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Has anyone else had to leave their spouse behind on the weight loss journey?

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Old 07-05-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Has anyone else had to leave their spouse behind on the weight loss journey?

I just started my journey and I feel so much differently than I ever have before about my weight loss goal. In the past, I wanted to lose weight but I never really felt that motivated to do the work to achieve that goal. I tried crash diets because I thought if I could start strong and lose 10 lbs in the first 2 weeks that would motivate me to keep going. Didn't happen. The difference now is that I know there's no easy way and I have to work for success. I'm doing this for me. I'm in it for the long haul, however long it takes. I WANT to do this. It's time for me to regain my life and start enjoying right now. I have learned also that the journey is also something to enjoy and celebrate the small victories.

Now for my question: my husband is currently 300 lbs and has done the same things I have done in the past to lose weight. We both gained the little bit of weight we lost back plus some. When I first started counting calories a few days ago, I tried to be discrete with it because I was afraid of failure. Anyway, he noticed me counting calories and the strange looks started. I got on the treadmill and he would peek around the corner and sort of smile and chuckle. I really don't think he knows how serious I am about this and I don't think he is where I am emotionally and mentally. I don't want to leave him behind but I know he has to be ready in his own time. I have no doubt that one day he will get to that point, but I don't want to get so far ahead of him that he feels discouraged. It would be great if we could do this as a team but if he's not ready to do this then he will slow me down and I don't want that either. Should I try to motivate him? I wonder if anyone else had to leave their spouse behind? I'm doing this for me and it's my time. If I go ahead do you think my victories will motivate him? No matter what his size is I will always love him. I want him to be healthy though.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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I guess I kind of did, but I hate to think of it like that. I didn't leave anyone behind, I just put my health in the forefront.

My ex husband would eat whatever he wanted - and could stand to lose some weight too, but I was counting (points at that time). I would make us awesome, healthy meals, have my portion and go with the flow. He usually ate whatever I made. I never tried to place restrictions on him, but he often requested certain highly processed junk foods from the grocery store - namely frozen burritos, frozen chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and frozen pizza (I married a teenage boy lol).

He will either remain the way he is, or follow your lead, but it's up to you how you treat your own body.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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One of the biggest reasons I split with my ex (just boyfriend, not husband) was because I want health and activity to be a much bigger part of my life than he does. I regret giving him a second chance, because instead of me leaving him behind and keeping up with my good fitness and eating habits, I went back to eating and behaving like he does. We're split for good now, but it's taking a long time to get back out of this funk/rut (and UGH the 20 lbs I put back on in that short time) that I let myself get into with him.
I think it's awesome that you are able to do it with or without him. I do think you should just keep doing it, and if he wants to join on his own, he will.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Yes, I wouldn't say I left my husband behind, but my diet is MY business and issue, not his! He is an adult and can make his own health choices. I cook healthfully for the whole family and the rest is up to him. If he likes eating a bowl of icecream every night and chugging Rockstars to stay awake, as much as I don't like it I cannot and should not control it.

Reverse the situation - how would you have liked him getting gung ho for a massive lifestyle shift YOU weren't ready for, and then nagging, dragging, and otherwise insisting you come along, too? If he wants to join you he can and your losses will likely motivate him more than discourage him. But commenting on his behavior is probably going to be more discouraging than just leaving him be and doing your thing, you know?
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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I agree with Arctic, my husband is 300lbs (6'4) and he knows he could loose the weight, we started off on ww together and he lost 15lbs (GREAT!!) but slowly he stopped loosing and lost interest. I started my LC in April, just last month he made some side comment about possibly starting with me sometime soon. Its my husbands choice on what he eats, YES i want him around but i cant be the naggy wife. i wouldnt trade him for the world, atleast i get to smell his awesome food, i actually find that if i can cook him food it helps with my cravings!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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It's kind of reversed in my situation. My DH and I met in school getting our personal training certifications. He had always been fit, while I've gone up and down numerous time, especially during my pregnancies. During my 1st pregnancy DH gained a lot of weight, from about 185 to 255! He was working out, lifting really heavy, but was eating A LOT. He got sick of being overweight and lost a lot of it over the year after our 1st was born, then just lost the rest of it after we just had our 2nd baby.

He never tried to push exercise or portion control on me, and if he had I'd have resented it; I'd have seen it as him saying he wasn't happy with me, even though that wouldn't have been how he meant it. I wasn't ready then.

Leading by example is the best way, but unless he asks, I wouldn't try to motivate him. Losing weight is an extremely personal journey, and everyone has to make their choices on their own time.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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I wouldn't see it as leaving him behind but rather as letting him be an adult and make his own decisions, and you being an adult and making your own decisions. The only person you can be responsible for is you.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockItUp View Post
Leading by example is the best way, but unless he asks, I wouldn't try to motivate him. Losing weight is an extremely personal journey, and everyone has to make their choices on their own time.
I agree. And to me, the worst kind of "motivation" from a spouse is subtle hinting or disingenuous statements like "I just want you to feel better about yourself." Bottom line, we all know what we have to do to lose weight, we all know why it's a good idea, and we're all capable of doing it -- if and only if we're ready.

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Old 07-05-2012, 05:41 PM   #9
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Caveat: I've never been married. But I've been in that kind of situation with people I have had relationships with. When I no longer wanted to weigh what I did (more than 100 pounds above where I am now), I also learned that everyone's journey is their own. It isn't leaving someone behind to pursue your own journey, plus as has been posted, you can't do anything at all to motivate him beyond just doing your own thing. He will find his own mojo to do it or he will not. Doing it as a team is ideal but unless he is ready for that, nothing will happen. You need to do what you want to do for you.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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Weight loss is a personal journey. I have never had success with a dieting buddy or a using my husband as a motivator. If I become dependent on a friend or my husband, when they lose interest, so will I. If I am going out to dinner and only feel comfortable eating a low cal menu selection if I have a friend who is also calorie conscious at the table, what happens if that friend isn't with me? I will cave and order what everyone else is having - diet be damned! Worse yet, if my buddy falls off the wagon and starts eating whatever strikes her fancy again, how will that affect my motivation to stay on plan? Also, if I only feel comfortable biking with my husband, when he can't make it one day, will I feel self-conscious biking by myself and also skip my exercise? My husband is over 300lbs and has his own issues with food. I can't fix him, even though I know he would like me to. I prepare healthy meals and there are healthy snacks in the house. Sometimes he chooses to eat them and sometimes he chooses to buy his own snacks (he bought 2 boxes of cookies this week) and eat those. He is a grown man with a job and if he chooses to spend his money on unhealthy food, that's his right. I invite him to come along on walks and bike rides. Sometimes he says no, but lately, at least twice a week, he says yes and we exercise together. It's nice. I am on my own path and he is on his when it comes to health and weight loss. I can't depend on him or anyone else to get me to my destination and he can't depend on me. If he asks for a helping hand or encouragement, I am there to give it - but I can't make him want to be encouraged. This truly is something you have to do for yourself.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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I tried many times in the past to change my husband and the way he eats. I don't anymore because I realize it's not going to work. He needs to figure it out on his own. Who knows what will do it. Maybe he'll develop diabetes or heart disease (I hope not). Maybe he'll just realize his lifestyle is not fitting of a man his age. Who knows.

The only thing I do is not contribute to his bad habits. I don't buy junk food and I don't buy him his cokes. If he wants that stuff, he has to buy it himself. He's the junk food supplier.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #12
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My fiancÚ is 145lbs, 5'10. He's got a natural 6 pack that he doesn't work for at all, the lucky bugger (lucky me too). But when I told him I wanted to be thin for our wedding he jumped in with both feet, he's eating my veggie, no noodle lasagna, he's eating wraps with me, he's going on walks, playing squash and helping me to stay active and on task.

I would actually feel a little upset if he chuckled at me and my efforts. It's not about leaving him behind, it's about you and your health and body. Don't worry about him or his feelings for now, just be ready to offer him support and advice if and when he asks.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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There are some things that have to be self-directed and self-motivated, and I think weight loss is one of those.

My husband and I are both on health and weight loss journeys, but we were constantly hurting more than helping when we tried to do it together, just because we wanted the other person to do it our way.

For both of us to make progress we had to give up on the idea of changeing or even motivating each other. Most of our efforts backfired because we were trying to treat the other person as we wanted to be treated not how THEY wanted to be treated.

I have to admit that I was trying to push my husband onto my weight loss train, not even realizing he was making progress. My husband tried to tell me he was working on his issues at his own pace, but I wouldn't listen. His progress wasn't what I wanted it to be.

I was incredibly ashamed to run across one of his old doctor visit reports, to see that he'd lost 85 lbs in the same time it took me to lose 100 lbs. I was judging him for making little or no progress when he'd made almost as much progress as I had.

Ever since, we've both agreed to "stay out of each other's weight loss." If one of us wants to prepare a meal for both of us, we'll check with the other person first to make sure it's something the other person wants to eat. Otherwise, we fend for ourselves at meal time, and except for going to the gym together, or going for a walk together (when it's mutually agreed upon) we've learned that we both make the best progress when we're each in charge of ourselves.

It's too much pressure and distraction to try to manage one's own weight loss and someone else's. It's not about leaving a person behind, it's about letting each person run/walk/crawl their own way. It's a journey, not a race.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #14
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I have to agree with it being personal. But I do feel your influence can certainly have a positive effect on him. Give him time and he may jump on the bandwagon in his own way.

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Old 07-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
If one of us wants to prepare a meal for both of us, we'll check with the other person first to make sure it's something the other person wants to eat. Otherwise, we fend for ourselves at meal time, and except for going to the gym together, or going for a walk together (when it's mutually agreed upon) we've learned that we both make the best progress when we're each in charge of ourselves.
As always, wise words from this lady. This is pretty much how my fiance and I are. I am a nutritionist and trainer, but I know there is much I don't know and am always open-minded to new ideas when it comes to workouts and diets. Sometimes he asks me things, and I am happy to answer him, but other times he teaches me a thing or two.
We motivate each other with our determination, but I would never dream of saying anything to him for eating something I deem unhealthy, and he doesn't judge me when I get a bit strict or when I get a bit too loose on vacations.

We have different goals, and we support eachother in whatever route the other person takes to get to those goals. We have our own workout programs, our own schedules and our own diets but from time to time we like to hit the gym together or challenge the other to a physical contest. It's fun and we bond that way, but since we aren't leaning on each other for motivation (it comes from within each of us) we are able to continue at our own pace regardless of what the other one does.
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