Relationship: When you or your partner gains weight

By Drum Digital
26 October 2016

Most couples can stand a bit of teasing but constant remarks about your partner’s weight can become hurtful.

By Vida Li Sik

He playfully talks about your love handles while you ask when he’s ‘expecting’.

Discussing a partner’s weight gain is not easy, but no matter how you feel about your partner who has gained weight, bluntness is not the best way to approach the subject. Thoughtless comments can be hurtful to anyone and can damage their self-esteem.

WHAT NOT TO SAY:

Isn’t it time you do something about your thunder thighs, big bum or beer belly?

This statement can be seen as criticism and that you’re not happy with the way your partner looks. It’s both rude and insensitive, especially to someone who is trying to lose weight.

Have you lost weight?

Avoid this unless it’s a genuine compliment. An overweight person knows very well whether their physical dimensions have changed recently.

It’s time you hit the gym, or, you really shouldn’t eat that piece of cake.

Suggestions are good, especially if you’re planning to do these activities together – orders are not.

How much do you weigh now?

You’re implying that person is not as attractive as before. A person’s weight is a very private matter.

Here are pills or a diet that can help you lose weight.

Don’t pressure your partner to take diet pills or try fad diets; these can be both dangerous and ineffective for long-term weight loss.

STARTING THE DISCUSSION

Be sensitive when you talk about weight gain so as not to erode your partner’s self-esteem.

Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

Talking about a person’s weight can be embarrassing so be sensitive in choosing an appropriate time and place for the discussion. It’s best done in private rather than at a family gathering or in a public place.

Express concern about your partner’s health.

Your beloved may be more open to a discussion about the health risks associated with being overweight. Look out for opportunities in the media (a TV programme or magazine article) to start the conversation. Say something like: “Honey, it says here carrying extra weight puts you at risk of developing diabetes. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you. Let’s start exercising together.”

BE SUPPORTIVE

Make losing weight about living healthily and not a personal assault. Decide to take one day at a time and stay away from fad diets that promise quick results.

You should also:

Plan healthier meals. Make it a family affair and buy more fresh fruit, vegetables and leaner meats, and cut out junk food, excess salt and sugar. Consult a nutritionist if you need help designing a meal plan.

Exercise together. Start off slowly. Even a daily 10-minute walk can get your heart pumping and help you burn calories. Aim to make it a romantic time for the two of you or involve the rest of the family.

Join a weight-loss group. Sharing problems or successes encourages people. Find out about fitness groups in your area that you can both join.

Make it a lifestyle. Work at changing your lifestyle to improve health not just looks.

Be patient. Remember, losing weight takes time. Weight loss of ½ kg to 1 kg per week will ensure fat (not water) is being lost.

For more information on health and fitness, visit www.health24.com

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