Integrative Nutrition Blog

How I Helped My Father-in-Law Reclaim His Health

November 1, 2013

“I don’t want to lose another dad.”

These were the words I cried out to my soon-to-be father-in-law.

You see, only a few months before this plea, I had lost my dad to cancer. It was a rough two years of dealing with doctors, health insurance battles and severe loss. My dad was my best friend. And in a short amount of time, he was gone. He wasn’t going to be able to walk me down the aisle. He wasn’t going to be able to dance with me at my wedding. And he wasn’t going to be able to pick me up when I was down. I was devastated.

Then, I looked at the health of my soon-to-be father-in-law. He was almost 600 pounds and could barely move. Food had become his comfort and drug in life. He was on a ton of different medications and had no zest for living anymore. He became helpless.

But there was one thing he had that my dad didn’t have: the chance to regain his health.

So on Thanksgiving, I had a serious talk with him.  I expressed my concern and pain with him. I told him I already lost one dad and I didn’t want to lose another one.

In that moment, he looked at me as if it was the first time in a long time that he had something to live for. He immediately responded, “I’ll do whatever it takes to be here for you. I want to dance with you at your wedding.”

So the next several months were dedicated to getting my soon-to-be father-in-law healthy so he could give me the father-daughter dance that my dad couldn’t.

From November to May, my father-in-law lost almost 200 pounds, got off half his medications and starting living again. His joint pain lessened, he can walk quicker and he actually enjoys fruits and vegetables now. And to top it off, he was able to give me the father-daughter dance I so desperately craved.

Becoming a health coach was completely confirmed in this moment. I realized that I couldn’t go back and change what happened to my dad. I understood that I couldn’t change the choices people made in their past. But I recognized that I could use my knowledge and passion to help give hope, inspiration and guidance to those around me, here and now.

Lindsey Smith, IIN Class of 2010, is also known as the Food Mood Girl and is an inspirational speaker and author. She is passionate about helping people understand that salads and smoothies won’t fix all their life problems, but once they get rid of the baggage they’ll feel empowered to do their body good and eat what makes them feel best. You can connect with Lindsey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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