Changing Lifestyle Of Obese Partner

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 04, 2007 7:15 PM GMT
    This is a complex issue which I didn't know whether to post under relationships or fitness or here in general because it covers all these topics.

    I met my partner three years ago when he was in college. At the time he was pretty much height/weight proportionate. Since college he got the "Freshman 15" (15-20 pounds) and has steadily gained weight. I love him very much and I'm worried about his health. All he does now is eat a lot of the time (bad food choices) and sleep. He does go swimming 2-3 times per week which has probably staved off any advanced weight gain but he is still obese. His parents have also raised concerns about his weight and have been more forward than I about letting their feeling me known. icon_eek.gif

    We have a very strong relationship, which has its ups and downs like all relationships. I asked him about doing a learn-to-run program because he used to be a cross-country runner and I would like to learn to run because I haven't done it before. But his work schedule doesn't allow him to take the course.

    How should I approach him on this subject? Should I practice running with him or encourage him to train with me from the stuff I learn at the program? Would it be too forward or insulting of me to buy him a gym membership which included a dietary/exercise plan for Christmas? icon_confused.gif

    Anyway help or further questions you have please respond. Thanks.

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    Nov 04, 2007 8:10 PM GMT
    The tack you take will depend on his personality. If he is going to take a frank conversation about this badly then you will need to find some other way to get him more active and eating better (the biggie). It totally depends on his attitude.

    When I met my BF he was fairly heavy and I had an up front conversation with him about his weight. He, thankfully, readily agreed he was getting out of control and wanted me to help him lose some of the excess (which I did).

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    Nov 04, 2007 8:39 PM GMT
    Laxjock73, it's a toughie but bottom line is does HE want to change? You have every right as his partner/lover to express concern about his health/weight and if that is truly the issue, stay on that course and don't let him pull you off into the, "you don't find me atractive anymore" or "you just want me to have a nice body" routine. But you don't have the right to force him to change if he doesn't want to. If he doesn't and it's a major issue for you, then you may have a decision to make that is totally up to you but I wouldn't worry about that until you've brought up the subject. People's health is a very personal subject and some people can only see it from the aesthetic perspective and immediately get defensive. If his parents are already expressing concern more vocally, it seems maybe someone a little closer to him expressing concern may raise his awareness a bit more. Definitely have the conversation as soon as possible. If he is truly "obese" as you put it and he is more than 30 lbs over his ideal weight and has a BMI of over 30, he definitely needs to get more exercise and eat better as soon as possible. You are doing him a big favor by bringing it to his attention. He may not see it that way at first (or ever for that matter) but that shouldn't deter you. You can't control how he will react you can only express how you feel about it and take things one step at a time. Good luck.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Nov 04, 2007 8:40 PM GMT
    I'm glad to see your main concern is about his health.

    A gym membership for Christmas probably isn't a good idea unless you've discussed it first. Talk with him about your concerns about his health and get some statistics about heart disease and diabetes to back you up. I'd tackle the food before anything else.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 04, 2007 8:47 PM GMT
    Sounds like there might be some issues that are underlying his obesity
    You said that he basically eats and sleeps...
    that's depression my man
    time to have a sit down with this man and ask him if he's really happy and if he wants to go and talk to someone

    that being said you can help him with his weight problem by leading by example
    telling him that he's over weight and needs to exercise is like telling someone that there's a sun up in the sky - and plus it's likely to backfire and make him not want to exercise out of spite
    ...go to the gym with him
    ...bring only good healthy food into the house
    ...have dates where you order good foods
    ...go on bike rides- vacations where theres hiking or other activities involved

    being healthy is a lifestyle and if you're involved with this man - you're part of this equation
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 04, 2007 9:00 PM GMT
    Hey there, tough situation, and if he doesn't want to change, you can't force him. You can, however, be encouraging and give him positive feedback when he's making good choices and being active. Hopefully, he'll decide for himself that he needs to get back to healthy. My partner and I both gained 30 pounds in the last few years--I hired a trainer and started hitting the weights fairly hard to get back into line, but he'd stopped going to the gym or using our home treadmill. One day, he came downstairs after weighing himself and said "something's got to be done." That day, I went through the house and got rid of all of our processed foods, white-flour carbohydrates, red meat, and snacks. I filled the kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables and started cooking single portion meals (no leftovers/no overeating) for dinner. He's since lost 17 pounds, is back to using his treadmill, and intent to lose the last 13.

    Good luck and good health to you both!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 04, 2007 9:14 PM GMT
    Obesity is clinically specific:

    Doctors and scientists generally agree that men with more than 25% body fat and women with more than 30% body fat are obese. Alternatively, the absolute waist circumference (>102 cm/~40 in. in men and >88 cm/~35 in. in women) or waist-hip ratio (>0.9 for men and >0.85 for women)[8] are both often used as measures of central obesity. A BMI of 30.0–39.9 is also classified as obese, while a BMI of 40.0 or higher is classified as severely (or morbidly) obese.

    The question is do these definitions really fit your partner, or is he simply overweight and gaining?

    If he was roughly height weight perportionate in collge, then it seems difficult to believe that he is has graduated to Obesity in just three years.

    If he has then there must be severe underlying conditions - physical, mental, emotional - for that; and he should probably seek professional help.

    If he is simply gaining weight due to a change in lifestyle, try helping him by change your lifestyle:

    Center your together time around physical activities like swimming, running, getting outside.

    Try choosing healthy alternatives for meals when dining out.

    Volunteeer to do the grocery shopping and fill the house with healthier lower calorie snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables.

    As for the gym membership - its a great idea - but don't present it as something you want him to do - but rather as something you want him to join you in doing: something to do together.

    If he just needs a little encouragement that should work, if the problem is more serious he may need to see a doctor.

    Good Luck

  • ScotXY

    Posts: 117

    Nov 05, 2007 1:38 AM GMT
    I know when I worked for the Gay Lesbian Community Center of Colorado and Colorado Dept of Health I was like 15-20 lbs over weight but healthy.

    I know I had many friends in similar situations.

    A lot of the most sucsefull things were:

    1. Talk about whats really going on. What is going on in his life for him. How he views things. (Work, You, Family, Himself) See if you see any messages to give you an Idea of whats going on.

    2. If you work out get him to come along. Make it fun.

    3. Go do athletic things and have him come along entice him to have fun with you while you work out.

    4. Try to do date nights with each other and have some athletic thing as a part of it or a game who wins gets this or that.

    Some small things. to try.

    And its awsome that your heart is in right place and that you are not like some people are and think about image not the actual person and health which you are worried about.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2007 2:26 AM GMT
    Why is he doing this? Any idea why he is eating like this and not caring? There is something off here. Has he has a complete physical? ...including looking for not age-indicative illnesses or body malfunctions.

    You might also get this book and see if it helps.


    He analyzes his "symptoms" that go with his eating. Then the book advises on ways to eliminate the causes so one doesnt even want to over-eat.

    It is basically manipulating the 4 neurotransmitters in order to control urges and imbalances.

    I have tried it for my depression that is due to cancer therapy. It has worked wonders. I am taking two anti-depressants which work to control the symptoms, but I always still felt miserable without any motivation or happiness.

    By taking GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) which promotes calmness and relaxation, I am feeling great. It may seem odd that something that promotes calmness and relaxation actually picks me up and gets me going, but it does. With my brain calmed so it can function properly (until the cancer therapy wears off), I can motivate myself to be active, go workout, and be pleasant (I am really on edge without it).

    Oh, and during my depression, I was really into "comfort foods." ...chocolate eclairs especially. I think the sugar rush helped with the depression. Maybe he is depressed.

    Well, what have you got to lose...the price of that book.

    Good luck with your partner. icon_smile.gif