Weight Loss Support - Weight loss for the morbidly obese




Athendta
06-22-2009, 09:58 PM
I was wondering... I know that a person who's morbidly obese tends to loose LOTS of weight in the first month or so, more than anyone who's just overweight could lose healthily. For a man who's 380 and 6'2", and who's goal is (or will be, once I get after him!) to lose 100 pounds in 2 years... how much of that weight might be expected to be lost quickly, say, in the first month or 2. I'm just looking for some good guidelines, so he can't say that it's impossible to do so (even though it's less than 1lb a week).


bindersbee
06-22-2009, 11:13 PM
100 lbs. over 2 years is a reasonable goal. A man who is really SELF motivated and well supported at home could easily lose 15 lbs. the first month, maybe more. For LONG TERM success, those who lose it slowly and make changes gradually tend to be much more successful long term.

I wish I had a magic pill that would motivate my spouse to kick it in the butt, I don't. The more I push, the more he'll resist. He WANTS to do it but he vasilates between wanting to do it all by himself, his way and wanting me to do the 'heavy lifting' for him. I've finally realized that until he gets himself into the right place mentally nothing I do will make that Burro move! I'm just working on me instead. Seeing me succeed is starting to create that drive within him as well.

kaplods
06-22-2009, 11:16 PM
I know that a person who's morbidly obese tends to loose LOTS of weight in the first month or so, more than anyone who's just overweight could lose healthily.

While it's true that some people who are morbidly obese lose a lot of weight in the first months, this is not necessarily true. Setting expectations based on what (some) OTHER people do, isn't a good idea.

Why does it have to be in 2 years, and why does the weight loss have to be fast?

My husband and I both started at over 380 (he is also 6'2", and his highest weight was about 420 lbs).

I've lost over 70 lbs, and he's lost about 90, and it's taken us about three years. We didn't lose most of our weight in the first year, we've both lost most of the weight this past year (I lost about 20 and he lost about 30 in the first year).

I spent decades trying to lose as fast as I could, and I think that was my mistake. I made changes that I couldn't sustain a lifetime, and couldn't even sustain "until I lost all of the weight." I decided that my method of losing weight was backwards, and set me up to fail.

I've had more success this time than ever before. This is the longest sustained downward trend - as I'd never sustained a weight loss or even a weight loss attempt for more than 18 months until "this time."

So, I decided only to make changes that I was willing to make for a lifetime, and see where that would take me.

For us, the effects have snowballed, in that the more we did, the more we found that we were willing to do - so it's not inevitable that the fastest weight loss has to occur in the beginning.

He should be making the weight loss goals, and deciding what he's willing to do, to get there. You've already decided how much you want him to lose and in what time frame. I think you're putting the cart beside the horse. He needs to decide how much (and if) he wants to lose, and what he's willing to change in order to lose it.

You can't lose weight for him, and you can't set goals for him either. He has to decide what (and whether) he's willing to make changes. If he's reluctant to lose weight (as my husband was) gradual changes may actually be much more effective than trying to make huge changes and expect the dramatic weight loss to be so rewarding that he doesn't mind the significant change in his lifestyle.

Weight loss is not as self-rewarding to most men in comparison to women. They're not as wrapped up in the numbers as women are, so fast weight loss is not necessarily seen as a good "trade" for the drastic changes in lifestyle needed to lose rapidly.

For my husband, learing that he could lose weight without drastic changes to his lifestyle was a much stronger motivator (and I found it works very well for me, too), than losing quickly. Finding out that eating healthier didn't have to be horrible, was a very big first step for him.


Heather
06-22-2009, 11:33 PM
Lots of info already!

Think of it this way, if it's safe to lost 1-2% of your weight a week, then that would be 3.8-7.6 pounds for a 380 pound person. A 200 pound person would lose 1-2 pounds at that percentage. So, I think that's what people mean when they talk about more weight loss for heavier people.

But so much of it does depend on so many factors -- commitment to lifestyle changes being a big one! It does sound like you're trying to set goals for your husband, and that is just a recipe for disaster.

Both my husband and I were morbidly obese. I wanted him to want to lose weight, and to lose with me, but he was very stubborn and in some ways actively worked against me. I began the weight loss journey first, and lo and behold, when he saw after several months that I was successful AND enjoying my food, HE wanted to give it a go... that's when real progress was made.

If your husband is motivated and committed, he might be able to lose over 100 pounds in a year. And perhaps 30 pounds in 2 months. But he has to really want it, and commit to it.

I know someone else asked, but why is the timeframe important?

Athendta
06-23-2009, 12:08 AM
Basically, this has been going on for years, and I've tried everything to help him lose weight (I don't want to go into a long list of everything I've tried, but believe me, I really have tried everything), but he's still been GAINING weight. He says he wants to lose weight... every time he starts out okay (not enthusiastic), and within a week he's back to his old habits. I had to set a goal of some sort, I didn't want it to be too hard, but not too easy either, where he'd just not start trying until the last minute. In 2 years I'll be done with school and in a position to move out (NOT divorce him), so that's what I told him... he has 2 years to lose 100lbs or I'll get my own apartment until he does. The reality is, if I see him make a real effort, even if he doesn't meet the goal, I'll stay. But I have to see improvements and a change in his attitude. I won't tell him that though, because then he'd be tempted to slack off.

I can't just sit around and watch him slowly kill himself. EVENTUALLY it would've come to this anyway. I wouldn't sit around and watch him kill himself if it were alcohol, or drugs, and I'm not going to watch him kill himself with food.

And please don't get angry with me about this... I really have tried everything else... especially being loving and helpful. I understand it really is hard for him, and I also understand, from all these attempts, that he is not sufficiently motivated to do it on his own. One day he may wake up and decide he's had enough of being fat, but likely he won't, especially since he's NEVER been thin, so he has no idea what it's like to not be fat. As much as I love him, I can't go on with how this is affecting us forever. He may just decide to resist, and not bother trying, and I may have to move out. He may never lose the weight, in which case at least I'd know for sure he doesn't care enough about our marriage or me to make a change, and I could move on.

I don't think that will happen though.

MariaMaria
06-23-2009, 12:40 AM
His body, his choice.

You do not get to dictate what he does with his body.

I find it interesting that here's a woman putting a weight-loss ultimatum on a marriage.

CLCSC145
06-23-2009, 12:58 AM
I can't think of any examples where one person giving a loved one an ultimatum to lose weight ended well for anyone involved. I've seen it result in resentment, pain, anger, and betrayal. But long term successful weight loss and/or the preservation of the relationship with the same level of trust? I'm afraid not. I suppose there is always the exception, but I imagine it's rare.

I don't judge you for making a choice for yourself about what you can and cannot live with in your marriage. But I'm not sure I would hold out much hope that your plan will work regardless of his love for you or how much he values your marriage.

sindy9001
06-23-2009, 01:14 AM
I can't imagine it!

Idealmuse
06-23-2009, 01:17 AM
The problem is most of the time unless you're doing it for yourself... the long term success can be pretty questionable. I don't personally know of anyone who's kept it off to please someone else. Fear works in the short term but most of us who were M.O. are dealing with some fairly deep issues. Its not just a question of just wanting it or not.

But anyway... 100 in 2 years for a male especially is completely reasonable. I lost over 100 in one year last year, but it does take dedication. I was both dieting and exercising and to expect 100 in one year is pretty challenging.

Athendta
06-23-2009, 01:30 AM
While it is his body, and therefore his choice what he wants to do with it, it is also my choice whether I want to live with someone who's weight prevents me from living life to its fullest. Fun things are more satisfying when you're with someone you love, and because of his weight, we cannot ride on roller coasters, go for long walks, go on hikes of any length, spend any amount of time outside in high heat and humidity, or even own nice furniture because his weight breaks it down within a month. It will EVENTUALLY cost us in rising health care expenses, which will cut into our ability to afford other things, such as vacations or evenings out. It may ultimately be his body and his choice, but as long as we are together, his choices affect me directly.

Athendta
06-23-2009, 01:32 AM
The problem is most of the time unless you're doing it for yourself... the long term success can be pretty questionable. I don't personally know of anyone who's kept it off to please someone else. Fear works in the short term but most of us who were M.O. are dealing with some fairly deep issues. Its not just a question of just wanting it or not.

But anyway... 100 in 2 years for a male especially is completely reasonable. I lost over 100 in one year last year, but it does take dedication. I was both dieting and exercising and to expect 100 in one year is pretty challenging.

Although I realize that keeping it off has to come from within, my hope is that if he loses the weight for external reasons, and then sees how much more he can do when his weight is lower, he'll want to keep it off. It's my only hope, really.

flatiron
06-23-2009, 03:01 AM
While it is his body, and therefore his choice what he wants to do with it, it is also my choice whether I want to live with someone who's weight prevents me from living life to its fullest.

It may ultimately be his body and his choice, but as long as we are together, his choices affect me directly.

When you all got married didn't you swear an oath that goes something like this ... for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part.

Or did you skip that part?

Rainbow
06-23-2009, 03:52 AM
No wonder he's struggling to lose weight with that kind of support :(

He needs to examine why when he wants to lose weight he goes off plan after a week. Once he has the answer to that he will be in a better position to lose weight. His weight is nothing to do with how he feels about your marriage and saying to him he doesn't care about your marriage because he won't lose weight is going to do nothing to empower him to lose weight at all but more than likely do the opposite :( Until he's in that place where he is ready to lose weight and look at whatever issues are contributing to his "failure" to stay on plan if you are doing the cooking and food preparation in the house you can at least encourage healthier choices within what you cook and at least make sure he gets some healthy food.

Also instead of expecting him to go on a 10 mile hike you can start by going for a gentle 5 minute stroll around the block together and very slowly work up to more.

SioGold
06-23-2009, 05:14 AM
Here's just my opinion.. I understand that you feel disappointed by the fact that he hasn't been able to commit to weight loss until now.
Giving it the perspective from the other side though: my husband is extremely fit and slim (he's a karate instructor), and I am not: I weigh 243 lb, 260 at my heaviest, and I have no chance of keeping up with him. BUT he has never, ever judged me for my weight, I've asked him if it bothers him, and though he says, like you that he'd like me to be able to work out with him more or keep up with activities, he says he loves me for much more than just that, that we've been through so much together and our love runs much deeper than this. He also says he still finds me beautiful, and know what? I believe him.
This inspires me to try to get fitter, because I want to join in the fun.. I think if he ever criticised me, or got tough and threatened to move out because of it, I'd go mental, get depressed and probably end up eating even more.

I think it's two things - one is your need to be active and fit and do fun stuff that he can't keep up with (yet)
The other is a lifestyle change for you both that doesn't allow your husband to keep gaining weight.

For the first: please, please look after yourself first: if you need to hike, then find other hiking buddies to hike with. If your hubby can't keep up, then go with friends or a hiking club. Join a sports club, do what you want to do, physically and don't blame your husband for holding you back. I always encourage my husband to work out, find work-out buddies and the like because I know I am way out of his league. It also makes him a lot more patient with me when we do do stuff together because he's not like "oh at last I can get some exercise", you know?
Secondly - about lifestyle changes. Do you do the cooking? Can you swing it that you can? There are many different ways of cooking that you can take over where your hubby could have large portions of whatever you're cooking and still be on a restricted calorie diet. What is it that he eats that makes him gain weight? Does he drink a lot, eat a lot of junk food, chips, candy etc? Just don't buy it! Don't have it on your weekly grocery list. If he craves something, you guys can go for a walk to the shop and buy him one thing. At his weight, he could probably eat normal foods and still lose weight too. If you're trying to restrict his diet too much it might be why he's quitting after a week each time. He's probably allowed a fair amount of calories to still lose weight, depending on how much he ultimately weighs (maybe 2500-3000 kcal or so?)
A good days diet might be:
Fresh fruit smoothie, low-cal toast with poached egg and ham
Lunch: Pasta salad with chicken, vegetables. Fruit salad for afterwards.
Afternoon snack: sandwich with a packet of low-fat chips, fruit
Dinner: Steak, potatoes and vegetables with a side salad; dessert, scoop of low-fat vanilla icecream and strawberries.

So he doesn't have to go hungry; he'd just need to eat his meals and not fill up on candy and chips. If he can't cook for himself, maybe the two of you can learn how to cook together (if you PM me your email address I can send you a huge database of recipes too). You can also get him interested in doing more exercise by finding a hobby you can both do together - start off going for easy walks, take up,.. I dunno.. hobby airplane or kite flying or nature photography or something that requires being outdoors and automatically walking around more.. the more time you spend outdoors doing something he enjoys, the more likely it is to make him want to do more.
Just go easy on him, get fit and healthy by yourself and try not to resent him, you know? If he's a comfort eater that will only make him worse.
It is possible, but make the changes gentle and without accusation, and you'll get there :-)

Pita09
06-23-2009, 07:41 AM
I have no reason to doubt that you have really tried everything to get your husband to lose weight. His refusal to get healthy is his choice of course, but I agree that it is directly affecting your life. It sucks and you both need to make some hard choices. I've learned after having an 18 year marriage with someone who would not change destructive behavior (not weight) that it wasn't worth what it was doing to me. I was becoming like him and that was unacceptable.

Was he morbidly obese when you married? If so then maybe you should have known better. You can't really change, or fix someone who doesn't want fixing. If he became obese after marriage despite all your efforts to help him, then the blame squarely falls on him. He has deep issues that must be addressed. Sometimes it takes some tough love to get a person to wake up. If they don't you, have to do what is right for you. Good luck.:hug:

Heather
06-23-2009, 08:24 AM
Athendta -- you're in a tough spot, no doubt. And I'm sure you can hear that you've struck a chord in some of us (i.e., those who are in your husband's place in their relationships).

I completely agree that of course you are affected in some ways by his decisions -- that happens in marriages all the time, for all kinds of issues. And I can completely see why you want him to lose weight, and want to help him change.

I have been in the place of the morbidly obese person whose loved one tried to change me. And I have also been in your place -- wanting my own morbidly obese husband to lose weight. And I can tell you that nothing succeeded in me losing weight until I did it for my own reasons -- and the same thing for my husband. When my father tried to persuade me, I felt controlled, and on some level resisted -- a kind of passive aggressive. Now mind you, it wasn't that I didn't want to lose weight on one level, but successful weight loss does not happen just because we want to lose. There has to be commitment. And I think it has to come from within. Weight loss is physical, but it really is so psychological!

I don't think it's hopeless for you, but I think what many of us are saying is that if your husband perceives that you are trying to force him into something (whether that's your intention or not), where you are setting the goals and the method that he will never be successful.

It won't solve the problem, but I'm a big fan of direct communication. Both of you talking about your feelings, etc. Though it's likely you've done that already.

Know that this losing large amounts of weight really is a huge task, with a lot of mental components...

Good luck!

kaplods
06-23-2009, 08:31 AM
If that's how you feel either seek counseling (together or if he doesn't want to go, go yourself) or LEAVE NOW. If you don't love him enough for the "for worse" part, then I think you should admit that to yourself, and to him. Because if "fat" is worse than you bargained for, and you're concerned with illnesses he might (or might not) get, then you're not prepared for how bad things can get, just by the luck of the draw (and some yes, even due to his weight).

You're making this a contest about how much he loves you, I can tell you even if he loves you more than life itself, he might not be able to make those changes at your pace and on your schedule (or at all). He may even be gaining because of your pressure to make him lose, if he's not trying things that he can sustain in a life time (and it's a common mistake). It's quite possible to diet your way to weight gain - I did it for more than 25 years. About 10 years ago, I decided that diets were only making me fatter, and for a few years decided that I would NOT diet again, and just by not dieting, my weight stabilized (how I wish I had discovered that as a teenager). I only considered weight loss again, when I started having health problems and decided I had to find a different way to lose weight (and it still took me more than 3 years to find a path on which I could be successful).

My husband and I married each other fat, with an understanding of how difficult weight loss is. We both had goals of weight loss, but acknowledged that change of any kind is hard and that we would accept each other as we were, and if we couldn't accept each other "as is" and even "worse than" then marriage wasn't a good choice. Setting up ultimatums would have failed, and only hurt us.

We're both having illnesses that are caused or worsened by our weight. Ironically my husband's degenerative bone disease is actually getting worse with weight loss. The doctors have a rational explanation - very fat people generally do have very dense bones. Very fat people are less likely to have osteoporosis (perhaps the one and only health advantage to being overweight). Losing weight, while positively affecting his blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes, is making it harder and harder for him to be active because of the bone loss (even at his fattest he was always the "active" one - working a very strenuous job and working out at the gym a couple times a week for several hours).

Health problems aren't a guarantee if you're fat, and there's also no guarantee that a thin person won't have them, or that getting thin will prevent them.

Losing weight, especially once you become morbidly obese is a challenge most people who never have been that overweight underdstand. I've been obese since age 5 and morbidly obese since mid-puberty. There were times when suicide seemed preferable to being fat, and yet I couldn't lose the weight no matter how hard I tried (or rather I could lose it for a few months at a time, but because I was biting off more than I could chew, I'd always fall back). As a child, and even as an adult, my parents tried threats and bribes and they didn't work - and it wasn't because I didn't want them to work. The harder I worked, the harder I fell when I failed. Threats (and make no mistake, that's what an ultimatum is) only made me feel worthless and hopeless and PUNISHED, and punishment has never, never, never, never worked for me for weight loss, because it adds emotional stress that makes comfort food seem all the more comforting.

It's taken me 35 years plus to finally have success - and I'm trying less than ever before. It's sad really, because I just don't have the motivation and stamina that I did when I was younger - and yet the trying less "full-steam-ahead," has actually been more successful. I could try hard, full-on-extreme effort but I couldn't sustain that very long - and that's how weight loss "is done" in our culture, and so it's the way most people try - and fail.

I think your intentions are good, but the road to you know where is paved with good intentions. You're making this about you, and it isn't. You're thinking "if he really loved me, he'd lose the weight." Sorry, but it really doesn't work that way. Because if he can't do it for himself, he really can't do it for you. And it's not even likely that he's going to get started for you and feel so amazing that he's willing to work harder to sustain it for himself. That's a nice story, but it's probably a fairy tale.

Losing weight, even a small amount is crazy hard (most people, of any size, don't do it). You know what finally got me started on real success? It was a doctor who said "even a tiny weight loss, helps health problems tremendously, so don't try to lose 250 lbs, try 30 to 40 (and start with 10).
I had two supportive doctors who gave me goals of 20 lbs or less in a YEAR. I thought they were crazy, and that I could do that "on my head," but it got me started - and their goals, as it turned out, were more reasonable than my own. It didn't really click for me, until several months ago, when I complained to my doctor that I was getting so frustrated because I was losing so slowly, and my doctor reminded me of how few people actually suceed at long-term weight loss - just maintaining the weight loss I have achieved is remarkable. I'm not failing, I'm succeeding, and I can feel bad about it being slow success (but slow in comparison to what - if most people fail, how can succeeding slowly put me "behind" in this race - behind whom? because I'm ahead of the pack - the tortoise really can win this race).

Ultimatums and criticism are more hurtful than helpful in the long run. Few people respond to them positively, and even if they work can cause long-lasting resentments. If you can't help in positive ways (without expectations and agendas on how success is measured) then you need to realize that you're not helping at all. I would also encourage you to realize that small successes are successes. You may not be able to measure the first acheivements in pounds lost, but in small behavioral changes that are healthier and will help him in the long run.

Good Luck.


Seeing my husband to appreciate healthy foods

mizski
06-23-2009, 08:34 AM
DH weighed less than me (still does) but he was definitely getting more and more rotund. He would never "diet." After over 20 years together I knew that.

His weight loss came from me and my quest to eat healthy. As I do most of the food prep, we started having healthy, portion right meals. Men seem to lose weight so easily and the weight just started coming off him. He didn't mind the change in meals. And as his pants started getting looser his vanity returned. I've noticed he's keeping his beard well trimmed and taking time to pick out clothes rather than just throwing something on.

I got a Wii and the new Wii Fit and Sports Active games. Although he laughed at me during my initial uncoordinated attempts, my enthusiasm for working out with it and playing the games intrigued him. We both like the boxing and workout together a lot. Never ever would have happened with my fitness DVDs.

Men remind me of my little dog when I would try to pull the leash to get him to go somewhere and he would lock his little legs and put the "brakes" on. The image of "drag dog" applied when dealing with my husband. The direct approach backfires...the subtle way wins. :)

time2lose
06-23-2009, 09:19 AM
Kaplods originally posted...If that's how you feel either seek counseling (together or if he doesn't want to go, go yourself) or LEAVE NOW.

I would like to encourage you to try counseling. A good counselor can help you both work through issues like this.

Lori Bell
06-23-2009, 09:29 AM
To answer the OP's original question, I think 100 pounds in 2 years is very doable. I've lost 172 in the last 15/16 months and I don't feel as though I have ever been deprived or "suffered" from my calorie counting diet plan. I am a 43 year old woman and started this journey as a very inactive, but fairly healthy super morbidly obese computer junkie. I also quit smoking and drinking alcohol at the same time. (Talk about your triple threat!)

I can understand your frustration. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I can understand how it must feel to stand by and watch someone you love kill themselves slowly. However I can honestly say that if my dh would have told me he was going to move out if I didn't lose weight that would have worked...and pushed me right into the arms of another man. That's right, things would be MUCH different if that would have been the case. I would have lost the weight and dumped HIM...But then again, I don't take criticism well. :)

Good luck on your own weight loss efforts.

Kootch
06-23-2009, 09:50 AM
Wow. Interesting thread, to say the least.

I will say that if someone told me I had two years to lose 100 lbs, or they were moving out - I'd rent them a moving truck right there on the spot and TELL them to get out now. Then I'd lose the weight anyway, out of spite, and be rid of twice the baggage. Seriously, the thought of one spouse putting such an ultimatum on another defies logic and the sanctity of marriage, to me at least.

I respect that one spouse desperately wants the other to lose weight and be healthy - that's awesome in itself. But this crosses a line with a place that really shouldn't be a part of marriage, again in my humble opinion. To me, obesity is a DISEASE. Yes, it absolutely can be treated, but it's a disease that is very, very hard for some to control and kills millions a year. I'm trying to picture someone threatening their spouse to find a cure for their cancer in two years, or they're moving out. Really, it's comparable in at least a broad sense.

Very interesting thread - to say the least - and I bet unfortunately this is the cause of many marriage breakups on a regular basis. Kinda sad, really. I'm glad we at least have a place like this forum for us to discuss it...

Mrs Snark
06-23-2009, 09:56 AM
I think if she can't be happy with her husband due to their totally incompatible lifestyles, that it is her choice to make. She's trying to work it out and it sounds like she has been trying for some time. And she may feel that her husband must not care for her very much if he won't really commit to making positive changes.

It is a complicated issue, but I feel for them both.

nelie
06-23-2009, 09:56 AM
You have received a lot of good advice and I'll give you my opinion from a 5'6" woman who used to weigh 360. External motivation never worked for me to lose weight and keep the weight off. I lost the same 30 lbs (bounced between 330/360) for 7 years. It wasn't until I found my true internal motivation was I able to go beyond the 30 lb point, keep losing and keep it off.

Also, you have to take into account that maybe your husband isn't interested in active pursuits. At my highest weight and every weight in between, I loved hiking and long walks. I would walk for 5 miles without thinking about it because it was what I liked to do. Of course hiking has become a lot easier since I lost weight but that wasn't to say my weight stopped me.

I would agree that counseling is in order.

Delphi
06-23-2009, 10:21 AM
I think if she can't be happy with her husband due to their totally incompatible lifestyles, that it is her choice to make. She's trying to work it out and it sounds like she has been trying for some time. And she may feel that her husband must not care for her very much if he won't really commit to making positive changes.

It is a complicated issue, but I feel for them both.

I completely agree with this comment!

Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, everyone involved has their own needs and wants. Apparently, she isn't happy. If they both can not work together to make the marriage fruitful for both parties then it is her choice to move on and furthermore, I commend you for being so blunt and honest. That takes a lot of courage and I do hope that you can find some peace with your marriage or if choose, on your own. :)

Niecy
06-23-2009, 11:06 AM
I would just like to say that I am one of those people that were given an ultimatum of sorts. It was not about my weight, although that was one of the components of the problem as a whole.

I was VERY sick, staying in bed most days with aches, pains, gobs of hair falling out that could fill up one ziploc bag on a daily basis, forgetful, couldn't cook, much less muster the energy to do even ONE load of laundry. My house was a DISASTER area. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism but the medicine I was given just wasn't working. I was EXTREMELY unhappy and even secretly contemplated ending it all. I felt hopeless and useless.

My husband came to me to ask me to sew a button back on his uniform. While doing so, I found an unfinished note in his pocket. It started out by saying how much he cared for me, blah, blah blah, but that he couldn't live this way any longer. Now granted, my situation is much different from your husbands in that he doesn't have an illness (that you know of). I cannot BEGIN to tell you how awfully hurt and destroyed I was at the thought that he would leave me at a time in my life that I needed him the most. I confronted him and he broke down and said if I didn't get better by X# of months, he would have to re-evaluate our situation. Talk about feeling hopeless and useless. Those feelings were intensified X's 1000 at this point.

Look at my ticker. I am 25 lbs away from goal. I feel 150% better than I did 5 yrs. ago. Some days I deal with thoughts of that past conversation with him. Thinking about the devastation he put me through, all the tears and fear that he was leaving.

Now, it is ME wanting to "re-evaluate" the situation. Things are much better with us from his side anyway. He doesn't understand the damage he caused me and the lack of trust I have in our relationship. I will say, he is extremely supportive of me and my weight loss and that weight has actually NEVER been a topic. It was mostly that I was sick and couldn't be a wife and mother that he thought I should be. Although things are better I still wonder, how could those vows we made be thrown out the window over something that was BEYOND my control? And the amount of weight your husband is being forced to lose in the time frame in which you are allowing him to do it may just FEEL beyond his control. I only have/had 65 lbs to lose. I cannot IMAGINE what 100+ must feel like. I am thinking it feels totally out of reach right now because your husband may not be mentally ready for this. Maybe he is afraid of failing. I can assure you that *most* overweight, obese and morbidly obese people DO NOT want to be that way. Of course there are exceptions. People that thrive on the being catered to hand and foot, people that haven't yet experienced health problems or those in denial. But from the many friends I have that are overweight or what have you, I get a completely different story. They hate it, they hate themselves. So your ultimatum can't be good for his self-esteem.

I think all the other posters who are warning you of how your plan may backfire are right. And especially LoriBell. She is exactly right. While I understand that you had this "ideal" life that you would have with your husband when you married, I believe counseling is DEFINITELY in order because (and I am not trying to be mean) you glazed over the other parts of your vows that dealt with what you are going through. And it is easy for some married people to do, because who really wants to sit and imagine all of the bad things that could go wrong?

And as far as counseling goes, I think you should go ALONE for the time being. IF he wants to go with you, that would be fantastic. But you need someone experienced with this to help you sort out YOUR feelings so that you can possibly find a better approach to this and hopefully encourage your husband to be on his way to losing.

stargzr
06-23-2009, 11:08 AM
I can definitely understand your being upset by his lack of motivation. Although I think it goes much deeper than just weight loss. It sounds as if maybe the way that he is approaching his weight loss is the same way he approaches many things - He'll start and go strong for a short time and then stop completely. So, I would venture to guess that this is something that happens in other aspects of his life and maybe it would help if the two of you figured out why he starts, but inevitably stops. This might jump start his brain thinking and eventually lead to some revelations for him.
On the weight loss note... While each person is different, I can only say that I know myself and how I would react in this situation. I am a very stubborn person and something of this capacity would just bring that out even more than it comes out now and I would inadvertently gain more weight instead of losing, and as someone above said - drive me away from my husband. When we met and began dating, I was eating a fairly healthy diet and was the thinnest I'd been in my life. Shortly after we began dating, I starting taking on his horrible eating habits of having cookies and candy, brownies, etc every day. Needless to say, the weight just loaded on me. In about 6 months I had gained 50 pounds! I felt disgusting all the time, but I couldn't figure out what to do. He never once told me anything negative about my weight and for that I appreciated him, but it came to a point when I mentioned to him I wanted to lose the weight I had gained (this was about 2 years later). Since that time, he has tried his darndest to help me the only ways he knows how. Unfortunately, when he would tell me I shouldn't eat something I would stubbornly eat more of it than I would have had he not mentioned anything. At the time, I honestly feel I didn't know what I was doing to my body. Only now, after we've been together for almost 5 years have I finally come to the realization of what I have done to my body this entire time (granted, obesity does run in my family). I have also learned from my many failed attempts to lose weight that I have to be super dedicated to losing in order for this to work. I once heard someone say that motivation is not real or sustaining - there is no such thing as motivation, it's all about dedication. I really took that to heart because I would begin to eat better and then slip and kept wondering why I lost my motivation... It's because it's not about motivation when it comes to losing weight for everyone. For some people, that works... but for others (like myself), I'm never going to want to go run a mile, or hop on the elliptical for 30 minutes. That's just not me. BUT, I do want to be able to do these things on a whim and that's what reminds me every day to be dedicated to the weight loss and eating better. If I want to have healthy children and be able to run around and play with them, to have enough energy to keep up with them, to grow old with my husband and still have enough energy when the grandchildren come around, I NEED to do this.
I know you said that you've tried everything with your husband, but I can honestly say that I don't think that you've tried everything. Maybe you need to sit down with him and have a heart to heart. Tell him in all honesty how much it hurts you to see him do this to himself. Remind him that, if you want children someday, you want him to be able to play with them and take them to the park or whatnot. Find what really strikes a chord with him and can show him that he needs to do this, not for YOU, but for HIMSELF, only then will he start to make changes. Then you need to ask him how you can help. Does he need you to have him weigh in once a week to see progress? Or would he rather you be quiet in the background? Is there something he loves to eat that you can find a healthier recipe for? Would that help him? Turn your focus onto him instead of you and I think that will help him to go on to the next step.
Best of luck and congrats on your own weight loss!

kaplods
06-23-2009, 12:07 PM
It is a complicated issue, and that's why most marriage vows in our culture do include a "better or worse, in sickness and in health," clause - an acknowledgement that at those times, leaving the marriage can be very tempting, understandable and even at times justified.

As a christian (especially one raised roman catholic) I take marriage very seriously. As a psychologist and life-long battler with weight, I understand how difficult change is (even small changes). I see the marriage vows (if taken seriously) as a warning as much as a "contract," a warning that "if you can't make this promise, get out while you can." Romantic love isn't enough to make incompatible people compatible. That kind of love evaporates when tough times and situations occur.

Before I met my husband, I was beginning to think I was going to be single forever (and was ok with that fact), because I had never met a man I didn't want to change. I'd always been told that "men (and women) will change after marriage, but mostly for the worse." That's not entirely true, most of us do make some changes and even sacrifices for our spouses, but we don't easily change major aspects of who we are. And marrying a fat man, you're unlikely to end up with a thin man. Marrying an inactive man, you're not going
get an athlete.

My husband and I are both very sociable, outgoing and even adventurous, but in different ways and even so, we find it difficult to accomodate the other. It takes a lot of work to make a marriage work, even for the most compatible of couples. If there are underlying imcompatibilities, you're struggle is that much harder.

No decision is going to be an easy one, but it's a lesson for anyone who is thinking about marriage. Do not marry someone, if you cannot live with them "as is." Expect them to change only for the worse (If you can "just barely" tolerate your potential mate's weakneses, don't expect marriage to improve them - or your ability to tolerate them).

Ultimatums rarely work (and even when they do, they often backfire). If you truly cannot accept him "as is," then leave now. Because weight loss is not an easy fix. My husband gave up smoking for me, because I have severe lung problems (never having smoked), and he still relapsed several times. Change often does include relapses - especially weight loss. I can guarantee you that a life-long problem isn't going to be fixed in two years. Even if he loses the weight, it's very likely that he's going to struggle and relapse, maybe forever.

Obesity is very much like many diseases. And whether you consider it a disease or a moral defect, there is no quick or permanent cure. A person can "manage" their weight, but you can't "cure" it. I think looking at obesity as a disease, is more accurate than not. One of the leading causes of divorce is chronic illness. People find they cannot cope with a partner's illness. We often judge that harshly, but forget the judgement and decide whether you can be there or not, and if you can't I guess it's better to deal with it sooner, rather than later.