My brother Kevin shaved his head, but hasn't cut any weight lately
It's been a long time since I've updated you about my brother Kevin. I apologize for that since so many of you have been asking about how he is doing since his weight and health have been major issues that I have blogged about often at "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb." The reason is not that I don't want to update you, but that there's not much new to share.
Now that it has been a little over two years since I first blogged about Kevin's morbid obesity, I am pleased to share that he is at least keeping his weight and health relatively stable (not GREAT news to share, but a step in the right direction). This issue has been a source of grave concern for me over the past few years since I have been able to overcome my weight and health issues and now I feel helpless to help my brother do the same thing for himself.
When I saw Kevin at Thanksgiving in 2006, I seriously thought it might be the last time I see him before the obesity took him away from us. It's a daily concern that I'm gonna get a call from my mom informing me that Kevin has died. This is so out of the ordinary for me because I am not one to dwell on such morbid thoughts. And yet it's hard not to with a brother unwilling to make the necessary changes to get healthy.
I did see Kevin again last year twice: once at our Memaw Luerene's funeral in April (where the four men of Moore were all together again for the first time in nearly two decades) and then again in December when we surprised our dad for Christmas.
And there was hope in 2007 that Kevin was losing weight and getting healthy when he reported starting to eat a low-carb diet and walking to help shed the pounds. He started feeling better and came off of some blood pressure medications which was both good and bad. It was good that he no longer needed the drugs, but bad that he felt better because he always STOPS whatever he was doing to feel better thinking he's okay. He's FAR from being okay despite the fact he did reach his 40th birthday last August.
Thankfully, Kevin calls me every weekend to stay in touch and I ALWAYS ask him about his weight and how he's doing. For the longest time, he'd report that he's down to 345, then 340, then 335. But suddenly he'd stop telling me his weight and when I'd inquire about it he'd say that it's not doing so well (which is code for he's gaining again). Recently he's been telling me that he wants to get back to walking again which is the only kind of exercise his doctor will allow him to do considering his very weakened heart (at about 15% capacity still following his heart attacks in 1999).
Flanked by my brother Nathan on the left and me on the right, Kevin certainly has plenty of motivation to eat right and get the weight off. If you've read my book Livin' La Vida Low-Carb: My Journey From Flabby Fat To Sensationally Skinny In One Year, then you know that it was Nathan who inspired me to start on the Atkins diet in the first place after his incredible weight loss success on it. Although he had slipped back into some old habits again, Nathan was recommitted to this lifestyle change when I saw him at Christmas so it was awesome to hear his enthusiasm.
I was hoping some of that would rub off on Kevin, but there he was stuffing his mouth with high-sugar, carb-loaded foods again like a drug addict who can't help himself with the crack cocaine. Yes, I know it's hard to give it up and stay on the right path, but for Kevin it MUST be done if he expects to survive much longer. It's interesting to hear him talking about the future as if he's gonna be here for decades to come. The sad reality is he is not if he remains on the current path he has chosen.
Kevin is one of the most lovable, kind human beings you will ever meet in your entire life. He's that way to a fault and it sorta defines who he is. And I'm sincerely happy that he has found himself a wonderful woman now who loves him just the way he is and takes care of him as he deserves (unlike the horrendous ex-wife that made his life a living Hell for years after his heart attacks). At least he's happy and that will help keep his stress level reduced to ward off further health complications.
But it is imperative Kevin gets SERIOUS about his health and it just baffles me that he hasn't to this point. Only when he hits rock bottom after being admitted to the hospital for chest pains does he even bother trying. Yet he starts on a plan, begins feeling better, and forgets that he's not out of the woods. It's a ruthless cycle he puts himself through and I'm frustrated that I cannot force him to understand why he needs to be livin' la vida low-carb.
Therein is the central issue of this entire discussion about my brother Kevin: it's HIS life and I have no control over him whatsoever. Until HE makes the decision to do this for himself, it's not gonna happen. Even if I could be near him in Florida, forcibly feeding him what to eat, and being next to him 24/7, none of it would matter if Kevin didn't want to do it. That's a lesson we all must learn as we talk to our friends and family who need to lose weight for the sake of their health.
Continue praying that Kevin will realize he is killing himself with his actions and that he won't give up hope that he can beat this. I believe it's not too late if he can just get down to 250 pounds or less and stay there. I KNOW he could do it just like I did, but he needs to have the WANT TO within him to make it happen. It's gonna take a miracle for him to overcome all those years of bad habits, but I still believe in the miracle-working power of God to make that happen.
THANK YOU to everyone who has shared thoughts, concerns, and prayers for Kevin over the past few years. I still hold out hope that one of these days it's all gonna finally "click" for him like it did for me. That's my prayer for him.