Does Fat Spouse = Fat Servicemember?

tape-test-570x200

Is there a connection between a servicemember not meeting military height and weight standards — or, in official Army talk, being “over fat,” — and having an overweight spouse?

In the civilian model, one’s weight usually doesn’t have anything to do with their spouse’s chosen career. But does that — or should it — pertain to military spouses?

Some MilSpouses contend that not exercising and being out-of-shape has little to do with their spouse’s job. They say there’s no connection with their soldier making height and weight and what they (as spouses) do or don’t do at home.

“His leaving at 4:30 a.m. to make PT is his job, not mine,” one spouse told me. “I don’t represent the military. I have the kids to care for and a household to run, and I’m too tired at the end of the day to work out.”

She said her weight, the type of meals they eat at home, and their activity level, “had nothing to do with military, much less him making tape.

But others disagree and think that the military should influence home life. Being an overweight spouse, they say, inadvertently affects the soldier.

One active-duty soldier explains, “Spouses are looked at just as closely as those in uniform …” he wrote on a Yahoo chat wall. “They should take pride in being a representative of the military family and stay in shape.”

Another male reader wrote that there’s a “fat wife syndrome in the military.” Yet another said,Military men and women work extremely hard nearly daily [sic] to keep in shape. … They have to make time to work out … . If they can make time why can’t their spouses?”

A female soldier chimed in. “My husband and I are (both military),” she said. “For goodness sakes [sic], half of these battle-cruiser-fat-dependent-wives don’t work. … They can at least go to the gym instead of eating (bonbons) all day.”

However, many more argue that spouses aren’t the ones who chose to enlist. One active-duty soldier wrote on the Yahoo wall that, “it’s no one else’s business.”

“Trust me, (these) wives are aware of how they look and they don’t need (anyone) telling them,” she said. “(Many) have never walked a mile in (their shoes) and don’t have a clue what they go through. … And no, it is not a spouse’s job to look fit for her husband. She is not a representative of MY U.S. Army. I am. Because I am (the) soldier.”

So, what’s really at stake here?

Sure, a milspouse’s health-habits affect the family, but is it really about her representing the military, helping him making tape, or the military’s perceived influence?

Staying healthy to enjoy a better quality of life and taking pride in and being responsible for your own wellbeing — that is what’s important—it have nothing to do with anything else. It’s about you.

This is what matters: caring for you, being healthy for yourself, for each other, and for those who care about and love you. It’s about making health a family thing and setting an example for your offspring. It’s about reaping health benefits in all aspects of your lives.

It’s about being connected. And if working out together maintains that bond, great. Little things staying healthy shows that you have your soldier’s back, that you have each other’s back.

It’s about support, consideration, encouragement.

According to one Yahoo responder, all this “talk” about whether or not spouses’ weight matters is a distraction and jeopardizes much more.

“As an Army, we are only as strong as we are united,” he wrote, “and (this) behavior, and most likely (these) attitudes towards military spouses will divide them from (their) soldier, and in turn, the U.S. Army.”

Does he have a point or do you totally disagree? What’s your take on issue?

About the Author

Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro
Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro is a journalist by trade, a blogger, creative writing instructor and business owner. She has a Bachelor's in English and a Master's in Writing. She's written for various newspapers including Joint Base Lewis-McChord's The Ranger, the Airlifter, The Pacific Northwest Veterans, and two online magazines -- JBLM Spouses and JBLM Singles. Corinne writes for the Killeen Daily Herald newspaper (http://kdhnews.com/blogs/health_springs/), and her military blog (http://www.rankandfile.blog.com) profiles interviews, articles and editorials on issues surrounding military life. Her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood, TX.

99 Comments on "Does Fat Spouse = Fat Servicemember?"

  1. I don't think we should judge the spouse. The spouse should try to be healthy for healthy sake, not because we are judging some type of military standard. HOWEVER, I know quite a few men who are barely passing PT test and it would be a lot easier for them if their wives would stop making the heavy cream sauces and fried foods for dinner. It's one thing not to hold yourself to that standard, it is another to sabotage your spouse before he tests!

  2. Alrighty then. For the record, most of my life I was 5'4 and an athletic140 lbs. The past decade has been a nightmare for our family, just a never ending onslaught of deployments, death and incessant moving. I am now at 40 closer to 200 lbs. It's not something I am proud of, but it's Aldo not high on my agenda of give a S either. That's just me.
    I think the truth in why you see many overweight spouses has a lot to do with depression, anxiety et all that come naturally with military life. The service member has some sense of consistency to their life, they plug and play into a new job, but similar SOP. They have built in new friends at each unit etc. For the spouse military life can be very daunting, constant reinvention of your self, constant having to make new friends et all. Where your tolerance level for that is, who knows. Mine was ok until very recently. There is also so thing to be said for a lot of military men seem to prefer their wife be on the heavier side. I have heard explanations for that over the years running the gammet from: they are around men all the time, they want soft females to they are gone so much they feel more secure with an overweight wife at home.

  3. My husband and I are both in the miltary and we believe it is a joint effort to stay in shape. While, yes, there is a requirement in the military we also believe in generally living a healthy lifestyle. What we do is directly seen and emulated by our children. If we are fat butts who sit on the couch all day, our children will grow to be the same. If I was a stay at home wife, I would say it was partly my responsibility to ensure my miltary member stay fit. As many women say, they are responsible for the cooking and the kids. A lot fo weight issues begin in the kitchen. If you work out but don't eat healthy, there will be little result. As the main household spouse, it should be their job to ensure their military ember is properly fed and have the kids watched so they have the option to work out.

  4. jacey_eckhart | September 10, 2013 at 9:38 am |

    No one ever got thin by being shamed. We have to see that weight is like money–it has many more meanings and nuances and contributing factors than just eating less and exercising more. It is about more than willpower. It is about dealing with stress and handling unhappiness and coping with your life history. Learning how to do that without food is harder for some people than for others.

    We can always do a little better–and it helps to have a supportive, loving, come-walk-with-me-honey kind of partner.

  5. A female soldier chimed in. “My husband and I are (both military),” she said. “For goodness sakes [sic], half of these battle-cruiser-fat-dependent-wives don’t work. … They can at least go to the gym instead of eating (bonbons) all day.”

    I really can't believe that comment by the female soldier. I am guessing that she and her husband don't have a house full of kids. I do not know any SAHM, military or not, that sits home and eats bonbons all day. How disrespectful for her to say that about the women that support their husbands while deployed and take care of everything.

  6. We can't provide a hot breakfast for deployed troops, but we can fund silly bullshit like this? We have to many people in our Military community with nothing to do but dream this crap up.

  7. It's the responsibility of the Officer or Enlisted person to stay in Physical and Mental Health. The spouse should be supportive of that person's vocation. The Spouse is not responsible for passing the requirements of Commission or Enlistment. The spouse is there to provide Love, support, and encouragement, and care. But what do I know I was a single guy and did my time and left. I knew when I began to question my Civilian Leaders on matters of where I may be in harms way for reasons I didn't agree it was more than just a Marine griping about chow and ammo.

  8. People, even soldiers, need to be held accountable for themselves and their actions. To blame them not making tape on a spouse is beneath them as soldiers. As far as a stay at home mom sitting on her butt eating bonbons all day, ridiculous. Being a good mom is hard work, not always conducive to finding "workout" time.. especially if the other parent is deployed or out on training. Let's find some real news.

  9. Taking three posts from a chat wall does not an argument make….if that's the standard for writing an article, we've sunk low indeed.

    "One active-duty soldier explains, “Spouses are looked at just as closely as those in uniform …” he wrote on a Yahoo chat wall. “They should take pride in being a representative of the military family and stay in shape.”

    Another male reader wrote that there’s a “fat wife syndrome in the military.” Yet another said, “Military men and women work extremely hard nearly daily [sic] to keep in shape. … They have to make time to work out … . If they can make time why can’t their spouses?”

    A female soldier chimed in. “My husband and I are (both military),” she said. “For goodness sakes [sic], half of these battle-cruiser-fat-dependent-wives don’t work. … They can at least go to the gym instead of eating (bonbons) all day.”

  10. I think military spouses who are overweight is a big problem. We may not be enlisted but the army is still paying for our medical bills. If we are overweight and unhealthy and creating issues health-wise for ourselves, the military is picking up the tab. They absolutely have the right to encourage healthy living for that reason alone. Yet they also should encourage it because it can affect the soldier if you’re making fried chicken and Mac and cheese every night, he won’t be up to par for his PT. I’ve struggled with weight myself, but depression is not an excuse- our men have demons much larger than ours, yet they still keep in shape. I hope wives start taking their own initiative to health up after this article, so that the army won’t feel the need to step in.

  11. ok here goes…..yes i am a mil spouse and i am a stay at home mom. and yes i am overweight. to the female soldier what you dont understand is that i put everyone in my family ahead of myself. i make sure that my soldier eats right and that he takes the time to work out. i make sure that my kids have everything that they need and want (when i can). i know how i look to other people and trust me when i say that it HURTS when people like you say stuff like that. i hide my feeling from everyone. i hurt, i cry, i worry, and i am very stressed half the time. but my family and everyone that sees me thinks that all is going good. but i do that for my kids so that they dont see my pain because me and my husband believe that our kids come first and we dont want them to worry. i am happy that your family is fit but you dont need to talk about others that way. you deal with your family and WE will deal with ours.

  12. As military spouses, we have it rough sometimes. It's hard not to let the separation and anxiety affect what we eat and choose to prepare for dinner. However, it's also our job as wives to support our husbands, and if his job requires him to maintain a certain level of physical fitness, we should be doing what we can to help them meet their goals. BUT when it all comes down to it, the military member is responsible for his or her self and knew what they were signing up for. And as for the "female soldier" who thinks we all sit at home eating bonbons, she needs a reality check. Don't pretend to know what other people are going through!

  13. as an army wife i do all i can to stay healthy, i make sure my husband eats healthy too.
    i care for him and his job in the army. I workout with him to keep him motivated and to make sure he makes tape. i hope others spouses do the same!

  14. As a SAHM of 3, I think it is our duty as a wife and mother to help our families anyway we can. My husband always has to taped because of his body typed, but he is also not the smallest person either. And I do whatever I can to help him loose extra weight so he doesn’t get in trouble at work. If that means parking in the back of the parking lot so we have to walk more, cooking better, ect. He complains ALOT to me but I know that it’s for the best for all of us. And now that he realizes it, he is actually going to the gym on his own and doing workouts with a trainer to better himself. And I do believe that we, as wives, are a representation of our husbands (or wives) so I do go to the gym and work out and I try to stay active for several different reasons. One it’s for my kids, it gives me energy to play with them and that’s the most important one and secondly it keeps me looking at least decent. I’m not going to say I’m the fittest person ever because that is not true by far but I go out to the gym, I exercise and I have fun with it.

  15. Amanda Champion | September 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |

    While I do not want my husbands command blamming me for him not passing his tapeing, I do believe I play a key role. I’ve struggled with my weight for numerous reasons (some medical) my whole life. Once I found out I was pregnant I made a big diet change and encouraged him to do the same. A simple switch of baked crackers instead of chips. This command makes him pt less often then his last but cutting out salt, drinking more water, ect in my diet has encouraged him to do the same. He has lost more weight in these last 3 weeks then the last 2 months. You can’t expect the service member to come home and chose to eat something else when he or she is hungry and wanting home cooked food.

  16. I am a military spouse and can first hand tell you that the ones that say that kind of thing are wrong.. MOST military spouses that are married to higher ranks are the ones that look down to the other spouses that are higher weight.
    Every time I had gone out they looked at me like I was white trash and not worthy of being a military spouse. So I would get home and eat because it was the only thing I wanted to do.. I wanted to hide not go to the gym because all the Skinny spouses and higher ups were there and didn't want to shame myself or my husband because I couldn't do anything..

    We know we are fat, that doesn't mean we don't take care of our spouses properly. I would fix everything for my husband except breakfast. even sent cookies from time to time for everyone my spouse worked with just to keep their spirits up. Was even told by a nutritionist that I make the portions right and everything. I NEVER got the support from anyone other than my spouse.

    Yes the spouses are looked at too, but to be honest they are considered arm candy if anything else. One trying to up the next. That is all I got out of EVERY function I went to for the military.

    If this makes people made I'm sorry but the military spouses have to STOP being clique-ish and the military needs to do their job and help the families if they see an issue. most times they don't because the aren't willing to open their eyes outside the fact that the ones enlisted belong to them and that's that..

    It stress's the spouses( and kids too) out hard core and most times we deal with stress by eating because its safe to go to and wont scorn us.

  17. I don't think it matters if the wife is big, or the spouse. I have been both active duty and now I am just a spouse. I have put on some weight, and I should probably work on taking it off. Between moving every few years and having 3 active kids and going to school myself full time/or working full time I have a hard time making it to the gym. (and I hate to say this, but I hate the gyms at the bases in the states, they are just to packed). Now that my school is over I am pondering it. I do now work full time as well, and have most of our married life, except when I could not get a job. I know it would make me feel better – but let me say, my husband does take the time to keep himself in shape, as a matter of fact he is pretty thin, and so are my kids. We eat the same foods, I know if I worked out or ran I too would lose some weight as well! I don't think my weight bothers him, he offers to run with me all the time. (I just run really slow, so I hate holding him up). I don't think it matters if the spouse is weighty. Would I like to have something like weight watchers started on base for spouses to attend, be held accountable (if they choose to join). YES! I need to be held accountable, I need the weekly weigh in, and the chat about what you can do better each week. YES I need that, and I would like that.

  18. I agree that it is inappropriate to label military SAHMs as sitting around all day eating bonbons. I am currently military and grew up in a military family where both my father and mother (at first) were enlisted. After I was born, my mother got out in order to be a SAHM. For the first several years (and kids) she stayed rather trim (without much focused exercise). But the routine started to get to her and she started tending towards escapism. She would care for us and my father faithfully but complained a large amount of the time about all she was doing and how very little time she had. Meanwhile, the television, formerly rarely turned on, was now being played a minimum of five hours a day. Somehow, the number of hours of television watching were never entered into the equation of how much time she had to spare. This escapism led to more general inactivity. This general inactivity led to more weight. This weight, psychologically and biochemically, led to more stress and less ability to deal with said stress. This increase of stress led to more escapism, and the cycle continued for at least ten years. Within the past few years, she broke out of the cycle to a large extent and is on her way towards great improvement, mentally and physically. But this was not before she hit 210 at 5'4" when her natural weight was hardly over 120. I am not suggesting that this is the case towards all or even most military SAHMs. What I am saying is that inappropriate coping of stress only leads to greater stress. If it is copious and blatantly unhealthy eating or increasing amounts of time watching television or cruising social media, it is not actually helping with the stress. It is simply ignoring it while it continues to grow, only to ignore it harder whenever you look up and get overwhelmed again. There are ways to integrate physical activity in family life (my mother is now doing it as a single mother with a full-time job and five kids at home). Blaming stress in order to justify practices that only increase the stress in the long run is not helpful nor vindicating. Certain people are naturally heavier than others and have to work much harder to maintain a certain "shape". That's not the issue. The issue is in the unhelpful coping mechanisms that aid egregious obesity. Heavier than the norm is one thing. Heading towards doubling Your norm is quite another. To whom this applies, let it be heard in the spirit or intended help not judgmental criticism. To whom this does not apply, let it not be assumed that I mean it to.

  19. I'd say that in any family, military or not, it is difficult for one member to be healthy and another to not. Especially if the one not concerned w/being healthy is the one in charge of grocery shopping & cooking. I've never wanted to make two dinners, so if I want to eat healthier, my hubby is just going to have to put up with it. lol When it comes to a military family, where one member HAS to be in a certain shape, the spouse should want to help support that by eating healthier, and at the very least encouraging the military member to stay fit. And since they have to, why not make it a bonding experience. Go for walks together. If one spouse likes going to the gym, find fun classes you can take while they're working out (yoga, aqua aerobics, etc). Even minimal health efforts will help extend your life and make you feel better about yourself. So why not make that effort for you, especially when it's going to make your marriage/family life that much better?! Just my thought.
    Also, I have a milspouse friend who is a student, taking care of 3 kids, pregnant, healthy meal planning and still running as often as she could until baby said no more…all while supporting her Marine hubby. There are super spouses who can take on the world, and there are those who operate at a normal level of energy (which is perfectly fine, that wasn't derogatory)…but there is nearly never an excuse for not trying to be healthier. No one is every too busy to choose low fat over full fat, or to go for a walk instead of watching a TV show. It's all about scheduling and prioritizing.

  20. 3 comments: Food choice in military is less than good when it come to gluten free or vegan lifestyles. Adequate sleep and exercise lifestyle is not a plus in the military, then when deployed this gets worse. A spouse may influence but above all it is the soldier and his/her commands responsibility to meet standards. 20 yr reserves vet – retired and seeing health benefits from retirement.

  21. I am a veteran, I was a SAHM, now I am a full time student. I try my best to fix good healty meals but if my husband wants to go eat out for lunch everyday and have a baskin robbins coffee or two and not make tape why is that my problem. He is a grown a$$ man and can take care of his self. He did it before I came along and he damn sure better do it after I am here. I am not going to take the balme for him being over tape. He is provided every oprotunity to work out and stay in shape, I used to buy stuff for him to make his lunch or pack leftovers for him but he has said "I just want to get out of the building I am not going to eat that there." So I stopped.

    I find it very unprofessional that the writer took comments off a public wall instead of talking to people directly. Do your damn job as a journalist and talk to people don't listen to peope who hide behind a message wall. If the comments have to be free from slander why don't the articles themselves have to be held to the same standard?

  22. This isn't a mlitary spouse problem, this is an AMERICAN problem. Americans, for the most part, are entirely unhealthy, eat crap, don't exercise and basically do nothing to combat obesity. People make far too many allowances for obesity to continue in this country. The actual percentage of people who are overweight due to a medical condition is miniscule compared to the number of people who just eat too much. No one is saying "shame the fat people!", but we also should STOP pretending being fat is no one's fault and it's perfectly okay- it's not. It's destructutive to your health and the health of your children who are forced to live according to an unhealthy parental lifestyle and also increases medical premiums and puts an increased burden on the medical community for care. This is a national problem and it needs to be addressed as such- a PROBLEM!

  23. Why does it always have to be bon bons??? Geee-SUS. Don't they know it's SNICKERS BARS? C'mon. (totally teasing here, btw) But seriously. Why is it always bon bons? I wouldn't even know where to GET bon bons.

  24. We are all adults and being healthy is a choice.. You can choose to eat right, you can choose to exercise and you can choose to live a healthy lifestyle…. I choose to live a healthy lifestyle because I am most happiest when I do and I am a better mom and wife when I am.. I do not blame anyone but myself when I gain weight… I eat healthy however, I do not force my husband to eat what I eat, it's his choice to eat what he wants. So I disagree that if one is overweight, so is the other.. Though we are married to an active duty member, that doesn't mean we are one, we are individual adults and make our own decisions when it comes to eating and exercising. I strongly believe we should try to motivate each other to practice healthy living, but if one chooses not to, we can not force them. I do however believe that our active duty members are fed crap and the military should really rethink the food choices they offer, if weight is such a problem. To the girl above who said,"I eat because of the way higher ranking spouses look at me" I am an officers spouse and would never do that to anyone, we don't wear the rank, we're just along for the ride.. If someone is looking down on you than its your CHOICE to show them different.. Never blame anyone but yourself for the lifestyle you choose!

  25. It also goes along with we are spouses we are not military. Our spouses are! It is their job to stay fit. Yes it is great to stay fit as a family but on the flip side with all the arguments about spouses thinking they are military we are military families we are not in the military. I don’t wear the uniform there for I d not have to follow the regulations for myself. If I am fit, I choose to be fit not because my husband is in the military. It is not a spouses responsibility to stay fit because the other is in the military. I make sure we eat healthy meals, if my husband needs to go run or workout I do not stop him or nag at him because he is gone. To the one who said find the time to work out. I have 3 hours a day no kids and usually during that time I am either cleaning so it can get done or running errands or other work then they get home and homework till 5 or so, fix dinner, get them ready for bed, tuck them in, make lunches and then I get a whole 45 minutes with my husband before it is our bedtime. So please tell me exactly when there is squeeze time to work out for an hour there. Its easy to judge what others should be doing when you are on the outside.

  26. This is one of the most insulting things I have ever read. I have a family with a long Army history and I see how much service both the soldier AND the spouse give to our country. Y'all ought to be celebrating the spouses that keep the family running, not chatting about their weight in Yahoo loops.

  27. As a military wife, I understand the point that this article is TRYING to make…sort of. However, it is not taking into consideration the concept that HOME LIFE, not just the military life, is also a joint effort. The article should have highlighted the benefit/s of balancing work-life responsibilities with significant others. If both a military AND non-military spouse has more support both emotionally and physically with their own day to day struggles with work AND home-life, there will potentially be less stress, increased energy, and a positive attitude towards a more active lifestyle. Lets not be blind and blame-shift. Remember, when one points their finger, there are three pointing right back. Take personal responsibility while providing positive support and encouragement with your loved ones whether with work at with home-life.

  28. My whole family is military and guess what….all wives were overweight. Think on this, what is the definition of overweight? According to our society any woman who cant fit in size 0-2! We are not all models and are not meant to be. And some women even trying to work out in the few minutes of time they get with all the other running around they do in a day GENETICS PLAY A ROLL! Having children also makes it hard to lose that belly fat (my biggest prob area im having trouble in).My hubby was army reserve (he on IRR now) but works for the AF as a civilian and we live on base. I have the PRIVILEGE to be a stay at home mom, I am also overweight, and have 2 kids under 2. I don't go to the gym due to being very tired by the end of the day. I don't know anyone here and the few people i do i don't know well enough to leave my kids with them yet. But…again 2 under 2 i am always moving, cooking, cleaning, feeding, chasing, running errands, no housewife i know just sits around all day. and to the military wife who made that comment, its obvious shes not a homemaker or she wouldn't have opened her mouth. She may be in shape but she has a fat mouth

  29. My husband and I have been married 10 years and I'm just now coming to a point where I can tell him no. No I can't take care of 2 kids, get the house looking like a model home inside and out, work 40 hours a week (from home) doing hair, cook heathy meals for everyone, tend a 600+ square foot garden, can our garden veggies for later use, do my hair and makeup every day and then make time to exercise and keep him happy with my "wifely duties". Once I learned to say no my stress went down and I am starting to find time to take care of me. I don't like my weight, but that female soldier that suggested that bonbons are to blame can kiss my grits! I'm fat because I got stretched so thin that eating out was quicker so I could get more done.

  30. amotherandwife96 | September 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

    I had to sit back a moment and think about what I was going to say about this.

    I am floored that this female soldier thought it was appropriate to say “For goodness sakes [sic], half of these battle-cruiser-fat-dependent-wives don’t work. … They can at least go to the gym instead of eating (bonbons) all day.”

    I am the spouse of a US Marine. We have been married 17 years. He went to Fallujah in 2004 and was severely wounded. We have 3 children one with a major disability. I was 126 pounds when we married. I slowly started to gain weight after the birth of our 1st, the one with the disability. I had to put myself second. Then I put myself behind the families I served when my husband deployed 3 times before the war because I chose not to sit around and eat bon-bons.
    I then had to become his caregiver. I had to clean him and help him learn to walk again. He even tried to take my life because of his PTSD and TBI.

    To the female soldier that was quoted..I hope you read this. What you said was just cruel. You have no idea what is going on in peoples lives. It was beneath you as a woman to stoop down to what you said.

    Also,
    My husband is a mustang. He served on both the enlisted and officer side. The worlds are better or worse, they are different. Please don't use general sweeping statements about a group of people. We are all trying to serve and survive this life togther.

  31. So my thoughts on this, since everyone else is putting in their two cents. I would say that it's super easy to judge from one side of the fence or the other. I've read some responses coming from dual military and what they believe they would do if they were an at home mom etc. I've read responses from at home mom's who just don't care at the moment, life is a bit to pressing. My thoughts is this… everyone has a different walk in life. Everyone came from different backgrounds, learned different lessons, value different things… those differences are what make people individuals. I've been through a lot of both sides. When we first got into the military I was already big and just had my 2nd son. I tried getting in shape during his AIT courses, but I didn't have the expertise in physical fitness or health that I needed so I plateaued at 187lbs. I didn't have the money, was working as an at-home-mother of a toddler and infant and didn't have money for a babysitter, double stroller or anything that would help me on my walk. I didn't know the amazingness that is youtube, or that I could watch fitness videos on there. Our 1st PCS I found out I was pregnant again. At the end of that pregnancy I was 219lbs. I had some pretty awesome friends who would walk with me, after I talked them into and then we later decided we were going to start running. My youngest is now 2 and I'm finally down to 139lbs. Looking to possibly join the military when my husband gets back from deployment. Would I say it's my responsibility to be fit for my husband and children, sure, but with that being said, no matter how much I pushed him to eat clean or workout with me or push himself at PT, it wasn't until he decided he wanted to do it, that he did. Maybe it was motivating to know his wife had abs and he didn't… /shrugs My point is… soldiers can't blame their wives and no one has a clue what other people have going on in their lives so I wouldn't be so quick to lob stones at them. I have an easier time working out now because my older two are in school and I have a jogging/running stroller I can take my 2 yr. old in. I wasn't always so blessed.

  32. I am a new SAHM (in the past year) but have been a military spouse for 9 years now. I think whether you like it or not, in a way, you as the spouse are a reflection of your husband. Being physically fit is part of their job, but as a spouse who supports your sailor/soldier/marine/airman, shouldn't you make the first step of that support start at home? Being healthy is important to us as a family and for me, working out and eating healthy, and serving healthy food to my family (because I do all the shopping and cooking now!) is a big priority. I definitley think that the spouses have to support each other in that quest though. And I know that since moving to the west coast I have seen much more support for moms/wives to join workout clubs, running clubs, find walking buddies, etc. etc. You can't do it on your own – the motivations and support of others is key!

  33. You are right we are not activity duty and therefore should be allowed to live our lives without the command being completely in charge. However, my husband is owned by the military and they do have a right to kick him out if he’s not meeting standards, hence therefore affecting me. I would love to be proactive and prevent this is possible but I can only control me. I try to set a good example by working out but if he doesn’t want to, or is still at work there is nothing I can do about that. He is also in charge of the cooking since he’s a bit of a picky eater and I work as well, so I guess what I saying is back off.
    I think the Navy does a wonderful job of allowing spouses to use the gym and providing a child friendly room. I know it’s not ideal but I appreciate the effort. I also know the CDC has drop in care, which would be nice if it was next to the gym, but I’ll take what I can get. If they could make more changes I would include more parent and child interactive fitness classes.
    I know I am horrible about marytring myself and always putting others first but over the past few years I’ve come to discover that it’s really not that healthy either. It really helps my attitude when I value myself as much as I care for others.

  34. I'm confused... | September 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

    Well before married my husband I was a state-qualifying track runner. After marriage, I slowed down and I saw how that did not help being depressed. I have two children one of them special-needs and I still commit to working out at least three-times a week. At the Y on Fridays they reserve the gym for special needs people, and that's when it hit me. These people face life challenges everyday and they still are excited about working out. Here I am caught in my feelings because I don't have friends and I live somewhere completely foreign. After all the things you gave up willingly to join your spouse, you're willing to give up on you, your health? Study after study show how many diseases can be prevented from a proper diet and at least 30 mins of movement a day. Working out and eating right is not an impossible task. Am I saying beat down on those spouses that are overweight no not at all, they do that plenty enough on their own. Implement a little change everyday, swap those snacks out for fruit. When you are grocery shopping park furthest away (in daylight) from the entrance. Love your children play with them. So many things a spouse can do, you are the nucleus for your family, you can set the tone for a healthier lifestyle.

  35. the first mel | September 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm |

    It is the military member's responsibility to stay in shape. I am overweight and not in shape and my husband has never had an issue with his weight standards. He eats healthier than I do and he runs regularly. I have a autoimmune disease that affects the strength of my muscles, so exercising with him is not an option. I could never reach his level and I would hold him back. He runs 7 miles at least every other day. Also, excessive activity can make it difficult for me to handle my daily responsibilities of caring for the kids, house, pets, finances and errands. When I do too much I am down for a few days. My husband understands this and prefers that I am able to take care of everything so that he doesn't have to worry about it. He has never shamed me about my weight and his opinion is the only one that matters.

  36. Until you have walked in someone else's shoes, who are you to judge them? Not exercising, not eating healthy go hand in hand with depression which seems pretty widespread in this walk of life known as an active duty military spouse especially if she has children. If your husband is higher ranking, you have more life experience, a job, a degree, and no kids things might be easier. If he is not deployed so he can watch the kids while you exercise it is certainly easier to find time. Try being a single parent that just moved somewhere half way across the globe with a deployed husband. Gyms on post/base do NOT always offer childcare and depending on the children's ages and if they are specialy needs who do you suggest watch them during time that would be spent at the gym? Last deployment, I could do stroller jogs/walks and fitness tapes at home IF I wanted to forfeit the chance to take a shower that day. I am only 20 pounds over the weight I would like to be and when it was an option to put myself first I was thinner. Putting myself first now isn't an option, and that isn't my fault.

  37. My husband is one of those annoying can't gain weight when he tries people, but if he had a weight problem it would be HIS fault NOT mine! The meals he eats from home are super healthy. It's the crap at the chow halls and the huge fast food meals he downs when he gets 2 minutes to eat at work that would be the problem! I do my best to pack him healthy filling quick lunches, but there isn't always time the night before to do it. Working out together? HA when are we supposed to have time for that when he doesn't get home till 9pm? I could stand to lose a few pounds, and I d love to get to the gym more often, but when I have 2 kids and I'm doing most things without the help of my partner, and trying to cook from scratch with all natural foods, there isn't much time or energy left.

    The only time I would blame a spouse even a tad is if they are just ordering pizzas and Mcdonalds instead of trying to learn how to eat better (even with little time and energy it IS possible). Sometimes cooking yummy comfort food for your husband is something the wives like to do because the husbands love it and ask for it. I've heard plenty of young wives complain that their young husband won't eat any veggies, and want pizza rolls every night. What are they supposed to do then? Shove a salad down his throat?

  38. I agree that it is the service member's responsibility. I could cook healthy dinners every night and encourage him to bring his lunch, but I have given up nagging my husband about his before-bed snacks or weekend couple of beers costing him calories, and nagging him to work out (being pregnant and having 2 littles already to run after, I cannot keep up with the effort he needs to make to stay fit). I hate nagging. And I cannot control what he chooses to eat at lunch when he does not come home to eat. So no matter what my size (which I think is irrelevant, really), it is HIS decisions that make or break his effort to make weight and stay in shape. He is a grown man, and can and should take responsibility for his own actions.

    I see my part in his weight solely in support. Am I, as the main shopper, providing him with plenty of healthy snack options and cooking healthy family meals? Am I providing him with opportunity and encouragement to get out there and do extra PT if he needs to? So long as the answer to those is a yes, I have done my part. Whether my own weight is within army regs is no business of anyone outside my family or my doctor's office.

  39. I do get tired of the dependapotomus's excuses for being over weight. It doesn't happen over night to be come obese or over weight. It's takes time and laziness. I am an AF spouse, and AF veteran that is disabled now. In have more hardware than a Home Depot keeping me in one piece. I am a stay at home dad also. I work out three to five times a week. I make it a priority to stay fit. And being disabled doesnt make it easy. It takes work. And I budget time for it along with taking care of my daughter and wife and everything else that goes along with being a stay at home parent. It comes down to making a choice to be overweight or to be fit and healthy.

  40. Personal responsibility…?
    At what point did it end, cuz I never got the email update.

    As a military spouse. With a husband that’s deployed and have a full time job, volunteers with veterans, has one child who is also in high school and enlisted in the Army National Guard, and a full time plus a foster parent to to special needs kids while a full time student…I actually requested from the FRG, my local armory, and my case manager for the National Guard if there were any boot camp fitness camps or training programs or fitness programs for military wives while her husband are deployed to keep in shape. Guess what -there are none. Not one. So if the military and its members feel that spouses should be held accountable to the same standards as their spouses then it should be the military’s responsibility to provide the same facilities or opportunities or faculty members to train the spouses.

    I cannot help but to roll my eyes everytime I hear someone talk to me or about me as if I am a limb to my husband. Who happens to be in the military s his job.

  41. Spouse or service member, how we stay fit, be it because we have to wake up in the morning for PT or run around all day doing errands and chasing after children, they are forgetting another aspect. STRESS!!! Which plays one of the vital roles of an increase of cortisol that turns into fat. Though our service members endure a lot of stress from their CO or what have you, the spouse who stays at home does not exactly sit on her laurels all day "eating bon bons". There are also medical conditions to think of and other things that are out of our control, perhaps like GENES, not the kind that you wear! Unfortunately it's the kinds that you're born with from start to finish. However, those spouses who do get fit and are able to find a "sitter" or able to "drop your child off to day care" while you do your thing, kudos…. and give me some dang references for these sitters that don't really charge an arm and a leg. As for eating good? Well, my family eats properly now, but guess what?! If you don't want a GMO'd piece of meat on your table or vegetable for that matter…. that's gonna cost you too…… So everyone, to your health, cause it's gonna cost you!

  42. This article is a shame!! How judge mental! I have both served and been home on the other side now for 13 years with 3 kids! I cook and take care of my service man and I can not do anything or force him to do anything. Funny thing is why you all look down on the woman that are doing so much behind the scenes I am the one smaller and take care of myself in this house!!!! The service member here is the one who believes that he controls his job and being taped so its NOT out jobs!! To those who want to sit and pass judgement on the moms and stay at home parents shame on you!!! My job here is 300 times harder than the service member who is constantly baby sat by the military on a daily basis!! You should be ashamed for your ignorant comments! How dare you!! People do have medical problems! I had them and worked my butt off and lost 126 pounds with three kids and a judgementing service member that can’t even keep his own weight in check!

  43. It isn't fun to be fat, it isn't something I am choosing, it is something that happened, that I should have seen coming but I simply did not. Every day it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle. I just had a baby via cesarean, I have lost all my pregnancy weight in 2 months, and its still not good enough, because at the end of the day I'm still 50 pounds above recommended weight, and despite healthy eating, precarious calorie counting, and painful/limited exercising it all goes out the window when someone makes me feel ashamed of how I look next to my service member. That is what sends me over the edge to starbucks for a drink that is practically a days worth of my allotted calorie intake! Shaming is part of the problem. We need encouragement, not cruel judgements and nasty commentary.

  44. I think this is absurd, I have been in 6 yrs and yes, there are a ton of overweight spouses but also service members. It is everyone's responsibility to take care of their body. It's for you and for your health, no one else. I think you need to look at what the family is eating. If the fat spouse is serving McDonald's and Burger King, yes, there is a connection. I understand how difficult it is to be a stay at home mom/dad but do the spouses fully realize how bad some days are for us, as service members? Yes, we HAVE to stay in shape but it would make it easier if our spouses would be as well. My wife works out with me 5 days a week and it is great for our relationship. If spouses take the time to workout with us, it will help a lot of service members that struggle with weight.

  45. Most of the women who are commenting on here and are pissed off… Are BMWs. Spend time with your husband at the gym and stop being such a fat cow. Having kids isn't an excuse.

  46. If a Soldier is over weight, that is his commands fault, not his wife…WHY???? because the commander is responsible for the weight program under his/her command, that's his/her baby. However, it's the responsibility of the NCO's to implement that program.

  47. Wow! So I am in shape (5’5″, 118lbs) and I work and don’t have children. My husband struggles to meet height/weight. But not because he is overweight but because the Army’s way of doing it is plain wrong.

  48. I agree that ultimately the commander is responsible for those under his command. My neighbor's husband was taped for the first time this year…as was his boss and the GO of the command! Look at the command environment more closely before blaming the spouse. They take enough blame as it is….

  49. This seems tacky, particularly for a military member to accuse a spouse of sitting around all day, as if they are lazy. Most of us military spouses work equally hard–we have to sacrifice for our husbands' and wives' careers as well. Dealing with the struggles and stresses of military life–like constant PCSing, deployments, being separated from our family–takes its toll. Nevermind the stress of having to worry about job changes, whether or not we will have a career at the next duty station, and helping to provide for our family if we are not able to find our own career. To totally disregard the sacrifices the military spouse makes is inconsiderate.

  50. Beyond that, everyone's situation is different, and weight is not an easy thing to judge—many people are blessed with amazing metabolisms (like my very lucky soldier), while others of us (ie, me) do not have genetics working so favorably on our side. Beyond that, my job is not expecting me to be able to run five miles in a certain amount of time. His is. So while I am perfectly happy to encourage him to get out there and run, and put a nutritious dinner on the table every single night (after I get home from work at 8pm and have spent all day there), I'm not so prepared to run that 5 miles by his side.

  51. Fat soldier are a discipline problem starting at the command level. If they do not enforce training policy nor do they follow it themselves. I did 24 1/2 years in the Army and saw the NCO corp drop to nothing as the officers took over instead of letting the NCO lead the way and train the Soldiers as they should be. Making them own up to their downfalls they let the whine and cry and do what ever they wants. I hear from my daughter service in the Army everyday on how the leadership is so poor and Soldier just do what they want, and when an NCO corrects them the file an IG, EO or sexual harassment against them. So until the NCO Corps takes charge of the Soldiers again and makes them uphold the contract that they signed, and become the back bone again. You will have LAZY FAT civilians wanting to play Army serving on their terms.

  52. i was in a battle with the buldge when I was in the army, problem is not very many people really understand basic nutrition and what foods to eat. not only that the way the army does little more than push ups for strength training. if you want to stay lean and have a lean force you have to feed them right and that is expensive, easier to just kick out the fat ones. look at the MRE's fat as all hell little protien and makes you feel sluggish. at least now that I'm out I can actually have a good diet. funny thing is is still would have to be tapped, because weighing people to measure fat is very inaccurate way of measuring fat.

  53. The second biggest offensive thing in this article and general discussion is the suggestion that its the spouse's job to do all the cooking…That is completely foreign to me. I love how all these spouses apparently are making either healthy or non-healthy meals for their servicemembers….but I don't cook. I'm guessing my hubs wishes I could. I work full time so I am less inspired to cook time-wise and pretty much burn or poison any attempt at cooking. My husband does all the cooking in our house, except for the days that he gets home late, has duty, etc. Obviously I pick up the slack with the cleaning, prep and shopping. He's gone right now and I am pretty much starving to death and living on mac & cheese. This article did inspire me to start to maybe take care of that myself a bit more, which is great. I love the comments that encourage a healthy lifestyle, but there is NO WAY that the spouse is responsible for this, any more than me eating like crap this week since he is gone. We are all busy, living this crazy military lifestyle. You've got to figure out what works for your family and hopefully try your best to be healthy and happy. Its that simple.

  54. As a military wife, it's important that I support my husband. He is in the ARMY not me… as his job he needs to make sure he meets the requirements…meanwhile as I work a FULLTIME job and go to school…my job to to maintain the house when he is gone…I make sure he has healthy meals to eat… I make sure I push hom out of bed on time to make it to PT…my job is not to watch my weight full time like it's part of my job. It's not my job…it's his… and honestly I eat better than he does… Maybe all those fast food places outside Fort Hood should pick a different place to be

  55. I'm not saying that it should be the military's business to look at a spouse and judge them for their looks or weight, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. As a female Marine, 90% of Marines judge their fellows if they have an overweight spouse, ESPECIALLY one that doesn't work (and you can't argue the point, an overwhelming majority of military spouses don't work, much more than in a non-military marriage). On top of that, from my own personal view, there is a correlation between marriage to an overweight person and weight gain of a military member, or the weight gain of a spouse to weight gain of a service member. It's been stated in the scientific community that you tend to eat like the people you spend the most time with: it follows that since a spouse is the closest physically and emotionally you can get, the service member WILL be affected by their eating habits. And at that point, it's not about what the military thinks, it's about how YOU feel, as a spouse, negatively affecting your wife or husband in the service.

    I won't say that every service member works harder than their spouse, but I will say that I think the vast majority of them do, and the only benefit they have in keeping a healthy weight is that someone is keeping them accountable for it, even if they are overwhelmingly busy, so I don't think that the average military spouse can claim the excuse of being 'too busy'. All other effort comes from the service member, and so a spouse, you should take hold of the attitude and knowledge of your wife or husband in the service and use it to help you maintain your own healthy weight. Even if your spouse is deployed or working long hours, take advantage of the free gym on base, get involved with other military spouses, or start playing more sports with your kids.

  56. Are you kidding me!? | September 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm |

    "A female soldier chimed in. “My husband and I are (both military),” she said. “For goodness sakes [sic], half of these battle-cruiser-fat-dependent-wives don’t work. … They can at least go to the gym instead of eating (bonbons) all day.”

    – That bitch should be drug under a blanket and beat with a sock full of cue balls. What is wrong with women that they can't ever support each other?

  57. I think your article is trash and you should be ashamed of yourself for writing such garbage and further shaming wives who are a bit overweight.

    Why are the wives the only ones who are put down constantly? There are military husbands who are overweight as well? The bullies writing these posts just won't say anything about them because it's easier to bully a woman. Most of them are guys and wouldn't dare come at another man with that crap.

    Also, if fat military wives are to blame for fat service members, how do you explain fat ass single soldiers? Who's making them fat?

    I'm a military wife. Even though I have cut out most processed foods from my family's diets, I cannot change my husband's eating habits. He has gained a bit of weight(though he's still skinny as hell), but I have no affect on that. If he buys a Double Quarter Pounder meal with a large drink, a large order of fries, and two double cheeseburgers, that's on him. If he goes to Taco Bell and gets three Beefy Five Layer Burritos and a Smothered Burrito, that's his choice. I cook dinner in our house. Almost none of it is processed crap. I make a lot of low-calorie, low-fat, low-cholesterol, gluten-free meals in our home, because I care about my health and the health of my children who are eating what I cook. However, I can't stop him from going back for seconds and thirds and, sometimes, even fourths. That's just how he is. I usually try to make enough for him to have for lunch the next day and he eats most of it in one night. If HE ends up overweight, I guarantee it isn't for lack of trying to keep him healthy on my part. If HE can't put the fork down or say no to the crap on the menu at McDonalds(that stuff isn't even real food!!), it isn't my fault. Stop blaming the spouse for EVERYTHING and hold the soldiers accountable for their own actions!

    The spouses are nearly constantly bashed, shamed for anything and everything(it isn't even okay to wear a "Proud Army Wife" t-shirt these days, because we aren't "Army" anything, have no military affiliation whatsoever, until you decide to start shaming military wives for their weight), and even generalized as whores and tramps because one unfaithful "wife" decided to bang everyone in the barracks of another unit during deployment. The only thing you are accomplishing is successfully shaming yourselves and the military. The bullies from high school became "adults" and found new victims. Congratulations.

  58. Wow, where to start. First of all, to the female soldier, get over yourself and stop putting other women down to make yourself feel better. You are only making yourself look like a complete imbecile and showing a complete lack of respect and your pathetically low level of maturity. Secondly, to the idiot who said "fat wife syndrome", you sir, are an idiot. I am a military wife and FAR from what most people would consider a "typical military spouse". I have bright pink hair, piercings and tattoos. I am at a healthy weight and work out several times a week. By myself. My husband very rarely joins me in the gym. I eat very healthy. My husband HATES healthy food. To blame the wives on the husbands weight/pt issues is asinine and I seriously can't believe that I am actually reading this. So, only married men in the military have issues with weight/pt? WRONG. I have personally seen a fairly equal balance between single and married members with weight issues. So, tell me again how it could even remotely possibly be the wives fault? Is every military spouse healthy or in shape? No. But why attack just one group of people (military spouses)? Let's look at civilians too. There is an epidemic of people in this country with weight issues, not just in the military community. Do people worldwide (not JUST in the military spouse community) need to make more of an effort to live a healthier lifestyle? Absolutely! But to pinpoint one group of people and say "you're fat, you're bringing your spouse down because of the way you look" is just insane. If I had wanted to enlist, I would have. I chose a career (dog grooming) that allows me to express myself in an artful way with the fun hair, tatts and piercings. I should not be forced to comply with a certain standard just because the military says I should and the "overweight" spouses shouldn't have to either. I would love to laugh in the face of the person who tries to tell me that I need to change my appearance so I can better represent a company that does not employ me personally.

  59. Heres a question I want answered if we are talking about this. Single soldiers. What is there excuse if they are saying that spouses make service member fat or over weight?

  60. Oh, and one more thing. If you guys are so worried about soldiers eating healthy, why don't you take the fast food restaurants out of the BX/PX?? Common sense.

  61. More and more I find the so called journalists from Spouse Buzz to be nothing more than rejects from the National Enquirer whose soul purpose in life is to stir up BS. Shame that in this case, the objective was to slander military spouses and for what? Their own personal laughs and enjoyment? BTW calling someone fat is pretty disrespectful, not to mention childish. Spouse Buzz, you have lowered yourself pretty low with this article. The next time you want to write an article, perhaps you can do some actual research instead of copying lines from a chat site. Hell I can do that.

  62. Ha ha ha! I’ve been married to the “military” for 6 going on 7 years. My husband has always been and still is fit & skinny. I’m currently pregnant with our baby #3 ( he seems to get me pregnant after every deployment, funny how that happens) so far, it’s safe to say that my husband has NOT gained ” sympathy” weight with any of my pregnancies & me keeping some baby weight afterwards still has not effected his health or our children’s and we do eat healthy in our household I’d say a good 70 – 80% of the time.

  63. First of all, the Spouses did NOT take the Oath of Enlistment!!! They are NOT Acitve Duty Military, and are NOT subject to the UCMJ, or other MILITARY Regulations!!!

    The Nanny-State needs to GO AWAY!!!

  64. I would say I'd expect better journalism, but SpouseBuzz is a blog site so it doesn't take a bit of education to write here outside of correct spelling. Biased, sensationalist, junk-mail at its best.

  65. Sadly all I hear are excuses about why you're overweight. I am 5*4 138 pounds. I don't work out regularly but I chase three kids around and care for my dying mother. I had two babies in a year and weighed 210 pounds. I lost it by not pigging out all day and walking two miles daily with my family. You can't fix what you don't acknowledge

  66. I read this article not so much as to whether or not the spouse needs to lose weight or not, be cause honestly I like a curvy woman, but simply how does a spouses weight affect the military member. I know that when I was going through a divorce I lost a ton of weight and was the fittest I had ever been, then when I got remarried (to a curvy woman) the weight slowly crept back on. Is it because I married an overweight woman? would I have kept it off better if I had married a skinny stick woman? I don't know, but I do wonder if there is a correlation there.

  67. I'm a Reserve spouse and the comments are confusing me. Don't Service Members know how to Grocery shop? What about the Service Members cooking the family meals? Perhaps the military needs to invest in some cooking classes for the Service Members. That way they can be more actively involved with their families and their spouse could work out before dinner.

  68. Is this a real article lol seems ridiculous! My husband and I are both adults, I try to keep mostly healthy stuff in the house and I manage to drag myself to the gym most days of the week but is it my fault if he doesn’t workout anymore than PT, or stops for junk food lol do any other job field spouses get looked at the way military spouses do?! Nope. I think it’s just something else to gossip about. There’s plenty of non military couples who the husband works and wife stays home and may or may not be overweight and do you find articles about them…nope lol

  69. Generalize much about military spouses! I'm a marathoner and triathlete. I also have experience medical conditions that can cause weight gain. If you think all military spouses are fat, think again. I have run 9 marathons, including one Goofy Challenge + (5K on Friday, 13.1 mile run on Saturday, 26.2 on Sunday). I finished in 7:30 hours. My last marathon time was very close to a Boston Qualifier. At cross fit I ran a 6:15 min/mile.

  70. I am a military wife and military mom. I am overweight and not proud of it, but I have Epilepsy and take medication that affects my body. I continually try to lose weight and will never stop trying but it is a challenge that is met with stares and judgement. I don’t need it, I judge myself harshly enough already, but the first thing I would like to say to everyone who do judge others is to please take a step back. There will always be those spouses, either sex, that really don’t give a damn about themselves or their soldier. They won’t care what they eat or drink, or if they are healthy or not. They may very well be like a cancer within the family and they may spread like a virus as we are all a connected family, but there are far more spouses out there that have a story to tell, who are depressed, or who have to deal with their own personal war at home while their soldiers are away. That stress alone can cause all kinds of health and mental issues including weight loss or gain. As far as the effects this might have on the soldier, that really depends on where their chain of command is. Is there a good FRG support system? Do the soldiers come together and help one another? The support system is needed, not another command system. It continues to amaze me how much the military families sacrifice each day only to have another order and voluntold system to take time away from the families. Families and soldiers need time with one another. That’s what allows them to communicate and heal. Posting hateful judgement instead of empathetic understanding coupled with positive solutions only fuels the fire that will continue to break our army and military family apart. For every spouse that doesn’t give a damn, there are hundreds, even thousands of us that do.

  71. i notice alot of these comments only mention the army. there are other branches incase some people have forgotten. now on to the over weight topic. "eating bonbons all day" and "lay at home all day" how arrogant you must be. i may be over weight but i make healthy meals everyday for my children and my husband. we go on walks when the kids are in a good mood for it. but there's only so much you can do when having little ones aroung. and as for the babysitter comment, are you gonna pay for one for me? just because your in the military doesn't mean that you don't have bills or car payments and kids clothes aren't cheap. if the military wanted the spouses to follow the reg. guidelines there would have been a paper to sign when you got married. it shouldn't be anybody's business but your own.

  72. This is asinine. I’m a fat spouse. I was fat before I met my husband and my reading habits are healthy. Especially compared to my gummy bear addicted, pre-diabetic military husband who had problem passing PT/making tape. I make healthy, fresh meals for my family child because I prefer to know every ingredient I am putting into my child’s body. I don’t overeat, in fact, I rarely have time TO eat, let alone work out. My health is my business, not the military’s. I did not sign on the dotted line… (And what the hell is a bonbon? Apparently my fat self is supposed to be sitting a couch and eating one.)

  73. vet milspouse | September 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

    1. It’s surprising how divided folks are on this topic. 2. My hubby has always had to be taped and so did I when I was in. Presently, I have noticed that since I have gotten back into exercising and eating right, my hubby has automatically lost 20 lbs. He is happy with the healthy meals and encourages me with very positive reinforcement. With all of the challenges he faces daily, I couldn’t imagine doing anything to add to that. Lastly (and I expect some flack for this) even moderate obesity is proven to cause a variety of health issues. in these days with sequestration and budget cuts, wouldn’t it be prudent as spouse to be the healthiest we can be?

  74. his is asinine. I’m a fat spouse. I was fat before I met my husband and my eating habits are healthy. Especially compared to my gummy bear addicted, pre-diabetic military husband who has no problem passing PT/making tape. I make healthy, fresh meals for my family because I prefer to know every ingredient I am putting into my child’s body. I don’t overeat. In fact, I rarely have time TO eat, let alone work out. My health is my business, not the military’s. I did not sign on the dotted line… (And what the hell is a bonbon? Apparently my fat self is supposed to be sitting a couch and eating one.)

    ***Edited version of above post. I should never trust autocorrect.***

  75. My husband is a Command Fitness leader- I am a his 200 lb. 5'8" spouse. A heavier spouse at home clearly does not always equal a heaver service member. We are all born differently with different abilities. I take great offense to an article like this(and some comments). To me this is another form of bulling and discrimination. I would give anything to walk with my husband on a daily basis, but sort of a problem when a person is disabled.. Anyone ever stop to think of what a person might have gone through that made him or her heavier? I do not sit at home and eat all day(ie:bon-bon remark)! I am active in physical therapy and raising three kids. I would never shun someone who smokes,drinks, looks different from me(race or sexual orientation),just as it is not anyone's place to tell someone how to eat and exercise.To each is own for each individual body, and body type. With ignorance such as this article it is sad and sickening to think my youngest child will always be the brunt of jokes of narrow minded people. She has Thyroid Disease-she will never be a "normal" size due to he growth hormones being effected. Anyone ever stop to consider we were just possibly born different from what people say is "the norm". We should all be on the same side encouraging one another in our military and civilian communities to try our best to stay as healthy as possible-physically and mentally. Nothing bad ever came out of a little extra support and encouragement to those who may need it during these hard times.

  76. I Am appaled at this article…….I have been a size 2 and a size 12. Currently, the larger. Why? Because of a high dose of medication for a long period of time because of health issues directly linked to the stress caused by supporting my soldier through repeated deployments. ( We have actually lived together a total of 12 months in the last 8 yrs. All time apart courtesy of the military not choice.) So, am I healthy? As much as I can be. Am I overweight, YES. Do I work out? Yes Are my meals a hell of a lot healthier than the DFAC? YES! Do I have my husbands back? Hell Yes! From the day we were married 22 yrs ago I said I would never be a fat, lazy military spouse. Lazy, I am not and can control, extra weight I currently carry, I control to the best if my ability with my DR help until the problem is corrected/ less. Before one opens their mouth they may want to find out all the circumstances before a lesson is learned the hard way…… As I am!

  77. As a female veteran whenever I shop at the commissary I see young overweight spouses who do not have a large budget in order to buy healthy food because most military spouses have babies at a young age since the military picks up the tap so the price of diapers and infant formula takes up a hugh amount of the budget so it leaves a small budget left for groceries. I can look at what the female spouses buy at the commissary or purchase food off the base and it consists of carbs food items that will go a long ways most do not know how to cook healthy meals they were never taught how to. To go to the gym it costs money to go to the gym unless they purchase a stroller that the mother can exercise around the neighborhood. Most military couples cannot afford childcare to go to the gym or work childcare takes most of the spouses check hardly any money left for extra expenses.

  78. Fat spouses don't always equal fat service members. However, it certainly doesn't help things and I don't really understand those spouses who proclaim all the time that they are there to fully support their spouse in their military career but then are so quick to say 'no way, he's the one in the military, I don't have anything to do with his diet or exercise'. Maybe they need to realize that being supportive of a healthy diet and encouraging exercise and partaking in it themselves as well DOES help their spouses better themselves. It helps provide encouragement and motivation at the home just as they're hopefully getting it at work as well.

    These are some of the same spouses that then talk about how much work they put into dinner and taking care of house and home. I saw some people get mad at the person who said it was the stay at home spouse's job to have dinner ready and support their husband because those who got mad were like 'what is this, women aren't there for the sole purpose of taking care of the house anymore, this is a new age' but yet there are still many comments where people have said they do just that. That they're too busy cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, and running errands to work in any kind of exercise. So obviously there still are those kinds of spouses. The female service member in the article definitely could have worded it better but there ARE spouses who don't have kids or even jobs but still don't see any need to get out and do anything that could better themselves. Not saying it's a norm, but it happens and unfortunately the whole reason that kind of myth/rumor of that type of spouse is out there is because of those few who give a bad name to the rest of the spouses.

    I never understand when people try to use the excuse that they don't have time to exercise. Nobody is saying you have to work out every single day for an hour or more. But every little bit helps and I'm sorry but I know plenty of people with kids (two of my friends in question each have 5 kids) who still find time to do so. Friends who have kids who are stroller age have jogging strollers where they can go for a run with their kid(s). Friends who have kids beyond stroller age but not quite school age, have play areas set up where the kids can play and be within eyesight allowing them even at the very least 20 min to get a little work out time in. Friends with kids school age use the time their kids are in school to not only get errands done but also to get in a little work-out time. You don't even need a gym to work out. Cross-fit and running/biking/etc on the street can easily be done outside of a gym.

    Also I see so many people who say they are stay at home moms but don't have time to work out because they're too busy taking care of the house and running errands (and taking care of the kids if they aren't school age). Again like I said earlier, then how is it that there are plenty of parents who do all that AND exercise? I don't have kids myself, I'm currently active duty as is my husband. However, I've seen my friend's spouses who are stay at home parents AND even spouses who have their own jobs and kids who are able to stay in shape too and no they aren't pulling any kind of super-human feats to do it. I think those spouses who don't have a job outside of stay at home mom have even less of an excuse for not finding at least some time each week to exercise. From what I've seen of my friends who are stay at home moms, they aren't running errands every single day non-stop day in and day out (honestly you need to work on time management skills if you find that many new errands to run every single day) and there's no way even the ones with 5 kids need to clean the whole house top to bottom every single day. Those with kids younger than school age control the amount of toys their kids are playing with at any given time and the areas where they're running around so it's not like the house it getting trashed every day. Those with kids in school set up chore and reward systems to ensure their kids aren't trashing the place every day. If you really have to spend that much time cleaning every day, maybe it's time to start asking why and what you can do to have more control over the mess your kids are creating.

  79. Continued…

    I saw comments from women saying that their husbands are grown men who feed themselves and they can't be expected to try and regulate their husbands food intake or force him to eat healthy. But if say you're husband had heart disease or diabetes and his doctor told you that too much unhealthy, processed food could kill your husband or at the very least give him a mild heart-attack, wouldn't you do you take a more concerned and hard approach towards convincing him to eat better? I don't see why being overweight should be different since that can lead towards heart disease and such in itself. That doesn't mean you both can't splurge every now and then but there are ways to making healthier eating work. It's not like healthy has to mean salads every day and nasty tasteless food.

    Another woman's comment said she's more concerned with her family's well being than her looks. I've seen kids made fun of because of the way their parents look. Is it fair? No. But it definitely happens. If that parent is genuinely trying to make a change and it's just slow moving or something that's different but if they're just sitting around blaming their weight on other things instead of taking a look at ways they can do something about it then they aren't doing themselves or their family any good. Being overweight can definitely affect self esteem as many have even commented here to confirm that. Do you honestly think you can hide your self esteem issues from your husband or kids? Kids are very perceptive and even if you're managing to succeed in hiding it now, I guarantee that won't always be the case. Do you think your husband wants you to be feeling insecure about yourself either? Also if you don't make an effort to take care of yourself, that will sometimes influence your significant other and make them less motivated. Being in the military doesn't guarantee that your spouse's company has a good PT program or is in any way helping him/her be in their ideal fitness peak. It's too easy in some units to slack on PT and then go home, see their spouse sitting around, and decide to do the same instead of making the effort to work out together (or at least eat better together).

    This plays into the last paragraph, like it or not, how you look does reflect on your spouse as has been mentioned every time there's one of those "what to wear to the ball" articles. I especially can't stand to see an enormously overweight spouse wearing their spouses PTs out to the store (yes I've seen the full set worn in winter from the PT pants to the shirt which I don't even understand because I don't see how those pants are comfortable at all to be honest). It's bad enough they're wearing the full PT uniform out (we're not supposed to go around shopping and eating off post in PTs which has been a rule at every post I've been at) but normal civilians who aren't related to the military have no way of knowing that they're looking at a spouse and not a military member. So they're seeing someone who is obviously out of shape (I'm not talking about those who could still make tape but those that are obviously outside all of the bounds) and it's creating a bad image to those civilians who think they're seeing someone who is actually serving. As for those spouses who are grossly overweight but at least not wearing their spouse's uniform, when you're standing at your spouses side, it can still reflect on them. Again I never said it was fair, but that's just how it is. I can't imagine it feels good if your spouse is physically fit and you are very obviously not and having people whispering about you and how weird you look together. Getting into better physical shape isn't just for your physical well-being but your emotional and mental as well.

  80. Last one…

    Some spouses seem to want to have it both ways. Some want civilians to acknowledge their role and sacrifice being involved with the military community but are quick to say nope that's his job not mine when people say that their connection to the military means they may be looked at as a representation of the military even when they're not the actual service member. Part of being looked at as a representation of the military is physical fitness. Again, it's not fair especially when you're not the actual service member doing mandatory training that hopefully gets you in that better shape but that's just how many civilians think. I went into the military without any of my family or friends ever having been a part of it and even they make the jokes about overweight spouses and how that reflects on their spouse who is the Soldier and that's coming from people who know nothing about military life. So yes, the way you look can affect how your spouse is looked at by civilians who don't know any better!

    I guess I don't understand the argument that it's all due to stress and it's out of your hands because you can always work to change that and how is being overweight going to do anything but just add to your stress? Service members get unbelievably stressed out too, but those who are physically fit find other ways of relieving that stress and most of those ways are easily accessible for spouses as well.

    For those saying that it can be medical problems that cause them to be unable to lose weight. Frankly, many people self diagnose themselves mostly as a way to find an excuse to cover for the fact that they just aren't trying. Overall, there are far fewer that have legitimate medical reasons for it than those who just don't try. Then most of those who DO have actual medical reasons can actually still lose weight, it just takes some extra work compared to someone who doesn't have those medical issues. Yes, I'm speaking about internal medical issues but as far as external, I've seen people who have amputations, have jobs, and have kids who still make time to exercise, so if they can do it, then really what's anyone else's excuse?

  81. Maybe the service member should be blamed for the spouse's weight issue…
    Such foolishness!
    I'm in better physical appearance than my active-duty marine; can't blame me for his growing gut, only himself.

  82. I'm the mil-spouse and I eat much healthier than my CPO husband does. He comes home after a day at the office and PTing with his troops and all he wants to do is eat cheese & crackers, Cheetos and drink his 1/2 bottle of wine. I cook healthy meals and most of the time he shows his disappointment that it's not a steak with rice, or he'll make something else or won't eat at all. And what about the food that is served on base. Not the healthiest diet options for our military members. So does a fat spouse = a fat service member, not in my household! Get real with that open ended question. Life at home is real life for both the military member and the spouse!

  83. The weight of a spouse has nothing to do with the weight of a Soldier, and I am living proof! I am overweight but my husband absolutely was NOT! He ate what I ate, and actually snacked on junk food a whole lot more than I did. When he weighed in, he did have to get taped, but that was due to the amount of muscle he had that would cause him to be heavier than his height allowed (according to Army standards). Put him in a uniform and he actually looked thin! Some may say he got lucky with his DNA, but as a reservist he got chubby. Right before going back on active duty, he decided he did not like his extra weight and started lifting weights at a gym. That was his thing! He would go to the gym and lift weights before PT every morning. He found a physical activity he enjoyed and THAT is why he did not gain weight as I did.

  84. I do not use my spouses job or the military as any type of crutch or excuse. Seeing that being in shape and meeting certain qualifications is expected I believe that a home environment where a healthy lifestyle is maintained would be easier then one that isn't. My seaman is by no means "overweight" he is just average….I am the one in the gym 5-6 days a week and typically running 3-5 miles a day. At the end of the day its about being happy with myself…..and rather or not he chooses to participate with me does not affect my standards. I am glad at least the USN has become more strict with fitness test and weight limits…..and sticking to standards……

  85. While they're talking about general health issues, let's stop selling cigarettes and booze through official military channels, OK?. It makes no sense for the military or the government to subsidize unhealthy, unnecessary habits.

    The military member must eat and exercise a certain way in order to make tape. If the member doesn't get support or cooperation at home, it creates issues, friction and fallout. Whether there's a military member in the household or not, the fact that others in the household have to support the healty lifestyle for it to work is not a new concept.

  86. Here's my thought on all of this line of thinking. If you are going to have expectations of spouses– dictating how we are to dress, how much we are to weigh, and what we ought to eat, you might as well pay me a salary commiserate with the one I gave up to be a military spouse. That'll be around $125,000/year please, I prefer $10s and $20s.

  87. Guess what? THE SPOUSE OF A MILITARY MEMBER ISN'T IN THE FUCKING MILITARY. So you do not have control over their bodies. In fact, you have no control over them at all. In fact, they outrank you. All civilians outrank you. You serve them, not the other way around. Civilians may thank you for your service, but that is because you are their servants. You are the public's servant, not its master. Get is straight.

    Now, in the real world, guess what happens if your coworker's spouse is overweight? You keep your mouth shut about it because your coworker's wife's or husband's weight is none of your goddamn business and you look like a rude ass commenting about things that are none of your business.

  88. Upon a finding that fat spouses inevitably cause service members to become fat, starting October 1, 2013, all spouses of US military service members will be required to meet military physical fitness guidelines. If the spouse fails to meet these guidelines, then there Tricare benefits shall be terminated. FatSpouses will be ineligible to receive any death benefits upon the servicemembers death. After two (2) years of failure to adhere to military fitness standards, the Military will, on behalf of the serviceman, order the JAG corps to initiate divorce proceedings against the FatSpouse.

    In addition, Fat children of military members will be ineligible for any military benefits, including death benefits.

  89. Ok, here goes. Yes your tired and cant do anything. But once you start, take one step at a time you will discover energy, you will after a month ov walking 5miles each day at the same time, find your old habbits impossible. You will have to become active, because your body is starting to crave the activity, for which it has evolved over centuries. We are not designed to sit, and watch tv, we are a gravity controlled digestive, evolved as bi podal, standing. This is required from our nomad days. The standing is a defense for seeing over land, the bypaid is for speed. Walk with shoes with little cushion, because heals take away from out foots natural springback. Forcing shocks to go up the shin, rather than a foot pad to toe stride, where the heal doesnt contact ground. This spring back is produced from calf muscel. As your feet become stronger ypu will feel better. Newbalance less is more track shoes are great, they feel like balerina shoes at first but once you get the muscels in the foot you will understand what im talking about.

  90. Non-FattyMcBigMouth | September 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm |

    I did not sign a contract with the Army. This entire article is offensive to me, as it is offensive to me when I get "orders" to go here and do this or that. I will support my husband in my own way. Stay out of our home life. It is difficult enough dealing with the constant possibility and/or reality of deployment… the constant changes in what may or may not happen. It's hard for us "dependent fatties" to get jobs because our husbands (or wives) get jerked around too much about where we're going to live and for how long, or whether or not our spouse will even be in the country. Sheesh. Oh and p.s. I'm not fat and I'm still offended. Is that okay that I type this or am I being a bad Army wife? Sheesh, I thought freedom is what he joined to defend, even if it's the freedom to be fat or have a big mouth.

  91. I was surprised how this topic raised hostility within this community. You are only asked for opinions and not throwing your rage to anyone or one who made this topic. The fact is obesity is occurring not only in the military but the whole nation is affecting with it. America is the 2nd "Fattest" country in the world after Mexico. Other countries are affecting this worldwide health issues as well. It is not something we have to keep ignoring because it is a disease that affects you, your family, friends and love-ones. There are many initiatives that the government implemented and keep implementing to solve this issue of increasing ballooning population. Causes of it come from different factors (lifestyles, eating habits, etc.) So instead of targeting one group or mocking other people or felt being cruelly attacked, try to study why this is happening. And if you are affected with this disease it is best to look into getting some support or help before your life worsens and avoid the long term effects of it. The quality of life is far more important that the quantity of it.

    As for all Milspouses. Always be proud for all your sacrifices you made and continue making for your servicemen. I know it is not easy but in the end it is all worth it. Keep your head up! You and your family are the reason why your servicemen serve best to this country.

  92. I always held the belief that a family that diets together stays together. You cannot have one spouse chew carrots while watching the other stuff pizza down his/her gullet. It just doesn't work. So yes, to that extent, military spouses ARE responsible for their service members' weight (and the reverse is also true, by the way). We've always had this policy that when one of us needs to lose some weight, we both suck it up and cut calories.

    That being said, service members work out A LOT. They can consume far more calories than their spouses, especially if the spouse is a woman (my hour of Zumba three times a week does not compare). I politely declined the offer to take me out to dinner this past Friday because I didn't want the calories. He didn't even think about it, but apologized and agreed to eat at home – problem solved!

    Service members also get paid to work out. It is a part of their job. That is why he can work out for almost 3 hours every morning – it's his job! And he's stuck there for 12 hours a day at the least. The spouse is left with kids, household, and, often times, paid work. Every family is different. Some gain weight, some compromise on calories, others stay trim. Whose business is that again?

    Finally, I'd like to know where all these "fat" wives are. Do I live in a magical place where I just don't see them? I shop on base all the time and the women I see are average size (with some deviations to either side, obviously). In fact, for the area we're at, they're on the smaller side. Did some a$$ wipe look at a Victoria Secret catalogue and decided that every woman on post should be compared to the airbrushed models? Come on!

  93. I work out 4-5 days a week, cook healthy meals, and never bring junk food home. But my husband eats like crap when he's at work or otherwise away from home–he'll eat what he wants to eat regardless of my best efforts. Yes, I'm his wife, but it's not within my power (nor is it my responsibility) to control all his choices, because he's a grown man.

    If the military is so worried about how service members are eating, maybe they need to take a closer look at the garbage they serve in their own chow halls and the proliferation of fast-food restaurants on base.

  94. I think it largely depends on circumstances which can't always be known so, since they are not in the military, a spouses weight should not reflect negatively on the service member. My father was a marine and he never had trouble with his fitness tests or anything. He was always in shape. My mother, not military was overweight. She worked, sometimes full time sometimes multiple part times, went to school, raised three children one of them special needs, often looked after a sick parent, and was active in the spouse support groups helping her fellow wives. She also has multiple skeletal and muscle disorders, particularly in her spine, knees and legs. Swimming is the only exercise she could really do but she'd go on family walks and bike rides when she could, but sometimes she couldn't and with her busy schedule couldn't always get to the pool to swim. Should she be judge for being "fat" when doctors are still confused as to how she's even able to walk, or my fathers career suffer for it. I don't think so. I know this is an isolated case but you can't tell from looking at my mom that she has these imparments most of the time. Sometimes people hide them well.

  95. My husband has 18 years of service next month. He is used to constant moves and being away from family. I on the other hand only have 6 years of being with him and 4 of those married. I am 35 years old and for the majority of my life I have been well within either 20 mins to 6 hours from my family. For the past 2 years I have only been able to see my family twice. This is not a lifestyle that I am accustomed to. For almost 33 years I had one lifestyle and now it has dramactically changed. I basically had 2 children almost back to back and for anyone who has done this, you understand the "trauma", if you will, that is inflicted on your body. I gained 40lbs before I really knew it. Last Christmas I saw some pictures that we had taken at our families house and I got sick! Was this what I really looked like of was it a bad angle or defective camera? When we got back home, I decided I couldn't continue this way. So I started hitting the gym hard. I lost almost 40lbs within 3 months. I was working out everyday, watching what I ate and started feeling much better about myself. The key to this was that my husband was home everyday. So when he got home, I went to the gym. This was my time, my time away from the kids to do something for myself. I loved it. But then, my routine changed. My husband began work ups for deployment. My one hour a day to myself was gone. I tried to develop a new routine by buying an elliptical for our garage. It was a great idea, but was not what I envisioned. I thought I would get up early everyday before the kids and get my workout and shower done before they woke up. Great plan but when your up till 2 am cleaning house because that is the only time you can clean without a 2 year old and 4 year old hanging off of the vacuum, then waking up at 5 is not so easy. Now that my hubby is deployed, I have some strong goals that I WILL accomplish before he returns. Basically what I'm saying is that even though I have 24 hours a day to accomplish everything I need to, when you are basically a single parent without ANY family around, it's not as easy as everyone says to maintain a Barbie doll physique! I have tried to workout with my kids but instead of getting my heart rate up to an aerobic level, my blood pressure is the only thing rising! Give Military Spouses a break! We are not all overweight but those who are, are usually not because they don't try but because there are not enough hours in the day! My husband will agree that his job is much easier than mine and he would not want my job. He has never even had both kids alone without ANY help for even 24 hours, much less 7-9 months!

  96. omg I can't wait until my husband gets out of the military. not that the judgmental dbags of the military have anything to do with his career decisions (as much as im sure they would just love that). but seriously what the hell. it's so comforting to know that community you turn to for "support" is secretly judging you on YAHOO! because you aren't up to their standards. Honestly the service members these days seem to have an "im better than you" complex which was absolutely not the case 20, 15, or even 10 years ago. I remember when my husband enlisted and two of my aunts (former military, eventual MilSos) and I was crying about putting myself out there and being nervous about making new friends comforting me with the idea that military communities are non judgmental, you work as a team people on base don't think that way, ect.

  97. (cont'd)And whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the AD member has a huge support system, they're the ones doing the actual job, they're the ones who leave, not the ones left behind. I've spent my entire 30 years of life moving all over the world, first with a Navy father and then with an Air Force husband and while you eventually get used to it, that doesn't make it easier. I love my husband and am so proud of him for what he does, but it's still hard. I get really sick of people saying "get a life of your own". Do you know how hard that is to do when you move every 2 – 4 years? Getting even a minimum wage job is next door to impossible if you have kids….you barely make enough to cover childcare, much less actually contribute financially. And the fact is it's hard enough to get a job in today's economy even if you're a state native; many people flat out won't hire someone they know is gonna pack up and leave in a couple years. School? Yeah, sure. If you can afford the childcare while you go…..and there's always they chance that they might cut orders halfway thru your school year and then you lose all those credits. That's fun. Plus try doing either of those with a spouse whose schedule changes every freaking week and you only have one car. That's even better. Workable, yes, but a heck of a lot more stress. I have found that most of the wives that sneer at overweight spouses are the ones who don't have kids. Just you wait…..your time will come and lets see how you deal with it. Kids change everything.

  98. (cont'd 2)Then there's the fact that everyone wants to kid themselves that there's this awesome sense of community among military members and in base housing and everyone looks out for each other and the AD members command is always supportive when they're gone, but that's just not true, not even a little bit. The facts are, command that actually gives a rat's ass about the family of the deployed member are few and far between and most just act like you're inconveniencing them if you ask for help for anything. Military communities on base….yeah, most people never speak to their neighbors, you can't vent to anyone about anything you might be stressed about because that makes you a whiny bitch and you sure as hell can't confide in other spouses because a really twisted version of whatever you say will be spread all over base in a matter of hours. I by no means am putting down what our troops go through. I've seen my husband go on easy deployments that were a breeze and I've seen him come back from deployments completely changed, withdrawn, depressed, and filled with rage and bitterness. Every time they leave it creates a hole and changes the entire dynamic of the family, and trying to explain to two 6 year olds why daddy can't come home every single day is exhausting. Keeping up with all the housework, kids and their school, work, school, bills, the car that breaks down two days after they leave, the washing machine that quits; (lets face it basically everything that can fall apart, explode, dissolve into little pieces, or incinerate will as soon as the wheels on that plane leave the pavement)…..that's exhausting. Listening to your kids cry themselves to sleep because they miss Dad is heartbreaking. Then add to that the fact that you're afraid to ask for help because either you don't want to look weak or have anyone think you can't handle it and not being able to/wanting to tell the deployed spouse just how stressed out, depressed and lonely you are because you don't want them to worry…..that's a lot to deal with alone. All those programs out there that are supposed to be so supportive and helpful…..they usually aren't. So don't underestimate the power of stress and depression. It's very real and it's very powerful. Military members leave and they have a job and a purpose and the spouses are left to pick up the pieces and hold everything together and regardless of what anyone may think, it is way harder then it sounds. And then they come home and no matter how happy you are to have them back, there is always a little awkwardness and tension. You get used to doing things your way, having your routine, making all the decisions alone and suddenly you have to be part of a team again. That's not easy for either party.

  99. (con't 3) Ok so, now that I've written an epistle, I'll get to the point I was going to make to begin with.
    1) Military members are responsible for their own physical fitness and weight. I don't care whether the spouse is a size 2 or a size 22…..they signed a contract promising to maintain a certain level of fitness, it is their job to make sure it happens. As my husband just said after reading this "if I blamed my weight gain or PT test failure on your weight, that would be the same as me blaming my troops for being a shitty supervisor". So that's that.
    2) There are numerous reasons for someone to gain weight and being lazy or over eating are only two of many reasons why they either gained it or are unable to lose it. Just because someone blames their weight gain on a health condition doesn't make it untrue. Medication can also make it nearly impossible to lose weight and most anti-depressants can and will make you gain weight no matter how careful you are. For example, a doctor changed my meds a couple years ago because the old ones weren't working anymore. And suddenly, with absolutely no change in diet or exercise routine, I inexspicably gained almost 30 lbs and could not lose it no matter how much more I ran or how healthy I ate. And that made me really depressed and self-concsious which made me want to eat all the junk food on earth. I was so upset by it I even went so far as to nearly starve myself, landed in the hospital, and still only lost 3 lbs. And it sucked. But it happens. So don't judge people, because first off it's petty and hateful and secondly, it just makes you look like a total *ss with way too much time on your hands and no life.
    OK, climbing down off my soapbox now……..

Comments are closed.