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So my once athletic boyfriend who was big into his gym and football has really (and I mean really) let himself go. I feel bad for being so shallow but over the last couple of years he has grown this burgeoning beer belly that dominates his frame. I don’t know the exacts but I’d estimate he’s put on 60-75 pounds since lockdown and showing no sign of slowing down. 
 

At first it was cute, you know, a little tummy never bothered me and in fact it was a little endearing. But now hes squeezing into his old clothes and frankly the denial or lack of awareness is a tad embarrassing. 
 

he’s doing well at his job and the client entertainment coupled with an office based job has caught up with him. Then for sake of ease it’s a preferred take out to home cooking. 
 

I’ve too put on a few pounds since the dreaded lockdown but nothing in comparison. It’s difficult to approach as he was always the more ‘traditionally attractive’ out of the two of us. 
 

hes 6ft 1 and now pushing 250lbs. He was a svelte 170 when we first met and 180/190 at the start of lockdown.

I’m 5 ft 5 was 170 when we met and fluctuated between 170-190 so not exactly slim but not large. 
 

I’m thinking of proposing a joint gym venture but don’t want to upset him. 
 

 

 

 

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Making the gym fun and competitive isn't a bad idea.

Though the question becomes can you handle his commenting on your weight? Because if only he is required to look a certain way expect some backlash.

How is your relationship other wise?

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This is so odd that you describe him in this comparitive way as far as attractiveness -it's just an odd mindset to have about a partner.  

No don't ask him about a gym -you go to a gym since you sound like you have weight to lose and perhaps he'll be curious-ask to join.  Has he yo yoed/gained in the past? If you don't think he's depressed and if he gets his annual physical and is in good health then this is his choice.  

I eat prepared and take out foods -I just choose wisely and do portion control and I've never been overweight other than when I was pregnant and for a few months after and for a few months I put on an extra 5-10 pounds because of a bad birth control pill in my 20s.  I'm 56.  

Does he speak of any interest in any sports? How much of  your attraction to him was the arm candy thing - given your comparison did you like that you attracted someone who was a big guy as in athletically big and more attractive than you?  That's not really chemistry as much as how you valued his attractiveness/physical features.

My husband stopped his exercise routine for awhile some years ago when we had our son and balked when I mentioned gently about getting back to it etc (for his health).  So i never did again.  He resumed his exercise on his own and started asking me for tips etc since I exercise regularly.

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11 minutes ago, Coily said:

Making the gym fun and competitive isn't a bad idea.

Though the question becomes can you handle his commenting on your weight? Because if only he is required to look a certain way expect some backlash.

How is your relationship other wise?

Relationship is fairly solid otherwise. You could say we’ve hit a bit of a lull. We have full on jobs and the weekends revolve around rest and for him a few beers to unwind with no real US time 

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6 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

This is so odd that you describe him in this comparitive way as far as attractiveness -it's just an odd mindset to have about a partner.  

No don't ask him about a gym -you go to a gym since you sound like you have weight to lose and perhaps he'll be curious-ask to join.  Has he yo yoed/gained in the past? If you don't think he's depressed and if he gets his annual physical and is in good health then this is his choice.  

I eat prepared and take out foods -I just choose wisely and do portion control and I've never been overweight other than when I was pregnant and for a few months after and for a few months I put on an extra 5-10 pounds because of a bad birth control pill in my 20s.  I'm 56.  

Does he speak of any interest in any sports? How much of  your attraction to him was the arm candy thing - given your comparison did you like that you attracted someone who was a big guy as in athletically big and more attractive than you?  That's not really chemistry as much as how you valued his attractiveness/physical features.

My husband stopped his exercise routine for awhile some years ago when we had our son and balked when I mentioned gently about getting back to it etc (for his health).  So i never did again.  He resumed his exercise on his own and started asking me for tips etc since I exercise regularly.

Thank you for your advice. I wish we had that self discipline you clearly do haha.

I don’t mean to come across as shallow maybe I have worded it wrongly but it’s quite a difference over a couple of years. I still love the man but worry that if he’s that comfortable to balloon 70 pounds in the space of a three years what does the rest of time have in store. 

we are early 30s fyi 
 

 

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1 minute ago, Michelle19 said:

Thank you for your advice. I wish we had that self discipline you clearly do haha.

I don’t mean to come across as shallow maybe I have worded it wrongly but it’s quite a difference over a couple of years. I still love the man but worry that if he’s that comfortable to balloon 70 pounds in the space of a three years what does the rest of time have in store. 

we are early 30s fyi 
 

 

But you are quite overweight -I mean I'm just going by the numbers -so what it in store for you if in your early 30s you're overweight? I have a friend who is 5"2 (like me) and her doc told her she shouldn't be under something like 140-50 - which to me sounds quite overweight so since I'm not a medical professional maybe your build requires you to be around the weight you are (mine for sure does not).  Coily made a great point about pushback from your bf since you are overweight.

I would assume he has changed his mindset (if he's not depressed) and now is happy being the size he is.  There's a new book out called Myths About Fat People or something like that by Gordon.  It may help guide you in how to process this (huge) change.

If your bf is now happy with his size then you decide if you can accept that.  Like I said if you start going to the gym and if you buy healthy foods and have them around (do you live together?) perhaps he will model after you on his own. 

My husband is now a breakfast eater because he's married to me and because of the years he had to wake up earlier than he wished when our son was younger and an early riser.  

Yes I have the discipline, yes I care about my health and fitness and I've been mindful of exercise/how I eat for the last 40 plus years (with some unhealthy extremes as a teenager). But I also was motivated because I wanted to be healthy enough to be pregnant, to raise a child, to be successful in my career -sounds like your bf still has a good energy level. This is a major weight gain yes.  And if he's yo yoed in the past I've heard that's unhealthy.   

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7 minutes ago, Michelle19 said:

Relationship is fairly solid otherwise. You could say we’ve hit a bit of a lull. We have full on jobs and the weekends revolve around rest and for him a few beers to unwind with no real US time 

There in is the problem, for both, there's not a lot of motivation to impress the other. Maybe looking for that US time is the motivation you both need to get in better shape. Maybe time to discuss some activities that you both enjoy or want to try, that are easier with a higher level of fitness.

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Any possibility to significantly decrease the "few beers"?  Or maybe have a few beers every two months or so not regularly? So many wasted calories.  Also alcohol can trigger appetite or you have unhealthy snacks with the beer. 

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I think the best approach would be to start getting yourself in shape and maybe you will influence him to follow your example. criticizing a partner's appearance is a sure fire way to destroy it. the insecurities that it can create limits the intimacy and trust. Also you can't make anyone change  

 

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23 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Any possibility to significantly decrease the "few beers"?  Or maybe have a few beers every two months or so not regularly? So many wasted calories.  Also alcohol can trigger appetite or you have unhealthy snacks with the beer. 

Batya thank you for your help. By no means am I Kate moss but I’m not too overweight at this stage. Let’s call it a ‘works out but enjoys pasta’ look haha

we do live together but where he is in the city a lot there’s a lot of eating out  so I don’t have too much control over his diet.

he used to be sporty type but now as he’s got a little older seems to have more interest in watching than doing.

although your words may seem harsh they have helped me. 

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So you are 165cm- 86kg

He is 185cm- 113kg

You both have around 20kg(44 pounds in American units) maybe even more for ideal weight. Which is preferably not great as far as the health goes, but not terrible to be feautured on "My 600 pound life" on TLC. 

Also I am sorry, but even you know that it is shallow. You have a problem with your boyfriend weight. Its shallow by default unless he really needs to lose weight for health purposes. If you have the problem you can talk to him and communicate about it. Other then that, you cant force him to lose weight, it doesnt go that way. Especially because you yourself have been loosen up quite a bit. 

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14 minutes ago, Michelle19 said:

he used to be sporty type but now as he’s got a little older seems to have more interest in watching than doing.

Yup, people change.  How long have you two been involved?  Is there maybe some hefty people in his family, where he may be getting to be the same way?

I feel he's 'done' with trying to be top notch, and has fallen back into the comfort zone.  He doesn't feel like keeping up & so fit anymore.

Anyways, you should love him for who he is, not his 'fit body'.  He will change IF he wants to.

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You're not happy with his weight because you simply find it unattractive.

That's ok to say.  It's ok to think.  And no, it's not shallow.  Attractiveness is extremely important.  

I think it's unfair for one partner to change their appearance drastically without the other partner's agreement/support.  It's unfair for his appearance to have changed this much without his recognition of it, without your acknowledgement and acceptance.  

We all know when our appearance changes.  He knows; he is either ashamed, embarrassed, or simply doesn't care.

I have a couple that I'm friends with where the husband put on about 40 lbs.  His wife, very lovingly, told him that it simply caused her to lose attraction.  He took it seriously and started working out, eating better, and lost the weight.  Spoiler alert:  He has now gained it back, plus some.  

Unfortunately with fat cells:  once you gain fat, your body adds fat cells.  If you lose weight, the fat is released from the cell, but the cell remains, and it's much easier to fill up with fat again.  Think of why Oprah has never maintained a loss.  The only true way to get rid of fat cells is with lipo, but since there are fat cells all over the body, it's impossible to get them all.  A friend of mine has had a lot of lipo, but she's gained weight again; because her thigh fat cells were sucked out, it's now all in her gut, giving her that "skinny pregnant" look.

Bottom line:  I hate to say this, but it's who he is, now.  You can gently bring it up, but know that it's obviously all up to him, and it will be a lifetime battle for him.  You will have to decide if this is the straw for you.

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I’d need to know more about why he gained the weight. Health issue or mental health issue. And same for the OP. Why are you overweight and only in your early 30s? How often do you have a physical and if it’s annual as it should be what is your blood work like and what does your doc say and recommend ? 
I agree if someone decides to get multiple piercings and tattoos it’s kind of thoughtless if there’s zero discussion with one’s partner.or like shaving one’s head and getting a crazy wig lol. Weight is different. Many more questions when there is sudden weight gain or loss that is significant. 

I had about 20 pounds to lose post-baby. My husband never ever commented on the extra weight and never cared how much weight I gained  while pregnant (37 pounds).  I was 41 when I got pregnant and 42 when we married. So was he. Lost all weight in five months. He still never commented on any of it and including when I lost the weight. 
I like all the advice that suggests you live a healthful lifestyle and perhaps he’ll follow you.
I’d stop the beers but that’s just me. You’re in your 30s not 20s - the best shift I ever did was from way too much Diet Coke to basically none and all tap water and occasionally some sparkling water no sweeteners including no artificial.  Drinking calories is often a recipe for weight gain. For me drinking Diet Coke triggered me to have more carb cravings. 

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1 hour ago, Michelle19 said:

. You could say we’ve hit a bit of a lull. We have full on jobs and the weekends revolve around rest and for him a few beers to unwind with no real US time 

This seems to be a lot of the issue. Perhaps you've gotten into a rut? All you can do is get out more on your own. Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get involved in sports and fitness, take some classes and courses. Go out with friends and family. Be very busy. There's not much you can do about what he eats but you can do a lot for yourself to feel better. Don't hang around the house on weekends. As far as his drinking, that seems more concerning than the weight itself.

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Being active actually prevents tiredness, fatigue and lassitude. Lying around on the weekend drinking beer doesn't do a thing to help you rest, in fact it does the opposite. Alcohol is a depressant, so if you're already feeling tired and lacking motivation to do anything it will just make it worse.

Instead of lying around drinking beer to "relax", how about planning a fun outing that involves physical activity? It doesn't have to be football or working out at the gym or running a half marathon. It can be as simple as a moderate hike outdoors, playing mini golf or pickleball or strolling around a nice shopping area or neighborhood. 

I find the days when I don't feel like going on my after work walk are the days I need and benefit from it the most. And I'm always glad I chose to go. 

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2 hours ago, Michelle19 said:

Relationship is fairly solid otherwise. You could say we’ve hit a bit of a lull. We have full on jobs and the weekends revolve around rest and for him a few beers to unwind with no real US time 

Rather than than raising an issue of weight or a gym, I'd approach partner about wanting to carve out even a few minutes together, and I'd raise that it would mean a lot to me if he would consider taking just a short walk with me after dinner on some nights.

Walking side by side is an excellent way to relax both people into creative discussions because it's non-confrontational. It's not eye-to-eye. It's a shared goal to get from here-to-there, and it tends to bond people who do it together regularly.

Once you can get into decent weather and longer walks more regularly, you can broach overall health and getting into next season's clothes in an inspirational way.

Meanwhile, YOU go to the gym or YOU work out with YouTube videos or whatever, and as you start to drop your own weight, he might become inspired, or at least curious.

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My husband was about the same size and he was getting up there too. I left him alone. Eventually he figured it out he was being a fat a$$ because he had to buy size 36 waste jeans and complained about it. He did it on his own and dumped the weight. He just starting eating salads, cut out breads. 

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33 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Being active actually prevents tiredness, fatigue and lassitude. Lying around on the weekend drinking beer doesn't do a thing to help you rest, in fact it does the opposite. Alcohol is a depressant, so if you're already feeling tired and lacking motivation to do anything it will just make it worse.

Instead of lying around drinking beer to "relax", how about planning a fun outing that involves physical activity?

Yes, great point.

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I would suggest that both of you make your health a priority not just now but permanently.  See if he's willing to exercise together,  cook healthier meals and incorporate a new, more positive lifestyle.  

Or, you take care of your health and as you become healthier, lose pounds, more fit and feel better and if your boyfriend continues to go in the opposite direction, you will figure out if you want to be with someone who simply does not care about his health. 

It's not always strictly about aesthetics either.  Sure, looking better and feeling great are wonderful benefits but it's also about your heart health.  Diabetes,  hypertension,  arteriosclerosis,  stroke risk, pulmonary embolism,  arthritic pain and the like are all serious medical maladies to seriously consider. 

If you end up in a long term relationship or marriage, someone has to take care of the other person as his or her health continues to spiral downward and out of control. 

Of course, genetics is a factor, too but lifestyle changes help improve the quality of one's life and the partner (or spouse) because you can do more together instead of the sickly one being a drag due to not being able to keep up with the healthier person.  Poor health impacts both people in a relationship.  It's nothing to sneeze at. 

Factor everything so you can envision both of your futures.

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1 minute ago, Cherylyn said:

Of course, genetics is a factor, too but lifestyle changes help improve the quality of one's life and the partner (or spouse) because you can do more together instead of the sickly one being a drag due to not being able to keep up with the healthier person.  Poor health impacts both people in a relationship.  It's nothing to sneeze at. 

Yes and just wanted to point out -he was -in the recent past- fit and in shape and athletic/at the gym and he's only in his early 30s so apparently he can keep himself healthy and fit when he chooses.

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Thank you all. Some thought provoking comments.

perhaps a little wake up for me with a few of you pointing out my weight being a little lumpy. I’ll get out on the running track this weekend. 

it’s just a stark contrast in his appearance that i do have an issue with, and without going into too much detail It impacts in the bedroom.

I’ll see what the next few months bring but appreciate everyone’s time in trying to assist and will update this post

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Michelle19 said:

Thank you all. Some thought provoking comments.

perhaps a little wake up for me with a few of you pointing out my weight being a little lumpy. I’ll get out on the running track this weekend. 

it’s just a stark contrast in his appearance that i do have an issue with, and without going into too much detail It impacts in the bedroom.

I’ll see what the next few months bring but appreciate everyone’s time in trying to assist and will update this post

 

 

 

 

 

So if he cannot perform or has trouble now -this is also why I wondered about depression (not a medical person just an layperson observation!).  No need to get on the running track this weekend - figure out in a level headed common sense approach what changes you can make that will stick over a long period of time -years. 

To me -an approach that involves a sudden burst of energy where you run this weekend without the planning of -will this be a thing you do daily? 3 times a week? Only when you feel meh about your appearance? Only when you feel low energy or someone on a forum points out that you are overweight?

Absolutely run this weekend if you have time and want to but then figure out what small steps you can make starting tomorrow that will stick over a long period of time -and it's really more about the food then exercise (and about the alcohol).

Again I'm a layperson but over and over again over the last several years I see authoritative articles and news programs about how it's really the food more then exercise.

For me it's both in this way - I increased my water intake by almost double over the last 5-10 years (I aim for 10-12 glasses a day) and I take in 3 glasses during my daily cardio workout.  This motivates me to drink more water during the day which then keeps my appetite in check and also discourages me from mindless nibbling (when I feel like doing that, I swig from my favorite water bottle -same brand, two colors) -and for me exercise reminds me to eat right - who wants to undo the benefits by eating too much/too much junk? 

I eat everything in moderation but I haven't tried to or needed to lose weight in 14 years (I am probably underweight) so my approach might not work for weigh loss-meaning my moderation might need to be cut back especially when it comes to sweets or the small amount of chips may be too much.

What I do have is healthy habits -I eat between meals only if I'm incredibly hungry and then it's slices of fresh fruit, maybe one or two pieces of dried fruit  - I don't let myself eat junk at those times.  I have 3 meals and one snack and I try to eat around the same times every day.  I don't eat heavily at night ever.  This way when we travel which we do every few months I can eat more/differently and it's ok -it's temporary and won't create bad habits.  

I've heard Weight Watchers is great and then there are all these fad diets that aren't.  I have a couple of friends who swear by intermittent fasting.

Good luck and hope you enjoy the run!

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Chiming in with this... my daughter (so this is different b/c it's not my husband/partner) is a pre-teen and going through all the pre-teen stuff including craving and leaning towards burgers, fries, etc when we go out.  Every single person (other moms) I've commiserated with have said "you have to be the model.  It starts with you." and so I've redoubled my efforts to make food at home, to pack her healthy lunches, to not come home and exasperatedly say "I'm so tired" and then stuff my face/have a glass of wine.

Your boyfriend isn't a child so it isn't exactly the same, however I would say the "it starts with you" made me examine myself more closely.  If we go out, I do order an appetizer or a fancy drink or a burger/fries.  So she's doing what she sees and those are things I can do better for my own self/health. 

Again, he's not your child so you don't have to role model for him... What I'm saying is start with considering how you like to relax on a weekend.  Maybe it's not sports and beer and therefore you've lost something valuable in common, making it less about appearances and more about how you connect.  Maybe everything's become about food/ take-out/ what we're eating tonight instead of talking about your days/stresses/wins.  That again would point to more of an emotional disconnection vs an appearance/aesthetic issue.  Whatever is irritating (how he's spending his time/ what he's eating/ how he talks about his day/ takes care of himself etc), perhaps journal on what you do for relaxation/ food/ talking about your day/ how you take care of yourself.  You might find that you'd like someone who aligns more with how you like to unwind and process your day vs. what you're currently live.  Or, you might find you're not living to the standard you'd like to hold for yourself so you make some changes and he joins you (or doesn't).

Bringing it back to me (with food/diet re: my daughter) really made me realize I wasn't doing enough for myself and it was almost like I was trying to hold her to a higher standard (ie "I deserve a few glasses of wine because I'm a single mom who works all day, but she's a growing kid and shouldn't be drinking soda!").... it really caused me to zoom inward and making changes from that position have had a much more powerful impact than doing them for someone else or trying to control someone else.

I'm guessing there might be some "I'm currently living outside of my values/what I want for my life" and once you figure out what that is (whether it's how you spend your time together or how you spend your down time or your money or whatever), you can start making changes from there and see how this relationship fits in to the life you want to create for yourself.  You are just in your 30s!!  So much still to do and see and experience... make a list of what you want for yourself and then go do it/be it/see it/ live it!! ❤️ 

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4 minutes ago, savignon said:

make a list of what you want for yourself and then go do it/be it/see it/ live it!! ❤️ 

I love this and will add -put very small/baby step goals on the list -very very nitty gritty specific not abstract.  For example once covid eased up I promised myself I'd get out there more and resume some sort of volunteering.  But that's abstract.  So I forced myself to be aware of opportunities, to be proactive about following up and I managed to do two activities that involved meeting new people/socializing and volunteering.

  I also made changes as far as getting more me time during the day (covid was suffocating at times as we live in a small apartment and telework plus virtual learning.....) - specific changes so not just "I want more me time" but looking at my day and figuring out when that could be put into my day with the least amount of accommodation needed from my family. 

Likewise a couple of years ago I realized that screen time later in the evening disrupted my winding down/getting a good night's sleep so I started shutting off my phone and computer up to an hour earlier.  It made a difference!  Figure out how you can get to what you want by dividing it into doable steps IMO.

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