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With the Pope about to visit the UK, what better time to unburden yourself of anything that's weighing on your mind by posting it on the internet? Pay particular attention to the Seven Deadly Sins of lust, greed, envy, pride, posting puns on the QOTW board and the other ones. Top story gets to kneel before His Holiness's noodly appendage, or something

(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 11:47)
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Does extreme annoyance count as Wrath?
Alright, I confess. I hate the fact that two members of my family are morbidly obese.

They each weigh far more than 400 lbs, or 180 kg for the metric users. My sister used to be a beautiful girl, the prettiest I knew, and now she looks like a giant waddling egg. People hate her for it, and even I don't like looking at her sometimes. Also, the whole subject is taboo under my roof. My father, my brother and I can never say what is obvious for fear of "hurting their feelings".

Like, I can never say that the reason they're sweating like pigs on a 70 degree day (21 degrees celsius) is because they're carrying a whole extra person's worth of weight on them. We all just live with the a/c turned on to its greatest capacity. I spend my summers wearing long pants and sleeves just to survive in my own house. Sometimes, I wind up camping out in the back yard just so that I can be comfortable enough to sleep. Dad just puts on sweaters and ignores the matter, and my brother spends as much time away from home as possible.

When we go places as a family, we all have to walk at a snail's pace or we're "rudely running ahead" and "ignoring the family". Also, on trips a food break needs to be scheduled every couple of hours or mom and sister complain. Recently, we all took a small vacation and had to all share a hotel room. Mom and dad got one bed, sister and I shared another, and brother got a sleeping bag on the floor. The heat of the day and the gargantuan amount my sister sweats made her stink so bad I could barely breathe.

I took a stand and forced her out of bed to go take a shower. I was demonized and yelled at by the whole family for doing so. I also got yelled at and demonized for suggesting that the reason my sister is having so much trouble finding work is because of her weight. Why else would she, being very qualified, get so many interviews and then not have anybody call her back afterwards? Cue something like an hour of my sister crying her eyes out and the family glaring at me. I haven't suggested to her yet that the reason why she can't wear high heels anymore is because her ankles just aren't physically capable of holding that kind of weight anymore. I'm sure I'll get vilified for that as well.

I'm sure I sound petty saying all this, but it's the little things that get to me. Like, the fact that that when the phone rings neither of them will answer it. They just give me, dad, or my brother a guilty look and just sit there. Whenever I suggest to them that they might want to come for a walk with me, they come up with some excuse why they can't walk the 1/4 mile (less than 1/2 km) circuit I take the dog out on.

The thing is, it's not just me being petty anymore. It's starting to have huge impacts on their health.

My mother fell down in the yard, and could not stand up afterwards. She laid out on the ground for 30 minutes before dad noticed and rescued her. She's only middle aged. That shouldn't happen yet!

My sister's joints creak and crack like an old woman's, causing her sometimes hideous pain. I've seen her cry about the pain in her back just from walking around the house.

The tremendous amount of work my sister's heart has to do to pump blood through all her massive bulk makes her get very tired (like falling asleep wherever she's sitting) at seemingly random times. This narcolepsy has happened behind the wheel of the car before. Fortunately she didn't get hurt, but the car got really banged up. She also has to literally wedge herself into the driver's seat of the commuter car we share. The extremely tight fit makes it impossible for her to check her blind spots and move the wheel effectively. It catches on her thighs. Every time she drives me somewhere, I fear for my life.

My sister has, as recent testing has proven, also given herself type 2 diabetes. This puts her at high risk for kidney failure, strokes, and heart attacks. She's only 24.

One night, I had stayed up late to work on a project and was just heading to bed when I saw my sister in the kitchen. She was sitting at the table, sleepily eating cheese and crackers. It was obvious she had been asleep and had woken up for a midnight snack. She compulsively ate through an entire block of cheese by herself.

As I watched her, I wanted to scream, cry, and vomit all at once.

You must understand, my sister is the most important person in my life. I love her more than anything.

And I just have to sit on my hands while she slowly kills herself.

I don't know how much more I can take, or how much time she has.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 16:26, closed)
I like this
is not the phrase I'd use. I clicked anyway though because it is fucking tragic
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 16:35, closed)
good luck. Your feelings are not wrong. They come from a place of love.
(, Sat 28 Aug 2010, 16:44, closed)
Good story, wrath, sloth and greed all rolled into one
But indeed tragic. It reminds me of a t.v programme I watched the other day on the fat problem they have in Kuwait. All the symptomns you described, these people have, except they developed real bad circulation problems and had to have certain parts of their bodies amputated, mostly lower legs...mostly. When she is ready she should think about a gastric band to save her life.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 16:42, closed)
The gastric band...
Good name for a musical combo.

Um. If she's over-eating to mask some other issues in life, than getting a band may be the last thing she should do. Last thing she needs is to not follow the very restrictive diet post-surgery, and burst the thing. Oh my. Emergency surgery is so much more dangerous than elective, in this case, I would think.

Fix the cause of over-eating first. Then fix the diet. The weight will take care of itself.

Er. Not a licensed dietician or nutritionist. I'm an electrical engineer. Would you ask a food coach to design and build you an embedded robotics control system?
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 22:16, closed)
Ah fuck it
I feel for you. I've recently lost three stone, although I was never ever anywhere near what your sister and mum weigh wasn't happy. The bare facts of the matter are, if you consume less calories than you need to maintain your weight, you will lose weight. This assumes you have no underlying medical problem preventing you from losing weight. Even people who can't exercise can do this with some medical supervision.
When people say they can't lose weight but haven't actually tried to follow the idea of less calories in than you need, it annoys me greatly. And when they are killing themselves in the meantime ... argh. But like you I don't mention this because it seems a taboo subject. The truth hurts, and not everyone is strong enough to take it. They'd rather kill themselves instead.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 17:10, closed)
I may be way off of the mark here...
... but have they had their thyroids checked? I know that obviously the over-eating and lack of exercise are enough to do it on their own but if they have started with an under active thyroid it would only snowball from there (even the lack of hygiene was ringing alarm bells with me).
I only ask because I started putting on weight without a change in diet, started falling asleep at random times, losing interest in myself and life. I have the autoimmune version, you have to ask for the specific test as most docs won't do it. Thyroid disease is hugely under-diagnosed in this country (believe me, I've done my research).
It usually runs in families and passes from Mother to Daughter (although blokes do get it too).
You obviously care enough to post this message so I thought I would mention it - worth looking into anyway.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 17:35, closed)
So, I posted a rant about you on the internet
and somebody responded with some medical advice. I love you.

Careful with the wording on that one…
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 18:17, closed)
He has to say something to her either way if he wants her to live. I don't think there's any careful way to say it.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 20:47, closed)
I, too, was diagnosed with Hashimoto's.
Assuming that's what you're talking about. *Puff*, 1 stone, 1 month.

BUT IT IS MANAGEABLE. Diet and exercise are all it takes. It took awhile, but the stone is gone. Sure, my cheese habits have gone out the window as I wait for a hot date with my endocrinologist and I spend most of my time hungry...

My sister has it, too. 22 stone, but she doesn't move unless it is to move the snack bucket to her mouth.

I'm 10 stone. Not to brag, 'cause I feel like shit and all. Tired, achy, forgetful and I can't cake the agony away.
(, Mon 30 Aug 2010, 19:52, closed)
Sorry to hear you have it too
Bummer isn't it. I agree it's managable but it has to be diagnosed and treated first. Also thyroxine doesn't work for everyone - there are alternatives but doctors don't offer them.
(, Tue 31 Aug 2010, 19:58, closed)
tell her
fuck the rest of the family, what would you rather do? hurt her feelings, or watch her die? as someone who's been about that size myself, i can say that none of my family held back in the name-calling stakes, making you feel a cunt is what brothers and sisters do. if you do hurt her feelings, there's a chance that it'll spur her to lose weight. she is seriouusly putting her life at risk, sparing her feelings ISN'T HELPING HER.
i've shed close to 17 stones over the last 2 years, so i know what i'm talking about. if you want to ask me anything, feel free to gaz me.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 18:36, closed)
Yeah. Tiptoeing and sparing feelings does no-one any good when it's about the big issues.
If you can do it without being aggressive (and to be honest I'm not really seeing much of the wrath you mentioned; just understandable frustration); anyway, if you can be open and honest about their weight problems and how you feel about them and what it looks like from the outside...then the only reason they would have to be upset is because coming out of denial is painful, and that's not your fault, that's theirs.
Don't just stand by as other people fuck themselves up; they may not listen to you, but not doing everything you can won't help your own peace of mind or your sister's health.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 20:50, closed)
What will you regret more -- having your sister's feelings hurt or, once she's gone, knowing you never took the chance of being 'rude' and possibly helping her?

My mother-in-law is the opposite, anorexic to the point where I'm afraid to even give her a hug lest I snap a rib. The whole family (especially her sister) pretends nothing is wrong but my husband is terrified. He's decided that the best course of action is to confront her about it with whatever tactics it takes to get her to a doctor; denial hasn't worked very well for her so far and he says he'd rather his mother be angry with him than be dead.
(, Sun 29 Aug 2010, 17:59, closed)
do you have Slimming World where you live?
its really easy to follow and loads of people have lost loads of weight on it. I'm doing it at the moment and you can still eat the food you like, but it teaches you to choose healthy options. There are meetings where you can socialise with like-minded people and a magazine too (which you could maybe buy and leave around the house?). The people are really inspirational.

I'd definitely look at this before considering surgery, and you have to lose some weight to get surgery anyway.

oh, other dieting clubs are available....
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 21:22, closed)
you have to go on a liver reduction diet for 2 weeks, that's all. you will lose weight on it, believe me, but that's all i had to do before my surgery.
while weight watchers is fine for some, i'm not sure it'd be the right environment for a young woman who's been so coddled by her family. there's a good chance that she may see the loss of a pound as an excuse to "treat" herself to something she enjoys, which will invariably be fattening. drastic times, drastic measures and all that. i don't know the OP's sister, so i can't say for sure what'd be best for her, but i would definitely recommend surgery. not gastric band, gastric bypass. more drastic, but weight can pile back on once the band is removed.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 21:43, closed)
+1 for Slimming World. They are a business, but the plan works and it is fantastic.
(, Fri 27 Aug 2010, 16:59, closed)
I totally sympathise with your situation
I got married to a woman who was, at the time, slightly overweight. She used to get a lot of stick from her mum about her weight, and she got very depressed about it. The subject of her weight became a totally taboo subject for us as she would just clam up and burst into tears.

As time went by, her weight began to spiral. She went from a size 12 (when we met) to a size 22. Honestly, she was fucking huge. Very little exericse, and a crap diet didn't help. She became incredibly lazy. I ended up doing a full day's work and then coming home and doing most of the housework - despite the fact that she worked (occasionally) from home. I'd always tried to be supportive, and on the very rare occasions she mentioned losing weight I offered to help her and encourage her. Needless to say a diet never lasted more than a day or two.

Meanwhile things were heading downhill in the bedroom department. She thought I was going off sex, but to be honest I was just going off sex with her. I just wasn't attracted to her any more. Rolls of flab just don't do it for me I'm afraid.

That was just one of a number of problems (her constant criticism of me and erratic and sometimes violent outbursts being the other main ones), and we separated a year or two back. We both have new partners, and we're both now very happy. Well I certainly am anyway.

I do sometimes look back and blame myself for not having the courage to talk to her about her weight. She's still huge, and there are umpteen potential health issues associated with obesity. Although me and her are finished, she is the mother of my kids and I wouldn't want anything to happen to her. Perhaps her new partner will get her on the right track. I hope so - for her sake, as well as the kids.
(, Fri 27 Aug 2010, 9:30, closed)
...I wish they were size 22. They're both 26/28.

Also, the "clam up and burst into tears" reaction is all I ever get when I try to offer help my sister. The whole family worries about her. We've tried weight watchers, curves for women, we bought a treadmill, hell, we even signed her up for lap-band surgery but she couldn't lose the 20 lbs to make the surgery possible.

When I mention to my mom that she should try some of these approaches herself, she rolls her eyes and says "It's different. I'm middle aged."

I feel bad for my dad sometimes. Mom looked like a model from the 1960's when the married.
(, Fri 27 Aug 2010, 16:09, closed)
How blunt are you with them?
I know it is exactly what you don't want to have to do, but how blunt have you been with them? Would it be worth the tears and hatred short term to just tell them pretty much what you told us in your post - you feel they are hugely overweight, spiralling out of control and you feel they really need to do something about it as you are genuinely scared for their lives?

There may be a lot of tears, and they probably won't want anything to do with you if it works, but they need to realise, and if doing it that way lets them realise then it must be worth something.

Good/bad idea?
(, Sat 28 Aug 2010, 0:51, closed)
what about writing it all down in a letter
rather than confronting them face to face? That way they can digest the information in their own time. I don't expect they would read it and go on an immediate diet but it might give them food for thought ('scuse the pun) and start them thinking about things from another point of view?
(, Sat 28 Aug 2010, 14:57, closed)
Why don't you just put rat poison in all the fatty food
Eventually a pavlovian response may take over.

Alternatively mock them continuously, until they are angry enough to chase you. Keep this up for one hour a day and it will count as exercise for them.
(, Wed 1 Sep 2010, 14:03, closed)
What about the phrase
"I don't want to lift a 500lb coffin with a 30-year-old inside it".
(, Sun 29 Aug 2010, 10:27, closed)
My sisters are both massive girls (one half sister and one's adopted so no crap like 'it's my thyroids')
I've given up really, tried being subtle with them both but that didn't work so I just told them both outright that I was worried about them and I'd support them both if they wanted to do something about it, but neither have asked as yet.

My older one for a large girl is quite active really, going hill walking and the like, she's also a veggie so her diet's not that fattening either, I think she's just made that way??

The younger one is the complete opposite, cramming her face at every opportunity.

I still love them both.
(, Tue 31 Aug 2010, 8:05, closed)

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