Losing Patience with My Dad

Share your experience, challenges and success implementing the McDougall program with family and children.

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Losing Patience with My Dad

Postby chris87 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:53 pm

I have been following a starch based diet for the last 11 years. Throughout this time, I encouraged my parents to do the same. My mom died last year after an extended illness, and I've been staying with my dad for a while. For the last 1.5-2 years, I've cooked him completely McDougall compliant meals. I even prep his lunch, so that I know he's eating well during the day. What he does in between drives me crazy. He gorges on Calorie dense foods, including nuts and bars (Lara/Kind). If anyone is familiar with the packaged nuts from Trader Joe's, he'll eat a bag of pistachios in one sitting and can easily eat a bag of almonds in 1-2 days. I end up yelling at him, and then we start fighting. What bothers me is that I put a lot of effort into cooking. I don't enjoy it, he never helps me with prep or cleanup, and then he sabotages himself by eating all these high fat foods.

Last month, he had to get clearance from a primary care doctor to get cataract surgery. It turned into a nightmare. I knew that his blood pressure was high, but I didn't know the exact number. At the doctor's office, it was 240/120. He was completely asymptomatic, but the doctor freaked out and sent him to the emergency room. Now he's on two blood pressure medications which is not what I want for him long-term. We got home from the hospital, and he starts with how the diet isn't working, etc. I said how can you say it's not working when you're not even following it? I keep telling him to read the books of Dr. McDougall and Dr. Esselstyn, but he never does. He promised me that he would be compliant, and he seemed good for the last few weeks. Then yesterday, he went to Trader Joe's and bought almonds and pistachios again. If he could eat a few of them, then maybe it would be fine. Unfortunately, he has to consume the entire bag in one sitting.

I know I can't control what someone else does, but I'm so angry. He's supposed to go back to the doctor on Monday. His BP has been around 160-180/90, and I feel like the doctor will insist on increasing the dosages. I'm not even sure if he'll be willing to sign off on the clearance form, as the surgery has already been postponed once. For someone that can't stand medical doctors, avoids them at all costs, and witnessed everything my mom went through, it seems like following the diet compliantly is a no-brainer.

I'm at the point where I want to stop cooking for him, move out, and just tell him to eat whenever he wants. I don't want to fight, but I guess my passion for this way of living makes me loathe noncompliance. He has watched various documentaries with me (What the Health, etc), so it's not like he's clueless. I think that if I keep pushing him, we'll do nothing but argue. Maybe there's a better way to go about it. I'm starting to realize that you can't change someone's behavior if they're not fully committed. Has anyone been in a similar circumstance?
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Re: Losing Patience with My Dad

Postby Daydream » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:00 pm

I completely understand how you feel. I really don't have an answer but I think I'd start by telling your dad you need his help in the kitchen with food prep. Tell him how much you would appreciate it if he helped you because you aren't fond of kitchen work and also it would be a way for you to spend time together doing something constructive. I swear, I hate cooking/food prep but I have always done it by myself for my family out of my love and devotion for them. I appreciate having help in the kitchen from anyone! Your dad can wash veggies, chop veggies and wash/dry dishes or whatever you would like his help with. Teach your dad to prepare some of the meals with you. Tell your dad you love him and you want him to be as healthy as he can be. I'm sure you have already done this but you can explain to your dad that if he can't limit the nuts or treats that he eats at one sitting then they shouldn't come in the house. Hang in there and good luck to you! You are doing something wonderful for your dad in helping him eat healthy meals.
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Re: Losing Patience with My Dad

Postby Lyndzie » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:35 pm

I understand. Today I was at my mom’s house and watched her finish a box of Girl Scout cookies, and she is overweight, has heart disease, and barely controlled high blood pressure. My sister lived with her for a few years, and even did the cooking (vegan, but relatively healthy), and my mom would get food to go from restaurants instead of eat it.

Honestly, your dad needs to own it. It’s not for you to do. I’m not saying that you need to stop making food and move out, but see where he’s at and recognize it for what it is. Yes, he needs to do more, clearly. But that is for him to do.

Jeff recently added to this thread about people and non-compliance.

As the saying goes: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
My food journal: Adventures in Eating
My pregnancy journal: Maybe a Baby 2017
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