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Posted: 6/2/2010 4:10:34 PM EDT
My sister is going down the wrong road.  She started taking anxiety medicine and a side effect of that is weight gain.  In the last year, there's been a lot of weight gain.  Our family history is rich with diabetes, so being overweight is no good for us, not to mention the other hazards of obesity.  She constantly bemoans the fact that she's explosively gaining weight, but I see very little action on it.  Is there any way to motivate somebody into action when thy have almost no motivation of their own?  I tried reasoning.  I tried shame.  I try to set a good example.  Nothing works.  She does have an old ankle injury that makes it hard to do impact exercises, so that limits the field.  

She also refuses to take any responsibility and lives in a state of denial.  It's not my fault because I take those pills.  It's not my fault because my ankle hurts.  There's an excuse for every suggestion.  I don't just lay around all day.  I don't just snack all the time.  I never see her doing any kind of meaningful exercise and I see her snacking pretty regularly.  Tonight for dinner, I ate a romaine salad with a sparing amount of light dressing, and a little Parmesan cheese on it, with three kebabs that were chicken breast, onion, and bell pepper.  She ate a salad too but it was covered in cheese, croutons, sodium rich processed frozen battered chicken meat, and a lot of dressing(it was light though).  She also had one of my kebabs, and ice cream for dessert.  I looked at that "salad" and asked what the point was, and she jumped into some tirade about how just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for everybody.  Six years ago I weighed 300 lbs.  In January it was 250.  Today, it's about 210-215.  I think I'm qualified to offer an opinion.  

My weight loss school works for everybody.  It's moderation of intake coupled with a shit load of exercise.  Today, I biked for a little over an hour and I ran four miles at a 8.5 min/mile pace.  I might swim a little bit tonight too.  

So, given what little I have to work with, is there any hope for that sad case?  Is there any way I can motivate her into action before something undesired happens?  It's something that kinda weighs heavily on me.  Or should I just wash my hands of it and tell myself I've done what I can?
Link Posted: 6/2/2010 4:28:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2010 4:28:42 PM EDT by Mountain_Snipe]
You want to or you don't, plain and simple. When it comees to physical fitness motivation is EVERYTHING. Some people just don't have that drive to want to get in and stay in shape.

Link Posted: 6/2/2010 4:35:49 PM EDT
short answer:  no.

longer answer:  she will have to find her own reason, whatever it may be, for losing weight.  I've read that a person won't lose weight if they're only doing it to make someone else happy, but I disagree with that.  I did it, with exactly that reasoning, about 11 years ago...  and I kept it off for years.  longer story behind that, but for now, that'll suffice.  if regaining her health is not important to her, if she has nothing to lose by keeping the weight - nothing that SHE SEES - then there's nothing you can say or do to make her want to.

I will say that if she just doesn't want to exercise, she can lose quite a bit by adjusting her food intake.  for me, food is 85% of the weight loss battle.

if she feels alone, point her to sparkpeople.com - completely free, filled with people of all fitness levels, with all backgrounds, facing the entire range of health issues, from no known issues to brain tumor.  that may give her the sense of community, with people facing her exact same challenges, so taking simple steps forward will be easier.

I hope this helps.
Link Posted: 6/2/2010 4:54:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2010 4:59:10 PM EDT by gehrkek]
Originally Posted By Eazy_E:
My sister is going down the wrong road.  She started taking anxiety medicine and a side effect of that is weight gain.  In the last year, there's been a lot of weight gain.  Our family history is rich with diabetes, so being overweight is no good for us, not to mention the other hazards of obesity.  She constantly bemoans the fact that she's explosively gaining weight, but I see very little action on it.  Is there any way to motivate somebody into action when thy have almost no motivation of their own?  I tried reasoning.  I tried shame.  I try to set a good example.  Nothing works.  She does have an old ankle injury that makes it hard to do impact exercises, so that limits the field.  

She also refuses to take any responsibility and lives in a state of denial.  It's not my fault because I take those pills.  It's not my fault because my ankle hurts.  There's an excuse for every suggestion.  I don't just lay around all day.  I don't just snack all the time.  I never see her doing any kind of meaningful exercise and I see her snacking pretty regularly.  Tonight for dinner, I ate a romaine salad with a sparing amount of light dressing, and a little Parmesan cheese on it, with three kebabs that were chicken breast, onion, and bell pepper.  She ate a salad too but it was covered in cheese, croutons, sodium rich processed frozen battered chicken meat, and a lot of dressing(it was light though).  She also had one of my kebabs, and ice cream for dessert.  I looked at that "salad" and asked what the point was, and she jumped into some tirade about how just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for everybody.  Six years ago I weighed 300 lbs.  In January it was 250.  Today, it's about 210-215.  I think I'm qualified to offer an opinion.  

My weight loss school works for everybody.  It's moderation of intake coupled with a shit load of exercise.  Today, I biked for a little over an hour and I ran four miles at a 8.5 min/mile pace.  I might swim a little bit tonight too.  

So, given what little I have to work with, is there any hope for that sad case?  Is there any way I can motivate her into action before something undesired happens?  It's something that kinda weighs heavily on me.  Or should I just wash my hands of it and tell myself I've done what I can?


A little more background on your sister would be nice, how old, why the pills just all of a sudden or is it a social anxiety (if thats so working out is going to be the toughest challenge. I need a little more on her to be for sure on how to approach BUT

Start light and small don't make her sore the next day she will never come back with the attitude she has now. Find out if there really is something she likes to do that requires even the slightest amount of activity and if it can be adjust to add more workout do it BUT SLOWLY trick her into more exercise kind of thing. You don't need a bike, a pool or to be able to run to get healthy. If its walks with the dog god with her and push her towards the end. You will have to put in the effort too. What you do isn't going to work for obviously. The ankle impact issue is very easy make the walks on the grass, find her an eliptical machine or recumbant bike. Find out if there are low impact things she is interested in , HELL get her a Wii at least she'll be doing something. Get her some supportive shoes and an ankle support dont let her crutch disable you too.

as for diet just adjust portions, and slowly empliment better quality foods. I know crap is crap, But less crap is at least a start. You cant go all big loser on some people unless you want to be their life coach and there every second of the day.

now here is my little rant to you and the biggest loser contestants (because they piss me off) Just because you lost weight and it worked for you doesnt mean that it works for everybody. You have a different mind set than she does, different motivation. Unless you have a psych and physio background I doubt your opinion is worth much other than saying it worked for you. different types of people with different needs get my drift. So dont go all high and mighty on her, humble yourself and tell her hey look what i did with myself lets work on you now im here to help not demean.

Keep trying if its that big of a deal to you and your are giving up you obviously dont care enough. if you need motivation help start finding examples of health issues of similar people in her age range. show her family history. Basically break her down, then bring her back up with it'll be ok im here to help we'll get thru this. That kind of stuff. If you dont have the patience then it wont work and you need to find some who does.

remember its 80% mental 10% diet and 10% pain. now thats not for everyone but its a good philosophy with the type of person your sister sounds like

I know you wanted a short answer but there isnt one. There is no yes or no its all dependent on you and her if you want to take on this task you cant do it half assed, I guess is what Im trying to get at.

Like I said at the start give me some more info and we get take further steps but ive got you a start and feel free to ask more questions.

edit: quick add
Link Posted: 6/2/2010 5:12:12 PM EDT
No, your sister has to motivate herself.
Link Posted: 6/2/2010 6:24:50 PM EDT
There are really only two options for people who are unmotivated.



1) Baby steps. Ease her into something. Help her. Do it with her, or find some sort of accountability. It can be as simple as walking in the beginning.




2) Drastic life impact. Something has to happen in her life that suddenly prompts realization that she needs to do it. What that may be, who knows.




Good luck. I know how it is trying to motivate people to workout. What I recommend is being encouraging and showing that it's fun.
Link Posted: 6/2/2010 6:27:18 PM EDT
You can lead a horse to water, but unless your willing to hold its head under water and suck on its ass you cant make it drink.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 5:07:14 AM EDT
You can't.  It's a losing battle.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 10:38:55 AM EDT
For the record, my sister is 20 years old and she takes Zoloft for general anxiety.  It's been a lifelong thing as far as I can tell, but she started taking pills for it about a year and a half or two ago.  

The whole exercise together thing would be nice except for the problem that we literally cannot stand to be in the company of each other for any amount of time.  Our only common interest is that we fight and argue constantly.  Frankly, I don't think too highly of my sister as a person due to her being extremely critical and judgemental with a high and mighty attitude, especially about shit she doesn't have a clue about, but she is the only sibling I'll ever have and I don't want anything bad to happen, even though our relationship has been shit ever since we were little kids.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 11:13:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Eazy_E:
For the record, my sister is 20 years old and she takes Zoloft for general anxiety.  It's been a lifelong thing as far as I can tell, but she started taking pills for it about a year and a half or two ago.  

The whole exercise together thing would be nice except for the problem that we literally cannot stand to be in the company of each other for any amount of time.  Our only common interest is that we fight and argue constantly.  Frankly, I don't think too highly of my sister as a person due to her being extremely critical and judgemental with a high and mighty attitude, especially about shit she doesn't have a clue about, but she is the only sibling I'll ever have and I don't want anything bad to happen, even though our relationship has been shit ever since we were little kids.


Well not to be rude but you are fucked until your relationship gets better. If you cant be around her cause of fighting and lack of getting along and dont generally want to be around her then its not going to work.

Work on your relationship first, thats the only route you can go.
Link Posted: 6/3/2010 11:15:39 AM EDT
No, people will only go as far as they are willing to go.
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