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  1. #1
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    How to tell your Dad to loose some weight...

    Hey guys this is my first time perusing the cylde/athena forum, though I would get some better responses than over in road.

    Back story: My dad is over weight, by exactly how much I couldn't tell you, but he certainly weights over 250 lb. He used to ride road bikes when he was in his 20's and has occasionally since then (now mid 50's). About a year and a half ago I was bought my first road bike and a week later he bought his first in a long time. During that summer (I was home from college) we road once or twice a week together, good times enjoyed by all. I have since moved out and am still very involved with cycling for recreation and commuting, however, he only goes out very seldom, mayyyybe 10 times in the last year.

    We have a close relationship and I know he wants to loose weight but life seems to get the best of him and he doesn't make the time. It's important to me that he sticks around for a long while and I would like to push him to get back on the bike or something to loose some pounds and lead a less sedintary life style.

    I guess I'm just not sure how to approach this topic without hurting his feelings and how to keep him motivated for more than a week or so.

    For what its worth he has a bit of an apple shape (large in the stomach area) and we have a very active and fit family/extended family.

  2. #2
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    My son (12) is pretty direct. quote "Dad you're fat, lose some weight so we can do more things"

    You list something for your dad that I know is an issue for me: "making time" What you can do is really let him know (and the rest of the family) it ok to be selfish and take time for your self to execise..... I would bet that your dad is always taking care things (got to clean the gutters, got to help with homework, etc) and puts his time last on the list

    so when my son whines about be taking time for a ride....I either invite him along or remind him of why I'm riding.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    2 1/2 years ago, I was a 48 year old, 250+ lb. dad sitting on the couch. Nothing my wife or kids said or did would have changed that. I rediscovered cycling on my own, got off the couch and started riding. For me, it had to be something I wanted to do. I assume it is the same for your dad. You may be able to encourage but it has to be his decision. Life change comes from within.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    You should be having this conversation with him, not us.

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  5. #5
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    Tell him what you wrote up there in your original post: You want him to be around for a long time, and your concern over his weight stems from love, not disdain.

    Or you could go with squirtdad's son's route and tell him "Yo, Happy Meal! How 'bout dusting off your bike and coming for a ride around the block with me?" (I suggest the former, not the latter)
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  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    What you can do is really let him know (and the rest of the family) it ok to be selfish and take time for your self to execise.....
    This is really key. If he and your mom are still together, she needs to buy into that concept too. Most of the time my wife is on board with that, and it makes it a lot easier for me to get out and ride. Does he still work? Is ther eany way he might commute by bike, even part of the way? I've found commuting is the best way to get regular miles in during the week.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
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    The sorry part is that some guys need a scare to start. I had one in August and have lost 40 lbs and have 70 to go. The best way to get this is have Mom get him to go to the Dr. for a checkup. If you have any siblings still at home this should be an easy thing to induce with a little guilt..."I don't want you to leave me a widow with children..."

    At his age and condition he should get a thorough exam before embarking on a rigorous exercise regimen to rule out latent cardiac issues, as well as BP, and cholesterol levels. This is especially important if cardiac issues run in your father's family. The Dr. may give him the motivation in his followup with the tests. These are not just "start biking" changes but lifestyle changes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Get a goal - one that you can share.

    Is there a ride or 'race' nearby that you could both train for? The local charity ride. A social century event.

    Even if you are not training together you could both set up a plan and work towards the day. You could swap training notes by email, do the occasional ride together and generally do more riding.

    If you do it right, it will be less about him losing weight and more about you two guys achieving something. If it goes well he will then be in the habit of getting out more often on the bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
    Get a goal - one that you can share.

    Is there a ride or 'race' nearby that you could both train for? The local charity ride. A social century event.

    Even if you are not training together you could both set up a plan and work towards the day. You could swap training notes by email, do the occasional ride together and generally do more riding.

    If you do it right, it will be less about him losing weight and more about you two guys achieving something. If it goes well he will then be in the habit of getting out more often on the bike.
    I like this last suggestion. If you (the son) were living at home, or very close by, you could just try to get him to go along on YOUR rides, saying that you didn't really like riding alone. But if you can't be there, than having him ride regularly to train for some future organized ride that you are going to do together, might provide the extra motivation. It sounds like your Dad (like a lot of Dad's) might be motivated more by doing things for others, than for just himself. So this "future ride" makes it like he is doing it for you, and not himself.

    As an aside, I am a similarly-aged Dad, and I know that if I thought I needed to do something to help my son out, I'm more motivated than if it is "just" for me.

  10. #10
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    Tell him your concerns about him being overweight and try to get him exercise with you. Dont push him too hard to do it and ruin your relationship with your dad, because you never know when you can lose him. My dad just passed away last month, and he weighed about 300 pounds. He was 52. We tried to get him to take care of himself, but he had to want to do it and never did.
    Do you and father both a favor and just talk to him. Tell him how you feel and if HE wants to exercise he will. Dont ruin your relationship with him over this.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions. I think I'm going to go the route of these last two suggestions, plan an organized ride in the future we can both work towards. The problem comes in that I live 8 hours away so I see them only a handful of times a year, making regular rides impossible. But we talk enough that I think we could keep a training plan on track if there was a similar goal in mind.

    For being a big guy he has always been active, skiing, hiking, camping, kyaking, no shortage of outdoors sports in my family. I think its more the motivation to go out and do it as part of a regular activity instead of only a couple times a year. Rschleicher: that is exactly how my dad operates, he will do everything for everybody else before himself and is always motivated to help you out (sometimes more than you'd like, haha).

    Thanks again

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    Tell him your concerns about him being overweight and try to get him exercise with you. Dont push him too hard to do it and ruin your relationship with your dad, because you never know when you can lose him. My dad just passed away last month, and he weighed about 300 pounds. He was 52. We tried to get him to take care of himself, but he had to want to do it and never did.
    Do you and father both a favor and just talk to him. Tell him how you feel and if HE wants to exercise he will. Dont ruin your relationship with him over this.
    sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I hope you have good memories and can carry your experience along to stay healthy for your children or future children.

    He's a reasonable guy and I know he wants to do it, I think he just has that lack of motivation to get going and keep it up without the letting the little things in life derail the goal. I think he would be understanding and I doubt we would have any real issues, I just need that little motivation to talk to him about it I guess.

  13. #13
    Senior Member hshearer's Avatar
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    This was a helpful thread for me, too. Now that they're retired, my parents are both working on their fitness more than ever, and are eating more healthfully, too. They've got the motivation and the time, but they are still struggling to lose very much weight. Since I find cycling to be the absolute best exercise for me (fun, easy on the joints, AND effective), I'd like to re-introduce them to the family bike rides we used to take when I was a kid, but step it up a bit now that I don't need the training wheels . A goal we could work towards together, like a team charity bike ride at the end of the summer, would be perfect. Great idea!

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