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Old 11-13-2008, 11:33 AM   #21
Lee Austin
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Re: "The Talk"

Yeah, it's a tough one. I always take my mom to the gym when I visit but I know she doesn't go much when I'm not there despite having a membership. (my dad, OTOH, has always been a regular gym goer)

Does your mom like to read? The book Strong Women Stay Young makes a very convincing case for the benefits of strength training and how it can help even the elderly. The author has other books about nutrition, etc. and a good website. It's not Crossfit but it's a good program, very welcoming to all fitness levels, and not intimidating.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:38 PM   #22
Steven Anderson
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Re: "The Talk"

Originally Posted by Jason David View Post
What do you mean? I'm guessing you meant John...Not Jason?
Whoops, I did, sorry.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:20 PM   #23
John Casey
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Re: "The Talk"

I really want to thank you all for opening up on this topic for me. It's comforting to see I'm not the only person who has thought about/approached this with my parents; and I will definitely reconsider my current tack, as Mike and others suggested.

Lee, I think I'm going to get that book for my mom. She's been reading much more lately, and I think she'd enjoy something like that. My aunt (mom's older sister) has been on her case about her health long before I ever considered it (lately she's asked me to team up with her), and she taught English for 32 years (she loves giving and recommending books)...maybe the book would look better coming from her.

Those of you who said it are right; after thinking about it, my reasons probably are selfish. While I'm in the Navy for at least the next 10 years, I won't get to see them very much. It'd be nice to have them around to hang out when I'm done.

Ryan, it was Ghandi who said that; and James Gibbons Huneker said, "He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom." I'm sure I'll be just as foolish, I hope in different ways, if I am lucky enough to see 93. That is one of the wonders of life and learning: wisdom is not a destination.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:56 PM   #24
Ryan Whipple
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Re: "The Talk"

I disagree that wanting to see your loved ones live longer is selfish. Maybe if you were forcing them to continue living through excruciating pain of a terminal disease, but encouraging someone to better themselves is almost always has a component of service, even if you do benefit.

Good idea with the books. Information presented in writing can be mroe organized and effective, plus, sorry to say, it's not coming from you! That can be a big help; I hope it works for you!
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:51 PM   #25
Justin Shipley
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Re: "The Talk"

To quote the brutally honest and no-nonsense Brisbane Broncos rugby league coach Wayne Bennett-

"It's not what you say, it's what they hear..."

I'm also guilty of all the offences alluded to in the previous posts, concerning the practice of ramming my superior knowledge and methods down unwilling throats, and am currently attempting to identify the underlying desires of people, their 'button' to push, and tap into them to make them desire what they 'need'...

Requires more observation and less preaching...

See your role as a sniper, not a machine-gunner

( note to self- 'practice what you preach Justin!)
M; 6'2"; 40 yo; 215lb.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:01 PM   #26
Phillip Garrison
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Re: "The Talk"

In my experience as a coach and educator, other than offering support and promising to be there for them if they want to change, there isn't much you can do to get them to change their behaviour. They will either want to get healthier, or they won't. Advice like that, especially from a child isn't often well recieved. Given that they are I assume in their 50's they have had the same behaviours for roughly 30 years and given your Mom's lack of desire to change even in the face of cancer they aren't likely to change just becuase of a talk from you, or their doctor or anyone. People will only change because they want to, not for others. The best thing you can do is say you worry about them and if they want help you're there for them.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #27
Kristal Martin
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Re: "The Talk"

I have the same problem with my parents as well.

Unfortunately there is a thin line between pointing out the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and nagging/preaching. In the beginning I used to preach to my family all the time about cleaning up their diets and the importance of exercise and they would shrug it off. I would get the whole "I know, I know, we need to start eating healthier and being more active". Yet, they never would.

Finally I started to change my approach - a bit of reverse psychology. Instead of telling them about how THEY need to be healthier, I told them that I need them to be healthier. I turned it around and told them that it is hurting me to see them like that, that I want them to be in my life for as long as possible, and that it genuinely hurts me and scares me to think about them not being around anymore because of potential health complications due to their inactive lifestyles.

As soon as I changed my approach and my attitude regarding their health, they started to become more receptive. It didn't happen overnight, but eventually my mom started cleaning up her diet and walking every morning. She has now started to recruit my dad on those walks and she is buying healthier foods to keep in the house. Its obviously still an ongoing process, but at least they have STARTED to change their ways.

My best advice is to just not give up. Use whatever approach you think works the best and stick with it. I am relentless when it comes to talking to my parents about a healthier lifestyle because, heaven forbid something happens to them and their health, at least I know I did everything in my power to help them. I would never want to have any regrets, you know?

Good luck with "the talk". Whether its one big "talk" or a gazillion of them, I think its important to be proactive and don't give up. Take care!
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:51 AM   #28
Giles Clarke
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Re: "The Talk"

I am both relieved and disheartened to hear that I am not the only one with this problem with my parents.
I have tried multiple approaches with them over the years with varying degrees of success. The end result is always the same; relapse.
My father is very overweight and has a history of heart disease from his mother’s side. He is very selective in his hearing about what is healthy. He goes out and walks every morning and has done so for years. I give him great credit for doing it. But he will then come home and eat a massive breakfast. He consumes a good quantity of alcohol every night; on average 2-3 scotch and sodas and a full bottle of wine. When I have brought this up to him, he mentions that red wine is “good for you”. He selectively does not hear me when I mention that 1-2 glasses are good for you; a bottle is not. He is well into his heart-attack years and I know that with his lifestyle it is a not a matter of “if” but “when”.
My mother is just as bad. She does not exercise at all and spends most of her day sedentary. She does not drink, but does not watch what she eats. She has history of low cholesterol and great blood pressure from both of her parents and uses this as an excuse as to why she does not have to exercise.
Talking to them breeds the same, “I know, I know…but” responses that many of you have mentioned.
For the past year I have tried to get both of them to take a Red Cross CPR course because I think that it is a valuable skill to have, especially at their age and with both of them at risk for heart attack. I have found classes in the local area and given them the times, locations, driving directions, phone numbers, etc. But they conveniently “forget” every class.
I am currently deployed in Iraq, but my current plan is to go with them to one of these classes when I am home on leave, even though I am already Red Cross certified. My hope is that by doing this during my scant leave period it will emphasize to them how important this is to me. I am also hoping that the class might wake them up a bit and make them realize that heart attacks are not things that happen to “other people”.
Sorry for the long post, but I just needed to get that off my chest. Good luck to everyone in your labors of love.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #29
Sarah Scholl
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Re: "The Talk"

Im giving my parents training sessions with me for Christmas..they have to use them
"runs a mile under 5 min, and walks on her hands 122 meters without stopping...upside down or rightside up..shes unreal!"
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:16 AM   #30
Katie Jones
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Re: "The Talk"

I have the same problem as all of you; I can't get my dad to change, no matter what I do. However, my mom is eating fewer breads and such since I started eating healthy, so there is hope.

Anyway, I second Kristal's suggestion. Explaining how their unhealthy lifestyle affects you might be the way to go. It often works on mothers, at least.

Good luck to all of us with stubborn parents.
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