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How do I ask/encourage dh to lose weight?

(53 Posts)
tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 13:16:16

Dh has always been on the larger side since I've known him. His weight fluctuates between 15-16 stone, he is 5 11 tall. I think the main problem is that it all sits on his tummy and chest area really, his tummy is really rather large. It's probably even more noticeable as he has quite slim legs. I was looking back over some photos the other day, and its so obvious than even a couple of years ago, his tshirts hung pretty much straight down - these days they hang away from him, if you know what I mean.

I know this sounds really shallow, but I struggle to find him attractive because of this at the moment. I am 5 2 and only weight 8 st so to me he feels massive.

He works a lot and spends a lot of time in the car (eg often drives 1000 miles a week etc) and he does no exercise. He has just started going out for a very occasional bike ride, but this is only eg a 20min ride. He is suffering from mild depression at the moment, and one of the things the dr said to him is that he needs to make exercise a part of his life. His diet is also not great. He often skips meals, eats at funny times, under eats, overeats etc. he is not keen on family meals, and in any event, due to his work we often only eat together 2/3 times a week.

I don't know how to broach this with him.....

TweedWasSoLastYear Sun 07-Jul-13 21:07:06

Sorry , anybody who eats rice and chips as a side dish who isnt in the Tour de France is only ever going to get larger.
Alcohol is probably not helping either , lots of the wrong calories , lowers your metabolic rate and makes you peckish.
So a slow cooked pork and Chorizo stew with tomatoes , sweetcorn, baby carrots, broad beans , peas and parsnip would be sneered at and go in the bin whilst he reaches for the Dominos take away menu?

nickymanchester Sun 07-Jul-13 21:26:06


Unfortunately, a lot of men are like this. You just need to get used to it and take baby steps in order to get them to change.

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 21:54:36

He doesn't drink actually!

And yes, he would not eat that primarily due to the inclusion of peas, sweet corn and broad beans which are apparently the work of the devil - I'm sure he would pick out the chicken and chorizo though smile

maleview70 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:09:00

You can't make someone change anything.

They have to want to.

autumnalface Sun 07-Jul-13 23:04:42

this reminds me of a conversation I had with DP, who had put on a fair bit of weight after an operation and I was worried about what it might do healthwise in the long run.
Decided to go for subtle approach, not to make him feel bad etc. So said something along the lines of: "DP, I would like to lose some weight and want to be healthier would you help me by joining me and ensuring I do so etc etc" Suggested that we do things like not drink at home, not eat chocolate in the evening etc.
DP looked slightly downcast. "I like chocolate," he replied. Then light dawned and he looked v pleased with himself. "I tell you what - I'll make sure I don't eat it in front of you then!"

tory79 Mon 08-Jul-13 07:48:45

Hahaha that's the problem with subtlety!!

Yogii Wed 10-Jul-13 11:21:39

I agree maleview, but most chubsters I know want to change, they just can't find a way.

I know a few people (including one who has always been 22+ stone and is now down to 13) lose weight through using phone apps that log your activity and count your calories. The calorie counters are fascinating because you realise you can diet by eating lots more than you ever did before. And that includes stuff that is on this guy's 'like' list (but not rice, never rice).

Ubermumsy Wed 10-Jul-13 11:37:30

I had this situation with DH a few months ago. He wasn't enormously overweight - 15.5 stone - as he's quite tall, but it was enough to tip him into the obese BMI. I was also porking it a bit post-pregnancy. One day I just said to him "look, we've got two young kids, we're older parents, so we need to take serious care of ourselves if we want to be in good health for them growing up."

DH started doing the 5:2 diet, and making some small everyday changes - swapping lattes for americanos, sandwiches for jacket spuds etc. He still gets to eat cake and crisps at the weekend. 3 months later and he's lost over 3 stone, and his visceral fat is hugely decreased (he got some of those posh scales).

So that worked for us - but as a poster upthread said, your DH will only lose weight if he wants to. You're unlikely to be able to force him.

Could you get your DH to write down everything he eats in a day? It might shock him into action?

sweetpud Wed 10-Jul-13 11:44:12

I also have a simillar problem with my DH, who hates the very idea of any form of a diet. We have tried the healthy eating thing together but for him it doesn't last too long and he gets down and fed-up. I myself am still following the plan that we both started, but he has sort of slipped back to old habits. Though we still try and plan him a healthier lunch than he previously had, he still eats crap in the evenings and unfortunately my DH is also drinker. I worry a lot about his health, to the point of what I would actually do if he had a heart attack, as the bad factors are all there, a stressful job, his age, weight and being a drinker and smoker too!
I hope OP that you get a solution to your problem, there are a lot of people with good advice on here and I too will be taking note!

Ubermumsy Wed 10-Jul-13 11:45:14

Oh, Tory, I'd live on curry too (and in fact have done when working in India!) It's not necessarily unhealthy, especially if home cooked. How would your DH feel about dhal and a wholemeal chapatti for breakfast? Low fat, slow release, gut and heart friendly...

Excuse me, I just need to wipe the dribble off my chin.

Vivacia Wed 10-Jul-13 11:46:16

I think this should be more about your concern for his health and happiness than your concern about how attractive you find him.

Ubermumsy Wed 10-Jul-13 11:57:19

One way you could persuade him on the exercise front is that he really needs to counter the effects of driving so much. My story: 3 years ago I had to suddenly do lots of long-distance driving (family crisis). I developed severe sciatica which wasn't properly diagnosed for ages - turned out to be a badly herniated lumbar disc. I was off work, in dreadful pain, and had to have surgery. The surgeon told me it was almost certain that the driving had caused the herniation, and that under no circumstances was I to do the same level of driving again. I also now have to keep my back strong and mobile (lots of walking/running) and keep my weight down.

Does your DH's work have any occupational fitness program? At the very least he should be HSW risk assessed for the amount of driving he's doing.

McButtonwillow Wed 10-Jul-13 12:49:06

I really identify with this thread. My dh is about 3 stones overweight and already has high cholesterol and he's not even 40 yet. He also has a strong family history of heart disease and my biggest fear is he will die of a heart attack at a young age like his father did.

He talks about wanting to lose weight and get fit but like others have mentioned works really long hours leaving the house at 5am and not getting home until 7pm.

He also has a big appetite and can be quite fussy in what he will eat. I've mentioned both of us doing the couch to 5k programme. I don't need to lose weight as I lost 4 stone after my last pregnancy but I would like to get fit so I'm hoping if we do it together we can motivate each other & fit it in around work and in the evenings.

I've tried to talk about my worries recently to him, I told him how devastated we would be without him around and that he needs to be healthy for the sake of our boys and our future. It is a worry- I'd love him no matter what size he was but I just want him to be active and be around.

JKSLtd Wed 10-Jul-13 13:25:16

Exactly - I just want DH around (well not right atm as we've had a falling out about PIL, different thread, lol). I can totally imagine the whole heart attack scenario.

He isn't a fussy eater at all, in fact he'll eat anything, and too much of it. He's away with work this week so no idea if he's managed to keep off the weight he lost through being ill last week. Then he's off to his parents for the weekend so that'll be lots of drink & being fed by Mum.

He should be based at home more soon and then maybe I can encourage him more, certainly to get us all out and about a bit would be good.

Mumsyblouse Wed 10-Jul-13 13:29:14

What you have to think though is: whatever I say or do in relation to their weight, would I be happy for that to be applied to me too? I wouldn't like my husband having a quiet word about my extra couple of stones, even under the guise of healthy living, nor changing our lifestyle to make me thinner, or any of these things although if he suddenly started cooking amazing low fat meals, I would eat themsmile Weight is an incredibly personal thing and it is very easy to be intrusive or controlling over it, whereas it really is up to someone if they want to lose it, and in general they do in their own time and own way. I wouldn't want to be someone's project, I'd rather be two stone heavier and have my autonomy, sorry.

JKSLtd Wed 10-Jul-13 13:32:53

I know - if he'd ever said I should lose weight back when I had post-baby weight to lose I would NOT have been impressed!

But it is affecting his health. He was put on blood pressure tablets a while back, indefinitely.

I did have a bit of a word then, would he rather be given tablets for life or lose weight and be healthy and not need the tablets? Made no difference. So he takes them, the occasional ones for gout, he has a bad back (not helped by carrying the extra weight & lack of core strength) - so pays & sees a physio every few weeks. It's all treating the symptoms and not dealing with the underlying problem.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 10-Jul-13 13:39:24

I can relate to all of this, definitely.

DH and I have both been overweight, I've managed to lose 3 stone since I had DS2 while DH has stayed the same weight +/- the same 7-8 pounds that he sheds and then puts back on.

He is talking about doing 5:2, and I think I will encourage him to do that because he needs to do something.

Mumsyblouse Wed 10-Jul-13 13:51:59

Don't get me wrong, I feel your frustration. Sometimes, if my (obese) husband is eating a tub of ice-cream, I feel like screaming at him and sometimes do (well, say something like 'for god's sake, you need to lose weight, why are you eating that?). But equally, I am overweight and wouldn't appreciate anyone saying 'why are you eating that Magnum, you know you are fat?' and although I have lost weight and gone into a normal range, I've now put it all back on again and am extremely grateful my husband has made no comment whatsoever on the topic, I feel bad enough as it is.

It is up to the person, with 50% of adults overweight or perhaps even more, it's not just an individual failing so much as a very tempting environment, ageing and perhaps lack of time to spend on these things (my husband was better when swimming/gym four times a week but that's not always possible with a demanding job and little children).

tory79 Wed 10-Jul-13 17:59:41

mumsy I agree I can't force him to do anything about it, but actually I think if the situation was reversed I WOULD want to know my husband had a problem or concerns, particularly as its relating to something I could and indeed should do something about.... Might just be me though smile

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 10-Jul-13 18:20:12

Would you though? It's not as if we are unaware of our weight. My DP once mentioned my weight, I've never quite
forgiven forgotten it. It was a few years ago. Maybe I'm too sensitive.

Darkesteyes Wed 10-Jul-13 18:24:33

I know i said this upthread but its bloody hard not to have ice cream on a hot day. Especially if you hate the heat like i do. its going to be 30 degrees on Sat apparently. So stocking up on the Skinny Cow ones is a good idea.
There are an awful lot of fat shaming threads on MN though. There were at least 4 running on AIBU back in January. There were people on there saying that size 12 is fat. You dont need to buy a sleb mag to feel shit in Jan Just looking in AIBU will do that for you.
You never see that many shaming threads about smokers and drinkers. Because the shaming factor isnt there. Because cigarettes dont show like cake does. And i have yet to hear "You smoking bastard" when a smoker walks past a pub.

Vivacia Wed 10-Jul-13 19:49:15

I would have a problem if my partner said, "I don't find you attractive any more because you're too fat now".

SundaysGirl Wed 10-Jul-13 20:35:51

Ha. If a guy wrote this about his wife here he'd be crucified.

Ubermumsy Wed 10-Jul-13 20:54:40

Just to point out that the OP has also said she's worried about his health.

tory79 Wed 10-Jul-13 21:18:58

Its hardly like I've said I'm about to leave him is it hmm

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