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Question
Posted by: Worried wife | 2010-11-03

Husband is picking up too much weight

Hi Doc 

I''m very concerned with my Husbands weight gain. When I met him he weighed just under 100kg''s and now he is about 140kg (approx) that was the lightest he had ever been. He has always been overweight his whole life and both his mother and father are heavy people.

However, lately his drinking habits are increasing and I feel that he eats far too much. He will go without food the entire day and has a very large supper and will eat even after that, sandwiches, cheese, peanut butter, chocolate spread, crumpets, you name it. He has a very prominant tummy that seems to be getting bigger.

I am very worried about his way of life, the drinking and the over eating and espeically not being healthy. How do I handle suggesting to put him on a diet, if that is the right thing to do? He does not excersise but does play golf (with a golf cart) at every opportunity he gets. He also has tried to diet before loosing a couple of kg''s here and there, but the novelty wears off and he is back to normal self again. He also refuses to exercise and says the only exercise he will do is on a exercise bike and won''t do anything else.

He is very self concious and gets insulted very quickly. So I have no nice way of saying to him, please loose some weight and that I am concerned. His next sentance to me is, " so am I fat now, now you want to leave me for another guy?" His family has a history of diabetes and I am concerned about his heart.

Please help???

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Worried Wife
I can well understand that you must be desperate about your husband's ever increasing weight, his very bad eating habits, his drinking and lack of cardio exercise. Your problem is of course made even more tricky by the fact that you can't actually say anything to him without him flaring up and getting upset. So he is very sensitive about you mentioning overweight, diets, exercise, etc. From a psychological point of view there are various options: a)Shock tactics: You can say 'No I am not going to leave you, but you will drop dead and then I will be all alone in the world, just because you won't do something about your weight/drinking/lack of exercise, etc." b) The reverse psychology approach: Say you have realised that he can't do anything about his habits (which actually surprises you because he is such a strong and clever man, etc), so you are going to enjoy the time you have left with him and never, ever mention his weight, his poor eating habits, his lack of exercise, his drinking, his family history of diabetes and heart disease, again (One of the reasons why he may refuse to do anything, is that it gains your attention and he enjoys his hold over you because you are so worried - if you can pretend that you are NOT worried then he may also change). Suggest that you want to go for "One more holiday together". c) The subtle approach: Leave magazine articles about the dangers or overweight, drinking, etc lying around where he must see them. If he remarks on them, you just say, 'Oh I was reading about the new fashions or something'. d) Positive affirmation: Praise him every time he does something positive - for example using an exercise bike is a wonderful idea and would do him the world of good. So devise a way of getting him to demonstrate how it works because you want to get fit and when he shows you, praise him. Also praise anything else he may do that is positive like having more regular meals, or not snacking after supper. Don't say anything that is critical or negative, just positives. This approach can make people crave more positive affirmation and thus change their behaviour.
You know your hubby best, so you need to select one of these approaches and then stick to it no matter what. This may be difficult, but it could just make the difference between getting your hubby to lose weight and him getting worse and worse. Sometimes it also helps to get someone else to speak to such a person - one of his friends or his boss at work, or the minister at his church. You will have to decide because from what you say, a straight forward approach is not going to work and hubby needs a prompt to get going to stay healthy.
Holding thumbs that you can figure out a way of making hubby realise what he is doing to his body and to make a positive change.
Best regards
DietDoc

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010-11-03

Dear Worried Wife
I can well understand that you must be desperate about your husband's ever increasing weight, his very bad eating habits, his drinking and lack of cardio exercise. Your problem is of course made even more tricky by the fact that you can't actually say anything to him without him flaring up and getting upset. So he is very sensitive about you mentioning overweight, diets, exercise, etc. From a psychological point of view there are various options: a)Shock tactics: You can say 'No I am not going to leave you, but you will drop dead and then I will be all alone in the world, just because you won't do something about your weight/drinking/lack of exercise, etc." b) The reverse psychology approach: Say you have realised that he can't do anything about his habits (which actually surprises you because he is such a strong and clever man, etc), so you are going to enjoy the time you have left with him and never, ever mention his weight, his poor eating habits, his lack of exercise, his drinking, his family history of diabetes and heart disease, again (One of the reasons why he may refuse to do anything, is that it gains your attention and he enjoys his hold over you because you are so worried - if you can pretend that you are NOT worried then he may also change). Suggest that you want to go for "One more holiday together". c) The subtle approach: Leave magazine articles about the dangers or overweight, drinking, etc lying around where he must see them. If he remarks on them, you just say, 'Oh I was reading about the new fashions or something'. d) Positive affirmation: Praise him every time he does something positive - for example using an exercise bike is a wonderful idea and would do him the world of good. So devise a way of getting him to demonstrate how it works because you want to get fit and when he shows you, praise him. Also praise anything else he may do that is positive like having more regular meals, or not snacking after supper. Don't say anything that is critical or negative, just positives. This approach can make people crave more positive affirmation and thus change their behaviour.
You know your hubby best, so you need to select one of these approaches and then stick to it no matter what. This may be difficult, but it could just make the difference between getting your hubby to lose weight and him getting worse and worse. Sometimes it also helps to get someone else to speak to such a person - one of his friends or his boss at work, or the minister at his church. You will have to decide because from what you say, a straight forward approach is not going to work and hubby needs a prompt to get going to stay healthy.
Holding thumbs that you can figure out a way of making hubby realise what he is doing to his body and to make a positive change.
Best regards
DietDoc

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