Has this happened to anyone else?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I had a similar situation with Husband (I didn't read anyone else's comments, so sorry for repeats).
I told Husband that I was sick of being fat and wanted a change. He is also a little overweight (not as much as me) and was all for going to the gym and healthier eating.
I'll preface this by saying that we've "tried" this many times before, but it never works.
Husband is what I call an enabler. If I say, "Man, I feel like eating chocolate!" He'll jump up and say, "Want me to go buy you some?" And he's not doing it to sabotage, but rather to give me something I want.
Back to the present: we've been doing well, eating right and exercising. I am glad he wants to do this with me and I'm grateful for the support. HOWEVER, I feel like the responsibility of keeping us on track has been left up to me. I do the cooking, so I plan the meals. All of them. He has no input. He doesn't count calories. I do. He follows my workout schedule/plan. Basically, I'm doing all the "work" and he's following along. We've discussed several times that HE IS AN ADULT and needs to hold HIMSELF accountable. I am not his parent or his keeper.
2271 days ago
Hey Jackie! I want to first say that I didn't read all your previous comments, so if I repeat someone else's advice or info, I apologize.
INHO, there is nothing wrong with what you said, or with wanting more for him regarding his lifestyle. We all know here on spark that the encouragement of others can be a real help in getting us through rough patches and helping us to set our goals higher than we had previously considered.
Here's what you have to understand going in. Pat is a separate person. It doesn't matter what you want for him, a good job, a nicer car, a healthier lifestyle, or a cooler haircut. If HE doesn't want it, you have to make a choice. One - Be okay with him the way he is and understand that maybe some day he'll want those things, and maybe not. Two - Decide that conciousness of your body, health, and fitness level are too important to you to let go, and (I hate to put it so bluntly, but) let him go. It's the same way with people who are in abusive relationships. You can know what's best for them, push them, explain it to them, offer them a safehouse, but in the end, they choose to get out or stay in that relationship. Your perspective, while good, may still be rejected, and there's nothing you can do about that. Like I said, it becomes a choice of whether or not you can live with someone who chooses "A" over "B".
I do have personal experience in two separate arenas of my life. One- my husband. We started out our marriage in sort of an unhealthy lifestyle with little exercise and no real understanding of good nutrition. 4 years later we've gone through several phases where one of us will be gung-ho for fitness and eating clean, and the other will be lazy and have other priorities. My husband has been in training throughout the time that I've been raising my daughter and staying at home, so I bet you can guess which one of us had more time to workout and more options during the day that were healthy. :) Now he's at a point where he can focus again and hopefully get back to a place where he's happier. On the contrary, I'm pregnant and desire to eat anything i can. Plus I don't have much energy for working out. But it's a balance and it's something we choose individually to put as a priority. Right now we're trying to push each other to do better, but I'm pretty cranky about giving up my food. John's pretty bad about reaching for the ice cream....so we have our issues. HEHE.
Second - my mom. She has struggled with her weight since I was a toddler and i've watched her yo-yo diet over the years until about 5 years ago when she had heart surgery. Since then she had stopped trying at all, partly out of fear, and partly out of complacency and laziness. Plus she's also a teacher and feels the energy drain of that job every day. Every once in a while I push her to get out and start exercising and encourage her to make a healthy choice, but she has resisted pretty staunchly for a very long time. Up until this summer. We went on vacation at the same place (she lives in MO and I in AL) and I finally got her on spark. We set up her account and she has since lost over 10 pounds!! She is feeling more encouraged by this website and the gradual weight loss they encourage than any other time I've seen her try to lose weight. Now my point is that even though i wanted so much for her that I knew she could get to, it had to be her choice, and I had to know that she may never get there and love her anyway. She's my mom so it's not like I would have left her if she wasn't on the weight loss wagon, lol, but she is an important part of my life that could have caused strife between us had I been any more adamant.
Okay, I'll finish up this book. My final piece of advice is to hae a serious conversation with Pat, one where you do not threaten his manliness or make him feel inferior in any way, but ask him what HE wants for his life and his body. Make it about him and about his choices and not what YOU want for him or think would be best.
2274 days ago
1) nice cup!
2) Ur allowed to rant, that's what we are here for! to listen to You!
Its good you understand how stressful his job is. I'm sure hes not happy about his hours either... but its money and its a job.. and it sounds like a good one that can provide a good future for him ( and even u one day). As for the weight, that can have alot of answers... Your health is very important to you. You eat very well and work out consistently and its a major priority in your life. Some people dont have that interest or dedication. Maybe that is it. Or maybe its that hes so stressed out and sometimes in on different time zone that hes incredibly drained and doesnt want to work out and maybe is using food for comfort. OR it could be hes a guy. My bf is turning 27 in aug. He eats like a horse. I mean it. He eats and eats and eats... and does not gain weight. A lot of men, especially when they live on their own for a while, just dont take health as a priority. Maybe you now living with him will make it so that he is more aware and interested. its already starting to work on my bf. lol. Our time together is usually pretty active which is nice. We try to plan days that are active and fun ... a 5 mile walk, kayaking, hiking, camping, mini golfing, jet skiing , swimming at the lake. Etc. Our eating habits are different too. So sometimes we split things if we go out to dinner. We get a entrée sized salad and a hamburger and we each eat half. That way we both get what we want and I dont have terrible cravings for fried food, if that makes sense. Maybe try to incorporate some of those things more regularly into your life with him. Oh and at home we always have salad and big veggie/fruit sides. Or for instance, I made 2 buffalo chicken wraps for him the other night and I had a buffalo chicken salad instead. we try to balance or work things out food wise since we have different eating styles or habits.
I think the best thing to do is to talk about it calmly and express how your feeling... why it affects u and what you want to do about it and then try to compromise. Compromising is the key. I hope it all worked out! i know I'm a little late on posting this but maybe it will give u ideas or answers for the future! let me know how it turned out!
2276 days ago
OK, Jackie, another guy's point of view.
You might be trying to get him to change, but that's not how he sees it. Internally, in his mind, he's thinking, "Look OK I might be a little soft, and I don't work out, but doesn't she know how stressful my job is? And by the way, I'm not overweight, so I don't really see that there's anything wrong. I wish she would stop NAGGING me..."
You might be frustrated, but I can almost guarantee you that's the tape playing in his head. It certainly was the tape that played in my head, almost every time my wife would nag me about my weight. I have had a SERIOUS weight problem for years, and my wife's nagging only made me resentful, and I think it actually made the problem worse. Looking back, I know she was trying to help, but at the time it sure didn't feel like it. I was all "why can't she JUST accept me for the way I am, why does she always think she needs to change me?" Sorry, but that's the way a lot of men think.
About five years ago, she just gave up. We got along pretty good, and I knew that my weight still bothered her, but I was soooo grateful that she didn't nag me or talk about it. But I knew it was really frustrating her, because every once and a while it would surface, and she would let out her frustration in very hurtful ways my saying some mean things (from my perspective anyway) about my weight.
What happened and why am I have I turned things around so much, trying to get real healthy and fit? Because when I was at the doctor's office six months ago, my blood pressure was 160/100 and it scared everyone in the office to death - including me! (At that time I was 312 pounds - seriously overweight). The doctor wanted to put me on blood pressure medication, and that's when I got the internal motivation to say "Enough is enough!" That's when I started Sparking, and in 5 months I have lost 33 pounds, and have really got fit and healthy.
This is a long blog to get to the point: My change was internal. My wife has nagged me about my weight for over 25 years, but it wasn't until I got the internal motivation to get fit that it really started happening for me. My secret? I found something that I really, really love to do - and that is cycling. I bike everywhere, and can't wait to get out for my next ride.
As much as you love your BF, the two of you are now in different places. Your the "fitness chick" (I hope the term does not offend, but I couldn't think of anything else). He's the "couch potato dude" (again, the term is just to point out that he's not active at all). Worse yet, he has a crazy schedule. You think you're trying to help. He's thinking that your nagging him. As much as you would like to change him, the motivator for true change is internal, never external. If he does not see the need for change, you're discussions will never amount to much but more and more conflict.
What can you do? Well, I've established that the external discussions don't work. I think the ONLY thing you can do is try to encourage him and get him involved in a physical activity that he truly enjoys. I've gone to the gym a lot in the past, but I never really enjoyed it. It was something I had to do - or so I thought. So I never stayed with it. Same thing with running. But cycling? Oh, man I am passionate about it, and can't every imagine giving it up - in fact I'll start taking steroids once I get too old, just so my joints will allow me to keep biking :-). So my advice would be to try and talk to him and find something that he really, really can get into - even if it's an activity that you might not particularly like.
The desire to change has to come from him, it can't come from you, because we are talking external pressure versus internal motivation. Internal motivation works, external pressure doesn't. You can't change him; only he can change himself. The external discussions at best will only provide temporary change at the cost of resentment on the part of your BF.
The bottom line as I see it (again from a guy's point of view) - try and encourage him and hopefully he will find something he can get into, or decide if you can live with it. Because if the encouragement doesn't work, the arguments certainly won't. The final positive comment I can give is to have some discussions with him about his physical activities for earlier in life (even childhood). Find out what gave him great pleasure. Then work it from there.
I hope this helps in some way.
2277 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/30/2010 6:51:40 AM
Hey! I identify with a lot of what you said; I too am a graduate student, shamelessly living with my boyfriend who I met at 18 and will someday get around to marrying. And when we eat pasta, I eat one serving -- maybe two :) -- while he eats 6 servings plus bread and butter on the side. I often wish he would eat a more well-balanced diet, particularly more veggies, and exercise a bit more frequently. Although he can afford to indulge in the junk food and video games now (he's naturally very thin), I worry that bad habits will come back to haunt him in the long run. I also worry that the time I spend exercising will become time taken away from him.
I agree with several other people's posts; harping on him won't help, and when it comes down to it he has just as much of a right to eat badly as you do to eat well, as long as he's not drastically endangering his health. That said, as this is affecting your perception of your relationship, I do think it is important that you clarify -- gently -- that this is very important to you and may become a dealbreaker. I would suggest avoiding words like 'soft' though when you do so though. :)
Also, don't underestimate the power of good example and standing your ground. Try making requests for your benefit; ask him to be aware of the foods he buys or prepares for you, or ask him to accompany you in athletic activities: not because HE's unhealthy out of shape, but because YOU would like his help or company. If this is important to you, he should be willing to make some compromises and help you out, even if he isn't willing to completely revamp his own lifestyle. And sooner or later your healthy habits will rub off on him.
2277 days ago
I empathize completely!! I work in the school system.. I do a lot of crisis intervention, and also assist in teaching social studies..
"soft" dear lord... you didn't tell him that did you? Firstly, let me say that I commend you for sticking with your fitness, and eating better when your partner isn't totally on the bandwagon, as you said.
My husband and I were both obese.. and both of us went through cycles when we wanted to get fit, and diet, and do better....but the other one wasn't ready for the change... and each time, we brought the other one down, and we wound up giving in.
This past change- we made together.. we decided enough was enough, and we went walking together when we first started... and I make all the meals and do all the shopping so I was reading up and cooking better... and we both have lost 30+ pounds.. But it was because we both did it.
My advice to you is - Without pointing out any negatives... because guys are much like women in that what we say to them can be more damaging than we think.. Just turn everything into a positive.. "Do you want to go for a walk with me ?" or run, if you guys do... or, "It turns me on when we get so active together"... "I love seeing you break a sweat"...
Going back to our like professions, I use this technique when dealing with a tough kid... its called stroke, pinch, stroke.. You start with a positive.. work in whatever criticism you have, and end with a positive... its a better way of saying what you really feel.
Again, I wish you all the best!! and I know you love him.. its terribly clear. :)
2277 days ago
Okay. Guys point of view!
You are greatly into fit and nutrition and you are also very knowledgeable on the subject. However, I think by you expressing some of this knowledge, you may have indirectly hurt his feelings and made him feel 2" tall and worthless, by pointing out his lack of physical fitness and strength.
I know you want someone that is in good health and has the same drive for physical fitness. This makes a common bond in a relationship, mentally, physically, and sexually. Unfortunately, an individual will not change unless they want to make that change. If you try to change him, he'll become distant, he'll attempt to stay away longer, and eventually, sparks will fly and things will be said.
Now, the above is crucial and something to think about. You will need to find middle ground, (a compromise) that's what a true relationship is built on. I know there is love between you both, but you mentioned he's getting soft. How does that make YOU feel towards him? When you're with him, are you embarrassed? Ashamed? Insecure? If not now, what about a few more years down the road?
I'm not saying what you said was wrong, but sometimes, people...even loved ones, don't want to hear it. "It" being, "How many push ups can you do?" or "When was the last time you worked out?" Does it matter? If you say yes, and he says no, you need to find that middle ground.
I'm not harping on you. I just care about my friends, and try to give some guidance when needed. I've been married 19 years.
I'm always here to talk if you need! Just let me know!
2277 days ago
Ah, yes, my poor hubby and I were going through the same thing... only he just had a spell with his heart and is now getting with the program to eat healthier and exercise. I have to step back and remember that baby steps work best and do my best not to push him in to some all out program.
... but before his episode with his heart, I was constantly preaching at him about his eating and lack of fitness. It wasn't working. As a matter of fact, it seemed to have the opposite effect because, heaven forbid he should do anything his WIFE tells him to do. *rolls eyes*
I had pretty much come to the realization that if he was going to start eating right etc... I needed to shut up and leave him alone. What I started doing instead was talked about how good exercise felt and that healthy food was tasting SOOO much better than the processed crap. He was also noticing my attitude changes and attributed them to my new healthy lifestyle. I think he was taking notice... then he had his little episode...
Well, I certainly hope Pat doesn't have to have any 'episodes' to set him on the right track. Just give him some time and some space and don't expect him to get on the bandwagon right away. He needs to sort it out for himself. It will be more real if he does.
2277 days ago
I just broke up completely with my boyfriend.. Sadly equal children play best- I couldn't handle his lifestyle, he didn't want to do anything with me.. I woke up last week and asked myself whom is this man I am sleeping with...
I didn't want to change him, but just our goals are different stuff.. I need someone watching my back with the same drive for sport and healthy eating.. I have been at it 6 years and it could nice to have a guy whom shares a couple of my interests.. I was doing cart wheels to make food to please him-he had no intentions of getting healthy.. I lost a husband I cared for 12 years, whom suffered diabetes and just couldn't handle watching self destructive behaviour and end up looking efter him too..
So I said stop, my kids were tired of him turning our quiet home into chaos.. I feel okay about breaking it off- the situation was getting me down..
I ain't dating for along time the next guy has to be right.. I am tired of starting over again..
2277 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/29/2010 1:05:51 PM
My husband and are go through cycles. Sometimes he's skipping the gym and inhaling junk. Other times I'm the one that needs pushing out of the bed to go work out, or making brownies at 9pm. I think it's ok to encourage - but say your piece, then stop! Don't nag!
2277 days ago
Ahhh Jackie Thank you! Haha to the cat lady picture I was so becoming one at one time! I think that know that people look for my blogs and miss me when I am gone is motivation! Thank you!
You crack me up with all of your apologies today. Unfortunately, I have no advice. I was on the other end. My x-husband wanted me to eat wonderfully while he ate crap. He was awful about it. I guess if I could say one thing it would be to have compassion for Pat. I am sure you do. As you probably know nothing that you do will make him change unless he wants it for himself. Continue to lead my example and hopefully he will follow along.
You are awesome! I am so glad to have you on here and now on facebook. :)
2277 days ago
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