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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?

Oblomov Fri 18-Jan-13 12:21:54

No hope?
7 year cycle of diabetes. At 14, 21, and 28, I went through a bit of rebellion. Got fed up of testing my blood sugars 7 times a day, and stopped. Drank loads of alcohol. and ate loads of chocolate. And guess what after a short time, I was back in the game.

I've got another one due in a couple fo years - tee hee.

Lets not dismiss the bloke, just yet.

VenusRising Fri 18-Jan-13 11:57:25

Sounds like he has no hope, that he's given up, and checked out.
I wish you all the very best.

VenusStarr Fri 18-Jan-13 11:49:49

Do you have Health Trainers in your area? Their role is to support individuals who struggle to make lifestyle changes. They can work on a one to one basis with people to understand their barriers to making lifestyle changes and provide motivational support.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 18-Jan-13 11:40:10

Yanbu. But im shocked at how many posters on here are up in arms about you wanting to tackle this. Id be worried too.

All you can do is run a tight ship mealwise, get him to a GP, and get physical activity organised every weekend for all of you. Its a very hard mindset to break though and ultimately up to him. Can you consuder counselling?

ovenchips Fri 18-Jan-13 11:32:08

Is it worth suggesting something like Jason Vale's Slim for Life book? Would your DH commit to reading it in a week, say?

It works on your mental attitude (similar to Allen Carr's 'Easy Way to Stop Smoking') so that by the end of the book your desire for unhealthy foods has actually disappeared. You don't have to have commitment or willpower before reading it, reading the book is all you are required to do.

I used the stop eating chocolate book and found it v effective. I didn't require willpower, I just lost interest in having sweet things and food in general. It became fuel rather than comfort. This has never ever happened to me during the many diets I have been on.

If you could sell it to your DH that all you want him to do is read Slim For Life he really should find that his attitude towards food is changed by the end. He would be choosing healthy foods without resentment or requiring willpower and without either you or him having to engage in a battle of wills, which seems to be where you find yourselves at mo.

Best of luck with whatever method you adopt OP.

Allonsy Fri 18-Jan-13 11:13:14

oblomov, dh is on metformin and glicazide the dose of both have now been doubled as bloods where is the 30 region, when hes off the pills his weight drops drastically but his bloods shoot up he seems to think its worth it for the weight loss. His bloods even medicated average 11, consultant have told him he may be put on insulin in the near future. He gets totally disheartened when on meds as he seems unable to lose weight so instead just eates rubbish which dosnt help.

Doc for referral to weight management ideally. Slimming world is great as its real sensible food with no weighing or counting points, I was amazed at how much I could eat and can't think of a thing you are not able to eat even a huge english breakfast (grilled) buy one of their magazines or go online for a look as there are 7 day menus and more useful... case studies of people who have lost weight, some huge amounts, lots of them are men too. The GP may even be able to 'prescribe' attendance as some areas of the country offer 10 weeks or so free on prescription. Its food you or he can cook for the whole family so he can feel normal. My family love it as I try out new things like making my own burgers and coleslaw... much nicer than Macdonalds. He needs to get himself into the right frame to attempt to lose and no amount of faddy diets will help, SW becomes a way of life as it is so healthy and is really just based on the Dept of healths 'balance of good health' also know as the eatwell plate. good luck and tell him from me its worth making the changes no matter how long it takes, the health benefits to energy levels, self esteem, looks, and skin are immense and come quickly as the weight comes off.

Oblomov Fri 18-Jan-13 10:48:53

Allonsy, I don't want to speculate because i don't know what medication your dh is on. But what I can tell you is that my consultant talked to me the other day, about metformin (which I have never needed to try before) and about the well known side effects. My dh is on metformin so I was shocked by what she was telling me.
But what I can tell you, was that I have been the same weight for 25 years. I lost all my pg weight immediately. But all of a sudden I have gained 1 stone. I tried to lose it, never having dieted before in my whole life. And i could not BELIEVE how hard it was. For ME. and that is only ME. I lost not a single lb.
Chaz, thanks for the hug.
I too see big difference between my dh and OP's.
I do believe what the poster said about denial and rebellion ( I myslef have gone through many rebellions in my 40 years of diabetes), plus they say that diabetes goes through a 7 year cycle, and i have definitely found that.
I know Op wants to help.
But some of the advice has been very flippant, non medical, and i think we need to take care in what we are advising OP to do.

Have an unMN (((Hug)))

I think this is a sensitive topic for a lot of people especially people who themselves have weight problems. I am currently very overweight and finally doing something about it because I want to still be able to run around with my children in 10 years time. I think for many people a comment on your weight feels like a comment on your worth as a person and carries all the implications of greediness and laziness.

I see a big difference between you and the OP's DH because you are taking responsibility for your health and doing what you can to keep healthy. I am sure its not easy when your body appears to be fighting against your best efforts but you are trying and that is what counts.

I think what the OP and some of the other posters are struggling with is that her DH or their family members don't seem to want to make an effort to look after their own health. They are having to watch someone they love allowing themselves to deteriorate, become more immobile and less healthy on a day by day basis. I think this is different to someone who has a progressive condition they can't control because it feels like there is an element of choice in not eating well or not exercising. I have a relation by marraige who is a type 1 diabetic who is a heavy drinker and smoker and doesn't exercise, she is starting to develop serious health problems now and look about 15 years older than her age. Her family are having to sit back and watch her speed up her decline and its very hard for them but she is an adult and can make her own choices.

I think that the OP's DH needs more medical / health support and perhaps some counselling. His behaviour is almost self-destructive so I wonder if there is a problem with denial or depression. I will bow to your great knowledge of problems like hypo's; perhaps as a family they can find a strategy that helps the OP's DH feel less at risk.

Allonsy Fri 18-Jan-13 10:28:03

Oblomov your posts are helpful to me at least, dh is type 2 diagnosed 2 years ago and i didnt realise it could make losing weight more difficult, he has frequently stopped meds (unknown to me) so that he could get more weight off he says when he takes the meds he cant lose weight ive accused him of being 'at it' as his gp said they would help not hinder weight loss, is this not true? dh and i fell out the other day as hes threatened to stop meds again to lose his christmas weight, i do not agree with this at all! he was also told his risk of hypos is minimal and hes not on insulin

Oblomov Fri 18-Jan-13 10:14:26

Someone flippantly recommended 5:2 fasting,to a diabetic, who well may be on metformin or byetta, or any other form of medication, that we know nothing about.

Oblomov Fri 18-Jan-13 10:06:50

I am not sure how i feel abou this thread.
I am a type 1 diabetic, since birth, and the post about :
"Instead, he is always worried he'll 'hypo' on his own because the walk to the park takes so much out of him. "
REALLY upset me ALOT. If only you knew. sad
Christ almighty. You don't have a clue, do you? Imagine the balancing act I try to keep, every second of evey day. Magnitude it, and then think again. I have had some horrific hypos over the years. My dh and my kids have been genuinely frightened. Yet, I am on a pump and monitor my blood sugars RELIGIOUSLY. Yet my diabetes is getting worse, more and more rigid.
Plus, I tred REALLY hard last year to lose 1 stone,and lost not a single lb. I have discussed this endlessly with my diabetic consultant and the diabetic speacialist nurses.
Losing weight is very very hard work.

My dh is a type 2, as of 10 years ago. And obese. Yet he eats well, and exercises,and takes the kids swiming, and goes to the gym and runs around with them.
So I really DO get this whole scenario.
I am probably, the best perosn, on MN to comment on this whole scenario.
But I'm not quite sure what to write.......

ethelb Fri 18-Jan-13 09:12:32

@knitknack the way that a diabetic metabolises sugars, complex carbs and everything else is different to how a non-diabetic person would. So I would really suggest you stop doling out 'advice' to the OP as you are not a Dr.

DoubleMum Thu 17-Jan-13 20:31:40

Apologies if someone has already linked this, but he might get inspiration from this as this man also had a lot to lose and had diabetes:

Iatemyskinnyperson Thu 17-Jan-13 19:57:01

Yanbu, I am in a similar position. DH is v obese, eats appallingly but thinks its ok because he plays soccer once a week. I have 2 DS's, one with SEN. I need him to be healthy!

My DF & DFIL both have serious illnesses so my DM & DMIL are full-time carers. I feel like screaming at him that I can't/won't be his carer too because I'll always be a carer to my younger DS. He sees the dire consequences daily, but still eats enough for 3 people. confused

I was at ILs today and saw MIL running herself ragged caring for FIL. Emptying catheter bags, feeding cleaning etc. she's haggard and looks much older than her years. I don't want that to be me hmm

LessMissAbs Thu 17-Jan-13 19:23:35

YANBU. I can't believe some of the attitudes on here.

You could have been desribing my father, down to the loss of ability to walk anywhere and the age of onset. Basically my father was born perfectly healthy but killed himself at the age of 52 due to overeating and lack of exercise. This followed the pattern of diabetes (Type 2 in his case), becoming obese, angina, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, blocked arteries, all sorts of drugs and treatments prescribed, long term absence from work followed by being sacked for unable to work, first heart attack, second heart attack, various heart operations and then the final heart attack which killed him.

He didn't do enough to help himself. He lost a little weight, but was still obese. He did give up smoking, but did not exercise. Basically by the time he was in his early 40s it was too late as he had damaged his body so much.

What concerns me is how his family suffered. My mother shielded me as best she could, but it couldn't disguise the fact that I had to grow up with a father who, due to his own fault, was permanently ill and partially disabled and unwilling unable to do much.

But my mother got incredibly stressed. She had to do everything, and got no help, whilst my father became the centre of attention and got all the help and resources out there. My mother lost a lot of weight, after my father died she recovered but then developed cancer which eventually proved fatal. There is no cancer in our family and she and I often wondered if it was brought on by the years of stress dealing with my father.

Interestingly, I came to the conclusion that my father almost did it deliberately, for attention. He had shown hypochondriac tendencies in the past, even as a young man, and my mother had been going to leave him because he was so lazy. Because he became so ill, she was guilt-tripped into staying with him.

To be honest, having been an observer of this pattern before, I'd advise you to get out now.

btw I doubt going to the GP will encourage your DH to lose weight and take exercise - it has to come from a desire inside himself and it doesn't sound like he has one.

Uncontrolled diabetes is really risky for amputations, and you say your DH's calf is to painful for him to exercise - sounds like severe circulation problems. Is he aware of this?

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 17-Jan-13 17:15:27

If the OP's husband were ruining his health with a drug addiction, nobody would fault her for having a row.

Not being able to walk to the park is absolutely unacceptable. At the rate he's going, he is going to be needing a modified house, stair lift, mobility scooter, etc.

knitknack Thu 17-Jan-13 17:00:43

@ethelb: it's in quite a bt of junk, with more creeping in all the time - Hobnobs, Jaffa cakes, mr Kipling cakes, ice cream...

And to the poster eye rolling at me a)n ice, very polite. And b) I was only pointing out the BBC doc to show how MAINSTREAM the idea of sugar being awful for us is, which is why I also pointed out the peer-reviewed research (of which there is lots). Table sugar is NOT the same as the more complex carbs found in fruits and veg and to tell a poster who's so worried about her diabetic husband that it is is terrible. I would be worried beyond measure if my husband were behaving in this way.

Of course you want to intervene op, and you need support to do so. This sums up what I was saying (or get him to read Gary Taube's book):

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 17-Jan-13 13:50:28

This may be a left-field suggestion but has your DH shown any interest in getting fit? It may be worth sending him over to the forums on My Fitness Pal.

There are lots of blokes over there (at least 50/50) so it's not dieting for girls like WW/Slimming World.

Also they are dead against dieting over there which he might find reassuring if he is against dieting. It's all about achievable lifestyle/ food choice changes. They are also very into weight lifting as the best exercise which is a nice manly thing smile

Most people use the site for logging their food/weight to lose weight, but not by dieting IYSWIM. If your DH got started on there and was keen he could start logging too, and drive it himself, rather than you.

PurityBrown Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ali23 Thu 17-Jan-13 12:20:19

Thank you for so many considered responses. We spoke at length last night and hopefully we will both speak to GP, who has always been very helpful. However, DH has to do this, ultimately, himself, albeit with a lot of home support. So we shall see. But the posts were supportive and have encouraged me to keep fighting for this. Not in a literal sense! Thanks.

RueDeWakening Thu 17-Jan-13 11:11:25

Few things here: firstly, to lots of PPs, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different conditions. Type 1 is essentially not progressive, you either have it or you don't. If you do (I do too) you need to take insulin in injection form, for the rest of your life. Type 2 is progressive and can start as "prediabetes", or insulin resistance. They are developed by different mechanisms, t2s typically produce vast quantities of insulin but can't use it effectively, t1s produce no insulin at all.

OP, there are 2 specific things I don't know if you're aware of. Firstly, following diagnosis it is very common to deny the t1 and/or be depressed about it - it's a massive change and akin to a grief reaction, you can grieve for the old you. Your DH should be able to access counsellors through his DSN (if he has one?) and/or consultant, but provision is patchy. Secondly, there is an increasingly well documented eating disorder that only affects diabetics. I suffered from it for years (and caused myself all sorts of other problems as a result). But it begins with a desire to lose weight, and the realisation that if you don't take your insulin, weight drops off you...just be careful that your DH doesn't head down that route. By running your sugars high, you excrete sugar in urine and your body can't use the carbs you eat because there isn't enough insulin to process them. But you can end up in ketoacidosis, in hospital, and it can even be fatal.

Does your DH understand about carb counting and how to adjust his insulin based on what he's eating, or does he "eat to the insulin"? The latter can cause weight gain because you can't exercise effectively because you hypo, and he would need some education (DAFNE course or similar - available online via BDEC if you google) about basal rates, what his carb to insulin ratio is, sick day rules, all sorts of other stuff.

I think the injection mentioned upthread is Byetta by the way, although I don't know of any t1s who use it, only t2s.

Good luck, I really feel for you.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 11:05:01

Very true whois

whois Thu 17-Jan-13 10:43:34


If you had posted saying "DH drinks too much and is too hungover to take the DCs to the park, I have to do everything myself and in worried about his health" then everyone would be up in arms saying how U he is and what an awful man.

Instead he is addicted to food and killing himself through eating as well as opting out of family life. Not on.

He might be depressed. He might have an addictive personality. He might be in denial about his diabetics and rebeling against it.

Really hard for you OP. I don't really have any advice as his issue is as great as if addicted to drugs or alcohol.

harrietspy Thu 17-Jan-13 10:15:21


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