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Struggling with DH's decision about his health

(18 Posts)
Jellington Sat 16-Jan-21 14:20:14

Hi all.

We recently found out that DH has high blood pressure and is classified as obese. He is a heavy set chap in terms of frame but a healthy weight for him is apparently in the low end of the overweight category. He has gained 3 stone in the past 7 years.

Despite knowing the risks to his health, he is refusing to change anything about his diet or to significantly increase his exercise beyond going for the occasional extra walk. He does have a very stressful job and obviously there is lockdown/Covid to cope with so I understand why it would be tough. But, I can't understand why he wouldn't want to make a change when there is a risk he could die early, have a stroke, an increased risk from Covid etc etc. We have two young children and another on the way.

I'm struggling to see what my role is in this. Should I be pushing him to change? Should I just accept that he doesn't want to and it's his life so just leave it at that? I would appreciate everyone's opinions and suggestions.

Thanks all.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Sat 16-Jan-21 15:28:16

Don't push. It doesn't work.

He may need to mourn a bit, come round to it and change gradually. I'd probably model good eating and exercise while keeping quiet. Get crap food out of the house.

He may never come round. My family member sadly died of a heart attack very young having made no changes. He was a larger than life man who drank, ate, did whatever effusively. He wouldn't have been him not eating a cooked breakfast sad

It's awful though, to watch.

Stoatsandweazles Sat 16-Jan-21 18:51:07

@MrsTerryPratchett thank you. It is tough to watch. That's my gut feeling, that I should give him time and hope he decides to do something. I gym 5x a week and when not pregnant, horse ride as well. We're pretty good on the healthy eating but he will buy stuff in for himself. My family are all very slim and fit but his are not. He was raised on pizza, chips, fish fingers etc and sadly it seems to have stuck. You're totally right though. I think I'm going to organise more active family activities, bike rides etc etc.

Santaiscovidfree Sat 16-Jan-21 18:54:47

My dh is overweight. Classed as obese but carries it not too bad at 6'4.
I also need to lose about 2 stone. Thanks lockdown...

I have gone along the' sex is pretty limited let's change that' road...
We have both made the effort to change our ways!

Aquamarine1029 Sat 16-Jan-21 18:57:02

Your husband is in denial. You have to decide what you're willing to tolerate.

Oblomov20 Sat 16-Jan-21 19:06:21

You can't make someone. Presumably you've had a recent conversation, since this news, and explained how you feel? Once that's said, there's nothing more you can do.

cptartapp Sat 16-Jan-21 19:12:58

Has he been checked for diabetes too? What's his cholesterol? FAmily history? These too are important.
Diabetics are several times more likely to have cardiovascular disease, strokes, heart attacks, dementia etc and is massively undiagnosed.

Stoatsandweazles Sat 16-Jan-21 21:00:23

Thanks all. Yes we've had a recent conversation but he hasn't know for long so I'm wondering if he needs more time to process it. At the end of the day, if he doesn't want to do anything, then there isn't much I can do. I'm pregnant at the moment so I'm eating a super healthy diet but can't offer to lose weight with him. If nothing else, he's a champion snorer so it would be nice for everyone's sleep if he lost some weight.

@cptartapp as it turns out a very strong family history. I asked his family today and it seems there are several people. That said, they do all have questionable diets and are overweight so I'm not sure if it's truly familial or if it's a lifestyle thing. Yes he's been checked for the others. I have said to him that it's not just risk of death, he could become paralysed if he has a stroke etc etc. His response was that if he had a severe stroke, I should delay calling the ambulance so he died instead.

I think I'm just going to have to give him time and hope he comes around.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 16-Jan-21 21:10:34

A little time might help him. Decisions made in a panic after a diagnosis sometimes aren't long-lasting.

I know this is cold but do you have good life insurance?

partyatthepalace Sat 16-Jan-21 21:21:01

He’s got to come to it himself, and if he does that slowly the change is more likely to be long lasting. It also sounds like he uses food to manage stress so that’s another layer to deal with.

Once he does start to shift, small changes are best for most people. Ranjan Chatterjee’s loose weight book is one of the most sensible books I’ve ever read.

Bunchup Sat 16-Jan-21 21:28:33

His response was that if he had a severe stroke, I should delay calling the ambulance so he died instead

He said that to his pregnant wife? shock What a prince.

Agree with pp: get him insured, pronto. And maybe point out that leaving your children fatherless because you can't say no to a pie is pretty fucking selfish.

Scarydinosaurs Sat 16-Jan-21 21:40:45

It sounds like this is fear talking at the moment.

Are you yourself a healthy weight? And your children? I wonder if that’s a better way to appeal to him once he is in a place to hear it.

Tehmina23 Sat 16-Jan-21 21:45:38

Is he on medication for high bp now??

My mum is 71 & was recently diagnosed with very high bp; she wouldn't consider going on meds so I basically had to use emotional blackmail to get her to take them. Luckily she had no other risk factors like weight to worry about.

It 'helped' my case when my mum learnt that my friend's mum recently had a disabling stroke due to unmedicated high bp (she wouldn't take meds either).
Now the poor lady struggles to walk & can't eat in public as her face is numb. Her personality has changed too. Sadly she can no longer care for her young grandsons.

So the first step is basically get him to take his bp medication, and together with his gp monitor his bp (buy a home monitor from Boots eg) then the gp will have the meds changed if it stays high.
Also get his cholesterol checked if not done already as he may need statins.
You may as well tell him he's also at risk of diabetes type 2.
And remind him that high bp plus the complications of diabetes can cause ED...

The changes around diet & lifestyle are very difficult to implement for someone who has spent their whole life eating & drinking what they like. But it is possible with help.

For example you could hire a personal trainer for him who will help with nutrition as well.
Or if that's too expensive ask the Gp to do a referral to an NHS Dietitian? I was referred a few years ago & found the advice very helpful. GPs also offer cut price referrals to Slimming World etc.
I'm unfit & trying to increase my exercise daily so I literally go for a short walk up a hill & do a few reps with some hand weights. He could do that... if he wants to.

With a lovely sounding wife & family I don't understand why he wouldn't!

SnoogyWoo Sat 16-Jan-21 22:00:20

If he doesn’t care about his health then make sure he has a good life insurance policy for you.

Health is really all we have.

Cherrysoup Sat 16-Jan-21 23:28:47

He won’t change until he’s ready. Don’t push him, he’ll only resent you.

Jellington Sun 17-Jan-21 05:07:14

Thank you all for your input. I really appreciated everyone's opinions and especially those who have some experience of being on his side of this. We had another conversation about things last night after the kiddos had gone to bed and I feel like he is slowly getting his head around it. I think he was probably just throwing his toys out the pram because he doesn't want to accept that he can no longer just do what he wants to do. Plus as has been discussed above, food is definitely a crutch for him. I can imagine it must also be quite scary. This is the first thing that's ever made him think about his mortality- the man has never even needed antibiotics for anything. So, in short I think we're getting there. Myself and the kiddos are normal weights, very active and have a healthy diet (lots of whole grains, lean protein, good fats, fruit and veg). I also don't really eat sugar- maybe 1-2x a month. Completely on a side note but I used to have a sweet tooth before my first pregnancy and then it completely went away! Very strange side effect! He does eat our healthy diet but chooses to supplement his with sugary drinks, beer and snacks that he orders online (usually he works in London and goes to Mac Donald's etc but obvs isn't doing that atm). He probably only needs to lose 1.5 stone to make a real difference to his health so having discussed that, I think he's feeling better about it. Thanks everyone. 😊

OP’s posts: |
Oblomov20 Sun 17-Jan-21 19:51:49

1.5 stone?
Is that all? To make a difference? That's not much. Most people I know could do with losing stone!

Yet you say he is obese? So how much does he need to lose in total.
Has he seen the GP? Surely the GP should say something to get him into action?

Pinkyandthebrainz Sun 17-Jan-21 20:21:15

Some people aren't bothered about being health or the 'bad bits of their life e.g. smoking, diet, booze, lack of exercise are worth keeping/enjoyable/make life better.

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