2

votes

Helping Mom with Health (Diet + Exercise)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 10, 2011 at 9:33 PM

I finally convinced my Mother to go on a Paleo diet, which is awesome. I'm really hoping it'll make her feel better, lose weight, and stay off of unhealthy processed foods.

However, this still leaves a few things unchecked.

Her stats:

5' 7.5'' 228 lbs 53 years old.

I've been looking for a workout plan to assist her with her diet in her goal of losing around 60 lbs. So far, all of the ones I've seen (even the 50 year old plus ones!) include crazy stuff like jump squats. I'm pretty sure my Mom hasn't jumped in 20 years.

Should I just have her doing cardio until she regains her agility, or what? Skip out on weight training?

Any recommendations?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:24 AM

I would see if you can hook her up with weeks worth of paleo meals (frozen for days 4-7). If she feels better, she'll want to keep at it, if she doesn't feel better, well, she didn't have to cook for a week. Win, win. Not to be negative, but I do wonder if there is a point of no return for the efficacy of nutritional therapy?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 11, 2011
at 11:45 AM

agreed! something is better than nothing!!

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Once she has been walking for a while, remember that anyone can do sprints. If someone walks .5 mph, .75 mph can be a sprint. (Usual fine print about asking her doctor.)

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:33 AM

+1 For water aerobics.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 11, 2011
at 01:32 AM

+1 for an important question that could make or break your Mom's initial response to change and motivation to continue. Smart you!

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I agree; changing her diet alone can make a big difference. When I was in college, I had the opposite effect of the "freshman fifteen", I LOST weight, as this was the first time that I alone was responsible for my groceries. I lost a good 15-20 pounds because a) fast food wasn't readily available and b) I liked my veggies a whole hell of a lot more than my family ever did. No exercise whatsoever: I actually spent A LOT of time on my butt in college.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 10, 2011
at 09:37 PM

Man, nail on th head: while haven't gotten my mom on paleo I constantly think about her health and how she might be positively affected by eating this way. She's about 63. Look forward to the answers.

  • 8328f54b00efee2a2c908b356038502d

    asked by

    (10)
  • Views
    1.3K
  • Last Activity
    1278D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

best answer

10
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on July 10, 2011
at 09:44 PM

Diet, diet, diet. Don't worry about any exercise program now. Get her diet dialed in. After her metabolism normalized she may start to feel like being active then she can start to think about walking and then start to work on crossfit-like movements. However, remember diet is the most important and exercise is by far the least. Dont even worry about it to get started. Remember: real life is nothing like the Biggest Loser and all that exercise makes it really hard to lose weight.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I agree; changing her diet alone can make a big difference. When I was in college, I had the opposite effect of the "freshman fifteen", I LOST weight, as this was the first time that I alone was responsible for my groceries. I lost a good 15-20 pounds because a) fast food wasn't readily available and b) I liked my veggies a whole hell of a lot more than my family ever did. No exercise whatsoever: I actually spent A LOT of time on my butt in college.

5
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 10, 2011
at 09:45 PM

SWIMMING! swimming is great exercise, and she can scale it as much as she needs to. do you have a YMCA or anything? i know ours has water aerobics and aqua zumba and they are great. when i was having an MS flare, i did that stuff a lot because i was so heat sensitive and fatigued.

ETA: do you live near her? i bet she would appreciate it if you went to a ccouple of classes with her and just had fun together.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:33 AM

+1 For water aerobics.

3
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on July 11, 2011
at 02:12 AM

my experience with my 56 y/o mom has been a good one. she went paleo on 1/3/11 and has done really well. i estimate that she's dropped about 50 lbs so far(she won't tell me what her weight was initially but she's dropped from a size 24-26 to an 18) and is still steadily losing weight. her only exercise is walking a total of 2-4 miles a week while walking in the city going to and from work. she's probably 80-90% paleo. she likes yogurt in the mornings which is a minor sin and she will occasionally do a cheat meal on weekends with the latter probably doing wonders for leptin sensitivity.

as far as exercise goes, if she can walk, encourage that but other than that i think spending the first month or two incorporating the diet into your mom's lifestyle is by far the most pressing issue. the good thing about paleo is that you can lose weight without ever stepping foot into a gym or doing cardio. the health benefits from reversing what inflammation may be going on will far outweigh any gym benefits, however, strength training is great for insulin sensitivity in the long run and for overall health.

good luck.

2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:34 AM

Dial in the diet, and the get her to start walking. Diet is crucial for weight loss, but moving around, even if it is just walking, is good for health and well being.

So start with the walking, whatever she can manage, build on it with longer walks and go from there.

Best of luck, I wish I could get my parents to take their diets seriously.

2
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 11, 2011
at 01:03 AM

I am older than your Mom (58) but started my big weight-loss and lifechange stuff when I was a little younger, at age 46. I regret now that I did not include a regular exercise plan, other than walking from the beginning, but I was living in the high Arctic and resources for this were pretty much nil.

I started at at 5'6" and somewhere between about 235 and 240 - didn't weigh exactly when I started. I was riddled with some pretty serious illness, including autoimmune disorders and pretty severe IR/reactive hypoglycemia, so these were factors too.

I hit goal weight - which I had loosely established then as the weight that I sort of naturally corrected to and that I could maintain comfortably. That weight became 148lbs as of about Sept of 02. By that time, I had moved back to northern CA and was doing serious sortt of race walking for about an hour daily. I have now dropped to 140ish in the last year, after alot of healing and lifestyle change over about 11 years.

Moving forward to age 52. I had a friend I worked with who went to Curves for Women and really encouraged me to check it out. So, I did. And it was one of the best things i've ever done. If I could go back on this journey, the one thing I'd change is that I'd have started going to Curves from the beginning. I now teach Zumba in the Curves Circuit 4 hours a week. (I'm an independent conractor, so I am not advertising here for Curves.)

Curves will work for any woman of any age with any level of fitness and that is one of the things I really love about it. I work out with 20 year olds, 75 year olds and I give a ride daily to 94 year old woman who has been going almost daily for TEN YEARS! She is an incredible inspiration to me and other women.

The basic program is three times a week with rest days between each workout day. It is a strength training/resistance circuit which utilizes hydraulic machines with recovery stations between each strength/resistance station. You progress at your own level - to an advanced workout, if you want. And your'e in and out in 30 minutes. Some women like me have worked up to a very intense workout, many are in the process of pushing themselves just a little bit more, each time. I go daily, varying my workout accordingly.

A really wonderful aspect of Curves is that it becomes a support system for women in which they get cheered on by other women. Important, supportive relationships are formed with women who can identify with each other. An important assest in weight loss, lifestyle change and then the all important weight maintenance is a SUPPORT SYSYTEM.

Curves is also THE most researched organized exercise program in the world, which includes their weight loss eating plan. (No, not Paleo, lol!) But, Curves was waaaay ahead of the ball when years ago it incorporated a lower carb plan and a self assessment so that any individual woman could choose the plan she felt would work best for her.(And no, choosing one of their offered diets is not in any way required.)

You can read about some of the research here as well as being able to pull alot of research on it off the web. The original research was done by Baylor Uni and the recently changed to Texas A and M.

http://news.curves.com/press+releases/diet+exercise+research/

The bottom line is, whatever your Mom chooses needs to be something she will keep doing.And it's important for her to not feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Curves is a comfortable environment for women who would NEVER go to a regular gym and many of whom who originally HATED the very idea of exercise. There will be plenty of women there her size and age and women like me who came from exactly where she is now. It is also simple and any woman who joins will be taught, individually exactly how to work out on each station, no matter what her present physical abilities are, and monitored during each workout with staff always available.

Cost probably varies a bit by location. The cost at my Curves is 34.00/mo for unlimited visits. All Curves have early and extended hours.

Oh! There's also a promotion that may still be going on which is a free pass for a week to see if she likes it for NO COST. You could also go with her - at least at my Curves this is how it works.

I am happy for you both! Sorry to babble on a bit, but it is a subject i feel strongly about. A sobering statistic to be aware of is that 95% of all those who lose weight on any type of weight loss plan gain it ALL back, and many gain even more. So, choosing for what I'd call compatibility, support and longterm success is important.

I am now even working with just a couple of women in my Curves and inching them toward paleo/ancestral eating.;

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 10, 2011
at 09:42 PM

Since you said she probably hasnt done any jumps in 20 years I'm assuming that going into a exercise program need be something simple to start with and let her build up as she starts to feel better and loose some weight.

that said, keep her moving, tell her how key that is, when she's sitting watching TV, tell her to get up and walk in place. This is a good place to start and won't 'hurt' anything. Constant movement is easy to do and of great benefit for someone starting out.

Then add in the occassional walks, yard work etc. She'll probably want to do more as she gets more enthusiastic about things.

Once she's made some solid dietary changes (2 months) she'll be ready to start adding in some exercise in a more structured form.

Just my suggestion unless of course, she's gun-hoe to dive into a full blown program!!

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Once she has been walking for a while, remember that anyone can do sprints. If someone walks .5 mph, .75 mph can be a sprint. (Usual fine print about asking her doctor.)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 11, 2011
at 11:45 AM

agreed! something is better than nothing!!

1
Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 11, 2011
at 08:45 AM

I absolutely agree that diet is far more important than anything else. If she hasn't ever made exercise part of her life she might fear it, or even think she hates it. If that's the case I'd suggest you find something (anything) that will help change her mindset. Social butterfly? Do an aqua class. Loner? Get her swimming laps. Morning person? Join her for a dawn hike. Keep it gentle and easy, even if it's not doing much towards achieving her goals, you'll plant the seed that exercise can be fun.

1
B96486cc39cf24fdf259424f833a5d5b

(493)

on July 10, 2011
at 10:51 PM

I do hope you're more successful with her than I have been so far with my own mother. She's 78, just came off statins because of a laundry list of side effects that have her practically crippled up, and she has finally succumbed to my barrage of links that show how everything her doctor's fed her has put her closer to death rather than health.

My mom's trying to do paleo somewhat. She's cut out bread and sugars (whines CONSTANTLY about it still) and is eating more veggies and meats, with some fruit. Problem is, she's very attached to using convenience foods - canned vegetables, canned fruits (in water), and fake crab (which I'm trying to wean her off of because of the sugar content).

Unfortunately, my mom is thinking of giving up on the new way of eating because of the damage done by the statins. She figures it's pointless.

So I do hope that your mom, since she's young still, will really hold fast to your advice about food and activity. Definitely get her doing the diet part first, then when she's feeling amazingly healthy she can start the walks and workouts.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:24 AM

I would see if you can hook her up with weeks worth of paleo meals (frozen for days 4-7). If she feels better, she'll want to keep at it, if she doesn't feel better, well, she didn't have to cook for a week. Win, win. Not to be negative, but I do wonder if there is a point of no return for the efficacy of nutritional therapy?

1
35b6ce9b7f9dda8d40d3e6a1812ab0a9

on July 10, 2011
at 10:41 PM

a book written by an older woman might be a big help if she's willing to try weight training. This book makes a good case for women of all ages to weight train and it stresses starting easy so you don't get so sore you quit on day 2.

I used it to lose the Freshman 15 and then Sophomore 15 during college summers.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!