Friday, April 22, 2016

Husband and Wife Are Compulsive Eaters

April 22, 2016

Dear Cathy:

I weigh almost 350 pounds and so do my wife. We don’t have any kids yet. We started to eat after we were married 5 years ago and it’s like we can’t put the fork down. However, I am ready to commit to working out with a trainer in a fitness program but my wife refuses to do this with me. 

 I know I need to lose this weight so at this point I will undergo the program alone. However, I am worried about my wife sabotaging my efforts during and when I finish with the program. What can I do? Compulsive Eating, Pennsylvania

Dear Compulsive Eating:

A person with symptoms of compulsive overeating has what can be characterized as an addiction to food. They use food and eating as a way to hide from or manage their emotions or to cope with daily stresses and problems in their lives.

Food is gratifying for them. Instead of falling more in love with themselves as a couple, they have fallen in love with food. This could include binge eating or eating uncontrollably even when not physically hungry; depression and mood swings; withdrawal from activities because of embarrassment about weight.

I see this all the time with many couples who get married or move in together. Unless one person finally have enough and put their foot down, then there is no way that lifestyle changes can take place and that is what needs to happen – lifestyle changes.

First of all, you and your wife need to get a complete physical from head to toe to make sure both of you are fit enough to exercise. 

You might want to look at gaining access to a pool, which is a great way to start off in any fitness program, especially because of your size. Otherwise, I would suggest walking.

If after getting a complete physical and committing to a workout program, which should also consist of education around food, like you said -- if your wife doesn’t get aboard with you, then all your efforts might be sabotaged during and after you finish your workout program. 

Many couples have even chosen to go their separate ways, simply because one wasn’t willing to commit to getting healthy. So hopefully, she will come around if she truly wants your marriage to work. However, the goal is to take baby steps.

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