This morning I had someone contact me through Facebook wanting to set up a free consultation. She said, “I need to help my husband lose weight.” She was very worried about him because he is a type 2 diabetic and clinically obese. He is only 38 years old. She is worried that he will be cutting his life short.
She explained that they discussed him losing weight and she put him on a low carb diet. By doing all the shopping and controlling the meals, she is trying to limit his carbs. He agreed to follow her “diet” but, she found out that he has been “cheating” and snacking at work and late at night. This frustrates her because she works so hard and takes time to plan out their meals. He doesn’t seem to care as much as she does. His constant binge eating is cause arguments between the two of them. She has had enough!
I explained to her that the consultation is all about determining if the person is ready to make a lifestyle change. If they are not, then I will not work with them as it would be a waste of time for both them and me. I suggested that she stop trying to control him, but for her to focus on herself. She can talk to him about her concerns, but unless he is ready to put his health first, she can’t help him.
Helping a spouse lose weight doesn’t work unless they are asking for the help. It is just like living with someone who has any other addiction. Unless they want help, you have to respect the fact that they are a grown adult and in charge of their own bodies.
It is frustrating when we love someone who is struggling with an addiction to food. It is especially worrisome when we see them suffering with numerous health issues and on lots of medications. We want to force them to do a “diet” or join a gym because we love them and want them to live a long life. But this will only cause arguments and stress in the household.
And you would think that if they really loved you they would stop eating the crap foods. But you got to understand that the SAD (standard American diet) is very addictive. It is very difficult to break the addiction to sugar which is in pretty much everything. But also, it is a total lifestyle change. This is why once someone decides to get healthy a health coach can be helpful. A coach can help people with their relationship with food and help them gain control so it is easier to make the switch to a healthy lifestyle.
The thing is, weight loss isn’t simple. And it isn’t just about eating differently. It is about fixing or reprogramming what is going on in the persons head. There is so much to change that it takes time. And often it takes a person years to own up to the fact that they have a problem. But they have to be ready.
In the mean time, you (the spouse) can control yourself and set a good example for your kids. For example, you can continue to buy healthy low carb foods only and cook low carb meals. You can focus on loving yourself. Let him do his own thing. But let him know you love him unconditionally.
What you don’t want to do is be an enabler. If he wants unhealthy food, then he will have to go buy it for himself. Be an supporter, not a nag. Let him know you love him and you will support him when he is ready.
You will get through this!
Can you relate to this? Do you struggle with food addiction? Where you in denial? Or perhaps you were on the other side wanting to help your spouse lose weight. Please share your story. Someone needs to hear your story.
I hope you found this post helpful. I wish you all the best!