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to be concerned about DH's weight?

(30 Posts)
JugsMcGee Tue 18-Oct-11 12:55:19

This has nothing to do with his appearance, I still love him and I'm still attracted to him. But I am so concerned about his weight. He has gained a lot of weight over the past few years and does absolutely no exercise. He is classed as morbidly obese. He used to play some 5-a-side football and we used to swim together. However now we have DS we can't exercise together and he won't go alone.

I cook healthy meals and have stopped buying junk snacks because he will tend to eat it all in one go. However, there is a vending machine at work where he seems to buy crisps and chocolate every day (he leaves the wrappers in his lunch pack). He won't eat any fruit or veg. I have to blend up veg in sauces to hide them. When I serve a sensible portion of food, he will top himself up with bread and butter.

Adult onset diabetes seems to run in his family (FIL has it and FIL's dad had it) so this concerns me. I don't know if I'm being irrational but I'm so worried he's going to have a heart attack before he's 40.

How do I talk to him about this without hurting his feelings? I don't want him to feel bad about himself. I want to help him.

AKMD Tue 18-Oct-11 13:13:35

YANBU and snap! When someone gives you an answer to your last question, please let me know. I've tried subtle, I've tried direct, I've tried gym memberships, home fitness equipment, taking him for walkies (lol but yes). He is still a marshmallow.

PattySimcox Tue 18-Oct-11 13:16:34

Same here. I can't really talk as o have struggled with my weight for years but DH thinks he's invincible yet moans about his health but does not see the link with his weight / food / lack of exercise sad

MrGin Tue 18-Oct-11 13:22:07

Slightly different scenario, but my previous boss was obese. He was a really lovely guy, and I wondered whether to say something about his weight etc as I was genuinely concerned.

Eventually I thought it wasn't my place.

He was dead within a year. Got up in the night complaining of indigestion and his wife found him dead on the kitchen floor in the morning.

The very least I think you should do is educate you and him about recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack ( it's very common for people to think it's indigestion and not call an ambulance ) .

perhaps if you discuss what you'd do if he had a heart attack, or if he died he might take it on-board and do something about it.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 13:24:34

I think you should lay out it as you have here: you will love him no matter what, it's not about vanity, but you are scared to death he will have serious health problems.

Tell him that now you have DS, his weight is no longer something that just affects him, and part of being a responsible parent is being healthy.

Tell him you will support him in any way possible, not just in practical things like cooking, but emotionally in helping him deal with the psychological reasons behind this (is he stressed, shy, fearful? etc.)

If he tries to say it's not a problem, tell him to go see the GP about it, and if the GP says it's fine then you'll speak no more of it. But it's very possible that having the GP lay out all the risks and explain some options might kick him into gear. My DH didn't care about being overweight for years, then he had a hernia op and now he takes it more seriously.

MrHeadlessMan Tue 18-Oct-11 13:25:17

This is a tough one. Men tend to be hyper-defensive about this and will avoid it since it comes across as criticism.

IMHO the key is to get him to decide to do it on his own, rather than shower him with reasons. You can ask him why he is reluctant and see if you can help him address those fears. You can praise him whenever he shows a slight movement towards being healthy. You are already doing the right thing by removing temptations in your house. You can ask him if he gets hungry at work, and offer to help him to take extra snacks to avoid the vending machine.

Losing weight is tough for anyone. I know when I went through it that lectures and advice were the last thing I wanted. But if you can give him confidence that you are sympathetic and Nonjudgemental, I think you are doing everything you can.

MrHeadlessMan Tue 18-Oct-11 13:27:34

Screaming, with respect I must disagree. I think if she takes that approach he will become defensive and shut down. This is something he has to decide is important for himself.

moonshineandspellbooks Tue 18-Oct-11 13:30:10

Do you think he's aware of the damage he's doing to his health?

If he is, I think all you can do is let him get on with it. Even though you're his wife, it's his body.

OTOH, if you think he isn't aware of it, I think all you need to do is couch it in health terms, not appearance. Focus on the diabetes in his family as your starting point. It may still make for an uncomfortable conversation and he may well get defensive, but as long as you're not concentrating on appearance you'll know you've not been offensive or unkind and he'll eventually see your motivation for what it is - you care about his health.

What's he good at? What's he shown will power at before? Use these examples to demonstrate how he could do this.

Also, why not take DS swimming with you? You can take it in turn to look after him while the other swims a few lengths.

Good luck. I appreciate it's tricky. smile

ToffeePenny Tue 18-Oct-11 13:30:19

Absolutely YANBU. Tough one to handle though without coming across as being mean. Maybe try a covert diet? Mr Penny dropped quite a bit of weight as a side effect to my low carbing - I had no complaints from him at the increase in meat, fish and egg-based meals and it probably filled him up more than our usual grub so he had less room for snacks when out.

Not the healthiest long-term option I'm sure but maybe to try and shift enough 'by accident' so he finds it easy enough to resume exercise?

dickiedavisthunderthighs Tue 18-Oct-11 13:30:46

Can you suggest that the pair of you go for a bit of an MOT? Say you've been meaning to do it for ages and book you both in at the GP. Inevitably your GP will give your DH some home truths, which he might take better coming from a professional than he will his wife (sad but true).

tigermoll Tue 18-Oct-11 13:33:46

Tell me too!

My OH is adorable and sexy, but he is a big man, and his father had a heart attack when he was not much older than my OH is now. He smokes, he never does any exercise, and he eats nothing but rubbish. When we first got together, I gained two stone from the constant takeaways, indulgent puddings and endless crisps and chocolate he buys. Now I have got my act together, lost the weight and eat healthily, but that means we hardly ever eat together, which is a shame.

The way I have dealt with it is to do nothing, - I am not his mum or his keeper. He isn't stupid, - he knows his lifestyle is bad for him and chooses to do nothing. He knows I love him, and would support him if he decided to become healthier, but its not for me to nag, bribe, cajole or hint at him. I would HATE it if a partner leant on me, be it ever so subtle, to change my weight.

I cook what I want to eat, - he is more than welcome to join me, and I always offer. He usually declines and either defrosts or goes out to get whatever he wants to eat. But he's not a child, - there's no way I'm going to take responsibility for making sure he eats healthily.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Oct-11 13:36:50

YANBU but he already he knows he's badly overweight. He won't be enjoying looking in the mirror, seeing photos of himself or buying clothes. He'll be aware of his family's medical history. His doctor will have said something. He knows there's a problem.

What you have to get him to reveal is what's stopping him making a few changes for the better. Most of the time that can be summarised as 'it's too difficult'. Diets are miserable, restrictive, 'rabbit food'. Exercise is hard work, making a fool of yourself. When a morbidly obese person is thinking about weight-loss running into many stones, it can seem like so daunting a challenge that they end up doing nothing at all.

So find out what's worrying him. Does he think he'll have to go hungry? Does he think he's expected to start running marathons? Eating 'weird food'? Never enjoying a bar of chocolate ever again? If you can get him to articulate his concerns you might be able to come up with a solution between you. He'll have to fix that dislike of vegetables though....

ColdSancerre Tue 18-Oct-11 13:39:33

As someones whose DP was also overweight, has type 2 diabetes in his family and was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I think you are right to be concerned. DP has now lost a lot of weight by stopping snacking and following dieticians advice, but it took the shock of the diagnosis to change his habits. He was just as you describe, would top up what I thought were already large portions etc, ate chocolate bars daily.

How about a good long walk together every day? This is the only exercise my DP does but he walks quickly for 40 mins, every day and this has helped enormously with both his weight and his blood sugar levels. He's lost two stone without dieting IYSWIM, just by changing his eating habits and walking.

MardyArsedMidlander Tue 18-Oct-11 13:40:29

I find it very difficult to be rational about this as I saw my dad go through the same thing. It's alright to say 'It's his life' but it was me and my mum who had to support him through his heart operation and all his medical tests. And it was me who was left an orphan when he dropped dead at 60 because of Type II diabetes putting such a strain on his (already weakened) heart.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 13:45:07

Headless, I agree he needs to decide on his own to do something, but it sounds like she is already doing the 'softly, softly' approach and it's not working.

I'm not suggesting she lecture him or nag him, but she has legitimate fears for his health and I think she should be able to express them. What he does with that information is up to him. I think this is treating him with respect, as an adult. She shouldn't have to sneak veg into his meals like he's a child.

He may be defensive initially, but it may get the wheels in his brain turning and help him come to the right decision on his own. At least, I think this is how it worked with my DH. It was a long process, him deciding to lose weight. The only thing I really did was tell him I loved him no matter what, but he would be healthier if he lost weight. The doctor added another layer. Other things happened and then he started working out again.

tigermoll Tue 18-Oct-11 13:49:23

I sort of slightly hoped that my OH would see me losing weight (through WW, have become total evangelist for it smile ) and realise that it was possible and didn't mean being hungry all the time (just most of the time) and sort of be inspired.

He hasn't.

The thing is, it's not that I don't love him and fancy him. But would I fancy him more if he was a bit fitter and more energetic and healthier? Umm, shameful though it is to admit, yes I would. Plus, I don't want him to have a heart attack.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 13:52:07

Mardy, I'm sorry for your loss.

This is exactly why I don't think it's wrong to remind someone of their family obligations in these circumstances. It could be the motivation he needs.

AKMD Tue 18-Oct-11 13:56:45

I don't think it's an "it;s his life, let him get on with it" kind of issue. If DH got sick because of his obesity, that would most certainly be my problem too. If he died, it would leave DS without a dad. I think it's very selfish to assume that you can be as fat as you like and it not affect anyone else. Apart from anything elese, appearance does matter in all sorts of situations, not least your home life. DH always nags me to make sure my legs are done, bikini waxed, hair is styled, because he fancies me more when I look good. I don't think that's unreasonable but why shouldn't the same apply to him?

Mardy, another one sorry for your loss here.

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 14:00:37

Wait... he nags you to look good but won't address his own weight problem?

That's incredibly unfair. Have you pointed this out to him?

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 14:01:44

Oh sorry, that was to AKMD blush

mommom Tue 18-Oct-11 14:08:02

I have to agree with MardyArsedMidlander

IMO If you have children you have a duty to take care of yourself so that you can be around as long as possible for them and your spouse.

My DM is 13 years older than her DH however is much healthier and fitter. She will confide in me that she is terrified of reaching retirement only to become a full time carer for him. (i understand you vow to love in sickness and in health but surely it is selfish to not do everything in your power to save your spouse this heartache?)

You may hurt his feelings/pride but this has to be better than the alternative?

BTW This Morning had a discussion the other day. Apparently married men live longer due to having wives that nag them to visit doctors/ eat healthily/ excercise. smile

Confuzzeled Tue 18-Oct-11 14:09:28

Snap.

My dh has had a really rough few years and he comfort eats. We have both been worried about his weight for a while.

We decided to loose weight together a few weeks ago, we got calorie counters on our phones and have turned it into a competition. Whoever looses the highest percentage of our target weight gets a night away with friends and a day to relax after. This is something we very rarely get to do, he works so much and I have kids all the time. Not that we don't want time with kids but time to yourself is important too. I'm also putting the money I don't spend on crap into the kids piggybanks, they're going to be loaded.

I have to admit it was him who said he wanted to loose weight, he's been saying it for ages.

I think you should tell your dh that your worried about him. Ask him if he'd look into his health and maybe start writing down what he eats for a day. You could tot up the calories and work out the saturated fat and then get him to look it up.

It is really important, especially for your dc.

ShroudOfHamsters Tue 18-Oct-11 14:17:18

AKMD - then perhaps the answer you are looking for is this: stop waxing/buffing/do your hair in a style he doesn't like. When he complains, just say - Sorry, I don't see why what you want should have any influence on me. You won't even make the effort to keep yourself in good health for us, why on earth should I consider what you find attractive and make any effort to look after myself in return? Give it another couple of years with you running your body into the ground and I doubt we'll have much of a sex life anyway, so what's the point?'

See if that makes him open his eyes a bit...

NotJustClassic Tue 18-Oct-11 14:19:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Emsmaman Tue 18-Oct-11 14:22:31

Unfortunately I don't think it's something you can nag about or you just make it worse. My dad was like this, mum tried every approach even as far as threatening to leave him (he had high blood pressure and a couple of scares which were a bit like a mini-stroke). The only thing that made him change was getting Type 2 diabetes. Now they are both on Low GI diets - perhaps this is something you could introduce by stealth but if the snacking is not for hunger but for taste, you're not going to stop it. Dad has some foods he can only eat small portions of e.g. carbs, protein, fats, certain fruits, and some he can eat unlimited amounts of e.g. most veg that are not carbs, some fruits. He still eats masses of food by normal standards but fills up on the good stuff. For example, he eats minimum four pieces of toast for breakfast but now has grainy bread with slices of tomatoes rather than white bread with jam. I should point out his diet was never that bad before it was just bad IN THOSE QUANTITIES. You're doing the right thing not having treats in the house by the way. So much harder to eat badly if you have to make a special trip out for it.

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