Thursday, August 19, 2010

Loss for words

Disclaimer: This post is NOT about anyone but my family and is NOT meant to offend my readers in any way. With that being said I also am NOT a very good writer so bare with me.

I was talking to my oldest daughter and I had a thought. Let me set the story first.

She has always struggled with her weight over her 30 years. Sometimes she self medicated herself with over the counter pills and even illegal drugs to keep her weight down. When she was in her early twenties she was a size 9 and looked good. She has had 6 kids with 3 different dads. She has let her body go over the last year or so. After the babies were born she worked really hard to get back in shape. But the weight didn't have time to adjust before another baby. She only has custody of 2 of them today. I have adopted her oldest, Kayla. (long ugly story)

I have ALWAYS been heavier than her. So when I walked into her apartment the other day, this is what she said; "HOLY CRAP mom, you are way too skinny. You look unhealthy to me." Really?? Cause I don't feel unhealthy. I stewed over her reaction for the day. Then I sent her a text to let her know, I was not happy with her lack of support. We have always been close so it was hurtful to hear that from her.

She confessed that she thought I looked great and it was just her being "jealous". This is the first time I have wore a smaller size than her. She currently is in a size 17. Not huge but too big for her body size.

I offered her to option to go with me to WW. And she said she couldn't afford it. Which brings me to the moral of this post.

She lives well below the poverty level. Her income is at it's lowest with no light at the end of the tunnel. She has a boy toy that will not support her on buying healthy foods. (since they are more money). So I thought how hard it would be to lose weight without money, support and dealing with depression (from being over weight and feeling helpless). Along with many other issues. But at least she has good health.

I am going to break these down a little:

MONEY~ can't afford the healthier foods, can't afford an exercise program or even the home equipment (she knows she can come use mine ANYTIME. But usually doesn't have the gas money to come to my house) and not to mention getting the knowledge from a program. (like a WW membership) It seems the cigarette habit that they both have is killing them financially (that's a whole different story, priorities!). The constant stopping at fast food is not helping either. (she doesn't cook and refuses to learn. Part of her self esteem issues.)

SUPPORT~ I realize how hard this is NOT having someone who can support you on this hard journey. Her boy toy is NOT going to be a support. I will but, it will not be the same, since we don't live under the same roof. I could not have done this without my meetings or the abilities to read blogs (which she doesn't have the means to do).

DEPRESSION~ As most of you know, emotional eating is very REAL, and she has that issue. Having tons of trials over her short life; has caused her a lot of sadness. (not going to go there here. Trust me it's bad.) She is very hard on herself for letting herself go and feels there is no way to get back on track.

A lot of these things can be FIXED if only she wasn't living in poverty. How many hundreds, if not thousand, of people who live in poverty, live their whole life overweight? It breaks my heart to see her like this but I can not control her anymore. She has to REALLY want to change and then maybe I can help by being there for her with emotional support and ideas to make simple meals.

I normally don't write about things that are depressing. But I was hoping that someone out there can offer me a suggestion that can help my daughter. There is much, much more to this story but you get the idea. She is the KING of excuses and drama. I am at a "loss for words" on how to help her. Thanks for your comments ahead of time.


  1. I have no advice. I wish I knew how to make our kids make healthy choices in so many different areas of life...I don't. But I care, and I'm praying for you and your daughter.

  2. Wow, Lesia, that's a very complex situation, as if I'm telling you anything.

    Sounds like the boy-toy should be the first thing to cut back on....

    Yeah, all you can do is be there for her. The change is up to her. Maybe with you as a role model, she will come around.

    I'm sorry to hear about all of that. You are right about so many people in poverty that are overweight. I see it every week at the Food Pantry. Not just the weight problems, but the lack of knowledge about nutrition, food preparation, etc. Very sad.

    HUGS to you and to your poor suffering daughter.

  3. I don't really have any advice - other than you can't really help her until she wants the help. Walking is free, pushups and squats are free, you know that kind of thing for exercising. Boy Toy and food - those are things she is going to have to work through and unfortunately all you can do is be there when she needs you....

    It's tough loving our kids and being on the outside looking in knowing things could be so much better. I personally suck at this but sometimes you just have to let your kids fall and make those mistakes (which I think you already have experience with). Then be there when they start climbing back up again.

    Darn adult kids are sometimes harder to deal with than when they were younger.....

  4. I admit it took me a bit to figure out the story, not realizing you had a 30 year old daughter. My heart goes out to you because as a mother, I think there is nothing as hard as seeing your child struggle or sick or in pain. My first thought is whether she really wants help and wants to change. Being jealous does not imply either. If she does want help, maybe the first step is to ask her how she would like you to help her. See where that goes. Hugs.

  5. I like Karen's idea....if she wants help, maybe you could ask how she wants that help. If it's co-dependent or enabling behavior, you can say no, but that way you can set some boundaries and offer help at the same time.

    People don't change unless THEY want to. It's so hard, but in the end I think you're doing the right (and healthy) thing by helping her realize that she is the one that needs to want to change - no excuses.

    It's sad that she's made the choices which lead her where she is now. It sounds like she's struggled quite a bit...and with the chemicals that they put in a lot of fast food, they get addicting and it's harder to keep off of them.

    But I do know that she has a loving mom. And if I know that, she does hopefully she'll come around.

    In the meantime, you'll be able to teach your daughter (the granddaughter, technically) how to be and live healthier.

    Much love and hugs!

  6. Leslie, as someone who has lived in poverty for the last decade, let me assure you that it's POSSIBLE although difficult to lose weight in poverty. The first thing she could do is get off the cigarettes, that alone would probably save her from $150 to $300 per month ( for the average smoker) that could be used on healthy food.

    She probably isn't even thinking that it's possible at this point, and it seems to me that there are two things you can do:

    1. Wait for her to make her own move, because we all know that you can't change her.

    2. Pay for her Weight Watchers membership and hope she gets something out of it.

    Of course, there's no sense in doing #2 if she's not emotionally ready to change.

  7. I HATE to say it, but a lot of things about your daughter hit a little to close to home...
    It sucks being poor, depression probably being the worst part of it all.

    Just make sure she knows she has your support and love. Her being honest with you about being jealous kind of sounds like a call for help to me...

    If you are able, I say pay for her Weight Watchers membership and try and make sure she gets there... after a few meetings she might find support and knowledge, and start to really WANT to help herself! Despite how hard it will be, and despite her 'boy toy.'
    With that kind of support, she may see that she's not alone, and feel better all around.

    Best Wishes and good luck!!!

  8. What a sad situation. I don't have any magical words of wisdom to offer. I wish I did.

    Where there is a will there is a way. If she really wants to make a change she can find a way to make it happen. It won't be easy but then anything worth having is worth working for.

  9. Lesia,

    I am so sorry she's going through all of this. The only thing I know to do is, love her through it, be supportive where you can, keep your mouth closed and listen to her and pray!!

    I can say this, because I have to do the same thing for my son who is off track.

    We can't do it for them, we can only guide them, when they want it.


  10. What a frustrating situation.
    I remember every time a family member would talk to me about losing weight... In my head, I was like "yea, yea... you have no idea what I go through or how I feel, why can't you accept me for how I am?". It's funny because now I see that I was defensive and ignorant and basically NOT READY to take my own responsibility for my health.

    Choosing to be healthy is really a choice that goes beyond how much money we make. It begins with tiny little choices. And if your daughter isn't ready and is struggling with depression and addictions, it seems to me that there isn't much you really can do for her, except to be there, love her, pray for her, empathize with her, and like some others have suggested, possibly offer to pay for WW membership if you think that would help (then again, she needs to be ready for that). It really took me a long time to be ready myself... and my man and I are very low income as well... it's taking more than we have to make our lifestyle change... but our persistence and determination (and the Lord) is what is helping us. I think the prayers of a mother for her child are some of the most powerful prayers there are.

    Best of luck Lesia!! I'm sorry for your daughter and for the helplessness you must feel. There is always hope, though!! :)


  11. I feel for you. My kids are still little but I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be in your shoes. Hang in there.

    As for the being too skinny comment...I got that the other day and i was like seriously? I am still considered pretty overweight for my height. Interesting right? have a 30 year old daughter? You ddefinately dont look old enough to even have a 20 year old kid :) Take that as a compliment!


  12. If I can help, I have a plan for her. Costs very little, will change her life, and she can do it safely..Or any support I can offer of course.. All the best

  13. Bless your sweets hearts and rest your worried mind.