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How to encourage your spouse?

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2

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  • Spliner1969
    Spliner1969 Posts: 3,233 Member
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    ole496 wrote: »
    Let me chime in as a guy. If this thread were a guy asking about approaching his wife about losing weight, I'd either stay out of it or my answers would be entirely different.

    Anyway...you need to get after him about this. Don't be shy about it either. You need to sit him down, look him in the eye and give it to him straight. I mean STRAIGHT, no dragging your foot, suggesting he needs to do something, beating around the bush or what have you. Tell him exactly what's on your mind. Make sure he knows how serious this is. Guys downplay their health so bad that it usually kills them before they even ask for help. Most likely he already knows he has a problem and needs help but doesn't want to or know how to ask. Guys are also babies and like to be coddled and taken care of. Even though we think we're tough and macho, deep down inside we value our mothers and as a result we all hope our wives/loved ones can be a little more caring to us like our mothers were when we were all young. I'm sure it's frustrating for most women to have a MAN they need to take care of, so let's leave that conversation for another thread though.

    He probably already wants you to make him lose weight. I know it sounds silly but that's how it is. It might hurt his feelings too but he'll get over it. Guys don't generally respond unless you're hard on them. That's just a broad generalization, your guy may be a little different. No one and I mean NO ONE is harder on a guy than other guys. So, get his friends involved too. They will ride him about his weight issues until the cows come home...it's what guys do. It sounds harsh but that is what works for most of us. I knew a guy in this very situation and we rode him about his health for years. He finally changed his life, lost weight and is now very healthy. He says he got sick of us and wanted us to leave him alone so he gave in and changed just to get us off his back. He admits he knew he had a problem but really was never going to do anything about it (typical guy). He thanks us all the time for not giving up on him and his stubborness. It was an ugly, kind of mean process but it had to be done. We love the guy and we stuck it out with him to the bitter end. Guys are also very loyal and they won't leave him behind. If you care about your spouse, you need to have the conversation.

    Most of all, get him started on this app. We're all here to help him along and if he needs a different approach to getting healthy we can help you both with that as well. Hang in there and don't wait to talk to him, the time to do it is right now. Good luck!

    You might also be able to talk his doctor into explaining the end result of his continued weight gain and high blood pressure. Start pushing for life insurance and estate planning. Maybe he'll get the hint. But @ole496 is right, men are stupid and stubborn. Mix those two things together and you get trouble. Let him know the good news though, because of his height it won't be as hard as he thinks. With a little exercise he could still eat a 2000 calorie a day diet and lose weight. Prepared correctly and with the right ingredients he would not have to be hungry at all and still could lose weight. Maybe you should prepare all of his meals and snacks for a while, show him it can be done and doesn't have to taste like crap. The hardest part for me was thinking about eating salads every day and not eating the things I like. It wasn't like that at all for me, I just thought it was going to be. I'm 6'2" tall and lost weight very fast on an 1800 calorie a day diet. With exercise I ate up to 2200 calories a day and still lost weight fast (I walked a LOT). The second hardest part was giving up snacks like chips and dip. I swear we always had a different flavor of chips and dip each night in front of the TV. But if you keep bringing crap food in the house, it's going to be 10x harder for him. I never gave up BBQ, beer, tacos, hamburgers, etc. and I rarely eat salads. I simply chose leaner cuts of meat, eat much more chicken (yup, I BBQ it), and learned to fix vegetables for added fiber and bulk to my diet in ways that made them taste good to me. That's all it took.
  • kksmom1789
    kksmom1789 Posts: 281 Member
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    Also he plays golf every weekend and has an active physical job he stopped going to the gym and then he gained all his weight back I personally think his portion sizes are too much and partly my fault I make a healthy meal but fill up a whole dinner plate piled high filled he's in the mind set of I can't lose weight if I'm not working out and that's why I want him to just count calories for a month to see that you don't always have to work out to lose
  • rdl81
    rdl81 Posts: 220 Member
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    sounds like he is active...so just try reducing portion sizes and logging those
  • Loug1983
    Loug1983 Posts: 89 Member
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    Hi, I can appreciate your frustration, if he downloaded the app and then deleted it shortly after I wonder if he went a little high with his target, putting him off even trying?

    When he lost the weight previously was he too restrictive? If he has memories of weight loss being a hard slog maybe the thought of doing it again is not appealing.

    It might be worth starting him with a half pound a week target, the smaller deficit might help him see how easy it is, and then he might even be inclined to try a lb a week or more.

    Suggesting half a lb a week might seem like more of a compromise, a sort of meeting you in the middle approach.

    I hope you can get him on board, good luck!
  • StaciMarie1974
    StaciMarie1974 Posts: 4,138 Member
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    You can't encourage him to lose weight. His doctor perhaps can, but not you. From you it will be nagging and seem condescending even though that is not your intent.
    kksmom1789 wrote: »
    Hello I want to encourage my spouse to lose weight not because I don't like the way he looks because he has high blood pressure and is pre diabetic and I think he would just be happier and I definitely want him to live a longer healthy life he's 32 and 6ft tall and weighs between 380-400 I don't know an exact because he hates weighing himself I want to encourage him and push him the right way without making him feel bad he did download MyFitnessPal a couple weeks ago but deleted it for reasons I'm not sure of anyone have any ideas???

  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,575 Member
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    You can't encourage him to lose weight. His doctor perhaps can, but not you. From you it will be nagging and seem condescending even though that is not your intent.
    kksmom1789 wrote: »
    Hello I want to encourage my spouse to lose weight not because I don't like the way he looks because he has high blood pressure and is pre diabetic and I think he would just be happier and I definitely want him to live a longer healthy life he's 32 and 6ft tall and weighs between 380-400 I don't know an exact because he hates weighing himself I want to encourage him and push him the right way without making him feel bad he did download MyFitnessPal a couple weeks ago but deleted it for reasons I'm not sure of anyone have any ideas???

    This isn't true in every relationship.
  • HG210
    HG210 Posts: 103 Member
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    I think all the advice is good. However, you know your man. Take what applies and use it. I'm sure it will work out.
  • PeachyPlum
    PeachyPlum Posts: 1,243 Member
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    Take his hands in yours, look deeply into his eyes, and say "I love you, you mean the world to me. I want to grow old with you and I'm so scared that your health problems are going to take you from me too soon. It would mean a lot to me if you'd prioritize your health a bit more because I want to keep you around for a long time."

    Follow that with a huge hug and a kiss and then shut the hell up about it. He's received the message, what he does from there is up to him.

    Also, he might not be ready to go all out with logging and weighing and everything and that's ok. If he says he's going to cut down to two sodas a day, or eat a salad with every meal, or walk the dog a few times a week, that's a step in the right direction and should be celebrated.

    Don't nag, just tell him how much you care about him and then give him the space to make changes on his own.
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,113 Member
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    It has to be something he wants--if it's something that you do to him there's bound to be some resentment. Has he seen a physician lately? The potential for health issues alone should give him initiative. Then you can help him... I'm not sure what your roles are in your household, but if you do the shopping and meal prep you can plan healthier meals, buy healthier snacks, buy less soda, etc. Help him understand portion sizes. Join a gym and go together, or even just go for walks together. Listen and support him.
  • Tacklewasher
    Tacklewasher Posts: 7,122 Member
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    I got nothin'. My wife nagged, cooked better, try to get me to see the doctor and I still was 330 and not caring.

    Even now that I'm losing weight, I'm not doing it "her" way and I'm not doing it for her.

    And if she had somehow managed to get my friends to rag on me, that would have pissed me off more. And I'd be down friends.

    To be honest, I still can't say why I decided to lose weight. I'm asked about it, but I don't have a good answer. I just have a goal in mind and am working towards it my way.

    You know him better than we do. Put less on his plate? Buy smaller plates and don't tell him?
  • dominique_paul
    dominique_paul Posts: 8 Member
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    My husband wanted to lose weight but thought he could do it by eating chicken parm and brownies every night washing it all down with a beer.
    I helped him by having a talk. He cut out beer to only on weekends or when going out. I'm the main cook in the house so I simply took charge of the meals I made. They're still delicious, just a lot better for him than chicken parm. And every night I ask him to join me on my walks.
    Little things can make a big difference.
    You can be very straight forward and tell him you're concerned for his health.

    Reading some replies I'd say definitely cut back on portions. That was a big problem I had. One well portioned serving is usually enough, we just choose to eat more because it's there.
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
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    kksmom1789 wrote: »
    Also he plays golf every weekend and has an active physical job he stopped going to the gym and then he gained all his weight back I personally think his portion sizes are too much and partly my fault I make a healthy meal but fill up a whole dinner plate piled high filled he's in the mind set of I can't lose weight if I'm not working out and that's why I want him to just count calories for a month to see that you don't always have to work out to lose

    When my husband and I were first married I wasn't great at estimating how much to cook, so often I'd make sure he had enough, but not get enough dinner myself. Those days I snacked on less nutritious and less filling stuff after dinner.

    In other words, cutting his dinner portion sizes isn't without risk. He may make up for it and then some.

    I'm hoping he will try MFP again, perhaps at .5/lb a week. Good luck.

  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 3,053 Member
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    Some of you guys are hilarious. @TimothyFish thank you for my laugh of the morning re: the church big screen. But on a more serious note, @Spliner1969 has a valid point about insurance and financial planning for the realities that lie ahead. Seriously evaluate long-term disability insurance (it can only be purchased while he has earned income) and 529's for the kids. I am sorry to be a Debbie downer, but I have a close family member who at this point is a complete invalid because of obesity and its complications. I cannot tell you what a burden it is for the spouse. And to have 2 kids to put through college on top of it.... that's a tough road. Not just emotionally and physically exhausting, but I am here to tell you financially exhausting, too. "I'm so scared you won't be around when the kids need help getting through college," may sound different than "Your knee will only last 5 years" to him, but they both sound pretty serious to me.

    On a positive note, my DH was overweight when we married. Whenever I had to get a handle on maintenance creep, I asked if he wanted to do it together. He never made the effort. 6 years into the marriage he decided it was time. He got to a healthy weight and has maintained (not without some effort) for several years. He does attribute it 100% to my good example and good cooking. It just took a little time for him to commit himself to the goal. Maybe yours will, too.
  • sbrandt37
    sbrandt37 Posts: 403 Member
    edited February 2017
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    kksmom1789 wrote: »
    I want to encourage my spouse to lose weight ...

    You offered several reasons why you want him to lose weight, but none of them are particularly compelling to me, because he gets to decide what makes him happy. If eating so much makes him happy, that is up to him. BUT, you also get to decide what makes you happy. If having a healthy life partner who will be around for the long term makes you happy, you have a right to want that and to ask him to do something about it. That's the direction from which I recommend you approach this.

    Perhaps something along these lines: "Sweetie, I love you and I am worried about your health. I want you to be around for a very long time. At the moment, I am worried that you will not be because of the impact of your weight on your health. Your blood pressure and blood sugar are both high, and I am worried that if you continue the way you are going, I am going to lose you way too soon and even the time we do have together will be compromised by the health problems you are likely to have. I know it may not be easy, but I want us both to start focusing on the lifestyle changes that will make it possible for us to live a long and healthy life together. Will you please do this with me?"
  • jazzyspender
    jazzyspender Posts: 49 Member
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    What a great thread! I was in the same situation. I guess all guys are different as seen by @ole496 & @TimothyFish :) I knew my husband needed to lose weight and wasn't sure what to do. I tried talking to him about health and making sure he's around for the kids. Telling him we could do it together....I have a set diet that works for me and he would just scoff at the idea of eating what I made. He loves cooking, so would make something else. So that didn't work! I exercise, and he likes to watch me exercise, but that's about it! ha! We ended up in an argument about something unrelated and I blurted out that he was being selfish not losing weight...not caring about his health or backing me up by setting an example for our kids. At first he acted like I was a total B for saying that. But actually a few days later he offered to go on a walk with me. Now he has a fitbit & tracks his steps and he's on his own diet and when he weighs in each week and has a loss he is pretty proud of it and tells me. I didn't mean to give tough love, it wasn't my first choice, but it ended up being the thing that got thru to him. Good luck to you!
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,698 Member
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    My husband would never track what he eats or how many calories he is taking in. He simply doesn't care and that level of detail just isn't anything he would be willing to do.

    OTOH, he doesn't mind me deciding what we eat and when. I shop and cook. I make sure we don't have a lot of sweets or junk food in the house. I make sure there are vegetables with dinner and that he eats fruit at least once a day. We don't eat out very often. We walk together, with the dog, twice a day. I also suggest hikes we can all do together.

    His weight still isn't ideal, but his blood pressure and cholesterol are good and his blood sugar is under control. That's all I care about.
  • SusanMFindlay
    SusanMFindlay Posts: 1,804 Member
    edited February 2017
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    FWIW, he doesn't need to count calories to lose weight - especially if you're doing it. I assume you're eating family meals? (In other words, the whole family eats basically the same food at the same time?)

    My husband has lost 20 pounds without trying since I've been calorie counting. A small part of that was that he got more active. (We got FitBits, so he goes for walks at lunch to try to get his 10,000 steps for the day. We also have two toddlers - which is a workout in itself.) But mostly it's because we've tended to choose more dinners that work into my calories (i.e. so that I can have a good 400-500 calorie dinner and feel full). He still gets bigger portions, but when we're making pasta bolognese instead of pasta carbonara, there are a whole lot less calories than there used to be. (When we really craved the carbonara, we tried it with spaghetti squash instead and it was pretty decent.) We're not really having "diet food" - just more of the lower calorie "normal food" options. We found some great chicken sausages that we can have with baked beans and a vegetable. I discovered that kielbassa is surprisingly low in calories, so we can have that with perogies (4 for me) and a vegetable.

    We also cut *way* back on the eating out. You'd be amazed how much of a difference that alone can make.
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
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    There is one thing that motivates most anyone to lose weight. Seeing yourself in a picture.

  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,626 Member
    edited February 2017
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    if my fiance said the things about me, you say about your husband .... i wouldnt be getting married.

    that is all.