Tell me lies (or "Die" is in diet)

If you have read this blog for awhile, you know I try to keep my friends and relatives out of it. At the very least, I don't get into super specific things because I figure these people may not want their stories "out there." You probably have also noticed I very rarely blog about my husband. About the only post that was (mostly) about him centered on a birthday gift I got him which he did not appreciate so much. I have long gotten over that, and believe me, we have much more petty (and important) things to discuss. But this week I went where I had never gone before, and I am ruing the day.

A couple of nights ago, during a Pens game, I mentioned to Brian that I thought his stomach looked bigger and I was worried about his weight. I realize saying something like to another person will go poorly probably 99 percent of the time. But I am concerned, I have noticed this for quite some time, and I want my husband to be around for awhile.

Once Bri got over his anger at my saying something to him, which I did in the nicest way possible, without using harsh words like "fat," he wanted to know how I proposed he lose weight. I know it is not easy to lose weight. If you have ever tried, you know it too. If there was an easy way, do you really think we, as a society, would be so overweight?

I suggested many things, including walking, biking, swimming or using the small fitness room at the hotel where his mom got us a pool membership, not just eating one big meal, being more willing to eat healthy foods, cutting out some of the beverages, eating less Halloween candy (my current downfall). He had an excuse for pretty much every one of those ideas, from walking is boring, to he does not feel like driving to a park to bike, he does not want to wake up early to exercise, he eats only one big meal so why can't he eat a lot at that meal, healthy foods taste bad, etc.

My other suggestion, which he heartily rejected, was to write down everything he ate. Although he does not often sit down for breakfast or lunch, he does have snacks throughout the day as well as various drinks that he is not considering. I told him if he kept track of everything he put in his mouth for a week or even a few days, he would be surprised at how much he was really consuming. Not only that, as I can attest, you just get tired of keeping track of everything.

Back at the beginning of this century, when I discovered I had gained close to 10 pounds during our first year of marriage, I casually followed Weight Watchers "points" plan (note that what I did years ago is probably different from what you will read in the link). After a few days, I decided it was not worth it to have 10 chips or a mini candy bar because it became too annoying to look up the points for every stinking thing that went in my mouth.  I ended up dropping almost all the weight in a month (probably too fast), which I can also attribute to hitting the gym most days. I am happy to say I have never been that heavy since (not including when I was pregnant). I have gained five pounds back a couple of times but have lost them each time and then even more last year. I have to give WW credit. But I also have a somewhat fast metabolism. I do eat a lot and fairly often, but I don't eat everything I want, as much as some of my friends think I do, and I do try to live an active lifestyle, whether it is running a few miles, chasing my kid, or parking far away from stores. Heck, even when I am sitting at the edge of the pool watching Jordan, I do leg exercises. But I realize these things are not always enough, and I have to cut out most of the junk when my weight starts to creep up a bit. Because it does and it will again.

If you have any suggestions, I am all ears. Right now, Bri's plan is to eat very little, which I don't think is the answer. The first day of his "diet" (for the record, I don't think crash dieting is a good idea; you have to change how you eat forever, though not ban foods entirely, IMO), he drank a glass of OJ for breakfast, ate some lettuce and tomatoes for dinner, and had an apple and a carrot before bed. Last night he had a salad with V and O plus a lower-fat corn chowder soup I made, which he did not like very much (pretty typical, I am afraid). He also choked down a veggie burger. So I would appreciate lower-fat, simple recipes that actually taste good.

And if you have any personal success stories, I would love to hear those too. And if they started with, "My husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend acted the same way" that would be even better...


J said…
Yikes!!! Eat smaller portions, exercise. Burn off more than you eat. Good luck. This is a sensitive issue for sure.
Facie said…
J, I know it is a sensitive issue as well as something that is not easy to do regardless. Thanks for the comment.

What my post probably did not convey as much as I would have liked is something that bothers me a lot: you are not "supposed" to say something bad (or maybe even at all) about someone's being overweight, yet it seems that almost everything else is fair game.

I have had both my hair (which I curl only on occasion) and the way I dress (typically in over-sized clothes) called out in negative ways from friends, former coworkers, and even hubby on occasion, and yet that is acceptable/it is not supposed to make ME feel bad. However, if I would have said to any of them, "at least I am not fat" or, "I would rather wear big clothes than clothes that are busting at the seams," I would be considered rude or insensitive.

Lynnette said…
For my husband, the thing that made him decide to lose weight (he lost 25 pounds, it wasn't that hard, and he's kept it off) was a visit to the doctor for a checkup about when he turned 40 years old. The doctor told him that his BMI was nearing the "obese" mark, and that really got to him. He didn't want to be considered obese. That was enough to kick his butt into gear and do something about it. He basically counted calories for a few weeks... long enough to recognize what he was doing horribly wrong, and then he stuck with the changes he made to his eating habits. But he didn't really need to do much to lose that weight. A few minor changes, and it came off like butter. Annoying, I know, but it worked. And now, he doesn't seem to be gaining any of that back, yet he still enjoys the foods he loves. For instance, he switched from eating the overly processed oatmeal packets for breakfast, to eating just a bowl of Cheerios. He stopped eating a Dole fruit cup for lunch, and switched to eating real fruit. The less processed stuff you can eat, the better. And, I know you know this, but you need to convince him of this.... not eating is a sure fire way to gain weight. You must stoke your metabolism with small meals throughout the day or it will go into that mode where it turns everything to fat because your body thinks it's going into starvation mode.

But the bottom line is, he has to want to lose the weight. If he doesn't want to do it, you won't be able to make him do it. And personally, I think that tracking everything you eat is key, as you saw when you did WW. I used at one point. It's free.

Good luck. I know how hard it is when you just want to see your spouse healthy so that you feel more confident that he'll be around for years to come.
Facie said…
Lynnette, you are right that he has to want to do it, which is why I bet this won't last. I cannot even get Brian to step on the scale!

That is great that Jack lost weight and made some changes (and of course maddening!). I will have to let you know how it goes with Bri.

Thanks for your input.
chris h. said…
Facie, same deal at my house! I am not perfect and could stand to lose 5 or maybe even 10 pounds, but I am conscious of it and work out and eat pretty healthy (just too much). My hubs has gained a lot though in the last 5 years -- all around his middle. It seems to concern him not at all...but when he says his back hurts, his hips hurt, yada yada I think (well it's probably those extra 20 lbs you're carrying!) At least your hubs is trying to do something about it. Totally agree with Lynnette -- he needs to just be smarter about what he eats...protein (eggs, chicken breast, fish, beans), slow carbs (veggies, sweet potatoes), and healthy fats (olive oil, canola oil) -- if he tries to starve himself w/ just salad, he'll never last & it's unhealthy. (I have tons of recipes -- if you tell me what he likes, I can suggest some.)
Facie said…
Chris, glad to know I am not alone. I will have to email you about some recipes. I made chili with ground turkey yesterday, but Bri hates beans and was not willing to pick them out/eat around them. Plus "it does not taste like much." Ugh! I thought it was good.

The good news is that he has started to eat more often and more things, just smaller portions, so we are making progress. I have also tried to eat a little less at dinner. Now if I could only stop eating three or four fun-sized candy bars every day...

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