Do you have someone special you are sharing your life with? It’s no secret that if you are happy in your relationship with your significant other, you are more likely to be more content overall. Positive mood is associated with better decision making and better long term weight loss success.
Unhappy relationships are linked to more negative viewpoints and poorer weight loss success. But apart from whether or not you are happy in your relationship, could there be other factors that could influence your weight loss as a result of your relationship? Is your relationship making you overweight?
If you live with your partner you probably share more than just the space you live in, including meals and snacks. If you have come to the realisation that having a healthy lifestyle lets you live a better quality life, good for you! Your partner, on the other hand, might not be quite so… enlightened.
This can make it more difficult if you are having to prepare separate meals, or end up losing the willpower to put in that extra effort and give in to eating what your partner wants.
When your partner says things like “there is nothing wrong with you”, or “I love you just as you are”, these statements seem supportive on the surface. However, if you have made the decision to lose weight, these kinds of comments can feel like criticism rather than support. The first thing that you have to do is recognize that drastic weight loss is considered to have a similar emotional impact as a major life event, such as having a child.
Most of the time, you understand that those significant life changes are for the better, and you are ready to embrace it. Change can be scary though, and your partner may feel more comfortable with you staying as you are.
Having compassion for your partner’s fear/misgivings in accepting change is important. In this case, opening the door for communication from both sides is vital- you in expressing your reasons for wanting to lose weight, and being able to talk about achievement or difficulties along the way, and them being able to express their worries and be offered reassurance from you.
They don’t believe you mean it
Maybe they have seen you try to lose weight before and never stick to it, so don’t believe you are serious this time. They remembered that one time when you made a grand New Years resolution, and your weight loss attempts bombed spectacularly within days. In cases like this, it’s fine to acknowledge that their perspective may be understandable, after
In cases like this, it’s fine to acknowledge that their perspective may be understandable, after all, they have probably heard you talk about this before. to stand up for yourself and believe that you are worth it. This time you are seriously going to do it and they can show some support by preparing healthy foods for you.
Rather than taking offence, have confidence in your own ability to go after something you really want, and work to foster that self-belief that you are going to make healthy changes because you are worth it. Then let your results speak for themselves.
Without realizing it, your partner may do things to sabotage your weight loss because they feel insecure about you changing. They may not even be aware that they are doing it. Losing weight in their mind could mean you becoming more attractive to other people, or worries that your personality might change or their time with you could be threatened as you adopt different habits.
You’ll probably be spending more time at the gym or working out at home, and your eating habits will change also. You may develop a new found confidence that they find threatening. Your partner might attempt to undermine your progress by making joking, discouraging, or generally negative remarks about your weight loss behaviours, or what you are wearing.
Chances are none of the behaviours here have been because your partner is deliberately trying to be malicious, but rather don’t know how to deal with the change. Making sure you continue to spend quality time with them, telling them how much you care about them on a regular basis, and even involving them in your weight loss journey (if they are open to it) can be great strategies. Once they realise you are the same person, just healthier and happier, you can settle back into a more positive relationship dynamic.