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post #31 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Originally Posted by ChipperE View Post
I think it's understandable that you are frustrated. Has she or does she ever express dissatisfaction with her body? If so that might be a good time to just as her flat out..."what is stopping you?". Maybe she is embarrassed. Mays he doesn't realize she has a weight problem (depending on her size ). Maybe she hates to exercise. If you approach it from a direction of helping her accomplish HER goals maybe that could help?
Yes she does, and I've tried this about 100x. I just get a slew of excuses.

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post #32 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:00 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Has she been tested for any hormonal issues? My wife is only 27, and she's gained 20 pounds since her hysterectomy, and she can't seem to shed them despite a very active lifestyle. Her dr says it's because the lowered estrogen production slows down a woman's metabolism.
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post #33 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Originally Posted by Maximilian View Post
Has she been tested for any hormonal issues? My wife is only 27, and she's gained 20 pounds since her hysterectomy, and she can't seem to shed them despite a very active lifestyle. Her dr says it's because the lowered estrogen production slows down a woman's metabolism.
Her health situation is a whole long story in itself. She needs to be tested for a whole smattering of things, this being one of them. In short, she very likely has a connective-tissue disorder called EDS, which affects absolutely every aspect of your body and life. Everyday life is exhausting for her, she gets bruises for no good reason, gets sick very easily, etc.. Before you say "maybe that's why she won't work out!", let me remind of the boot camp she attended for a while, got through that just fine, and I saw a marked increase in her energy levels, and overall contentedness. She CAN work out, she just won't.
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post #34 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 08:04 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Wow, as I've looked through some of the old chat threads, this is a subject it seems mostly brought up by the guys, and quite frequently. It's an issue. I've been there myself. Thankfully, my wife got back into shape, but it took a few years for that to occur. Honestly, it's the way men are created. We're visual creatures. It's that simple. We want to look at our wives and be visually attracted to them. It's not shallow. It just is what it is.

For example, I don't know many guys who, when they are teenagers or in college who, if they are in reasonable shape, and who may be considered attractive themselves, who would ask someone out who they are not at least visually attracted to them. The initial allure is in the visual realm. A man will give his left testicle for a long-lasting, faithful, committed relationship with a woman, his wife, whom he can say to himself "She's not only beautiful on the inside, but also on the outside". Yes, we all age, and so comes those changes, but we can ALL stay in reasonable shape by the discipline of eating well and exercising when we can. We should do that for our spouses. If her body is mine, and mine is hers, I take that seriously and I want to present an in-shape body to her as far as I am able, and I expect the same. Women have needs, so do men. As men, I think we have to be very familiar with those needs that our wives have and spend every moment ensuring those needs are met.

If I were not married, and I saw a woman who was dressed nicely, seemed very kind, neat, friendly, etc, but if she was also overweight, although I may enjoy the conversation with her, I would not be drawn to her. I would not have a desire to have a "consummate" relationship with her. I wouldn't even initiate getting to know her better. And those are just the laws of attraction from someone who is not overweight. The laws are different for those who may be, and who they are attracted to. Men need their wives to look good, period. Many women may not like hearing that, but it is a legitimate need. Now, for those men who don't take care of themselves, their bodies, their appearance, their health, then they have no right to expect anything from their wives, but for those who do, I think it should work both ways.

But here's the thing, OP: even though this is a legitimate need, and there are a million men which understand what you're going through, and it sucks, all you can really do is make sure you take care of yourself, and, while doing that, choose to be even more patient with your wife, praise her even when the words may not want to come out of your mouth. Find ways to help build her esteem. Choose not to obsess over it, but rather try to find ways to encourage her, listen to her, let her know you love the essence of who she is. I don't know how that looks for you, and it's going to require some work. Who knows what is at the very root of why your wife has gained so much weight. She is likely in a cycle of depression, and may have some real needs that, once worked on, she may be able to have a totally new outlook. You simply cannot hover over her, give her the stink eye, or come across as resentful, judgmental, or frustrated when you're around her. That won't work. As one other poster proclaimed, yes, she has to do it for herself, not you. Trust me, you don't want that anyway. Be kind to her, meek, supportive, and take care of your own body and do the things you need to do to stay healthy. Perhaps she will be drawn to this space you give her and be motivated herself to make some changes.

Having said all of that, if significant efforts are undertaken, efforts that would be anyone be considered healthy, supportive, non-shaming, patient, kind, even after efforts are taken to find the roots of the weight gain, etc, etc, and there simply is no desire to change, then, brother, if you cannot enjoy the physical aspects of the relationship, if you cannot have a marital bed, then you don't have much of a choice but to move on.
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post #35 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 05:47 AM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Don't you get tired of making this woman's weight - and her complete lack of desire to do anything about it - your issue to deal with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? How does anyone stand doing this day after day for 6 years?

The writing is on the wall.
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post #36 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 06:23 AM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

As a husband and an ex husband to two women who each had very different struggles with weight and body issues, I can comfortably say that it's often due to things such as depression or general unhappiness with ones self. And that makes it a difficult cycle to get one's self out of.

Losing weight is not easy. Actually, let me rephrase - beginning to lose weight is not easy. As most people know, once you get into a routine, it can become second nature. Most people have the desire to lose weight, yet lack the willpower to do so, and can't get over that hump. I liken it to learning the guitar. How many of us North Americans have picked one up at some point in our lives and thought "gee, I'd love to play this thing, and play it well"? And as most of us figure out quickly, it's unbelievably difficult. We may sign up for lessons, or try to learn at home. A few weeks go by, and we still have no idea what we're doing, so the guitar starts to stay in the corner and collect dust. We give up. Maybe we try it again in a few months, or even a few years. Maybe we eventually learn how to play it, maybe we never do.

It's because the learning curve (the 'hump') is so high, and many people don't give it enough time, or lack the patience, to even GET to it, let alone get over it.

Now imagine someone's telling you, repeatedly, that you HAVE to learn the guitar. Or else. No pressure, though.

My ex wife (on her own accord) picked up that imaginary guitar and learned how to play the first time, until her fingers bled, and that's all she would do in her spare time. She lost almost 60lbs, and she was only 155 to start with.

My current wife has picked up that guitar numerous times over the years, learned how to play a few basic songs, then put it away. Then she picks it back up again and starts from scratch, almost. And so on.

Both of them had the motivation to start, and even make some progress. Only one of them completely followed through (so far).

Some people are better at completing challenges than others. I believe my ex wife wanted to get in shape (not necessarily lose weight) and she set her goals and surpassed them. My current wife was simply tired of being overweight, and the goal was/is not to get fit, or to have fun doing it, but simply to lose weight. There's a difference. My ex wife enjoyed the challenge and saw the goal(s). I don't recall her weighing in every day, it was more about muscle tone and the like. And she ate accordingly. My current wife stands on the scale every day, twice a day. She eats healthy (but struggles with that), but she's not eating for fuel, she's counting calories.

It all comes down to one's outlook on the situation. What do they want to lose weight for? Do they simply want to get healthy and/or fit? Is it fun? Can it be fun? Or is it work? Is it a chore?

My ex wife looked forward to hitting the gym or going for a run. My current wife drags herself to do these things.

"Every time I read your posts about your wife I want to swallow strychnine."
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post #37 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 08:45 AM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

I'll tell you about my experience and maybe it'll help you with your situation. Or maybe not. I'll just lay it all out there and it'll be long.

My husband has an issue with my weight. It's been ongoing in our marriage starting probably about 5-6 years into it.1 We're going on 16 years of marriage and we've been together for nearly 20. When we first got married, I just started to very gradually gain weight. I'm sure he knows my weight when we got married; I have no idea but I could probably guess a range. I find it strange that he would know my weight from over 15 years ago. While my weight was never a concern with me, I was certainly self conscious. I just didn't grow up being concerned about working out, counting calories, or what the # on the scale said, etc. I don't ever remember my parents being concerned about any of this either. I wasn't taught healthy eating. We just did what we wanted and I think it was the active life style that kept me from being fat. I was never skinny though & I really didn't have body image issues.

So once I got out of college & got married, my life became sedentary. This is when the gain started. I remember one day, my husband and I were sitting on our patio and he made a comment about me "not being the same as I was when we married". So when I asked about what he meant (my husband can sometimes be passive aggressive), the issue of my weight was brought to light. I was extremely hurt and defensive. Some time went by and I took no action. I was angry at him. Then one day, on my own, I stepped on the scale and the light bulb went off in my head. I started my journey to lose weight and I certainly did so. It wasn't for him.

I maintained it for a while. Then it gradually started to creep back. I think it continued because of several factors. Here's where you see the "excuses". I'm an emotional eater. I want to eat when I get bored, angry, happy, depressed, etc. Eating when bored was/is the biggest problem for me. I'd go shopping, but would be sad because I just didn't feel good about myself. So I'm sad from shopping, then I want to eat to make myself feel better. It was comforting. You get the cycle? My hole was getting deeper. I knew it. I think I dealt with depression for a while. I tried to go on meds but stopped because my husband didn't like how they made me "not give a s**t". My sister & father were both diagnosed with cancer at nearly the exact same time. I was worried about them. Heartbroken. My father didn't make it. I watched him go through the end of life stages. The day that he died, I remember sitting on his back porch eating potato chips. I sunk down deeper. It's hard to write this because it triggers a lot. My job, at the time, was stressful. I wanted comfort and I got that (or TRIED to get that) from food. I didn't feel like I could get it anywhere else, which was sad as well. I came to terms that my husband was an alcoholic. I watched him drink day in and day out. I thought to myself "Why should I lose weight for him when he's #1. overweight himself and #2. drunk all of the time?". I was angry at him. He was being a hypocrite. And he was, I felt, destroying the marriage with his drinking. I didn't see that I could be possibly destroying the marriage with my weight. Those are the 2 huge issues with our marriage. It was, for me, the kind of thinking that just doesn't get you anywhere. Why should I do XYZ when he won't do ABC? There's resentment that's built up. He's been a drunk for a lot longer than I've been overweight.

On New Years Day this year, we welcomed the new year with a huge fight. It starts because he doesn't like how I responded to him and wants to know why I'm angry. I'm angry because of his drinking, AGAIN. So tables are turned and the weight issue was brought up (it had been a few years since it was talked about). I was very hurt but did not get defensive, as I'm aware of the issue. It's his issue, but it's important to him. Who am I to judge what's bothering him? We come to an agreement: I lose weight & he gets control of his drinking.

Today is my 19th day of my journey. It's a journey, not a sprint. 26 more lbs to go! I've been doing great and am happy with my results so far! So will the weight loss be for him or myself ? It's both. But it's for the MARRIAGE. I'm doing my part to save it. He has to do his part. If either of us fails, the marriage will likely fail.

A few suggestions for you.
First off, I think you need to be upfront about how much this is impacting your marriage. She's likely to be hurt but you need to be honest with her about this.

Be a good example. Cook fresh dinners. Keep processed foods to a minimum. Keep your snacking down to a minimum. If you need a snack, have a piece of fruit or yogurt. Some junk food is fine but again, set a good example, with the portion size. Women usually can not eat and should not eat the same amount of calories that a man can. Men, naturally, have higher metabolisms. Allow her to serve her own food onto her plate so she controls the portion size.

Be active. I don't like when my husband asks me if I worked out because it feels like he's keeping tabs on me but asking me how my workout was is fine (for whatever reason). We swap gym stories which is fun (people are crazy at the gym and I love a good laugh).

Support her in getting new workout clothes. New workout clothes also gives a boost.

How about talking about getting an elliptical machine or bike to put in the basement? Making exercise easily accessible helps. Would she be receptive to a FitBit?

Praise her for her weight loss! I don't want to be praised for my food choices, but I do like it when he notices that I've lost weight. When she was happy that she was down to 185, you should have said "Great Job! Keep up the good work!". You've acknowledged it and noted that you want it to continue. She'll pick up on that.

I hope this helps.

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow."
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post #38 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 10:35 AM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

TBW, you were very brave to share your story. Kudos to you!! New Years 2008 I began a weight loss journey, lost 100 pounds, attained my personal training certification and continue my journey today. We all have an athlete inside us, it's just finding what our inner athlete likes to do. Some like to run, some play tennis, I like lifting weights , particularly kettlebells. I'd love to know about your progress as you move along on your journey! If you ever need advice or a friend just let me know!

Originally Posted by tropicalbeachiwish View Post
Be active. I don't like when my husband asks me if I worked out because it feels like he's keeping tabs on me but asking me how my workout was is fine (for whatever reason). We swap gym stories which is fun (people are crazy at the gym and I love a good laugh).
I want to reiterate this. I am a curvy girl by nature and my husband enjoys that. After an injury last year I gained about 25 pounds and my husband began to ask when I was going to work out heavy again. That made me more self-conscious. One day I just told him that...I want to talk about my workouts, but I do not want to have to check them off a chart. After that he just started asking what I had worked on at the gym, how the new pre-workout was, ect. That made me work harder because I wanted to go home and brag on myself.

I want to comment on the post above where you (OP) said that your wife has EDS. DO you realize how difficult it is to work through an injury or a chronic condition such as this? Maybe she stopped doing the boot camp because her body hurt. Have you ever tried researching exercise for EDS patients or hiring a trainer to work with her? If she has never had a routine as you said she may not know the proper exercises to do for her condition. People not knowing the proper exercises or how to do them properly is one of the biggest reason people stop going to the gym. They feel like a fish out of water. Having a routine set by a professional that knows her goals may give her more motivation to work towards an end result.

I would warn you with equating her weight to her value as a person. You say she often will say you "deserve more" than what she is. It sounds like she is dealing with very low self-esteem due to this.
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