Love, Health And Wellness

Is Obesity Harming Your Relationships And Health?

As people age, they usually begin to put on weight unless something is done to prevent it. Including good nutrition and regular exercise in your life is important at any age, but a fitness program can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the chances of developing a variety of diseases. Yet almost 60% of Americans are overweight or obese and this alarming trend is hurting their relationships and marriages in addition to just their health.

As humans age, the metabolism naturally begins to slow down. That's why you can't continue to eat just like you did when you were younger because you begin to put on weight. But it's not just metabolism which affects weight gain. Fast food diets, rushed meals with poor nutrition and lack of exercise all contribute to weight gain. So what does this have to do with marriage?

One of the complaints you hear from spouses is the fact their husband or wife has put on a lot of weight. This has consequences which can impact a marriage in a number of ways.

  • Spouse is unable to participate in some family activities
  • Sexual relations have been affected
  • General health declines
  • Weight gain can cause increased arguments
  • Self-esteem is affected

Some women and men experience weight gain that is a reflection of an eating disorder attributed to emotional issues in the marriage. Unhappiness can lead those who seek comfort food to overeat on a regular basis. 

Joining Forces

Dealing with the issue of weight can take a lot of sensitivity. It must first be pointed out that you simply cannot force someone to follow a fitness program. They must be motivated to do so. Wanting to stay healthy is a personal goal and not one you can set for someone else. But when you are married to someone who is overweight, it is only natural to look for ways to encourage your spouse to lose weight in order to stay healthy.

Arguing about weight gain is embarrassing and an emotionally wrought discussion. Men are often accused of being insensitive and may just blurt out that their spouse is too fat and needs to lose weight. Calling your wife fat is not a good motivator! In fact, some women will dig their heels into the sand and refuse to lose weight just to be stubborn and make a point. But excessive weight gain can also cause self-esteem problems in many situations.

If you are married to an overweight man or woman there are several ways to approach the subject of weight loss and nutrition. One of the best options is to join forces with your spouse and institute a healthy diet plan in the house. In this way your spouse can lose weight and your children can learn healthy eating habits. But you have to be as supportive as possible. In order to introduce exercise you can suggest going for walks after dinner or doing a low impact exercise video together. Sometimes the best approach is to start slowly. 

Emotional Issues

Food and emotions go together. Just think about weddings, birthdays and holidays, and you will easily notice that happiness is celebrated with food. When your spouse overeats and gains weight, it may be an indication there are emotional issues involved. For example, if you and your spouse argue a lot it's quite possible the food is an emotional substitute for anxiety.

If there does seem to be a connection between the weight gain and some emotional distress, the only way the weight can be addressed is by dealing with the underlying problems first. A husband and wife should discuss these issues and try to resolve some or all of the problems to reduce anxiety in the marriage. It is a two-way street too. Following a fitness program can reduce stress and anxiety while losing weight can reduce emotional distress. 

When someone puts on a lot of weight it can make her or him feel very unattractive. Helping your spouse lose weight is important for self-esteem. To address the issue of weight gain or weight loss, you have to be sensitive to the person's feelings and needs. You can't try to force someone to lose weight, but you can participate in a joint nutrition and exercise plan. If the weight gain seems to be related to personal issues in the marriage, then the psychological problems must be addressed first. 

Encouraging your spouse to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight is another way you can prove your love for your husband and wife. Losing weight can improve your sex life while also reducing the chances of developing diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes which impact the quality of life.