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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?

fishandlilacs Wed 16-Jan-13 20:26:26

I am seriously overweight. More overweight than you say your DH (i need to lose at least 8 st) is but i don't sweat, or struggle to take the kids to the park and I have a bad back but I had that when i was slim too. It doesn't stop me walking miles-I regular walk my DS into town with his puschair and thats 45 minutes away. I get out of breath because I walk fast. I can run with my dd in the park and play tag with her. It sounds like there may be more underlying health issues if he cant manage to take the kids to the park.

Food, when used in this way, like anything else is an addiction and it's very easy to stick with what you know.

I don't have the answers because if i did I would be slim again but I have managed to significant lose weight on slimming world and it seems popular with men because you can eat big on it and have lots of lean grilled meat etc.

MidnightMasquerader Wed 16-Jan-13 20:28:38

No more low-carb diets!!

Every time you read/hear about someone losing a shed load of weight on a low-carb diet, they inevitably pile it all back on again, and then some.

Because a low-carb diet (nearly wrote low-crab diet grin) is exactly that; a specific sort of 'diet' that you go on for a while to lose weight, but which is not sustainable long term so you will only be slimmer while you're on it.

It's also massively demoralising. sad You feel a failure when the weight comes back on (and it always does, the minute you stop low-carbing), and you feel it's pointless to try to lose weight again, because you can see that it doesn't work. It's insidious.

Thinking about a way to overhaul the entire family's eating (and that maybe include fewer carbs) long-term is the only way, and there have been some good suggestions in this thread.

Good luck, I really feel your utter frustration.

ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:29:04

We're going to have a long talk about this tonight. Calmly.
The doc will be the first port of call, I hope.

AlmostAHipster Wed 16-Jan-13 20:29:55

I don't think anyone would deny that losing weight would be beneficial to the OP's DH's health. The problem is that by having a shouty row, even if it's never happened before, he may well be feeling aggrieved, embarrassed, ashamed, rebellious which usually leads to comfort eaters eating for comfort and instant gratification. Looking at the bigger picture is hard, even if you know you have to do something for your own health.

SW by stealth is a great idea but if he's not on board, then he'll just go and buy himself more burgers. He needs to think that it's his idea.

OP, I can appreciate that you feel that you've tried to be supportive. I really think that this is the way forward. Can you have a calm chat tonight after the kids are in bed and reconnect emotionally with him, even if that means you saying sorry for being angry with him (I'd be cross that I'd bothered to cook and he'd rejected it).

He knows what he has to do - he probably thinks that it will be hard and that he won't be able to do it. He needs his confidence boosted, however irritating that might be.

AlmostAHipster Wed 16-Jan-13 20:30:14

Sorry, Xposted.

marriedinwhite Wed 16-Jan-13 20:31:41

I think you have had a hard-time on here.

My DH has type II diabetes, so controllable by diet. His father dropped dead from heart disease at 79 having refused to go to a doctor for 10 years. My DH could do with losing a stone. He's presently 13.10.

My DH knows he has a responsibility to himself and to us to keep fit, to keep his weight down and to have annual medical checks. He eats only wholemeal pasta, rice, bread. He has bran flakes for breakfast. I don't make puddings anymore and we have red meat no more than twice a week - I have had to play a big part in this too. He will have a lager instead of a beer or he will have a gin and slim; I don't buy beer any more. He plays football once a week, squash once a week and helps out with rugby training/cricket on sundays.

I would be furious too in your shoes and I agree your dh needs to get a grip. But it's getting him to realise he needs to which is the problem. Could you have a chat with the doctor about getting some extra help for him - the doctor referring him to a weight loss counsellor or other forms of counselling?

MumVsKids Wed 16-Jan-13 20:41:34

Ali this is my friends frustration too. She will buy and cook healthy meals, which he will eat, but THEN goes out for a takeaway chippie or Chinese as well.

She is scared that he is going to have a massive coronary one day whilst driving. She doesn't want to lose her DH nor her DDs lose their daddy, but she is now taking a very hard stance and is desperate to make him understand what he stands to lose if he doesn't lose some weight.

Now when she mentions it, he just switches off or turns the tv up. He has no intention of regaining his health and she is worried he has some sort of addiction to junk food sad

I think what makes it worse is that he still acts like he's the thirty something fit healthy attractive man that he was, rather than the forty something, morbidly obese, sweaty blob that he is. People recoil when he makes inappropriate innuendos (but that's a whole other thread) and I think he is now so thick skinned he genuinely doesn't see what everyone else sees.

It's very sad, and bloody hard work for my friend.

NationalLottie Wed 16-Jan-13 20:44:01


Mintyy Wed 16-Jan-13 20:45:49

See if you can persuade him to try the 5:2 fasting thing. The health benefits (aside from weight loss) seem to be amazing and it is just so much easier than dieting.

Mintyy Wed 16-Jan-13 20:48:17

Infact, why not do it with him? I am doing it, at least in part because my dh is about 4 stone overweight, in his late 40s and with a huge family history of heart disease. If I do it he will have to do it better (is ridiculously competitive) but I think fair enough, I want you to get healthier for the sake of our family so I will go along with it too.

dayshiftdoris Wed 16-Jan-13 21:01:58


Have you ever been faced with a situation like this?

A loved one who does not look after their own health regardless of what you say or do and how you say or do it?

My father's father died at 54 from a massive heart attack, his brothers have cardiac problems, his brothers are both diabetic and have high BP. His mother had glaucoma and one brother had cataracts....

My father has refused for the last 20+years to see a GP for a health review - he has even been delisted from a surgery as he hadnt been for 17yrs... he then moved house twice and even avoided the new patient check.

As for his eyes... I had to threaten to not allow him to drive my son around (he was a baby at the time) to get him to have his eyes tested (turned out he wasnt legal to drive!) and when they found an issue it was SIX years before he had the retest, rather than the suggested 4 weeks...

I work in the health service so he viewed my discussions as 'worse than a second hand car salesman flogging their stuff'...
I have lost it with him twice - both times over his eye tests and both time he went to 'shut you up!'.... I tried it about his health but he is just completely resistant to it. He too is obese.
My sister, his brothers and other relatives have told him - they then refer it to me as I live nearest and I work in health...

Well very recently he rang me to tell me he had had chest pain for 12hrs+... an ambulance trip later and he's had a small heart attack which they have treated with an angioplasty.

Its not satisfying at all to be 'right'... He still cant see the point of seeing the GP for general health check... his blood sugars were high in hospital so I bet he is diabetic.

I think YANBU and I think the fact you shouted at him shows you love him so very much. If you had completely given up on him you would have just walked away by now... it really is not pleasant watching someone slowly kill themselves by not taking care of themselves and thwarting every attempt to support them.

I think it's a sad reflection of the NHS today that dieticians and specialist nurses are being lost all over the place. My dad hasnt been offered any patient information... its down to us, his family I think...

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 16-Jan-13 21:04:48

What a difficult situation op. Some of the early responses you got on this thread are ridiculous! hmm

To refuse the dinner you made and go and get mcDonalds is not only daft but really rude, wasteful, insulting and just one of those things you just don't do! Can you imagine going to a friends house when they've cooked you dinner and you refusing to eat it and going to get yourself a takeaway instead? No because you wouldn't do that. Its a rather large social no no. It seems really disrespectful to the effort you had gone to making it.

I think if my dh did that i would be so upset!

I agree with getting him to the Drs. You can't police his diet for him, you haven't got a chance what with his being on the road all day, his late night snacking and his sticking two fingers up at the food you cook him.

Could you go to the Drs with him and make sure the Dr knows how awful the diet is? Your husband will likely be very pissed off with you but his life is at stake here isn't it, its just a shame he can't see that.

aneatercog Wed 16-Jan-13 21:09:55

A story.

DH was overweight but active. Managed cholesterol and high blood pressure. The weight worried me as his DD died in his early 60s. One day he came in from exercise feeling uncomfortable. Straight to A and E. He had a quadruple by pass 3 days later. He could have died out on the road.

He had a massive genetic bad hand of cards, as the cardiologist said, but has since reduced and maintained his weight. We've always eaten healthily, bar the alcohol, and portion size was to blame. I can see that this might be fuel to the "why bother" fire, but the point is he's still here and has made changes. he was lucky to have a warning, and not an actual heart attack.

The only thing that I can think would help has been suggested, which is to lose weight with him.

Best of luck, OP.

aneatercog Wed 16-Jan-13 21:12:31

Sorry, OP. My error. I though you had posted as being overweight too. blush

CarnivorousPanda Wed 16-Jan-13 21:14:02


He allowed himself to get into this state and now he's choosing to do nothing about it. So the result now is he's unable to go out and do things as a family.

Yes, this could be depression, denial whatever. Getting that diagnosis probably hit him for six. But actually as Fuckadoodel (nice name) says, the incident with the meal is plain rude and shows a lack of respect.

Do your children say anything about him not coming out with them?

thegreylady Wed 16-Jan-13 21:14:53

Weight Watchers online is excellent if he would do that and have you got a wii fit?

ithaka Wed 16-Jan-13 21:26:42

YANBU, my DH's weight crept up when he was in a job he hated and even when he changed profession he never got his weight back under control. There is a history of heart disease in his family, plus I knew he was embarrassed by his weight, it effected his self esteem and made him unhappy. Of course I was desperate for him to lose weight, but he was always wildly defensive and touchy on the subject (probably not helped by the fact I am slim).

There was another sudden, lifestyle related death in his family and around the same time we were updating our life insurance so DH had to disclose in front of me how much he weighed. I was shocked and he was mortified.

But for some reason, it flicked a switch and he decided to lose weight. I think that decision was the hardest part - he radically changed his diet, cut out vast amounts of bread and cheese and snacks between meals. He must have lost at least 3 stone and he looks fantastic - just gorgeous. He feels great about himself and his self esteem has soared.

So it has to come from your DH, there has to be some trigger that will make him decide 'enough is enough' and take control of his weight. For what it is worth, I think it was worth trying a blazing row. But if that didn't work, maybe stern words from a health professional? I don't know what will work but I really hope for you and your families sake you find something.

ali23 Wed 16-Jan-13 21:29:50

Minty, what is the fasting thing?

LesleyPumpshaft Wed 16-Jan-13 21:34:07

I don't see why OP is getting a hard time either. You shouldn't mess around with type 1 diabetes and her husband is slowly killing himself. being 6 stone overweight with type 1 diabetes is not a cosmetic issue. If someone gets the point where they can't walk, or participate in family life - through their own actions, then you absolutely need to stage some sort of intervention for their own sake. If you don't, then you are enabling their self destructive behaviour.

He'll end up in an early grave and you both have DC's to think about, their needs come first. Also, he could be managing his diabetes far more effectively if he lost the weight.

OP, if your DH has issues, then he needs help and getting him to see that might not be pleasant for either of you in the short term. but, If things don't change, he could get very ill.

harrietspy Wed 16-Jan-13 21:37:36

I really feel for you. 10 years ago my xh was 9 stone overweight with serious underlying health issues and mobility problems. His inability to tackle his weight and his disability meant we could do nothing and go nowhere and I had to do everything. I felt so powerless.

I got so angry with him but even when I confronted him with my fears that he'd die of a heart attack at 40, he couldn't change the way he ate.

He was and is a compulsive overeater but he wasn't upfront about it then. Dr put him on diet, he lost loads of weight and put it all back on again. Things changed only when he was referred to a dietician through the GP. He started recording what he was eating at first, and just through the simple act of writing down what he was eating, he lost loads of weight. He also had therapy which helped to understand why he was a compulsive overeater, and learned some mindfulness practice around eating.

He now knows himself to be a food addict and has been going to Overeaters Anonymous (like AA) for 5 years now. He's maintained a healthy weight for the last 5 years and for the first time in his adult life.

Food addiction might not be your dh's problem, but often people don't take it seriously and don't recognise that it is just as damaging as other eating disorders. We know, for instance, that telling someone with anorexia to stop being so selfish and eat the sandwich won't suddenly change their eating habits. Sadly (and to my own cost) I know that I couldn't change xh's eating by force of will.

This might be completely off the mark and if so, I'm sorry. But I know how horrible it is to watch someone you love treat themselves and their family so recklessly. I also wish I'd known compulsive overeating existed as a problem.

roastednut Wed 16-Jan-13 21:38:29

Yanbu. I'm in a similar situation altho my dh was diagnosed with type 2 last year (at 39). He has done nothing health wise about it and has just taken tablets off the docs. He even smokes (which I hate).
We've been unable to conceive due to his sperm (probably diabetes related) and I've had ivf and a subsequent miscarriage. I did everything to stay healthy during ivf etc. I do feel resentful.
I have to say he has an incredibly stressful job, but thats no excuse is it.
Am at my wits end.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 16-Jan-13 21:38:57

OP. if you can take MIW'S suggestion and see the GP first to set the ground. I've done this with DH too. When DH went alone it just wasn't getting across that there was depression on top of the diabetes to tackle.

Failing that, have the Receptionist book you a double appointment so you're not rushed out the door before you start getting to the nitty gritty.

Good luck with your conversation tonight.

And as for the patronising messages to stay calm. Yeah alright!!!

QuickLookBusy Wed 16-Jan-13 21:57:22


If I were you, I would go to the drs with him, make sure your Dh tells them everything and insist he is referred to someone who can help him.
He NEEDS help to sort himself out. He is obviousy in complete denial about the situation.

I also think the fact he only sees a specialist diabetic nurse once a year is awful. He should be seeing someone a lot more frequently than that.

knitknack Wed 16-Jan-13 22:13:30

I completely disagree about low carb diets being 'bad'. Low carb/no sugar is exactly how we SHOULD eat - google 'primal diet diabetes' if you need inspiration. Sugar is evil.

knitknack Wed 16-Jan-13 22:14:26

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