I have tried eating right in front of her small portions. I am doing my exercise but each encouragement I say, Hey you want to come up and exercise with me? but she goes back to the are you calling me fat. Almost like a defense maybe?
I'm seriously not trying to be cruel here, but why don't you tell her the truth?
"YES, honey, I think you are fat. I love you and I am concerned about your health. When you ask me the question in that way, it makes me feel like you don't care about your own health and I think that you're more interested in punishing me for loving you and caring about our future together. I am working hard to make our healthy future together a reality, but I can't and won't beg you to join me. Only you can make that decision. I'm off to the gym."
I know many will disagree with me and think you need to be much more "sensitive" in your approach, but you're lying to her and yourself by not telling it like it is.
I used to be overweight. I wish someone had just been real with me at the time. No one obviously loved me as much as you love your wife. I eventually made the changes myself because I learned to love myself better.
I found myself in your shoes before I met my husband, when I was dating an overweight man. On our FIRST DATE, he admitted his weight was an issue and he was working on it. So this didn't come from nowhere. His weight did NOT stop my love for him. I was WORRIED for his health and tried to raise the weight topic in an adult, empathetic, and sensitive way, whilst sticking to my TRUTH. Nothing changed, and in fact he gained more. He got upset when I reminded him of what he SAID HE WANTED and stonewalled me. I realized then that my love and concern was not enough for him and he could not look past the superficiality of my words. Do you know how sad I was, that he could not understand my worry that one day he could die from a heart attack? That man has no idea how much I cared for him because he was too busy feeling offended by my calm, carefully selected words.
I let him go... We parted amicably... And I sincerely hope he's found a woman that better aligns with his lifestyle.
My husband tells me truth to my face and I return it in spades. We know exactly where the other stands on diet & exercise. When we food shop, I use the words: NO, that's not good for you, forget it, that's empty carbs, we need more protein, I promise I'll make this taste good, etc. He does the same. We police each other, because I never want to be overweight again and he knows that if he lets himself go, he'll be living in a van down by the river.