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    Old 08-15-2006, 06:47 AM   #1
    prism20
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    Unhappy My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    I have been with my bf now for about 2 years. I am 27 and he is 30. I love him and could see a real future with him (including marriage and kids). He supports me in everything, is caring and tender. He's loving, intelligent, and close with his family. I've met his parents and siblings and his extended family and he's met mine several times, even though our families all live in different states. My parents like him and I think his parents like me, too. Anyways, my bf treats me well, we have good times together, and he and even tolerates my occasional moodiness! I am very happy to have met him.

    The only problem that has been a nagging concern is that he is extremely overweight. He is 5'9" and weighs more than 330 pounds. I would venture to say that he is clinically obese, although he has never been to a doctor to get assessed. I'm pretty petite, about 5'1" and 110 pounds. Anyways, when I first met my bf, he was already overweight but over the course of our relationship he really has packed on the pounds. This has affected our relationship in that I know that he feels somewhat insecure about it. For instance, he has never taken off his shirt when we are intimate.

    He tries to lose weight by going to the gym. I go with him often. He rides his bike and goes for walks and swims, sometimes, too. We also like to play racquetball together. But I think the problem is with the food. We don't live together so I really don't know how big his portion sizes are when he's by himself. When we eat together, he doesn't have really big portions, so I can't really gauge his personal eating habits. Also, I don't know how often he eats late, what exactly he may be snacking on, etc. He may very well be hiding these things from me.

    His weight is really bothering me. I try to tell him that he needs to work harder, but sometimes my comments come out in a harsh way. I never call him names or anything like that, but I guess my tone of voice is sometimes not the most encouraging. Even though I really do love him, I don't know how to deal with the weight thing. This makes me feel SOO guilty, as if I am being shallow and superficial. It makes me feel like I'm less of a person because I can't love him for who he is. I just don't know.... I know he hasn't always been this size. I just wish he could lose some of the weight because he was so handsome before all this. I know this makes me look really shallow.

    Please, if anyone can help me through this with some advice, I would really appreciate it. I'm worried that our relationship won't last because the weight thing will always be in the back of my head. He's been trying to lose the weight now for as long as we have been together but instead of losing it, he just keeps on gaining. Please help.

     
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    Old 08-15-2006, 07:03 AM   #2
    Angel77
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    If he's as active as you say, I'd wager there's something medical going on. Has he had his thyroid checked or his adrenals? I have gained more weight than I care to admit, but it's mostly due to thyroid. I used to eat a lot more when I was thin, and now, anything I eat remains firmly attatched! It also makes it virtually impossible to lose the weight until the hormones are balanced.

    I don't see you as shallow, you seem genuinely concerned and I would be too. The heavier he gets the more damage that's being done to the body. I would take him to see an endocrinologist that specializes in this type of situation and ask for them to run the full spectrum of tests.

    Be supportive, you can't afford to lose a gentleman like this...there are far too few of them...and if he's half a sweet as you say he is, he's worth the wait...no pun intended!!! Be patient, encouraging, but nudge him to the docs, I have a feeling that has something to do with it.

    Also, you say he's always had a weight issue, how overweight was he when you met?
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    Old 08-15-2006, 07:04 AM   #3
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    He'll need to lose the weight because he wants to. He has to make the first step, tho.

    I noticed the first thing you mentioned is how you see spending the rest of your life with him, how he treats you, is kind, gentle, etc. Obesity kills. If you do decide to address this verbally with him, I'd approach it on the level of his health, the fact you do love him as much as you do and want to spend many, many wonderful years with him, not from the level of, "There's a handsome guy somewhere in there, but you just keep gaining."

    There is tons of help out there for folks battling weight. Most of it is free, too. It sounds like he's got the exercise down -- which for me was a hard part. Maybe some education in the diet department would be helpful for him. Have you been to his house? What's in his fridge and pantry? Is he a fast-food addict? I was. While I'm not a member, Weight Watchers has enormous success in helping teach people about healthy diets, food nutrition and portion sizes.

    It's important for him to understand that eating healthy doesn't mean eating like a rabbit on sticks and twigs. I follow the American Heart Association diet, as well as the Mediterranean Diet (aka Omega Plan). I'll tell you, I never dreamed eating this way would be so rich, delightful and fulfilling. It's work, tho. The hardest part was getting over my addiction of soda, fast food and processed sweet junky foods.

    I'd approach this from the health aspects of his obesity. When was the last time he had a physical and his cholesterol checked? That was the eye-opener for me, a doc telling me all the ways my weight would kill me.

    Best of luck

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 07:50 AM   #4
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    Just a little more information and a response to the two other posts. Well, my bf was overweight when I first met him. I would guess he was maybe right around 300 when I met him. But since that time more than two years ago, he's gained more than 30 pounds. I agree that maybe it could be something medical. His dad is pretty fit and is not overweight at all. His older brother (by about 1.5 years) is also overweight, too. I am worried about my bf because my brother was also very overweight and developed adult onset diabetes because of the weight. My brother has since gotten lost a lot of weight but now has a permanent insulin pump attached to his side. I don't want this to happen with my bf. I really do worry about his health, but when I tell him about my medical concerns, he doesn't seem too concerned himself.

    Another worry that I have is that soon we will be going our separate ways...temporarily. My bf just graduated from law school and I will be graduating from the same law school in about a month. His plan is to move to the Chicago area because he just took the July bar and will be waiting for his bar results and looking for a job. I will be moving back home to CA, where I plan to take the bar. Anyways, the separation will hopefully be temporary because he plans on taking the CA bar in February or I might take the IL bar in February. During this time apart, I really won't be able to help him or even monitor the weight loss. I worry that since he'll be in the Chicago area, the lure of all the different types of foods will get to him and he will gain more weight. How can you refuse Chicago deep dish pizza? But seriously, I want this to work between us but I don't know how I can take it if we're far apart and he is still neglecting his health.

    In a way, my bf is stubborn and I realize that if he wants to lose weight, it will be up to him. I've suggested going to a doctor, but he doesn't have the health insurance right now to see one. To give you an idea of how my bf can be stubborn when it comes to doctors, I don't even think he would let his parents examine him, and his parents are both doctors!! yes, it is quite frustrating.

    Should I just live with his weight or should I keep on encouraging him to lose it, only to be disappointed and frustrated when he doesn't?

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 07:52 AM   #5
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    not sure if this would work, but maybe you could request some information on some of those lap band surgeries, and have it sent to him. he wouldn't know you did it, but might read the mail and think about it.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 08:31 AM   #6
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    I have suggested medical intervention (in other words, some kind of surgery) but my bf is not willing to consider that. I don't know if it's pride or his own fears of going under the knife. I think he is of the opinion that if he is to lose weight, it's gotta be through diet and exercise. Unfortunately, though, it hasn't been working.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 08:46 AM   #7
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    If he's living alone and depending on fast food(and quick foods) for his meals, he's probably just consuming way too much of the wrong stuff...also does he drink sodas a lot...these are probably responsible for most people's obesity. Since you have no control over his eating...I don't see what you can do, it's got to be his choice to loss weight. He could have an eating disorder that you don't even know about since you aren't around him when he eats.
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    Old 08-15-2006, 09:01 AM   #8
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    That's the thing, though. He rarely eats fast food!! If anything, it's me who eats fast food too much. I never eat it in his presence, though! In his refridgerator are seemingly healthy foods. Things like wheat bread, yogurt, fish, cheese, grapes, eggs, etc. He only drinks water, milk, or diet soda. Nothing that is alarming. Nothing that is like junk food. This all mystifies me because he doesn't seem to be losing the weight. I suspect it might be the portion sizes or the time in which he eats. He is very vague about telliing me his eating habits so I just don't know. It's gotten to the point now where when I see him, I'm just mentally picking apart all the physical deficiencies, which makes me really crabby around him since I keep my frustrations about his weight inside of me.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 09:11 AM   #9
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    I'd suggest you ask him to get a physical to see if the problem is medical. If not, then he's eating more calories than he's burning. And what he has in his fridge may not be what he's eating.

    I'm hoping that it's just the school lifestyle that is contributing to his weight. He's going to have to want to lose the weight. I have a feeling that he'll need to in order to be a fast paced attorney.

    After his Rx appointment, ask his doctor for a referral to a nutritionist.

    wb

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 10:03 AM   #10
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    I hate to admit it but I don't see that you are being shallow for feeling like this. He wasn't morbidly obese when you started dating him. I can certainly understand your frustration with his weight. If he isn't eating too much then there's got to be a medical condition causing him to gain so much weight and if he really knows that he isn't binge eating (which is what I suspect is happening) then you would assume he'd want to find out what is the cause of this weight gain. I'm going to guess that he's a closet eater and you don't know what he is really eating. I guess that I'm really shallow because I would be really disgusted if my 5'9" BF that weights 170 all of a sudden doubled in size...that would be terrible!!!!!!!!! But if I knew that he didn't eat too much and was still gaining huge amounts of weight, I'd want him to seek medical attention.
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    Last edited by keepsgoin; 08-15-2006 at 10:04 AM.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 10:31 AM   #11
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    Obesity is a serious illness. 5'9" being 330 pounds in weight is extremely unhealthy. Try to tell him to lose weight only because you care about his health and your future together.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 11:12 AM   #12
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    It seems like your only course of action at this point is to get him to see a doctor, as previous posters have suggested. Even if it's just a general checkup, at least then someone can tell him how his weight is influencing his blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., with numbers to back it up. Sometimes people are in denial until there are actual facts in front of their faces from a medical professional.

    Genetics obviously plays a big role in this, and he is probably one of those people who will never be really thin. But there's at least hope that he can become moderately fit. When you go to the gym, does he focus on weights or on cardio? While weight training helps, it won't burn calories like continuous movement does.

    There are really only two possibilities as to what's going on here- a medical problem causing him to gain weight, or closet eating. Don't feel shallow about how you feel. As long as you're not ridiculing him or assuming that this is easy for him, you are entitled to your feelings.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 11:25 AM   #13
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    To hear that my bf could be a closet eater is definitely hard to deal with. I really never even considered that. But if it is true, is it wrong of me to feel angry at him for hiding this from me? Again, I just don't know if he is a closet eater. This whole weight thing has really caused me distress because I lay awake at night thinking about our future, about his future, etc.

    To answer the last post, when we are at the gym, I've noticed that he spends maybe 10-15 minutes doing the elliptical machine or the treadmill and then spends the majority of the time doing weight training. He likes doing TaeBo so sometimes he brings his MP3 player which has all the exercises to the audio of it. I would like him to do more of the continuous movement but I don't want to push it. I'm glad enough that he wants to go to the gym to begin with.

    Yesterday we got into a little argument. After work I told him that I would be going to the gym and I asked him if he wanted to go with me. He had also been working all day so he said, he would go "if he felt like it." That made me irritated so I kinda snapped at him. I said something like, "what do you mean, if you feel like it?" I felt bad about that. I just feel guilty for being mean sometimes. But I will talk to him again about seeing a doctor. I just don't see him going to the doctor any time soon. He is so stubborn sometimes and just puts things off. I tell him, "I don't want it to have to become a medical emergency before you finally see a doctor." All he says is, "Yeah." And then he doesn't do anything about it! I really don't want to break up with him over this. I just feel so guilty about it.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 05:12 PM   #14
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    At the weight your BF is at, he is morbidly obese, meaning it will eventually kill him if he doesn't lose weight. If this really concerns you, then a brutally honest talk is in order. If a person is addicted to drugs, bulemic, an alcoholic, to the point of it jeopardizing their life, no one thinks twice about an intervention. Somehow it is taboo to confront someone about morbid obesity. True, you cannot MAKE someone lose weight, but you can choose to not sit by and watch someone slowly kill themselves. His problem could be physical, mental, whatever, but he has to want to find the reason behind this problem.
    If his parents are doctors, they should have no problems hooking him up with the proper doctors ( I'm sure they realize the seriousness of his weight and want to help). He may have a thyroid problem, he may just need to see a dietian and a physical trainer to educate him on whet he's doing wrong. Maybe he has emotional issues and is covering them up with food, a lot of closet eaters have well-masked emotional issues; who knows.
    Just like an intervention, there needs to be consequences. You need to stick to your guns if he chooses to do nothing about this. If he loves you enough, he will step out of his comfort zone and find the answer to this problem.

     
    Old 08-15-2006, 06:17 PM   #15
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    Re: My boyfriend's obesity is causing problems in our relationship

    Sometimes talking to my bf about the weight thing is like talking to a brick wall. I discussed with him tonight about the possibility of him having a thyroid problem and his response was, "I know my body. I think I would know if I had a thyroid problem." Yes, his response is totally in denial and ridiculous. So I told him, "Yes, maybe you know your body externally, but you may not know what's going on internally. What would it hurt to get a physical?" At which point he says, "I have gotten a physical." This is not a false statement. It's just his last physical was probably more than 3 years ago. I cannot force him to do anything. I've been brutally honest with him. He says to me, "These are all things that I know already." He is actually at the gym right now, so that is good at least. He said he went to the gym this morning, too. He really thinks all it takes is diet and exercise, which is a practical way of viewing it. But I would really like him to go to a doctor. I told him to just have his parents check him out, to which he responded, "Well they were just here for graduation so if there was something wrong they would have said something." Again, another poor excuse by him. I am really at my wit's end. I don't know how to get him to a doctor. His parents don't live in this state so it's not like I can get them to see my bf that easily. Argh!

     
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