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Terrified about partner's weight

(170 Posts)
Scared129 Mon 25-Jan-21 02:44:40

Please hear me out as I know this will be triggering for a lot of people and this is really not my intention. I have name changed for this!

We have been together for over 10 years and now have a lovely 1 year old. He is my soul mate really, cheesy as that sounds. Very similar, have a really good laugh and are very happy.

He has always been a big guy, and I have no problem with that. But over the last couple of years, it's now got to a stage where I am up at night and I am genuinely worried he will die young due to his weight especially with covid still on going (We haven't had it yet to our knowledge).

He is classed as obese, and he could probably easily fit three of my waist in his. He has recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea and now has a machine. We are early 30s.

I just don't know what to do. I don't know what I can do? We have spoken hundreds of times about getting fit, and stopping eating bad, sorting ourselves out, etc. We joke about our weight a lot, and we poke eachother bellies, delete takeout apps, promise to eat healthy, etc. All in good fun. I always say 'we' so it's like a joint thing, but in reality I have a normal bmi. I have a few extra pounds I want to lose, but I want to support him as much as possible and don't ever want him to feel like I'm singling him out. Plus, doing things together is more supportive.

I'm just so scared. I have told him this before and he nods and agrees, and i know he needs help but I just don't know how. He goes through cycles when he goes super strict with his food, but he's got this stupid carnivore diet obsession and all he then eats is meat and the tiniest bit of veg and obviously this isn't sustainable and then he yoyos back and eats junk again. It's his portion sizes too, they're massive. He won't eat fruit. He rolls his eyes if I ever say about his diet as he thinks he's this diet guru, even though he just gains weight!

What can I do??? I don't want to be that partner who nags about weight!!!

OP’s posts: |
RickiTarr Mon 25-Jan-21 02:51:25

First stop making it a joke. You need to tell him how scared you are and that you are willing to support him make changes for his health. K assuming he is very heavy for you to be so worried.

See if your local council has a weight management programme or if he meets the criteria for your GP to refer him to an NHS programme.

If you google “CCG [your local area] bariatric service” and you should find a document outlining their referral criteria. If his BMI is high, and because he has a condition related to his weight (apnea), he might be lucky enough to qualify.

moita Mon 25-Jan-21 02:59:59

Definitely stop joking it about it - but he's an adult and he needs to be the one to make a change.

Is he over eating for a reason?.It's a stressful time.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 25-Jan-21 03:06:42

I would try to get him to see a nutritionist, and pay for it if needed to get him seen as quickly as possible. Your partner is in a very dangerous position, and time is ticking. I would also be very straightforward with him that his weight is not just about him. It impacts you and your child, and there is a very real possibility that you will be looking at a future without him due to an early death, or you will be stuck being his carer when he becomes disabled.

1forAll74 Mon 25-Jan-21 03:26:42

I would imagine, the same as you. that your partner will have some serious health problems eventually if he is obese. It is well documented that being very overweight, will bring many health problems. I dare say , that if he thinks that he feels fine right now, he will just keep doing what he is doing.

I assume that he is old enough to understand all the issues about weight problems, if not, he needs some help in some way, as it will affect you and others at some later time.

IHateCoronavirus Mon 25-Jan-21 03:45:38

Hi op, you sound like a wonderfully supportive and loving partner. I’m going to give you you’re DH’s potential perspective.

I’m similar to your DH. I’ve struggled with my weight all of my life, I’ve had a few years being size 8 but many more size 16. I’ve not struggled with apnea but my weight is impacting my joints. He will know the weight is impacting his health, I’m sure it worries him.

I’m doing well losing the weight at the minute but I know any minute I could fall off the wagon. Food is massively addictive to me. I suspect it might be the same for him. When I eat, I know what I should be eating, and how much, but I really need to be in a certain place mentally to be able to do that, and unfortunately that can only come from him.

Like you, my husband is very supportive but sometimes his support makes me feel as if I need to go underground with my eating. I feel shame and the shame weakens my ability to cope and be strong. It is a viscous cycle. Mentally I am comforted by food, but also physically I get a rush when I eat.

One of the problems is that we have to eat. It is like an alcoholic having to drink alcohol or a drug addict having to be around drugs three times a day. I find food preparation a dangerous time as I’m often alone. I can consume a lot then. Does he do much of the cooking? Would taking on the lions share of that be something you’d consider? Maybe the same for the shopping?

Otherwise it is going to have to come from him. I agree with the PP who suggest addressing any issues with his mental health. If he is I a good place mentally he will be in a better place in terms of resolve and determination.

Good luck op I hope he manages to tackle his weight and you have a long and happy life together.

redtshirt50 Mon 25-Jan-21 03:47:18


I don't have much advice but just wanted to say I have the same thing with my DH. I keep getting visions of him dead in a few years.

In lockdown he has just spiraled out of control. Eating whenever and whatever he wants, no exercise etc. He is also a carnivore and hates most fruit and veg.

He had to run after our dog the other day for about 5 seconds and could barely breathe afterwards.

I've tried talking to him and he gets really defensive. He's embarrassed by it and knows he's gained a lot of weight because he doesn't want me to take pictures of him anymore.

I've been trying to encourage more walks with the dog but the weather isn't helping! I try and get him to join in with my workouts but he isn't interested. I think he's worried he'll embarrass himself in front of me because he won't be able to do anything / keep up with me (I'm by no means fit but I've been trying to improve).

He says he'll join a gym when they're open again. Me and him played a lot of badminton when we first got together so once gyms are open I'm going to get us back playing squash. He enjoys that.

Maybe there's something physical your partner likes doing?

In terms of portion control, he used to have a mid-afternoon dessert and one after dinner. I flat out told him he was only allowed one a day I said it was a waste of money (we're trying to save atm), rather than positioning it as something to do with his weight. This has so far worked so that's a small win.

Gingerkittykat Mon 25-Jan-21 04:01:00

Needing a sleep apnea machine at such a young age is a huge worry.

Have you shown him apps like MFP, it can be a real shock when you start tracking everything and realise exactly how many calories some things have.

I think directness is the best thing, I wish someone had gently told me how bad things were when I was seriously overweight and supported me. Lecturing and making me feel bad would not help. I knew I had put weight on but avoided the scales and mirror so the actual numbers were a shock.

Ultimately it is up to him to change though.

Flaxmeadow Mon 25-Jan-21 04:02:52

Take aways are a problem, they seem to be so addictive for some people and are often very meat based

Is there any way of making home made healthy versions of take aways. Do you think you could get use to them. You could even buy the foil wrappers, similar packaging and prepare them to look the same so it doesn't seem such a big change

A curry like keema can be adapted to include greens chopped up small. So making the meat less and with more veg but with the veg less noticable. Mushrooms, green beans, kale and so on, can be chopped really tiny to be included in dishes. So even if the portion size is massive, at least much of it is veg

knitnerd90 Mon 25-Jan-21 04:07:33

I know you're concerned but it isn't your job. Most overweight people know they are overweight. he is going to experience this as nagging. It needs to be his decision to do something about it.

If you wish to adjust your cooking, fine. Suggest going out for a walk.

Imagine how this thread would go if a man were complaining about his wife's weight?

CupOfTeaAlonePlease Mon 25-Jan-21 04:23:00

@knitnerd90 I don't think its fair to say she is 'complaining'. She is worried about his health because she loves him and doesn't want to be a widow.

It needs to be his decision but she can hardly pretend his obesity is not impacting her.

Clicketyclick21 Mon 25-Jan-21 04:30:36

Make small changes to your lifestyle so it doesn't become a massive weight loss issue.
* smaller dinner plates - buy salad plates or plates with a rim so less space for food

* meal plan - post a typical week's menu & we can advise on making it healthier

* make healthy swaps - make your own pasta/curry sauces in bulk & freeze. Reduces salt, sugar & fat

* what do you eat for breakfast?

* put a bowl of fruit in an accessible place & snack on that instead of biscuits & cakes. Start modelling healthy eating habits to your child

Try the Dr. Michael Moseley 8 week blood sugar diet. It's a pre diabetic eating plan he developed to reprogramme the body. It's based on a Mediterranean diet so it's not extreme & you can have chocolate and wine.

Boomerwang Mon 25-Jan-21 04:32:09

My parents had a go at me yesterday for my weight. My father says he's worried for my health and it's frustrating for him to watch me do nothing about it.

So, speaking as someone on the other end of this, my personal experience is that I don't have anything exciting going on in life so my routine is unbroken, and part of that routine is eating. Settling down in front of the telly with crisps and chocolate.

All I do is work and take care of my kid part time. There's no love interest, no prospect of promotion, no hobby, nothing. So the enjoyable perks are small and predictable: drinking and eating.

If you come up with any ideas on how to break the cycle, I'll be watching with interest.

Porridgeoat Mon 25-Jan-21 04:32:36

Support him to keep a food diary
Have an honest conversation with him
Stop joking about weight and tell him your petrified
Go see your GP with him
Go see a nutritionist
Walk 10000 steps a day together daily.
Drink a glass of water before each meal

Clicketyclick21 Mon 25-Jan-21 04:33:46

I add tinned cooked lentils to mince & blended veg to mince. My child 'hates' veg but I made Jamie Oliver Hidden 7 veg pasta sauce & he wolfed it down.

Porridgeoat Mon 25-Jan-21 04:41:05

Boomer get an app and make walking your hobby.

Walk alone or arrange to walk with a specific person on different days. For example your mum could walk 10000 steps with you each Monday.

You many need to start at 4000 steps, go up to 10000 slowly and then look to surpass this and walk 15000 steps daily.

Make the telly a reward for achieving your goal.

Change your food reward. Melon? Berries? Protein?

Drink water.

Clicketyclick21 Mon 25-Jan-21 04:45:06


Tigertigertigertiger Mon 25-Jan-21 04:50:13

Sorry but you can’t make someone else lose weight, no matter how much you love them.

You can cook the healthiest meals In the world but if they want to eat fattening stuff on top of that , you can’t stop them.

Also, he knows he’s fat. It’s very hurtful to draw attention to it

BonnieDundee Mon 25-Jan-21 05:09:16

I dont think its healthy that you are up at night terrified that he is going to die. It's his body, leave him alone

Awalkintime Mon 25-Jan-21 05:26:55

He yo-yos because he is encouraged to. You need to work on what is causing him to overeat and find the trigger to his problems. Without doing that he will continue to yo-yo over the years.

People who are fat already know it, they also know it could kill them early. If it was easy to lose weight there would be no fat people.

Thing is people need food and if they struggle to regulate their intake themselves you can't expect him to just switch into that mode. Imagine a heroin addict and you tell them that they can't have a lot of heroin just a bit each day and that they have to self regulate after many years of being unable to and then fill their house with heroin and then expect it to work. That is what you are asking of him and then wonder why he fails.

Then he fails and you're disappointed and he feels like a failure and the whole cycle starts again.

Dieting is a more complex problem and that takes way more support than just restricting food and moving a bit more.

MsTSwift Mon 25-Jan-21 05:49:35

He kind of needs a wake up call. I was only a little overweight hadn’t realised but had a routine medical and my bmi was 27. Always had been slim and ate what I wanted but this jolted me that I couldn’t get away with that anymore as mid 40s. Lost 2 stone in 4 months from that date.

Would recommend read or audio Tom Watson mp book Downsizing. He was really big and turned it round.

I do intermittent fasting reduce snacks and meals on smaller plates to reduce portions. I do cardio every morning as part of routine. Bmi 21 size 10 now was bmi 27 size 14.

Boatingforthestars Mon 25-Jan-21 06:07:37

Talk him into counting calories, I use an app called "nutracheck" you can scan barcodes on your phone and it will tell you how many calories are in something then add it to your diary.
It really is dieting made easy, theres no fad diet it just gives you the set amount of daily calories to get down chosen weight and you can reach that calorie goal anyway you like.
What you will likely both be surprised at Is the damage some things are doing compared to other things, when you are looking at the calories in something and thinking that it's a quarter of your daily allowance you tend not to be do intrested.

Scared129 Mon 25-Jan-21 08:01:42

Thank you everyone for all your replies!! I really appreciate eveything. This has been bothering me for a while now, but ideally unsure how best to handle it. I love him so much, and I do genuinely worry about bringing up our child alone. I have told him this, we have spoke about it genuinely beyond the joking, again with me saying 'We need to be serious, we have to do this' as again I want to support him however I can.

I know his eating definitely started in childhood and I know it was a coping mechanism as he went through a family tragedy at a young age. His mother wasnt the best at showing emotions and he was largely left to his own devices, especially with food.

He knows he turns to food for the feel good, for the serotonin boost.

We've been 'serious' and tried to loose weight together i'd say nearly a hundred times. One time we did really well, but we yoyo'd and it came back. It's definitely harder this time of year and with lockdown. He actively wants to lose weight, he always has. He hates having his photo taken due to his weight.

He does most of the cooking as I'm main breadwinner, and we do an online shop once a week, but we largely cook our own meals. He eats lots of steak, eggs, uses lots of oil and he always fries. If he eats a carb its usually brown rice.

Reading all these replies, I know I'm part of the problem. I will go out to the shops a couple of times a week to pick up extras, and he always asks for a treat, which is usually a large ready meal, pudding, crisps, etc. He would never go out to get them himself. I know I need to be strict now and just stop it. I find it hard to say no as I know a food treat will make him happy. I'm of the idea that a bit of everything is okay, just portion control I try to not to restrict things for myself, but I'm slowly understanding that's not possible for him. Like I am sneaking tiny little choc treats in the house for myself and try and eat them without him knowing. Even typing this down I realise how stupid this is. He has a food addiction and I'm just waving it in front of him. He regularly asks 'any hidden chocolate in the house?' and again, I give in quite a lot.

To support him, I need to be strict on myself for him. I see that now.

A calorie app is a great idea. Will download it.

Again, thanks for your replies!!!

OP’s posts: |
echt Mon 25-Jan-21 11:53:46

Also, he knows he’s fat. It’s very hurtful to draw attention to it.

If he was drinking, would you say that?

If he was gambling would you say that?

If he was on illegal drugs would you say that?

Only when it's about the dangers of being being fat do the apologists rock up. hmm

Oh, and upthread someone recommended a nutritionist. Don't. Any more than you would go to a tooth expert instead of a dentist. Go to a dietician.

LouHotel Mon 25-Jan-21 12:07:08

Some people need an exercise focused diet and then let food follow.

You cant out run a bad diet but running puts you in the frame to not destroy your gains with junk. I cant diet alone I have to do the exercise to focus my mind on the goal. Would he do couch to 5k with you?

The carnivore diet sounds like he wants to bulk. Does he have weights at home he can use?

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