Losing weight is tough, but for some people it's a must. When you read a weight loss struggle story involving a partner, it's almost always an issue where one is sort of forcing the other into it. This isn't that story. In this case, the partner is doesn't mind the dieters weight and understands the weight loss is a must, but doesn't seem to realize they're sabotaging the process.
This Reddit user explained her problem:
I've always been at the top end of having a healthy weight, but after having two children in under two years the balance has tipped into the moderately to severely overweight category. I also have high blood pressure, so losing weight is essential for my health. I'm trying very hard to lose weight, but I'm finding it hard to find the proper motivation. I'm lazy as f--, and my favourite foods almost always involve deep-fried stuff, chocolate, and cheese. Nevertheless I'm trying my best.
I'm working with a dietician, I'm counting calories, I'm trying to exercise on a regular basis, but my first impulse is, and remains, to stuff food into my mouth all day, and the medication I'm taking for my blood pressure is making it even harder to lose weight.
My parter of ten years has always been supportive of me. He's never commented on my weight, he always tells me I look nice, and he's still sexually attracted to me. The only problem is that he keeps trying to feed me. I'm having a hard time saying no already at work, or passing by shops and fast food joints on my way home, and when I'm at home I'd like not to have my guard up. Yet he's constantly plying me with food when we're together and I can't get him to stop doing that.
I've plainly asked him not to offer me food. I've explained to him how calories work, and carbs, proteins, fats and so forth. I've gotten mad at him. I've explained how I feel, multiple times, and he seems to listen (he asks questions) and understand. And the next night, the same thing happens again. When I ask him why he keeps doing this, he shrugs and tells me a little bit of food isn't going to kill me, or that he's offering me healthy food (full-fat yoghurt, fruit, nuts) and to his mind, healthy food doesn't make you gain weight. I can't seem to get it out of his head (and neither can the dietician. I've tried).
I'm not asking him to cut down on his food intake (his weight's fine). I'm not even asking him not to eat snacks near me. All I want is for him to stop offering me things so I can let my guard down.
I realise that I'm lucky to have someone who likes me for who I am and is fine with the way I look, I do, and compared to some of the other issues here this is a trivial thing, but it's bothering me. Any advice?
**tl;dr: I'm trying to lose weight and I can't get my partner to stop offering me food. Help!**
Reddit didn't hold back with their replies... here are some of the top ones, edited for language or clarity if needed.
Making You Happy
He has learned that he can make you happy with food and he likes to make you happy.
He has 10 years of positive reinforcement of this behavior, it will take time to curb.
I would just learn to say no enough and I bet he will eventually get it.
The next time he does it, say no and that if he tries again, you're going to walk away. If he does it again, walk away. It doesn't need to be in anger, it's just a simple consequence. Talking it out, teaching, pleading all doesn't seem to be working, so something new needs to happen.
You need to show that your boundaries are serious no matter how small they seem and that you do follow through on consequences. But after holding your end of the bargain, you'll find out if he doesn't respect your boundaries and that's a much bigger issue. Why he isn't following through on this is important. And if he continues, you'll need to figure out what the next consequences will be and follow through on that too.
When you turn him down, do you just turn him down or do you tell him that you can't because you're trying to lose weight?
Think about it like sex. When you turn him down for sex, do you just say "I don't want to" or do you say "I can't because (arbitrary excuse)"?
You probably just simply voice your lack of desire. And he gets that because he's not a monster.
But you've likely been framing your food objections in terms of Pinochio's ass: a woodbutt. "I would, but... I'm trying to lose weight". That tells him your objection is external. You want this, but you shouldn't. And it makes you feel bad that you can't have it.
He doesn't want you to feel bad, so he let's you know that he loves you regardless and if it makes you happy to have a snack, have a snack.
Just express no desire for the thing. No clarifications, no excuses beyond "do not want".
And it helps if the first lie you tell is to yourself. Tell yourself: "I don't want that. I'm not hungry". Believe that lie. Then tell him. "Eh. I'm good. Not hungry"
You need to just learn to say no from him. Maybe go shopping with him and show him what snacks you'd like to eat so if he does get you something, it's a healthier option? But other than that, you need to have some self-control and tell him no.
Adjust The Budget
I've been in nearly the exact same situation with my SO! Like I could have written this post myself! One thing I've found to help me is to actually portion out an extra calorie fund for the end of the day specifically for this. I save usually 100-200 calories for an evening snack of whatever it is he is having (we are both keto, so it's usually something healthy) - that way I stay in my calorie range and he is happy that we get to enjoy a snack together. It has helped with a lot of my anxiety surrounding this issue.
Use a swear jar. Every time he does this he has to put a dollar in a jar. You get to buy new jeans with the money.
Worst Drinking Game Ever
You can use it as a motivation? Every time he offers you something drink water. Have a water bottle with you constantly. A family member did something like it and it was a major difference - apparently our bodies are more thirsty than hungry so drinking a crapton of water helps diminish snack cravings. Win win situation.
On the upside, you'll have to pee like every 10 minutes sooo give hubby a good pinch every time :p
Just Turn Down The Freaking Yogurt
If being offered yogurt and nuts is this big a deal to you, you need to be focusing inward, not outward. Trying to control other people's behavior will result in frustration. You sound like you're struggling to control your own behavior, but overall you're doing pretty well. If you spend your time focusing on your husband's extremely minor failings you're going to drive yourself crazy. Just turn down the freaking yogurt and go about your day.
Fake It Til You Make It
Hey, first off, 'grats on the making the effort to lose weight. It's not easy to start with and totally understand the lack of willpower part, but you're doing it correctly by counting calories.
Eventually you'll find your cravings start to subside and it gets easier not to have things. Once you start portioning appropriately (I don't mean to make assumptions here, its just very common for people to be overly generous with portions) you'll eventually get to the point where you feel full fairly quickly and won't think of snacking beyond when your body is asking for something.
I've had issues with a friend constantly offering me food when I'm trying to lose weight. After I say no I get the whole 'oh go on it won't hurt' or 'but its healthy.' For a while, I gave in, but honestly it ended up making me feel guilty and a failure and I realize that I don't feel like crap when I abstain from food I don't need, but I do feel like crap when I give in and eat it.
Who wants to feel like crap right? So a 'nah' became 'no thank you.' 'I shouldn't' became 'I couldn't'. Eventually it became a hard 'No. I don't want to it's that simple.'
At first, I was faking it. I did want that food. But like they say, fake it til you make it. Resisting the urge actually helped my willpower and changed my way of thinking and feeling. I've spent 15 years fighting against bad habits and trying to break them, realizing that I actually wanted the end goal and not the snack offered to me was the biggest breakthrough I've had.
You want to be healthy for your kids and yourself - and actually being healthy feels great which is why health freaks are so annoying - so when he offers and you say no remember the reasons why you're saying no. Because it makes it easier to say no to him the next time.
It also makes it less stressful on yourself, instead of being annoyed at him, be proud of yourself for the changes you are making.
I think he's trying to please you. This happened when I was trying to lose weight after childbirth. Dieting would often leave me cranky, so he would attempt to cheer me up with foods. I've since trained him to make tea. He was servicing me in a kind way and I really looked forward to enjoying a cup with him and connecting at the end of the day. There are so many different and delicious teas out there, too. Maybe buy a variety to try together.