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Is Weight Loss Hurting Your Relationship?

The Real Issues and How to Address Them


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I'm pretty lucky in that my partner is in-shape and at a healthy weight himself, so he is great for doing outdoorsy activities with and is supportive of me being active and healthy. However, he is naturally slim and doesn't have a need to watch his food intake at all. I have warned him (somewhat jokingly!) that once his youthful metabolism becomes more sluggish, I will teach him all about weighing out his portion sizes! But for now, it can be hard because he simply doesn't understand what amounts I need for weight loss, and sees my portions as small or asks, "Is that all you're eating?" when I have a perfectly balanced meal. Despite that, I had an awesome moment with him the other day when I worried aloud about food over an upcoming holiday we were going on, and he said quite genuinely, "Bring your scale with you!" Aww, he's learning. =) Report
I haven't used this site in so long, but this article gave me pause for thought.

My husband has recently taken an interest in losing weight after he watched me successfully lose and keep off 40lbs in the past 2 years. We have had our ups and downs over that time, but my main frustration is that every time I make progress or achieve something, he always has to tell me how great he's doing too. It's honestly a little upsetting. He can't just let me have my moment.

How do other people deal with this? Report
I think my SO is unconscious of the ways he impacts me. He encourages me, always asks on my work out days if I followed through, makes supportive comments like you look so lean today etc. He's great or tries to be, yet on the other hand, he brings home pizza, loves to eat out, loves convenience/frozen food. If I don't do the meal planning and prepping he is lost. He's also been gaining as I've been losing and I'm not sure if what is going on, but perhaps it is time to talk to him... Report
I don't have a significant other but my roommate exhibited a lot of these behaviors. She KNEW I was trying to cut back on calories and she would constantly bring home pizza, ice cream, hamburgers, etc. If she didn't bring it for me she would sit down and eat it in front of me. I would walk off so angry feeling betrayed that she would do such a thing knowing I was trying to get myself healthy. How could she sit down and grub on barbecue ribs in front of me?! She would also make comments like "You're black you're not supposed to be skinny". The comments were hurtful but I knew I was on the right track so I simply "conformed" to her habits. When she would make hurtful comments I would say thank you and walk away. When she would eat tempting foods in front of me I would go for a walk in the neighborhood or go to my room and close my door. There were ways around it and I'm still on track!! :] Report
If the significant other is not supportive of their partner wanting to lose weight and be healthier, they are not worth it, get rid of him/her! That's just ridiculous! I seen shows on the morbidly overweight people and there is always an enabler that feeds them because they are so insecure with themselves that they think someone else might look at them or want them! These people have too many issues and should be single! Report
my losing weight has been easier because my fiance is 100% supportive of me. he worksout with me eats whatever i cook and put in front of him and gets very proud whenever i lose even a lb. he lets me get whatever i want to help in my weight loss. recently i was able to upgrade my phone and if i spent 80 dollars on accesories i only pay 5 bucks a month for my phone. and my fiance was the one who found the activity tracker that syncs to my phone and made sure i could get it because ive been saying i wanted one. he deals with the random fitness stuff all around the apartment and doesnt complain. he tells me everyday that im beautiful and he tells me even more when im sad because i gained or gained some inches. he points out everything he sees thats changing with me working out more. he notices the more muscles and the tighter my legs look. ive gained 90 lbs since the day i met him and he still tells me how beautiful i am. he works very hard to make sure i know im loved and supported. i grew up in a bad home that i almost didnt survive. my mother starved me when i was 4 because she would say i was fat. so many times i went to bed crying from hunger. then she would randomly feed me a lot because i was too skinny. or because she got tired of my crying. i dont know. there was a lot worse but because of that my metabolism is screwed up and i am having a hard time learning how to be healthy. but my fiance makes sure i know he loves me and supports me no matter what. he lets me try different things and lets me experiment to find what works for me. i love him and he is the best thing to ever happen to me. Report
My fiance and I feed off of each other in a different way. When we first met, we were both fairly fit though he was more fit than I was. Still though, we were both at comfortable weights, had some decent muscle definition and felt good about ourselves. And it showed. We went out a lot together, we went for walks with the dog (just to enjoy the weather) and our sex life was amazing.

Life soon got in the way though, and as a result I began to gain weight and eventually he did too. We often argued about each others' bad habits, but did little to fix the issues. We got to our highest weight ever together (not a milestone I'm happy about), and that also showed. We ended up on completely different sleep schedules due to his insomnia. We didn't go out. We didn't feel motivated about much and we stopped having sex altogether.

Now we have to be apart for a while, but he decided to start focusing on regaining his health so that when we can be together again we'll be able to live as we did before, when we were happy with ourselves and each other. That inspired me to start working on my health and body also. After all, I don't want to be the only chunky one in the relationship! I couldn't ask for a more supportive partner. We often talk about any successes we've had or goals we've reached, and he's always super proud of me when I share how much weight I've lost or what new goals I've set for myself. He never fails to tell me how good he thinks I look whenever I visit, which means so much and makes me feel awesome (and like everything I'm doing is totally worth it). Likewise, I am super proud of him. He could be spending this time wallowing in despair about our current situation, hating the world, being super resentful and not trusting me to be faithful while he's gone. But instead, he's focused on bettering himself and on staying positive. That's amazing and truly inspiring to me! We're both doing great with our lifestyle changes separately and can't wait to really be able to support each other when he's able to be back home.

I'm going to be researching some exercises (other than basic stuff like walking or running) that we can do together when he comes home so that we can keep the positive changes going without hurting our relationship. I'm also going to see if he'd be interested in doing a 5k with me. That way we can train together toward a common fitness goal. We both love anything to do with zombies, and there are a couple of great zombie runs with obstacle courses here in our home town and also in Atlanta. So maybe he'd like to do one or both of those with me. It's an idea I think he'd like, and something we can further bond over (especially with taking photos etc.). Report
"Leading by example" has definitely made a positive impact in my relationship with my husband. There were times that he'd be frustrated when I first began measuring out all of my food and being gone for while on the weekends for a run. But, as the months passed and he saw the positive transformation (and heard all of the compliments that I was getting), he started getting interested in SP too! I'm happy to report he is now down 50 pounds and counting! It's all possible from the knowledge and confidence that I've gained while using the SP nutrition tracker and reading numerous articles!
If you're struggling with an non-supportive spouse - hang in there. You never know, they may end up becoming a believer and join you!! Report
I actually started a thread a while back about this very thing. Sadly, my fiance and I did eventually split up--largely due to this issue. I went from a size 4 to a size 14 dating him; he was definitely a bad influence, always bringing home junk foods and desserts when I begged him not to, and guilt-tripping me about wasting his money if I didn't eat it. He discouraged me from doing my workouts, refused to join me for walks--basically stopped me from doing all the things that made me the healthy attractive person he proposed to. It was all insecurity: now that he had me, he didn't want anyone else looking and getting ideas. Unfortunately, the vicious cycle of insecurity and sabotage took its toll on the relationship and my weight. Now I'm here at SparkPeople getting the support I need to take my life--and my figure--back! :-) Report
I love this article...for sure!!! It happens, even when you guys start out together but on the way one has a specific goal and the other doesn't....It can def get in the way.. Report
This is a good article. My wife definitely appreciates the changes in my body, but I get a fair amount of negative feedback regarding my routine. I do most of my exercise at work on lunch, but she doesn't like the extra time I spend exercising outside of that... she also gets frustrated with me never being on the same dinner schedule or eating the same foods as the family.

I still get the overall sense that she would not have things back the way they were before I started being healthy, but it has definitely taken her out of her comfort zone on some things. Report
This actually sounds like a lot of friendships I've had. The worst situation I had was a friend wanted to workout with me and told me, many times, that she wanted to lose weight too.

But every time I would initiate a workout, she would find some excuse to skip it. It got the point where we would have a workout scheduled and she would, out of the blue, attack me for being "a bad friend." or "picking on her".
So we would end up spending an hour or two hashing things out and mending our friendship. Pretty quickly, I realized it was just a ploy she was using to skip the workout, so I stopped inviting her. She then got really upset with me for not inviting her.

I finally had to call the friendship off when I realized she was a toxic person and would just drag me down. Report
I found this article fascinating, as my relationship ended recently - and one of the biggest factors was the way my ex and I both approached our health & fitness goals. He was a life-long athlete and everything for him was push-push-push to the limits, gotta win, be the best!! Me - fitness is just something I enjoy and helps in my goals. But when he could work out for 2 hours every morning and then eat pizza every night, I'd feel like I wasn't participating in the relationship if I didn't eat the pizza or get up every morning and push-push-push, too. The sabotage in my situation was almost the reverse of some of the examples you present; but the bottom line is that a True Partner will SUPPORT you - no matter where you are in the fitness realm - and not force you to live up to THEIR expectations (but let you achieve your OWN). I've actually LOST weight since the relationship ended; now I just need to get back to the habit of exercising again. Report
I guess I'm husband is my biggest supporter and helper. I couldn't do it without him and our relationship has gotten better because my confidence is boosted. He loved me when I was thinner, he loved me at my heaviest, and now he loves me as I'm getting healthy and active. Report
this is a very good, thoughtful article. It doesn't cover all the "emotional whys" but the ones mentioned are certainly likely. Clearly a huge part of any solution is communication. That is (always) helped by self-awareness and honesty on the part of both partners.


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