You meet. Sparks fly. Jager is downed. Numbers are exchanged. You date casually. There’s drama. Now you’re exclusive. You take cute couple pics, go on scenic hikes, and flaunt your impeccable bodies to the world.
Fast forward a few years and the jealousy you felt for each other’s exes, flirty workmates and over-friendly baristas has been replaced with contentment. Trust. Comfort. Before you know it Netflix and ~Chill~ is just Netflix, green juices have been swapped for iced coffee and protein balls have taken a back seat to thickly buttered banana bread.
Suddenly you’re wishing they’d spend more time with their hot PT. But you know this is a mine-field. One false move and they may never forgive you. Worse, one ill timed comment and your relationship could be over. Period. So how do you suggest your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, significant other etc. get back on the treadmill? You read this guide.
Pick Your Time
So, you’ve decided to tell your S.O to lose weight, and you want to have a positive outcome. To maximise your chances make sure to pick a good time and place. The middle of a busy day not being one of them. You should know your partner well enough to choose a time when they are receptive. Pick a quiet moment, like a Sunday morning, for example, when you are together and there are no particular time constraints. Bring it up gently and don’t phrase things critically (think: “We’ve been eating pretty badly lately, hey” as opposed to, “I think you’re getting fat”). If your partner feels ambushed, they will not be open to your comments.
Be A Role Model
Before and after suggesting your partner make some healthy lifestyle changes, you better make damn sure you look as close to a chiselled Greek god as you can. No-one wants to be your Athena when you look like Jabba the Hut. Also, people who live together tend to have similar habits. So make that salad, set the alarm for that 6am run, and try and drag bae with you and see how they respond before starting any conversation specifically about weight. Repeat after me: subtlety is key.
Reflect On Your Relationship
Make sure you aren’t the reason your partner is putting on weight. Ever heard of emotional eating? Make sure your relationship is in a good place before going after superficial details, and make sure you are coming from a place of love—because you want the best for their health—not because you’re secretly hoping to get signed by Victoria Secret for a couple’s campaign. If your relationship is solid, consider whatever else is going on in your partner’s life: there’s usually an underlying reason for most significant change in people’s behaviour.
Don’t State The Obvious
Expect daggers if you say, “Looks like you’ve put on a few pounds” or “Are you really going to eat that?” According to Edward Abramson, Professor of Psychology at California State University, “Most people are well aware that they’ve gained weight, and criticising (their) actions will probably make (them) increase her unhealthy behaviour, to defy (their) ‘controlling’ husband or boyfriend,” (MH).
Think Big Picture
This is your partner’s life we’re talking about here. Fluctuating weight affects a person’s physical and mental health. So if your partner is both happy and healthy at their current weight, don’t say anything.
“If she is coming to you for advice, or complains about her weight, it is always best to validate her feelings, and offer to support her,” relationship expert and clinical psychologist Andra Brosh, Ph.D. told Muscle Fitness. This could involve joining a gym together, or finding them an active hobby if they find the gym boring. Dance, tennis, synchronised diving—if something is fun your partner is much more likely to stick at it. Bonus if there is a community aspect (like yoga or crossfit).
“Unsolicited advice, or trying to ‘fix’ her will only create problems and hurt feelings… And at the end of the day, focus on health. Work on eating better, trying new things, keeping it playful and just being happy—together. (Muscle Fitness)”
Take The Plunge
Get your life insurance sorted, hide all the kitchenware, inject a bit of local anaesthetic into both your cheeks and do it.