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How can I motivate my husband to give up the junk?

My husband is in his mid 50s, diabetic, and overweight. Since we've been married, I've tried to help him and our whole family make better food choices. We eat lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and very little processed foods. My husband says he enjoys this healthier food lifestyle. However, he binges on sugar and tries to hide it. I try to get lower calorie snacks that are tasty, especially since we have young children, but he insists on stashing huge bags of M&Ms, cookies, and donuts around the house and in his office! I have confronted him on several occassions, and he'll be good for a while. Yet, any time he gets a little stressed, he heads straight for the chocolate. I could understand him having a little bit here and there, but he'll sit and eat an entire jumbo bag of chocolate at one time!
What on earth can I do to help him break these bad habits once and for all? He gets defensive and sullen when I confront him about it, but I love him and want to keep him around for as long as possible. Ideas, please!


Asked by Anonymous at 1:04 PM on May. 5, 2011 in Diet & Fitness

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Ultimately, he has to motivate himself. He will continue to sneak foods until he addresses the issues as to WHY he feels the need to do so. Sadly, we live in a society filled with instant gratification, and we have a hard time looking at the bigger picture and considering our long term health. I agree that seeing a dietitian, a dialysis clinic, and some gangrene amputees might be a goo idea so he can get a true assessment of his future with uncontrolled diabetes. It's a scary disease, but because it's so prevalent here, we take it for granted. It's also hard to feel it or see it until serious complication come up. Get him to a diabetes class ASAP, and hopefully that will scare him straight. It's hard to watch someone you love not taking care of themselves like this. Perhaps remind him of that part. Try not to harp on his food so much, and just focus on general good health. Hugs! Good luck!

    Answer by musicpisces at 2:29 AM on May. 6, 2011

  • ...CONT.....literally passing out behind the wheel of his rig. He would black out almost daily. That is killing his organs and he doesn't seem to see it or give a damn. My kids got easter baskets but I haven't touched them, I don't need or want to. My A1c is 5.1 and i'm almost completely off my meds (hope to be med free by the end of the year) but your husband has to want his life more than wanting the horrible carby foods. Show him what will happen, tell him he won't be there, and tell him you WANT him here, the kids want him here and he has to fight for his health so he can be alive and well as long as possible.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 2:10 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • He sounds a lot like me. I got a wake up call last year, I was having chest pains. I'm not even 40. I got super strict, for a while. Then the old habits crept back in. I then took a diabetes class. Not your typical "life is wonderful with diabetes", but a real look at diabetes. The first class was about diabetes and what it does to your body and what will happen if you stay on the path of poor choices. The second class was about why you take the meds you do (with diabetes it raises your risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure). The last class was about what to eat. I say you need to educate your dh about what it's doing to his body, not lecture him on what he's eating (that causes more stress). The biggest mistake people make is to assume nothing is happening to them when they splurge often, by the time it hits sometimes it's too late.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 1:23 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • This is such a difficult problem to address. On the one hand you're very worried about your husband. On the other, he's probably eating in reaction to stress==and your getting onto him is stressful. This isn't simply a weight issue; as you point out, it is potentially a life or death issue because of his diabetes. Unfortunately, he's an adult and you aren't his mother. Perhaps you can get his doctor to talk about this more and to send your husband to a nutritionist. A neutral 3rd party may make a better impression on him. You are clearly on board with him eating healthier and it helps that the rest of the family are following your example. I do wish you luck with this problem.

    Answer by jmpj8107 at 1:12 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Well as a diabetic myself you have to get control of your disease or it will eventually bite you in the butt. I would call around and find a local dialysis place and ask if you and your husband can go for a tour.....look into similiar places for those missing limbs or for the blond....seriously give him a wake up call and say "This WILL be you" if you don't stop it NOW"

    If you have a young daughter ask him "Do you want to walk her down the aisle one day?" If he says "Yes" or "Of course" then tell him he has to stop this sugar binging, because if he doesn't he won't be alive to walk her down the aisle, he won't be around to see grandbabies and to hold them and play with them.

    Some truly need to see a direct result of eating like that in order for it to sink into their heads. I have an uncle who'd rather eat a plate of lo mein and cake and be on disability as a truck driver because he was.....CONT....

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 2:07 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • I don't know. Maybe find where he stashes all of it and replace it with small amounts of the same stuff.

    Answer by dustbunny at 1:08 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Oy! My husband's problem is he never stops eating. I'll make (usually) healthy meals (tonight I'm feeling lazy, it's hot dogs, potato salad, and baked beans) but usually I'm pretty good with veggies and all that and he'll eat a little bit of it and then head right for dessert or spend the rest of the night eating one snack after another (usually unhealthy.) I keep healthier stuff stocked - dried fruits, healthier veggie chips, etc - but he'll complain about it or go buy his own if I don't have the other stuff. *sigh*

    I know this doesn't help you. It's more of a "you're not alone" type of rambling. I've tried talking to mine to and he just doesn't seem to care. :/

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:13 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • He is an addict; he needs Overeaters Anonymous. But, you cannot make him go. You can only decide what you are willing to live with. If you do nothing, nothing will change. If you are not ready to put your foot down, nothing will change. You have to decide if you want to set a boundary. If you decide to do it, you have to follow through. When you are ready, you could try something like this: "Honey, I love you. I cannot sit back and watch you sabotage your health. I want you to be with us for a long time. You have to stop hiding and eating sweets. I know this is probably not something you are able to do on your own, so I insist that you start going to Overeaters Anonymous. If you are not willing to go, then I will move your clothes into the other room and you can stay there until you do."

    I know it seems harsh, but it's not much different than an intervention for a drug addict. Tough love... Good luck.

    Answer by RobotLady at 10:34 PM on May. 7, 2011