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Weight loss for the morbidly obese

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Old 06-22-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
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Default Weight loss for the morbidly obese

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).
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athendta View Post
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.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:33 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:08 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:40 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:58 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:14 AM   #8
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I can't imagine it!
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:17 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:30 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:32 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:01 AM   #12
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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?
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:52 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:14 AM   #14
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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 :-)

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Old 06-23-2009, 07:41 AM   #15
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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.
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