Weight Loss Support - My bf's weight may ruin our relationship, NEED ADVICE

05-13-2009, 12:59 PM
Sorry for the long post. If you want to just get the gist of my question, feel free to skip to the bottom.

A year and a half ago, I met a guy online and pretty soon our friendship developed into something more. I had seen face pictures of him and he told me he was overweight, but it was something I was willing to overlook because he was so wonderful otherwise and seemed to treat me so well. He also hated it about himself, so I took comfort in the fact that the physical was going to change. He often talks about what he wants to look like, how much he wants to lose it, the goals that he has. And I want to be there and support him very much, esp since I want to lose weight too.

I took a risk and hopped on a plane out to see him. It wasn't until I saw him at the airport that I realized he wasn't just a little overweight, but actually obese.(~150 lbs over) And I wasn't attracted to him at all. He could tell this right away, of course, expected it, and so we took things very slowly. The personality and the voice and sense of humor was the same, and he treated me like a princess, and little by little I could see the person I had fallen for instead of seeing the fat that I knew was going to go away.

But now I am worried he will never lose the weight. He has not shown any effort to. He has terrible eating habits and a strong aversion to exercise. I would try to get him to go on walks with me to help him ease him into exercising, but he said he would get too tired to do anything tomorrow if we went on a walk this evening. He gets tired very easily (partially due to his weight.) He's an extremely picky eater and every time we ate out (which we did a lot, since I was on vacation) I would try and pick something healthy from a restaurant while he would get McDonald's or fish and chips.

This is a real problem. I do love him but I'm not attracted to him. It is so hypocritical because he is the first person in the world who has ever made me feel beautiful, just the way I am. At the same time, he hates himself the size he is now, he says he wants nothing more than to be fit. Also, his weight is giving him health issues, back pain, knee pain, and he is at risk for diabetes. He talks about all this, yet I have not seen any progress. I feel like I know much more about nutrition and metabolism than he does, but he has not shown any interest in learning at all/listening to tips at all. I am back home now and it seems his eating habits have gotten even worse since I've been gone; eating one fast food meal a day and not taking care of himself and he says he realizes he has to just do it but he seems so reluctant to even start.

I know motivation must come from within, but I wish I could help him. Since it's LDR, it's hard for me to affect his daily habits simply by living well or making him exercise with me. I have been telling him my diet plans to let him know he's not alone but this isn't working either. I don't want to nag and make him resent me and the idea of weight loss altogether. Since I come from a traditional skinny Asian family, I know how much of a de-motivator it can be if people constantly attack your weight, even though they mean well. He just doesn't seem to want it enough, complains about the amount of time it would take to lose that much weight healthily (over a year!) But I was planning to visit again with my best friend, and the bf doesn't want me to bring the bff just because he is ashamed of how he looks. It is causing a major roadblock in our relationship, and I don't think he understands how serious it is.

Have any of you had a significant other or friend you couldn't motivate? Have you ever been in his place? How would you feel if you knew your gf/bf felt the way I do?

or what motivated you to finally start and stick with your weight loss journey, obstacles and all?

Peep Smith
05-13-2009, 01:05 PM
Have you gently but honestly told him that you think his weight is going to be an obstacle to your developing relationship? If you can couch it in compassionate terms, but lay it on the line, he may respond. If not, you've a choice to make. Accept him as he is and let go of your expectations to make him into something else, or end your relationship.

05-13-2009, 01:11 PM
Communication is key in ALL of our relationships. I really think this is something you need to discuss with him. Then you guys can work on it together!

05-13-2009, 01:15 PM
I think the way a man treats us is way underrated. And at the same time, he sounds like he is not only obese, but quite unhealthy. That is a fair thing to consider before you get involved. Really, it would be something to consider at any weight (I wouldn't be excited about a man who was slim but had the same habits as your BF).

But more importantly I think is this sense that he doesn't like himself and is ashamed. Most of us have been there (feeling bad about ourselves), so it's not necessarily a big huge deal. But if it is - Be very careful about that. You can't fix that. It will cause grief.

In the end, if you continue a relationship with him, you may want all the best for him, but unless you truly accept and fully value him as he is right now, the relationship won't be good enough for either of you.

05-13-2009, 01:20 PM
I had a problem with my GF and her weigh, when mine was nowhere to brag about, and it helped. I did it carefully and respectfully, I was honest.

05-13-2009, 01:22 PM
I agree with Peep Smith. You can set a good example but unfortunately there is very little you can do to motivate him. Only he can make that decision to commit to losing weight and it might happen tomorrow and it might happen 10 or 20 years from now or it might never happen.

As difficult as it might be for you to end the relationship, it might be your only option if you want to be with someone who takes care of themselves and who you are attracted to--and don't think that you are selfish or shallow for wanting that! If you make the decision to stay with him then you will have to accept him how he is now.

Best of luck :hug:

05-13-2009, 01:24 PM
I think you just have to tell him it's not that this could be, but it is, a problem. I'm also wondering if he brings it up so much just so it's out there and he gets a little bit of acceptance about it without having to do anything to change it.

You know, the way you'll take a shot at yourself to let everyone know that you know, before someone else says it?

I don't think it's fair for him to expect this not to make a difference at all. And if he decides that his lifestyle is more important than your relationship, I think it's best to let him go. On the other hand, he may need to really see what he's losing to hit bottom and want to make a change and that could take some time even if you did split up.

Good luck with this and let us know what you decide.

05-13-2009, 01:28 PM
You either need to accept him the way he is now or end the relationship. I know it sounds harsh but...

Weight is a difficult obstacle to overcome and for those of us who have lost a lot of weight, there is no guarantee that it will stay off. We generally have issues that caused the weight gain in the first place.

You need to accept the 'worst case scenario' in that it is possible that he could never change his habits and he could always be overweight. If you can't accept that then it isn't fair to him or yourself.

05-13-2009, 01:41 PM
I agree with nelie. This one isn't going to work out. Sad, but those are the breaks.

It will be easier to get it over with now than wait any later. Don't let it hang on. There is a very good possibility that he will never change, and it would be doing both of you a disservice to try to "make it work" now that you know the reality and aren't attracted.


05-13-2009, 01:42 PM
I'm speaking from my own experience, but I have come to realize and accept that I have to be physically attracted to a person in order to take a relationship seriously. The personality connection is priority of course but if you're not attracted to them then that's when you're in the friend zone rather than a relationship.

Plus, it's a red flashing light when you go into a relationship with the expectation or desire to change the other person.

And please don't feel down on yourself for wanting someone that takes care of themselves. You deserve the perfect man for you! Don't settle.

Good luck hun.

05-13-2009, 01:57 PM
It is my experience that you can't make someone change. They either want to and then follow through or they don't. If you are genuinely not attracted to him, then it sounds like you are just friends. You cannot have a romantic relationship without chemistry period. So, either be his friend and accept him with all of his faults or tell him, "Goodbye." Pink

05-13-2009, 02:36 PM
What would you do if he didn't lose the weight and remained as he is or worse gained more? I think the advice that you should accept him as he is IF you want to continue the relationship is good. If he changes great if not then if you've accepted it will be easier to handle the difficult road of being in a relationship with someone with a very different lifestyle health wise.

I don't think just because you love someone it means its best for the two of you to be together. I think you can be with someone who makes you feel beautiful and loves and takes care of themselves as that is a gift to you as well.

Imagine the limitations as far as physical activity you experienced in your time together. Can you do that for the rest of your life if he doesn't change? I think it would be tough for me to be in a relationship with someone who ate out and didn't exercise as it would really undercut my resolve to be healthier.

Thighs Be Gone
05-13-2009, 02:41 PM
I agree you can't make him change. If you aren't willing to be 100% in love with him the way he is RIGHT now, I would really, really consider what to do next. I would be WAY okay with a big guy--some extra weight or even obesity doesn't really put me off...but I am not okay with him if he can't go for a walk with me and enjoy the healthy foods I like to cook.

LOL--anyone see the "benefits" of a man losing 35 pounds on Oprah????? INTERESTING INDEED--a WHOLE NEW MOTIVATION!

05-13-2009, 02:47 PM
so let's say you decide to accept his weight.

here's my red flag = his preference not to meet your BFF (for whatever reason he gives you). i believe this isolation will only become worse, particularly if he doesn't lose the weight (this based on my own experience and preference to isolate).

do you want to live this way? will you be OK going to parties, get-together with friends by yourself...especially if all your friends are coupled? i know i would hate to do this and grow to resent my partner.

that's the tough question, i think.

05-13-2009, 04:05 PM
Oh, this is a hard one... I think it is a tough situation to be in a relationship with someone with unhealthy habits who has low self-esteem. I am a firm believer in "You gotta love yourself, before you can love someone else."...

You need to be in a relationship that is healthy for BOTH of you.

Also, as much as some people like to say it isn't, attraction is a big issue when dating someone. If there is no chemistry then why not just be friends? The fact is, you can't control who you are attracted to physically... I myself am not attracted to unhealthy people, even though I technically still am one. Is that hypocritical? Some might think so... but it's also the reason I'm not dating anyone right now... Have you ever heard the saying, "Be the person you want to date"? I want to date someone who is healthy and happy on their own, who brings something to the table... and that's the kind of person who I want to be for someone else when I start dating again.

It sounds to me like he has some things he needs to work out for himself before he can be seriously committed to another person. If it is meant to be in the end, it will be... Good luck.

05-13-2009, 04:09 PM
He is a boyfriend, not a husband. At this "stage," you really DO need chemistry and attraction. I think it's best you stay friends right now. He needs to work on his problems for himself. If he wanted to change, he would -- and he will, eventually.

05-13-2009, 04:59 PM
You either need to accept him the way he is now or end the relationship. I know it sounds harsh but...

Weight is a difficult obstacle to overcome and for those of us who have lost a lot of weight, there is no guarantee that it will stay off. We generally have issues that caused the weight gain in the first place.

You need to accept the 'worst case scenario' in that it is possible that he could never change his habits and he could always be overweight. If you can't accept that then it isn't fair to him or yourself.

My feelings exactly.

05-13-2009, 06:15 PM
I agree with preppingbride and nelie. Good luck in whatever decision you make. :hug:

05-13-2009, 06:38 PM
Hey guys, thanks for all your input and support. You have made some very thoughtful comments and very good points.

I think everybody is right in saying that it's not right to go into a relationship wanting to change somebody. And people have to make the decision to change themselves. But what if this is a change that he knows he has to have, because it is literally affects the rest of his life?

There is a certain operation that he needs and right now doctors refuse to operate on him because his weight makes him an at-risk patient. So one way or another, he is going to have to lose the weight. He wants to save up to get liposuction, but as I am sure you are aware, at such a high weight it is not only extremely expensive but possibly risky as well. We're both young (in our early 20's) and he doesn't make much money right now. The being young part is also what gives me hope for him, but I guess it could also be seen as wasting my time.

Angeline and Jackie, you are both right in that I couldn't live the inactive, unhealthy lifestyle that he lives right now. I love going out, I love exploring, I love socializing, etc, and these are all things he admits that he avoids because of how he looks right now. (Don't get me wrong, we always went out together when I was there, because he knew it made me happy.)

He used to be much thinner growing up, and very popular & outgoing in school. But then several very personal things happened and he fell into a deep depression. He dropped out of school and just kept on gaining more and more weight. Ever since he met me, he's been slowly putting his life back together. He went out and got a job, he is getting more education, and both are extremely difficult for him since he had developed severe social anxiety in the time that he isolated himself. He still managed to overcome it, against all odds. Every day he gets up and works a job that he hates because he knows by the end of it, it will further him in life, as well as make him a better partner for me. Weight is the only thing left to overcome, and yet it seems to be the hardest. He truly believes that when he loses the weight he can be that popular and fun guy again. And he's very much a guy that he refuses help from outside sources, wants to prove something by doing it all on his own. I do believe in him...it just gets hard sometimes when he seems so hesitant to start.

Seriously thank you all for your input, though, you guys give very good advice. I have a lot of thinking to do and probably a serious conversation to have.

05-13-2009, 09:20 PM
One thing to think about for him, liposuction isn't the answer. Liposuction is a vanity surgery for those that are near their goal weight. It is meant to help get rid of stubborn fat in areas that seem to not lose fat. Also, I don't know if it has improved but I've heard a lot of horror stories about it. If it was meant for obese people, trust me, I'd be signing up for it.

Again, I do hope your boyfriend does lose weight but again there is no guarantee that he will keep the weight off, that is a harsh reality.

I say this as someone who weighed well over 300 lbs at one point. My boyfriend (now husband) loved me for who I am. If he had said that I needed to lose 100 lbs, then whether or not I lost the 100 lbs, I would have not felt that was a very good relationship for me to be in.

05-13-2009, 10:23 PM
Ms MiniMo:
You have your work cut out for you!
At the end of the day, you know you have to accept him for who he is. There are no guarantees in life -- he may lose weight and change his lifestyle. He may not. You may find someone else as a mate who goes through the same stuff and gains alot of weight. Or YOU may be in a position where you gain alot of weight, for whatever reason.
So, at the end of the day, you need to decide, as you already know, if this person, regardless of weight, is the one you have been looking for because at the end of the day, you have no control over what happens with respect to his weight.
Happy thinking...