Husband is my biggest obstacle. What to do?

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  • I am finding the biggest obstacle I have in my weight loss journey is my husband. Both of us are overweight and we both say we want to lose some weight and get healthy but only I am actually doing something about it. I try and cook healthy and when I serve up food I make sure there is more veggies then meat on the plat and less carbs, etc. However my husband will get up and pile on tons more food and go back for seconds and sometimes even thirds and pile the plate high each time. I just cringe when I look at how much food he piles on his plate and consumes.

    My issue with my husband right now is when I am trying to be healthy he isnít. When I am sitting on the couch munching on carrots he goes into the kitchen and finds cookies, brownies, or whatever and sits right next to me and mow down on it right next to me. I will be eating a pear and he will go make fried noodles. It is starting to get really difficult to not lash out at him or just say screw it and eat the cookies or whatever.

    I just want to be healthy. I hate being as big as I am and I just wish I could get a little help from my husband. Has anyone else had to deal with this and if so what did you do?

  • I can totally relate. I'm not married but rent a home with my little brother and he does the same thing. Although with him he's actually super muscular and LOOKS healthy. But he keeps an almost constant supply of cake, cookies, pie, beer and pizza in the house. I've gotten better at ignoring it, but yelled at him the other night cuz he had a holiday party and left cookies and chocolates all over the counter where I make my breakfast.

    Mostly I've just told him to put his junk food up where I can't reach or see it (he's much taller than I am). I also have my own area in fridge and I don't choose food from "his" area. I'm sure it's much harder with a spouse. *hugs* to you!
  • Also, since you said you did the cooking, maybe start making just two portions. It won't necessarily stop him from eating more, but at least he couldn't get seconds.
  • Megan,

    First thing - you have to tell your husband how you feel. You may have already but you have to stress how important it is that he respects your journey and supports you. Better yet that if you do it together it will be easier for both of you.

    Your husband has free will and can go to the store but I would stop buying all junk food and throw it out so he can't go to it to snack on.

    When you make dinner, make much smaller quantities so he can't go back for seconds. Measure out the rice or pasta, measure out the chicken or beef and make tons of veggies so the only extras are the healthy stuff. Stock your shelves with only healthy stuff, fruits, veg, beans, rice cakes, healthy cereals, protein and just make sure you eat the serving sizes.

    You could try encouraging your husband and yourself to drink a full glass of water before dinner so you will be more full and less prone to go back for seconds.

    Most importantly is talking to your husband and telling him how he is affecting you and your journey, he needs to understand that as a unit it is harder for your habits to change if his don't too but also remember that you are yourself and while temptation will be hard just stick to your guns. Keep buying and cooking only healthy food so there are no unhealthy options and hopefully your husbands behavior will change too because he has no choice!

    I'm really sorry you are having a hard time - keep coming back here and we will give you support! Do not give up because of your husbands behavior! I think if you keep working on being healthier your husband will follow in some ways if the food is prepared differently and the pantry is not filled with cookies.

    I hope it gets easier! Keep coming back and remember you'll do more damage by eating those cookies after dinner - keep grabbing the carrots. When I want something sweet I measure out a 3/4 cup of Honey Nut Cheerios - 110 cals, to satisfy my craving for sweets!

    Hang in there!!!
  • wanna you put yourself at the very tip top of your list..yes, even above your husband...if having sweets and treats in the house is difficult get rid of them or insist they be kept locked up and away from can't worry about what your hubby is doing...worry only about you...if seeing him consume it is bothering you, locate something else to do--watch tv in another room, go for a walk, go read, I said..YOU come first..if you really want this thing..GET IT GIRL
  • I'm sorry you're facing this; slimming down is tough enough with support and must be considerably tougher without it. The world doesn't always make it easy on us, though. On the bright side, if you are able to deal with no help at home, just think how strong you'll be when faced with temptations outside the home.

    It isn't his fault that he isn't ready to eat more healthful food, so lashing out at him won't help. Mentally turn this one around and think about how you'd feel if he were the one actively trying to lose weight while you weren't and he critiqued your food choices. I once went half a day without speaking to my husband because he lost his mind and said, "Wow, the cake is gone already?" and I took it as a comment on my cake-inhaling ways.

    He CAN be expected to show some consideration, though. If he knows that certain foods are really tough for you to smell/see, yet he regularly eats them in front of you, he's being a bit discourteous. Of course, that's IF he knows. Have you talked to him about it and asked him to eat stuff that is tempting, but off-plan for you somewhere else? What does he say when you mention it?

    As for the cooking, all you can really do is continue to prepare healthier meals and serve them up in sane portion sizes. If he then goes back for seconds/thirds, there isn't a good way for you to say much about it. He's a grown man who makes his own choices. Again, consider how you would take a running commentary from a newly health-conscious hubby who looked at your plate and decried your portion sizes.

    Offer positive reinforcement and involve him in your weight loss however you can. Slice up enough pear and apple wedges for both of you to share on the couch. Ask him if he wants some carrot sticks and hummus. Get some suggestions from him on what he'd like to eat for dinner that would work with your plan.

    I hate to be sexist, but I'm going to be for a minute: the majority of men are not as familiar with weight loss, calories, carbs, etc. as women are because we take this stuff in practically at birth. Being thinner is a MUCH higher priority for women than it is for men, so most of us have a better grasp on all this stuff than the guys--especially if said guy has had a normal weight most of his life and is now facing a gut that he has NO idea how to handle. Keep this in mind as you educate him about your plan and he may decide to follow your lead.

    Sorry I wrote a novel here, but I hope some of it is helpful to you.
  • Look--he is not YOUR obstacle! That's only true if you make it true. He is HIS OWN biggest obstacle.

    What he eats or how much is not up to you. You're not his mother. If he chooses to eat seconds, thirds, that's up to him. YOUR job is to look after your own eating.

    If you do the grocery shopping usually, tell him that you won't be buying cookies and brownies, and that he'll have to pick up his own. You do not have to buy it for him just because he wants it, but you can't forbid him to have it altogether.

    I have lived for years with someone of normal weight, and yes, they do eat cookies when they want them. It's not my business. I can choose to eat cookies or NOT. I know what I can eat and when. It's not "their fault" if I decide to eat a cookie.

    If he piles food on his plate, again, that's his business, but why do you cook so much that he can go all the way to thirds? You can't make him stop when you think he should. Cook less food! It won't be any more trouble for you, because it sounds like he just eats as much as there is.

    Weight loss is an individual matter. You'll do best if you keep the focus on yourself.

  • Jay, I couldn't agree more.
    As nice as it is to have support and a "diet environment" it's not always going to happen. My boyfriend eats things I totally avoid on a next to daily basis, but I know it's NOT FOR ME.
    I don't want to tell him what to do for MY sake, even if I do sometimes ask him to cut down for HIS sake.
  • My hubs is not interested in losing weight. Even though he could stand to lose a bit, I am not in charge of what he wants to eat and how much he weighs. I can share that I'd like us to live a long and healthy life together, and I can make healthful meals for us. But I am not the food police. In fact, I think it would be pretty funny for ME of all people to be eyeballing/commenting on what someone who has maybe 20-30 extra pounds on him should be eating just because I decided to "see the light" at the tender age of 39.

    I am the main grocery shopper and cook in our house, so I buy what fits into my plan, with an occasional treat thrown in for my daughter and husband (usually something I can resist). When I cook, I make 3 portions. OR, if I cook extras, I put it away in tupperware right away, with the understanding that it is for one of our lunches. I have a hard time not dipping back into the pot myself, so if I put any extra away (usually before I even eat), it's out of sight, out of mind. There is no rule that says my hubby can't go buy himself some goodies, but he will have to go out of his way. He does on occasion bring something home that tempts me, but I can tell you that does get easier as I go along. Nowadays, I know what my go-to foods and snacks are, and MOST of the time it's pretty easy to just skip over what's not in my plan. Get a few good weeks under your belt. At some point you might just watch him shoveling in a bunch of crappy food and think, "I can't believe how often I used to do that, too!"
  • I agree with Jay too.

    I hate to say it, but at the end of the day, it's our choice to put something in our mouths or not.

    My boyfriend isn't losing weight although he should. He has seen me on this journey and every once in a while will say he has to do it too because he knows he's overweight. But then he doesn't. Then drinks full sugar soda, eats fries like they are going out of style and is always carrying chocolate with him.

    When I first started losing weight 3 or 4 years ago, I failed at it because he would lead me into temptation. I eventually had to learn to say no to his offers or tell myself no when I saw he was eating something I craved.

    I had to make a switch in my mind and tell myself that I don't have to eat those same things, that I can make a different choice than he is making because even though he is my partner, he (and his body) and is NOT mine too. I can't handle eating the same things he eats because they make me sick (literally with my PCOS).

    Sometimes, the temptation is still too much. But I've learned to eat less, to only eat it once, and to get back on plan immediately. So, I schedule my "off-plan" meals with him (we're having one on Friday, for example).

    But I think ultimately, you have to do this for yourself. Even if it means walking away from the table or going to another room or reminding yourself that what he eats isn't a reflection of you or healthy for you.

    Good luck. I know it's hard. I've had to battle it myself.

    Oh, one last thing. I cook healthy. Boyfriend can either eat with me or not. I don't take it personally if he wants to eat something else. But I'm not cooking something different for him. His choice so far has been to eat differently than I do. I don't take it personally. I'll cook for one with no problem, less work and I can make what I like.
  • I'm basically in the same boat with you. A year ago my boyfriend and I wanted to lose weight and be healthier. I was annoyed because it seems men lose faster than women and I would be pushing myself so hard and he wouldn't yet he would lose 1-2 lbs more than me each week.

    He lost the drive and stopped going to the gym with me. I realized I was going to have to find another weight-loss partner (like the people on this forum). This was after a month of me lashing out at him and being frustrated with his choices. He started eating large portions without working out or tracking.

    Right now I'm only 10-15 lbs away from my ideal weight whereas he's still losing/gaining the same 10 lbs all year. Only recently, he saw pictures of himself that it made him realize he needed to do something different. He hated pictures that showed his gut.

    I workout with him now after my own workout (he's out of shape) and I encourage him. I do all of the cooking so I've cut back on portions. I'm trying not to nag him because I really don't want to force him into it.

    You can only hope that your journey inspires him to follow suit.
  • Quote: Also, since you said you did the cooking, maybe start making just two portions. It won't necessarily stop him from eating more, but at least he couldn't get seconds.
    I tried this...all my husband did at first was eat his portion and half of mine, then I went hungry and mad...

    Talk to your husband. Tell him why you are doing what you are doing, even though he already knows. Spell it out for him, and just keep your willpower strong and do what YOU need to do for yourself to be healthy.

    Other than that - nothing you can do. You can't make him eat carrots over cookies or stop him from binging on pizza every night when you're eating steamed fish or grilled chicken. All you can do is the best that you can for yourself and hope he follows along.
  • I feel ya, I have the same thing at home!

    What I found is that the best way to motivate your husband is by being a positive example. No one is going to change if they're not ready to. A ton of people could have made comments about how much/what I ate and I would have only gotten huffy with them. It's the same with my dh. I could nag him like crazy, but he's not going to change until he's ready to change. So, when he goes back for seconds or eats a bag of chips next to me, I simply ignore it. I continue to enjoy my healthy snack (lurve me some hummus!!) and when he offers his food to me, I exercise my power of "No thanks.".

    But, now that he's seen the results of my healthier life style and he has a happier and smaller wife, he's starting to get convicted about his own choices. Just last night, he asked me to wait to exercise until he gets home, so we could do it together. Of course!! He also asked me to make sure no chips get in the house, because it's his weakness. Done!!

    I know it's difficult, but it will pay off in the end. Hang in there!
  • Aside from telling him honestly that you want him to stop doing that, it's an exercise in willpower.

    The other day, I went to Walmart with my DH and baby. I sat there, while he ate a Big Mac, McChicken, fries, and coke. I didn't eat a thing. Yes, I was very hungry (this was lunch time), yes, it was very hard to say no and I stared at those fries - but I cannot force him to behave how *I* want him too, especially if we went out for dinner everytime we met.

    My suggestion is to use distraction techniques - a diet coke, a Crystal light, whatever you can do to 'occupy' yourself without eating what he does. It's what I do. It's not ideal but sometimes we take the lesser of the evils
  • Thank you for the support and suggestions. Yes, I am my own person and I am making my own choices and eating healthy. I have yet to give in and eat the cookies and other sweets he eats near me. I think that is a milestone for me in its own.

    Has for the amount of food I make I make a larger portion because we have two kids and we never know how much they will eat. I also use food and food proportions as a way to get over my past. Way TMI but I was neglected as a child and usually went a few days in between meals. Now as an adult I always make sure there is plenty enouh food for everyone to eat as much as they want. I am also a bad judgement on how much to cook for so many people and I need to get better at that.

    I am going to stick to the boards for support while I find people in my own area to work out with.

    Megan =)