Weight Loss Support - Attempted sabotage, rebellion or what? (long)




Cherry in STL
05-18-2010, 07:54 PM
My husband is getting on my nerves in a major way. Ever since I've been dieting and exercising, it seems he is trying everything he can to be and do the exact opposite.

I had encouraged him to exercise with me. He has about 50 lbs to lose, and complains about being "fat" often. He has a medical condition that would be improved by weight loss and his doctors tell him to lose weight at every visit. We talked about when he'd be willing to go, and he said after work on Mondays and Fridays. He went with me on one Monday and one Friday on two different weeks, and has since given up. For a month, every Monday and Friday, I had his workout clothes laid out, and asked, "are we working out tonight?" his response would be "no" or some kind of excuse as to why he couldn't. After hearing that 8 times in a row, I gave up. I still go most days while he's at work so it is not like I'm missing out by him not going.

What really got under my skin is when we went to a restaurant recently and he ordered TWO dinners. TWO COMPLETE (unhealthy) MEALS. He sat and ate them all smug like it was totally normal for someone to eat like that while I sat across from him with my salad topped with grilled chicken and fat free italian dressing. He had never done that before and I have to take it personally that he did it just to annoy me.

He seems really insecure with my losing weight. I have a mini crush on Mike Rowe (the guy from Dirty Jobs and the Ford commercials) and one of the Ford commercials had him bringing a Ford to a lady to trade for her regular car for a week to see which she liked better. I made some little comment like, "ooh, I'd be willing to drive a Ford for a week if it meant meeting him." And my husband totally flew off the handle, acting like it was really going to happen and I was going to get it on with Mike Rowe if he came anywhere near the house. (yeah right!) He has also made remarks on how I'm eating and expressed concern that I'll "turn anorexic" (yeah right, again!) I haven't even lost that much yet, considering how big I was to start.

I will not stop the diet and exercise, that's for sure, but I can't stand dealing with his negativity. I just really don't know what to do.


Tomato
05-18-2010, 08:06 PM
Oh gosh, that must be really hard to face this every day. Good for you for not letting yourself be influenced and for not throwing the towel in!
Can you talk to a counselor to get some advice how to handle this? Obviously, your husband knows that you are working hard on losing weight. It would not be the first time when the other spouse feels intimidated by the other person's success and perhaps slightly ashamed. It is much EASIER and obviously much more ENJOYABLE to order to two dinners and chomp them down than putting gym clothes on and producing a gallon of sweat with beet-red face.
I feel fortunate that my BF is also trying to lose weight. He evens gets over my emails sending him some ripped hunks and teases me that I want him to have as little body fat as those guys (not really, I like to look at those pictures myself for motivation so I just send them on).
I don't know what to suggest (I have a feeling that having a direct conversation with your DH is not going to help, but you may try the "I" statements and say something like 'I don't appreciate when you xxxxx' or 'I feel upset when you xxxxx'.

And by the way, congrats on your weight loss so far! Well done!

WarMaiden
05-18-2010, 08:20 PM
He's trying to control what you do by being rebellious. He wants to get back to the comfort zone of your relationship, the years-long familiarity of how you ate together, how you spent leisure time together, how you felt and looked to him.

What I would do is to ignore his behavior and just keep on. Eventually he'll figure out the new normal and adapt to it, and he may even change himself. Of course, you cannot change him, and you should stop trying. Don't even invite him to join you or make "healthy suggestions" until he shows initiative to change, himself.

It's frustrating, but try to be Zen about what he's doing. Keep it calm and mellow and don't allow him to ruffle you...eventually (most likely) he'll quit trying.


kaplods
05-18-2010, 08:36 PM
Sounds like a few incidents I've had with my hubby. Usually we're both only a little of the good kind of crazy, but every once in a while a whole lot of bad crazy spills out.

Another thing I think is going on, is just the different way that people think about weight loss (I was going to say men, but I'm not sure it's a men/women thing as much as a different personality thing).

My hubby shuts down when I put any kind of "pressure" on him, or when I try to make choices or encourage him to make choices that are responsible rather than fun. He acts like I'm trying to suck all of the joy out of his life.

For us, we had to agree not to get in each other's weight loss. Even nudging can backfire.

We have a lot more success cooperating when I make it about fun, rather than responsibility (it's just his nature). We go out to eat fairly frequently, and we both enjoy it. If I scan the menu looking for something "I can eat," it makes him feel bad (and says I'm ruining his fun).

When I choose the salad (or whatever) because it's what I want, he doesn't have a problem with it. I've been known to ham it up a bit. Not only saying "Mm, I have a taste for a really big salad," and then while I'm eating it I say "Mmm, this is SOOO good." He could care less what I'm eating. That I'm enjoying myself, is what's important to him.

I can't complain about hubby's willingness to exercise with me. On that front, I'm the one dragging my feet. He's a lot stronger than I am, most of the time. Now that he's got a more effective pain medication, he's faster and has more stamina than me again (when he needed a cane, we were more evenly matched). Taking a walk, just to "work out" has no appeal for me. For me, there needs to be fun involved, or I lose interest really fast (I start to get sore and then I want to go home). When I'm having fun, I'm willing to put up with a lot more pain.

We don't ask each other to "exercise" anymore, we find active things to do that are inherently fun. A couple years ago, we bought bikes. He doesn't have the balance for bicycling anymore, so I need to learn to be happy doing that on my own, if I want to use the bike. I love swimming (hubby not so much. Because of his joint issues, he likes being in the water, because the relief from gravity feels great - but getting out of the water is misery and he feels more crippled than when he gets in) - also something I've got to learn to do alone, because I love it. He likes fishing (and for him it's a fairly active sport. He never sits down, and walks a lot, changing spots....). We both like geocaching (it's like a nature walk/treasure hunt using a gps).

You might find it easier to get him to participate if the object is fun, not weight loss.

Just some ideas.

angelskeep
05-18-2010, 08:37 PM
Just my opinion, but it sure sounds like he is scared of the new you...and maybe of being left behind. Perhaps you can reassure him instead of being upset. Tell him he doesn't need to eat two meals to get your attention. That you enjoy spending time with him even if you aren't eating the same food. That you want to go to the gym but he doesn't have to. It's HIM you care about so there is no reason for him to be upset by the change.

And no matter what HE does, you have to take care of yourself. You can't MAKE him eat better or exercise unless he wants to do those things. He already knows he needs to do them since his doc says so. What he does with that info is HIS choice, just like eating healthy and exercising is YOURS. I think if you are patient ad kind and don't budge from your course for yourself, you may discover that he eventually will feel better and even if he doesn't help himself, I bet he will stop trying to make you feel bad.

Barb

bargoo
05-18-2010, 08:38 PM
You said it yourself "he seems insecure" that is it exactly. Men are such babies . One of their big fears when their wife or SO lose weight is that they may look good to someone else, or that they may lose interest in him.It happens often . I like Warmaidens advice, go on and diet by yourself , don't try to include him and don't talk about it. Don't try to get him to join you. Concentrate on taking care of yourself. When he sees that you are serious and his games won't deter you he may even be proud of you.

mkendrick
05-18-2010, 08:41 PM
That must be tough...Support makes a huge difference, and he's not only not supporting you by being indifferent, he's going out of his way to NOT support you.

First of all, and I'm not sure if you've done this, but I think it's fair to confront him gently about it. He may not even be aware that he's being so obnoxious. I know that when I was at my highest weight and hadn't committed to a healthier lifestyle, I was subconsciously sending negative vibes to friends who were actively losing weight. I'd make a point to order unhealthy foods, discourage them from exercising, etc. A lot of the times I wasn't even aware I was doing it, but I was envious of their progress, intimidated by it, and I was miserable and misery loves company.

If you approach him gently, and simply explain that you really need his support, you may be surprised to realize that he's not even realizing that what he's doing is hurting you. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, so don't come at him offensively or he'll get defensive. Give him the opportunity to be the hero of the situation ("It would help me so much if you exercised with me and tried to eat healthier"). At least give him the chance to be told straight up what is expected from him...it's only fair, he may just not know.

If you already have talked to him, or if this continues after talking to him, then I'd just follow WarMaiden's advice and ignore it. If he's doing this intentionally, he's doing it to discourage you so you'll be lazy/unhealthy with him so he won't feel as bad about himself. If his efforts go unnoticed, hopefully he'll give it up.

juliastl27
05-18-2010, 10:18 PM
i dont even know him and he's getting on my nerves.

my husband is a bit on the chubby side, but was never anything but supportive about my losing weight. you need to explain to your husband how important to you this is. at 300 the weight can be a serious health risk. if he also has problems with his health and needs to lose weight, he needs to get on board. tell him to stop being such a baby and if he's not going to do what's healthy for him, he could at least not interfere with you doing it. no one wants their husband to micro manage their dieting, it only causes problems usually, but he needs to help by being supportive and gently keeping you on track.

tell him to get over it, lol. i know that sounds harsh but come on. i occasionally get hit on now but my husband is always happy for me, he says "that mustve made you feel really good!" a supportive partner can make such a difference!

LovebirdsFlying
05-19-2010, 08:09 AM
Something like this happened to my mother when she lost a considerable amount of weight back in the 1970's. Her then-husband (not my father) accused her of losing the weight so she could run around with other men. Needless to say, she had no such intention. But too many men think their wives are going to attract a "better" man after losing weight, and he'll lose her. (If he were my husband, I'd tell him that if he's in danger of losing me, it's not got anything to do with his appearance but rather his treatment of me.)

On the other hand, my own husband doesn't like to do anything unless he feels like it's *his* idea instead of someone pressuring him into it. He and I are both diabetic, and what jump-started him was his numbers going up while mine are falling. He says he'd do anything rather than have to poke himself full of needles as I do, so he started getting his rear in gear, without me saying anything. Applied to your situation, I'd say don't ask him to join you, just do it yourself until he joins of his own volition.

That bit about ordering two full unhealthy dinners, however, yes I'd guess he probably did that just to annoy you. Either he's like the kid brother eating something he knows you can't have and doing the "mmmm, mmmm, this tastes so good, don't you wish you could have a bite" taunt, or there is something else going on. My first husband used to heckle me about my weight until I was in tears, and then go directly out and buy a gallon of chocolate ice cream and get VERY angry when I wouldn't join him in eating it. My therapist said he was trying to keep me fat so he'd have something to put me down for.

So, several possibilities:

1. He is afraid if you lose weight, you'll look elsewhere.
2. When he decides to get in shape, he wants it to be his idea, not because you or a doctor or anyone else told him to.
3. He's immature like that kid brother and was taunting you.
4. He's being downright abusive.

I can't make the final call, not having enough knowledge.

candlechick
05-19-2010, 11:31 AM
I deal with the same non supporting husband issues. My husband is 62, 5'10" and weighs 327lbs. He will not exercise, go for walks, eat healthy, etc. I've suggested coming to the gym with me exercise and get a massage or let's walk the country roads and check for agates.

He did try the massage at the gym because his shoulders hurt, however refused to do any exercise because he gets enough with his job hauling milk. He is an avid "couch potato" and hits the couch right after eating supper. He and his date "Miss Remote Control" watch television together. :lol:
I have never been a TV watcher,, my time was always filled with the children, their activities, bowling or working. Now I actually have some time for "me'.

I've continued on my journey to losing weight, without his support. He simply needs to grow up and deal with "his" issues, because I've taken on the challenge of my weight and staying healthy(my issues).

I found support in other places; my children in talking on the phone or emailing, other gals at the gym looking for exercise buddies or to walk with at the gym, or "walking the hallways" exercise programs at school or the mall.
Last week I found this forum,, I love it..it is sooooo encouraging and supportive.

I've told my husband to get over it, fit in or fit out, quit hounding me, quit making me feel bad for eating less, quit making fun of my dieting in front of friends and get on with life,, cause I'm doing this for me! Like it or lump it..

Hang in there... remember your doing this.. for the most important person in your life... "YOU"... :)