Defenitly don't push. Just suggest. That is the key. And make it known that you are just suggesting, in case he doesn't pick up on that. Give him reasons why you are concerned about his health. Give him solutions to that. Worst case scenario, try to strike a deal. Suggest eating vegatarian (don't start with vegan) at least one night a week, then perhaps increase to two, and so on. Let him start realizing for himself how he is feeling better.
Convincing someone else can be a difficult thing to do - in many ways people need to come to these kind of realizations on their own. Any kind of pushing can create a defensive response. I have family and friends that were inspired by me to go vegan but I also have family that haven't.
For me data was the thing that changed my mind - I read the China Study and was intrigued. I read 50 or more books a year, so this was natural for me. Maybe seeing Forks over Knives or catching Dr Fuhrman on PBS would make more sense for someone else.
The other thing that can make a difference is some kind of "health event" that gives cause for some introspection. For me it was nearly hitting 200 lbs, for my mother it was being told that her cholesterol was lethally high. That point when you realize that the invulnerability of youth no longer applies to you can be a wake up call that provides the motivation for change. Nothing supports change better than a crisis.
One trick I played on myself was to run an experiment - that way it wasn't a permanent commitment. After losing a ton of weight and gaining more energy I decided to stick with it.
TK, if your husband does find out he has diabetes (which I am hoping not!) he can do a lot with diet to control it. Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. John McDougall have had great success reversing diabetes through a controlled vegan diet. Way cheaper too! They always try to say that once you have diabetes that you will be on insulin for the rest of your life, but that isn't always true. Make sure you look into that if the situation arises.
Thanks all for your helpful replies! So it's been a good 6 months since I first posted on the subject and some things have improved, while other critical things have remained the same. His breakfast of choice is now...Lucky Charms! ha ha.
Improvements: he only wants organic milk for his cereal (even though he said he doesn't feel good after having any kind of milk); we do the grocery shopping together so he can choose what he wants; the seasons changed and we have better fresh vegetables (he like asparagus and spinach); he makes his own meals or helps me to make something for both of us; he cleared out all my chlorella and spirulina because he likes it.
What's the same: still craves (and buys) fast food and other frozen grossness often; still won't go to a doctor for a checkup; still seems weak; still smokes, more now actually; doesn't want to read books or see documentaries that all you helpful Kind Lifers recommended.
He could be a lot better off if he took more responsibility for his health, but I'm satisfied with the few improvements so far. I backed off a lot and stopped saying certain things to him, which helped immensely (like Dennis K said), and we've both accepted that we are different. I don't need him to be veg--though that would be really cool--I just want him to be aware of how his food choices affect his health.
And to Mark O., we did get several health events in our family (my mom has had two kinds of cancer, his dad had a triple bypass) to keep us on our toes. Unfortunately, after about 6 months of trying to be healthy after those wakeup calls, he forgot and went back to the old routine.
Sorry for the long response. Thanks again for everyone's help!
Tk that's great that he's improving! I have a suggestion for breakfast, although if you do all the cooking it may make you a little cross! If he likes junk food, then you could make the waffles in TKD (or other wholegrainy type ones) for him and put maple syrup and fruit on them. Then he still feels like he's getting junk for brekkie (which he kind of is!) and a treat but you've cut out all the random colourings and chemicals and added some healthier bits.
Also, I know this is a meat suggestion but might work for you. One of my friend's boyfriend was getting chubby so she started making burgers and sausages and all the gross things he usually ate, but subbed part of the beef or pork for turkey and non-animal mince, very gradually increasing the healthier option until it was about half. And he didn't even notice! I don't mean necessarily that you want to trick him - but it's a good way of lowering the fat and cholesterol.
Thanks Herbie Veg, those are really great ideas. He hates waffles and pancakes, but I could whip up some good-for-you muffins instead. Good idea also, with subbing part of the beef for turkey. I will work on that!
Does he like Paul McCartney? Well, if he does then share Paul's Website and he will learn that Paul is a Vegetarian. Then, maybe he could try Paul's "Meat Free Monday," and free good that if someone as big as Paul could do it, so could he. Also, Google, Vegetarian Men, and he would be very surprised to find so many "Macho Men" are Vegan or vegetarian. But, I think that it's important that he really understands that his living healthier is not just for him, but all those people that love him and would be very hurt if he passed on. I hope this helps in any way. Best wishes. Proud to bee Vegetarian. :)