Okay, here it goes again. This is nothing new. Every new year he says, “I’m going to lose weight! That’s my only New Year resolution and this year I mean it.”
You heard it before and you know what that means. He’ll be insisting you clear out the fridge and cupboards. Get rid of the chips, the cookies, the soda, the beer and the ice cream. He’s going to join the gym. You’re going to be the one who has to get him out of bed at 5am so that he can work out for an hour before going to the office.
He’s going to give you the unwanted duty of becoming his personal diet police.
“You.” he says, “will keep me on track! When I’m about to cheat you need to stop me.”
The first time he orders fried chicken and loaded potato skins, you gently remind him he’s on a diet. He, not-so-gently replies he’s a grown man and doesn’t need his “mother” telling him what to eat.
You take the hint, so when he orders the chocolate molten lava cake for dessert, you don’t say anything. On the way home he complains about how full and crappy he feels. He asks you, “why didn’t you stop me?”
You already know how this will end.
He won’t lose weight and he’ll say it’s your fault. There could even be some fights before he gives up altogether. One fight is because he resents your “treating him like a child,” and another is because, “you should have stopped him before he blew his diet.”
If weight loss is what he wants, you want him to have it. You’re not looking forward to being placed in the position of trying to control his behavior so that he actually stays on track and gets to his goal.
There is a way to live with somebody who’s challenged by sticking with a weight loss resolution.
Before I go on, I need to say that women with weight loss resolutions can be just as difficult (or more) as men. The tips apply to either sex.
If you’re asked to help, agree to help, but be firm that this is his project.
You will move food he wants to avoid so it’s not easily accessible, but you aren’t on a diet. If you want chips or ice cream in the house you should have them. Just change how you store them so they’re less visible.
When he announces his gym plans, again, make sure he understands he’s on his own.
If he wants to get up early, that’s fine, and you will not nag him until he gets out of bed. Whether he gets up or doesn’t is his responsibility, not yours.
You aren’t taking responsibility for what he eats. You will help him by moving food that tempts him. If you shop for the household you’ll make sure that he has what he needs for lower-calorie meals and snacks. When you dine out together you are not there to ensure he sticks to his diet.
You will support him but you aren’t responsible for him. If he needs additional support, suggest he check out a Weight Watchers meeting. He’ll not only get a flexible, easy-to-follow food plan, but he’ll discover that creating new, healthier habits is easier when he’s getting support from others who are struggling with the same challenges. They’ll understand and encourage him in a way you can’t.
Weight loss is personal. The more responsibility a “loser” takes for his actions, the more success he’ll have.