I 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