How can I help my mother lose weight?

Otlauram asked...

My mother has been overweight since she had my sister 17 years ago. She has tried diet after diet and always gives up. Her health has been steadily getting worse as she gets older. I have tried rationalizing with her and  fighting with her, and my sister has tried making her diet. Out of fear of ending up like my mother my sister became anorexic and bulemic at a young age. I have never had any weight issues at all. I have tried to find help online but 99 percent of anything covered is for parents helping their overweight children, not the other way around. I find it odd and unbelievable that there aren't other children with this issue. Please help me find a way to approach my mother about her problem, or even suggest somewhere or someone to take her to to help her see she has a problem she needs to fix.


Expert Answer

I completely understand this concern. Trying to change bad eating habits and lose weight can be very discouraging. It sounds like you have expressed your concern to your mother and I think this is important but try not to fight with her about it. Try to stay on the supportive and encouraging side.  You could try encouraging her to go on nightly or morning walks (as her physician allows). Dieting is hard to do on your own. Would she consider a program like Weight Watchers where dietitians are involved? There are also fitness centers like Curves and YMCA's which help women with weight loss through exercise. Senior centers often offer exercise classes; and it can help to be with peers. I would encourage programs like this. Perhaps you could offer to check them out with her. Also, your mother's doctor could possibly recommend her to some kind of nutrition clinic at her local hospital where a dietitian will work specifically with her.

I'm sure your mother would like to lose the weight as well but one thing is for sure, weight loss is difficult. I would just advise you to be as supportive as possible and try to encourage some of these recommendation.