Married or single women advice

This is geared more toward women, but any male that has experience with this can help as well. I am not sure how to approach doing this. My wife is extremely over weight. She suffers from a lot of heart problems, shortness of breath, headaches, anxiety, and depression. We have two wonderful children who are 6 and. 4. I have never made a comment to her about her needing to lose weight. She has tried a few diets before (South Beach), but has gotten too discouraged with it. When she was on the diet, I tried to encourage her as much as possible. However, all of her health issues seem to be getting worse and worse. She has a hard time with becoming short of breathe by simply walking in a store. Her heart races and she feels terrible. I am not a doctor, but I think she would benefit greatly with diet and exercise. I tried to bring it up the other day, but she didn't want to listen. How do I approach this without coming across as a bad husband? I fear that I might be a single dad within the next 10 years.


  • nickymarie011
    nickymarie011 Posts: 152 Member
    Oh, this is tough. I would suggest you try to bring it up as something you BOTH will do together, that way she doesn't feel as if you are insulting her. How about something like "honey, I think it would be great if we began a workout program together" OR "lets begin to take a long walk together after dinner every evening". Not only would this time getting healthy together be great for your relationship as you'd be spending quality time together, but also you'd both be improving your health. Another thing, doing a workout program or simply working out with your significant other can be great fun. My fiance and I used to do P90X together and we got a bit competitive about it. It would be fun to see who would lose the most inches or weight in a certain time frame. Also, I do not know who cooks in your home, but if it's her, possibly you can try to take the lead some nights and fix up some healthy meals???
  • SageGoddess320
    SageGoddess320 Posts: 2,589 Member
    Maybe start off small by having a family outing to the park once or twice a week. Play some tag or catch, anything that will get her out and about and moving around. Who prepares most of the meals? If it is her, could you step up and prepare a couple healthy dinners during the week or weekend? Sometimes it's hard to hear the truth. Maybe getting the whole family on board will help her feel like it's not all on her to make the necessary changes.
  • 81Katz
    81Katz Posts: 7,074 Member
    Make it about family. After dinner family walks. Family bike(for example) rides. Maybe come up with fun family backyard relay races. I also agree about taking the lead in the food/cooking dept.

    Good luck!
  • lilimini
    lilimini Posts: 56
    I think it's wonderful you're so concerned about your wife. I would recommend watching 'fat, sick and nearly dead'. It's a really good documentary. The title is a bit harsh but it's an eye opener :)
  • jamiesillimandunn
    jamiesillimandunn Posts: 270 Member
    I agree this will something you BOTH have to do together! Start out small with walking, beginners yoga , or swimming she will soon see it makes her feel better. It's hard to have motivation when your struggling in your excercise , and depressed on top of that ...she needs to know you care , and that she can change herself for the better but not feel judged by you in the beginning I think YOU have to be the backbone in her journey her track calories and get everyone out to take a walk ...a DIET is not what she needs ...she needs a lifestyle change , meaning everyone has to get involved my point here is ...if she's giving up she needs you more than ever to be sensitive and caring and get involved as well :) hope it helps can do this !! She just need a push start !!
  • AdrianasMombieED
    AdrianasMombieED Posts: 117 Member
    I agree with very first post above me. Who is doing the cooking in the home? Who is doing the grocery shopping? It's not just about her health, it's also about the children's as well. They'll be following in her footsteps if something doesn't change NOW! No more of those south beach diets, etc. Clean eating and exercising is the best and most effective way to go. Do something together as a whole family that you enjoy. You can do alot of fun things that doesn't make it feel as though it's exercise, when it really is. Don't give up on her, no matter how many times she doesn't listen. They're going to grow up without a mother if she keeps this up. Do you really want that for your kids? Does she? No. That's what motivated me to lose weight, for my daughter. Went from 220 to 165, and still going.
  • NaomiJFoster
    NaomiJFoster Posts: 1,450 Member
    Have you communicated your concerns to her? Not "Hey, you're fat and you need to diet." But "I notice that your weight is beginning to effect your health and I am worried about you. I love you and I want you to stick around for a long time. Maybe it's time to work on your weight as a way to improve your health." Of course, you'll talk in a way that makes more sense. But I think it's a legitimate concern and she needs to hear it from you. You aren't going to tell her that she isn't beautiful to you, you aren't going to let her think that you love her less. You are going to express that you love her and are concerned about losing her. She deserves to be told how her health and weight are effecting the rest of the family. Similar to encouraging an alcoholic to go to AA, you probably won't convince her the first time you have a conversation. She'll still need time to let it sink in, and she might need to hear it a few times. But it's important.
  • WaxMama
    WaxMama Posts: 369 Member
    No matter how you approach the subject, she's not going to be willing to try something until she's ready. I would suggest that you make it a "family" thing instead of just geared towards her. Maybe let her know you want to get in shape and be a good example for your kids and ask if she'd be willing to join you. Start doing more activities as a family, like a walk before dinner or go to the park for the afternoon and encourage her to get up and play with the kids. It will be hard for her at first and it may even seem like she's not putting forth enough effort (especially if she gets winded and needs to sit down), but don't push it or make her feel like she isn't doing enough. Prepare dinner together, shop together for healthy foods and snacks, keep crap out of the house, maybe pack your lunches together each night for work the next day (if you work) and have a healthy breakfast together in the morning! The point I'm trying to make is that you should approach this as "let's get healthy together" and not as "you're weight is a concern for me." I guarantee you that she shares the same concerns, she probably just doesn't want to bring it up or talk to you about how she feels since it is a touchy (and often embarrassing) subject. Baby steps add up in the long run, you just have to have patience!
  • Camera_BagintheUK
    Camera_BagintheUK Posts: 707 Member
    She probably knows deep inside that her weight is causing her problems, and she probably feels really crap and a failure and doesn't believe she can be any other way. I don't know the right way to go about it except that you MUST above all else make sure she is in no doubt that your love for her is unconditional. If she starts to feel that you love her less because of her weight or you'd love her more if she was like a skinny model, she'll feel even worse and despise herself even more.

    Has she looked at this site? She needs to see she's not alone, and there are so many other women who've turned their lives around, and lost incredible numbers of pounds and maybe given their families the gift of many more years, and happier years together. And they all started in the same place, feeling a failure, thinking it's impossible.

    I was convinced I was just going to put on more and more weight as I got older, it was inevitable, out of my hands, nothing I could do. I've lost 2 stone since November. And I have no self discipline, or restraint. I did it bit by bit, keeping a watch on my calories, and with lots of love and support from my lovely husband. There are women here who've achieved much much more than me - I hope your wife will come and meet them and take their support too!

    She's so lucky to have a husband like you - if she tries and makes a start, she's got a much better chance of achieving her goals with someone as supportive and loving as you by her side.
  • iceqieen
    iceqieen Posts: 897 Member
    Really depends on your relationship.. how honest you can be..

    Be honest, but not brutal? Make it about health, not how much she weighs or how she looks. Make sure to tell her how much you care about her regardless of weight.

    I agree with suggesting family things to do together, either the whole family or the two of you. Walks, bikerides, swimming.. whatever the 2 or 4 of you might enjoy doing together. Make those things about Family.. but since losing weight is mostly done with what you eat, then that has to come from her (or whoever prepares dinner).
  • nikosneeko1
    nikosneeko1 Posts: 20 Member
    You should be honest about the medical concerns and make it not about appearance, but the fact is she's not going to change until she is ready. My husband started working out and losing weight and it almost made me want to do the opposite....then one day I decided to go the gym with him. Now I'm working out 6-7 days a week and he has stopped lol...try to find an activity that she will enjoy and then she will want to keep it up herself. Good luck!
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,477 Member
    Can you take on the cooking & food preparation and steer her food intake in the right direction ? That way you're doing something positive and can be seeing to be caring for her while at the same time nudging her in the right direction.
  • GiveMeCoffee
    GiveMeCoffee Posts: 3,556 Member
    Since my husband was in your place in December, I had been in an out of hospitals for the past year, was being told I would need to have home oxygen 24/7, had to sit to wash the dishes or make dinner, my husband had made a few suggestions that we should get healthier together. But honestly, I had to hit rock bottom for myself for that little light bulb to go off and say you need to do this. Until then I had every excuse in the book and some not in the book.

    What you can do to help is if you are the one that cooks start slightly changing how you cook to make them healthier, cut down on how much you make so there isn't enough for seconds or thirds, etc.

    I do think it's wonderful you are concerned for your wife, but she really has to decide for herself enough is enough. If my husband had pushed me further I would have pushed back even harder. I wish you the best I know it's difficult to watch, I know I put my husband through hell watching me and feeling like he couldn't do anything until I was ready.
  • DenverGirl93
    DenverGirl93 Posts: 32 Member
    wow, that is a hard and touchy one. I have been in your wife's shoes. My husband, although not pushy tried to get me to lose weight for years. He would occasionally drop hints and say "this one lost 30 pounds or lets work out together" I would start but never finish and I have tried so many times. Looking back, I think i was so discouraged, gave up on weightloss, and accepted that i was destined to be fat. I hated going to the docs because they would tell me the same thing, and it wasnt until I was put on blood pressure medication that something clicked. That was my motivation to turn things around. Now that I have changed my life I have a best friend who was the same size as I use to be. She has said that I have motiviated her to workout and eat better but before long she is back to doing what she use to do. I have come to realized that just like it clicked with has to click with her. I dont know if there is really an answer to your question other than your wife will have to find it within herself.

    “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” ~ Stephen Covey.
  • fitjules35
    fitjules35 Posts: 30 Member
    Has she seen a doctor for her problems you mentioned? For me, it was a good scare from a recent doctor visit that got me motivated to lose weight. My husband and I both had annual check-ups and immediately started to correct our weights after that. Set appointments for both of you to get checked out. Maybe focus on addressing the health issues that concern you, rather than the weight specifically.. She likely knows the extra weight is causing the problem and hopefully she will reach the conclusion for herself that in order to be healthy, she needs to start to take action.

    Also, like others have said, make it a family affair. Model positive behavior. Make healthy food choices in front of her. Talk about being healthy. Sign up for a 5k and invite the family to watch you, or Walk with you. The food is the major component because exercise alone is not enough. She has to want to lose the weight. You cannot force it upon her. The key is finding whatever is going to motivate her, which might be different from what motivates you.

    Good luck. You sound like a caring husband.
  • SageGoddess320
    SageGoddess320 Posts: 2,589 Member
    Does she know about MFP? If not, tell her about it. There are tons of encouraging people here that can help too!
  • AleciaG724
    AleciaG724 Posts: 705 Member
    Print this out for her to see!! It's obvious how much you love her and care about her. I have a very loving and supportive husband as well, and he has never commented on my weight, I would not have responded well to that. I know it's hard to start, believe me! I started in April at 326#, feeling the same way she does right now.I woke up one morning and just decided that I was going to do something about my weight. I joined MFP and was just tracking my food and trying to stay under my calorie goal. Not I try to meet all my nutrients. I'm never hungry, I started walking/hiking a little a few weeks ago & I try to swim at least 30 minutes a day because I have a pool at home & I know I won't go to the gym. I also have a couple of DVD's for easy workouts, but I get bored with those. After a month, I had lost 10 pounds I I thought, that month would have passed either way, but I chose to lose the weight instead! I'm still losing 2#/week consistently and just broke out of the 300's for the first time in a long time! I know it's slow, but in two years I will be at my goal weight of 150. If I didn't start, then in 2 years I would be facing major health issues & weighing 326+ pounds. She really needs to see a Dr. before starting to work out, but if she starts just by logging her food - everything she eats, every day, then slowly try to meet her calorie goal... Then starting to take short little walks, around the neighborhood, or around a park, lake, etc. When you log in every day, it gets exciting to start to see other people's progress and then especially to see your own progress when you start to lose weight - it's a HUGE high!!. Have her read some success stories - print them out for her. We are here for her! I didn't think I would like or need the motivational side of this site, but it's so great to have friends here - you feel like you're not alone in this struggle, we're all in the same boat! And it's awesome to get pats on the back when you do great, or hugs when you're struggling. I would NEVER share my weight issues with anyone face-to-face, but the anonymity here makes it easier to be open about your feelings & frustrations - it's like therapy! I hope you can get her to join! Feel free to add me as a friend!
  • Tiffa0909
    Tiffa0909 Posts: 191 Member
    Is all about focusing on her health , tell her you are concern about her health and that you are extremely afraid that if we don't try something she will probably not be there to see her children grow up. Also bring up the example you guys are setting for the children.

    Children learn their habits from their parent ,Is all about having a healthy family.

    My mother has been obese all of my life and she has suffer from a lot conditions because of her weigh , but this year after she started dieting and working out. Most of her health condition improved , she suffer from asthma but I don't remember her needing any therapy this year. She suffers from Diabetes , it has been controlled. She use to get out of breath , she is walking 3 to 4 miles several times a week and not feeling tired .
  • SageGoddess320
    SageGoddess320 Posts: 2,589 Member
    I do not agree with printing this out so she can see it. I would be tremendously upset if my husband was talking about my weight with a bunch of strangers on the internet before approaching me first. I agree with everything else though. Reading "Success Stories" like the one above can be a major confidence booster.
  • 2113PrayForUsAll
    I have to cook my own meals because she refuses to eat veggies, beans, or salads. Believe it or not, I usually do the cooking. I will have my food going and cook her and the kids a meal too. That usually consists of tacos, pizza, hamburger helper, etc because that's all she will eat. I've also tried to get her to try protein shakes and healthier snacks, but she doesn't want to try it. She doesn't really eat a lot of heavy meals, but does a lot of grazing on sweets and pop. It used to be hard to set there with my plate of chicken, veggies, and water, while she had a plate of pizza and a can of pop. Her dad and grandfather both have pace makers and rely on heavy medications for their heart. She has even seen her dad almost die twice in the hospital because of his heart failure. She has inherited everything they suffer from. They have both told her to get into better shape, but it hasn't worked.