How Weight Loss Affects Your Relationships
Weight loss doesn’t just change your body. It can change your relationships, too. You certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it can and does! Meeting a weight loss or fitness goal, especially a significant one, often shifts the dynamics of your interpersonal relationships. Friends say you’re different, and that they have to get used to the “new” you. Your wife or your husband is suddenly more affectionate, and you wonder why you waited a decade to drop that beer belly.
Whether the changes are positive or negative, and because food and body image are so ingrained in our social lives, experts say it’s important to recognize any shifting dynamics and be prepared to discuss them with your loved ones, openly and honestly. As you are reaching your weight loss goals, your relationship with your boyfriend/husband or girlfriend/wife may change. While they may support and encourage you, they may also feel threatened. Here are some ways that your lower numbers on the scale may change the dynamics in your romantic relationship.
- After your weight loss, your significant other may begin to show signs of insecurity. They may notice others eyeing you appreciatively, and therefore become worried about your reaction to those glances. How they cope with these feelings is very important for your relationship. If you feel that your partner is feeling insecure, be reassuring that you won’t turn your back on them, no matter how much weight you lose.
- Once you start losing weight and looking sexy, your significant other might decide that the time is right for them to do the same. They may notice your muscles responding to the strength training that you have been doing, and then decide that they ought to try it, too. Maybe they will see how much you have enjoyed your walks around the neighborhood and ask to join you. If you both increase your fitness levels and lose weight, you will both benefit. You will be able to watch each other become healthier, active adults, and you will act as each other’s motivation.
- Weight loss, no matter who has lost the weight, can give your sex life a boost. It can improve your self-esteem, which can lead to new directions in the bedroom. A healthier weight also means better blood flow, which allows you to become stimulated more easily. You may also find that your libido has soared to new levels. What better reason to continue a diet and exercise program?
As far as friends and family are concerned, you can also expect some changes! It can be challenging to maintain relationships where there’s been a weight or fitness change that might be perceived as threatening to others. This is particularly true if food is a focal point of your group dynamic. There’s also the potential of people being jealous. Losing a lot of weight and keeping it off is really challenging. Especially if the person is getting a lot of attention for it, that might be hard to watch. Addressing jealousy is very tricky. Unless your friends are up front about their feelings, all you can do is initiate a dialogue based on your own needs and feelings. Also, you can try to shift the mentality of the group by offering alternatives that fit your new lifestyle, whether it’s a salad potluck instead of your weekly cheesecake outings or finding a 5K with a cause you all believe in. Finally, if you feel that you’re being treated differently in any way as a result of your weight loss, you need to speak up. Tell your friends or family how it makes you feel, and that what you need is social support.
All of these things can be as difficult to deal with as losing the weight itself! But in the end, becoming healthy, feeling good about yourself and more secure is definitely worth it. Setting yourself up for success in the future by taking the time and energy to ensure that everyone around you understands and is supportive is definitely worth it! Your change may scare them (loved ones) at first, but in the end, it’s better for everyone.
Calla Slimspa’s medical weight loss programcan help you achieve your weight loss goals while boosting your overall health, confidence and quality of life. Plus, we’ll also provide you with the knowledge to maintain your weight loss for the rest of your life!
photo courtesy of Organic Liasion.