T Nation

How to Approach GF on Being Healthy?


#1

My girlfriend and I have been going out for about 7 months and I am truly in love with her. I've had serious relationships before but we connect like nothing I've experienced. I guess the only flaw in our relationship is that we don't share the same interest in working out and being healthy.

I asked her about it before and she said when she is ready, she will start eating healthy and working out (when school is done in a year or so). The thing is, I know she has plenty of time to workout now yet chooses not to. She says she is too busy with other things but when she is done with school and will NEED to work 40 hours a week, it won't be any better since she will have to take on a lot more financial responsibilities. She lives rent-free with her mom and her school loans will kick in once she is out of school, also (or sooner).

One day (back in April) she seemed really gun-ho about working out and asked to use my other pass that I have for our gym. She bought protein and all that but that "phase" only lasted a week or so.

Somehow I feel shallow but on the other hand, I do care about her and her health. She carries almost all of her fat in her stomach. I'm not talking about a little fat or a little belly either. A customer at the place she works at asked when she was due! I thought that might of been a wake up call to her, but if it was, it didn't do anything to her or it didn't make her want to change her habits. She is comfortable with herself I think and that is one reason why I'd hate to push this on her or try and change who she is.

I would appreciate any help anyone can offer, whether its good or bad. Thank you :slight_smile:


#2

Best of luck with this. I've got no clue how to go about it, only pondered at it and come up short.


#3

I had a similar situation with a girlfriend some time ago. She was a beautifully put together ecto, so she had absolutely no concerns about what she ate, or her activity level. Being an obsessive endo, I eat clean and work my ass off. Eventually, we had THE conversation about health, and I was able to get her to make a lifestyle change.

Emphasis should be placed on your love for her, her health, and your long future together. If you can blend these concepts into your pitch for her to make lifestyle changes, she will be willing. You have to sell her on the benefits of a long term lifestyle change for HER, and your willingness to be 1000% supportive. If she is a rational, reasonable person, what is the worst that will happen?

The fact of the matter is that you have no reason to feel shallow. A healthy lifestyle is a very selfish thing that can really only be 'shared' by likeminded people. I hope you are able to convince your GF that making a healthy lifestyle decision is NOT deprivation of good tasting foods and laziness, but a DIFFERENT decision about what goes into her body and what she does with it!


#4

LiquidMercury- LOL! Thanks :slight_smile: Maybe this thread could help you out also!

Jimboman,

Thanks for your input :slight_smile: My girlfriend has a great shape, but all of her fat just wants to go to her stomach. Again, she seems comfortable with her physical appearance yet she is very much into tanning and make-up. She doesn't mind being naked in front of me, but she does put herself down once in a while about being overweight.

Thanks again for your help! I am thinking about doing the pitch via text messaging. Kidding :slight_smile:


#5

I've always been in the same situation jimbo has it seems. Girls that are naturally ecto and don't have a care so they think I'm ludacris to insinuate they should start working out.


#6

I wish I could offer you some better advice. I really gave this some thought. What if you focus on fun activities you can do together that are active. Rather than try and get her to the gym, go swimming or cycling or something like that. The focus should be on fun togetherness rather than fitness.

Other people may feel differently but if my boyfriend or husband were to bring it up even in the context of how much they love me, it would be irritating as hell. Every major life change I've made has been entirely self motivated. It's almost as if a switch has flipped and now your ready. I don't think you can do it for someone else just make it available and lead by example.

If you continue to bang on about it though, expect resistance.


#7

Ouroboro -

Thank you for your input. That sounds like a good idea. Maybe we will go for a walk or go to the park and play around on the equipment.

I do remember one time I brought my dog up to see her for the weekend and when I asked her if she wanted to take him for a walk, she said she didn't feel like it. We were sitting inside all day and I wanted to get out.

But anyways, thanks for the help. I will definetely recommend something to do outside :slightly_smiling:


#8

Bro, you added a bit of detail missing from the first post - relating particularly to self-esteem. It might be necessary to include in the 'pitch' how better she will feel about HERSELF, and project that to/with you, by shifting to a healthier lifestyle.

Shit, we all want to look good... but FEELING good is the best byproduct of clean diet and exercise. That might reduce the comments about herself. In all honesty, we all have those thoughts... some just say them out loud. The difference between these two types of people is AWARENESS. If she is aware she is having these thoughts, and has improved feelings of self-esteem/worth/value/etc., these comments should be few-er and far-er between.

Just my $0.02...


#9

Well you see, first you gotta let her get really really fat!

No... Just kidding.

I've encountered a similar situation and I've helped my girlfriend start her journey by first emphasizing that I valued her health which includes the state of her self-esteem which due to recent weight gain had been flagging. It may have also been influenced by the fact that I involved her in discussing the state of my routine, my goals as well as the fitness and self-improvement hobby in general.

It was not easy though. It takes time to overcome the pattern of malnutrition and inactivity. When you take the opportunity to suggest that she tags along to the gym moments after she declares that she feels fat, don't be surprised if she declines your invitation.

I think if you promote the best attributes of this lifestyle just by living it contently, it will eventually appeal to her and draw her in. If she takes a toxic attitude and you diffuse it in positive ways then she will likely come around.

So for now I would suggest that you be willing to help her if she takes an interest, but try to spark that interest indirectly rather than coming right out and saying you're concerned. As Ghandi would say "Become the change that you want to see".


#10

Thanks again for the added input :slightly_smiling:

It sucks because I don't live with her and only see her on weekends, so I can't really make a daily impact on her.

With her, I think it will be a bit hard to try and persuade her to the healthy lifestyle. Her mom is a health nut and she has a bunch of "snacks" in a little closet. LOL! Her bad habits almost rub off on me, not the other way around.


#11

Because we are relatively busy, my girlfriend and I go to the gym together. We both enjoy going but have limited time, so we go together. We don't say overly much to each other while there, but can share a laugh here and there. We shop for food together and take turns cooking. However, it is important to note that everyone is different. Our only real fights have occurred over fitness/diet/health. But if two stubborn people are passionate about something. Remember to be supportive without being pushy.

My girlfriend loves to run, she trains to run and runs competitively. I play hockey, I train for general athletic purposes. At times, our diet and exercise goals have conflicted, as well as our general philosophies. I don't benefit from carbs for my last two meals, and she does.

Make it something you can enjoy together. That is important. Also, if she refuses to change - perhaps you should have another talk with her. The health problems that arise later in life will be unpleasant, and if you do end up together, you may be drawn to her life-style...


#12

Thanks, Logic :slight_smile:

Well, I think I fvcked up the talk. She took it really bad like I was criticizing her. She said one can't be pushed and when she is ready, she will do it on her own time. I have heard this from smokers and alcoholics and that time rarely ever comes.

I have been sluffin' off a bit since being with her, but I guess it's my own fault since I am letting myself get "comfy" on the weekends.


#13

I WAS that girl a while back. But my boyfriend never had a talk with me because he understood how terrible that can make a girl feel. Not on purpose of course!! Girls are very sensitive about their looks, and if you give them advice then they take it as criticism in most cases.

It requires a very special frame of mind for a woman to realize that you're not trying to fix her, and you DO love her how she is.

Eventually I got depressed, hit a bottom of sorts, and decided to change. THEN I got excited about it and asked my boyfriend for help. Seriously, it was like 3 years after we started dating. Yes, it took me 3 years to get over myself. It required a complete emotional change.

So you can't just sit down and convince her to be healthy. That will NOT go over well. Just lead by example. You can eat healthy in front of her, even if she doesn't do it.

A big thing you can do is try to figure out the emotional side of it. Does she overeat? Why? Is it out of boredom or because she feels bad about herself?

Tips: Don't eat out, eat in. Cook a healthy meal for her, without even telling her its good for you.

Find something she enjoys that is a physical activity, or even just something that doesn't involve food or drink. Get into, make it a hobby together. She needs to look forward to soemthing non food-centric.


#14

I have a lot of sympathy for all the guys out there. Basically I'm in the same situation.

It does suck when your own life involves something which is in every way healthy, it's fun, useful, it so positive in your own life but the person you love the most is not sharing that.

I would love it if my partner could share that. With busy lives and limited time I think it would really bring us together. I feel like I have a whole life that involves eating right and working out and she knows nothing about it.

I thought it might useful to share my own experience.

It seems like talking about going to the gym doesnt help in fact the more I talk about it the further she moves away from the idea. In fact she used to be quite active and enjoyed running before meeting me but has always had trouble with her weight but when I met her she was probably 20lbs lighter.

Bringing up working out once lead to her saying I didnt love her and thought she was fat (obviously I do think she could lose some fat but I didnt say it at the time, she got the picture). That episode made us both feel terrible. Be warned.

In terms of nutrition she is usually fine until she's busy at work then she'll just eat junk food for a calming effect. She likes the feeling of being full. Needless to say she never has breakfast. I think the problem comes from her seeing avoiding junk food as a "diet" whereas someone like me sees it as common sense and something to be avoided (like being run over by a bus). If she avoided those junk food binges I doubt she'd have to watch her weight.

The worst thing is when she goes on about how out of shape and tired she is but does nothing about it. How hard is it to visit the gym just once a week. It could add so much to our relationship.

Am I asking too much for her?

Any tips would be much appreciated.


#15

Sounds like you guys are dating lazy slobs. Dump them. There are other fish in the sea that don't mind swimming a little harder. If you don't push yourself - and let others push you too, then you will never be anything but mediocre.

As to this "but we connect like nothing I've experienced." B.S. - you need to grow up and dispense with the childish emotions. You are wasting your time with this woman.


#16

OP, DO NOT IMPOSE YOUR WILL ON HER! If and when she is ready when will come to you. If you are showing more interest in her doing this than she is, she will only become that much more disinterested.

You mean good for her, thats apparent.

But guys normally fuck up things up by imposing their will onto their women. Stop doing it, and first among all things, try to get her in the gym first before you correct her eating. This will more likely happen first than her just changing her eating habits.


#17

I'm single nad love it..only suggestion would be to meet a good women at the gym.At least you know you'll share the same passion...


#18

I'm more the type to hit the gym daily, but I have found that a way for my boyfriend to motivate me is through complimenting me on a specific body part. Like, he tells me all the time how much he likes my ass. My response to this is to want to work harder and make it even better!

If you can get her to go for a walk with you, tell her how hot she looks sweaty. Or if she has any particular body part that's toned and tight, be extra appreciative of it.

In my experience, just feeling appreciated makes me want to work harder, without the problem of getting me down because my body isn't great. Maybe it can work for her too.


#19

I will throw my experience in here as well.

Dealing with women who are less fit that you are is often like dealing with a teenage child. If you tell them to do something, they will do the opposite. If you want your kid to lift weights, tell him squats and deadlifts are bad for the knees and back.

Sometimes the best solution is just to continue eating right, working hard, and making constant, visible progress. She would be truly blind not to actually see it. If you mention how hard you work, how great you are, etc ... you will only repel any interest on her part. She must discover it for herself in order to make the change. It is not possible for someone to superimpose their will forcibly in this way.

As such, set the example. Make sure she sees and feels YOUR gains.


#20

Several years ago my husband had "the talk" with me about how I had let myself go. Oooh, I was SO mad! I yelled something stupid at him and stomped off to pout & feel sorry for myself.

Of course, the reason I was angry was that he was absolutely correct. He approached me kindly & sensitively, said he loved me so much, etc. I was still angry at him though, because I was an ass who didn't want to hear the truth.

But, I had to recognize that he was right, so I started learning how to eat & workout properly. This took a few years of not enough protein & too much steady state cardio before I found T-Nation. Thank God he's patient, because I was actively trying.
Now I'm slender & an accomplished athlete, which would not have happened if he hadn't given me the nudge to start.

There has been some really great advice so far: make working out or being active a fun/togetherness activity, cook for her & don't tell her its healthy, lead by example, compliment her good parts. Watch out if her "good parts" are her breasts, though, because those will shrink as she loses weight.

But, ultimately, her motivation will have to be internal. If two people have vastly different lifestyles, it will be very difficult for them to have a successful long term relationship. One thing is for sure: if she doesn't start working out, she won't stay the same size she is now. She'll keep getting fatter, which will make it more uncomfortable for her to be active, which will make her fatter. Sorry to be such a drag.

There have been so many threads on this site on this subject because we all seem to have people we love who choose to be fat & sedentary, and its painful to watch. I always read these threads because I hope I'll get a clue of how to help the people in my own life who tell me their fat makes them unhappy, but won't change. Good luck, OP, let us know how it goes.