How can I get my girlfriend to exercise?
September 5, 2008 12:02 PM Subscribe
How can I encourage my girlfriend to start exercising and eating better without hurting her feelings?
posted by anonymous to human relations (70 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend and I have been dating for about ten months and it's getting serious. I'm head over heels in love with her and can easily see us getting married someday (not anytime soon, of course). However, I have concerns about her attitude towards her health.
She's a little overweight. It's not bad; in and of itself it's not a problem for me at all. However, she's not overweight because she's got a large build, I think she's overweight because she has a brutally awful diet (that perversely she is proud of) and absolutely refuses to exercise or exert herself in any way. I gather that she's gained 30-40 lbs since starting college (we are recent grads) and I'm certain it's mostly due to lifestyle issues. This bothers me because it indicates a callous disregard for her personal health. I'm nervous about committing myself to a lifelong relationship with someone who is not serious about taking care of herself.
So how do I address this without offending her? She's extremely sensitive, particularly about her weight. I'll admit that it annoys me a lot that she's so neurotic about it but scoffs at the notion of exercise whenever other people mention it in conversation. But I don't want her to think that I'm uncomfortable with her body because that's not the case at all. It is truly just about being worried that she will continue these habits and be a very unhealthy adult. I certainly am not a shining example of a healthy lifestyle, but I'm conscious of it and intend to eat kind of well and be active as I grow up. I don't want a running partner for life, but I want someone I can hike around a national park with or walk around an unfamiliar city all day with. I would like her to show some initiative by going to the gym, doing something outside, or just not licking processed cheese sauce off the plate and eating McFlurries a few times a week.
I can't say "Look, you need to shape up or I'm breaking up with you" so I want to be manipulative without coming off as a shallow asshole. For the next eight months she will be living about an hour away and will be visiting every weekend, so I can't just go to the gym every day and guilt her into it. Any ideas?