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Looking after ourselves

Senior Contributor

Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Looking for tips (particularly from a wife's perspective) on how I can support my wife (aka my darling for those who don't know me) through weight anxieties and encourage healthier eating and lifestyle choices. 


Aiming to keep this discussion as generic as possible so as not to breach any guidelines or inadvertently trigger anyone.  My intention is to support my darling and in no way intending to imply I have an issue with her weight or appearance. 


Darling has always had anxieties about her weight, in my opinion for most of the time I have know her she has looked healthy and has nothing to worry about. 


After having children there was a period where while it did not bother me she was definitely overweight. This was due to inactivity and eating choices. 

This was followed by a time (pre crisis) where she lost a lot of weight to the point I was really worried. I recently came across a picture from that time and it scared me all over again. 

Following an extended period of crisis things leveled out and healthy weight was achieved.

(Darling looks at those pics and in the mirror and thinks skin and bone is healthy and wants to return to that).


Move forward to now. 18 months ago after an attempt and visit to emergency department requiring 12 hours of observations hooked up to an ecg meds were changed. While there have been no more attempts or significant self harm on the nee meds among other side effects they have resulted in significant weight gain.


So after that long winded background we are at the point where darlings weight is distressing her. And I am lost as to how to encourage her through this. A former less sensitive me used to tell her she could be a whale and I would still think she was beautiful. Unfortunately comments like this send the message I am not taking it serious and dont care 😔


This past week I got for myself a referral forma dietitian and exercise physiologist and arranged an appointment for darling to get the same. (If we both work on things together the liklihood for success increases)  and we had discussed this before my app and darlimg wanted me to ask the gp what she thought.

Well the response from darling was 'oh great.. that confirms it, Im fat. A big fat blimp' 


So the question is, particually for the ladies out there,

In a situation like this, is there anything that your significant other coud do or say to encourage you. (Understanding every situation/ person is different). 

Any advise appreciated... 







Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

@Determined  Hi Determined you are such a sweety Smiley Happy. I can tell you are the most wonderful husband from your words. Speaking from my perspective my weight gain has been huge since I have been on these wretched medications. It wouldn't matter what anyone said to me about how beautiful I am regardless of weight gain I still feel it BUT in saying that I am now much more accepting of my body shape and realize that it is far better to be sane and a bit tubby than to be mad and thin ....


Mad and thin is not a good look lol ...I walk when possible and eat healthy with a bit of naughty stuff which I should cut out but the meds make me hungry so what can I do. Life is for living not crucifying oneself over their weight. That is the truth. If we dont have fun what is the point.


Tell this to your wonderful wife that she is beautiful. That being too thin makes one look older and is in fact not healthy for older women with osteoporosis etc and that mad and thin is not a good lookSmiley Happy. Love greenpeaxxxx


Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Thanks @greenpea 

I agree about thin. Darling looked so much older when she was thin. 

She told me this afternoon she hates leaving the house now in case certain people see her 🙁

One day at a time

Appreciate your feedback 




Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Hey @Determined, what a kind and thoughtful question to raise. It is clear you want to show your love and support for your wife but as you noted the topic of body image can be fraught with self-criticisms for many people. Including your wife in your referral and efforts with a dietitian and exercise physiologist is a great approach and getting some professional guidance can do wonders around understanding how to make our bodies strong, not 'fit'. We wouldn't want to speak for what your dietitian may say but perhaps with their guidance you could try exploring a new recommended food once a week in a shared cooking challenge with your wife.


Doing something as a team can help with accountability and success, if that's what you want to do, but as self-confidence often sits at the heart of our own body image perhaps you may like to build your wife's confidence in other ways and in other contexts outside of personal appearance comments. Does that sound like something you would be willing to try?


Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Hi @Ali11  thank you for your reply...

Unfortunately I didn't quite follow your suggestion... sorry but can you clarify? 

Usually I try and avoid comments on physical appearance other than encouraging Darling  that she looks fine, and I lover her for who she is not how she looks.  I used to compliment her a lot early in our relationship but that was misinterpreted, (whole different discussion lol). 

Hoping the dietitian together will help. We don't eat bad, just our eating needs 'tweeking' between darlings medication and my stress induced metabolism issues. 

Also looking at options for exercise together. Exercise physiologist should be able to help us with a balanced approach to this also as we are both a bit of all or nothing in that regard. 

At the moment I am trying to make it about what I need to do for my health and because she is concerned for herself it would not hurt to join me and see how it goes. 




Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Apologies for being unclear @Determined. Sometimes it doesn't matter how someone looks or what they weigh, they can still experience self confidence issues and speak negatively about their body. The idea about building confidence in other contexts may involve complimenting an individual's cleverness, quick wit, the way they do something quick/better/faster, etc but also by the things that their body can do or achieve. For example, that your wife can lift X or the strength she has in a punch/her legs etc, rather than how she looks or even that you think she looks fine.


It sounds like you have a balanced approach and you will know how your wife will respond best. Hopefully this helps spark some more ideas about supporting your wife and building her self image.


Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Yes understand now @Ali11 

Definatly I try to do that often.



Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

Have you had your first appointment with the dietitian @Determined? If it is an option for you, we've also heard that having a loved one or chief supporter attend the appointment with you can be beneficial, as it involves them in the process and they may recall more pieces of advice and information than going in alone.


Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

First appointment is in 3 weeks @Ali11 

Darling and I will both be going in together so that we are doing it as a joint effort for support but also so that we can get a common plan that suits both of us and the family. While we technically have 2 separate appointments they are back to back so hoping it can be treated as one.


Definatly for us either of us cannot do it alone so if we are both on board with a common plan the likleyhood of success is much greater. 


Same deal with the exercise physiologist. And they are both with the same organisation meaning the 2 plans should be able to be connected much easier 😁 


Re: Supporting/ encouraging a wife in healthy weight loss...

That's great to hear @Determined, sounds like you're preparing for success Heart Working together on shared goals will make it easier to keep consistent with whatever work you need to do to achieve those goals 

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