How can I get my girlfriend to re-commit to losing weight?

How can I get my girlfriend to re-commit to losing weight?

want girlfriend to lose weightI love my girlfriend. In fact, I’ll be proposing to her in the next three months. I’m excited to spend the rest of my life with her. There’s just one thing that is really getting to me. She’s gained weight. We dated for several years before breaking up and and last year we got back together.

In the two years that we were apart she gained quite a bit. I’d say 40-50 pounds (around 18-20 kilos). Now, this doesn’t change whether or not I love her, but I am concerned. You see, when we first got back together she was working with a personal trainer and working to get back to her normal weight. She was working hard and seeing real results. But for the last two months she has completely abandoned her personal training sessions and it’s looking like she’s putting on more weight.

I feel like because she knows that I love her and am going to love her regardless of her weight, she doesn’t have the incentive to stay in shape. When we were first rekindling our relationship she made it a point to let me know that she was making healthy dietary choices and that she was committed to getting in shape. She lost four inches around her waist in just two months. I made it a point to let her know that I was proud of her and was glad to see her working hard. I know that a woman’s weight and body image is a very sensitive subject and I have no idea how to address it. What can I say? What can I not say? How do I get her back on track? Help please! Weight Watcher

My first instinct upon reading this question was the reach through the internet and slap some sense into you, Mr Obsessive Scale Watcher man. But as you love your lady regardless of her jiggly bits, I’ll settle for educating you, so you can carry on adoring your amazing woman and stop stressing about her waist measurements. You should really be thinking about her ring finger measurements, don’t you think?

First of all, there’s solid evidence that diets don’t work. Not. At. All. I know, I know, the incredible shrinking people on The Biggest Loser make us think otherwise, but unlike reality TV, the stats don’t lie. Research shows that most people can lose weight and then usually put it all back on – plus some. The other thing to remember is people can be healthy and ‘in shape’ at many different sizes.

I’d strongly suggest you look into the HAES (Health at Every Size) movement. It basically encourages people who struggle with their weight to focus on intuitive eating (hey, my tummy is full, so I’ll skip that second donut) It advocates pleasurable exercise over punishing spin workouts (like jungle sex, bouncing on a trampoline with a bunch of kids, roller-skating, hula hooping … whatever huffy puffy takes your fancy). Self acceptance and loving our bodies, irrespective of differences in weight, physical size and shape. And finally, normalised eating. That is, doing away with rules and regimes for eating and getting into a more peaceful relationship with food (no, that white bread won’t kill you, and yes, you can eat a slice of cheesecake without having to run 10 miles the next day). HAES also helps people re-learn how to listen out for fullness and hunger cues so they eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full (it’s not rocket science, but it might as well be!).

Try to focus on the HAES balanced mode of thinking when you feel distressed about your girlfriend’s weight gain. Relax and help her get off the insane work-out-daily-lose-inches-fast merry-go-round and simply enjoy food (some healthful, some not), enjoy life, enjoy movement and each other’s gorgeous human bodies in all their dazzling diversity. You might find she ends up feeling amazing about herself and naturally and without too much effort, resets her body to a healthy weight that works for her. For HER, remember, not you.

Don’t forget to send us a wedding photo.

Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

7 Comments

  1. Hot Zone 5 years ago

    I didn’t know if I should comment in the risk of been tracked down and killed by a bunch of woman on here… In my experience when I’ve been with ladies they were normal weight of 50 to 55 kilograms in weight which is roughly 110-120 pounds. Been personnel trainer and massage therapist professionally that prime really super fit weight and yeah i understand that too but if we go by those values and she suddenly put on 18-20 kilo over approx 2 year apart that a steady healthy gain per month which has become fixed habit.

    I agree completely that this person has chosen to engaged back into a relationship that he left for whatever reason that may have been two years ago than come back into the relationship expecting things to go back to how it was… Now apart from her getting way past ideal weight that isn’t healthy either I do not agree with RC at all the rate of weight she gaining is very unhealthy from a medical view point…

    Once your body get used to a certain body fat load you will always gain weight faster than before you were that weight but this isn’t health advice site. Solution in getting things going for the most part is been at a healthy weight that is good for yourself and what makes you happy first.

    Number one thing is to do everything you can as well to help someone with their weight loss goals too by getting yourself involved with her/him making it a priority instead of sitting back watching television or trolling the internet while you wait for them to go get results… I mean how loving is that? Go lose weight so we can get married.

  2. Lola 9 years ago

    WeightWatcher, I believe that in most of the feedback that these thoughtful people gave you, there seems to be a common denominator: shared activities and fun! Take up some enjoyable fitness activity “a deux”, and there are plenty of things to do, such as mountain biking, walking, hiking, etc. Leanne and B have given you great ideas. It doesn’t have to be about losing weight only. It’s about getting those endorphins going, and the more they kick in, the more you will want. All the very best.

  3. B 9 years ago

    ok, so i’m going to weigh in here too (pun intended!): there’s nothing healthy about being 20 kilos overweight.
    that amount of extra baggage can lead to cardiovascular problems, extra strain on joints and put someone in the firing line for diabetes.
    i think that we should be accepting of imperfection in ourselves and others, but overweight is overweight. there’s no amount of HAES thinking that will change the real health implications of being outside the right weight range. obesity is a killer and i would be worried about marrying someone who seemed to be cavalier about their health and wellbeing.
    ultimately, the partnership approach will probably work best – suggest changes to your shared lifestyle that will benefit both of you. walk to work together, workout with a trainer together, suggest active holidays and get into the kitchen and make some nutritious food – look at this as a long term lifestyle choice so that the both of you can look forward to a long and healthy life together.

  4. Leanne 9 years ago

    As someone who has had weight issues – Its a sensitive subject for sure, Ive lost about 25kgs over the past year or so, and recently got asked on a date with a guy who seemed to really like me. He showered me with compliments saying I was beautiful etc. I went home thinking wow this guy is awesome, then he sent me a message telling me that im gorgeous he had a great time but I need to lose weight, and id be marriage material lol ( have about 20 left to go, but im fit and active and getting there), he is willing to whip me into shape as he thinks we really have something. He invited me over for a fitness and nutrition session the next day-
    I was OUTRAGED!!!!! there are right and wrong ways of doing things – this was the wrong way. I told him where to go and he seemed genuinely shocked!! as he saw nothing wrong with telling me straight!

    I think the best approach is saying nothing – you wont be telling her anything she doesnt already know, she knows she needs to lose weight, and she obviously knows how to do it. What you can do is start to work on motivating her by example, maybe start going for eveining runs and ask her to come along? Cook nice healthy meals in the evening. There are lots of fun runs and events that you could register for as a couple and that would be something to aim for and achieve together!
    My ex and I did a 14km fun run when we started going out and we trained together every evening and we were never fitter, healthier or happier, and the achievement of completting it together really made us close and proud!

  5. bron 9 years ago

    You say nothing about your own weight.

    Are you in a healthy weight range?

    Could you do with getting a bit fitter?

    Why not ask for her help? Ask her to accompany you on walks because it is motivation for you and its much more fun walking when you have someone to talk to. Why not ask her for suggestions on healthy food you can eat? Ask her to not let you order that dessert at the restaurant, or that burger from maccas. Maybe you are overtired at the end of the workday and getting fitter would help you cope. Make it all about you. Don’t make it about losing weight. Make it about feeling better.

    Maybe she’ll join you. But don’t push it, just ask her if she’ll join you, and if she doesn’t make sure you do it anyway. She may test you to see if you really want to get fitter and if you keep it up, without getting obsessive about it, with luck she’ll be won over and want to help you.

    And if she doesn’t, well that’s ok too.

  6. Lizabelle 9 years ago

    @tulpoeid, she gained the weight while they were apart, she’s been open with him about trying to lose it since they got back together, and she’s fallen off the wagon. He doesn’t know if she’s gained weight since they got back together, he only says “it looks like” she is gaining. If she’d gained 20 kilos after they got back together and while saying she’s trying to lose, it might (might!) be a different matter.

    IMO, if you want your partner to lose weight, the absolute worst thing you can do (for either of you) is express concerns about their appearance.

  7. tulpoeid 9 years ago

    I think this is the first time ever that I disagree with one of your answers. I see nothing wrong with worrying about the partner getting 20 extra kilos (t w e n t y k i l o s ! not t w o, *t w e n t y*!). Most importantly, I see nothing strange with liking our partner less after sudden changes in him/her, be it either body or behaviour. Not to mention that if both my bf and me had talked openly about me planning (and wanting) to lose weight, then if I gained 20 (!) kilos and suddenly stopped trying, I would have talked with him about the reasons; so I don’t see why it’s only him who has to try to suppress his concerns about health, social norms, and yes, appearance.

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