A few posts ago I mentioned that my brother is now living at my place. He’s moved to Kuwait from Bangladesh and is teaching English (like me) in my department. It’s wonderful to have him here, and I’m so happy he was able to get this job.

Aside from that, the one thing that I was most eager to have him here for was for his health.

My brother is very overweight – around 330 lbs.

There was a point 3 years ago when we both joined a diet center which delivered already calorie-counted meals to our doorstep. All we had to do was eat and make some effort to do our own exercise. He lost a lot of weight on that (so did I), but then he put it back on (and then some) as soon as he stopped. I, on the other hand, stopped after I realized that calorie-control wasn’t what I needed. I needed more nutrition. I didn’t want a 1/4 slice of pizza for dinner. I wanted a full, proper, healthy meal. That’s when I started to change my eating habits and was able to maintain that weight loss and go on to lose more.

It’s been a long time since my brother and I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together. Now that he’s in my house, it’s totally different. He’s almost under my control — to some extent of course.

I’ve had a lot of worries since he’s been here. He’s been very good at following directions about what to eat and when to exercise, but I prepare all the food and I go and exercise with him. I think it’s great for him. All of a sudden he’s gone from being able to eat whatever he wanted and eating all sorts of processed, fried, sugary foods, to my house, where the food is clean — I think the ‘worst’ thing we have is a box of granola bars somewhere and some 85% dark chocolate … there’s really not too much damage you can do.

Anyway. Although I’m on the Whole Life Challenge, which eliminates so much stuff, I haven’t put him on the challenge with me. Rather, he’s just eating clean. It’s already made such a difference. In the 1 week that he’s been here he’s lost 10 lbs — and that was pretty much from food alone as I had not incorporated any exercise into his routine at all.

Now we’ve started to exercise more regularly. After I finish my Kajukenbo or BJJ training at night I take him to the nearby track and walk for almost half an hour. We’re starting easy at first but we’ll slowly build up his speed and stamina.

To be honest, it’s been exhausting for me. There were a few days when I had done my weights, HIIT in the morning, Kajukenbo in the evening, and still gone out for a walk. Still, it’s worth the effort. Already I’m noticing a difference in his posture and walking stance.

It’s so important to me to help my brother get a hold of his health. Right now I know that I’m doing a lot for him in terms of food prep (which is a big task) and exercising, but I’m hoping that as the days go by he’ll get more on board with taking the responsibility into his own hands. He’s already started reading nutrition labels, which is great. He’s even said no to several temptations (to the point of even saying he’d rather not go to the grocery store with me because he doesn’t want to feel tempted).

I know what it’s like to go through this. I do think that I was/am more receptive to the idea of working hard and staying diligent about your choices and habits than he is, but I’m really hoping that it’ll grow on him. I hope that he continues to make progress with his weight loss which in turn will motivate him to keep it up.

There’s a lot going on this household at the moment, but I’m hoping that we’re all moving in the right direction.