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RAMOD
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458 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ladies,

I know this board aint the Oprah show and all, but I'm guessing this is the best place to ask for a little guidance on how to approach an issue with my better-half. I need a female perspective on this one and figured you'd be able to give some actual good advice.....

My wife and I have been married for nearly six years now and I can't imagine what my life would be like without her; I am blessed. One of our strengths is our ability to discuss anything, and I know posting this here may seem to be a contradiction, but I am stumped on how to bring this up without it being taken the wrong way.

The problem is with my wife's weight. Now before I get completely flame-sprayed :flames: , let me explain! She is a beautiful woman, but has put on a great deal of weight since we were married- about 100 Lbs. Her appearance is not really the issue; it's her health I'm concerned with. She has developed constant pain in her feet, ankles, knees, back and now is constantly tired and has trouble sleeping. She's in her 40's and has a family history of cancer and diabetes and I'm getting worried. The docs say there is nothing physically wrong with her (thyroid, metabolism act), just that she needs to loose weight. We have tried the diet things, but the portions get progressively larger so the only real loss was in our check-book. When I try be diplomatic and suggest her dinner portion size may be a little excessive or that a late-night snack may not be a great idea, she get pissed and sulks (and gets the grub anyway). She has even investigated the stomach stapling deal, but that scares the crap out of me (and her) since it is so extreme and has big risks. She is active- in fact seems to be constantly motion. She's a stay at home mom and really is amazing; she runs a "tight ship", even doing lawn work and is a hellava carpenter and handy man! All of our friends and I are amazed at all she does in a single day and still keeps carrying as much weight as she does. She is definitely not sitting on her butt eating junk and watching TV!

I will admit, if I said I didn't have my own personal motives, I'd be lying. She knows she's carrying too much weight and it has taken a toll on our "personal" life as well. I'm no head-shrink, but it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out she is probably not interested in fooling around if she doesn't feel attractive. Yea, I'm a horn-dog and would kill to get to daily, so anything to improve from once a quarter would be a welcome change! ?prty: I digress.....

My dilemma is how do I approach this? I have been accused of being honest to a fault and being way too point-blank with my approach. In this situation though, I'm not trying to pick a fight or point out the obvious. I'm trying to get her healthy physically and, in turn improve her self image, but no matter how I play this one in my head I see disaster in the making :spank: . I am thinking the "band-aid" approach- just vent the whole thing at one time. I think she is going to be pissed at me regardless so get it all out there and get the beating over with! Or do I just let this sleeping dog alone:265:

I can't tell you ladies how much I love her- which is why this has been really driving me nuts. I'd really like some advice with this one :dunno: . Yea, I'm generally a huge smart-arse but this is sincere so please try keep any wize-arse comments to a minimum. :thanks:

Allen
 

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Premium Member
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hi Allen, well, my first advice would have been to take her to the doctor and have him put her on a diet but it sounds like that was already done. I struggle with my own weight issues but have never had over 100 lbs to lose. 20 is hard enough for me. At that weight, I would think a doctor's supervision would be the way to go but she has to want it bad enough first. I wish I could be of more help. She needs to ask herself why she is eating. Sounds like she is very active....that's definately a plus. But, we all overeat for different reasons. If she can get to the root of her eating first, maybe she will have more success getting it off. Actually, she needs to find a new way of eating for a life-time.....not a diet.

Don't really know how you should approach it but you do need to be loving and make it about her health and not her weight.
 

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natural-born world-shaker
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2,978 Posts
Sorry ladies, I can't be quiet. Flame me if you must.

Man, I ain't a shrink and I'm not being a smart-arse but you're in a tight spot. And you could make it worse because you may have put yourself there. Based on what you've said, your approach doesn't have to be disastrous. But I'd warn you: You can't solve your wife's problems any more than she could solve yours. Be careful when you say you want to "get her healthy physically and, in turn improve her self image". An oblique approach, one from the heart, may work.

Love her because of her faults as well as her virtues, not in spite of them. Love her the way in which I'm sure she loves you. A person is pretty when they're physically attractive; their "beauty" is everything, the total package. Physically, IF you make love to the woman and not the body and make love to her as often as you wish, I seriously doubt she'll turn you away, she'll be too turned on. In fact, she'll respect you and words won't be necessary. As Yoda would say, "There is no try, there is only do." "I love you" is in the wind the moment it's spoken; it's a series of words. Don't talk love and support, do it.
 

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RAMOD
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Discussion Starter #5
thedog said:
...Love her because of her faults as well as her virtues, not in spite of them. Love her the way in which I'm sure she loves you. A person is pretty when they're physically attractive; their "beauty" is everything, the total package....
I couldn't agree with you more, which is why this is such an issue. I love her unconditionally- her weight is not in any way an issue with how I feel about her. The issue has become a health problem. I guess I am so accustomed to being a "go fix it" type of person that I am trying to do just that with something I really have no control over. As for the "physical" aspect/benefit of weight loss, that in my opinion, is only a fringe benefit, not a primary focus.

I realize that she has to be the one to make a lifestyle change and she has to make changes for herself- no one else. I guess the biggest questions are:

1. Would addressing it with her make an impact on her decisions. She is (like me) a very point-blank person.
2. If the answer to above is yes, how to approach it with any hope of success.

I honestly don't think she has really looked at the bigger picture in that her current path (weight wize) is dangerous and the docs telling her isn't getting thru to her. My thought is that until somone close to her (i.e. me) confronts her with a "baseball bat" direct approach, it won't get her attention. Then again, I have never professed to have ANY insight into the female mind (LOL)! I am so used to seeing a problem, attack it and work the problem until it is resolved. That, I guess, comes from spending too much time in uniform where things (problems) tend to be a little more black-and-white.

Thanks for the responses and no, I did not take anything as a flame-spray. In fact if someone thinks I deserve a good frying let 'er rip :corn:! Just know this is an open discussion looking for lots genuine thoughts- I'm open to and welcome as many opinions and suggestions as I can get (male and female)!

Allen
 

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Banned
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2,149 Posts
It's not just you who are going through this. I'm dealing with it myself.

My wife was also a very willowy girl. And she always took very good care of herself. After she hit fifty a number of things happened; she had re-occuring knee pain from an old injury, family issues, facing her age, depression, dealing with my depression/bipolar, and work stress.

For some reason, this "I am 50" issue gave her permission to "not care." She quit going to the gym, she eats for fun, she quit bicycling (and she loved that), even dressing 'down' when we went out.

I, too, was worried about health and mental issues. She was there for me, so I was there for her. I harrangued our doctor to get the specialists together instead of just quelling individual issues--I wanted her treated on the whole as a person. I darn near dragged her to a colonoscopy.

I made sure that as I changed careers no additional pressure hit the house. I make sure bills are covered, or at least eased. We even dealt with the death of a beloved pet by getting her Neko, her new Bichon. She has a new part-time job, which she loves.

When the new Harley came, I out-fitted it with a new seat, comfortable butt pad and more comfortable foot-rest/pegs. She rode once.

Oh, lots of blame is mine. The meds I use for bipolar treatment have greatly enhanced my life, but that "low instance of sexual side-affects" is dramatic at our home. We went into a downward spiral until now months go by.

But understand this; she's my wife, my partner. As rakish as I was when single, I changed that with our wedding vows. I didn't just mouth the answers--I contemplated every promise and kept them.

We were baptized, and while attendance has wavered lately for tumultuous problems in our church, we are both proud SDA Christians. We pray, and my wife indulges in intense study with the quarterly lesson plans.

To be sure, I admire women. I never do it when my wife is present, but I don't think that's the issue. I think my wife has quit trying. My mom went through a similar situation post-menopause. But I constantly love and support my wife, verbally and often.

I have no answers. I do believe a phenomenon is at work here, part mental and part physical. If my wife was chain smoking I'd be on her like a blanket (neither of us smoke--she never has). I believe the short term hate for that would pass, it's what husbands should do.

But this isn't "cookies and depression" while there are elements of both. It's hard to love someone for over 30 years and watch this. She mentions this occasionally, so I know the pain is real. But hear this, she will always be my wife.
 

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The Tourist said:
If my wife was chain smoking I'd be on her like a blanket (neither of us smoke--she never has). I believe the short term hate for that would pass, it's what husbands should do.
Funny that we view smoking so differently when we hear everyday on the news what obesity is doing to this country. I think the health risks are just as great. But because it's an appearance thing, we don't want to hurt the person's feelings when it may just save their life.
 

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Knower of Stuff
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Tough one indeed. I know that wife and I could both stand to loose a little weight. I see it as a lifestyle change for both of us. I can not ask her to do what I am not also willing to do. Now in your cases, maybe she needs to lose more weight than you, but most of us over 40 crowd could stand a little shaping up. So to my suggestion, do it with her. Change your eating and exercise habits together. Maybe if she sees you making the same effort, it will inspire her to do the same. Pose it as a concern for your heath and you need her help so you can stick with the change of diet and exercise program by working with you. Sometimes if you make it about your need, her love for you will help her help you and in turn help herself.
I now for us, doing things together has always made us closer.
Now you may be the picture of health, not trying to be a smart ass, but in my case my wife and I could both use the change.
I guess my point is, she might be more willing to help you than to help herself. You would do the same for her if she asked, there is no reason to believe should would not do it for you.
Sorry if this may not be any help, but with my wife it would. I hate making it about me, and maybe about us would be better. Good luck and I wish both you and your wife good health.
 

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I think that's a great idea. Make it about the kids too. Make it a family thing teaching them to eat healthy.

How are the kids' weight?
 

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I couldn't agree with you more, which is why this is such an issue. I love her unconditionally- her weight is not in any way an issue with how I feel about her. The issue has become a health problem. I guess I am so accustomed to being a "go fix it" type of person that I am trying to do just that with something I really have no control over. As for the "physical" aspect/benefit of weight loss, that in my opinion, is only a fringe benefit, not a primary focus.

RMC_SS, first let me say you sound like a good guy! :banana: She's lucky to have you. I agree with Deb though, your wife has to want to change, no one else can do it for her. And I say this as someone (female, btw) 5'3 who once weighed almost 175. I eventually lost weight b/c not only did I feel realllllly unattractive, but I was really uncomfortable too. Heel spurs, backache, etc. The way you describe your wife, it sounds like maybe she's pretty comfortable with her weight (I apologize if I read too fast and missed something), especially since she's so active. I mention this b/c you may not know this, but not everyone agrees that it's a death sentence to be fat. Some people's bodies are just more "rounded" than others. I lost 40 lbs, I feel better and am healthier, and I'm still pretty "rounded," LOL. Google "fat acceptance" and you might find some other opinions about it. (OTOH, if her doctor is saying she needs to lose weight b/c of heart trouble or diabetes or something, well, that's another matter entirely.)

I hope I don't offend you by suggesting this alternative viewpoint. Best of luck to you and your wife on finding a good compromise, or solution!
 

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RAMOD
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Discussion Starter #11
To add some detail based on the last coupe of posts...

Our daughter is tall (for her age- 4) and slim. We have two other girls with us and they are both slim as well (I have full custody of my 2 daughters from a previous marriage who live with us). I am not the model of physical fitness (not a body builder by any means), but I'm 5'11" at about 185lbs.

My wife is about 5'6" and her weight is about 225-230. While she is strong as a country mule (and at times about that hard-headed ;) ), she is constantly developing more health problems. As I said, the docs have advised her that many of the problems she has including aches, pains, colesterol (sp) and blood pressure would improve by losing som wieght. Based on her build, they have advised a loss of about 80lbs (target weight of 140-160). I have not heard those numbers from the docs personally, that is what she has told me, but I guess it is reasonable (but I'm no doc).

Again, I appreciate the comments. It sounds like I am just the 1st to broach this subject on here, but not in the minority to deal with it (or something similar). Keep the comments coming; I think there is alot of great real-world experience out there that brings alot to the discussion!

Allen
 

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Well I'm no light weight but I feel healthy. Never get sick except maybe once a year. I'm 6' and about 265.

Wife is about 5'10" and about 190-200. (I don't ask) She tries to lose weight and does real well but then she gets on one of those binges and eats alot of junk food. I think alot of it is our diet. We don't really eat that great and take the easy route for dinner rather than eating correct. So far she hasn't had any health problems but that doesn't mean she won't either.
 

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EASY DOES IT
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Lemmie try a shot at this...

My wife once weighed in at about 200 and at 5' 5" she was pretty big. No real health issues other than the standard aches, pain and discomforts associated with being overweight. All her doctors told her these were symptoms of future damage sustained due to her being heavy, they followed up with the real deal about her impending future; likelihood of diabetes, heart/arterial problems...etc...all to no effect. Her view of self was affected too, severely limiting the physical side of our relationship as well. We both are recovering alcoholics and have a unique understanding of addiction: the need or want to continue to consume that which is detrimental to your health even though you know the consequences. (this includes those in denial) None of us wants to admit to an addiction or addictive behavior though ALL of us exhibit it to some degree. If we've learned nothing else in our life together about dealing with our addiction we've learned the need for open and honest communication, your partner is your greatest advocate, willing to go to great lengths to help you out of your perdicament, trust in that partner is paramount to a healthy, happly life together. Often the reason we pursue these "needs" is to medicate another need we can't seem to fulfill, most often an emotional issue from the past. Through gentle exploration you can gain a understanding to the reasons behind any behavior and build a trust like you never had before...

One more thought...few if any of us can ever "see" what's going on though we often know and subconciously recognize those issues, that's the reason we get defensive...if we question any of our hidden motives then we have to question them all...it's a scary place to be alone in, who wants to see all our character defects and few if any of us ever are able to succeed in our efforts to be free of our demons alone...It's great to have a commited partner...kudos to you!!!
 

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I agree with what a lot of folks have said, and have one bit of advice to give from my own experience with trying to get someone to make a change...... I've personally used this psychology on my hubby, and I think he's used it on me, with amazing results: You have to give it up to them, and get yourself totally out of it. I heard this technique from someone like James Dobson, or some family therapist/program.

Specifically, I wanted my husband to stop pushing crumbs off the counter onto the kitchen floor. I nagged, joked, etc.... nothing worked. Then one day, he did it, and I said "You know, it really bugs me that you do that, cause I have to clean it up, and you know that I think it's disrespectful, but I'm not going to bug you about it anymore. If that's what you really want to do, then go ahead." Guess what? He never did it again! I left it up to him, it was his decision to change, and not to just do what I was asking. I think that this can also work with wanting someone to lose weight... they've got to feel like they've got the control within themselves (or relying on God), and not just doing it from pressure by family.

Give it a try... Just tell her "....name..., you know I'm concerned and want you to lose weight, but I'm not going to say another thing about it. You eat what you want...It's your body, and it's all up to you, not me". You may be surprised.
 

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RAMOD
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Discussion Starter #15
marthared said:
....You have to give it up to them, and get yourself totally out of it. .... Just tell her "....name..., you know I'm concerned and want you to lose weight, but I'm not going to say another thing about it. You eat what you want...It's your body, and it's all up to you, not me". You may be surprised.
That is sort of what I've been thinking, but that is an approach I hadn't considered. It seems like a variation on a "baseball-bat" approach- direct and to the point but realizes I can't do anything about it, other than support HER decision. This may be a bad way to word it, but it puts the burden on her to make her own decision and do something about the problem.

This started with a very narrow issue, but I am gaining alot of info that applies to any number of situations. Dr Phil and Oprah otta be reading this!

:hmmm: Good shate......

:thanks:

Allen
 

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I need to add, that I would think that this technique only works with people who respect you, and love you. Otherwise, I'd think the perpetrator won't change.
 

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THE STURGIS QUEEN
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in my personal opinion, and from a sort of medical point of view womens metbolism changes when they hit 30. they start to gain weight, and the more they try to lose the weight the harder it is to come off. the more a person tries to take it off, (and it does come off slowly), the more frustrating it gets. now maybe in your wifes situation, she has tried to take it off only to get frustrated so there fore, she has given up trying. or maybe she is happy with the way she looks. if she is happy with it, i would let her be. but in a male sense, the lack of intimacy, can also be frustrating. maybe call a truce with it and say if she is happy with the way she looks now, thats all fine and dandy, but just let her know that you also need the intimacy that goes along with the marriage, no matter what she looks like
 

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Hey:

I am a guy, old guy and been heavy (fat) all my life. My wife of 37 years only got heavy when pregnant. She and our doctor wanted me to loose about 30 lbs. Tried all kinds of diets, some worked for a while and some did not. None worked for long. Then one day my wife came home and said SHE wanted to eat healthier and would I go along with her. I said sure. So we started the South Beach Life Plan ( I don't call it a diet because you follow it forever). That was five months ago. I am now 30 lbs lighter, blood pressure medicine is gone, 115/63, LDL 63, HDL 69 and so on. This after being on cholesteral medicine for four years and blood pressure medicine for eight years.

She tricked me into doing this by going on it herself, worked She lost 10 lbs which she really did not have to do and has stabilzied at that weight. With this in mind no matter what your weight you too might be able to trick your wife into helping you get healthy.

Paiceman
 

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great post, sniper! Thanks for sharing. I'm on a life plan too. Well, I just started about a month ago. I'm about half way to my goal now. I love the fact that I'm now in control of my food and my food is no longer in control of me! :clap:

Hey Allen, we need an update? Have you tried any of these ideas?
 

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RAMOD
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458 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
As for an update, I have just been talking to her from a distance. I guess I failed to mention we are physically separated for now due to military orders and our PCS move. I am still in Hawaii, unable to detach from my present command until December. She, along with the girls, have already moved back to the mainland ahead of me- we bought a house in SE Georgia.... I won't get there until mid-December.

Since she has been there, she said she has lost about 10 Lbs..... I told her I was incredibly proud of her! The bad part is I'm guessing it's because I haven't been there to do the cooking (LOL)!! She has been absolutly amazing- setting up the entire house by herself including re-landscaping the front yard in only a few weeks. Did I mention this Lady is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!

I posed this question to get some ideas to put into action when I get there for good (I get there Dec 15th, then have to attend a school January-February). The worst thing I could do IMO is to get there, say something wrong, then leave a couple of weeks later for a month.

It's funny you mentioned the South Beach thing, we discussed a "lifestyle" change when I get there to improve the way we eat and exercise. This was after she mentioned she had lost some weight. I just added that I was jealous and I hoped we could tweak what we were doing when I get there since I needed to loose a few lbs as well.

I think I have gained some insight on good ways to approach this. I will continue to look for your impressions and thoughts, and will update when I get there. The people on this board never cease to amaze me with their diversity and honesty..... :thanks:

As for now...... I just really need to get laid..... but I digress again =devil=
Only 33 days to go 'till I see my beloved again......:woohoo:

Allen
 
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