To want DH to get a grip and seriously shed the weight?

(129 Posts)
ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 19:30:12

Ok. Here goes. DH is Type 1 diabetic and has been for a decade. When he was diagnosed he was 'chunky' but very fit: football two or three times a week, walked plenty, played badminton and swam. He was a 34 inch waist. He contracted a viral infection and subsequently was diagnosed with diabetes in his late 20s. He has always been relatively fit but had to be on top of his weight - he has a big frame. Upon diagnosis of diabetes he did no exercise for a year as his blood sugars were just too erratic.
Slowly he took up exercise sporadically only to drift in and out of it. In the process the pounds began to pile on. For a long time we worked at it together - healthy eating, walks, etc. However, there are now 3 DC and DH has slowly over a number of years become obese.
I am in despair about this. He cannot walk because his back and calf gets too sore. He won't swim (alone or with kids) as he is too self-conscious. He refuses Weight watchers or any other slimming class, insisting that he can do this himself. He refuses any kind of professional help.
He needs to get rid of abut 6 stone. I am fully committed to helping him achieve this but I am so so frustrated. He will not exercise and can barely make it to the park with us. He is also continuing to eat crap but tells me he isn't. It is the continual procrastination that worries me/depresses me and now makes me so angry.
I appreciate it isn't easy but now, in his early 40s, he needs to seriously wise up and realise that as a family we need him to be fit and healthy.
Two years ago he lost 2 stone following a low carb diet but has since put it all back on.
We had a blazing row about it last night and I don't know where else to turn. I can't talk to friends about it as I would feel incredibly disloyal to DH. But what can I do? How can I get him off the couch?

ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:03:39

Hipster - he is obese. He is Type 1 diabetic. He is in his 40s. It is frightening.

He isn't carrying a few pounds - he cannot do basic things with us as a family. I feel like I am carrying everyone, while working FT, and in my free time I do stuff with the kids - more often than not on my own.

Is it wrong to want him to be able to join in basic, everyday events?

Andro Wed 16-Jan-13 20:03:42

AlmostAHipster - big difference between 1 argument based on fear and concern and a weight gain that isn't having a noticeable effect of health.

I'm aware of the health implications. I just think the OP's anger is not helping the situation.

CheCazzo Wed 16-Jan-13 20:04:31

Have you or has he - or would he - consider bariatric surgery? Sounds to me like it's all become too much for him to cope with and I'd have thought he'd be an ideal candidate for gastric band/bypass surgery. Maybe at the very least it's worth exploring?
I think, however, that you need to understand that all the shouting in the world isn't going to make him change his ways. Only he can do that when he's ready and for himself. You can't shout him into it.

ubik Wed 16-Jan-13 20:06:50

I can totally understand op - my dad is obese and type 2 diabetic and mum has had rows with him about his health - he us at increased risk if stroke, heart attack, cancer etc.

My dad had refused to confront it, refused to see GP or attend his diabetes clinic.

York DP had 3 young children and if must be so worrying - would he go to his GP? Can you get him to the gym? There are outdoor exercise groups such as British Military Fitness which might appeal and they have members of all shapes and sizes.

Poor guy, must be very unhappy.

ubik Wed 16-Jan-13 20:07:22

York? Your DP has... ( bloody phone)

It's really tricky. It boils down to the fact that unless he wants to shift the weight and is prepared to do something about it, it won't happen.

This time last year my DH was very overweight. I'd dropped hints, talked frankly about the risks to his health (heart disease and diabetes run in his family anyhow), tried to guilt-trip him into losing weight for the sake of our DSs blush Nothing worked. Then SIL and BIL started doing SW, every family get-together they were talking about it, so I picked up tips on how it worked and started trying to put DH on Slimming World by stealth - haha. He twigged that I was doing that, moaned about me ruining roast dinners by making them healthy etc etc but after a few days and several delicious healthy meals he said Ok, if you're willing to support me and cook healthily I will stop snacking and take this seriously. By September he'd lost 5st 4lbs and gone from 42" to 32" waist!! shock I'd wanted him to lose weight for years but he had to want to do it himself. I do feel ashamed about nagging him to do it, but now he says he's very grateful that I encouraged him. He now watches what he eats but allows himself treats in moderation too.

A happy side effect of eating more healthily is that he no longer suffers with bad knees, frequent heartburn/indigestion etc and can run (couldn't before).

Do you do most of the cooking? If so Slimming World might be the way forward?

Its normal food ie spag bol, chilli, cottage pie all healthy. He won't know he's on a diet.
I have spare books i can send you if your interested? Let me know as i think SW is great and gets good results.

Andro Wed 16-Jan-13 20:08:29

AlmostAHipster - if OP were constantly having blazing rows about it I'd agree with you, but she lost her cool once (that we know about). Anyone can reach break point and lose it - how many parents with a toddler and a newborn post on here because sleep deprivation, screaming baby and an innocuous action have resulted in 'shouty mummy'? The only difference hear is that it's fear and frustration that have built up and produced an instance of 'shouty wife'.

IslaValargeone Wed 16-Jan-13 20:10:00

Agree with Andro.

Biltongmuncher Wed 16-Jan-13 20:10:26

YANBU, maybe you need to have a row to get him to hear you, or scare him into doing something! Has he tried lighter life or one of those programmes? Had a friend who did it with amazing success.

In all honesty, you would be a worse partner if you just left him to continue destroying himself. By having a row you are showing how much you care. Hope he can see that!

ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:11:36

He did a bit of shouting too!

IslaValargeone Wed 16-Jan-13 20:11:54

mummy, op cooked for him last night and he went for a McDonalds instead.

I think the difference here is that the OP is not saying she wants her dh to lose weight to be more attractive but instead she is quite legitimately saying he has health issues that need addressing.

If you can't make it ten minutes to the park then you have a problem that you need to see the doctor about.

Quite simply he has a health condition that needs addressing.

I am also overweight and I'm sure if it prevented me walking 10 minutes I'd do something about it.

ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:12:56

Mummytowillow - I will give it a try. I do try and make sure what we have at home is decent food as we usually all eat together. It's when he's not at home that is the bulk of the problem or when I go to bed. He is a bit of a nightowl and will surf on the laptop while munching through all sorts of goodies.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 16-Jan-13 20:13:50

YANBU

He needs to grow up and manage his illness, and that means managing his weight too.

Checazzo he would not be a candidate for bariatric surgery unless he was well motivated to lose weight. As part of the preop work up you have to demonstrate this motivation by losing some weight on your own and then have to follow a very specific liver reduction diet prior to surgery. If he can't keep to a simple diet he wouldn't manage any of this so would not get the op.

Op, YANBU to be frustrated but shouting will not help. Would he come to your gp with you to talk this through? Also what is it he doesn't like about weight watchers? If he didn't want to go to a meeting with mostly women there is an online version which I have done - admittedly to lose a lot less weight.

AngryTrees Wed 16-Jan-13 20:17:04

Just curious OP- is he checking his blood sugar and taking medication when he should?

I sympathise completely with you. It's hard to watch someone talk about how they want to do something (in this case lose weight) but refuse to take any action to move towards that goal, and in fact behave in a way that moves them away from it.

ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:18:54

Yes, Trees, he does check blood sugars regularly and takes medication. He will also go through phases of reading loads about weight loss and diabetes but it is never sustained.

Actually you could do weight watchers online by stealth as others have done with slimming world? There is a built in number of points to splurge with which might be able to account for some snacking as long as he wasn't doing this too much.

RunnerHasbeen Wed 16-Jan-13 20:20:25

I don't feel sorry for him, I think it is disrespectful to have someone make a lot of effort on your behalf if you don't put in any effort yourself. OP has shopped, cooked and listened to him and is now asking what else she can do. It sounds like all he has actively done about his weight/health is complain and moan.

He will have to sort it out at some point, diabetics can't just carry on eating without thinking about it. If he leaves it for a few more years he would be looking back at all the times he couldn't be an active father, all he's missed out on and possibly be more ill than if he tackled it now. Does he see a diabetes support nurse or dietician, would he be willing to listen to them?

Is it possible that he hasn't fully accepted having diabetes and the life changes it involves? I have a different chronic condition and after 8 years I felt I didn't really need my drugs, that I wasn't as bad as they thought. Turned out I was wrong, but was told this is quite common, to sort of rebel and test the boundaries a bit. Again, the support nurse is probably the best place to start. I'm grateful to my DH for not letting me ignore the symptoms that proved me wrong and nagging me about it.

Stop buying the "goodies" and hide the car keys. If he has to actually walk to get sweets and snacks he'll either do without or will at least be taking a walk to get there and back.
Tell him that if he doesn't like it he can get out - you'll be without him when he's dead anyway and that will be soon if he doesn't get a grip so he may as well go now.
If he's going to behave like a child, and refuse to take responsibility for his own health then treat him like a child. Don'y buy the crap and goodies and don't facilitate him buying them. Does he go to work and earn the money that pays for them? If he does, you have a problem, although you can still refuse to bring them to him and throw them in the bin whenever you find any in the house. If you're the main earner then just don't let him spend on crap.
Or throw him out now so you can get used to being alone and a single parent, tell him exactly why - you can't force him to diet, you can't parent him, but you can remove you and the children from watching him eat himself to death in front of you.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 16-Jan-13 20:23:55

YANBU I have a husband with Type1 diabetes too.

I think if you can you need to get him to your GP. When DH was diagnosed he hit the wall with depression and has recently slipped back. He isn't obese like your DH, but somehow the severity and life limiting aspects of his condition just go over his head. He's a very intelligent man, just one that's in denial it seems.

There are days when, like you, I have flipped. I have children, I'm not going to be a mummy to a grown man. I'm also scared at that deep level you only have when you know a person you love could be taken from you.

I have no answers for you, other than going to the GP for starters.

And to shut some posters on here up, would be top of my today's wish list.

I understand OP. My DH is only a little overweight but I worry about his health, diabetes runs in the family and he has already had a hernia. If he neglected himself to the extent your DH has then I would be angry too. You cook him healthy meals and he goes out for McDonalds, he stays up late eating junk -- that is, ultimately, just selfish behaviour. He is prioritising his emotional eating habits over his health and his family's needs.

Nothing will change until he wants it to change, so I wonder if he would be willing to tackle the underlying emotions of it all? Would he be willing to go to CBT counseling? I think that's been shown to be a big help for losing weight.

I would also recommend the Paul McKenna weight loss book, which is basically a CBT approach in that there's no dieting or exercise, it's about changing the way you think about food. Your husband should love it as he can eat whatever he wants! But amazingly, once you take away the 'forbidden' aspect of food (and follow all the rest of the advice) you do really feel yourself craving it less. My DH and I both lost weight very easily with the book (there's a whole thread about McKenna somewhere on MN).

I also think it's a good idea to get him to the GP. Hopefully a really blunt one who will tell him he's eating himself into an early grave.

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