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Losing Weight with an Unsupportive Significant Other

Losing Weight with an Unsupportive Spouse

Losing weight with an unsupportive significant other can be a real challenge. We see so many of our members  who are supported by their partners, but also encounter situations where a partner sabotages a member’s efforts to lose weight. This is done by either continuing to bring “bad” food into the house or through negative reinforcement about their efforts instead of positive reinforcement. A significant other can feel threatened by their partner’s efforts to lose weight because it means that there’s going to be a change in the relationship and a change in the household. Without the support of your partner or your family, your efforts at weight loss could be compromised.

Making the Changes Necessary for Weight Loss Requires Both Emotional and Physical Commitment

In some cases, both partners are overweight and one is committed to losing weight while the other is not. When the partner who wants to lose weight is buying different kinds of foods and cooking very differently, the other might complain about it. This person might ask their partner to continue frying food, for example, or cooking what they shouldn’t be eating, which is challenging because it is simply too labor intensive to be making multiple meals. Making the changes necessary for effective weight loss requires both emotional and physical commitment; it is crucial that one has social support so that they are able to focus on what they need to do to succeed.

Ask for Support While Losing Weight with an Unsupportive partner or Family Member

In situations such as those above, we recommend that members set some boundaries with their unsupportive partner or family members. For example, for a member whose partner brings cookies and doughnuts into the house might say, “I really need your help and support while I am trying to lose weight. At the very least, I ask that you not bring these unhealthy foods into the house”. People need to be comfortable asking for what they need by saying “I really need your help and if you’re not willing to support me 100%, at least please try not to sabotage my efforts”.

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