Put like that, it doesn’t really sound like a pleasant way to live, does it?
It’s a vicious cycle: inactivity and alcohol consumption lead to weight gain, which in turn encourages inactivity. It’s up to you to help him break that cycle.
And what can you do, since nagging is notoriously ineffective?
Shop and cook healthier. Load up on calcium-rich foods – which doesn’t HAVE to mean dairy. There are plenty of calcium-enriched foods (OJ, cereal) that are easily substituted for non-enriched versions. Check out our post on 10 easy ways to add calcium to your diet.
Serendipitously, many of these foods are also high-fiber and low-fat, as well as high in calcium. Which means, eaten in moderation and substituted for his usual favorites, they’ll help him cut calories.
2) Lack of time for exercise. If your man is going every minute of the day – working out in the morning, doing lawn work before supper, playing with the kids – then he’s probably getting the 30 minutes of daily activity recommended by the NOF for good bone health.
But if he drives to a desk job, then comes home to a long evening of inactivity, he needs help getting off his duff and moving around.
I’ve found most men enjoy spending time with their wives. They also enjoy fixing things (yeah, he gets to use his tools!); and getting jobs done: e.g., moving that rosebush from point A to point B.
Doing yard work or house projects together is a natural solution. Hanging clothes on the line, mowing the lawn (one can mow while the other weed-whacks), stacking wood, weeding, washing the car, and painting house trim are all fairly simple outdoor activities you can pursue together. Put an oldies CD into the boombox, and have fun chatting and reminiscing as you work.
Indoors, ask him to help with the laundry by lugging wet clothes out to the yard, or loading them into the dryer. Afterwards, ask him to help fold, and carry to the bedrooms. If necessary, remind him that this is FAMILY work – not “woman’s work.”
I’ve noticed that pushing a vacuum cleaner is often something men enjoy; my dad was the self-designated vacuumer, as is my husband. Let ’em at it!
Finally, if child-care isn’t a consideration, take walks together, preferably early in the morning, before work. There’s nothing so relaxing as a walk with someone you love. Fresh air, quiet, and the chance to chat about nothing significant is a great way to start the day.
3) Fear of change. “I’m too old for this…” If that’s the response you get to your gentle prodding that he get out of his chair and get moving, challenge him. “You’re too old? Well, I’m not. Too bad I’m married to someone so OLD…”
Don’t be nasty about it, but let him know that older men who still think and act young are easier to be with than creaky old guys. Let him know that attitude has a lot to do with how old you feel. After all, attitude is the only thing we can truly control in our lives.