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Left Behind

My husband is overweight. Morbidly obese.

I pray daily that he will come to the realization that he needs to make a move and get serious about losing weight.  Not so that he can model for the cover of a fitness magazine.  Or so he can be the fittest man at his next high school reunion.  But so that he will reduce the risk of having a stroke or heart attack and being physically incapacitated for the rest of his life – or dying.

I need him.  LG needs him.

Some days I nag him about it incessantly.  Most days I say nothing.  But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think about his weight – and him possibly leaving this earth before “his time” on a daily basis.

I have cried, begged, pleaded, used LG…all to no avail.  So far.  But I’m trusting God that he’ll make a change soon.

Believe me, I know that no man knows the day or the hour.  I know that when it is his time, God will call him home.  And I also know that God has given us the freedom of choice and that there are choices we make which will help ensure healthy lives and choices we make that lead to poor health and early death.

I’ve never had a serious weight problem, so I can’t even begin to pretend like I know what it must be like to need to lose a significant amount of weight – because the reality of it is that I don’t know.  I know how hard it is for me to lose these 10 pounds that I’ve been whining about since forever.  But I also know that whining about it isn’t going to do a thing.  So I exercise.  I Zumba.  I walk on breaks at work.  I’ve started yoga (that ish hurts!). I try not to consume a Snickers bar every day, no matter how delicious that chocolate, caramel, peanut combination is.  I look at LG and know that I’ve got to set a good example for her – and that I’ve got to maintain myself physically so that if something happens to Smoochy she’ll have one healthy parent to care, love, and grow her into adulthood.

Yep – I know that I could drop dead tomorrow and that Smoochy could live to be 105.  But I still really, really want my husband to get it together and get some of the weight off.  Like yesterday.

I really don’t want to be left behind.

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15 thoughts on “Left Behind

  1. This is a very brave post to write. Mrs TDJ’s husband passing shook me up in a major way. My husband is not a little dude, and he smokes. For a solid week after I found out that news, I stared at my husband in his sleep to make sure he was still breathing. I just found him and I certainly don’t want to lose him before it’s his time to go.

    I just turned 39 myself and the aches and pains are more pronounced now and I know it’s because of the extra weight around my middle. I have to find the motivation from somewhere because truth be told, I’m tired of feeling like that.

    Keep praying for Smoochy and we will pray for him too as you pray for us..to finally get it together.

  2. My husband was overweight when we met. He was super fit before he was fat so the weight fell off fairly easily. My mother told me to reduce his portions. We battled over bacon, I would make 2 pieces, he wanted four. I used smaller plates and filled that plate up. Just yesterday we went out for breakfast and he had eggs and a cup of fruit and was full. He mentioned how he used to need lots of food to feel full and now he can’t finish a whole sandwhich.

    His mom used to overfeed him and tried to overfeed me too. So he had to battle a history of stuffing himself.

    I went from slim to overweight after my first year of college. I made small changes like cutting out mayonaise, using a smaller plate, walking to class instead of taking the shuttle. With my husband I started with small changes. Perhaps you can get your husband to promise to drink more water while away from you. Sometimes people feel hungry when they are just thirsty and if you are full of water you can’t eat to much.

    But I still fret about one of us dying before our kids are adults.

    • My mother did things like this because of my father’s high blood pressure AND family history of middle-aged death due to heart attack and hypertension. She changed her use of oil, put very little salt in food, changed his breakfast options, etc etc. I was too young to notice if they fought about it, but it worked. All my siblings and my father have good eating habits and he is one of the slimmest and most active 60 yr olds I know. I hope things change for you…that kind of fear is really scary :-/

  3. While my husband is not obese, when we met, he had about 30 extra pounds that he needed to lose, additionally he was already taking high blood pressure medication. That to me was a shocker being that he is only 43, and I take only vitamins and supplements.

    A few years before we met, he lost about 40 pounds during weight watchers. He kept off about 25. Luckily he worked out, biked, etc, but he was not consistent, and he ate more than he really should have. I’m a avid runner, so I tried to get him to run with me, but that really was not his thing. He enjoyed biking and I started biking with him. But his weight loss was very, very gradual.

    I initially started to try an encourage him to eat healthier and workout more…then I realized it had to come from within him. I on the other hand continued to workout and run, and cook healthy meals.

    I found that focusing on his high blood pressure (which he understood to be a detriment to his health, was a more compelling reason for him than his weight. I figured, how can he get mad at me about being concerned about his heart, when he takes meds for this condition? And too my surprise that did not bother him. So, I read every book, article etc, and I brought him cq10, fish oil, etc…all the supplements that I knew contributed to lower blood pressure. I also emailed those articles with him so that he would understand why I included those supplement and vitamins into his daily regime. Gradually, on his own, he began to embrace a more consistently healthy lifestyle, and made better food choices. He has lost and additional 30 pounds in the past two years, now he is down to the weight that he was in his 20’s. We focus on leading active lifestyles…biking, working out, stair climbing, and yes, occasionally he will run with me. 🙂

    Yes, there are times that I still nag him about little things, like drinking more water. But what I found was some of the healthier lifestyle, choices that I already knew, he had no clue about. I really thought that because he had a PhD, that he knew what it took to stay healthy, lose weight and live longer, but he really didn’t understand the overall picture. So, I have made it my business in our family to actively seek information that will educate both of us. Then, I try and incorporate that information into our lives.

    I like Tiffany have only been married two years to my husband, and want to hold on to him as long as I can. I assume that if your husband is obese, than he is in someway suffering from a medical condition as a result (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc… Maybe it would help if you focused your concern on that particular condition, which may have some effect on how he views his weight.

    I hope this helps!
    Be encouraged!!!!

  4. I understand everything you wrote here. I’ve never had a weight problem. I’m probably closer to having an eating disorder. Sometimes I feel really bad for how hard I HOUND some of my loved ones about their weight. I have trouble losing 10 lbs, so I know it is difficult. I know that I encouraged you to use Lovegirl to put on the waterworks or whatever it takes to get through to her Dad. I wish I could tell you that I have some strategy that will work. Maybe he would consider one of the weight loss procedures?

    I’m still hounding some of my relatives. Now I just say to them “please don’t die voluntarily. Don’t die of something preventable, there are enough bad things out here just waiting to take us away”

    I know that you are feeling at your wits end…just don’t give up.

  5. I am sure that this post took a lot of courage to write (and then make public). It is really hard to be extremely overweight (obese, even). As hard as it is for you to imagine losing him, it is possibly harder for him to find the motivation to start making changes. No matter how much he loves you and LG, he cannot do it for either of you. The changes would not be lasting. He has to do it for himself in order to keep at it. You and LG may be motivating factors, but the basis for doing it needs to be his own needs.

    I say this because I am overweight (obese, even). I have only recently found my own sort of “rock bottom.” I looked in the mirror and what I saw disgusted me. Not only that, as I completed my daily prayers (I’m Muslim), I found it really hard to get on and off the floor. It made me do a lot of soul searching. Slowly, I started wanting to be better for myself. Yes, I want to be around as long as possible for my loved ones, but I want it more for myself. I started slowly. I took a zumba class here, a class there. A couple of months later, I joined a gym. The first week, I went once. The next week, twice. Every day is a struggle, but I find that I enjoy going to the gym. I notice the changes within more than anything. I have more energy. I sleep less.

    I am definitely far from being where I want/need to be, but I am making progress. Have faith in your husband and continue to lovingly push him. He’ll get there, God willing.

  6. I will add you all to my prayers, especially your husband. Like you, I’ve never had to lose a significant amount of weight, but it’s been VERY challenging to lose the 20 I have so far.

    I pray that he will be motivated by practical weight loss methods that suit his personality and interests, and that any progress he sees motivates him beyond what anyone could tell him. I pray that God will place others in his life that will help you encourage him to be healthy…other men from whom he can receive manly motivation, lol. I pray that any defeatist thoughts or ideas he has are replaced with courage, and strength to push through even when fear is present. I pray that you are also encouraged and motivated to keep pouring into him.

  7. I will keep your family in my prayers. I pray that something will cause your husband to make the connection and enable him to see that something has to change.

  8. I want to hug you. My mother is morbidly obese. She’s always “trying” to lose weight but admits that she walks once a month. And can’t stay away from sweet tea and whatever delicious goodies she encounters. I’ve tried everything, too. Threatening, yelling, withdrawing, moroseness, we want her around, her future grandchildren, for her health, because she’s on so much medicine. Nothing works. I really want whatever that “something inside them” that everyone talks about to come out.

  9. Thanks for sharing something so personal. The comments prove that this is a struggle for many but it can also be overcome. Not sure if this is an issue or not, but you might want to find out if he is dealing with depression, or anxiety for any type of unresolved issue that may be the root of it. Could it be work related stress, etc. Is he sedentary or just have poor eating habits ? Just some food for thought. Most people that I know personally who have struggled in this area (myself included) have to address the underlying issue to really start to develop the tools to make a change in lifestyle.

  10. Thank you for sharing NerdGirl. Thank you too to all the commenters.
    Continue to pray for Smoochy.

    I too can stand to lose some weight. I’m easily fatigued and always achy. My life is wonderful and I have a great man I plan to marry next year and I don’t want life cut short by something I could have prevented.

    I know everything I need to do to be healthier and lose weight but I have zero motivation. I can stick to something for a day or two but inevitably back slide. I can even work hard to make sure my honey eats well and takes his vitamins but won’t do the same for myself. What has worked lately is baby steps; one healthy choice a day. Picking a salad over fries at lunch, etc. I also gave up soda and have been only drinking water- that has helped me to want to make better overall choices. It’s a mind thing and sadly I don’t know what makes a person finally decide to do what it takes. If I figure it out, I will certainly share.

    Maybe start with one little change per month and see if you can build on those to get to big changes. Good luck.

  11. *Hugs* This bought tears to my eyes. I need to lose weight but am honestly just lazy. I always ate what I wanted and was skinny. The weight really started creeping up when I turned 30 and now its just plain ridiculous. But I am focusing on small changes. I don’t have to eat fast food every day! I can climb the stairs instead of opting for the elevator. And I have dogs…instead of 20 min…let me walk them 30 and that extra 10 walk/run a bit.

    Smoochy has to learn that he has to be healthy and to focus on small changes. Soda 1 time a day? I know driving has him pretty sedentary so while its summer, he should think about walking 15 min in the AM (or something). Keep working with him.

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