Can't sleep, need advice

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by Xtina, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi chicken forum-ers,
    You guys have given great advice in the past, so I thought I'd come here after the rest of the internet failed me in looking for advice on a big problem.

    My husband is obese. It took me some time in denial to finally accept that he's obese and not just chubby, especially since I personally tend to idealize body types that are very skinny. But the BMI charts don't lie. I don't know exactly how much he weighs, but I do know that when he got out of Navy Basic Training, he weighed 175, which is the very top of what the BMI chart says is a normal weight for his height. Ten years later and I can only hazard a guess as to how much he weighs, but I know it's considerably more than 200. Probably around 220 or 240.

    I know that I am partly an enabler, but only because common sense would dictate that I am, not because I can find actions on my part that are contributing to this. I incorporate sweets into what I buy maybe once per week, and otherwise I try to cook foods like lentils and brown rice, salads, and baked chicken, but it doesn't seem to help. This winter, we've eaten more beans than we ever have in our lives, and I don't think he's lost a single pound. In fact, he dropped some weight (about five pounds) earlier in the year and now I think he's gained it all back and more.

    So a big part of me feels like this is entirely his fault. He gets really angry when I point out food decisions of his that weren't good. And his food decisions are pretty much always bad. He has to make big breakfasts every weekend morning, but during the week he refuses to eat breakfast unless it's a bagel with cream cheese or a donut and coffee. And not just one of each. He eats TWO bagels with cream cheese or THREE donuts. He uses half and half in his coffee every day, and has meat at least once per day. And his meal portions are always roughly double what I remember my dad putting on his plate (who also had a belly paunch), and my dad is taller than he is. But the biggest problem, I'm guessing, is the beer and alcohol. Now, maybe I'm in denial here too, but I don't think he's an alcoholic. He doesn't show any signs of dependency, except that he'd rather have a beer than lose weight. And his hobby is, you guessed it, home brewing beer. He read in the brewer's book that a tradition when brewing beer is to have a glass of the last batch you made. Well, a glass would be fine, but he pours quart jars and has multiples. He doesn't drink every night of the week, in fact some weeks he doesn't drink at all, but when he does, it could be four or six beers. Having been raised in a family that strongly believed in moderation, this blows my mind every single time. At his weight, 4 beers won't make him drunk, but it will make him fat. I've explained that I'm not trying to get him to stop drinking alcohol, but that he can view every beer as if it were a pepsi. He knows soda is bad for him and won't drink it, but somehow beer magically has no calories. I wish I could kick the guy who said "beer has food value but food doesn't have beer value." If I knew who that guy was, I'd kick him square in the junk.

    He also has a reward mentality. If we go on a long hike, he rewards himself with a burger. If we eat a healthy dinner, he has three beers. Making healthy choices only seems to make his weight gain worse! And I'm constantly the bad guy saying, "maybe we shouldn't have burgers for dinner every time we go hiking."

    I feel like bringing this stuff to his attention only makes him do it more. He accuses me of being a teetotaller and of being too thrifty like my mom. He immediately jumps on the offensive when I bring it up, which I know is a coping mechanism. And he says I'm always trying to change him. I know I nag, and that's a problem, but I don't know what else to do. I want to incorporate more positive ways of helping him, like suggesting that we go on a walk in the evenings now that the weather's getting nicer. But first, I know that suggesting exercise to him feels like an attack. Second, he needs a lot more than a two mile walk every day to see results. He needs about an hour of heavy cardio, which it seems about impossible to convince him to do. I've even roped his cousin into asking him to play ball with him more often, which is something my husband suggested they do so he could lose weight, but he sniffed out my involvement immediately. He wasn't mad cause he's trying to stop being mad about this kind of thing, but I really feel like I can't win. I can't do anything to get him to change his habits without him feeling like it's an attack.

    Pleas that I'm concerned about his health don't work. I almost started crying the other day saying I was afraid he was going to widow me at 40, and he says that he's not even in as bad of shape as his dad who has already made it to 50. I just don't know what to do. He stops breathing in his sleep and the neighbor just lost her husband at 40 due to sleep apnea brought on by obesity.

    I know this was long, and I'm sorry. I always go long, because getting everything out helps me sleep. Throw me some advice if you can!
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I certainly can't solve your problem, but....

    A two mile walk every day would be great. Maybe wouldn't burn as many calories as an hour of cardio -- but it might be safer and healthier. A friend of mine is an MD who works with obese children. A long walk every day is part of her program for them. Any exercise is better than none.

    Basically, I think you are owning his problem. Sure, you can be supportive, cook healthfully, share your concern, etc., as you are doing. But you cannot make his choices for him. Life is a whole lot more pleasant when we accept what we are presented with.
  3. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    Hello, I am in the same boat as you. When my hubby and I got married we were both 145 pounds. I thought he was too skinny.. Size 29 in mens pants was very hard to find and I always thought size 34 was good for a 5'11" man. Well, 10 years later.. he is 200 pounds and I am 158 (having 3 kids mind you) and I am losing as we speak. He doesn't seem to realize that his metabolism has changed and his eating habits need to change too. He doesn't seem to care. At least your hubby will go on a hike. Mine won't excercise at all. I go to the gym 3x a week and "try" to eat better. He gets angry when I comment on what he eats and how much. "Love" life down the tubes. I don't know what else to do either and I sympathize with you. I just keep hoping he will realize what he is doing to himself. Good Luck..
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    It sounds like you are at the point that you're going to be harboring resentment if he doesn't recognize this for what it is- a choice that is affecting your marriage.

    I have to make food-nag, beer-nag decisions and comments all of the time, because my hubby is diabetic. It's not Type 1, which is purely insulin dependent, but it is Type 2, with insulin. This means his body makes insulin, but for whatever reason, can't utilize the insulin it makes, so he's on 4 drugs to improve the way his body uses it, how his body assimilates sugar, etc.

    Here's what I would do if I were married to your hubby, because in the end, it's also about growing old with this guy, right???

    I had to tell my husband that if he was going to kill himself, that doing it slowly by cheating on foods and sugars, and not taking his meds right wasn't fair. I told him if he was going to do it, do it while I'm young enough and pretty enough to find another father for his daughters. I didn't do it to be mean (though it was, and how!) but to make him see the weight of his choices.

    Your hubby sounds as though he's doing the things that cause diabetes. I founded a diabetes care and prevention program at a local clinic- my fervor is huge. When a person eats inconsistently, fasting some mornings, eating huge, carbohydrate- and fat-rich breakfasts others, and the beer is just another carb-rich choice, it causes huge spikes in the way the insulin is dumped, and this can cause insulin resistance. ANY weight over the middle BMI for your height is enough to cause insulin resistance. He's working toward diabetes and probably doesn't even have that result on his radar.

    Make him go for a check-up. Ask your doc to run an hBA1c, also commonly called an A1c. Find out where your hubby sits on that scale. Anything over a 5.7 an he's well on his way to creating an environment where he toasts his metabolic norm.

    If you can put the fear into him about this, it gets him on the bandwagon as a proponent for his own care, where he will take proactive steps instead of resisting you all of the time. He needs to know what his caloric consumption SHOULD be each day and not exceed that. I won't even go to heart health- I'm sure you know the risks there.

    Can you also get him to move toward the fitness/loss thing by telling him it's for your improvement? If he'd like to see you in a bikini and it means he has to work harder himself, go there!

    Best of luck, Honey, because when we want to rock on the porch with these guys and they don't care to do what it takes to make it to the rocking chair, it's very difficult not to be a nag, and we resent every minute of it. It can kill the very marriage we want to last forever!

    My hub only needs gentle reminders now. That comment about finding another husband kicked his butt into gear. I will always feel bad for it, but I needed him to see my fear of losing him was huge.

  5. cat123

    cat123 Songster

    Feb 28, 2009
    South Ga
    Maybe good healthy foods, try some recipes with stuff he likes, but the healthy version- go for a walk and ask him to come along- do not buy the junk food, and such when you do the grocery shopping- but buy healthy alternatives. and DO NOT NAG- it is his body and his choice, weather you like it or not. During summer, I tend to cook more healthy food, salads, and such my husband did not like it to begin with but after trying some of them- he know asks for them
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Let me be the voice of your husband.
    I am fat. I fully realize that I am obese. I know that I make choices that are unhealthy. I know it and do it anyway. Why? Beats me. Food is an addiction and I cannot control it.

    Overeating is as much an addiction as alcoholism. Food is a comfort and a crutch. Gosh, alcoholism would be loads easier. You can choose to quit alcohol completely. I HAVE to go to the grocery store. Sometimes I win the grocery store battle and sometimes I don't. But either way, I have to go.

    Your nagging will only make him eat more. When you fix uber-healthy food for meals, it is likely he is stashing candy bars in his car or at his office. (There is a great deal of passive-aggressiveness built into the food issue.) You cannot nag or guilt him into being thin/healthy any more than you could nag or guilt an alcoholic into teetotaling. All you will do is make him eat more and eat worse. Until he comes to the point that it is important to him, nothing will change.

    You have the choice to deal with his behaviour or leave. It's that simple. The more you harp on him the worse he will be. Fix the healthy meals for yourself. If he eats the healthy food with you, then great. Don't make a big deal over it. Just continue to fix nutritious dinners. Go for a walk in the evening. Invite him to go with you, but if he says no, go walk anyway. Maybe someday he will join you and you can do it FOR FUN as a couple (not as a way to force him to loose weight). The more you push on this the more he will dig his heels in.

    You have turned this into a confrontational battle. He likely feels that you are trying to control him and tell him what to do. It is likely that he resents that you can't love him the way he is. Men are really, really sensitive about how their woman perceives them. You have been telling him he is not good enough and you have trounced all over his ego. Let it go. You are only making you and he miserable. He is a grownup. He gets to make the decisions for his life. Yes, it would be great if he made healthy decisions, sometimes he won't. (I wish I always made the grownup, healthy decision, yet I don't.) Sometimes people we love make bad decisions. Our choice is to decide where the line is and how much we can tolerate. He knows what he should be doing. You are not his mother.

    You both have my sympathies. It's a tough road, made tougher by our society and lifestyles. I know at your core you are worried about this man you love and that you only want what is best for him. I know this has likely taken a toll on your relationship. I wish you only the best and hope for wise, healthy choices. [​IMG]
  7. Quote:I'd divorce you..... thats not obese, thats "comfortably married."

  8. EngieKisses

    EngieKisses Songster

    Jul 10, 2008
    Collinsville, Oklahoma
    Quote:I agree totally with this!
  9. farrier!

    farrier! Songster

    Feb 28, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Unless he is very very short he is not obese....I agree with EngieKisses.

    If you want to see him loose weight drop most of the carbohydrates out.....with the diet you are following I would pack on about 4 pounds a week.... [​IMG]

    I cannot afford to eat as I should but have manages to loose 55 pounds in less then a year. I am obese, very fit and would simply like to weigh less so I could ride harder, not because of some chart or spouse.

    My ex use to eat cookies, cake and donuts for breakfast, never gaining a pound.

    I am sorry but your post really bothers me. To call a guy obese for gaining 20 to 25 pounds sounds like an image problem for you not him.

  10. bheila

    bheila Songster

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Quote:Very well stated....[​IMG]
    I'm so grateful that I have a husband who excepts me as I am.

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