The down side of getting fit---anyone have this problem?

  • So, I'm feeling pretty discouraged right now (it's that time of month, so that probably isn't helping my emotional state any) because I've worked my butt off and look and feel great. The problem is, my husband is acting all jealous and very unsupportive. I've asked him if I've done anything to make him feel insecure or give him any cause for worry and he says no, but he gets rather passive aggressive when I choose not to drink wine with him in the evening or pass on dessert when we go out. I injured my back and wanted to see a chiropractor and he got upset because he said he thought I wanted to see one because of my vanity (don't ask me how a back adjustment has anything to do with vanity as I still have not figured that one out and he didn't explain). The strange thing is my husband is extremely fit and has an amazing and gorgeous, well muscled and lean body. He is also very athletic and competes regularly in cycling and running events. We fell in love over our mutual love of fitness and we've  always worked out. My weight has went up and down with pregnancies, but I've always been committed to a lifestyle of fitness along with him. Me recent success with BFL came after 3 months of over endulgence in holiday treats and when I finished my 12 week program, I wass simply back at my normal weight from last fact slightly heavier with the muscle gain. However, he's telling me he doesn't think I'll be able to handle the attention I may get from my new fitter body! I don't get it! I don't dress provocatively (in fact I still wear all the clothes I used to wear that had been in the back of my closet after I "grew out" of them prior to BFL) or flirt with other men (how could I when every time I go out my attention is glued to my 2 and 4 year old who require constant supervision). I'm just frustrated because I've been working my butt off and instead of enjoying having his wife back in shape again, he's freaking out. We have an otherwiese very happy marriage and this is really throwing me for a loop! It's not like I was extremely overweight and got skinny. I simply returned to the shape I was in 6 months ago with better muscle tone. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm not going to give up on my healthier lifestyle, but it does make me at least for a moment think about how much easier it would be to say, "Screw this! I'll just go back to fat!"

  • Don't go back to being fat.  To be honest.. He has some kind of inner issues he needs to resolve.  It really has nothing to do with you unless you've done something in the past to give him a reason not to trust you.  That or just unresolved issues from long ago.  You can only do and say so much to him.  Reassure him but he has to work it out for himself in the end.  

  • Thanks convo. There's nothing in our past where I've ever gave him any reason to be concerned. I've even asked him if I am doing anything to cause suspicion or act in anyway that would make him feel insecure and he says no. He's told me in the past that he has abandonment issues from an abusive alcoholic mother, so maybe that's it. It's just frustrating because I feel really great about myself, but now I feel self conscious if he asks me if I went to the gym today and the answer is yes (even though I've been going to the gym most days of the week for the 10 years I've known him) or I turn down a fattening treat he offers (again as I've been doing off and on for our whole relationship) when he knows full well I only take one free day a week. He knows the program inside and out because he was a BFL Champion runner up 10 years ago himself! But he said he thought me wanting to get a hydrostatic bodyfat measurement was vain! Grrr! Oh and one of our long term goals has always been to open a fitness center together. Yet, he thinks me measuring bodyfat percentage is "vain". So frustrated!

  • Wow Marathonmama, I read both of your entries and I am lost for words. Now coming from male ponit of view, it may be a competitive thing going. Obviously there are some insecurity issues. Some of my friends do that their spouses and it drives me nuts. Instead of encouraging their spouse to do better, they spend their time knocking them down (with words of course which in some cases do more damage than physical abuse). I am going to share with you what i live by:

    1. Never let another person or thing define who you are. You are to define yourself only.

    2. Everything you do in life, do it for you. If what you are doing is good for you and to you, others will reap the benefits of your hard work (i.e. your children will benefit from mommy being in shape)

    3. It's not what a person says, it is how you process what that person said and what you do with the words that were stated.

    I live this everyday. I was once made to feel like I was doing something wrong, that I was less of a person, that what I feel did not matter. I no longer have those issues due to those very 3 things I live by daily. I hate to see you going through this and I am praying that you get through it. Keep your head up. If no one else appreciates you in regards to wanting a BFL, I sure do and I am sure the rest of the BFL family does also. Sorry to butt in your business but I felt compelled to share this with you since it is something that I have experienced in the past with my spouse.


    The only limitations that you have , are those that you set upon yourself

  • It's a tough spot to be in.  He must not take to change well. Maybe a need of his is not being met?  It's really hard to say..  Sometimes us guys can get really complacent...My suggestion is keep talking about it till he tells you what's going on.  But by no means stop living a healthy lifestyle.  

  • Thanks for the insight Bizzey! You are right about me needing to do what is healthiest even if others don't take it so well at first because of insecurities. We have a good marriage so I know we'll work through it. I need to stick with my healthier lifestyle in the meantime.


    You may have a point with the needs not being met thing. I started my master's degree classes back up again 6 weeks ago so I have less free time in the evening as I am often glued to the laptop working on assignments. Less time to focus on my hubby because of school work combined with not endulging in previous" together time" activities of drinking wine and eating cheese in the evening may have him feeling like my new body is preparation for an exit no matter how rediculous I think the idea is. Maybe if I substitute my share of the evening wine and cheese with a good foot rub for him while he enjoys his treats will remind him that we can still have just as much fun together even if I'm not eating the same things as him. It may also help him realize that spending less focused together time lately has nothing to due with my new figure and everything to do with my school load...but something we can work around to meet everyone's needs.

  • Marathonmama-

    Based on what you wrote, it seems to me as though this has to do with his own insecurities about losing you.  As you lose weight, you not only look better but I bet since your confidence is back you are more engaging and smile more when talking to people. You enjoy having conversations more because you are confident and radiate that!   Sometimes this can be a big change that you don't recognize but he may see as flirting.  You said he has abandonment issues so its clear he's feeling like he's on shaky ground. In a way sounds like he's more comfortable with a pudgy wife that doesn't do things for herself because it feels safer to him.

    I remember when I started working out my wife asked me if I was planning on leaving her even though we have a very happy marriage and she's an ex aerobics instructor!

    Of course he's not going to admit he's insecure! In fact, even asking that question will make him feel defensive (and perhaps even a little silly). I would have predicted he would be passive aggressive because since he can't admit his insecurities verbally he would try to show it in other ways.  I wouldn't ask him that directly, no truth (or good) will come from it.

    I'm sure he does love you and loves your successes and over time as he gets more comfortable with it he'll adapt. As he sees you are not going away, he'll feel better and better.

    At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you and he's going to struggle through the transition but I'm sure he'll come around. He basically sounds like a good guy that is terrified you are leaving.

  • That's a tough spot.  On a light note, I understand why he's jealous: you look great!  I'm not sure what you looked like before, but it's hard to imagine that you were quite as fit as you are now, even if you weighed the same.  

    As for the issue at hand, the abandonment issue makes sense.  I struggle with the same insecurities due to my own parental history, and while I'm a girl and all, I have some suggestions of what would work with me, so perhaps it would work with him.  First of all, I would try to be even more complimentary than you already are.  If he feels wanted by you, he may not feel the fear that you are going to leave him for someone else.  In his mind, he probably fears that now since you look so good, you may leave him for someone better looking.  I would also tell him on a regular basis the things you love and appreciate about him.  Again, if he feels confident that he is good for you, both emotionally and physically, then he may not fear abandonment as much.  Personally, I have only felt this jealousy with one man, my fiance, and a large part of that jealousy stems from the fact that I love him so much and I'm afraid of losing him, even though I know that fear is irrational.  I know he wouldn't leave me for someone else, even though physically I'm far from perfect, but that fear nags at me.  When you experience abandonment by a parent, it's hard to ever erase the fear that the ones you love may leave you at the drop of a hat.  I know it's an irrational fear, but that doesn't stop me from fearing it.  I imagine he's probably suffering from the same thing.  I know for me, this fear comes and goes in spurts, and when my fiance makes me feel loved and desired and wanted, then the fear subsides.  Hope this helps!

  • John,

    Thanks for the insight from your own experience with your wife being a former fitness instructor. I think that's what really through me for a loop is that he has always encouraged my fitness endeavers until they resulted in a much tigher, and toned body. He is my hero, a wonderful man, and we have a great marriage. So his reaction really caught me off guard and left me very discouraged. But, I can see how I may have the same fears if his fitness goals suddenly went from being performance focused to appearance focused. We are human after all. It just surprised me because I told him I was going to let myself gain weight over the holidays and then take it off come January and that's what I did. I guess he got use to me being a bit pudgy over the winter and when my body ended up being a little more toned than it had before my winter weight gain, he got worried.

  • Thanks Femystique! Your compliment made me laugh. That was very sweet of you. Keep up all your hardwork and your body will be even tighter than mine by your wedding day!

  • I don't know... I kinda have to agree with him, look at the pics on your profile!! great job!!! amazing!!!!

  • Hate to say it but sometimes when someone is criticising you, they are really annoyed at what they have done themselves.  Has he had some unwanted attention, maybe it's guilt?  Or, maybe he just sees a really hot lady with better results with his eyes, than you see with your own eyes.  

    Don't go back to fat, you live the way that makes you happy.  

    Kia Kaha - Be Strong

  • Just looked at your pics, you have had great results.  I am hoping mine will be as good!

    Kia Kaha - Be Strong

  • Having been married now for 44 years this November I can honestly say the the first 43 years are the hardest. After that it's really quit !

    Communication is what keeps people in touch with one another. All you have to do is to open up a line of communication with each other. If he does something that you don't like you need to tell him how it makes you feel and he needs to know that he can do the same. And when I say HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL you have to realize one very important aspect ....Feelings are neither right nor wrong. They are just feelings. More in the current speak "they are what they are".

    It sounds as if there are some issues that the two of you need to resolve and those issues may have been hiding until and he may be using your newly acquired fitness as an excuse to allow this "whatever" to surface.

    Speak with him every day and let him know what you most appreciate about him THIS day. Then again tomorrow let him know he is your HERO. Tell him every day how important he is in your life and how much he is appreciated as a man, father and especially a husband. You also need to let him know that if there is something you do and he doesn't like the way it makes him feel that he needs to engage in the same kind of dialog with you that you engage in with him.He also needs to understand that you also need and want his affirmations about why you are the most important person in his life.

    Ask him to write you a letter and you do the same. I'm sure you did it before ya'll married (letters). Then read each others letters and ask questions about what has been written. The questions will help you to understand what the other person is feeling and give both of you insight as to how to be a better spouse, lover, mate and friend.

    God Bless

  • marathonmamma,

    I have to completely agree with poppi - she is describing a number of things that my wife and I have done over the last 6 months after getting some help. The part about speaking to him ever day/what you appreciate etc is very clever..... my wife started doing that for me, and it caused me to feel bad after a (short) while about my behavior towards her...

    Whilst I wouldn't profess to know exactly what you and your husband is going through, i would say that i chose to respond as I have been 'that guy' - the one your husband is being right now. Your description of what is happening / his behavior is exactly what happened to me/my wife...... so i may have some insight into his thought process..... i gave my wife a hard time about getting back in shape after pregnancies (we have 4 kids! so there was no time for her to flirt with other guys too..... 3,5,10,11!!!!), even though i have played virtually every sport known to man and competed in events too..... i encouraged her to write music, but then would freak out if she wanted to play her songs on a guitar at a coffee house etc. I REALLY was that guy - then something happened....... i pushed, and i pushed and i pushed,,,,,, and my wife is NOT one to be pushed, until i found out 6 months ago that all those years of pushing and she had had enough...... turns out she was having an affair with one of my best friends for the last year - right under my nose....

    You see if a guy keeps telling a girl something like i was - eventually she may just decide - fine i will do what it is you suspect me of.....

    6 months on some pretty intensive days/weeks/months of counselling and help for BOTH of us, and we are stronger and more secure and more in love than ever......

    What could have avoided it was me getting help and not ignoring it - i had a similar history of abuse and neglect such as your husbands...... its like an onion - many, many fine layers that accumulate and need to be slowly peeled back - and removing those layers can be uncomfortable...... for me it wasnt one thing, but many little things that i never understood or could even see at the time, it was all my wifes fault, not mine.....

    So poppi's advice is very good - but mine is he needs to talk to someone TRAINED - how you bring that up, and when, is the hard part!

    Good luck