Some clarification before we begin on why I think I can help you. Let me tell you why I am uniquely qualified to speak on the matter before you read the whole article. Also, while I am not a certified counselor, therapist or psychologist;
I believe that the recommendations that I'm going to suggest are reasonable and in fact productive. You may wish to consult other posts to determine the correct course of action for your personal situation. My recommendations come from roughly a decade of helping people at varying stages of fitness, my own struggle with injury and weight gain, and helping loved ones drop weight and get healthier. I'm in the trenches. I've fought this battle several times already and come out successful in most cases.
I work in pharmaceutical sciences in the area of endocrine disorders, although I also work in other treatment areas as well. My background in solid science and my chosen career are directly related to healthcare. And while I am NOT a doctor, I work collaboratively with the medical community on these issues everyday. My position requires that I continue to keep abreast of the latest developments, studies and theories.
I do not have a website, I don't charge for the personal training I continue to do today, nor do I write novels or books for a living. Everything I do, is pro-bono when it comes to helping other individuals. I'm a fitness professional and pharmaceutical researcher, I am not a journalist with a few cherry picked articles under my belt. Nor am I someone who obtains their information from fitness magazines promising 6 pack abs in 6 weeks.
At the end of the day, remember this... "YOU are the one who must live with the results of your efforts... and only YOU can judge the situation accurately for yourself."
Take my advice at your own personal discretion.
First Time Advice:
Maybe they have started putting on weight. Maybe they were getting fit when you first started the relationship, and you thought that they'd continue. Perhaps they have asked you "Does this make my butt look big?" or "Do you still love me?". Maybe they are morbidly obese right now and you have never brought it up. The following suggestions and points to consider may be able to guide you to successful first time intervention.
1) Independently take stock of the situation.
How long has this been going on? What has changed? Is this a slow creep or is it sudden? What is going on in your life and the life of your partner?
Why ask all of these things? Because, simply stating there is a problem does nothing for you. Ever been at work and heard those whiners and complainers go on and on about how unfair or unrealistic something is? But they don't ever sit down and think about solutions or what is contributing to the problem? Irritating isn't it?
Understanding contributing factors DOES NOT mean accepting excuses. It means that you must understand the situation to correct it.
Slow slide vs. Fast Slide:
If it's a slow slide you're in luck and is usually easily corrected. The average person can gain 14-15lbs over the course of a year by simply taking in 140 extra calories a day. That's a single candy bar, a can of soda, a pack of cookies or a snack pack of Doritos chips a day.
Small changes really add up. Cutting out a single unhealthy snack can bring them back into balance. But it won't cause them to lose the weight. Nor will simply walking 30 minutes a day. It's more complex than that. But you should read my post on taking the weight off for advice on that. Right now we're only going to focus on bringing it up and doing it successfully.
If it's a fast slide, then you need to seek medical advice. Rule out hormonal and other disorders. Thyroid, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (highly prevalent in women), insulin resistance, graves disease and other endocrinological disorders are often culprits for instant weight gain. The good news is that once they are treated, your partner can make some progress. It might not be as quickly as you'd like, but with consistent effort most things can easily be controlled or taken care of. For example, people with PCOS are very often insulin resistant, but one of the medications for it is metformin or Glucophage. Both are oral diabetes drugs that assist in insulin uptake within cells. Hence, energy can be used instead of stored.
What has changed?:
Knowing what has changed in your lives regarding your health is critical to bringing it up. Are you both busy? Did you just have another baby? Did she just have a baby? Are you strapped for time? How much of what you eat is controlled by your situation? Did you start skipping breakfast? Are you eating more fast food and cooking at home less? Has exercise disappeared from your daily routine? Is your partner getting enough sleep, water, and healthy food in their diet?
All of these sound like gimme questions. But they are not. They will