Thursday, June 9, 2016

A prayer answered?

My mom's birthday is coming up so I got in touch with her to see if she wanted to get together on a particular day.  We went back and forth on arrangements and then she wrote something that made me really happy.

Well, I guess I should give a little backstory first.  At her heaviest, she was in the 400 lb range.  (I actually surpassed her by 50 lbs at my heaviest.)  She got weight loss surgery and while she didn't lose it all, she lost about 125 lbs or more that she kept off for a little while.  The problem was she didn't change her eating habits.  They were, well, awful.  I'm not necessarily talking quantity of food but quality.  Everything was boxed (crackers, chips, snacky type items) or from a fast food restaurant.  I didn't get a cooking gene from her, she doesn't like to.  She also never exercised.  She has a condition called lymphedema and it made traditional exercise very difficult.  But she was capable, at the time, of walking and her sister has a pool so no impact exercise was an option too during the summer/fall months.  Unfortunately exercise with regularity didn't happen.

Not surprisingly, her weight crept up.  I don't think she regained it all but maybe 75% of it in the 15 years since she had it.  As that's happened, her mobility is basically zero.  She walks with a cane now, her knees are bone on bone and she needs a scooter to shop because she just can't without it.  As a daughter, it is crushing to see your mother like this.  She has a great group of friends and spends the majority of her time with her sister who are all wonderful people but they are all enablers.  What's worse is she has high blood pressure and my aunt has diabetes so even moderate weight loss could go a long way to improve both health conditions.  Instead, over the years, they have get togethers pretty frequently with this group of friends and they talk about how much food they eat and it just makes me cringe because I worry about not if but when it will catch up with them.  My aunt was doing well managing her diabetes for a while but with all of the stuff with Grandma and other life events, I think she may turn to food for comfort.  At her last wellness visit her doc said "I can't care more than you do."  It's true in any case of health issues really.  I always hoped one day they would both get on the same page or that one would get the strength to say "I've had enough" and hopefully rub off on the other one.  I wouldn't even mind if Mom got the WLS again just to get weight off fast and get her some relief.

I have tried in vain to help her by going so far as to making/freezing chicken and other lean meats.  Showing her that you can eat healthy on a budget by buying her groceries and cleaning out her fridge so nothing bad was in there.  We went back a year later and all of that chicken minus one was still in there.  I was done.  I know from experience you can't push someone to do something they're not ready to do even if their life or quality of life depended on it.  I know I sure didn't want to hear it when I was at my worst of stinkin' thinkin'.  So I never chimed in unless it was brought up and after that point in time, it was maybe only brought up once or twice.  I made it abundantly clear that we were here to help however we could in any way she needed and assured her a little weight loss could go a long way.  She didn't necessarily need to tackle it ALL to see the benefits.  As years passed, I just resigned myself to the fact that I was going to bury her young.  She is in pain pretty much 24/7 and I know nothing could be done about bone on bone but I think I read somewhere that for every pound lost is 4 pounds of pressure off of your knees.  She seemed happy so who was I to piss in her Cheerios even if it was for the right reasons?   I just prayed she didn't end up having to go on disability and end up a shut in due to it all.

I told you that to tell you this.

She told me that they haven't told anyone but she and my aunt joined Weight Watchers and she's down 22 lbs so far.  I can't even begin to tell you how happy and proud I am of them.  I know they're early in the journey and as we all know, weight loss efforts can change with the wind but I pray to God and every available deity that some long term success is achieved for them with this program.  It will be nice to have more family members on the bandwagon.  Sadly, my cousin who lost over 100 lbs and was a total beast has gained maybe 30 lbs or so back and doesn't talk about exercise or eating right anymore.  I get it, it's hard and I'm going through my own struggle right now but he's only 30.  If you'd told me I'd be over 40 and still dealing with this shit, I'd have told you to (figuratively) shoot me.  I don't want that for him.  I don't want it for any of my family.  Now when we are able to get together to celebrate or for a dinner, I can cook my "healthy stuff", which is still good by the way not just good for you, and not feel like she might turn her nose up at it.

I pray this sticks and it helps jump start our own need to get back heavily in the game.

Time waits for no one.

Do you have someone in your family that you pray takes a healthier turn?  Have you tried to help them? 

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  1. I am so very happy and proud for this news. She should already be feeling a slight improvement in walking with what she lost so far.

    In most cases we have the amazing ability to regain our health. We can also work hard and make money when we want to. The ONE thing we cannot get back is wasted time, but by getting healthy I believe we can at least ensure we get more future time with our loved ones and that is the real payoff here.

  2. The last paragraph is so true. It is so easy to give up. I think for me it is because i did not follow my plan perfectly i just give up. I wish your mom and aunt loads of patience and perseverance!

  3. Oh Praise The Lord about this!!! What excellent news! And your mom is already working her program and finding success with it so it's keeping her motivated. And I like that she's keeping it low profile too. Less pressure that way. Good for both of them for finally being ready to make some positive changes towards better health. That is just awesome!!

  4. Oh yeah. I was just talking about this with my husband at lunch today. My middle son tips the scale at 500+ lbs., he is 39, and already his health is deteriorating due to his weight. I worry about it, and the hardest part is knowing there's nothing I can do. My words won't matter. I try (like you) to lead by example, but I'm afraid those bad habits he was brought up with (thanks to me), are proving tough to defeat. So of course I feel guilty in addition to worried sick. I'm so proud of your mom and aunt. That's awesome! Like you said, "weight loss efforts can change with the wind," but she's on the right track. I too joined WW the first of May. I was struggling with a regain, and was finding it impossible to get back on track. I was hoping that trying something new (I was last a member of WW back in the 80's) might work. And it did. I got my FOCUS back. I'm down 33 pounds of the 53 pound regain and determined to get back to my goal. I know my son is headed for real trouble if he doesn't do something, and like you say, it doesn't have to be a massive weight loss. A little will help. I heard too that every excess pound is like four extra pounds of pressure on your knees. I had my right knee replaced in Feb., then after a long road trip, developed a blood clot last week, so now the second surgery is indefinitely postponed, since I'm on blood thinners. But, as I'm losing weight, the left knee, which was never as bad as the right, is feeling better. So just a few pounds can make a huge difference in BP, in diabetes, and even in joint health. I wish I could get that across to my son.

  5. I'm so excited to hear this! I remember reading earlier about the frustration you have felt over the years with previous attempts to assist her. Fingers crossed that she is able to get healthier and feel better!


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