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Old 12-18-2008, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default How does your spouse/significant other fit into your weight loss plan?

I'm wondering if anyone else is struggling with the same issue that I am. I have lost about 50 lbs and am feeling really good about the changes I have made in my life. I even ran my first marathon this year. My husband has been supportive about the changes I've made but isn't really interested in making changes himself. This has cause some challenges as far as what to have for dinner, what kind of activities we can do together, what we do with the kids, etc. I worry about the health of my family and especially the health of my husband. He has signs of weight-related illnesses. He is sometimes willing to go on walks, but this usually results in foot pain. He has sleep apnea. If we try to go on a hike or bike ride he has breathing problems or what he calls "weird heart palpitations". I scheduled a dr visit for him to follow up on these issues and the dr didn't do much other than send him to a sleep clinic for the sleep apnea. I'm seriously worried about his health and when I try to talk to him about it he doesn't seem to take me very seriously, but just waves me off. Tonight he said he would make dinner and he wanted to make cheesy meatloaf with macaroni and cheese. I told him I wouldn't eat the mac & cheese so he asked what I would make. I told him I'd probably either make quinoa or whole grain pasta with some seasonings. I also suggested that maybe we should have some vegetables and he decided to make one of those single serving Green Giant corn packages for the whole family to share. I don't want to be a total b**** about it, but I work really hard to maintain my loss and am not quite where I want to be yet. He gets really annoyed about making separate meals and I would like to find a happy medium. I'm seriously at a loss about how to talk to him about this. A few days ago I suggested that he should get a physical just to find out where his health is at and he rolled his eyes at me and told me his blood pressure was fine. I know he has to make this change for himself but I am worried about him. I have been hoping that maybe I could just set an example and it would get at least slightly better, but it's just not happening. I guess I could just use some words of encouragement or advice or anything you have to offer if you are in a similar situation.

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Old 12-18-2008, 11:31 PM   #2
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Sometimes he laughs at me... other times he tells me he's proud! lol
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:42 PM   #3
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When I started changing the way I ate, I didn't tell my husband at first, because I knew he would blow me off and tell me "it won't last." But I did tell him there were certain things that he'd cook at dinner that I wouldn't eat anymore--like piles of white rice. And I did start packing much more healthy lunches for myself. And I did start requesting that he cook more green veggies with dinner. (Previously, veggies were kind of optional and they were more often the corn-and-peas kind of thing.)

Then after about a month, I told him what I was doing (I quit sugar) and I asked him to quit sugar too--or at least to give it a try and see how it went. He agreed, albeit reluctantly, because it meant giving up his beloved soda. It took him about 6 weeks to fully quit, because he was very stubborn about finishing all the soda he'd purchased previously.

But he did finally quit, and he started losing weight pretty quickly, and the benefits of the dietary change became VERY rapidly apparent. So I've stuck with it, and he's stuck with it, and we've worked on changing the way our kids eat too.

So I guess I'd suggest that maybe just asking your husband to try a change for a while--perhaps that would work. "Honey, I'd like you to try a different way of eating for just 30 days and see what happens. See if you lose weight and how you feel, and then evaluate whether you might want to continue with it. Would you give it a try for me, please?"
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:43 PM   #4
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All you can do is lead by example. It's tough, but weight is a sensitive issue with people and coming from a loved one makes it even more difficult.

My DH is usually in sync with me. I cook our meals and make his lunches and he appreciates that I've exposed him to different foods. We go to the gym together at night... and we also gain weight together. We tend to use each other as excuses to NOT go to the gym or to go out to eat.

Sometimes he gets in a rut and will avoid the gym. That's where I come in. A couple of nights of me leaving him alone to go workout and he will drag himself off the couch.

Sometimes I get into "snack mode" in the evenings. He's pretty good at asking me if I really want to go the store for munchies. We've struck a balance with the examples we have set for each other.

It's not easy to get someone on board with changing their lifestyle, but hopefully by you taking care of yourself, you can show him how to take care of himself.

2011- putting on the baby weight

Last edited by junebug41; 12-18-2008 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I am trying to lead by example, but it's been a long time. I know I just joined this site this year, but I started making these changes in Feb 2006, a few months after giving birth to my daughter. It just seems like nearly 3 years later he would have taken some of it to heart and made a few changes of his own. Even when I make meals he'll often just scrape the veggies to the side/pick them out and throw them away after eating the rest of his food. It seems that as I've taken weight off he has put some on. I'm also worried about the example he is setting for our 3 year old. My 16-year-old has commented that she doesn't understand his choices when it seems like he doesn't feel well all the time. He is incredibly supportive of my changes and has commented that he admires my discipline, but says things like "I go out to eat for lunch every day because I just need to get out of the office". I have heard all the excuses before and have even used a lot of them myself. I just wish I could turn the switch on for him!

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Old 12-19-2008, 12:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jenguin View Post
My 16-year-old has commented that she doesn't understand his choices when it seems like he doesn't feel well all the time. He is incredibly supportive of my changes and has commented that he admires my discipline, but says things like "I go out to eat for lunch every day because I just need to get out of the office". I have heard all the excuses before and have even used a lot of them myself. I just wish I could turn the switch on for him!
It's very frustrating, I'm sure. I see dear friends of mine who I *know* would feel so much better and wouldn't struggle with health problems (in their 20's!!) if they would make certain changes, but I've also been there. I had to want it for myself and that was the singular influence.

2011- putting on the baby weight
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:29 AM   #7
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I wish I could get my fiance to get in sync with me. He's a bit overweight, too. But he just has a "beer" belly filled with food. Everything else on him is in the right proportion. He's not as open as I am to foods. He's picky with his veggies and I love them all. I try and make dinners that fit both of our likes while still trying to make them as healthy as possible. He'll eat whole wheat pastas, breads, etc. But then again, he'll eat a million chicken cheese steaks if he could! He loves pizza and ice cream. If I buy ice cream, he will eat the hole thing in one night. He'll stuff himself until he's about to burst. These were things I use to do. He always asks me "aren't you going to have seconds?". Nope. He usually finishes the rest. I try and just keep low-cal snacks around, like Weight Watchers ice cream, fat free pudding, sugar free jellos so if he does munch out, it's not too bad. But I can't get him to diet with me. I really want him to be healthy, too. I am trying to get him to join the gym with me. It'll be nice and we'll both get fit. But he jokes and says "buy me lipo".

:sigh:! I wish I knew how to handle it.

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Old 12-19-2008, 01:22 AM   #8
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Wow, it sounds like a tough situation. I can't say that I'm in quite a similar one, as I have a GF instead of a BF or Husband, so that probably makes a bit of a difference. Also, she happens to have joined 3FatChicks when I did just a few days ago! ^_^ I was directed to the site by my sister who also just joined.

Anyways, we pretty much eat the same meals (with a little variation) as we live together in my mom's house. The issue hasn't been with my significant other, so much as with my mother. My mom is a coupon lady, & can't understand why I'd rather pay more money for the "same food" in her opinion (we're eating all natural/organic foods). I'm 18 years old, but she does & always has viewed me as nothing more than a child. Every decision I make is a foolish one, or she believes I haven't fully considered all aspects of it; She's told me to my face I'm naive, I'm stupid, I'm rude & ungrateful for what I have, & I'm too stubborn to listen to reason. Needless to say, we don't have the best relationship to start with, as name calling is a constant on her part. She doesn't understand my change in diet, just as much as she doesn't believe I'll either A) stick with it or B) lose any weight. Being obese herself & having tried to lose weight probably dissuades her even more, but it would be nice if she could at least try to believe in me for once in her life! *Sigh*

I think she's trying to adapt to it, but she's still cranky & grumpy all the time. When I brought home a small amount of organic food for my GF & I to eat for a week or so, she basically threw all of it in the bottom drawer of the fridge, & labeled it "Sam & Kim's Food Drawer". Apparently our food isn't welcome in the rest of the fridge.. hehe. I knew it was going to be a problem, which is why I wanted to have the mini fridge already! But that really has to wait until after Christmas.

Anyways, changes in the household can easily upset anyone. Sometimes people can't always understand our reasons for doing things, but try to remind him that even if he doesn't see purpose in it, your belief should be reason enough. He should support you whether you think the sky is radioactive green! That's what you have each other for, after all. It might take some adjustment, but give it time & be patient with him; I'm sure he's having a **** of time trying to be patient for you! Just remember & respect that you changing is making a huge impact on the rest of your family as well! They might not support your decision right away, but they'll learn to accept it in time. For now all you can do is persevere with what you got going, & keep on truckin' no matter what anyone (husbands included) have to say! Try to encourage him to eat better as well, since it's obviously working for you! Try not to corner him or give an ultimatum, but it's obviously something that needs to be addressed. Just try to sit down & have a serious talk about it, besides that all you can do is lead by example & hope that he'll eventually follow suit. Why not have him just try some healthier meals & light activity for a week or two & see how he feels at the end? If he'd just do that for you, tell him you'll leave the situation alone from then on out-- but be sure to express that you are genuinely concerned for his health.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:34 AM   #9
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I wish I knew what to suggest. It sounds like your husband is in denial.

All I can say is that maybe the best thing to is to say nothing for now but to continue to offer healthy food and excercise. . Men have to think of these things as their own ideas--they certainly don't want to be "made to" by their wife. At least--mine is that way!
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:08 AM   #10
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I have the opposite problem. I know you think it'd be awesome but it's sorta blah. haha... he's always asking me if I've gone to the gym. He goes everyday...it's harder for me because I work overnights. My schedule is so goofy...and i'm soooo tired. Even if I did go lately, I woudln't be really working out. You know what I mean?

He's not the healthiest eater though, although he'll tell you otherwise. haha...when I say something like "oh man this is so not good for us", he'll say... "it's good for me, not for you" ...he's really sweet about everything though. When I get back onto a normal schedule I'm sure we'll work out together...which sort of scares me!
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:56 AM   #11
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Well... you can't make someone else lose weight. You can't make them even want to lose weight. Just do what you need to do for you. Think about being in his situation and having someone push on you about food choices. Maybe you're not as stubborn as I am, though.

After 3 years, leading by example isn't really working, so you might need to come up with a plan that helps reduce conflict. Maybe sit down with him and come up with a strategy you can both follow for mealtimes. For example, dinner has to include healther choices for you plus some of the foods he likes. Figure out what these would be--green beans, not always corn; whole grain starch without a lot of cheese or oil. Lean protein--not always fried or cheesy. You can probably modify what each of you cooks that way and reach a compromise.

And, although this sounds harsh, make sure his life insurance and health insurance is paid up...

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Old 12-19-2008, 07:44 AM   #12
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Hey Jenguin, sounds frustrating. My DH is interested in health and fitness but won't make the changes I have suggested to him b/c he likes to eat!! (don't we all)

Anyway, I have had to bite my tongue, not always with 100% success b/c you can take a horse to water......

hang some cool!

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Old 12-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #13
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Hey, lady!

You are a pretty amazing person and you have made some wonderful changes in your life. I get the sense that your guy is kind and generous and reasonable. I think that you are doing all the right things---setting an example, being honest about your concerns without being pushy, and recognizing how important it is to have a healthy family.

I have become quite adept at making meals that fit all of my family's needs. I make a protein, a veggie, and a carb, and people eat however much of whatever they decide. But if the family decides they want to grill hamburgers and I do not want red meat, I'll steam some fish or something. So we don't always eat the same things, but I stick to my plan most of the time come high or dry. I know what I need to do and I do it.

I think you could sit down with the family and come up with some meal guidelines---like veggies are nonnegotiable. It's great that he makes dinner, but there should be plenty of veggie servings (I don't count corn as a veggie, but hey he's trying!). Maybe make up a weekly menu with everyone's input, and then you do the shopping and edit the ingredients. Like meatloaf---half ground turkey, half ground beef (cheese on the side!). But get everyone involved in WHAT to eat, but you buy for it so you can control the health of the ingredients.

I know that if my DH would have commented on my weight or health before I lost 50 pounds, I would have been devestated. But you have really brought up some very serious concerns about your DH's health. Find a time when you guys are alone and relaxed and have a heart to heart, but keep it kind and loving.

Other than that, I can't think of a darn thing. I think you are doing everything I would otherwise suggest.

PS Maybe check out that Hungry Girl cookbook. I haven't read it, but I think she has healthy versions of "junk food". Maybe that would keep DH happy but also healthier.
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Last edited by midwife; 12-19-2008 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #14
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My SigO... he is a sweetie, but he is not healthy. He knows he needs to lose weight, but he is very unwilling to put effort into it. He tells me with pride that he has gone for over a year without drinking sugar soda (which yes it great as a start) but this morning when we unusually had breakfast together, he helped himself to a plate full of really awful looking pancakes and smothered them in fake strawberry in syrup. It looked really bad (tasting) as the pancakes appeared to be dry. I asked him if they were worth eating, and he said 'no' before proceeding to finish his plate, and then help himself to more food.
(Small victory: his more food was a low calorie yogurt so that was good)
One of the hardest things I had to learn was if it is worth eating (taste-wise or nutritionally), and you are not actually starving, leave it on your plate and get something better for you.
I know I can’t make him want to lose weight, but I can show him the tools I used to make my changes. I need to know exactly what I put in my mouth to motivate me to eat in moderation. I have been trying to get him to begin logging his intake, but he won’t. I know it is because he doesn’t want to see it. He is happier living in ignorance, rather than facing the truth and being confronted with the need to change.
What can I do? In a few weeks we will move into our new home, and he and I will become responsible for preparing all of our food (no one delivers to where we are moving). This will honestly be a first for us together and something I will not have done in well over a decade.
I hope that (plus our amazing new kitchen appliances) will allow us to make a clean break from the unhealthy eating habits we have cultivated over years of city life. (We used to live closer to a Burger King then the grocery store… you can see the problem for my poor SigO in that) But he needs to join me in the commitment, and how do I convince him? No idea.

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Old 12-19-2008, 09:24 AM   #15
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When I met my husband, his version of having veggies was creamed corn poured over mashed potatoes. Occasionally carrots or the mixed frozen veg of carrot,peas and corn.
He still hate cauliflower, and cabbage or brussels sprouts but eats most other veggies. It took years to get to this place.
He has no weight problems, he is tall and skinny and only weighs about 10 pounds more than when we met 24 years ago.

I wonder when your hubby pushes the veggies to the side of the plate, that this is not rebellion but that he doesn't like the veggie choices. Some people have a taste/texture thing that is difficult to overcome.

My husband did much better when I set out raw, crunchy stuff, I even used dip. I poured cheese sauce on broccoli. Now he eats everything, even without cheese sauce.
good luck

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