How to Address Relationship Weight Gain in an Ultra-Caring Way
Coupling up comes with a ton of perks, like spending cozy Netflix nights in (staying in is the new going out, after all) enjoying lots of sweet treats with the person you adore. Relationships can be so much fun that it’s all too easy to let the healthy habits and resolutions you and BAE worked hard to create fall to the wayside. Unfortunately, more indulgences and less movement can result in weight gain — sometimes to a point where you’ve gotta have a serious talk. Since there’s no easy way to address added pounds, we reached out to Lacey Stone, a personal trainer on E!’s Revenge Body, for some guidelines around the sensitive convo.
When does weight gain become a legit concern?
How much we weigh affects our appearance and can affect things like attraction, but Stone reminds us that concerns around your boo’s weight should center on health and wellness. “Though important, weight isn’t everything,” she says. “If your partner is still healthy and uninterested in dropping pounds, take time to reevaluate your relationship to find the right kind of match.” Stone lists a few things that’ll make it easier to identify when your S.O.’s health is clearly at stake.
1. Your partner exhibits an obvious energy loss. “There are two things that happen to the body and psyche when you gain weight,” she explains. “You usually experience energy loss, which leads to a lack of motivation, which in turn can lead to depression.” Stone tells us that when a person has low energy or is suffering from signs of depression, it’s pretty common that they shy away from physical intimacy or sex, which can lead to relationship insecurities or even a lost romantic connection. If you’re experiencing any of things things, you should talk with bae ASAP.
2. Their confidence plummets. “I hear people ask their partners ‘Do I look fat?’ a lot,” Stone shares. She dished the raw deets with us about what a bad sign this is, explaining that a person who asks if they look larger often feels less attractive to themselves, making it hard to feel good around anyone else. Pay attention to your partner’s questions so that you can start to pick up subtle signs that they’re losing self-confidence or acceptance of their body.
3. Self-care is clearly on the back burner. It can be super hard to feel safe in a relationship with someone who doesn’t take care of him or herself, and you obviously want your S.O. to stay well. Stone tells us that noticing your partner has let themselves go to an unhealthy point is a super legit reason for having a sensitive heart to heart. “Weight gain leads to high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of strokes,” she explains. “Excess weight also increases your chances of developing other problems linked to strokes, including high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and heart disease.”
3 Things To Do When You Talk Weight With BAE
Weight gain is obviously a sensitive subject, and you’ll want your compassion and concern to be the foundation of the convo, so that you don’t make your S.O. feel worse then they probably do already. To make having a tough talk a bit easier, Stone breaks down three things you should definitely make it a point to do to show your partner how much you truly care about them.
1. Never attack or accuse your partner. As with any conversation, come from your point of view and be sure to use “I feel” statements instead of placing blame. For example, you might say, “I’m worried about you” or “I’m worried about us.” Stone shares, “I’ve found that it turns out terribly whenever someone blames the other person’s weight for relationship problems. Using ‘us’ brings you into the equation, rather than making it seem like it’s just a problem for you.”
2. Suggest healthy things you can do together. Offer to do healthy things with the person you love! Stone suggests saying something like, “I’m feeling like I need to add a little energy to our relationship. Do you want to come to a spin class with me?” You could also plan active adventures or a vacation that inspires a solid couple goal. Whatever it is, foster a sense of togetherness.
3. Be an active listener. Could it be that your S.O. is extra stressed at work or is fighting old demons you don’t know about? Give them time to explain and get to the heart of the weight gain with solid listening and a little extra TLC. Think about scheduling a weekly massage if they’ve been feeling anxious, spending more downtime together, or letting them ditch a few upcoming social activities for some much needed R&R.
Have you had to talk with your partner about weight and how it’s affecting your relationship? Tell us your story on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)