Post # 1
A little help, if you could …
Over the last year, between an injury (his), an ongoing medical issue (mine) and wedding stress, DH and I have both put on weight. I am really focused on taking it off now – especially since we are TTC – and looking after my health overall. (I put on probably 8 pounds, if anyone is curious. My cardio sucks too.)
How can I motivate him to join me?
I don’t want to nag. I don’t want to be that kind of wife. On the other hand, I’m concerned about his wellbeing. I know he knows it’s a problem, as he’ll make small comments in passing about his clothes not fitting properly or something, but nothing ever comes of it.
Previously I have tried to just work it by example. I make dinner, so I make sure that we eat properly. However, he is not home all day, so I know he’s eating other things that are not good, and he also does not exercise at all.
It’s not about appearance or anything like that. My attraction to him has not waned in the slightest. However, I’m worried about where this will go. Carrying some extra weight for a while is not a big deal, but if the number keeps going up instead of down, it can end up being a real problem. I’ve seen too many friends and family members go through that, and I don’t want that to happen to my husband. I want to encourage him to get active and especially to make healthier food & drink choices, but I don’t want to shame him or nag at him.
I’d especially love to hear from Bees who have been there. Thanks!
Post # 3
How tall is he and what does he weigh?
Post # 4
@BelliniChic: He is 5’11 and I don’t actually know what he weighs, but I do know it’s more than he ought to. His doctor has told him this.
Post # 5
@chercee: DH and I are in a similar spot. We’ve both put on weight over the last 6 or so months. We also plan to TTC in the next few months. His father I’d also a really large man, so it’s definitely in his genes to gain and hold a lot of weight, along with diabetes. Over the weekend I brought it up while we were just taking it easy. I said something along the lines of “we’ve both put on a few pounds and I don’t want us to get comfortable in gaining weight and our awful eating habits. We both need to start working on being more healthy. I think it would be easier and better I’d we do it as a team.”
So I suggested that we start going to the local park and having a nice walk after work a few days a week. We also talked about dinner time changes we can make for our diet. We’ve both used the app My Fitness Pal in the past so we re-downloaded it. We are going to approach it as a team and something for our life long health, with added sexiness as a bonus. 😉
He was receptive to it. I never said ‘you’re getting fat’ but said ‘we are BOTH gaining weight’ and I want us BOTH to be healthy. Better to have the conversation now, be honest but kind, and get back to being healthy. Good luck!!
Post # 6
@The_Future_KB: Thanks for the reply! I like the idea of making it a “we” instead of a “you” thing. I’ve been talking about it as an “I” thing, as in, “I really feel like I want to take better care of myself” in hopes that he would say, “Ya, me too” but I think I will try the “we” instead. Thanks again. 🙂
Post # 7
@chercee: DH would not suggest himself for a diet/lifestyle change and exercise on his own! Haha. But he does know that he’s put on a few pounds just like me. He wants to change it, but he needs the motivation just as much as I do. Plus it can be something we are doing as a team, with common goals and supporting each other. He feeds off of praise so I think one we start seeing a difference and feeling better we can keep the ball rolling. Hopefully he will be receptive to it! I went at it with a game plan and choose of action and I think that made him more willing also.
Post # 8
That’s always a difficult situation to be in. My husband ballooned to 230 pounds (he’s 5’8) at one point – he was traveling 50 weeks a year and eating terribly on the road. He was obese. I tried encouraging him to eat healthier and exercise with me and completely failed. He just woke up one day and got sick of being a fat guy, committed to losing weight and wound up losing 60 pounds. Honestly I just think it depends on the guy and if they’re responsive to gentle requests to take better care of themselves. Maybe go out somewhere and have someone snap a pic of the two? Sometimes it takes seeing how fat you’ve gotten in pics to motivate a person to lose weight.
Post # 9
I agree with PP about making it a “we.” You can go for jogs together, prepare healthy foods for dinner (and buy healthy stuff for him to pack himself for lunch), etc. When I found out DH had borderline blood pressure, I had no problem telling him that I needed him to stick around for the next 50-60 years, so I had a vested interest in making sure he was healthy. He wasn’t upset or offended at all. I would also make sure that you make it clear it’s not an attraction thing, so still show lots of affection and intimacy, so he doesn’t feel like you’re not into him anymore.
Post # 10
@chercee: Here is my suggestion for a three ponged approach to this issue:
1) One serious conversation. If you haven’t already, I suggest that you intiate one serious conversation about the weight thing. (Sounds like you may have already done this.) One serious, non judgemental, “we are in this together” conversation where you understand if he actually wants to make a change is not nagging. Nagging is making little comments here and there, giving him a look every time he reaches for a second helping, etc.
2) Positive reinforcement. There are many many studies that show that the best way to effect behavior change is via positive reinforcement. I’m taking this lesson from my work (I work in HR so management theory is important) but it applies with the family as well. Instead of nagging, “catch him doing something right.” It’s basically the exact oppositive of nagging. If you nag, you give him a disapproving look when he plops down on the couch. Instead, keep your eyes open to give him a nice compliment when he choosesn to get up and go for a walk, or to have extra veggies, or let him know how sexy his looks in his workout clothes, or whatever.
3) Lead by example. You are already doing this. Cook healthy meals for dinner and to pack for lunches. Do not bring junk food of any sort into your home. Suggest going for a walk after dinner rather than settling in to watch TV. Join your office softball team and ask him to sign up as well. Take him on a date to the skating rink. Whatever. Just make healthy eating and movement part of what you do together.
Post # 11
ZoeyGirl +1 Everything is as a team and I think he is the hottest thing I have ever seen and try to show him that with attention and compliments…he has significantly cut back on bad stuff
Post # 12
@chercee: I was in this situation as well. I had no way of telling him to get to the gym/take me with him without it sounding like I was being critical of his weight! So I went the sneaky way… tried cutting down on the potatoes and pasta and switching out white bread for wholegrain… but then he caught on (he LOVES his white bread) and told me how he didn’t want me ‘controlling’ him, which I understood and simply took in my stride – our diet went back to the way it was.
In the end, all I can say is that it’s up to him to want to change himself. All the “oh man look how fat I’m getting” moments that he had in the mirror. I eventually asked him what he was going to do about it (as gently as I could!) and he sighed that he should probably go the gym, but not this weekend, because Fred’s coming over for a few drinks on Saturday and Tom’s birthday is on Sunday…
Anyway, he’s somehow become motivated to start going to the gym every day. I don’t know if it’s because his reflection was too much for him one day or because he hates me getting mad at him when he calls me a liar every time I say he looks good. Yes, I’m slightly biased on that but my attraction for him has never waned in the slightest neither!
Just be kind and if the opportunity arises (i.e. dissing himself in the mirror/complaining that his favourite jeans don’t fit any more), ask him what he’s going to do about it and tell him that you’re there for him and want to help – good luck. He’s lucky to have you.
Post # 13
You have already gotten a lot of good advise, the only additional tip I have is encouraging group sports. My DH was always on a team sport growing up so I encourage him to join men’s leagues/teams. He joined a men’s hockey league, they don’t practice, but they play 1-2 games a week. He notices when he is struggling on the ice and makes it a point to get a little cardio in so he can perform better. You can also take lessons to learn a sport together (i.e. tennis lessons).
Keep on leading through example with what food you prepare and how you are exercising/taking care of yourself. I’m sure he does notice the effort you have to put in and the results you are getting. My DH did, but didn’t comment on it until he started to join me and felt the results too.
Post # 14
Could you also provide a goal? Such as, when ‘we both have lost 5% of our body weight (or whatever), we can go stay overnight at a hotel (or go ziplining, shopping, to a show etc)?
Post # 15
Aw, I knew I could count on my fellow Bees!
Thank you all so much for all the awesome advice and insight. It’s been really helpful.
DH and I had a good talk last night, and I’m feeling optimistic about things. I think it will still be a process, of course, but the first step is still a start. We talked about the fact that were TTC and want to be healthy and active with our kids, and set good examples for them. It won’t be easy, but we’re getting started.
DH is not “sporty” so that is out, but he does have some workout videos/wii-things he liked to do in the past, and like me he enjoys the exercise bike, so that will be a good start. That on top of making better food choices will help us both.
I really appreciate everyone’s ideas and support, and I will let you all know how it goes. I love him so much and want to have a long, beautiful life together – so time to get our butts in gear!
Post # 16
@chercee: honestly, as someone who has tried it all: asking nicely, becoming angry, trying to motivate him through “team” work outs, etc…until he reaches the point where’s he’s truly unhappy with himself, he probably won’t change. When we first started dating, DH was super fit and at a great weight. Over 2 years, he steadily increased in weight until he was 40-50 pounds overweight. It was bad. And no matter what I said or did, nothing changed.
It wasn’t until almost everyone was making comments to him about his weight and he saw just how big he looked in pictures that he finally got motivated. He totally changed his diet and started working out and lost all of the weight.