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How to motivate your significant other

My boyfriend is overweight and has a little belly on him. He's been at the same weight since I met him so i love him with or without it the belly! But he doesn't eat healthily and has high cholesterol. I prepare healthy foods, and he does fine when I'm around to cook. He's better about controlling his portion sizes too, but he doesn't seem to want to lose weight and he doesn't seem to think his cholesterol is that high. He says he'd rather enjoy his food and take medication than stop eating the "good stuff". What should I do? I know he has to want to make the change, but how can I get him to see that this is important? How can I get him to really want to lose weight and eat better?

Fri. Dec 9, 4:16pm

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You really can't get him do anything he's not ready to do. It may sound like an overused cliche, but this really is something he has to to want to do for himself.

Even if he wants to do it for you it won't stick and it also puts you in the position of being responsible for his continuing good health - something you may not mind now, but which will be a burden down the road. Especially if the two of you differ in how he stays healthy.

The best way to 'convert' him, is to be a good example (and don't keep pointing things out, or holding yourself up - "why can't you be like me?"). Just quietly, but firmly live the kind of healthy life you would want for him and your hapiness and satisfaction will be all the testament anyone needs. You are happy and satisfied right? Cause if he doesn't see the benefits for you - he's sure not gonna sign himself up. Offer encourangement when he needs it and know when to back off.

Thus you need to concentrate on finding a good, healthy lifestyle for yourself and hope the desire to live this way rubs off. You can offer support and encouragement but he has to find his own way.

Best wishes to you! This is a tough situation, and it requires patience and strength on your side to stand back and not pressure him (overtly) to make decisions about his health that affect the quality of your future together and that may turn out to be too little too late :-(

This is a major reason I am working on my own health - my husband is the healthy one and I want our quality of life to be the best it can possibly be! So I am working very hard to ensure that.

Friday, December 09, 2005, 4:32 PM

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^^ Sorry - I realize it may sound contradictory to say he can't want to be healthy for you and then note that part of my own motivation is to live healthfully because my hunband is.

He can want to be healthy with you, but it can't be your responsiblity. He has to motivate himself and if living a healthy active life with you is part of it, then that's what motivates him, but he can't live healthfully consistently if all the motivation comes from you.

Friday, December 09, 2005, 4:41 PM

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OP here. Yeah i'm really happy with my lifestyle. Portion control (especially with sweets) has been my biggest accomplishment.
Thanks for your response! I'll keep quietly trying to motivate him. Hopefully my healthy habits will rub off.
When I first met him he didn't exercise and I made a bet with him: I could only have 2 desserts/wk and he had to exercise at least 3 days/wk. Whoever won would get a treat (e.g. a massage from the other). That worked really well and now he exercises almost every day and we go running on Sundays together! Maybe I can come up with something to help him improve his eating habits too. I'm sure there's something else i can improve on (like going out with other couples more).
thanks for getting me thinking.

Friday, December 09, 2005, 5:07 PM

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It just takes time

Give him time to change, and slowly, he probably will over time. When my husband and I started dating 2 years ago, he ate a ton of fast food and didn't do any cardio (although he did lift weights). I was concerned about these habits for his health and wanting him to be healthy and around for our future kids. I expressed my concern, anc just kept doing what I was doing. Eventaually, he started doing cardio (because we would go to the gym together and he would end up waiting) and now he does it every day. Now that we are we are married and living together, he also eats much better. He no longer eats fast food because I don't and we usually eat together. We also cook all of our lunches once a week so there is alwasy a good lunch for him to take wihout having to eat out. So, it sounds like your man has already begun to make changes. Just give him some more time.

Friday, December 09, 2005, 5:49 PM

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I broke up with my boyfriend, who was getting very overweight, although that's not the reason I broke up with him. He then lost almost 40 pounds. He is only going to be healthy while he is "on the market," though.

Friday, December 09, 2005, 7:11 PM

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