Dear Annie: My husband has gained about 15 pounds in as many months. “Robb” has been a naturally thin person all his life, or at least in the 10 years I’ve known him. I know he realizes he’s gained weight, because he’s mentioned how his clothes aren’t fitting well anymore, and recently his brother visited and gently teased him about how he was getting a little belly. Robb sheepishly agreed and said he needed to start working out more.
He’s been going to the gym twice a week for the past few months – which is great. But the weight isn’t going anywhere. I think it’s because his eating habits are the culprit. Over the past couple of years, he’s been snacking more and more. We eat a big dinner, and an hour later he’s munching on chips. I stopped buying unhealthful snacks for the house, but he just started buying snacks himself. I started stocking up on fruits he likes, and he’ll eat those, but then he eats unhealthful snacks on top of them.
I love him and am still attracted to him; it’s not about that. I just want him to feel good about himself, and I can tell he hasn’t been. It hasn’t helped that he’s also been in a slump with his career during this time. He is unhappy at his job but has only applied to a few other places.
Should I tell him I’m concerned about the weight gain? I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I also don’t want to sit by quietly and let this get out of hand to the point that it causes more serious health problems for him. – Weight Watcher
Dear Weight Watcher: To focus on the weight gain is to look at the symptom and not the underlying issue. He is in a slump with his career. It never feels good to be stuck in a rut, and eating is most likely just his way of numbing that discomfort. Talk to him about career goals, and come up with a plan together for him to get his wheels turning again.
That said, mental, emotional and physical fitness are interconnected, and a better diet and exercise routine would almost certainly boost his mood. You can encourage that by way of example. Invite him to go for a run, play tennis or just go for a walk with you.
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