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How do I tell my wife to work on her weight problem and not just moan about it

Tagged as: Health, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (4 December 2017) 9 Answers - (Newest, 9 December 2017)
A male Ireland age 26-29, anonymous writes:

How can I encourage my Mrs to lose weight. We have been married 6 yrs, she was gorgeous slim when we met. Over the years I have told her she is getting big and she should try and maintain shape before it gets out of control. Her response is that she is not big.

It’s not end of the world and I find her extremely attractive, and love giving attention to all parts of her body.

Events are about to take place and it has been hell because she can’t fit in dresses because her belly sticks out. There is nothing you can do to get rid of it. All the designs she picked, show bits on her body and she doesn’t like it.

She than invested in these slimming shorts and tummy tucker. She put them on and it reminded of the fantastic body she did have. Again I’ve forgotten about that, I’m used to her curvy heavier side, it doesn’t put me off.

What does put me off, is her constant moaning. I know what the issue is, but I’ve tested it, she isn’t willing to change by putting in effort. I’m a gym goer myself so I know exactly what the body needs in terms of food and exercise.

Let me put it into perspective, if she worked hard for 30 days she can stop going gym, or 3 months visiting only once a week.

She doesn’t need a lot of work, but I fear as age goes on she will become bigger. Encouraging her just frustrates her.

If your human, than you probably dress a few times a day: can you imagine listening to your Mrs complain every time.

Sometimes I walk out until she finished dressing so I don’t have to listen. Am I wrong to say, if she’s moaning and fix it? It’s not like she is obese.

View related questions: her ex, lose weight

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 December 2017):

I remember putting on a bit of weight last year. Nothing significant, just a tiny belly . I wasn’t happy so everyday I took my dog out for a long walk for an hour or too. It was nothing too hard or exhausting and I also cut of fizzy drinks which was my biggest weakness . I had a step tracker and aimed to do 10,000 steps each day minimum. Soon the weight just came off me and my belly was flat again. She doesn’t have to be doing much, as long as she’s moving around constantly rather than just sitting down it helps

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 December 2017):

As a women who has put on weight. It annoys me when people make comments about it. You be better off not mentioning it and suggest doing exercise together and support her that way or cook some healthy meals together, give up alcohol or chocolate for new year. If she's not put on loads of weight, it shouldn't take much to lose it. Also women like men do put on weight as they get older, slower metabolism ??

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (8 December 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntHonestly some times we are never happy with ourselves. A lot off people complain about there image yet do nothing about it, it is probably more common than you think. My guess is that your wife is unhappy with how she looks and probably moans so that you can reassure her you still find her attractive.

She is not ready yet to do anything about it yet. It has to be her decision to want to change and become healthier. Encourage her to eat better, be more active ect. But most off all just be honest with her. Tell her that you love her, give her a compliment when she looks good. But also don't forget to communicate with her, when she moans tell her you are getting fed up with it, ask her to stop. It is all you can do.

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A female reader, deirdre Ireland +, writes (7 December 2017):

I would suggest to her that you go on walks together and like another poster said, that you bring her to the gym once a week if she is willing of course. Going with you and spending time together might motivate her and make it less daunting

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (6 December 2017):

chigirl agony aunt*precisely, not precipice (autospell)

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (6 December 2017):

chigirl agony auntI get your issue. I was in a similar situation myself once. Although in my case, my then boyfriend was already fat when we started dating. And I don't mean that in an offensive way, just objectively he was fat. And he was becoming bigger. But the issue wasn't really his weight, you know. He was big already when I met him. The issue was his MOANING about it. His always complaining how he was eating healthy and still not losing weight, or how he always emphasized, without anyone asking, how he ate so healthily and how he went to the gym so and so often. And the truth is: HE NEVER WENT TO THE GYM and he DID NOT eat healthily. That's what bothered me. If he would just stop talking about it when it so obviously wasn't anything he was bothered working on? You know?

I mean, if you don't want to be healthy and don't want to go to the gym, and you pile on weight, at least stop moaning about it or making lame excuses or LIE to everyone around you. He was lying to me all the time about how little sugar and candy he ate, he could be telling me how he hardly ate any candy and take a huge bite out of a candy bar as he said it.

Eventually, I confronted him, because I got so tired of it. I told him point blank, while he was in the middle of announcing how rarely he drank sugary drinks, that he had been drinking sugary drinks every day for the past two weeks, and that as far as I had seen, this was not a "once a year" incident. This was a regular occurrence, and that he was putting on weight precipice because he ate and drank a lot of sugar and he never went to the gym.

Oh boy, all hell broke loose. But my only regret is that I didn't tell him sooner. Because by this point I had gotten so annoyed by it that I was irritated with him and it had affected our relationship already. So my advice is to nip these things in the bud.

If you wife wants to put on weight and never work out and not eat better, then at least she needs to own up to her actions and the consequences. And not moan about it or make excuses for herself. And you can express concern for her health, endure the shit storm that will follow, but in the end it is worth it to take that argument sooner, rather than later. Don't delay this important conversation. Take the bull by it's horns and stick to it.

Maybe try to help her by saying that you and her will go to the gym together at least once a week. She doesn't even have to do anything while there, but she has to come with you and just sit on a yoga mat if nothing else. And then don't keep any candy in the house. Make it easy for her.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (5 December 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntYou're not wrong, but she's also self-conscious and it's rarely as simple as "if you're not happy, fix it".

Once per month, ask her if she'd like to go to the gym with you or join a Zumba-type class. If she refuses, let it go.

If she cooks, take turns cooking healthier stuff.

When she moans, leave the room or learn to tune it out while reading a book or watching TV.

Yes, it can be annoying, but it's usually not as easy as just going to the gym and eating healthier - it's hard work and mental health can often be a barrier.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 December 2017):

The problem you're talking about is not just about the attention, food, exercise the BODY needs, it's about the head.

What triggered this weight gain? We do not gain that much weight naturally as we age. We pack it on by eating way too much, usually crap and not real food, and by sitting around and not moving.

Is your wife depressed? Does she suffer from anxiety? Does she know how to recognize and deal with her negative feelings and stress? Is she a perfectionist putting too much pressure on herself? Does she have any body issues? etc. All of this (or just one thing) can lead to overeating (emotional eating, bingeing, other eating disorders...).

From what you wrote I can see that no matter how hard you try to convince us (and basically yourself) that you still feel attracted to your wife and that you don't mind her new image, you actually do. And that's OK, you have the right to like/dislike anything, but you need to be aware of it. It's not your fault.

Look at the words you use to describe her once gorgeously slim self and the words you use for how she is now. She notices these hints too. And it's not helping her. So whatever you say, you DON'T only mind her complaining. Btw, she's complaining not only to vent, but also because she wants to show you that she minds that too and she's asking for reassurance.

And you're also supporting the wrong ideas people have on exercising. You know those short-term magical solutions that never work? Like going for a month to the gym and then stopping once you lose weight? (at least that's what I understood from your post).

She doesn't need to lose weight, she needs to CHANGE HER LIFE and weight-loss will be a consequence. Once she starts eating healthy and finds an activity she enjoys doing and focuses on the positive, sets realistic goals and gives herself time, she will lose weight.

So, her being the way she is now is a clear sign that something is very wrong in her life and possibly your relationship and you're not seeing it, why?

She's not the first to buy a dress for an event, hoping to lose weight in time. She hasn't developed good, healthy habits and has set another unrealistic goal. That's a mix leading to what she will perceive to be a failure and will only discourage her more. It will only strengthen the negative thoughts she has about herself. Buying latex underwear is just a symptom. She's obsessed with how others (you too) perceive her.

If I were in your shoes, I'd stop with the negative and encourage the positive. When you talk about how beautiful and slim she WAS, that's negative, because it implies that she's the opposite now. It's NOT motivating. And neither is buying a dress you cannot wear without a proper regime and exercise plan. That dress is a constant reminder of what a loser you are - which is not true, but we tell ourselves many stupid things.

I'd take her out on the weekends and do something we both like that is active, without the pressure of making it about losing weight. I'd make it about enjoying ourselves and having fun. I'd start making nice (healthy of course) dinners, but making it about trying new exciting things and not about the pressure of eating healthy. I'd try finding some new activities we both can enjoy (yoga! meditation!).

Again, I have to say that from your post I see that you have been putting pressure on her to keep the figure she used to have and deal with things before they get out of hand. That pressure combined with some issues she surely has led her to this vicious circle. If you really want to help her, realize that you cannot do things for her, but you can stop adding pressure (I can understand that you didn't see you were doing it and you just wanted to help and felt guilty you minded those few pounds extra she started carrying) and offer her space and time to change things at her own pace.

She has to fell LOVED and SAFE right now and not when she deserves it (when she loses weight). More importantly, she has to love herself no matter what you or anybody else says.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 December 2017):


I think the best way is to pretend that you want to exercise and ask her to join you. For example say you want to go running and ask if she could accompany you. I find if you make it a couple activity rather than asking her to lose weight you may have success. My girlfriend used to complain about her weight regularly but did nothing and I didn't want to tell her to lose weight so I just asked her to play tennis with me and we started to do that regularly and pretty soon she was interested in working out once she saw some results.

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