How can I help?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
How can I help?
14
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 1:52pm

Hi, friends.  I guess I just need to get this off my chest, and maybe you have some ideas.  My husband went to the doctor today for a regular physical.  He hasn't had a physical since college (about 15 years).  His dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer this spring after some red flags were noticed at an annual check-up, so DH thought that we (as a family) should make our health a bigger priority and get in the habit of getting annual exams.  My father-in-law's cancer was caught really, really early thanks to the fact that he gets an exam every year.

DH was avoiding this because he is over weight.  Well, not surprising, at today's exam his doctor noticed high blood pressure, and she also recommended a sleep study since I've noticed sleep apnea symptoms.  All in all, DH really needs to lose weight...NOW.  I already serve healthy meals and provide only healthy snacks (expect for special occasions like a birthday or a big football game :smileyhappy:).  We don't eat a lot of fast food, but we do go out for ice cream occasionally...maybe twice a month.  I just really don't know what else to do.  He doesn't drink or smoke.  We don't even buy pop (soda, for those not in western PA).  If we go out to dinner, about two or three times per month, DH does order pop.  I wish there was some big thing that he could just QUIT and automatically lose weight.  One of my close friends from PA recently lost a lot of weight just by switching to diet soda.  I wish it was that easy for DH.  He can't stop beer or doughnuts or McDonald's breakfasts because he doesn't do any of those things.  Sigh...I just feel helpless.

I love this guy SO much!!!!!  I want him to be healthy.  Any tips???

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2008
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 9:28am
Everyone else gave good advice, Erica. But I seem to remember you mentioning you have a dog (Hannah, right?). Could he take her on walks? Sean's started taking our girls out, and he enjoys it a lot. 20 minutes or so a couple times a day adds up.
by sara photo sigbysara.jpg
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 11:16pm

Erica -  You've gotten lots of great advice! I'll be praying for your DH. I think turning exercise into a family event is an easy way to sneak in some exercise, esp. given where you live, you can probably do the daily walks almost year-round! One DVD I like for in-home exercise is "Walk Away the Pounds". I don't care for the instructor so I just turn the volume down but there's a 1 mile, 2 mile and 3 mile option all using 4 easy steps for walking in place.

Katja & Alison - Congrats on the weight loss! You're both an inspiration to me! I'm hoping to join WW after our next baby.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 10:40am
Just wanted to add that after loosing weight he could go back to using regular salt (reasonable amounts) and his BP still stayed under control. So I think weight is more important than salt when it comes to health.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 5:38am
It seems to me like you have gotten a lot of great advice. I don't think I have much to add- although I would say that exercise doesn't have to be this big terrible thing. There are so many different sport options that people can do, and there has to be at least one thing that your husband would like, or that you would all like as a family. Personally I love weight training and certain single person sports like climbing and dance but I don't at all enjoy certain aerobic classes or team sports like basketball or soccer. Maybe there is a local YMCA you all can join and you can make trying out different things a fun family activity?

However I mainly just wanted to write that it sounds like you are doing such a good job and being really supportive and I hope everything gets better regarding DH's weight.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 8:37pm
Oh that an excellent point smaller plates... as DH is keeping his food log for going to see the dietitian we're noticing just how BIG all of our portions are.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 8:36pm
((((hugs)))) right there with you.... my DH is falling apart, he blames it on me making him go for a physical last year. He started taking fish oil to help w/ his cholesterol and Wednesday this week we're meeting with a dietitian to see what other improvements we can make. How is your DH w/ exercise? Mine was told to walk at elast 3 miles a day.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 8:31pm
Thanks, Mari. How funny about the "blue pill." Your mom sounds hilarious! I love that your mom and dad go to the gym together.

After dinner tonight, all five of us went for a walk. Yay!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 8:28pm
Thank you, Alison! Great job with your own weight loss. We don't use much salt at all. I even skip it in many recipes, but we will have to keep a closer eye on things like condiments and other hidden salt sources. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. :smileyhappy:

(I think we must have posted at the same time early today because I didn't see your post.)
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 7:19pm

I agree with the girls about the amount of food and the need to exercise. As I told you, we struggled for years with my dad on this issue.

He was never a slim guy, but he wasn't fat either until he reached 40yo. By then, he also developed high blood pressure. My mom was clue less, since she already cooked really healthy meals with loads of vegetables, lean meats and very low on fats in general. But she couldn't control the amount of food he ate. A classic joke at dinner was my mom asking "how many -insert random food- did you have?" and he answered innocently "only two" while we giggled because we knew he had about 5...

Anyways, by the time he was 50, he was under permanent BP medication. Infact he was taking about 6 pills every day! Climbing the stairs left him breathless, and he used to sweat soooo much!!

And then my sister went into medical school... I think the shock and pride of having a daughter becoming a Dr. finally opened his mind. And when she said she believed he had  metabolic syndrome, he finally listened!

He went to an excellent nutritionist who made some key changes in his diet. She said that he was eating very healthy food, but there were a few tricks he could try. First, and obviously the size of portions. Second was to add fiber at every single meal (raw vegetables). Third, to balance the protein and starch foods every day (for example, if he had a steak at lunch he had pasta at dinner).

And he joined the gym... with my mom! To this day I think the only reason he keeps going is because she goes with him, they go only twice a week, but it's been enough to make a change.

 

As a result he lost more than 20 pounds in a year. He is down to two pills, sweats less, is never out of breath, looks a lot younger now at 59 than he did at 50... and mom confessed to me that he doesn't need the "blue pill" so often... (she sometimes talks too much!)

 

Anyways, if a 50yo did it, you DH can definitely do it, and maybe with even better results!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 4:25pm
To get a good idea of what portions he should be having, it might be a good exercise for him (and the whole family!) to track food intake, even for just a week. I do this from time to time just to "check in" with the reality of how many calories are really in the foods I eat. There are all kinds of online programs or apps you can get that can do this.

I second needing to add exercise to the mix. For women to lose weight, it really needs to be a combo of reducing calories and exercising (and mostly on the food side of things), but men can lose weight faster by just exercising more. So, maybe finding things to do as a family (so he doesn't feel alone in it) might be fun.

Good luck!




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