I’ve been on this health journey for 9 years and am firmly behind anyone who decides that they want to do the same. Over time, my immediate family members and closest relatives have started to be more mindful about eating nutritious food and being more active. They do this at their own pace and I celebrate their individual progress.
Mummy shares health tips and articles in group chats with her side of the family. She then leaves the decision to them whether they want to try them out. George, the cousin who passed away recently, never did. We didn’t pressure him, since it was his life. He had to decide for himself. His obesity eventually led to his death.
His parents and siblings are devastated. Mummy told me on the way to the wake that when she called Shan, the second sister was wailing from grief. We were quiet after that, trying to compose ourselves. At the wake, I saw Shan. She had calmed down. 3rd auntie and Mei Ling, my niece, came to sit with us and we had a nice chat.
Shan shared that George’s passing affected her very much. Because of this, she wanted to be healthier. She tried to run but, at 52 years old, her knees hurt. Since she’s started to visit the gym, I suggested walking at an incline, then increasing the slope and speed as her body adapts to the exercise.
Shan asked about my lifestyle and I was happy to give her some pointers. 3rd auntie encouraged Mei Ling, who is obese, to listen and learn. There’s no shaming involved; just gentle prodding and encouragement, in addition to honesty. This side of the family doesn’t believe in negativity but we also don’t lie to our family members that obesity is healthy because it isn’t.
I’m happy that Shan is moving towards taking better care of herself. George’s death is a very dark and gloomy cloud that hangs over us, but there is still a thin sliver of silver lining. I’m going to help Shan as best as I can.