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Unread 05-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
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Lifestyle change help

So, as the title says, I'd need help concerning my (and my family's) lifestyle. My problem is, I know what I should do (less computer, more water less sweets and excersising, etc.) but I lack the willpower to do it as of yet.
Another problem is my family. The harsh reality is, they are quite overweight (albeit my dad does have muscle beneath it all luckily), but they simply don't care. Right, they do, to some extent, but not that much as I do. I would like to make them realise that the way we are going is a no-go. Especially for my sister, who had to go to doctor with these problems as well, and yet my dad caught her eating chocolate (a lot of it) when she should be on a diet.
Could you help me, please?
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Unread 05-06-2013, 12:00 AM   #2
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To bring your whole family onboard would be rather difficult and would pretty much need everyone's contribution. Kinda have to ease yourselves into it, stick with diets that are easy to follow and exercises that are convenient to your schedule. Use positive re-enforcement to convince everyone to get on board, remind them how much they matter to you and how you guys need to stay healthy for your own future.

It becomes easier to stick with a fitness plan if everyone's onboard with it. If not then go for it on your own and set yourself as an example for the rest of the family. That's pretty much what I'm doing now.

Only use negative re-enforcement if your family complains about time. Just half an hour, 3-times a week could take you so far in living a healthy life.

As for personal motivation that's something you kinda have to find for yourself, everyone is different. For example I'm motivated to not end up like my father and have a heart attack in my 40's or like my aunt and die from a stroke. I want to be like my uncles, in their 40's and still looking healthy and strong. My brother, on the other hand, was motivated to not be a skinny twig all his life and worked out till it became a part of who he is. Everyone's motivation is different.

Stepping into a program that's convenient is an excellent way to start, you could start with a program like this
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Unread 05-06-2013, 12:23 AM   #3
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They're going to have to want it themselves. Not really anything you can do to push them that way. If your sister wants/will give into chocolate, then she's going to have it, whether its out in the open or if she has to sneak it.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 03:53 AM   #4
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I feel the same way about my father, who was just diagnosed with diabetes. You can't make them do anything they don't want to do, however you CAN educate them so perhaps they'll develop more of a sense of urgency about their health.

A lot of people who are sick or overweight because of their lifestyle (not genetics) honestly just do not know how to eat right or begin exercising. Keep in mind that just a decade or so ago, we were all being told that frequent consumption of milk and white bread was totally fine, and part of a balanced diet. Same goes with a lot of other things, and old habits die hard. Not to mention that these days a lot of food is totally loaded with chemical crap that our parents didn't have to worry much about growing up.

You all should do some research together, and help them discover that being thin isn't the issue, it's being unhealthy and doing what you can to feel better!

Just be sure to be gentle about it, and not preachy.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 12:21 PM   #5
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I second researching things together, try to make them aware of the poor health decisions they're making, and try to help them find alternatives that they'll like.

My boyfriend and I are currently working hard to make some positive lifestyle changes, and we finally got to the point where we were comfortable adding in gym time a few weeks ago. I'll tell you what steps we went through, trying to make it as gradual as possible so that neither of us felt too rushed, or like we were being deprived of anything...

1.) I started cutting out soda, starting with just not having soda at work (beyond a morning Red Bull, which I basically consider a coffee substitute). I got a plastic cup that I refill throughout the day, and I get a TON of water into my body that way (at first, I was hitting around 72 ounces in the 9 hours I'd be at work). I could have soda at home at first, but I found myself not wanting it as much. Now, I just have the occassional soda when we go out to eat, and only if they have diet Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper. While I hate all the chemicals in the diet sodas, I hate empty liquid calories a *lot* more.

2.) We then started trying to cook more, especially in advance. We turned to fast food a lot of the time because we were very immediately hungry with nothing already prepared, so now on Sundays (usually also out grocery day), we prepare EVERYTHING that will store well for the week, and try to portion it out in advance in tupperware as well. This works for my work lunches, as well, so now I have no excuse to go out and get fast food.

3.) Think about replacing different things you use regularly, like if you eat white bread and whole milk. Whole milk has WAY more calories than you need in a liquid - trust me, I grew up in a house where I know I had a glass of whole milk every day. We looked at soy milk as an alternative, and have found it to be really good. We don't use it for everything, as I think the soy milk tastes a lot like melted vanilla ice cream (bonus!), so we keep around a small amount of 2% milk for cooking sometimes.

We also now try to keep heftier whole grain breads around; if you're going to have a sandwich as a meal, this would be pretty legit as a concern. The more hearty your bread, the less you'll need to fill up. Plus, the fiber helps it be more filling and stick with you. Just be sure to eat slowly so your body has time to send the message that you're full!

4.) Once the quality of food has gotten better, really think about the quantity you're eating. This should be a natural transition, but if it's not, seriously start paying attention to your portions. Spend a few days reading labels and actively measuring how much that serving on the back actually is. In a lot of cases, you'll be surprised (cereal was what blew my mind the most).

What will help to start is just giving yourself half what you'd normally eat. After you're done, and give yourself some time for your food to travel and all, you can make a much better and informed decision about whether to get more. If you start out with a lot of food, it's easy to just mindlessly keep eating and end up *over* eating.

5.) Most important thing: nothing is actually "off limits," just be sure you're eating in an informed manner, and eat it slowly. Don't eat cake every day, or cookies, because I'm sure you aren't actually craving them daily. When you have anything like that, you need to make sure you take the time to savor and enjoy it, and be aware of what a serving actually is!

6.) Get up and move around! You don't have to start big, but maybe start going on family walks after dinner. Try to go out to state parks and explore, walking the trails at whatever pace you're all comfortable with. Do pushups/crunches/squats/etc - you don't need a gym to be active. Know your limits, give yourself time to rest your muscles when strength training, and most of all make sure you actually enjoy what you're doing.

I think that's all I can really come up with to do to help there with your situation. Talk to your parents about making these positive lifestyle changes, taking it slowly and as a family. If you can all work hard and work together, you're more likely to succeed at giving yourselves healthier, longer lives. Even if you don't lose much weight, if you're eating right and staying active you're much better off.

Of all of my tips, I'd say that cooking things in advance and learning portion control can be the trickiest to start, but easy to maintain once you've been actively working at it for a few weeks. Plus, water is highly important, but it's way easier to introduce when you just make every other soda you get water instead, and just go from there!

Good luck, and let us know how things go with your family! It's terrible watching people you love doing such self-destructive things, but certain kinds of food are addictive due to how they affect your brain, and if you're not dedicated to making lasting changes and sticking with them until they become your new habits it just isn't going to work.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 05:38 PM   #6
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If people want to change, great for them. If they don't that's their choice - eating chocolate isn't really going to hurt anyone. If anything, having a prohibition on chocolate is just going to make people "slip" and then feel bad and worthless and like they can't accomplish anything - banning certain foods isn't going to work for the vast majority of people even if they do want to make a change.

I don't feel like there's a "should be". We all make personal choices and take our own risks in life. There might be health issues associated with obesity, but if someone wants to take that risk it's their choice. If she's been to the doctor then she knows the risks and it's up to her what she wants to do. If she wants to make a change then it would probably be best to come up with a plan that's not doomed to fail - like banning chocolate or other foods she wants to eat. You don't have to eat only "healthy" food to have good nutrition and lose weight. She should do some research on the topic if it's what she wants to do.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
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I also agree on cutting down on soda, it really helps! It's what helped me lose the weight I lost.
I hate the taste of diet soda, so i started by making myself drink diet and no regular soda (especially when i eat out), and after a little while i simply stop drinking soda.
Flavored water is also a good alternative for myself.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 08:51 AM   #8
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If you want o bring changes in them, change your lifestyle thoroughly and religiously. They will follow automatically. It happened with me and my family personally.
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Unread 05-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #9
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Well, it may not be possible to overhaul everyone, but there ARE ways to make small changes. The key is being involved, and only doing a little at a time.

Start going to the Grocery with your mom or whoever goes. Don't let them go alone, YOU need to go.
When you're shopping, linger in the produce aisle. Think of what your family likes to eat, and try to grabs some veggies you can throw in - frozen broccoli cuts go GREAT with mac n cheese.

If your family buys pasta, try to switch to whole grain or 'smart' pasta. They're not more expensive, and whole grains are important.

If your family drinks a lot of whole milk- just buy low-fat or 2% instead.

Encourage them to drink light juices instead of soda - I lost over 30 lbs over the course of 3 months when I stopped drinking soda. I've never had a protruding belly since (though I gained it back as I grew taller, but it was proportional weight rather than excessive weight)
Soda is the #1 enemy of having a flat stomach, in my opinion. It leaves you thirsty, doesn't make you feel full, and just flushes all kinds of sugars and heavy calories into your body.

In general look at what your family eats- and just look for alternatives. If you know how to cook, offer to cook dinner a few nights a weeks and keep it light - nothing fried or coated in loads of oil (a little it okay)
Try steaming stuff.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
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Sometimes the motivation people need to see is someone close to them do it successfully.

When I lost weight it triggered some of my closest friends to decide they wanted to change as well, and then we were able to do it together. My best friend lives 4 states away and she I always support each other by sending pictures or texts saying things like "had a great work-out bro! SHE-HULK!!!"

My dad did the same thing when he saw me losing weight, he started trying as well. (not very well though since he is the parent I get my laziness from)

This might be hard to do since you live with them, and the temptation will always be there. I agree that going to the grocery store with your family will help with buying healthier foods.

It takes 21-30 days to make a new habit, so you can change your lifestyle, but you will need to be consistent.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
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My family and I had to set a schedule..actually block out our time in 30 minute increments and we starting by taking walks together every chance we could to get out of the house. My job is on the computer, so any chance I get to get outside I take it..also picking up any hobbies outdoors helps. Discgolf and paddleboarding are two of my favorites.

Make it fun!!
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