Getting Healthy for Good: When he won’t get healthy

By Laurie Marshall

A while back I mentioned that my husband was being treated for high blood pressure. Actually, there was a whole post about it.

His doctor has him taking a couple of different medications three times a day, and it’s brought his numbers down enough that he doesn’t have to visit the clinic every few weeks any longer. Unfortunately, what the Hubster really wanted to hear, but didn’t, was that he was “fixed” and no longer has to take medication.

Men are weird, aren’t they? Where I see success, he sees failure because he continues to take pills every day.

So that issue is at least under control, if not eradicated, but today we have a new challenge. This morning, Hubster sent me a text that consisted of a single word that I won’t repeat here, lest I offend. Of course, my mind is on overload trying to imagine what he could be upset about that would cause a monosyllabic swear word to show up on my smartphone… there are a lot of options to choose from. Job loss, car accident, hot coffee in the lap… so I ask what’s up.

He replied that he had a message from the doctor’s office – they want him to make an appointment to talk about his blood sugar levels. Aaaaand, the other shoe falls.

At our last visit (is it odd that I go to the doctor with my 44 year old husband??) he gave some blood to compare with a previous visit that showed him having blood glucose levels just over the line into the high side. Since the last visit was several weeks ago, Hubster had just mentioned a few days ago that the numbers must have come back okay the second time as we hadn’t heard anything. Obviously, no one knocked on wood.

I can’t pretend to know exactly what the doctor will tell us. I know my husband is overweight. I know he doesn’t exactly eat what anyone would define as a healthy diet. I know he gets no regular exercise. So, while can’t know exactly, I can certainly make a fairly educated guess.

I’m hoping that there will be some discussion of diet and activity levels that need to be changed and a timeline for working on getting some pounds off. Then there could be a re-test at a future date to gauge the success of those efforts. But I truly don’t know. I’m a whiz at cancer information, but really know nothing but the basics about diabetes and it’s treatment options.

I’m a fairly rose-colored-glasses kind of girl, but I’ll admit it’s stressful being married to someone you love deeply and hope to spend a long life with, and to be faced with multiple health challenges that could very easily compromise that plan. Like, within the next few years. It’s even more stressful when that someone is less than enthusiastic about making the changes that need to be made to overcome those challenges.

I haven’t yet gotten to the “why didn’t you do more to be healthy when you were younger?” blame-the-victim stage yet. Hopefully there will be none of that since it’s really pointless to look back.

I’ve been writing about trying to make changes in my own life, and to take on new habits for myself to get healthier. But as I’ve tried to make those changes there has been no attempt made by anyone in my family to join me. I would like to think that this new wrinkle that could potentially be a very serious health issue would kick-start some healthier habits in my husband. But I truly don’t know if they will. He might get more active, but his eating preferences simply do not involve whole grains and vegetables. It sounds silly, but I am concerned that it’s something we won’t be able to find a middle-ground. Worse, I fear that he will try, and just give up when change doesn’t come.

And here’s where I get preachy: We can’t take our health for granted. We can’t let our children take their health for granted. There is a reason that obesity is called an epidemic – because it is truly a health emergency in our country. Carrying around extra pounds doesn’t just prevent you from shopping in most of the local specialty clothing boutiques and vintage shops (but I hate that part!), it can shorten your life! And not when you’re 60-something. Now! In your 30s and 40s! We simply can’t wait until next week to start a plan to get healthier. We have to start today. And tomorrow. And keep it up. It has to be a choice, and it has to become part of our lives, not a hobby we do when we have time.

We can’t just GET healthy, we have to LIVE healthy.

What are you doing to LIVE healthy right now?

Look for Laurie’s fitness tips and updates on her personal health-focused journey every other Friday on nwaMotherlode in Mom Blogs. Send questions or input to her at Or click on the comment button below and share your thoughts right now! To see previous installments of Getting Healthy for Good, click HERE.