Does Fat Spouse = Fat Servicemember?


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 (, and her military blog ( profiles interviews, articles and editorials on issues surrounding military life. Her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood, TX.

263 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!

    • James Edwards | September 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

      This is a subject that should have been left to the spouse and the service member. Its both personal and family a matter of any service member and their spouse. Why is it I see so many athletic looking
      unhealthy people in the hospital or on sick call ? As for the service member its about responsibility and accountability to their self, family and the military. And know neither my wife nor I are over weight . Whose the next family member, the children the cat and dog. There are some subjects you must be careful to approach. If you can't bring this to all face to face ( support group) do not hide in a blog.

    • Fat its just not attractive… id love to have a in shape, healthy wife. because im in shape.

      • Are you also a vampire? You do realize us mortals age, have children, have health issues etc. When you marry here is a note of caution to you…beauty fades. Look for real value in things such as loyalty, integrity, nurturing nature et all. Otherwise, you'll be cycling through wives, we see those guys daily. E7, E8 third wife half his age…they are the butt of every joke just outside their ear. And guess what, those wives half your age rarely if every stay…because, oh no! They want a young, fit husband with all his hair and no gut…be careful what you wish for trooper.

    • Do not blame military spouses for overweight or other health conditions! Ignorance concerning sound eating habits that includes measuring portions and healthy vs. unhealthy snacking and food choices has many explanations: when we are young we all think we are invincible, but we are all genetically and environmentally vulnerable! Overweight and reasons for it are just as complicated as underweight or 'ideal weight' but internally 'unhealthy' (ie: stress (chronic release of adrenal hormones/cortisol,high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, gout etc.); just ask any MD or Cardiologist for that matter. For example: Over or under-eating & eating disorders in general can be a mixed bag of medical disorders including mental. Medications some people take as a part of medical treatment are a common reason for long term weight gain (steroid medications come to mind.) The South Beach Diet is one that can be reduced to basically eating greater amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables with small amounts of whole grains and practically no refined carbohydrate foods such as sugar or high fructose corn syrup that fools the brain into thinking the body is not full and encourages more eating (go to youtube and look up:' Sugar: The Bitter Truth' by Dr.Lustig on University of California Television (UCTV) and a few other lectures by him on youtube. Basically, human bodies operate best on sugars that are released quite a bit more slowly than processed foods/human manufactured foods through digestion of whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, consumption of small amounts of minimally processed fats/oils such as flax and extra virgin olive oil that is not exposed to very high heat, protein from beans, legumes, whole grains, lean meats and fresh water fish (we quit all ocean source foods since 2011 in attempt at minimizing toxics exposure) Lack of nutritional value in junk foods is yet another reason it is too easy to 'exceed the feed limit' try eating a meal of 2 cups of steamed mixed vegetables, a baked potato, your choice of 2 scrambled eggs, chicken, fish or steak no bigger than the palm of your hand, one cup measure of non-fat milk and one apple for dessert and the tell me if you feel like eating a half of a bag of potato chips or a quarter tub of ice cream. I'm living proof that this is true, can't say more because I don't think it will fit here.

  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.

    • Cont'd
      My husband for the record has had to be taped his entire career. He's 6'2 and has an athletic frame so is heavier weight wise. He runs every day, and still runs circles around his 19 year olds. But the truly mind boggling thing…fit doesn't always equal the Army's definition. My husband also has high blood pressure, high cholesterol and is pre diabetic, while my waddling self: nothing. Perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol, still not pre diabetic…so there ya go…and I'd be hard pressed to run anywhere..even with a bear involved. I'd probably just bake him a cake.

      • I like your post about this subject. The idea is as silly as saying a woman will go bald if her husband is bald. The military life is hard on families and the stress is hard to get through. No one has the right to criticize another for their weight, this or fat. You did a good job explaining your feelings. Keep a positive thought and we civilians (now) say a prayer for you all everyday.

      • I like your perspective. My concern is that marriage is a COVENANT between God, and man and his wife. Where does the United States Government have any business poking around in someone's home? As long as their "owned piece of property" keeps up their standard for military "employment", there is no right to look any further, in my opinion. Keep your nose out of people's house and bedrooms! I am disparaged to see our government continually lean into an invasive, Socialistic behavior.

    • No! And people need mind their own business. Don’t judge!

    • I totally agree, sabrinacking. When my husband and I got married I was training to be a professional boxer. I was in phenomenal shape. Six months into marriage (he had already deployed by then) I was 20 lbs overweight and very depressed, living in a city where I knew no one (we lived off post) and I didn't have my familiar gym to go to. Eventually I found and joined a gym, but then I got pregnant. (bye-bye boxing) I was borderline pre-eclampsia and gained 72 lbs. Hubs deployed again when the baby was 3 weeks old. I was fat, depressed, alone and without anyone to watch the baby so I could go somewhere to exercise. Eventually I paid to join a gym with childcare (something not available on post, BTW) and was able to — after almost 2 years — lose 98 lbs. And then I got pregnant again. And again. Like you said, service members have ready-made friends and exercise time and facilities built into their day. Honestly, I think there is very little excuse for a service member being overweight. They are encouraged to work out, they are surrounded by exceptionally fit people, they have access to gyms, nutritionists, healthy food… etc. But for spouses who are home with kids — particularly more than one kid — there just aren't many options, and there's little encouragement. Add to that the clinical depression that often accompanies PCSing and deployments, and it seems cruel that spouses who are already hanging by a thread should be labeled "dependapotamus" and be ridiculed for the very effects of the military lifestyle on many of us. Last summer I had an 8 y/o, 3 y/o and a 6 month old and he was deployed — I couldn't even go for walks because the kids couldn't keep up, and we had just PCS'd and I didn't know anyone here. ! I tried to do aerobics DVDs but the kids would get underfoot and trip me up. All of that said, eating healthy at home is a reasonable expectation, but healthy food is often much more expensive than junk food — and nobody in the military is getting rich. But if we want to judge military spouses for not working out — we need to provide childcare at on-post gyms.

      • They also should allow gardens in on post housing. This would help people with providing produce for themselves which can be very expensive. I have been a part of community gardens on post twice, both of which were teeny tiny plots I wouldn't even consider big enough for my own family, let lone and entire installation. The problem is, who governs the gardens, who makes sure people compost correctly? Who makes sure rodents aren't attracted et all. For the better part of two decades I have been trying to figure out how we get actual community gardens on post and/or allow people to garden in housing…I have yet to come up with a viable solution.

      • I'm sorry, but this is just way too many excuses. I know the military can't enforce that military spouses be in shape, but it is 100% easy to lose weigh if you stick to a plan. "Healthy food costs more money"??? LOL, are you serious?? I bag of spinach(which is enough to make at least 3 to 4 saladas) at the commissary is between 1 to 2 dollars. 3 chicken breasts are 3.47 at the commissary right now. Cook the chicken on the stove, put it on top of the spinach (or any lettuce for that matter), and put a little olive oil/vinegar on top for dressing. OR even if you wanted to eat out, a foot long turkey sub at subway (which can be split by two people or consumed for two meals) is 5 dollars! You can't get much cheaper than that!

        To lose weight, even if you don't have time to go to some elaborate gym that you're 'familiar with' to go to, requires 30 minutes to an hour a day of high intensity physical training. You're telling me there isn't 30 minutes in a 24 hour day that your babies can't go without being 'underfoot'? You're saying that while your babies are taking a nap you can't pump out some pushups and do some jumping jacks, or simply walk in circles around your house, or walk up and down some steps… anything to burn calories!

        I, too, like food that tastes good, but this is generally not the type of food that will make you lose weight. Take in less calories than you burn and couple that with ANY kind of exercise and BOOM! You lose weight!

        • I truly do agree with you, Jacob. People can always have millions of excuses for not being healthy but at the end of the day, it is all about choices: instead of bonbons, how about cooking that salad? Or how about having a salad at McD instead of burger & fries….? Even without any exercise, just simply switching from fatty, greasy food to healthier makes a difference. And a little bit of exercise on top of it, DONE!

          I am married to a military guy, I outrun him and most of this troops, am a triathlete. And there is no way on earth that moving to a new duty station, deployments etc., would keep me sitting inside and doing nothing. It really is simply about one's own desire to be and stay healthy.

        • I know the OP has lupus, and if you have any experience whatsoever with steroids, the drug prescribed for lupus flairs, you would know that it can cause considerable weight gain, even among healthy people. I was put 'roids for a nerve injury, I was on them for 2 weeks. I gained 14 pounds. I'm a marathoner, triathlete, and I did not change my eating habits at ALL. Sometimes it is the drugs, sometimes it's medical issues…

        • Jacob, I am not going to argue people should eat healthy. I do eat healthy, probably more so than most people here since I have for years raised most of our food and processed it myself, that's meat and produce and dairy. I also will not argue with you that people should not be sedentary. But you are making a lot of presumptions when you judge a persons health on what they look like. All of my metabolic vitals are perfect. But I am Roly Poly Oly at this point in my life. I have this disease called Lupus. This disease is not a fan of stress. My husband has combat deployed 5 times in the last 10 years, that's a lot of stress. That stress makes me swell up like a blowfish and turn all sorts of scaly red et all. It's fantastic. So the Drs give me prednisone injections. And so here I am with this extra 50lbs. Could I probably fight it off? Yes. Should I? According to my Dr. NO. It'd cause even more stress on my already taxed to the max immune system.

        • Cont'd. My point remains, no one wants to ever talk about the white elephant in the room: stress is detrimental to family members of service members. I was diagnosed with Lupus years ago. I stayed 140 lbs working full time with 2 kids and a husband coming and going…until long about two years ago my body just plain gave out. It had had too much stress. To add to that, right at the same time my husband came back from that 5th deployment with issues, and we were moved to Siberia, read FtDrum where it is winter 8 months out of the year..the result: 50 lbs in two years and I haven't changed how I eat one iota.

        • Cont'd. Finally, you have no way of knowing by looking at a person what their metabolic health is. People should try to be healthy, not thin. Thin does not equate metabolic health.

        • let's be real here thick | September 12, 2013 at 12:30 am |

          first off if that was the case I would be one skinny chick lol not true at all. I eat healthy but guess what after kids and natural issues a women goes through is not going to leave everybody a size six or five lol every women is shaped differently

    • Being a "HogBody" is a Personal Responsibility. Blaming it on Situations, Occurences, outside influence, is a BS…The problem is with the person in the Mirror, No one else…

      • Some people handle stress a lot better than others. Everyone has their issues. The thing with someone overweight is you can see their problem. And judging by your need for name calling "hog body" I guess we can see yours too.

      • Being an Arsehole is also a personal responsibility…one you take very seriously clearly.

    • You chose what to put into your mouth. Not your husband. Not the stress monster. Not. The military. If one is fat it is because. Of their own choices. No one forces food into someone's mouth.

      • True but since you don't know where the person is in their journey to judge them and make fun of them for their body size is cruel. As an example…Went to a Dr who covered for mine once. She was clearly rushed and frazzled and not feeling compassionate that day. Certainly not for some overweight girl she had preconceived notions about based on body size. She condescendingly told me I should lose weight (cause I didn't notice haha) and I stood up, looked her in the eye and said lady you know nothing about me- I was an alcoholic, used drugs, smoked cigarettes and ate food. Over the last 5 years I've stopped all of them AND started losing weight so don't you judge me. She apologised and said I was right. You know I bet she never did that to another patient again!

  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.

    • WOW….as you still active military means you are REQUIRED to "stay in shape" as you call it. What 98% of the population fails to have knowledge of is the fact that there are a lot of health ailments that cause weight gain and also some people due to various reasons cannot physically work out.

      Be careful at throwing stones when you haven't walked in someone shoes. No I'm not overweight, I am in great shape (in fact the best shape of my life) coming up on my 40th birthday, but I wasn't always that way.

      My weight spiraled out of control (5'7" 280lbs) , even though I was watching what I was eating and working out 5 days a week for 2 hours a day. After over a year of searching for a medical explanation, it was discovered that my thyroid levels were way out of whack (the typical thyroid panel was always normal, it was another more thorough test that had to be done to find it.) My doctors and I had to figure out how to get my levels back to normal before the weight started to come off. I still wouldn't qualify within military weight standards because of my frame. I still weigh 190, but if I get any thinner I look sick. I'm an athlete and have been my entire life and that is how my body is constructed. I like it, my husband likes it, and my doctors are happy with it, so who else is to judge how I look or how much I weigh?!

      So to say a military spouse has to be within weight standards or even close is just stupid. It's their life and health they need to worry about. If their service member loves and supports them and they do the same, it's no one's business as to how much they weigh.

    • I would simply like to ask you what decade or century you live in? As a spouse, I am responsible for “the cooking and the kids”? Uhm…. No!!! Last time I checked, my husband is long grown and can decide if he wants to get his lazy butt off of the computer to got exercise or if he wants to put the fork down!!!! This is a requirement of his employment. He is not responsible to complete the continuing education that is required in my profession. Why am I being judged by his?
      In addition, as a Vet and long time spouse, it is much easier to leave than to be left. Remember that for all of you that are judging the spouses by their weight. They must deal (silently) with their own fears, insecurities, and doubts every time their spouses leave because they have to put on a strong, brave face for their children. It isn’t healthy to repress all of these emotions or to live daily with the stress levels that they do.
      When you are being so Judge Judy over military spouses, why don’t you ask any if them when the last time they had a full night’s sleep was? It is a medically proven fact that a body will store weight and it is impossible to loose when it’s not getting recovery sleep. I find it very convienant that these weight and PT issues are being blamed on the spouses. Like we already don’t have enough on our plates (besides Bon-bons)!!! But to all of those who previously posted hateful statements to this thread, I would like to remind them of something: you are talking about the people to carry on through every deployment, every exercise, every weekend duty, every fever, every cold, every midnight feeding, soccer game, tennis match, electric bill, school conference, etc. (as you can see, this list could go on and on and on!!). We are the ones that are able to provide some kind if normalcy to our (and YOUR) children’s lives. Think about that the next time you want to judge us all on our pants size. WE are the ones who always have and always will, completely, have your six!!!!

    • Holy sh*t. So I'm supposed to be my husband's MOTHER? I thought the military taught discipline. Apparently it taught you that you blame other people for your own problems.

    • Military veteran chiming in… I am a stay at home mom right now, and guess what– I also could probably kick your butt at the PT test– I do cross fit three days a week, run 5 days a week, and have completed 9 marathons, training for number 10. I'm about 10 minutes from qualifying for Boston Marathon (which means I run a sub-3:50 hour marathon). My 1-mile time at 38 years old is around 6:00 mins. So please spare me the generalizations about fat SAHM who eat bon-bons. 3/4 of the people I run with and do cross fit with are military spouses, who are SAHMs. And frankly, I have seen some chunky women wearing the uniform, more so than about 3/4 of the SAHMs I know.

    • I completely agree with this! Whether people like it or not, first impressions are everything, especially in the military. As a spouse, it is important to me to reflect my husband's professionalism in the military, therefore I choose to keep myself physically fit and strive to present a mature and professional image. In my opinion, there is no reason to be fat- you make your situation what it is! There are many women who have families and make time for the gym or time for a healthy activity with their family. I choose to be fit for my husband and my children because its not just about me anymore, its about being mentally and physically healthy for my family so that I can be a better wife and mother. I take it upon myself to represent my husband by upholding the same standards that he believes in; my husband and I are one person therefore we strive to make one another better. Joining the military was a choice he made but I will support him wholeheartedly in every way I can.

      • So much to address, not enough time to do it in:

        1. People with weight problems should NOT lose weight for someone else, if they truly desire to lose weight, they should do it for themselves. I have worked in the weight loss industry 4-5 years now, 3 years at the number one diet company in the World. And I can tell you that 99% of the people who lose weight for someone else, end up rebounding and putting the weight back on.

        2. My appearance and level fitness should have absolutely NO bearing on my husband. I choose to be healthy and fit, because it's MY choice. While admirable, this attitude is really, really, really unhealthy.

        3. People value different things. Not everyone shares your values. Not everyone likes the same foods, exercises etc. Just because you chose to spend your time at the gym, does not negate what everyone else does.

        4. Being fat does not equal being unprofessional. Maybe in the military it can, but if I were 200 pounds, dressed respectfully, and represented myself to the best of my ability, there is NO WAY that that should reflect upon my husband.

        5. I cannot wait until the day when spouses realize that they over-value their value to the military. Guess what, when I was in the military, I didn't care WTF Mrs. So and So looked like, how she dressed, or how much she weighed." The ONLY thing I cared about is whether Sgt So and So could get his job done. I have worked for and with plenty of military personnel who have fat spouses and plenty of military personnel who have spouses who are fit. The only thing the military should care about is whether, or not, the mission can be accomplished.

  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.

    • I think you make the obvious excellent point. Its a coping mechanism. I think its up to each couple to decipher for themselves over their marriage which coping mechanisms they tolerate and which they don't. I know lots of thin: alcoholics, drug addicts (prescription or otherwise), hypochondriacs, shopaholics, A grade arse bites, frigid shrews, philanderers, video game addicts, gamblers, inciteful drama hounds…who am I leaving out here? The point is, in our marriage atleast, we've decided pounds aren't nearly as important as some of what we consider worse coping mechanisms. And EVERYONE, has coping mechanisms. Fat…is just more visible. But it certainly is not in any way…the most dangerous, or the most detrimental. This entire article reminds me of much of what goes on in military life: we focus on surface consequences because we can see them. We tend to not focus on the causes of any of these consequences.

      • I might disagree that it's not the most detrimental, have you seen the studies showing how overweight individuals have a higher mortality rate then optimal weight individuals, or the studies that show that overweight people suffer from higher rates of depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallstones, cancer…and the list goes on and on and on. So while it might be a better "coping mechanism" then drug use it certainly IS a SERIOUSLY detrimental thing to both your individual health, and to that of your family (how do you think they would take it if you kicked off 5 years earlier just because you didn't want to shed a few pounds). Not to mention the health care cost in your later years when Tricare is no longer fully covering everything

        • The truth of the science is, being fit, makes you more healthy. There is a plethora of research right now to suggest that people who are considered normal weight but not fit, actually have astronomically higher health risks, then people who are "overweight" but also fit. The two are not mutually exclusive. Again, I'll use myself, or my grandfather as good examples of this. I am probably a good 50 lbs overweight; yet my vitals are all in the perfect range. My husband, an athlete and career soldier who runs every single day and has since we met at 15 and he ran cross country…has high blood pressure, high cholesterol and is borderline diabetic. My grandfather is 98 years old this year. He has my entire life been atleast 50 lbs overweight and is still putting up his own hay for his cattle at 98 years old. I am absolutely unsold that running every day does one hoot of good for your cardiovascular health. I think you get much better mileage from range of motion exercise such as yoga, tai chi etc which keep the joints loose and just good old fashioned chores and puttering. Being sedentary is the killer, much more so than the weight on the scale.

        • While we're waiting for my other post to show up out of purgatory…read this:

          Your perceptions are actually antiquated, bunk science.

          • For every one that says it's not a huge problem (and gee, since the actual study paper wasn't properly linked we can't even analyze sample size or racial differences), I can give you 5 more that say it does cause a problem. You want to be overweight or "fat" and are happy with that, go for it but stop sticking your head in the sand that it has a large possibility of causing substantial and potentially irreversible damages to both your physical and mental health.

            If you care to do actual research check out the CDC website, there quiet a few interesting topics and studies on the topic

          • You seem very angry. I don't get that. Try eating a cookie. Snort. Look, genetics play a huge part in metabolic health and also in weight. And metabolic health and weight are two very different things. People need to be concerned with not being sedentary and the quality of the food they eat and much less concerned with how much they weigh. In my family being fat is the norm, it's also the norm to be a centenarian…so there ya go. Meanwhile, the supposably at weight people I know..are the sickliest people I know.

  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.

    • I completely agree. What she said was extremely rude, and is HIGHLY untrue.

      • Agree! That woman has a peanut for a brain.My wife is a little chunky and not from "bon bons"but from her courageous fight with thyroid cancer. Judge not,"female soldier".

    • ive seen first hand how these "military wives" live. most of them are too busy chasing new cock while their husbands are deployed, to worry about how much they weigh. I think its disgusting to see a woman representing a soldier dressed like a slob in public. wearing pajamas to the PX and looking nasty all the time. Just cause you have kids does not mean you have to let yourself go and be trashy. Take some pride in what your "job" is. No you dont directly represent the military, but you do represent that soldier and that matters too. A lot of these base women do lay at home all day and do nothing while the husband works. And yes if youre cooking fat foods at home, your spouse will end up overweight. It happened to my sister and her husband. She had to support his efforts to make tape by cooking healthy meals. Now they work out together. its called a babysitter women!!!

      • Jennifer, you are incredibly stupid. I would put you in your place but I'm certain that you are too unintelligent to comprehend it so I'll just leave it at that.
        Signed, a healthy (160 lbs. 5'8"), faithful, working military wife.

        • And what would you do to put her in her place? Call her husbands CoC? Does she not know who your husband is?! *sarcastically said of course, because no one cares* Seriously though, you wouldn't do shit and you know it, all you would try to do is get her husband in trouble and try to get her yelled at by his commander who in reality would laugh in your face because you're acting like an immature child whose feelings were hurt, so you must get them in trouble.

          Signed, a CIVILIAN who is married to a man in the military. Not a "military wife" just a normal everyday woman with no entitlement.

          • Actually Kitten, I would tell her how catty and judgmental she is. You should know, you share the same attitude as her. And who said anything about entitlement? Jennifer roped all military wives into one category, a group of people who are cheaters, fat slobs, trashy and do nothing but lay around. What I said is that I am a military wife who is healthy, faithful, and working (in case you missed it the first time). Not quite sure how that speaks of any entitlement but alright. Next time you try to make a witty reply, at least make an attempt to sound educated.

          • I wouldn't need to call my husband to put her in her place… I would do it myself.

            Signed a Military Wife, who was a veteran and earned her rank thank-you-very-much!

      • It's called… a babysitter? A sitter? For BABIES? What is this new invention, Jennifer, please tell us more! You must be a fount of brand new information we have never heard before! What is it we must be busy chasing? It's all asterisks, and I can't tell, but I must know!

        • I wonder if Jennifer realizes how expensive babysitters are during a school day!!! Granted there are ways to exercise with a baby, but OMG I wouldn't pay a babysitter to do it.

      • Huh? Since you are such great shape, you can come with me on my next training run. Do you think you could finish a 10 mile in around 75-80 minutes? That's about my pace now.

        Military Spouse, who stays at home.

      • i am a heavy woman who has always been heavy. i will probably always be heavy, and pregnancies dont help to be honest. but i will NEVER cheat on my husband. never. and ive had several offers just this week. maybe that is the real issue, men thinking just b/c your husband is gone that its ok to hit on you, while out and about with a car full of his kids….

  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.

    • Depressing is not an excuse? Seriously? Did you seriously just type that? When you are diagnosed with clinical depression, you are put on heavy medication. The medication increases your appetite. This was me in 2001. The event that caused the depression was life-changing. The depression itself was crushing and mind-numbing. I gained 60 pounds. That's not a typo. 60 pounds. Eventually I worked through it and in 2006 stopped all medications and began my journey back to my 2001 weight. My weight gain was caused by a life-altering event that resulted in clinical depression and increased appetite brought on my medication. Do I call it an excuse? No. It was simply the hell that was my life. And you cannot possibly judge whose demons are "much larger" than anyone else's. Until you have walked in another woman's shoes, you can't ever know her demons.

    • I think people sticking their nose where it doesn't belong is an even larger problem. Last time I checked, my husband was an adult, if he doesn't think the food I serve his healthy– there's the fridge, the stove, the oven, the microwave, and the food– have at it…

      If he doesn't like what I'm eating– I can also point him to the nearest pier where he can take a flying leap off of!

  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.

    • Amen and God Bless you, Lori. I have been active duty (5 active 21 reserve years) and military spouse (20+ years) and I can tell you that military spouse is the harder job of the two. Sorry all you active duty who think that you 'suffer' when you go on deployments. Given the choice, I would choose deployments where I only had to worry about getting up and going to work and eating at a galley or restaurant, doing just my laundry and keeping just my spaces clean, getting 8 hours of sleep each night, etc. Staying home, I was lucky to get 5 or 6 hours of uniterrupted sleep several days a week. Obviously, the moron who said military wives sit around eating bonbons or any thing else is a anorexic, childless pathetic excuse for a human being. Judgmental people like her do not warrant quoting. and for full disclosure, I ran 5 (that's right 5) miles every day, plus weight training 3 times a week, aerobics and tai bo and still constantly battled my weight to meet the minimum. Some people are heavy not due to eating constantly but genetics. If you all try not to judge me, I will try not to judge you.

      • the first mel | September 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm |

        Where the heck have you been deploying? When my husband deployed, he had to worry about getting shot at or blown up by an IED, he lived in what is basically a box with no windows and his clothes got chewed on by rats, he ate at a chow hall or had MREs, he missed daily moments with our kids, and he missed all the comforts of home. I don't know how anyone can think that being a milspouse is more difficult than being in the military.

        • then you have never been both so back off. Not every soldier, sailor, airman, or marine is sitting in a trench for 6, 9 or 12 months of a deployment. I was stationed in places with your husbands and can tell you that the hardest thing to deal with is boredom. did I miss things with my kids, yes. Did I eat mre's, yes. Did I have to watch my back for 'friendlies wanting to knife it, yes. Did I freeze my ass off in a nasty cave in Korea for weeks on end, yes. Did I also get stationed in safer (not safe) places around the world, yes. Did I have to fend off guys wanting to make time because they were 'seperated' (geographically, not legally) from their wife, more times than I can count. And in case you are wondering, I did not cheat on my husband nor behave in any manner that I would be ashamed for my kids to find out. I was there. Were you? I have done both and no matter what your husband brainwashes you to believe, the spouse at home has it a lot rougher. My husband admitted this when he was the one at home and I was the one gone. So again, back off until you march ten miles in my combat boots with 70 lbs on your back.

          • the first mel | September 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

            Wow, what's up with the rage? No, I haven't deployed, but when comparing my husband's daily life during a deployment to my daily life at home, he has it harder. My husband doesn't brainwash me, I have my own mind and I can logically evaluate things to make my own conclusions. This whole debate about who has it harder really isn't a big deal to me, since I have nothing to prove. It's all about individual perception and personal opinion.

          • Gina–

            My husband says the same thing, but he rarely deploys anywhere dangerous. Half the time he is bored. He watched the entire 8 seasons of "The Office" this deployment. He is working longer hours, but it's not anything Earth shattering, or death defying. He sits at a desk, just about 7,000 miles away.

          • I think hard is a relative term. My husband has combat deployed 5 times, and he TOO has said on numerous occasions he thinks there are aspects of being at home that are more difficult. Namely: when my husband is down range he KNOWS when he is safe. He doesn't worry for his safety 24 hours a day. He has enough compassion to know that his soldier's wives never have that same knowledge. He also points out that he gets accolades from the public, the camaraderie of the military etc to bolster him. As wives, we get a lot of crap..namely from other wives. Its a thankless job. I don't think anyone, is ever going to say folding laundry with kids running around is as hard as being shot at. If they did, they'd be a moron.

          • Cont'd
            But, yes, there are aspects of being the spouse at home that are more difficult than being the spouse down range such as the :juggling duties, having to be responsible for everything and everyone yourself, dealing with the consequences of things that happen downrange back here: casualty assistance, funerals et all. I hope most of us have spouses who get that this military life is a team effort. Every time I read your comments Mel, I have to stop and wonder, what sort of support you are getting and it makes me ponder. I am glad it works for you, but I don't think it would work for very many people.

          • the first mel | September 17, 2013 at 10:34 am |

            Sabrina, you piqued my interest. What type of support do you think I have that wouldn't work for very many people?

          • You seem to have the type of constitution that doesn't need outside support. Perhaps you have developed that through your illness. You mentioned before being in the hospital and even though he was in Garrison your husband not coming to the hospital. For me, that means of one two things either a) your husband is a jerk or more likely b) you have the sort of personal constitution that doesn't require outside support and also likely c) you have developed a relationship in which superfluous support is no longer important. I actually think that is admirable, I am just not sure it is realistic most people have that same personal constitution, or that their relationships have developed in that way.

          • Cont'd. I am also not sure I would want a relationship that developed in that way. My husband would force his way in even if it were after visiting hours, and that's what works for us. We need that sort of support from each other and we approach our life as a team effort in everything, including the Army. I think this is why you and I seem to disagree on a wife's role or lack thereof in a military marriage, because we are very different people who require very different relationships and approach life very differently. I don't think my way is right, and yours wrong or vice versa, I think they are unique. I think that is the only thing I ever have to say about your comments constructive criticism wise, you often seem to think everyone should have your same constitution or your same type of relationship. It wouldn't work for me, but I am glad it works for you clearly, you have been married as long as I have so it's clearly working for you.

          • Finally, I am sure I have shoved my foot in my mouth so show here, but what I am trying to say is, you can't expect everyone to be the solid as a rock you are. Not needing any kudos, not needing any support…this rock of Gibraltar. That is how I read your posts, it's admirable, but I doubt many people could do it, or would even want to do it. I personally appreciate my vulnerability and my need for community and support.

          • the first mel | September 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

            Thanks for responding. You are right, throughout my life I have had to frequently deal with things on my own and I don't require a lot of outside support. I consider it a learned response to life events that go back to childhood. I have also learned that the only one I can truly depend on is myself. Whether this is good or bad, I can't tell you. It's just the way it is. My husband and I have been together for over 27 years, married for over 24 of those years. He knows I can handle a lot and he depends on that. He also knows when I really need him and he does what he can to be there for me. We aren't perfect, but a marriage is always a work in progress.

          • the first mel | September 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

            I don't expect others to be like me. I have difficulty in understanding the logic about certain responses to various issues. I put my perspective out there and perhaps the way I say it comes across as "be like me", but my intention is far from that. I intellectualize everything. Reading different perspectives lends knowledge to my understanding of an issue and my perspective is just another addition to that discussion. I tend to not be emotionally invested in my comment or the discussion in general. I take is for what it is, a discussion or debate. My fur has been ruffled a few times, but that has been due to a perceived attack on my character or an assumption that I am not being truthful. We are very different, but that's a good thing. Life would be boring if we were all the same.

          • I am glad you understood whatI meant, I was having a hard time being as delicate as possible. I think you represent yourself here as being amazingly strong. Solid, like a rock. It's admirable. We have been married 20 years, together 25 years and our relationship seems not dissimilar, and yet very different. I think that uniqueness is what makes life beautiful.

          • the first mel | September 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

            So, do we hug now?

          • I think we are supposed to sing Kumbaya or something….snicker ;)

  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.

    • "MOST military spouses that are married to higher ranks are the ones that look down to the other spouses that are higher weight."

      That's quite a judgmental statement – broad brush painting. :(

      • how so? every single one I met or smiled and nodded to ,to show kindness, look at me like trash… the ones that were married to staff sgt or lower ALWAYS smiled back or nodded never once got a scornful look or the look of " what the hell do you want"

        i am generally a very friendly person, almost always have a smile on my face even if people brush me off and scorn me.

        • Uh, I really hope I don't fall in this category. But, I should probably reevaluate how I might come across as well. My husband is above SSG, and I probably do at the rare times you catch me anywhere near a BN nowadays look at any young wife approaching me like "wth do you want?" Try not to take it personally. I can't speak for all of us older wives, but I for one, have my own issues. And if I ever look at anyone with "wth do you want" really has nothing to do with their size and everything to do with….well I just can't explain it to you just yet. But trust me, when you get to be the higher than a SSG's wife…you'll get the grumpy gene too most likely. Think of how tired, unappreciated et all you feel now…then compound that by years, and years..a couple of decades even of PCSing, deployments, funerals, kids, TDYs et all…and you just sort of get the "wth do you want" face as an older spouse. ;)

          • we've been in the military now for about 12 years and have seen only about a handful of nice spouses.. i can hope that you are one of the nice ones too :)

            we had our first daughter about 4 years ago ( had complications the first year of her life) so i can understand the pcsing and kids and stress of the job (he is above ssgt as well and just changed job titles too ).. he brought it home alot.. even with all that i still try to always smile because it could make someones day brighter no matter how bad yours our mine may have been

          • I have been a milspouse for 22 years and am off put by your comments about "giving the wth look" to younger spouses because you have a lot on you plate. I have seen this off and on over the years and ANY spouse should be ashamed of themselves for acting this way!!! We, as older, more experienced dependents, should be reaching out to our younger men and women!!! I feel that it is my responsibility to ensure that the younger spouses can call me should they have any questions or concerns. This life is new to them and they NEED our guidance sometimes! I think you perception of the younger ladies is unacceptable and would tell you so if I ever witnessed it!

          • Get off your high horse. For the better part of two decades I volunteered ad nauseum with and for young enlisted families. It just so happens, after 5 deployments, funerals AND all that volunteering I am exhausted. You missed the part where I said I tend to steer far clear of post these days because I am the first to tell you the last thing anyone needs is me to go into a bitter tirade at them. You also missed the part where I said I need to reevaluate my own rare interaction with younger spouses at this point after reading what she wrote…because I am pretty sure I have a "WTH do you want face" for 9/10ths of the population. My point remains, she should consider, any looks she thinks she is getting…just might..not be about her at all.

        • Just because you met a few bad apples and had bad experiences doesn't mean they're all like that… you even said in your comment that spouses have to stop being clique-ish. Throwing out broad stereotypes based on anecdotal evidence to paint X spouse as good and Y spouse as bad isn't the way to do that. It's good that you're still friendly to those people, just remember that sometimes if you expect the outcome to be bad you may end up causing it to be bad – self-fulfilling prophecy.

          • you have a point . .another reason i do my utmost to be as nice as i can.. its how i was brought up as a kid..

      • sadly, this has been my experience too :( i couldn't bring my self to go to the get togethers when the guys were deployed.

    • and yes i do still try and make it to the gym .. with or with out my spouse

    • Here nor there | September 11, 2013 at 8:42 am |

      So by your theory, if I, as a Captain, were to get married, my hypothetical wife would most likely be a haughty, holier-than-thou individual because I am a higher rank than your husband? Don't you think that your assumptions on spousal rank make you just as guilty as these supposed "evil and mean" wives you speak of? This victim attitude you've been toting around either makes you a target for the select few jerks or deludes you into thinking you're a target by phantom oppressors. Check yourself before you continue to wreck yourself.

      • i think she's more talking about the couples have been married for a while and the spouse has been with the military member while climbing the ranks. some, NOT ALL, kinda have the "my husband/wife works harder/has done more than yours so bug off" attitude. others are more than happy to share their experiences and help the newer spouses get threw stuff.

      • Roger that!

    • I'm an overweight spouse and I have never felt I've been looked down upon by any of the wives I've encountered! I also don't play into that nonsense. And I would never assume they thought I was white trash because I'm heavy! I actually get more encouragement from the higher ranking spouses! Be more confident in yourself and look at ways to better yourself and you may find some insight on why you feel you're being looked down upon.

  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.

    • So if one is overweight, it must be because s/he doesn't care about being healthy? Wow. Judgmental much?

      Also, when exactly are we supposed to have this idyllic life? It didn't come in our seabag.

  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?

    • I think you make an excellent point. I think there are some funny presumptions made in this article and by people of this bent. Here's the "skinny". I, me, owned an organic farm for five years. I, me, cook, from scratch almost every single meal we eat. We for years have raised everything from our own eggs and produce, clear to our own beef, rabbit, pork. Presuming that people don't eat "healthy" if they appear overweight is just not necessarily true. I eat very healthy, probably as healthy as anyone here…I also eat too much. Too much of anything is not good for you. I also having sold at three farmer's markets for a number of years, and having spoken at organic events…have not met very many skinny farmers…and my grandfather, who is retired Navy and has farmed his entire life…guess what, always had to be taped..and has always been a big butterball of a suspenders wearing guy…and is this year, going to be 98 years old and still bringing in his own hay for his cattle….so there ya go. You're right, its not your fault how much your husbands eats, or what he eats outside the home.

    • "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?"

      Your first mistake was to consider this journalism. But, I agree.

  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.

    • They totally have a Pinterest board for that don't you know that, BMax? :) Ok, really, I have to go work now and stop sitting over here wasting my time. I have so many bon-bons to make today I'll never get done. The only reason I came was to see what you wrote. Ha ha ha!

    • nope reeses big cups lol or anything special we find in the MREs lol

  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!

    • Hear, Hear Mel….Its a Choice not a Mandate to be a "HogBody"…..Get some Courage and Stand up for yourself to Yourself…..

  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.

    • AMEN Jenny!!!

    • This is what spousebuzz does. For every uplifting article, they have to turn around and write one that makes it clear we are not all in this together.

      • Yes, this exactly. It's all well and good to post articles telling us we ought to support one another, and how we're all in this together… and then turn right around and dig for controversy with this execrable excuse for journalism. Yahoo comments do not a story make.

  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

    • My wife is a stay at home mom and she is in shape. We have a 2 month old and a 17 month old… I work 40+ hours a week and I go to school 4 nights a week. My wife makes it a priority to stay in shape because she wants to. She is tired too but she makes it a priority to stay healthy. My wife makes sure I have food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our house is clean, she runs errands and still have time for exercise. Insulting another military spouse is not the way to have a discussion… It seems as if you know you could make time, you don't have the drive or motivation and you blame genetics. There were not a lot of fat people in the 1800's and the ones that were fat normally had more money. It's the processed foods and preservatives that hurt. Eat organic, exercise and stop making excuses, you will see how easy it really is…

  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.

    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?

    • I'm confused... | September 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

      You don't have to be the worlds greatest organic chef Dee. Why should have to wait until your spouse comes home for you to work out? There are gyms with child watch the YMCA is a great one they cater to many military families. Sometimes cranking up that ipod and peddling out your stress to your favorite tunes can greatly improve the quality of life for you, your marriage, and children. His weight problem is a family problem, if it effects his job it will effect how you guys are able to provide for your children in the end. Make no mistake Dee I'm not trying to force feed you lettuce, and apples and I understand you cannot control what he eats when he is on base or what he eats period. What I might suggest is that you talk with him tell him how important he is, how important it is for you both to set the example for your children to live a healthy life. You teach a child in the way they should go when they are older they will not depart from it.

    • Umm yea they are…when my husband and I met he lived off of take out,pizza rolls, and toaster struedal. We moved in together and I said this crap isn't allowed in the house, you want it, go buy and make it yourself, I will have dinner for you here when you get home provided I'm not working late and will pack lunch for you as well. Guess what it's been years and we haven't once had pizza rolls in the house. It's called make good food taste good and they won't go eat pizza rolls

  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.

    • I work out 6 days a week and count every calorie. I have a metabolic condition. Stop being so bleeping judgmental, you self-righteous bleep.

    • Okay, but… what does anyone else's weight have to do with you? It doesn't affect your life. It isn't your body, it isn't holding back any activity you enjoy, it has zero to do with you. At maximum, you just don't like looking at overweight people, but that's on you to deal with your own issues and look away if you have to, not on the rest of the world to cater to your preferences. You like to stay fit? Good for you, and I do mean that without a shred of sarcasm. You're making choices about yourself that you're comfortable with–please allow everyone else in the world the courtesy of doing the same thing.

      • Actually when you consider the long term health ramifications and the fact that taxpayers pay for our healthcare, it does have something to do with him since he'll be helping to foot the bill for your health conditions down the line. Not saying what he said was right, but you can't ignore the fact that our "free" healthcare probably plays a part in some peoples decisions or indifference

        • I can see your point. I wonder why we don't see people taking it up with senior citizens on Medicare in the same tone, because their health decisions cost taxpayers, too. (Put down the gravy, grandpa!) I suspect it's because people generally hold a baseline level of respect for senior citizens and milspouses don't get the same courtesy. Maybe it's because a group of (mostly) women makes for an easier target.

          I do wonder where the line is drawn–where the health of the individual is considered a private matter, and their body isn't held up to a bunch of Yahoo commenters (good God, what a poor decision) for judgment. This is a matter that should be between a person and their doctor, not a person and a random group of anonymous people on the internet.

          • Well by the time grandpa reaches retirement he's paid into Medicare for 50 years, so like SS I think many people see it as an earned benefit, one paid for over the course of a career whereas military spouses don't pay into the pot for the care they receive for Tricare. It's kind of like the studies that have been done on using cash vs a card, it is physically harder for an individual to part with cash when making a purchase vs using a credit or debit card. If we were physically paying cash for our healthcare would we be more inclined to make our individual and family health a higher priority?

    • Dependapotomus? Insult much? I will be respectful and thank you for your service, but beyond that, you're a self righteous jerk. I especially like how you lay out your day, like it's something new. Uhhh women, able bodied and disabled, have been doing it for centuries, you're not special. But before you judge others, maybe you should do some research and find out why others are not as fit as YOU would like them to be. Not everyone is made the same way and not everyone is blessed with the ability to stay slim. But then again, it's none of YOUR freakin business what another person looks like.

  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.

    • There are none? Well take the initiative and start one. Don't wait for the military. You sound like a person with a can-do attitude. While it is his personal responsibility, when his weight effect his employment then it's something that will effect you. 2012 firing squad is the testament of that. So many active duty people where essentially fired (because there were too many people) but they used scores from PFA's, and PT's to do so. There were some people that should have been kicked out for drunk driving but nope the overweight personnel got the boot. As their spouses now try to help them appeal the decision and worrying be he doesn't have a job, she can't find one willing to hire her. Trying to make the separation pay stretch. It's his responsibility but effects everyone

  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.

    • Yea that's not true…if the wife is feeding the husband nothing but crap food no matter what the command does (and I've seen guys put on twice a day work out sessions, disallowed soda, mandatory diet logs etc) he's not going to lose the weight. The command can influence a soldiers decision, but once he goes on leave or goes home it's up the family to keep the diet and exercise plan up.

      • VCT_Retired_Army | September 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm |

        He is a grown-up. He can choose what to eat at home as well as at work. Is she cooks crap, he can get off his duff and fix himself a healthy meal.

        • It is the FAMILIES responsibility to ensure the soldier is the proper weight, this includes the soldier but if there is nothing but fattening sugary temptation at home do you really think that is an effective way to promote a healthy diet to someone struggling with weight? Not to mention that it's horrible for the spouse and kids to eat too

          • So wait, it's the family's (read: wife's) responsibility to make sure a soldier is a proper weight… but it's all on the wife to make sure she's at a proper weight, too. Really?

          • No, it's the FAMILIES responsibility to make sure everyone is a healthy weight, the husband should be promoting the wife to work out, cook healthy etc however some spouses take that as the husband doesn't "like" them for "who they are" It's good for the wife to provide those

    • Again, Its someones else Fault Right? Nobody is Responsible for their own Actions….

  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.

    • I work full time and travel two weeks out of every month for my job. We eat extremely healthy, we spend most of Sunday prepping and cooking meals for the rest of the week so that way it's a come home from work and pop it in the oven or wake up in the morning and throw it in the slow cooker type of thing. That way he isn't stressed about cooking when he gets home at 7 pm and I'm not stressed about it when I get home at around 6. The weeks before I travel I make meals and freeze them for him so that way he can avoid eating crap all week until I get home, he comes home, pops it in the microwave and is good to go. Prep work on the weekends goes a long way to eating better during the week.

    • And lets face it, those of us that work full time are the minority in the military spouse circle. If you aren't working then yes, I would assume that it would be the spouses "job" to cook dinner, since they tote being a SAHM/SAHW is a full time job I suspect dinner is a part of that. I think this is where the automatic assumption that it's the spouses responsibility comes from

      • Yep, I cannot disagree with that! IF I could cook, I would absolutely had taken on that role if I was a SAHW. I cannot emphasize enough how hopeless I am in the kitchen. I'm determined to get healthier during this recent operation where my hubs is gone so I can both be eating better when he is gone but also contribute something when he is back! LOL. I am starting with the book "How to Boil Water"…but I do agree, I need to prep WAY more to make sure I have what I need.

        I think another issue that isn't being brought up, and may be more reflective of our overall weight problem in America (even if its no ones business) is lack of learning how to cook. I was literally raised on fast food or frozen pizza. Not in an exaggerated way…in a "I was malnourished" way. Its made learning to cook as an adult, or even having a basic understanding of what "healthy" is extremely difficult. I think keeping the focus on the positive and helping everyone be healthier, knowing some may be more or less motivated, or more or less informed, have more or less time to dedicate to it, or whatever the case is; but just keeping getting the information out there :) :)

        • Lol my husband couldn't boil water when I met him (he would burn even a grilled cheese), I've slowly been teaching him since I am gone so much and so is he. Your best investment at the beginning stage is a slow cooker and a slow cooker recipe book, meals can be prepped the night before then you just throw it in before work and turn it on and come home to a complete dinner. We tend to swap beef for bison since it's healthier and quinoa for recipes that call for rice but those things are a LIFE saver

          My best friend was raised the same way, she almost burnt her condo down…with a toaster (fyi, it's not a good idea to try and put taco shells in a toaster) just last month. That convinced her to start taking some cooking classes finally so she and I (moral support) go once a week to a place in DC

    • Maybe instead of blaming the spouses' cooking, they should look at the crap available on base for "fast food". The food court at the BX:
      Robin Hood Subs (eh OK)
      Anthony's Pizza (boo)
      Taco Bell (boo)
      Starbucks (um do you know how many calories are in a Mocha Latte???)
      Baskin Robins (boo)
      Burger King (boo)

      Even the quick service foods at the commissary leave much to be desired… BX at Eglin AFB has two rows completely dedicated to candy and alcohol.

      • If the spouse is cooking the service member can bring his lunch with him, not only is on post food expensive but as you pointed out it's not good for you. I can honestly say my husband eats at the PX maaaybe two or three times a YEAR

        • You can't force someone to eat something. If I send lunch with my hubby and he wants to eat Burger King on base for lunch there is not a thing I can do about it. He's been known to leave the same lunch at work for a week and bring home a gross tupperware container with Monday's lunch still in it on Friday evening. Would I rather he eat the lunch I send him? Of course! But can I force him to? NO! He is an adult and makes his own decisions, good or bad.

  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.

    • I am completely with you on that girl. I eat very healthy and my husband won't. I can't force feed him any more than I can force him to get out and run or go to the gym!

      • Exactly, Carrie!

        The funny thing about this article is that it serves only to make the soldiers who say such things and any journalist who would write such garbage look bad. It doesn't make these wives look bad. These wives are minding their own business, taking care of their families. These soldiers are going out of their way to belittle them just because they can.

  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?

    • They just find one of you fat spouses to keep up the habit I suppose.

    • Clearly they're getting fat by osmosis. There are fat women around here, SOMEWHERE, and their presence is infecting everyone else with their fatty fatness.

      This is so ridiculous. If the military was concerned about the subject, there are a number of positive, proactive steps they could take. This is not one of them.

  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

    • I really doubt most overweight people don't acknowledge their own weight. The question is, what does it have to do with you? If you're happy with yourself, great! If someone else is happy with themselves, also great! This is not a problem.

    • VCT_Retired_Army | September 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm |

      Sadly by Army height/weight standards you are seriously overweight. Don't judge lest ye …

  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?

    • This is the textbook definition of tl;dr. Your comments are overfat, but it's okay. I'm sure it's your spouse's fault!

    • I'd only like to know one thing…how come this person can write War and Peace, but if I type more than a paragraph it tells me my comment is too long? To write these 3 posts would've taken me 20 posts…lol.

    • To address your point about medical conditions. Lupus is one example of an illness that has medication that can cause a significant weight gain. Lyme's disease is another disease that can cause a significant weight gain. My friend has it, and she has gained over 40 pounds on medication to help with her Lyme's.

      Many people with Lupus, Fibromylagia, and Lyme's Disease are on steroids (as are many veterans who are suffering with chronic pain from injuries). Steroids alone can cause weight gain. I was on them for 2 weeks. I'm a marathoner. I had to be on them because I pinch a nerve in my foot. I was not able to exercise, I keep an accurate food journal, and I was not eating excess food, because I was not running. Needless to say in two weeks on steroids, I gained 14 pounds. The weight came off relatively easily, but to completely dismiss someone who has real medical issues is kind of really judgmental. It's easy for someone to dismiss these conditions when you are perfectly healthy. I am blessed with good health, but I know far too many people who have real medical concerns that cause weight gain.

      Furthermore, you think that we should be judged on dress and appearance, solely based on the fact that we want to be "honored" for the sacrifice that we make for our families? I don't think so.

      • Being a person with a medically diagnosed internal disease (the posters use of internal/external sort of cracks me up, but I will go with it) the OP is to a certain extent correct. I am not the person who has ever made my disease my life's focus. I didn't even bring it up in my response, but you had my back..thanks for that. Having said that, you can, even with Lupus keep weight off to a certain extent and it is beneficial to stay fit and metabolically healthy. However, in the course of any lifelong illness the stage at which you reach significant organ involvement or debilitation varies vastly from one person to the next. I know people who have the same diagnosis as I do, who have to take oral steroids daily and are in their 20s. I have always been able to pop Aleve, and on the rare flare up get corticosteroid injections…UNTIL, I moved to Siberia where its 8 months of winter and all of a sudden my lungs said: Hey F the Army, F you for following your soldier to this hell hole, and F this weather. I had serious issues with pleurisy all last winter.

      • Cont'd (see what I mean, I can't post more than a paragraph, the OP writes War and Peace)
        Invasive medical treatments, steroid inhalers…ya you betcha. But its still not enough to get compassionately reassigned…so there ya go. Other people, clog the medical system with hypochondria and get all sorts of special treatment, soldiers get put on nondeployable status yadda yadda and for awhile I was just as angry about those people as the OPs "people who self diagnose" comment. There is some merit to that. But nowadays, I just really don't care anymore about what other people are wearing, doing, eating, driving et all. This is the uptick to all the deployments and having Lupus, learning what is actually important.

    • the first mel | September 12, 2013 at 10:26 am |

      Unless you have a medical degree and are knowledgeable about every medical condition out there, you should really refrain from making blanket statements about people with medical conditions. For me, I have Myasthenia Gravis which causes my muscles to weaken from repetitive use. Sure, I can watch what I eat, but exercise is difficult. You see, when you become weak and exhausted from daily activities you have to prioritize what you do so you can do the important things. If I do too much, I am out of commission for a few days. That would be ok if I didn't have any responsibilities, but I do. My kids need to be taken care of, they need to eat, they need to be driven to their activities, they need clean clothes. They need me to be off the couch and taking care of their needs and their home. Just doing those things can wear me out so I determine what is most important for the day and I make sure I am able to do it.

      • the first mel | September 12, 2013 at 10:26 am |

        I also was on Prednisone for over 20 years and experienced a 40 pound weight gain. I have had difficulty taking that off due to my inability to be really active. I do watch what I eat, but I will not see the results that people do when they incorporate exercise into their weight loss plan. I have been able to prevent further weight gain, but that has been due to a major reduction in the amount of food I eat every day. Just because you can't see a visible medical conditions does not mean that the person doesn't have a condition that impacts their ability to maintain a healthy weight and their ability to exercise.

    • I do not look sick. I did not diagnose myself. I have a very recently discovered heart defect it is genetic and not caused by anything other than a genetic error. I am forbidden to exercise at all right now-this includes cardio and explicitly weight lifting. Yes, I do watch what I eat but the meds have made me gain weight. According to my cardiologist I can not take the meds and die or take the meds and make peace with my weight.

      Bully and shame all you'd like but I choose to live.

      My husband has had perfect or near perfect PT scores all 25 yrs. he's been in and never has been overweight.

  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.

    • This made my morning.

      • These things just crack me up. The only contract I signed was my marriage license. And no where in my marriage vows did it state that I had to keep up with physical standards and military conduct. I did keep up with military standards and conduct, because I spent time in the military. After I got, I kept up with physical fitness standards, because I enjoy being active, not to impress my husband's bosses. I follow some of the military conduct, because it's just good manners and morals and it's kind of ingrained in me. But when it comes to shi-tuff like this I laugh. I'll be honest, I was not the best troop in the world when I was active duty. I struggled (because I have Aspergers and ADHD and did not have the best bosses in the world). I was a good airman as far as conduct goes, but I had issues with communication. My performance as an officer, and my conduct as a spouse and had NO bearing on my husband career. He has been promoted ahead of time DESPITE being married to me. The fact that there is this unwritten rule that spouses possess the power to ensure or deny a promotion is wrong. I have sat through promotion boards, I have sat through job boards. Your weight, your appearance, the way you dress, and the way you act (as long as you are not doing anything against the law), has NO bearing on your husband's military career. Sure if you are doing something like smoking pot, your house is destroyed, and you show up to an event acting like you just left the bar, your husband may be looked at more carefully, because in general couples smoke pot together, he is partially responsible for your house, and over the top conduct is cause for concern. And I question anyone who says that it's 100% the spouses fault if the active duty member is fat…

        • I said to my husband just the other night…who are these wives and what sort of lackluster soldier husbands do they have if the only way he gets promoted is by their effort or how they look? I worked with and for the DoD for over a decade with some pretty high ranking fellas…never once did I see them consider jack crap about a spouse regarding anyone's OERs or NCOERs and in the first instance…I have typed a lot of and wrote a lot of OER bullets in my day as the assistant to big guys, not a damn one ever considered ANYTHING a wife did. I still maintain this is a myth, promoted by wives, toward wives and it's ridiculous. I have myself felt the pressure to perform, do the volunteer cha cha etc. And this is really something we do to one another, not something the DoD does to us.

    • It seems we're only "military wives" when it suits our detractors. Even the word "milspouse" gets some people up in arms, complaining about our association to the military and how we ought to be hands off an association we've done nothing to earn: we don't wear the uniform, we have nothing to do with the military, back off, ladies! And yet when it's convenient, we're obligated to represent the military in a positive light, we need to own it and take pride in it or else be judged unworthy of being associated with… this thing we're not really supposed to be associated with. There's no winning.

      • I absolutely agree, the whole sentiment is bipolar logic. On the one hand you don't sacrifice, you aren't a part of the military, and on the other we have to wear x, eat x, and be sure to be constantly gracious and grateful and (in my best Cockney accent) "please, sir…can I have some more?". It's all complete and total Bull…. And if this thing edits out Cockney English accent…Ima laugh all day.

      • I absolutely agree. We are darned if we do, darned if we don't…

        That's why I say, if they are going to make my participation, my appearance, and my life a part of the equation when it comes to my husband's career– have at it, but I want to be compensated for my time, energy, and inclination. I gave up a career in the Air Force to follow him around and not deploy leaving our kids parent-less. Then I gave up an opportunity to be a CIA analysis, which paid quite a bit of money. Right now, I can't f#(*ing work at McDonalds. If the US military wants anything out of me, then pay me.

        And to the people, who say I don't earn anything as a wife. From my personal experience, being in the military was a thousand times easier than staying at home. At least I could go to the bathroom without someone barging in yelling at me because we ran out of toilet paper, or eat dinner without cutting up somebody else's food. I would make something and I wouldn't hear the, "OMG MA THAT AGAIN, I HATE THAT…" (even though she ate it the last 7 times I made it).

        • Jeez, sounds like you shouldn't of had kids since they forced you to give up your career and apparently all they do is whine

          • Since you have no clue who I am, or what constraints I am faced with, I think you should, like the military, mind your own damn business.

  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.

    • In fact, in the real world…if you comment on it you just opened your employer up to an HR lawsuit…

      • Yet it is somehow OK if you are military spouse to comment on your weight, how you dress, how much you participate in your spouses' work, etc….

        • Hence the reason people have a hard time transitioning from my experience to civilian employment: a) no soft skills, b) things that are culturally and/or legally acceptable in the military don't fly in the real world. Many of these types of managers/leaders are HR nightmares in a litigious society. Seen it first hand many times over.

  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.

    • Really??? Pay me, then I will do whatever you want, until then you can take flying leap off a short pier. Remember I gave up a six figure salary to follow my spouse around…

      • No, you gave up a six figure salary because you didn't want to work. I too follow my military spouse around, AND have kids, I've never had an issue maintaining my career through our NUMEROUS moves. Where there is a will there is a way, where there is no will there is "I gave up a six figure salary to follow my spouse around" followed by a dose of bitterness

        • Ah, the old "it's not a problem for me, so it's not a problem for anyone" schtick. Your understanding and compassion for the deep diversity in people's experiences is inspiring, truly.

        • I am not bitter about my inability to work. I have a really good life. Being a SAHM has enabled me to follow my dreams of being an author, and I have been published 3-4 times now, and I have trained for and ran 10 marathons.

          The point I am trying to make is that while I believe being healthy is good, and having good moral conduct is great, I do not believe that the military has any right to dictate my lifestyle, unless they are paying me. I spent 5 years active duty, and since i am no longer earning a salary from Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam has no right to dictate that I should pass a PT test for health care. I'm healthy because I want to be.

          And just so you know why I can't go back to work–
          I have a child with significant developmental delays and a typical child, which care is extremely expensive, I would have to get a job making above 6-figures to pay for his care. I have been out of the work force for nearly 10 years, because I followed my husband to Europe and I could not find a job in Europe. By the time I was called for an interview in my field, I was 7 months pregnant with my son. They did not hire me, obviously– I would have to take maternity leave shortly afterwards. Right now, there are no jobs here. The only place that has jobs where I would make enough to pay for care for BOTH children would be civilian contractors, who are not hiring due to sequestration. Furthermore, we have moved 5 times in 7 years, with the longest time at any one of the bases was 26 months. Hardly time for me to nail a job. I suppose I could go sell Scentsy or 31 or Mary Kay or something, but I have no desire to do so…

          • Then why do you repeatedly point out that you gave up a 6 figure job to follow your husband around? It must rankle you in some way or you wouldn't keep saying it.

      • We all have choices. Your choice was to not work and follow your spouse around. It's all about CHOICES.

    • FatSpouse, huh? So the most important thing for you about a person is their weight? That's telling.

  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!

    • Dunno where you are stationed but I can tell you in CO there are more overweight spouses around then not, same in two places in GA and in TX

  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.

    • But it takes effort and money and action to change how the military operates, and why do that when you can blame spouses for free?

  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.

    • I'm not overweight by any means, 115lbs to be exact. I get dirty looks every time I step foot in a base facility ie: BX, commy, gym, CDC, you name it. So the way I see it, if you are a military spouse who is skinny you must be a husband stealing whorebitch, and if you are overweight you must be a lazy slob who has nothing better to do then eat bonbons all day. What a joke.I've met more two faced people in the last 8 years as a military wife than I have my entire life. This is why I chose to live as far away from the base as my husband is willing to drive and shop at overpriced grocery stores because It's freaking pitiful and these people really need to get over themselves. Don't get me wrong I've met some AMAZING women thru the military, women who I plan on keeping in touch with for the rest of my life, but the majority have been assholes and I can't WAIT until May when my husbands enlistment is up so we can leave all that behind us and never look back.

  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……..

  100. Another good substitute is grass fed bison meat in place of ground beef, its greatly lower in fat, cholestrol, calories etc and pretty much tastes the same just less fatty. Yes, it's more expensive but to us it's worth it. And we replace most rices/sides with quinoa, seasoned like rice you couldn't tell the difference except it is infinitely better for you. We also grow and can/freeze a garden all summer long

  101. VCT_Retired_Army | September 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm |

    While I think the wife you describe was unsupportive I refuse to let that Soldier off the hook. He is a grown man and can make decisions for himself. He make the dang paycheck yet suffers being handed an "Allowance"? If she cooks unhealthy, he can pick and choose what off the plate to eat and how much, or cook himself a separate healthy meal. So again while I shudder at their relationship – we are each responsible for ourselves – period.

  102. Since my first reply to your comment was apparently censored I will post it again. She was your stereotypical crazy spouse. She blocked him from access to all of their accounts so he COULDN'T just take money out to go eat, he refused to change his bank account direct deposit because she threatened to leave him and take the kids if he did.

    It's hard to pick and choose what's healthy when there is nothing healthy on the plate, the entire family, including the children sadly enough, were borderline obese

  103. Cannot agree with you about how the quinoa tastes like rice when seasoned. Had to buy a cookbook to learn how to cook the stuff and on how to season it – no matter what I put in it or serve it with the stuff is awful!!!

  104. I think you're the first military member I've ever heard say that. Seriously……in 10 years as a mil spouse. So, thank you.

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