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Getting in Shape

Need some sense talked into me (XP to Wedding Woes)

aquietseasonaquietseason member
Third Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
edited May 2014 in Getting in Shape
Hi ladies,

First apologies if I used the cross posting incorrectly - not sure if this is a fitness problem as much as a FI problem. Second, apologies for the essay :)

I just got into a huge fight with my FI about fitness, and not really sure how to resolve it.

For some background : I'm 5'8, about 190lbs and "top heavy" for lack of a better word - I wouldn't say I'm obese or really overweight, but I definitely have a gut to lose and could tone up my arms/thighs. I've probably gained about 20-30lbs over the last three years after I transitioned from a retail job to an office job due to the lack of movement. 

My FI used to be very overweight and lost it all in high school, and his whole family has always had significant weight problems (his mom had that lap band surgery and gained most of the weight back recently) so I feel like he has a particular mindset/trigger about fitness/weight that I don't. He's at the gym for at least an hour  4-5 times a week. He's always been kinda mildly naggy about fitness with me, but we always laughed it off as a personality difference, not a ~ relationship issue ~

So with this all being said -- recently (not specifically wedding related) he's started to get on my case about going to the gym, fowarding me articles about fitness and health, etc. So I said fine, I'll go join Planet Fitness and come with you when you go to the gym. Mind you I haven't been to a gym in...years.

So I go, and he finds me on the treadmill, and he's like no no that's not good enough, that's not effective, you need to do weight lifting because cardio doesn't do enough, etc. I felt a bit embarassed, but I say fine, next time you can show me how to use the machines and I'll lift some weights.

It was a damn disaster. I can barely lift any weights at all, my form is all wrong, and he kept on pushing me and correcting me (which I know he meant well, but still) and was just overall acting like a drill master about it. I'm clearly like the most slovenly/fat person in the gym surrounded by all these skinny ladies and muscleheads, and frankly I was mortified. We tried this like 3 different times and it was just worse and worse. So I got frustrated, he got frustrated, and of course I didn't want to go back again.

So now like every evening this week when we're at home, he's nagging me to do sit ups, do exercises at home, etc. So I blew up at him a little bit about him always being nagging and negative, and he really freaked out at me, how I'm lazy, I have a bad attitude, he gives up on me, etc. And now we're stuck.

On one hand, I understand that I get a bit prickly/touchy, and I was embarassed to be at the gym, and he was genuinely trying to help me, and genuinely wants me to be fit and healthy, this isn't a wanting a hot bride kind of thing. He has a lot of knowledge, but knowledge of stuff that works for him, not for an absolute novice. And when I try to explain to him how I feel and how he makes me feel when he criticizes me, he tells me that "it's easier for you to make me into the bad guy than to just do what's right" and "you always throw my efforts back into my face"

So...I admit, we're both a little bit wrong. And I don't know why this issue hits so deep, when usually we're very good about "fighting fair" and compromising/fixing our problems when they happen. But I really don't know what to do. I absolutely dread going to the gym now. But I know I can't just dig my heels in and do nothing. And now honestly, the doubt is starting to creep into my head like...if I don't lose weight, is he going to leave me? Is this at some point just going to be too incompatible?

I just need someone outside of the situation to talk some sense into me, because I feel very...stuck in my own head about this.

Re: Need some sense talked into me (XP to Wedding Woes)

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    This issue hits deep because it is about your physical appearance/weight and that is something that your SO should never nag you about since it is such a sensitive/personal issue.

    Also, you need to want to work out, get in shape, lose weight and be healthy for you NOT because your FI is nagging you to do it because he himself still has insecurities and issues from his childhood.

    It is great that he wants to help you but he also needs to realize that he needs to actually listen to you and know that you can't go from doing nothing to being a crazy weight lifter over night.

    But him calling you lazy was too much.  I really don't see where in this that you are wrong.  You gave working out a whirl, you let him show you a few things and you tried to listen to his suggestions but he didn't listen to you, is constantly nagging you and is being disrespectful to you.

    I think you need to have a calm discussion about this where you each talk about how you are feeling without freaking out or being disrespectful.  I am not one to suggest couples therapy right away, but it may be needed since he has had weight issues in the past and tends to be overly concerned about your fitness/weight.

  • Thanks for the advice! It really is the first time that he's "hit below the belt" so to speak...we've had arguments over things before in the natural course of the relationship, but we're usually good about speaking our piece and figuring out a solution with very minimal drama. 

    And I do want to clarify that I *do* want to lose weight, but more in an aimless, this is something I should probably do kind of way. When he first sent me the articles, I was receptive to his advice. So while I didn't ask for the articles or the nagging lol, this wasn't 100% out of left field either. 

    I just don't know like...what to suggest to him to get him off my back. Like I want  to be able to compromise and say "OK, I'm going to try doing XYZ and see how that goes for 6-8 weeks, and I need you to calm down and leave me be while I try it. If it works, great. If it doesn't work, then I'll ask for your advice but until then this topic is off limits". (that of course in addition to the "this is how you've hit below the belt and you need to never do that again because we treat each other better than that" talk, which is currently ongoing) But I'm very inexperienced exercise wise so I don't know exactly WHAT to suggest.
  • I wouldn't give up on the gym, but maybe go by yourself instead of with him.  For me, going to the gym is MY time.  I felt self-conscious at first, but honestly, people are so wrapped up in what they're doing that they're not looking at anyone else!  The treadmill is a good starting place.  It is a good idea to alternate strength training with cardio, but the way he was trying to help was ineffective - especially if you're not used to being in a gym!  I think you have to have a conversation with him - you appreciate what he's trying to do and appreciate his support, but it would be more helpful to you if he did x, y, or z.  One thing that worked well for me was using an app like Lose It or MyFitnessPal to log my exercise and monitor my diet. 

    Also, weight loss does not necessarily equal health.  There's a right and a wrong way to do things.  I'd be glad to talk with you more if I can help!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I've always been a small girl. I'm just over 5' tall (a whole half of an inch!), and under 100lbs. Then a few years ago, my weight starting going all over the place. I got as low as 85lbs (even at my height, too thin), and then went up to 115lbs (not huge, but uncomfortable for me on my frame). Finally FI sat me down and asked me to go see a nutritionist. Because she was worried about my health, and frankly I've never eaten super healthy. That's exactly what she told me and she's right. Nutritionist led to actually go to the gym, meeting with a trainer, and now I'm much healthier and SOOO much happier. And I'm holding steady at right around 95lbs (give or take a few pounds here and there), which is perfect for me.

    My point of all that rambling with the numbers, if my FI had sat me down and told me what to do and how to eat and how to work out, I would've rebelled. I would told her to shove it up her ass. By suggesting I see people outside of our relationship it wasn't an attack on how I look, but rather a caring partner worrying about my health. 

    I'd sit your fella down and tell him how you feel. That yes, you'd like to get healthier, but it's your body and it needs to be on your terms, not his. What works for him, might not work for you. And that's ok.

    If you are interested in lifting (because it is pretty awesome), talk with a trainer at the gym. They can guide you for what will work best for your body. What works for your male FI, who has been at this for years, might not work for your newbie female self. A trainer will be able to help you with your body. And I can't speak highly enough about nutritionists. Seriously, they way you eat and what you eat has so much impact on everything. And mine is very non-punishing. If I have a pint of ice cream she's like "Oh well, shit happens, next time why don't you try getting one of those little baby ones that cost a dollar, then if you eat the whole thing it's ok", rather then making me feel like shit for eating a pint of ice cream.

  • Thanks again! I had updated in the other thread (this is why cross posting is annoying, heh) that we've come to the compromise of a 3 month cool down period, where I'll look into finding a routine that works for me, and he...basically STFU for the rest of the summer. After that, we can talk about it and I'll ask him advice if I need to, but it all has to stay positive and not pressuring.

    So...now I need to find a routine to stick to! I can definitely use some help with that.

    I do have the membership to Planet Fitness and I know they technically have trainers...I've never seen any of them around, though. Ideally I'd love to see a nutritionist, but leisure time/money is in very short supply at the moment so I'll have to DIY for now.

    I have usually 2-3 evenings a week (depending on the week) that I can make it out to the gym, and do have his set of weights & cables at home that I could use.

    When you google just for like "beginner's workouts", the amount of information is just SO overwhelming, it's hard to pick one thing and just try it. Any suggestions on a good resource or place to start?
  • emz101emz101 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I find womenshealthmag.com has tons of work outs for all levels.
  • First, I'm sorry this was so upsetting to you.
    Second, I have been in that position where the partner wants you to start watching your weight. And heard words like "lazy" used in a less than flattering way. I get it. I had eating issues in high school and sometimes slack off too much now as a result. I also think sometimes that brutal honesty is what we need to hear, for the sake of our own health. I respect that my partner doesn't feel content to sit back while I eat my way into an unnecessary 40 new pounds.

    This issue very nearly split us up before we ever got engaged. Getting past it was a matter of proving him wrong. I COULD eat better. I COULD move more. But I didn't have to work out "his way" or kill myself in the process. What concerns me about your story is your FIs attempt to control your weight loss story-- how you work out, what you do. He's forgetting that there are critical differences between men and women when it comes to fitness. He needs to start meeting you where you are and helping you devise a plan that works for your gender, body type, and activity level.

    What helps me? Cutting back on sugar. Reducing refined carbs and adding in more veggies. FI likes to run. I prefer to walk or swim. Find a way to improve your fitness on your own terms, and let your FI know that if he wants this to be effective, he needs to back off.
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    Oh honey! I feel you on this, I really do. I'm glad you and your FI have come to an understanding. I will just say this: for many, many couples, having one partner "coach" the other one (whether it's in athletics/cooking/anything at all) is a recipe for disaster. We're simply too invested in the other person to be able to give or receive advice. Both sides may mean well, but suddenly it's not even about "okay, be sure to keep your knees over your toes," it's "why can't she LISTEN to me, does she not care?" and "why is he berating me? Can't he see I'm trying, and a beginner?" and it gets all kinds of personal. Disaster. I second other PPs advice about seeking a trainer. I don't know how they do it at Planet Fitness but a lot of places will give you a free trial with a trainer, so you might be able to use that session to familiarize yourself with the equipment and learn some exercises and form. If they don't offer that or if personal training is too expensive, they might have a weight room orientation for you. Some places even have group classes that focus on weights, which I've found are more likely to be frequented by women, if being around all the hardcore male lifters gives you any anxiety. My heart goes out to you, since none of this is easy stuff. But it sounds like you're working through it! I would probably set a general rule though: No training the other person unless they specifically ask, and training session stops IMMEDIATELY if one person requests it.
    This baby knows exactly how I feel
  • I definitely think that you need to find a way to work out without him.  I have just started taking some Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing classes (found some great Groupon deals) and have found that it's been much more effective for me than going to the gym because there is instruction.  Most importantly, impartial instruction.  I agree with @KatieinBkln about trying to find group classes at the gym, they aren't always my cup of tea, but at least you'll have someone showing you what to do instead of fumbling around the gym feeling uncomfortable.  
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