Wow, do we dare talk about this subject? This is a topic that can become highly explosive in a marriage. When we get married, we are in love and desire physical intimacy with our spouses on a regular basis. As life progresses, we get busy, have kids, get promotions, and seemingly have less time for eating right, exercising and spending quality time with our spouse.
All this added responsibility, can have and effect on our physical appearance. This becomes especially troublesome if you go in a different direction physically than your spouse. While change in appearance shouldn’t have an effect on our marriage, it often times does become a point of contention.
So, if you have found yourself in this situation, how do you handle it?
The first step is in knowing your spouse. Are they someone who takes criticism lightly or do they wear their heart on their sleeve? If your spouse is an emotional type person you might be better served to use unspoken techniques first before you attempt to say anything to them.
Try taking over the cooking responsibilities if you don’t already. With you being in control of the cooking you can plan meals that are heavy in fruits and vegetable and light on the fatty meats and starches. Usually in these situations it’s the breakfast, lunch and snacks during the day that are the trouble spots. With busy work schedules, it’s easy to grab fast food or hit a drive through that doesn’t serve healthy meals. Try planning your spouse’s breakfast and lunch. Hard boiled eggs for lean protein in the morning and an apple or banana for a mid morning snack gives energy while providing necessary calories. Lunches can be easy, try a tuna or turkey sandwich with carrots or grapes instead of chips or fries.
Give this approach a couple of months before you try anything else. Unless your spouse needs to lose a great deal of weight, minor changes like these can very easily do the trick. If it does then you can spare hurt feelings and help your spouse get back in the shape they were in when you met.
Exercise is another important element when attempting to change someone’s body. Exercise is so much easier when done with a partner. Try taking a brisk walk in the evening with your spouse or hit the gym in the morning before work. After you do this everyday for a couple of weeks, your body and mind get used to this routine. This soon becomes a habit. This doesn’t have to be an hour long work out. Try setting aside 20-30 minutes a day and get after it. Don’t fool around, get to the exercise routine and get it done. This will not only help your metabolism burn food more efficiently but will speed up the weight loss process.
If after making all these changes your spouse doesn’t buy in and want to participate, then and only then you might consider talking to them about their health and appearance. You need to ask yourself if you are willing to deal with the potential fall out of asking them to lose weight. Try approaching them when they are mentally fresh and willing to have a rational discussion. Keep the conversation polite and to the point. Offer feelings of concern for their health and then offer additional help for a weight loss plan.
Support and encouragement can go a long way when dealing with subjects like these. If you or your spouse need help developing a healthy eating and or exercise plan, feel free to contact our office for an appointment.
Dr. K Bennett
Sunshine Medical Walk In Clinic