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How do I help him get healthy/get in shape without hurting his feelings?


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I've been dating my boyfriend for almost three years now. When we first started dating, he was very fit. Muscles on his arms and legs, and even a nice set of abs. But for awhile now...his image has been slipping. To put it bluntly...he is getting fat.


Now I don't want to sound superficial...I will of course love him no matter what he looks like, but I am human, and my sexual attraction to him is lessening because of this. Also, it can be embarrassing at times. When we visit friends or family that we haven't seen for awhile, sometimes they will say things like, "Wow! I barely even recognized you! You've put on some weight!" And other friends will tease him about it every once in awhile. Sometimes he will even look in the mirror and complain that he's fat.


So...obviously he's not in denial that he's out of shape. But for some reason he wont do anything about it. He's just not motivated I guess. I try to nudge him in the right direction by trying to get him to go running and bike riding with me, but more often than not he'd rather do something less active. We even got a gym membership, but he wont do that regularly either. I try to say things like, "If we're going to pay for this, then we should use it." But that doesn't help. I've also tried to start cooking more so I can make healthy food instead of going out to eat...but he's always buying chips and energy drinks and eating way too much of those.


I don't know what to do. He'd not too overweight right now, but if he keeps up this lifestyle, it is going to get worse and affect his health some day. And the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for him to change, I think. I'll also admit that I feel a little resentful because we both started gaining weight at the same time when we moved in together...I guess the "freshmen fifteen" hit or something. But I started watching my calories and exercising and now I look pretty good if I do say so myself. My motivation was that I wanted to look good for him. So...why doesn't he want to do the same for me? I want to help him out but is there anyway I can do this without telling him that I think he's....fat?

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Why doesn't he do the same for you? You didn't do it for him. You did it for you, for your healthy, vanity, confidence, whatever the case may be. People don't get in shape just for their partners. You know it was more than that. And that's ok. Just be honest with yourself.


His weight, his tiredness, his eating habits -- none of these things have anything to do with you. His weight problem, in short, is not about you. It's all about him.


Anyway, this guy sounds depressed, not just 'unmotivated'. Maybe he doesn't want to do active things because he's tired or stressed. Maybe he eats potato chips because they make him 'feel' emotionally better about whatever he is going through. If he is drinking energy drinks left and right, there is a reason for that too...he's tired...and thinks they'll make him better. I don't think he'd be drinking that stuff just because it tastes good.


Have you suggested going to the doctor because you're concerned about how tired he is and you want him to have a better life?


Not much else you can do...if he wants to get in shape, he will, but it will be for his own reasons. If he doesn't, then he won't, and that will be for his own reasons too. No one gets in shape for someone else, they do it for themselves, and truly, that is the healthiest motivation.


Good luck!

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The only one who can get him in shape is him. The only one who can decide that it's important is him. Sure, if he makes that decision you can support him in it. But it's still his decision.


Your resentment that he isn't getting in shape while you are doesn't make sense - this is hardly bargaining material! Did he ever discuss this with you as part of a deal?


You are benefitting from your personal regime; enjoy it, and all the health and sense of well being that comes from it. Period.


When it comes down to it, there is nothing you can do to change his behaviour. Most of us don't change in the face of pressure from others (we like to feel that we're in charge of our own lives, no matter what a mess we may be making of it!).


The only thing you can change is your need to control him, which at the moment - if I've read your post correctly - is causing you embarrassment, resentment and frustration. We can all do without these things in our lives!


Good uck!

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You can live healthily and so try to inspire him to do so too, you can try and motivate him to come on walks/bike rides/gym visits and you can cook healthy food for both of you. But that is all you can do. You can't change him, or get him to change. That's up to him. It's impossible to change another person, so don't waste your time trying. It will lead to resentment and stress for both of you. You can claim that he should want to stay hot for you (which I to some extent agree with, to not do so is to take you and your love a bit for granted), but to be honest, he doesn't have to do that, or anything else, for you. There's no such obligation - but you have the option to accept that, and him as he is, or leave him if he's not what you want.


The truth is that maybe he was just fit and muscular because he was single and out trying to impress girls and get laid...and now that motivational factor is gone (because he's already got the girl, ie. you), he thinks he can slack off and be himself; not exercise and eat whatever he fancies. If he's your age, and already not bothered about keeping his six-pack and strong arms, he probably never will. So, more importantly, can you live with this? Can you live with a guy who has a very different view on health and fitness than you do? That's most likely what this boils down to. And only you can decide that. There's no right or wrong answer.


My boyfriend has gained a lot of weight since we met (5 years ago), he rarely exercises and eats loads of fast food. He also complains that he's fat, but does nothing about it. I'm still as tiny, fit and healthy as I was the day we met - and sure, to an extent I do it for him, but more than anything it's for myself; my health, my confidence, my goals for myself. I wish he could share my attitude but he doesn't. Can I change him? NO. And I have to just accept that. I don't care what he looks like, but I do worry for his future health. Yes it's annoying at times, but I'm doing what I can to motivate him, inspire him, live the example. Maybe one day he'll get it, maybe not. I love him, and that's that. It's not my job to fix him.

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