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What kind of support from boyfriends/husbands/SO's works?

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default What kind of support from boyfriends/husbands/SO's works?

I'm a late 20's man looking to support my girlfriend's desire to lose weight. I actually stumbled across these forums looking for more recipes for the Fat Smash Diet. While browsing through the rest of the forums it dawned on me that I had also found a wonderful community of people....and that maybe I could get some ideas on how to help her achieve her goal of being healthier and happier.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:20 PM   #2
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I've tried losing weight several times, but this is the first time by boyfriend has truly been supportive. I cook, and he has been eating the same meals as me. He even makes comments about how eating healthier is making him feel better, so that is encouraging. He also praises me for doing a good job sticking to my exercise routine, which makes me want to keep going. I love it when he calls me skinny, though it isn't true, after he started noticing results. He has also promised to buy me whatever I want (which happens to be a fitness video) if I can stick to exercising for 3 months.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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Don't be the food or exercise monitor / cop. Ever. Even if she asks you to do that, don't. It's not your job to remind her to eat or not eat something, or to exercise. That way lies ruin for your relationship.

Do plan fun dates for the two of you that have nothing to do with food. Dinner dates, movie dates, etc are often food traps and may end up upsetting her. Instead, plan to do things that you both find fun, such as hiking, swimming, biking, rollerskating, a music festival, and so on.

Do remind her that she is beautiful to you, just as she is. Compliment her often. Encourage her to dress in ways that make her feel attractive, and to purchase new clothing that suits her body.

Do cook (if you cook) in ways that are respectful to her way of eating, whatever that is. If you don't already cook for her, learn to do so. It's so incredibly supportive to plan and prepare a healthful, enjoyable meal for another person.

Do help her with meal planning and grocery shopping, if she wants that. Grocery shopping can be a fun date-like experience, too.

Do verbally acknowledge her efforts to be healthier, and offer verbal encouragement. Sometimes men aren't great at doing this, but it can be very helpful. But make sure that you don't sound patronizing when you do it.

Do ask her questions and find out specifically how she wants you to be supportive.

Don't ever make her losing weight a condition of the relationship or of your love for her.

Do be willing to listen to her complaints and rants and triumphs. Sometimes silently; she just may need to vent.

Do try to live healthfully yourself.

Don't bring junk into the household. If you must eat it, do it elsewhere. Don't bring in pizza, cookies, cake, candy...it's like laying a minefield of temptation.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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As dumb as it sounds, being relentlessly supportive is a HUGE help. When a lot of us started losing weight, we got lots of eye rolls and comments like "yeah, OKAY." That sort of negativity is hard-- show that you have as much faith in her as she has in herself.

Also, I agree with what squishysquirrel said-- try to eat healthier along with her (i.e., don't bring lots of junkfood into the house) and maybe offer her some kind of incentive for sticking with her program.

The fact that you're even on this board looking for answers says a lot...I have a feeling that you're probably already doing a great job being supportive
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:26 PM   #5
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Awwww thats very sweet of you to want to help her out! My hubby is my biggest supporter and I am soooo thankful to have his help! He is on board with my new healthy lifestyle even though our goals are different. I need to lose weight and he's a weight lifter with no weight to lose. For me having him workout with me helps me a lot! He pushes me to do more and encourages me to always lift that weight one more time or walk that extra mile. I am also lucky that he's willing to try new healthy recipes! He encourages me when the numbers on the scale aren't to my liking and he is always compilmenting me on the way I'm looking. I think it's great that you are willing and wanting to help her, she's as lucky as I am! Ohhhh and it helps that I get to buy something special for myself every 20 pounds I lose!
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:26 PM   #6
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My husband stays the **** out of it: he listens silently when I want to obsess, virtually never offers advice, and only ever compliments me on what I've done, not how I've changed.

He rarely, rarely reassures me if I am feeling insecure: we both are wary of setting up that sort of dynamic (where I look to him to make me feel better about myself). Once or twice he's said something nice, but never in response to me asking for reassurance.

He never gives me "permission" to cheat when I want someone to, but he also never says anything if I veer off my plan--it's totally up to me. He never complains about sacrifices I ask him to make to make staying on my plan easier (i.e., we go out to eat at places I can find something to eat, my exercise schedule determines many things).

For me, my husband is perfect, but I think a lot of people would consider him under-involved. Me, I need the room because I tend to get clingy if someone allows me to be. You need to talk to your SO and figure out what she needs, and repeat that conversation over time--because what she needs may not be what she thinks she needs, at first, and it may change with time. So you have to continue having these conversations over time.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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If your girlfriend is anything like me, for the love of god do NOT ask her if she's "sure she wants to eat that" when she decides to have an off-plan meal or desert one night. My boyfriend did this a couple of times when I had already decided it was time for a night off from the diet, and I know he meant well and just wanted to help me, but all I heard was "You cow, you're not allowed to have ice cream!"

If your girlfriend is more confident, go ahead and help her make the right choices, but just a warning, some of us prefer to fly solo and make our own decisions with no boyfriend input!

And just keep telling her she's beautiful
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Maybe you could start by asking her what would help her. As you can see some people what their SO's to be involved some don't. I think I'm in the middle. My husband has been very very supportive. He always tells me how proud of me he is and although I try not to talk to him about it too much (I'm obsessive) he listens every time I drone on and on about my weight loss. He's very encouraging on my new fitness goals and has expressed some interest in joining me. He has made his best effort to make healthier choices for himself and I appreciate that even though I am cooking two meals a lot of the time to satisfy each of us. But he will eat what I eat as often as he can and it is usually my choice to cook two meals.

But anyway I think that you have the right idea and just talking to her about what she needs from you to succeed will make all the difference, just communicate. Oh yeah and share this site with her! It's has been amazing support for me and I'm sure she'll love it too.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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Tell shes beautiful everyday! and tell her your proud of her! ..
My boyfriend is great... he wouldnt bring junk in the house until i was able to be around it and not shove it in my mouth! you must really love her if your here supporting her! keep at it!!! and tell her she can rock this!
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:52 AM   #10
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Good advice!

I would say, ask her how you can help. Simply say something like, I love you very much and I support any positive goals you have and will help you any way I can

That should do a lot. My husband is very good about staying out of things -- he doesn't criticize if I slip, and joins in when I am proud of myself (me: I lost 3 lbs honey... Hubby: WAY TO GO babe, you're awesome!)...he will also tell me randomly that I am looking really good or he can really see the difference in my face or whatever.

The key is, another poster mentioned -- he doesn't at all police my food or make comments regarding that. It isn't his place to comment, in my opinion. If I talk to him about it, as in, "I am so disappointed I went over my calories" he is encouraging "don't worry, one day is not what makes or breaks it...I know you'll do great tomorrow, don't give up!" stuff like that.

Good for you for supporting your partner I love coming here because then my weight loss efforts don't become the entire subject of my marriage like can easily happen when some one is very committed to a cause
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:03 AM   #11
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Wow! You are already pretty awesome yourself for taking the time to talk to the fat chicks here!

My husband walks with me, rides bikes with me, and even does the video workout with me. He can run circles around me in all the activities, so I know when he goes with me he is just being supportive and I so much appreciate that. He also seems to notice when I'm struggling when I am exercising and acts as a one man cheering sectionl Never criticizes my poor abilities, but stays positive. It's helped a lot for me to keep pushing myself harder so that one day I can bike or hike to his level.

Foodwise, I do most of the cooking and we shop together. He eats pretty much whatever I eat and no longer suggests going out for food that isn't on my plan. If I need extra help with food prep, he helps. Sometimes, he cooks. If he cooks, I clean up the kitchen, but usually he cleans because I cook.

Whenever I need something...special food, clothes, equipment, he encourages me to get it.

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Old 04-08-2010, 01:12 AM   #12
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This is so GREAT that you're even asking this. One thing I want to make sure of is, is she already trying on her own or is this something you're going to spring on her? If that is the case, don't push her, she has to want this on her own.

If she has voiced to you that she wants to lose weight/get healthy then compliments ALWAYS help. My bf calls me skinny mini, which isn't true, but I think it's cute. One other thing he does that I LOVE is that he walks with me everyday when it is nice out (and when schedules permit). Not only are we getting great exercise but we have meaningful alone time and can talk about everything going on in our lives.

He also eats by my plan and we also spend time in the kitchen together. Him doing everything on plan with me makes me feel like I'm not in this alone.

The things he doesn't do that I'm greatful for is he does not check up on me, ask me what I'm eating when he's not around, force me to exercise if I just don't feel like it one day, he also doesn't bring it up to other people we are with unless I initiate the conversation.

Your girlfriend is lucky to have you, and ditto to all advice above!
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:13 AM   #13
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You've gotten some great advice! The biggest one for me is Don't sabotage her! My husband is horrible with this. If you want to eat a Big Mac or a cupcake, fine! Don't do it in front of her. Be supportive and encouraging without being pushy . And it's super sweet of you to be supportive of her!
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:04 AM   #14
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It breaks my heart when my husband goes to the kitchen and makes a peanut butter sandwich after eating the beautiful healthy meal I've cooked. So he's taken to eating sandwiches for his lunch when I'm not around, he can bake his own potato while I'm cooking nice vegetables and meat, he can nibble on carrots after dinner, he can grill our meat ....
The 'treat' he brings me is diet coke.
He walks with me and that's probably the nicest one
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanB View Post
It breaks my heart when my husband goes to the kitchen and makes a peanut butter sandwich after eating the beautiful healthy meal I've cooked. So he's taken to eating sandwiches for his lunch when I'm not around, he can bake his own potato while I'm cooking nice vegetables and meat, he can nibble on carrots after dinner, he can grill our meat ....
The 'treat' he brings me is diet coke.
He walks with me and that's probably the nicest one
That's super sweet! My DH brings me Diet Coke now, too ... I wish he would walk with me!
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