Telling Your Significant Other You Want to Lose Weight

Saturday, April 3, 2010

By the writer of Boiling It Down: Daily Recipes for a Simple Life

My boyfriend was about to come out to California last June, taking his summer vacation from the University of Minnesota to come be near me. I was thrilled and excited, and also extremely apprehensive.

Up until that time we had been dating long distance. We had met a couple of years back while I was also living in the Twin Cities, but had grown closer over the phone after I moved. While I had started my life in California I had also started a healthier routine. I was working out everyday at the local gym, diligently packing my lunch for work, and making homemade, healthy meals.

I hated the fact that I was anything but ecstatic about the prospect of having my boyfriend live and in the flesh, and I knew that I had to have a very difficult conversation with him.

Now in a country where obesity is referred to as an "epidemic" you'd think I would be proud of my determination. But I wasn't at all. I was ashamed that I had to work at it, that I wasn't born a leggy yet curvaceous girl who's body was self-regulated enough to know when it was full. I found myself green with envy of people that claimed they sometimes just "forgot" to eat. How pathetic that I had to actually measure my food, and log my points.

But there just wasn't any way around it.

I sucked it up and tip-toed around the subject until finally I just blurted out that if my boyfriend planned on coming he had better not get in my way (yes, I took the antagonistic route). To my surprise he chuckled, and said he was completely on board, and that above all else wanted me to be happy (imagine that). He understood that I needed this structure to get there, and said he would help in any way possible.

And he wasn't just full of hot air. He started researching how to make his recipes (yep, he's the chef) healthier by substituting whole wheat pasta for white, brown rice for white rice, and reducing the amount of oil he used. I was actually a bit embarrassed when we'd head to the grocery store and I'd hear him yelling at me from the next aisle over that he "found whole wheat tortillas for only 2 points!" which of course he determined using the handy points slider that he diligently brought to the store.

Often I hear people express that they are too embarrassed or ashamed to open up to their significant other about their weight loss goals. Let me tell you from someone who's been there: just do it. Tell them, and my guess is you'll be pleasantly surprised just like I was. In my opinion, you need the people you spend the most time with to be supportive of your choices if you truly want to succeed. Rather then spending your time focusing on becoming a more healthy you, you'll spend twice as much energy trying to hide it.

Tell your significant other so you can both make health a priority, because after all, what else is there? I think you'll also find that this kind of honesty and vulnerability is the stuff that great relationships are made of.


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