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  1. #1
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Spousal Sabotage of Weight Loss? (And those around you)

    It's a thorny topic, but it does happen, and 95% of the time, it's completely unintentional on their part. What drives it is an acute sense of discomfort and insecurity, because YOU ARE CHANGING. In the back of their mind lurks the demon that tells them "If he/she changes his life, he'll leave me". or other worries.

    One other aspect; They feel guilty for their insecurities, so they may get unreasonably angry with you. They may also not be unreasonably angry, because you may be unintentionally pushing them to do things they don't want to, but you do now because you are a lot more active. The third factor is that you are less dependent on them, and this gets them scared, because again you are becoming an unknown.......if you no longer need them, are you going to kick them to the curb? (not that you will, but fear is rarely rational)

    And finally, there's the green eyed monster.........your spouse, or others see you succeeding where they have failed, and it gets them angry. Again, it's not a rational response, but it is a human one, and that anger feeds on itself, because they also feel guilty for being angry.

    What can you do? Ride it out and be patient while they deal with the changes occurring in you. Be consistent in good behaviors toward your spouse or others....they really don't mean to be acting oddly, but they are only responding at an emotional level to the changes. So, let's hear some of your coping strategies when those around you seem like they are trying to sabotage you.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I think there's another factor, which is simply that they are used to you looking as you look, and they regard that as normal and confuse normal with natural, or right. So when friends and family see me getting anywhere close to my fighting weight they think I'm "too thin" - "can't afford to lose any more weight" because for them I am in transition from a familiar (normal) to unfamiliar (abnormal) state. And this is reinforced by the fact that we see people who are overweight so frequently that our general perception of what is normal is becoming distorted. In the UK a recent survey revealed that the majority of the parents of obese kids were unable to diagnose their own children as being fat. How scary is that?

    AS for coping strategies, I'm afraid I tend to just ignore them...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I got my spouse involved. She now joins me at one of the two gyms I go to three days a week. That way it's easy to make the argument for lean foods by saying "do we really want to blow our workout"? That and it's just plain fun to be out exercising with your better half and spending time together.

  4. #4
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    My wife was the first one of us to join WW. I followed her a week later. So we're extremely fortunate to have each other as partners in this. She's irritated that I'm losing faster than her, but understands that there are physical differences between the genders that cause that, plus the fact that in terms of raw numbers I have more to lose than she does. But I can absolutely understand how frictions could develop between couples who aren't doing this together. In the past I've even caught myself getting irritated with my brother, who lost a ton of weight quite a few years ago while I was still stuck in self-pity mode. I never did anything to consciously sabotage his efforts, but on some level I resented his success. That's a tough thing to admit about yourself - it's not a pretty trait.

    What chasm54 said is interesting, I think. I have a pet theory that people who know you honestly do believe that you're too thin when you're actually at an appropriate weight, simply because they're used to seeing you obese, whereas if they were to see you for the first time at the proper weight they wouldn't give your appearance or weight a second thought. It's all in what they're accustomed to seeing.
    Craig in Indy

  5. #5
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    I guess I am lucky in that I have a spouse without those types of insecurities. What we dont have with two little ones and one on the way is free time to for physiacl activity which is why my commutes and night rides are so important to me. Id say if you are feeling some of the OP issues with your spouse counselling early can deter problems later. I never looked at extreme weight loss and passion for physical wellness as a marital problem but I guess it could be if one spouse has low self esteem and even lower motivation.

  6. #6
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I was single (just came out of a divorce) for most of my weight loss. That helped with purchasing bikes too.

    However, I'm still struggling with weight, and my new wife is obese. She's a very secure woman, so I'm not as worried about the emotional issues. I do worry about my eating when I'm around her. She likes to cook fattening food. She likes to go out to eat. I need more self-control.

    She does encourage me to lose weight. Her take on it is "both of us can't be fat". She's also gone more than half the time for work. She's coming home Saturday (after being gone a month), and she's leaving again on Tuesday, and will be away three months. That does cut down some of the friction of our much-different eating habits.
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  7. #7
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    +1 for working out together. My wife is the one that got me off the couch, and I can only thank her. She's worked really hard to be where she is today and I would be a complete ass to try to sabotage her. She sometimes pushes me too hard to keep losing weight and I have to remind her that she doesn't really have that right.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    My situation isn't so much sabotage as slowing down.
    After I'd been hitting the gym for a few years I was use to a certain intensity and, with the time constraints I had, could just get in a good workout for the day.
    I had to slow down a lot to work with her when she wanted to work out together. I lost my pace and rhythm.

    Same has happened when she started cycling, I was training hard with the hopes of doing a century (or at least a metric) before the end of my first year and
    had (have) a limited amount of time to do a long ride.
    I started doing a lot of short slow (her idea of fast is 10mph...she starts to get nervous) rides with her and ride to go out to eat, the store, etc.
    She still rides, but can't muster the enthusiasm I have for it....and, of course I lost my momentum and will have to get back into my "groove" (which takes a lot of energy and concentration for me).

    I love her for the effort she puts into my two wheeled obsession, but it's been a long time since I've had the time for a ride longer than 15 miles.
    Also, while I've gained a new found interest in slower commuting type cycling, I still long to get the "go fast bike" out for a good training session.
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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  9. #9
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    When my wife (and then by proxy I) joined WW, I started to lose weight more quickly that she did. She was a little resentful at first, even though she realized that it was natural for me, being bigger and male, to lose weight faster. She has since stuck to the program more vigilantly than I have and as a result has lost more than 10% of her body weight since June. I slipped from the program and have plateaued at my loss of 14 lbs. Personally I have nothing but pride for her, and I enjoy telling her that I'm proud of her and that I think she looks sexy. Maybe it's just a woman thing...
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  10. #10
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    My wife is a very competitive person by nature. This thread is about her. The sad thing is that she eats 1/3 of the calories that I do, exercises hard, (treadmill and physical therapy for a Total Reverse Shoulder Replacement) plus long dog walks. I don';t think she even realized how upset she would get when I would announce that I had lost another 3 pounds. Suddenly she was baking loaves of bread and fixing starchy meals for me and the girls. She is a fantastic woman in many areas, but she is so hurt that she can't loose weight like I can. It has made for a couple of interesting conversations.

    She whips my butt at Guitar Hero every time.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  11. #11
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    You know how the ad at the top of the thread page usually has something to do with the thread's title? It's no doubt placed there by computer, based on key words it looks for in the thread title or contents. I find it amusing that most, if not all, of the time I've looked at this thread, the ad is "Find a Lawyer - Free."

    Craig in Indy

  12. #12
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    My wife needs to increase her fitness but doesn't. She is very supportive of me and I hope she will start riding once I accomplish some substantial weight loss.

    We've turned my cycling addiction into a joke at my house. Most conversations include me saying at least once "What with me being an athlete and all". I, jokingly, threaten her that if she doesn't do what I want I'll ride around the neighborhood wearing nothing but my bib cycling shorts.

    We've been married for 28 years (to each other) and have learned that phrases like "I need your help" and "Please help me think through this" go a long way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    the rule, as told to me by my wife, is: "don't weigh less than your wife. ever. especially during pregnancy"
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  14. #14
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    As far as food, I like to eat so Gina has picked up my bad habits. If I want to train, I do. I don't expect her to change anything for my desire. She continues to eat whatever she wants, it's on me, thats my opinion though.

    It's very strange but Gina never gets jealous. I at times wonder why, maybe I'm not worthy. Really, she is a very easy going soul. When she donated the kidney a few years back, Ir od ewith this gal for a year (blue). She was according to 99% of the men we encountered "hot" 5'10, 140 and very competitive. If you asked anybody that knows, they'd say this pic doesn't do her justice. We trained together for a year, did a few centuries while Gina drove support for us. We rode so much that when Gina did get back on the bike, other riders thought I had left my other wife for this new wife!

    Gina never shows jealosuy but once she asked me if I had ever thought of leaving her for a more fit looking wife!. WTF, Gina's what I like. I don't like tall thin women. I never realized that she might have though that so I broke off our riding partnership since Gina means more to me than any hotchick (in the words of many riders that we encountered). She's got the whole package, eveything else is just deadwood!

    Gal in blue, was my ride partner, never thought of any funny stuff.

  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I understand what you mean, Beanz. I have a ride partner who is female. She's more like a kid sister to me, though (The one I should have gotten instead of the one I have. ). We're friends, and my wife is absolutely comfortable with it.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  16. #16
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    My wife has always been supportive of both of our efforts to loose a few pounds. We tend to like different kinds of exercise programs. She's currently really into Zumba while I'm just starting cycling.

    Where we've had a few problems, and problems isn't the correct word, is with her buying certain kinds of foods, mostly for our kids. As a diabetic I don't have to many problems turning down sweets as I really dont have a bad sweet tooth. What gets me is when she buys the kids Capt. Crunch. Man I love that stuff!!

    Its everything I can do not to have a bowl when its around.

  17. #17
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    What can you do? Ride it out and be patient while they deal with the changes occurring in you. Be consistent in good behaviors toward your spouse or others....they really don't mean to be acting oddly, but they are only responding at an emotional level to the changes. So, let's hear some of your coping strategies when those around you seem like they are trying to sabotage you.
    Shower those closest to you with affection and attention so that they do not feel, or worry, that they will still be as important to you now and later.

    I know it should not be necessary but IMO there is no downside to extra affection & attention in a good relationship. There is only stronger bonding...........
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
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  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Nightshade;11740442]Shower those closest to you with affection and attention so that they do not feel, or worry, that they will still be as important to you now and later.
    QUOTE]

    Ahh, very smart guy!

  19. #19
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustachiod View Post
    the rule, as told to me by my wife, is: "don't weigh less than your wife. ever. especially during pregnancy"
    Ouch. I'm glad I don't have to follow that rule.
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  20. #20
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BP348 View Post
    What gets me is when she buys the kids Capt. Crunch. Man I love that stuff!!

    Its everything I can do not to have a bowl when its around.
    Ugh. If my wife brought that stuff home... well, it would get ugly.
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  21. #21
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    The biggest issue I have is just time. Riding takes time, and thats time away from her. She cant ride with me much because she's trying to get through nursing school and that takes most of her free time right now. Commuting has been great. I get some miles in and it only takes me an extra 15 minutes to get home.

  22. #22
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    My biggest issue is the amount of food I eat. When I don't get more then one plate of the delicious dinner my wife has prepared, she takes it as if I don't like her cooking.

    The way I delt with it was I told her, it has no reflection on her or her cooking. I'm tired of being on BP meds, I'm tired of being tired all the time.

    Another issue is her friends. When I started jogging her friends tried to convince her that I had another girl on the side, and I wasn't out running, I was with her. I told her there is no way, my girlfriend lives to far away for me to run there. She laughed and realized it was absurd.
    01:20:23:00
    05:23:59:00

  23. #23
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    I told her there is no way, my girlfriend lives to far away for me to run there. She laughed and realized it was absurd.
    That's why you started biking?
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  24. #24
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    DRAT!

    I thought this thread was about your/my better half making a BIG and GOOD meal!
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  25. #25
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    My biggest issue is the amount of food I eat. When I don't get more then one plate of the delicious dinner my wife has prepared, she takes it as if I don't like her cooking.

    The way I delt with it was I told her, it has no reflection on her or her cooking. I'm tired of being on BP meds, I'm tired of being tired all the time.

    Another issue is her friends. When I started jogging her friends tried to convince her that I had another girl on the side, and I wasn't out running, I was with her. I told her there is no way, my girlfriend lives to far away for me to run there. She laughed and realized it was absurd.
    So you really were "out running around?"
    Craig in Indy

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