Motivation and Fat Reduction

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Constantly Failing Constantly Failing
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Motivation and Fat Reduction

I'm a fat wife who is trying not to be fat. My problems: my work, while very demanding, is also very sedentary; I'm not very good at gauging proportions and making healthy choices, so I am trying to learn; and it's hard to find time to exercise, but I make time, even though sometimes I hate it and can't put as much enthusiasm in it as I would like. I generally contend with college, work, cooking for my incredibly picky husband, earning the sole income in the household, paying all the bills, and organizing all of our social activities. This is a lot of work, but I love my husband and I do these things. When he married me, he claimed that he didn't think I'd ever lose any weight really, but loved me anyway. I told him I planned to lose the weight and I have actually been trying to do so. The problem is that as a person who has a lot on her mind and who is emotional and stressed out, I often make stupid and foolish mistakes about diet and exercise. It's not that I don't want to try harder, but that no matter what I do, it seems to fail, and I simply don't know how to get better at it. I've not given up on my weight loss and after numerous fights with my husband, I have increased my efforts in terms of exercise and diet. My husband is very very critical and doesn't ever give me credit for my efforts. No matter what I do, it's wrong. No matter how hard I try, I'm not trying hard enough. I don't ask him to work if he doesn't want to work, buy me anything, or even plan anything romantic, instead leaving him free to whatever he wants. But, he is always furious at me. And, I think, after our many fights recently, that while he claimed he didn't have a problem with my weight, it is actually the main thing he has a problem with and because he is so disgusted by my weight, he can't even see anything good that I do, at all. He frequently insults and belittles me and makes fun of my attempts to change and while I don't give up, I feel unsupported and very confused a lot of the time. If he sees how badly I'm screwing up my diet and exercise, if he sees how "pathetic" my attempts are and doesn't acknowledge how hard I am working, why wouldn't he point it out nicely? I always try to change for him to make him happy, but he just expects me to know how to fix it myself. I'm sorry, but if I knew how to fix it, I wouldn't be so fucking fat! How can I find a way to make my husband treat me with dignity and be supportive instead of dismissive of my attempts to lose weight? I understand that he is frustrated and disgusted to the point that he sees me as unworthy of respect, but I am trying. In fact, we had a talk just a few weeks ago and I've made an effort to try harder in ways that he would recognize as progress. I have exercised every day for the last three weeks, except for one day and I have reduced my calorie intake to under 1300 a day and I have started taking diet pills to help, too. My total weight loss has been 16 pounds. I still have 43 pounds left to lose before I will be at an ideal weight. It will take a long time to get there, but I'm making an effort. I am trying to learn how to eat better and exercise more. It's just that it's so discouraging to handle his attitude. It's a lot harder to stay motivated and positive when he's so cruel. And, if I don't walk around smiling all the time, he says I'm complaining and whining and not trying hard enough; it's hard to be smiling when your husband is calling you a lazy, fat b*tch all day long. I don't love exercise, but I do it anyway and despite my very busy schedule, I'm making time for it, and he thinks I'm not trying hard enough because I don't love it. I feel so lost and frustrated, like I'm nothing but a failure. I know that most of you on this site won't have any pity for me because I am the offensive fat spouse, but, I just wanted to explain that there are some fat people out there who are trying to change but just not able to do it yet and who would benefit from a little compassion once in a while.
Piper Piper
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Your spouse doesn't love you. I doubt that he will change once you lose the weight. He'll just find something else to criticize you about. I used to have a friend who thought that all of the attention should be focused on her because she's thin and I'm not. A guy, who wasn't even her type, tried to hit on me, and she had some choice words for him because he liked me and not her.  Needless to say, we're no longer friends and I couldn't be happier! Have you tried talking to your husband about the way he treats you? When I was in graduate school, I was at this one particular school and the director of the program used to belittle me because he had issues, needless to say I'm no longer at that school. If your husband is not being supportive in your weight-loss efforts, what makes you think that losing weight is going to change anything? People don't change. There's an old saying that goes, "No matter how hard you try, you can't shine shit," and that guy is shit. Tell your husband that if he doesn't start treating you with respect, you are going to leave him and find someone who will. Good luck!
Andrea T Andrea T
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In reply to this post by Constantly Failing
Constantly,

Despite the argument in here that the best motivation is the people you care about, it's pretty hard to keep that motivation in mind if the only one you're doing it for treats you like dirt. If you're taking care of yourself you'll feel better and at least have an outlet  for  the anger, stress and other emotional stuff. Personally, my outlet is biking to British Rock.  I'd recommend doing your exercise away from the house and away from him until things smooth over. For  your own sake, find a form of exercise you enjoy. A lot of people seem to like zumba and it would be a more positive place for you :D. If I had to deal with someone that treated me like that and I only had  40 something pounds to lose, I'd probably go into martial arts or kickboxing. I know I'd feel better if I had the chance to beat the snot out of a punching bag 5 days a  week!

As busy as you are, PLANNING IS EVERYTHING! If you don't have one, get a food scale as soon as  possible (digitals are a lot easier than those stupid postal scales) prep and measure out the next  days food, and pack your office meals, possibly all 3 meals the night before.  I'm  barely together enough in the morning to eat breakfast, let alone make it so I try to make it the night before. Sparkpeople is a terrific place to track your calories.  
Constantly Failing Constantly Failing
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Dear Piper,
Thank you for being honest and blunt. It is useful to hear an impartial view of the situation because I don't really have anyone I can talk to about my situation that doesn't have an interest invested in some outcome or other and I feel completely confused. I have been thinking recently about whether or not it is acceptable for someone to treat me so disrespectfully for so shallow a reason and I'm starting to believe that it just isn't acceptable at all. He didn't use to behave this way, but, one day he just decided to start treating me like I wasn't worth much at all. I keep thinking that it's my fault and that I've done something to deserve this, like not making weight loss my top priority, but, maybe that's not true. Any time we disagree about anything, it comes back to my weight, so I had just assumed that losing the weight would make a difference. Your perspective makes me wonder if that is just wishful thinking on my part. Maybe people don't change for the better in real life. I have tried talking to him about his behavior, but he seems to think I deserve it and that he's doing nothing wrong. While I've never given such an ultimatum as you suggest, I think it sounds worthwhile. I believe in making things work and never giving up. I love him, and that makes it harder for me to be impartial. But if he's not interested in making things work, I can't force him to make an effort. I'm going to focus on my weight loss efforts and other goals, tune out the emotional abuse, and work up the courage to confront this problem again with a little bit more self-respect. I'm grateful for your candor. Thank you for your advice.

Dear Andrea,
Thanks for your sympathy and your suggestions. I haven't tried kickboxing in many years, but I like the idea of "beat[ing] the snot out of a punching bag" on a regular basis. It might even help me overcome feeling so powerless. I like the idea of planning meals out and haven't given that as much thought as I'd like. And, I've never even heard of a food scale. So, I think you've given me some really useful practical suggestions here that I can implement here while focusing on my goal. I suppose self motivation is really far superior to any other kind.

Wishing you both luck in your goals, too!

-- Constantly Failing (but not giving up yet)
RiderX RiderX
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Hi CF,

It isn't necessarily "shallow" for your  husband to want you to lose the extra weight, there are many good reasons (and yes, most of here feel that physical attraction is a legitimate reason to want a spouse to lose weight) HOWEVER, it is most certainly not okay for him to be cruel and/or disrespectful to you about it. If you've tried talking to him about that and he isn't getting the message, you may want to try some couples counseling, he needs to understand how destructive to the relationship his behavior has become, otherwise you may end up losing the weight and he ends up losing YOU over the resentment that has built up over the way he has treated you. It may be important to him that you lose the weight but that doesn't mean he can't treat you with love and respect, and be supportive about it, especially if you are making an honest effort and have already made progress. Good luck!
anon anon
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You may want to think about loving your husband more than food.
Huh? Huh?
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"Anon" wrote: "You may want to think about loving your husband more than food", thus confirming my suspicion that "anon" is none other than M2/Chris Brady/CG Brady/Fat Bastard/Proud Plumpette and several other posters.

You'd think he'd get sick of trotting out the same old lines time after time.

Yawn
Ashes Ashes
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In reply to this post by Constantly Failing
To put it plainly... your husband is a dick... I understand you love the man, but you need to love yourself as well. There is no reason you need to put up with his emotional abuse. You are obviously bringing home the money, paying the bills, making food, cleaning house, I'm going to go as far as to bet you give him money to fuck around with... Please tell me what does he do?! Marriage like any other relationship is a partnership! You should both be equals. He needs to do his fair share of work, and I don't mean he needs to get a job, what about helping around the house or cooking a few meals? As I see it you're kinda treating him like he's a teenager and you're the mom... You cook, clean, work, and expect nothing from him... so what do you think you get? ... Nothing. You seem like a great person, and I'm sorry for being a jerk, but I know you can achieve your goals without this negative man in your life. If he is going to bring you down, why would you stick around? People who love you encourage you, help pick you up when you fall (like with your eating and exercise), and help push you towards you goals. I believe he's trying to drag you down and keep you down. This man reminds me of a leech, he's going to suck as much out of you as possible and leave you bleeding and wounded when he's had his fill. I am not trying to make you feel bad, honestly the opposite, you can do this on your own. You're making your own money and taking care of your home, you're doing the best you can, and that in my eyes is being successful. If you were to leave this man its not a matter of you giving up. Its you taking control of your life, its you realizing you deserve better, because you do. No one deserves to be treated like poop.

Oh and I agree with what a previous poster wrote, you should take martial arts or self defense classes... you'll never know when you'll need it.
Constantly Failing Constantly Failing
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Hi RiderX,
Please allow me to clarify my "shallow" comment. I didn't mean to imply that wanting to improve one's appearance in itself is shallow and I think that came out a bit differently from what I meant. I, too, think that physical attraction is important and if my husband isn't attracted to me for XYZ reason, that's as much a problem for me as it is for him. Considering that I actually *do* want to lose weight for myself as well, I don't think that his request that I work harder to lose weight is inappropriate at all. However, I do think that not living up to his standards of how quickly I should be losing weight and not taking into consideration the fact that I do a great deal in our life together constitutes a shallow reason for belittling me and emotionally abusing me. It doesn't seem to help me in my goals, nor does it get him what he wants. I appreciate your supportive words that cruelty is not acceptable. I've been thinking about talking to him again about the way he treats me, but whenever we get into an argument, he kicks me out and ignores me until he either feels like talking to me again or until I come and apologize for angering him, so it seems kind of difficult to bring up these issues. He just says that he wouldn't treat me this way if I wasn't so ridiculous and pathetic, etc, but as far as I can see, his only legitimate criticism of me is the weight. I'm always walking on eggshells around him, but, I'm trying to be positive about my progress so that it helps me stay encouraged to keep trying harder and not give up. I know it will take me a long time to lose the weight. I agree that his behavior is seriously damaging our relationship and maybe we should consider some marriage counseling. I hadn't given that any thought before. Thanks for the advice and your perspective.

anon -- 1) I do not love food more than I love my husband. 2) You are clearly immature if you think that's an insightful response. 3) You are most likely a troll, but comments like this reflect your immaturity and don't merit much thought.

Huh? -- Thanks for letting me know that anon is most likely a troll. It put those comments into perspective. :)

Ashes -- Thanks for your supportive words. I think that when I talk to him about the problem again, I will remind him that marriage should be a partnership of equals. I think you may be right that I should stop doing everything for him and demanding nothing in return because it may be enabling his behavior. I've been thinking about whether or not I have codepency issues myself and wondering how much of his behavior is actually instigated by mine. Perhaps I'm enabling him to disrespect me, or perhaps willingness to accept his cruelty sends the message that I'm not worth more. My friends often tell me I need to learn to stand up for myself and that I shouldn't just treat him like a king as a reward for his treating me like crap. Thanks for seconding the opinion on the martial arts classes. My husband thinks self-defense is important and taught me some self-defense moves. And he can be caring and loving sometimes. That's why I think he doesn't quite see what he, himself, is doing. I wonder if I should videotape our next argument and play it back for him. However, I think that kickboxing classes might be a way to help me feel more empowered, in addition to being good exercise. I've long wondered if it was the feeling of powerlessness that prevented me from being successful at weight loss. Now's the time to test the theory.

After reading all these posts, I think it would probably help me on all counts to choose a form of exercise that doesn't feel like punishment so that I'm not negatively reinforcing poor self esteem. We sometimes go on hikes or play tennis or soccer or go walking together; unfortunately, he tries to control how I do these things and we end up in an argument anyway (walk faster, stop being out of breath, quit grimacing when you're tired). Kickboxing, Zumba, and other things like this definitely do sound like more fun than just running on a treadmill or outside on the same track over and over. Maybe this will give me confidence as well as agency. I wonder if others who are having a hard time with the weight loss might also benefit from considering what message their exercise habits are sending to them about their self-worth. And, hey, maybe if I have more confidence in myself, my husband will consider my progress in a more positive light and possibly change his attitude, too -- or, maybe I will be able to demand better from him.


Thanks everyone!
--Constantly Failing (but considering new strategies now)
Constantly Failing Constantly Failing
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Just an update for anyone who is around.

I've lost 22 pounds so far. Unfortunately, DH doesn't really think much of what I've done. I think he sees my weight reduction as paying off a debt. It's long overdue and not happening fast enough and so it doesn't really deserve much praise. I am trying to see it as an accomplishment.

Our marriage is very much on the rocks, but I'm trying to hold on, trying to lose weight faster in the hopes of fixing things. I found evidence of an online affair and some casual encounters with others, so I believe he has cheated on me. I read his email. He denies it and says I've misunderstood the encounters (and I might believe him) and he says that the online thing is just online fantasy and it doesn't matter. He feels betrayed that I read his email and also sees this as another extension of my weakness and fear, which he believes is what leads to me being fat anyway. I feel like I've been suffering to try and lose the weight for him, while he's just keeping me on the sidelines, channeling both physical and emotional intimacy elsewhere. It became a very big argument and things are incredibly precarious at the moment.

I don't know if my weight has truly been the thing that caused all of this mess or if it would have happened anyway. I want to believe he loves me, despite the weight, and that it's just that he isn't attracted to me right now, but, I feel played. I keep hoping that by losing weight faster, I might be able to salvage our relationship. Of course, I'm not sure how to go about building trust again.
size0wife size0wife
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"Unfortunately, DH doesn't really think much of what I've done. I think he sees my weight reduction as paying off a debt. It's long overdue and not happening fast enough and so it doesn't really deserve much praise."

Wow. That really encapsulates how I felt when my once-fat husband began losing weight. It was difficult to praise him, because I felt he never should've allowed himself to become overweight in the first place! I completely sympathize with your husband. I can only imagine how rough that must be for you.



Mr Honest Mr Honest
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Here is what you need to do if you are serious about losing weight. YOU need tough love and you can get it here ---> http://www.caloriesperhour.com/forums/forum54/
Andrea T Andrea T
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In reply to this post by size0wife
Size0,
I've heard this from a few people before- that the spouse should have had more respect for their spouse, marriage, and themselves to  ever go beyond an acceptable weight.

The problem is, it doesn't leave much room for reconciliation. After the weight's lost, then what?
RiderX RiderX
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In reply to this post by Constantly Failing
Hi CF,

First of all, you are doing *great* on your weight loss! You said in your first post that you had lost 16 pounds, and now, a month later, you have lost 22, that's 6 more pounds in the last month! That is good, sustainable, healthy progress, especially for someone who is within 30-40 pounds of their goal weight.  The only way you could lose it faster is by crash dieting, or other unhealthy, unsustainable methods.  Don't change what your doing if it continues to work for you! If you husband isn't satisfied with your progress, his expectations are unrealistic. Don't give up on your weight loss, no matter what happens with the marriage, you will be glad you stuck with it.

Secondly, as I said in my earlier post (and others have said as well), the way your husband treats you is not right, (especially if he really is cheating on you) and it probably isn't going to get better when you hit your goal weight.  He needs to treat you with more love and respect, and if that doesn't happen you should leave him.  You guys really need to get into counseling if you want to try and make the marriage work. You are a "people pleaser" personality type (which I understand, I'm that way too) but your husband is taking advantage of that. A good couples therapist will help you understand that you deserve more respect and it's okay to stand up for yourself, and maybe they can get thru to your husband that he's acting like a jerk, and it's NOT okay. Please, hon, don't let this continue, no one deserves to be treated that way. Insist that you guys go to counseling and if he refuses, be prepared to leave him. If he does agree, start by telling the therapist exactly what you have told us here in your posts. Good luck and take care!
Proud Plumpette Proud Plumpette
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In reply to this post by size0wife
The point is, you should have said something sooner. Why did you allow it to go on that long? It works both ways. You gotta lay it on the line with your partner. If you didn't, then you should praise them when they make changes you expect. It's actually like you're telling them what you should have, but in a positive way. You don't have to turn it into an 'Atta boy/Atta girl' sort of thing, but it doesn't hurt to acknowledge progress in a positive way. If you can't do that, then your issues with your spouse go beyond just their weight. It's become an issue that you will probably never move past even if they lose the weight.