60-70 pounds, maybe more. He’s been overweight for as long as I can remember, though it seems he has gained even more weight in the last year or so.

A few years ago, when my nephew was born, he decided to do something about his weight. He wanted to be around for his grandson, so he followed the Atkins diet and walked each day on a treadmill at home. During that time he managed to lose 50 pounds. Unfortunately that weight loss was short lived. Since that time he’s gained back all the weight he lost plus some.

I’m extremely worried about him. My grandfather died just after I was born from a stroke. The last in a series of three. The second one left him paralyzed; unable to speak or walk. I’ve feared for my dad’s health since I was a child. I carve out time in every nightly prayer to ask God to watch over him.

I would do anything to help my dad lose this weight, but I’m just not sure what to do. When family members bring up the topic he says we’re nagging him. We constantly tell him how much we want him to be around, how much we love him, and how we want the best for him. This usually sparks his enthusiasm for a week or two, but as time goes on he falls back into his old patterns… poor eating habits and a lack of exercise.

I was wondering if any of the readers of this blog have advice on how to help me help my dad. I’d do anything for him and I could use some advice.

One Frugal Girl

Saturday 14th of June 2008

April -- Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don't live close enough to my dad to work out with him on a regular basis. I am doing my best to encourage him, but I am often disheartened. I am glad that your mother was able to turn her life around. I'm terrified that my dad will not do the same.

April

Wednesday 11th of June 2008

I've just found your blog, and I had to comment on this.

My mom went through some dpression after losing two brothers in two years. She gained a lot of weight. I didn't pressure her to lose weight or eat better because I didn't want to make her feel bad about herself. Instead, I pressured her to go to the doctor for a full physical (cholesterol, glucose, etc.) because we have a family history of diabetes and cancer.

It took a long time to convince her to go, but she finally did. She found out that she was right on the verge of sevral health problems, but she had time to turn it around. I let the doctors scare her, and then she was ready to change.

I work out with her five times a week (if you can't do this, find a buddy for your dad). Her eating habits still aren't wonderful (she tends to skip meals--bad for blood sugar), but they've improved.

Also, no major changes to diet or exercise all at once. Encourage your dad to make small changes over time, like swapping whole grain pasta for regular pasta.

Don't encourage fads like Atkins. They don't work, and people usually regain the weight, sometimes more.

Cincinnati Retirement Planning

Friday 16th of May 2008

Some little exercise can help your dad. A ten minute walk around the neighborhood. There are lots of ways for your dad to loose weight. But i don't not recommend diet. He might not follow it.

zeromoney

Thursday 15th of May 2008

change his lifestyle, diets don't work, but eating healthier and more appropriate portions does, combined with exercise.

swimming at a local pool is great exercise, and very easy on the body.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 15th of May 2008

Thank you all for your advice.

I like the idea of having snacks and other healthy foods available on a more regular and permanent basis. I will try to recruit my mom to make healthier choices available for him.

I also like the buddy idea. I don't live close enough to my dad to exercise with him. My mom does encourage him, but usually she fails to get him to walk her.

I may be able to recruit my brother, (who lives just a few minutes away from my parents), to exercise with him. Even one night a week would be better than nothing.

I'm wondering if I could get my dad a fitness coach, or if he would resent me horribly for doing something like that. It's not exactly a buddy, but it may be good motivation to have someone watching his progress and encouraging him to exercise.

While I research that I'm also going to look into a Weight Watcher's membership for my dad.

As the anonymous commenter noted, my dad has to want to change his habits, but I'll certainly do all I can to encourage him.