Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Nag

I just had 8 days at my mom's. I cannot get her (a recent diabetic) to understand why she should not have cereal for breakfast and then 2 slices of bread or toast for a snack. I will not change her any more than she could change me when I was 200 pounds heavier.

My mom is 71 years old this week and she is still my mom - someone with her own mind who makes her way in the world on her own terms. She is an adult and will make her own choices. She is willing to listen to what I say to her and what her doctors say and she is trying to make changes in ways that she is willing to accept today. They may not be the changes I 'know' she needs to have a healthier retirement and loner life. I do not berate her for her choices. I do what I can to inform her of what the healthier options are and what the lack of them is doing to her body. I offer her the idea of healthier alternatives and then I have to LET GO. To berate, chastise or nag will only hurt her and will hurt our relationship. It could easily push her deeper into the tub of butter and biscuits. Instead, I choose to respect her right to choose her food.

When I visit, I practice being passive-aggressive and I keep her pantry and fridge stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Mom has an aversion to wasting food so I know she will not go out and buy crap when there is a house full of healthy food. Since I live 1200 miles away this only works when I visit her in New York. It is only a temporary solution but it works for a week or so and perhaps she will get a taste for some of the healthier options.

Are you guilty of behavior geared towards keeping the pounds off of an unwilling participant? Is it working?



bbubblyb said...

My mom sounds like yours. As for helping unwilling participants that was my husband several years ago. My journey has definitely inspired him to work on himself. It's definitely worth the effort even with your mom who you don't see to often. I'm sure it helps her even if it's for a short time. Good job.

Joan said...

I have enough of a job policing myself. I cannot and do not want to be responsible for what another adult chooses for nourishment (physical or emotional). I can only hope to act as an example, and "passive-agressive" is fine. Only I wouldn't call it that, because aren't we really doing it first and foremost for our own good?

Jane Cartelli said...

I am certainly doing it for my good when I am there and for mom when I leave it stocked. But when you follow though on the thought I am doing it for ME so that my mom can be around a long time. And since there will probably come a time when she comes to live with my husband and I, I am preparing her for her future. ;-)


Anonymous said...

You have to be passive aggressive? Most everyone I know comes by it naturally. Lucky you and your hubby!

I do not manage anyone's diet except my own. Luckily. But if I had a diabetic mother you can bet your booties I would be trying to get her thinking about how to eat a diabetic friendly diet.

If it were my husband there would be no discussion. I would be the expert and we would be eating it.

I often wonder how it must have been for my husband to watch me kill myself with food. One night he watched me gobble down (rather violently) a sleeve of oreos. I looked up to see a look of utter disgust and pity.

it is hard hard hard to watch and not intervene.

Jane Cartelli said...

Munch -
Thank you for just giving me the topic of my post for August 4th!


Vickie said...

I think about the concept of people watching. I understand it is not their place to make us change (just like it is not our place to make them change) but standing by IS some form of enabling. I struggle with that.

I understand direct enabling is buying/supplying the stuff. This the story we watch on TV when someone has not been out of their house for years and the family is buying/supplying the stuff/food/nonfood. direct enabling.

On this season of The Biggest Loser one of the contestant's son had walked away from him until he started working on his process and making better choices and therefore actions.

I also realise that for many, there would be no action/change. We would be walking away forever. If our husband's had walked away, it might have further sunk us instead of motivating us.

I don't know where the line is with this concept.

Jane Cartelli said...

The line is pretty invisible, isn't it?