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Help to recruit Overweight/Diabetic Father to Cycling!!!(7 posts)

Help to recruit Overweight/Diabetic Father to Cycling!!!CaliforniaDreaming
Mar 14, 2003 8:09 AM
I've recently learned that my father is diabetic, without all of the details available, I can say that his triglycerides were 750!!! :-O He's 51 and 5'9" weighing 210lbs with a medium-large frame. I'd wager he could stand to lose about 40-50lbs.

I'm curious as to how you have recruited friends and family to cycling for the benefit of their health. Any of your sucess stories would be a great help as I intend to sit my father down and have him read your responses. I'm sure many have succeeded helping family members in controling not only their weight, but also improving their health through cycling. Thanks for any and all feedback.

I recuited myself.....DINOSAUR
Mar 14, 2003 8:58 AM
I have never had any luck recruiting anyone to the sport, besides myself. I started "serious cycling" back in the middle 70's, not counting my first road bike in 1961 and my first Jet Ranger back in 1950. I laid off for about eight years because of child care problems back in the late 80's. In 1994 I purchased a mountain bike and rode it around the roads where I live. It would have helped if I had equipped the bike with smooth tires instead of the knobby off road type. I never took it off road and later when I retired in 1998 I came back to the sport after purchasing a road bike (a Klein which is now my second bike). At one time I was up to 247 pounds when I was lifting weights and consuming vaste amounts of beer. Even cycling 150+ weeks after 3 years did not take a lot of weight off. I stumbled upon a diet called "The Zone", which incidentally is a diet that is designed for diabetics, but will work with anyone. I dropped 30+ pounds since last summer and I'm down to 195 and still dropping (slowly). It was very hard when I first started, the weight loss was the key for me. You should have your dad check out The Zone. You don't say how old your dad is, but I was 56 when I came back to the sport and I turn 61 this August. There are a lot of retired old guys that cycle and are in very good shape. I was stronger when I was younger, but I was not putting in the weekly miles I am now as I have the time. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I also might add that I smoked for about 5 years prior to taking up cycling again and I really felt it the first couple of months. Tell your dad to reach for his dreams and go for it. I also might add that he doens't absolutely have to ride a bike, a good walking program combined with diet will work also. I just find cycling more fun.....he should see a doctor first before doing anything...the hardest part is just getting started....start him off with a mountain bike would be my suggestion and he should get on a's 50/50 exercise/diet when you get "older".....remember age is just a state of mind...
Some thoughts....bent_spoke
Mar 14, 2003 9:05 AM
Although it's regretfull that your dad's health has come to this, but maybe it's good in that's it's an early warning thing that he needs to make a lifestyle change.

You haven't mentioned where he's at with this whole thing. That's real importance because if he doesn't see it as a problem then it's going to be real tough to get him to change things. A long time ago, I gave up smoking & took up running, motivated by the fact that it didn't make me feel good & it was a waste of money that I didn't have. Once I got started I realized that I couldn't even make it down the driveway without running out of breath. I thought this was pretty pathetic since I remembered as a kid that I could race around all day & now I couldn't run to the mail box. This helped to get me started & keep me going. So as you'd imagine, taping into your child is a good starting point... and this is what's cycling's all about.

First, you need to speak with him to understand where he's at. Again, he'd got to want to do something. Then, you might mention how the diabetes thing might keep him from things that he likes: family, friends & food. This may give him some incentive. Assuming that he might want to change things, you have to factor in his doctors advise & support him with the things that he wants to do & not just cycling. He might like swimming, running, walking etc., & if it works for him, that's what's important.

Hopefully you have a good relationship with him & you can both explore options. This may also bring a new level to your relationship in terms of sharing athletics and fitness. Best of luck with this & I hope this is of some use.
What everybody else said, plus a couple of things...cory
Mar 14, 2003 9:27 AM
Good luck getting him up--we tried to do the same thing with my mom for nearly 10 years, and never could motivate her.
I'm close to the age now that she was then, and while my intensity varies, I manage to stay pretty active by doing stuff I enjoy. That's the real key--I live in great skiing country, but hate skiing. If I had to stay in shape doing that, I'd weigh 300 pounds. I cycled through the winter this year (usually I lay off a few months, promising to do other stuff, but don't), and I'm in May-June condition now. So a couple of suggestions:
You can TRY him on cycling, but if he doesn't like it, help him find something else. Don't make him ride.
It will help if he can find somebody his age/condition to train with. I have three neighbors in their 50s, about my age, who knock off 100-plus mile rides nearly every weekend. I can't stay with them on those days, but if I have trouble getting motivated, they're always ready to do 20 or 50 miles. It's a huge help.
Weight Watchers is a terrific program IF he takes it seriously, and most areas have diabetic workshops or programs that are pretty successful--check with his doctor or a hospital. At bottom, though, it's up to him. It's always easy to cheat, skip a meeting, slam down a cheeseburger, whatever.
Got my dad into it years ago, and he thanks me now.Ken of Fresno
Mar 14, 2003 9:37 AM
He'll be 80 years old this year, and he still loves riding. Although he has put back on a much of the weight he lost (his new fiancee is a great cook) he is in pretty good shape for an octogenarian. It's been a good thing for our relationship, since we have spent a lot of time in the saddle together. If cycling is something he likes I would encourage him to buy the best bike he can afford. You really can't put a price on health.

Best of luck,
As an old "grey-beard" change agent,RickC5
Mar 14, 2003 12:40 PM
in a large company, I can only give the following advice: Your Dad MUST reach the point where he convinces himself that he has to change his life-style. All the benefits of a life-style change will fall on deaf ears if he doesn't or can't see the benefits himself.

Change is hard for most people, especially if they have been doing the same thing (whatever that may be) for many years, and see no compelling reason to change.

Rent a comfortable bike for him and take him for a ride on a scenic trail, to show him 1) how easy it is, and 2) how much further he can go compared to walking. Good luck!
re: Help to recruit Overweight/Diabetic Father to Cycling!!!dirtdobber
Mar 14, 2003 8:08 PM
In June 2002 I was diagnosed as Type2 diabetic. I was 46 years old and at 5'11" weighed 320lbs. My mother was diabetic Type1 and died from complications from the disease. With the challenge of losing weight,getting control of diabetes and trying to improve my health, I started walking 2 miles a day. After 6 months of walking I bought a mountain bike from a co-worker and started riding 2-3 days week. Last April I purchased a road bike and by the middle of the summer I was riding 250+ miles a week.
My weight is down to 250lbs, my ldl,hdl is great, blood pressure is normal and my HA1c was 5.6 the first of March.
My goal is to get to 200lbs. this summer. Encourage your father to take control of his health. Encourage him to exercise, the loss of 10-15lbs can make a big differance.
Treating diabetes is healthy eating and getting plenty of excercise. Good luck!