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why do people live in denial?

My mom has had mulitple by-pass surgeries, and diabetes, yet she lives in denial and pretends that if she eats good one meal then she is eating healthy all the time. I can't eat with her anymore while she sneaks bad food in to her mouth. Why does having your chest ripped open, coming this close to death, and then a full chest scar not scare the hell out of people?
I don't understand....
I have six siblings, all who tend to carry weight around their middle - this should be a "Hello!" moment this is the path you are going down, do a u-turn now, but instead I have a sister who seems to live like my mom.
Does anyone else have someone like this in their lives, does it drive you insane? How do I help her, and why doesn't she help herself? She eats like nothing ever has been wrong.
It has had the opposite effect on me, it terrifies me to see that scar, to know that I could prevented it, that she caused this. I can't eat without wondering how will this effect my body, does it help or hurt me? When I go jogging I imagine the blood pumping and pushing my arteries clean.
I want to help her, but I can't handle the denial, I think the only way to help her is to not repeat her history, and to ensure my children also take a different path.

Mon. Jul 9, 10:06am

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You cannot change other people's behavior; you can only change your own. Stop trying to get her to change.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 11:49 AM

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I can also not sit by and watch her kill herself anymore.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 12:11 PM

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I don't have quite your mother's issues, but I am an ex-smoker and a former drug user. NO ONE can 'save' someone who isn't ready - I don't care how negative the consequences of the bad behavior are. Any attempts will be resented and will just push the person into being more secretive about their self-destruction. You say you can't sit by and watch, but trust me on this: YOU CAN'T LIVE HER LIFE FOR HER, and she will grow to resent you if you try.

Back off, set a great example and be there for her when she takes positive steps. She's very likely not in as much denial as you think she is. However - that's not the point, the point is she's not committed to changing her life and you can't do it for her no matter how much you want to. Yes, it hurts to watch loved ones slowly destroy themselves - remember this when it comes to parts of your own behavior that aren't healthy that you don't want to change. However she's an adult and she has free will - she needs to make her own choices for her own reasons.

Also remember - "Mom, I love you. I'm so glad you're taking care of yourself - I want my happy, healthy mother around for a long time." is a lot more effective than "Should you be eating that?"

Monday, July 09, 2007, 1:03 PM

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I'm so sorry! I wish you luck in trying to reach her. She's your *mom*. Of course this is hurting you!!

Monday, July 09, 2007, 2:07 PM

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My mom has similar issues, she complains about being fat and unhappy and cant exercise because of her arthritis. She says since she can't exercise she will be fat anyways so why watch what she eats? Odd how different our mindsets can be... Sad part is she is only 53 and she seems determined to die fat.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 2:57 PM

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OP - I'm very sorry for your dilemma, seems there is no good answer. My mom was always the same way. She was overweight, and would sneak food all the time. Then, surprisingly, she met a younger man that encouraged her to lose most of the weight.

It really has to be her own choice, I think. Also, a lot of people do not realize that the brain is a part of the body. When the body is sick and miserable, the brain is also. She may be suffering from depression which manifests itself in just not caring about heself enough, and eating to make herself feel better. She may think she has nothing to gain by losing the weight. You may need to take her to a therapist for that kind of issue.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 3:19 PM

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Next time mom is stuffing her pie hole tell her mom why don't we go arrange a funeral because that is where you are heading. Maybey this blunt statement will lead to an open discussion on how people are always saying they would die for you but don't care enough to try to live for you.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 8:04 PM

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You are only responsible for your own behavior. All you can do is love your mother. If you must say something to her, think about it carefully first. Then say what you need to , so that if she passes away you won't live with regrets (e.g. "If only I had said .. to her before she died...")

Monday, July 09, 2007, 8:09 PM

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How long were you in denial? what brought you here?

When people start pointing the finger at others I’m always amazed, even if it’s under the pretense of Love. Look at the site we are on people and take a moment to remember what brought you here?, I wonder how many years we all lived in denial until we woke up and made a decision to do something. They key being we had to make the choice. I’m not trying to be mean I can honestly relate my mom struggles with weight and yes I get real tired of hearing her talk about needing to lose weight and in the same breathe eat a cookie, yes it’s verrry frustrating. I love her and will support her when and if she’s ever ready but until that time it’s her call not mine. I’ve actually been talking to her about peertrainer and how beneficial It’s been for me and if I’m lucky she might get interested enough to try it and who knows maybe she’ll find other ladies around her age struggling that can relate to her situation objectively and not emotionally. It might just give her the hope and the encouragement she needs to make a positive change.

None of us need threatened or sarcasm if you truly care about someone you should respect them even if you don't agree with them. I was told once "what's important to you is not always important to others" and "choose your battles wisely" this might be one of those times.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 9:32 PM

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About Denial

I agree with what you are saying, however I am 42 and am seriously overweight. But this is the good thing, I was introduce to Weight Watchers and lost 67lbs. I am an emotional eater so I kinda relate to your mom, sometimes we need a little boost. Instead of trying to change her, change with her. She might need a partner to start her off on her journey. Start slowly like ask her to take a walk around the block, after a few weeks start two blocks and so on, and so on, I am still strugling with my weight but this time I have a partner. My daughters, I want to be here to see them and I know that she does too. As far as stuffing her face, this could be becasue she might be an emotional eater too, When I am bothered or depressed, I also eat, and I eat a lot. Then comes the guilt and I eat again. When you see her doing this, try not to be sad, just try to understand. I think you can also try to go shoping, nothing inspires me like buying new cloths and don't take no for an answer. I also read a book called "YOU ON A DIET" beleave me it did a lot of good. Sometimes we need more that just one program and I think that support is most important with our family than with strangers. She will feel good about herself and others will start to follow in her footsteps. But don't give up and I hope the best for you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 10:46 AM

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