My wife is currently 6 months pregnant with our second baby. She has expressed her feelings about me losing weight while she gains it. In her ever so diplomatic way she let me know that it bothers her. So me being the loving husband that I am, have become much less particular about what I eat, slowing down (and reversing) the wonderful gains I previously made. However, is it wrong of me to just disregard her feelings on this matter and dive right back in - or will I incur the wrath of the Pregnancy Gods by purposely angering a woman in the middle of a body altering ordeal? Just looking for everyones honest opinions.
When I got pregnant, my husband embarked on a diet/fitness campaign and started shedding weight like crazy. Meanwhile, because of fertility drugs and two pregnancies back-to-back (we lost our first and then I got pregnant again just a couple of months later.Yes, I was pregnant FOREVER!) I was the heaviest I'd ever been in my life, by close to fifty pounds. I told my husband that I was very pleased that he was getting in shape and losing weight, but that if he went below MY weight, I would kill him. KILL HIM. :-D I told him flat out that I had no problem being a single mom, and that when it came to trial I'd make sure that some women were on the jury and I'd never be convicted. (Plus, I used to be a cop. I know how to hide the bodies! LOL)
He lost forty pounds, but when I delivered our daughter he was still a whole two pounds heavier than I. So I let him live. :-)
i dont think any man can ever undertand how difficult it can be for a pregnant woman to see her body be completely transformed and completely out of her control. we KNOW that women need to gain weight while pregnant in order to have a healthy pregnancy, and since this is her second pregnancy, she also knows that the bulk of that weight is lost to fluids in the first couple of weeks postpartum. i cannot stress how emotionally hard it still is though to watch your body spiral out of your control. i only gained 20 pounds with each kiddo, but it stayed on me and has been very hard to lose. in the time ive lost ten pounds, my husband has lost 30 with little effort on his part. its frustrating, especially when women are confronted by these heidi klum images of women modeling for victorias secret 6 weeks postpartum. we definitely get the message that its unacceptable to not be back ot a "bikini body" on our way out of the hospital.
some empathy for what she is feeling would definitely be in order. this doesnt sound like a "fight" you need to "win", or an argument at all, but rather her expressing her frustrations and fears about how this pregnancy is changing her body. just talk to her about how beautiful she is, and how her body is doing this miraculous thing, working harder than it ever will. growing a human being is no small task.
for a year+, her body IS NOT HER OWN, and thats a hard thing to have to get used to. shes not "obese", shes PREGNANT. shes not "fat, shes PREGNANT. and with time, when her body and the baby are ready, she will be back in shape, but now is the time for her to focus on taking care of herself and her baby. what she needs to do to stay healthy is different than what you need to do to stay healthy, but no doubt thats the ultimate goal for you both. i know that she knows this, because i go theough the same things when im pregnant. all the women i know do to an extent. just take care of her, be gentle with her and remind her to be gentle with herself during this transformation. there will be time for her to someday see her abs again.
You will need to be on top of your game physically once your baby arrives (as you probably know all too well from baby #1!). If you can make this argument for your wife - and then convince her that you being in your best shape will mean you can help extra in 3 months with the kiddoes while she gets a break - to sleep, to exercise, whatever! - then you might get some grace.
Remind her as lovingly and diplomatically as you can that you will go very much out of your way to assist with her postpartum fitness and nutrition goals - and in the meantime that you adore her exactly how she is. (Also not a bad time to wax appreciative of the beauty brought by beholding one's "glowing"/"radiant" pregnant wife.)
For right now, even beside your fitness routine, go for walks with your family. If weather doesn't permit, go to the mall and take a stroll. Just get the blood going a bit. The change of scenery and the mild exertion will help.
Also: are you helping her with her meals/cooking/cleanup, etc. right now? That might also be a way to help relieve her stress while keeping her healthy, too! Nothing says undying love like a man frying eggs in bacon grease at the stove.
I would say that if the roles were reversed, and a man was trying to subvert and suppress a woman in the same manner, one might regard it as emotionally abusive and controlling. I think it's terribly unfair of her to try to coerce you into being in sub-optimal shape just because she feels unattractive/obese.
don't disregard her feelings, but also don't disregard your health. Why can't you eat paleo/healthy and still support her at the same time?
I don't think this is really about food. I think this is about her feeling left behind...
I think a good heart to heart is in order. I understand people make comments "wow you look great have you lost weight?" and then turn around and say to her "you're so huge! when are you due?" (honestly that would make me want to punch both the person saying that and my husband) You can't help what other people say, BUT you can be extra loving and supportive. If she gets upset, let her get upset, but I think that's where the heart to heart comes in. "Honey, I'm not doing this to undermine/upset you. I'm doing this so I can be HEALTHY so I can take care of you and the baby." Talk it out. Why is she so upset? Is it like Eva said? Find out how your wife is feeling, what she is thinking. Don't forget that even if we don't admit it women enjoy being the pretty ones! (I was once told that the woman is the picture and the man is the picture frame...I bet she's feeling more like the picture frame and its upsetting her) I think if you tell her that your focus is on health rather than weight loss it'll be better and if you remind her just how beautiful she is.
Tell her and SHOW HER WITH YOUR ACTIONS how wonderful she looks, how much she means to you, how excited you are that she's carrying your baby and making this sacrifice for both of you (I know you don't get the option to carry the baby, but give her credit, she needs it). Cook healthy meals for BOTH of you. I like the idea of going on walks as a family.
Maybe this can looked at from an evolutionary standpoint. Your wife is pregnant. She may see herself as not as hot and desirable as before. You on the other hand are losing weight and improving your "value." Your display of higher value has your wife feeling threatened. You're getting more attractive and she's not (in her mind). She's afraid of losing you to a non-pregnant hot female. Meanwhile, she's pregnant and worried she's going to be stuck with the baby by herself. It's an evolutionary defense mechanism.
You might want to pose your question to Athol Kay, who runs the Married Man Sex Life blog. http://www.marriedmansexlife.com/
The heart of this issue is not weight. The real question/prob is why does it bother her that you are eating healthy and losing weight? Is she feeling insecure about how fat she is with the baby and is worried you might end up looking to good and not want her anymore? Are you giving her reasons to feel this way? If so, then your job would be to reassure he and even seek counciling if need be. This level of insecurity is a bit over the top, but of course, when hormones surge, small insecurities can sometimes become larger ones. And if you are going around acting smug about your healthier eating (and believe me, I know this is easy to do as I do it myself), that could be another source of the problem. Or she might feel guilty or worried about eating right for her child or maybe she even disagrees with the health of your diet. But whatever the problem, this problem is not really about the paleo diet, it is about a problem in your marriage and you need to deal with it as such. There would be no point in you going back to your wife and saying that the people on paleo diet board say you are being unreasonable. That would not help you as we would be giving you advice while knowing only one tiny piece of the puzzle coming from your side of the story. You will need to deal with root of the whole problem in order to straighten this out.
My first child, I gained weight right alongside my wife. Bad idea.
My second child I was fully into paleo/primal, and both the wife and I ate pretty well - me much more so than her (I'm not going to convert her unless she sees the light for herself, and has yet to do so). She put on MUCH less weight for this pregnancy (she even started at a lower weight without realizing thanks to my cooking) and it came off for her very quickly.
I'd say it's best to give your wife the support she needs, but honestly - it's in both of your best interests to maintain a healthy way of eating.
I think the other answers here have more or less covered it, so I'll just observe that your profile mentions one relative dying from obesity related complications and one "constantly sick or injured." I think this means you have ample reason to not "slow down and reverse... the wonderful gains [you] previously made." Weight loss is one of those those areas where people often find it difficult to get back on track if they slow down or break good habits for a while, so it's quite a demand for you to purposefully "be less particular" about what you eat for three months or more. It's one thing for your wife to let you know that "it bothers her" (which is quite reasonable) and another for her to explicitly request that you harm your health for her sake. Without wanting to suggest that pregnant women are necessarily irrational, I think it's reasonable in this situation to suggest that even if it's difficult for your wife now to see you losing weight, from her own ideally rational perspective she would want you to be healthy and would support you losing weight (as presumably she did before). Of course, if she says explicitly, that she still wants you to gain weight, then it's up to you what you do, but I don't think it's at all unreasonable to put your health first- and that's taking into account her feelings and interests.