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How do I approach my GF weight issue?

Tagged as: Dating, Health, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 March 2016) 7 Answers - (Newest, 14 March 2016)
A male United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

In the 3 years we have been together my GF has been slowly letting herself go physically to the point where I no longer find her attractive.

When we met in college, she was more physically active on a daily basis but now she has an office job where she just sits around all day.

She complains about her body, but doesn't do anything about it consistently. I've tried to help both diet wise and activity-wise but she never really sticks with anything for more than a month. Occasionally she trys to be more athletic but the issue is as soon as she starts to loose weight she gets lazy, regains the weight and then some and keeps having poor body image. . . rinse and repeat.

I feel like I can't push the issue without her getting angry. Can't point out that the salad we bought for her is rotting in the fridge while she eats cookies instead for lunch "because it's easier". Can't ask her to join me for my jog in the mornings anymore either apparently.

I just feel like it's a losing battle at this point. If she can't be active in her mid 20s then how is she going to look later in life? What impact would that have on our potential kids? our sex life?

I guess I'm wondering how I can communicate my feelings about the issue (which is obviously a sensitive issue) in a constructive way because I'm finally at my breaking point and don't want to be in a relationship with a person I don't find attractive.

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A female reader, LJCX United Kingdom +, writes (14 March 2016):

LJCX agony auntHi! Looking at my response I in no way meant that she was lazy or needs somebody whipping her in to shape! I have no idea what she does at her job but I'm speaking from experience, I used to have an active job and going to a sedentary one it's really hard to burn off the energy you need to.

I honestly don't think every over weight person is depressed, you don't always put weight on because of that and the only reason I think it happened is because she's not that active at work whereas she was before.

I didn't think in any way that she was lazy and for all I know she has an amazing job. It doesn't mean she's put on weight because of depression, it's really easy to put on a few lbs when you don't really take any notice of what you're eating.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (10 March 2016):

aunt honesty agony auntAm afraid only she can help with her weight loss. Yes you can support her and help her along, but it doesn't look like she is taking it serious, therefore other than saying to her you do not find her attractive anymore there is no gentle way to put it to her. Tell her you are worried about her health, if she doesn't want to change, well then I guess you might need to end this relationship and find a girl you are attracted to.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 March 2016):

Your girlfriend is unhappy. Some of her needs are not met. Maybe she hates her job. Maybe she wants more out of life but doesn't know how to get it. Maybe she's scared. Maybe she's depressed.

Eating and not exercising is only a symptom and it won't go away until the underlying issue is addressed.

I am in your gf position, except that I am only few pounds above my weight. And yes I go up and own. I start being physically active and then I just stop.

I have my problems and I am depressed.

What annoys me the most is when I start gaining weight, my husband all of a sudden starts noticing that I do not exercise and starts scrutinizing my dinner plate. When I look good he doesn't care if I am healthy. He doesn't care if I achieve that looks in an unhealthy way.

So we had to discuss this.

Now, what I find encouraging is taking off something of my metaphoric plate. Helping with the chores, cooking (he never does this), doing things I usually do instead of me.

I pull a lot of weight, work two jobs and take care of him and the house. Honestly, after such a busy day I do not feel the wish to exercise. I feel lousy and want to "reward" myself (at this very moment he entered the apartment and started nagging about how much I have eaten of dried berries).

So my advice would be if you love her and care about her help her get to the bottom of her problem.Eating is just a symptom.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2016):

ok, you have tried the let's do this together approach. that didn't really work but I like the idea of getting rid of all of the bad foods in the house andthe idea for even more good foods that are just as easy to grab.

if she likes sweet things that crunch, does she like nuts? they are a little pricey but organic chocolate-covered almonds are amazing and if she likes soft and sweet, there are many amazing tasting protein bars. I am eating Yup Brands low sodium gluten free naturally flavored sugar cookie 180 calories no trans fat 20 grams of protein. if she is eating a lot of carbs she may be protein deficient.

one great way to work towards that is protein shakes, I use protein powders Jarrow Formula Greek yogurtor brown rice chocolate flavor with almond milkand I personally throw an egg in there too. Eggs get a bad rep but they are a great source of protein.

chicken salad or tuna salad are not bad things and even if you buy them pre-madeyou can you put up with pita bread. you can Google quick healthy meals and peanut butter always adds sweetness to celery or multi grain toast honey is also a very good thing

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (9 March 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntI think I’d let her go, gently and quickly. Here’s why.

You’re not attracted to her any more and can’t find a way to assist her in the weight loss department. You’re concerned for her health and wellbeing. And of course you don’t find her sexy any longer.

Breaking up can lead to weight loss... good news/bad news is that she might lose the weight you didn’t like, bad news is that she may reconnect with her body and and not take you back..

I have to point out a comment you made: “she has an office job where she just sits around all day”...

sorry, I have to repeat this one:

“she has an office job where she just sits around all day.”

So to analyze this... you disapprove of her job choice, you think she’s lazy there and it’s just a waste of time?

She can be active in her mid 20s, her early 30s, her late 30s, her early 40s, her late 40s etc..

If you want to be positive, first of all, don’t denigrate her job. She’s doing what she needs to do.

Figure out what she actually responds to, workout-wise (that is if you are really willing to put in that extra analysis). If someone who was supposed to know me really well kept suggesting that I go for a jog with them, I’d have to assume that he was a bit of an idiot. Not everyone wants to put the kind of stress on their joints that “jogging” causes.

Make healthier cookies. Not everyone likes salad....

Ok, enough about your approach. Which seems compassionate enough except that you assume failure already.

My guess is that she’s not happy with life in general and it plays out in her physicality. It could be depression, it could be hormonal imbalances, it could be something physical, it could be something psychological.

It’s probably not got all that much to do with you, and more to do with how she feels about herself. Which is not great and unlikely that your “helpful”/passive-aggressive suggestions will aid her turning that corner you want her to do.

So, back to the approach.

Break up with her. She’ll most likely lose a lot of weight and then you’ll know you’ve helped her get back to a slenderer self.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2016):

If you want to address this subject you have to first emphasize how much you lover her for who she is and that all the qualities that you are in love with her for trump the fact that she might be overweight.

With that in mind you should remember that the fact that she is already self-conscious about her weight makes this topic like playing with fire. Obviously your opinion matters to her greatly so if you mess up and say the wrong thing then it could not only deeply hurt her but also jeopardize your relationship. I'm not saying don't address the issue, just that if you do know what's at stake.

As far as approaching the topic you could tell her that while you do love her, it would be nice for her to get in the shape she was in when you first met her so that you could maybe do things that you used to do back then that you may not be able to do now and most of all it would make her healthy.

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A female reader, LJCX United Kingdom +, writes (9 March 2016):

LJCX agony auntIs she really overweight at the moment or did you meet her when she was extremely fit. Is this extra weight just a love handle or is it a lot of weight. Just curious because some people can be super critical and expect women(or men) to stay exactly the same even when they are growing a gut and getting bigger too. Not suggesting you are like that but how bad is the issue.

Man I can sympathise with the dreaded curse of an office job and putting on weight. Probably out of all the jobs I've had the office is the worst for my health. I feel a little sorry for her as the rest of her activity outside of work probably stayed the same but now a big 8 hour chunk is solid sitting on her backside.

I think the only way you can have a discussion about it is by waiting for her to be down about her body and out right ask her what she's going to do about it. You could use the reason of it being irritating listening to her being doom and gloom. Not go down the line of I find you unattractive.

Telling a person they look bad could go two ways, if it makes them want to change then good, but it could make her get worse and want to cry in to a bowl of ice cream. Over eating is a vicious cycle, you feel bad so you eat, you eat because you feel bad.

I walk to work so that's two miles there and back, could she do that? I lost loads of weight cutting out processed foods, I know it's not your job to prepare all her meals but could you look up some recipes on line and make meals for the week and freeze them. She could heat that up as easily as eating a cookie. Don't bother with salads it's quite bland when you don't have dressings on them. Go for lots of vegetables and meat like chicken. It would begin to make her feel more energetic. She needs a kick start of eating good tasting food that isn't full of sugar and stodge. You really have to enjoy the changes you make or you just give up.

I put on a bit of weight but I care enough to not let myself get very overweight, larger ladies are beautiful but I don't like feeling unfit, getting out of breath. It has to be for her own self esteem and for her to feel good about herself not because she feels she has to look a certain way for you.

Ok it's not fair on a partner letting yourself go but it needs to be because she wants to first and in turn you will be more attracted to her. From her choosing a cookie as a main meal it doesn't sound like she's that bothered.

So one day you could just go in the kitchen and say you're a little bit fed up of treats tempting you, ask her if it would be ok if you tried a week with it all gone. Honestly she has to go a few days without it and a kick start. You can find loads of awesome healthy food on the net, could make that an activity you both do, cooking together. I love food! But people who love food don't want a cookie for dinner, sounds like she just eats whatever, who would enjoy looking forward to that.

At least this wasn't caused by depression or some kind of medical condition, that would be far worse and difficult to tackle. From working in an office I used to feel so tired not doing much all day, I used to have physical job with so much more energy. I work in a call centre and I stand for a while with my headset on or I end up slouching all over the place. The less you do the more you want to switch off. Maybe some vitamins would help perk her up.

Obviously you can't just go stuffing good food in her face or make her do anything but bottom line is that it's a bad idea to say she's unattractive, it could make it worse. Only thing that ever worked for me was finding satisfying food, never going to work trying to make do with some salad leaves and basically dust. That's something you could try and be responsible for for a little while. No other way around it I'm afraid.

If that doesn't work then maybe it would be best to find somebody else, I'm sure a lot of people like the fuller figure too. No good in it making each other feel unwanted. I've never looked my best after being told I'm unattractive, comments about my weight exacerbated it. I wonder if your activity levels dropped dramatically would you find it easy to adjust to a lower amount of food each day? If she isn't that bothered by it then let her be, some people find it so hard losing weight. Not a case of them being lazy they just simply can't sustain it.

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