How to have a healthy lifestyle in my relationship?
August 2, 2012 10:57 PM   Subscribe

How can I create a healthy lifestyle in my relationship? Also, how can I support my boyfriend’s weight loss? Is this possible? We are in our mid-to-late-twenties, he is a few years older than I am.

A bunch of background, since this is anonymous:

My boyfriend is significantly overweight or obese: an inch or two over 6 feet tall and weighs 280 lbs. His weight is mostly fat, not muscle. I have never had a problem with my weight. I am thin and have a "model-body." I have had some health problems (and there have been many health issues in my family) that have required me to be religious about and sacrifice for my body from childhood on, but never weight issues. I grew up in a family that prioritized eating healthily, and he did not.

When we first met a few years ago, he was active, working out and losing weight. Then I went to travel abroad for the better part of a year. He stopped at some point while I was traveling but said it was temporary. After I returned, we began dating. We had conversations about being healthy and what we wanted in life. He said he wanted to lead an active life, work out, and lose weight, but his actions from that point on completely contradicted this. He ate out every meal and gained 60+ lbs in less than a year to over 300 at his highest. After a year, I grew unhappy in the relationship. We broke up because I did not like our life together, and it didn’t seem like we had the same values. He was inconsiderate and self-centered at times, and that he wasn’t motivated to live any sort of active life while telling me that’s what he wanted was a huge contributing factor. If he wants to live an unhealthy and not active life, then it is not for me to judge, but it is not what I want in my life. It was extremely painful for me because other than those issues we get along well and he has a great heart. He was devastated.

However, after we broke up he immediately started eating healthy and working out 5x a week, for 6 months straight. He apologized for specific behaviors during our relationship. Honestly, it was shocking. I was so happy for him and we eventually got back together because it felt like a new beginning. He lost 30 lbs. Less than a month after we got together, he stopped working out and eating healthily. The weight loss stopped as well. This was six months ago.

Which brings me to where we are now: we have a mostly great relationship other than these issues which is why we are together. I am in love with him and we get along really well. We discuss most of our issues and have good communication, but this is a sensitive subject for him. I view this as a lifestyle compatibility issue, health issue, and personal hygiene issue. I have been resentful at times that I am taking care of myself while he is not.

With this background, How do I support his health and weight goals? I can’t do his exercises of choice with him (lifting weights, running) but I could do a bodyweight program. I already walk for about 5 miles a day total. Again, I am very thin and have better endurance than he does. I don’t want this to end up being a deal-breaker again. I really love him and want to have a healthy life together. This has never been a problem in any of my previous relationships. I have already tried tracking all my food in an iPhone app with him (didn’t seem to help), suggesting we cook more meals (happens sometimes but then he will eat a pint of ice cream which I didn’t want to buy), making a calendar to highlight "good days" for the both of us (nothing gets highlighted). He doesn’t play sports and prefers video games.

I know his friends have told him that I am "out of his league" physically, which is not something I would EVER say or think. He is very attractive to me, and the chemistry is there.

ANY advice that would answer the questions would be appreciated - health, relationship, weight loss, personal anecdotes, resources etc. I am at a total loss and have no idea how to handle this situation. I know he wants to be more in shape for himself, and I know that he doesn’t want our relationship to fall apart again, but… I don’t know where to go from here. Thank you in advance.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (23 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You can't "support" him in something he's choosing not to do. If this whole issue of food choice and exercise is a deal-breaker for you, be clear with him that that is the case for you, and be clear that you'll help as much or as little as he likes.

Honestly, I would fucking lose my mind if my partner was tracking my food or giving me a gold star for the days they thought I was eating "properly". I see only disaster down that road. Grownups get to be in charge of their own food.

One thing that can be helpful for many people looking to change their exercise habits is connecting with a personal trainer. If he does express a commitment to working on fitness, maybe you could treat him to some personal trainer time?
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:06 PM on August 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

Maybe I'm cynical, but when it comes to behavioral modification I've found nothing beats conditioning. On days that he works out you give him a reward he values (sex, affection, a fun activity he enjoys); on days that he doesn't you "have a headache." His subconscious will make the association eventually, and once it does he'll start working out without even knowing why.

This is certainly somewhat manipulative, but hey - if being manipulative gets him healthy, makes him live longer, strengthens your relationship, and stops you from breaking up with him again, can that really be such a bad thing? It's clear to you that your boyfriend is rudderless and needs direction, but as Sidhedevil said, tracking food or giving "gold stars" is going to make him feel like a child. I think you have the right idea, but you might want to make your approach more subtle.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 11:24 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

People who successfully change their bodies from fat to not-fat are the exception, not the rule. That is to say, it is unlikely that he is going to succeed in becoming not-fat.

I don't think you're being selfish or unreasonable -- I wouldn't have married my husband if he were obese - but I do think you are being unrealistic if you think that any "support" from you is going to be material to his success. And I think trying to train him, either overtly with calendars or "subtly" with behavioral modification will (1) not work and (2) make you hate each other.

I'm sympathetic to him and to you both... good luck, this is really hard.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:41 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

On days that he works out you give him a reward he values (sex, affection, a fun activity he enjoys); on days that he doesn't you "have a headache."

Please don't do that, unless it's something you discuss with him. He'll see right through it and resent you for it.

You say you don't want this to be a dealbreaker for you, but it sounds like it is. I think you need to tell him that. "BF, these specific behaviours [LIST] are a serious problem for me when I think about our future together. Do you see this changing?"

Have that talk *once*, ask him what you can do to help, then drop it. Don't prod, don't nag, just model the behaviour you're hoping to see out of him. If he makes the changes on his own, great; when you see him making an effort, thank him sincerely.

Even if pushing him to exercise/eat well worked, you'd basically be signing up for a life of being responsible for his health habits.

If he doesn't change, he's not going to change. That's no knock on him -- people are who they are -- but it might mean he's not the right guy for you. Which sucks, but life does sometimes.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:47 PM on August 2, 2012 [9 favorites]

Which brings me to where we are now: we have a mostly great relationship other than these issues which is why we are together. I am in love with him and we get along really well. We discuss most of our issues and have good communication, but this is a sensitive subject for him. I view this as a lifestyle compatibility issue, health issue, and personal hygiene issue. I have been resentful at times that I am taking care of myself while he is not.

You have different values, and you resent him for not sharing your values. I'm not sure that's something you can resolve. If the situation was reversed, and there was something he valued that you did not, you might feel like you would make an effort because it was important to the person you loved, but until you were doing it because it aligned with your own beliefs and values, it probably would not be effective and would breed resentment on both sides.

As fingersandtoes said above, you're not being unreasonable, but you may be being unrealistic.
posted by judith at 11:49 PM on August 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

As an overweight man, I can say this: Eating poorly does not mean he doesn't want to get healthy. For people who are overweight, food is very much like an addiction. I know that I would like to get fit, and I'm slowly working my way there, but for a while I was eating fast food almost every day. I told myself that I was getting fit, because I was walking a few days a week, but anytime I was out I got junk food. It wasn't even something I thought about, it just happened and before I knew it it was gone.

I think the fact that you want to support him on this is great, but different people react differently. My suggestion would be to set aside a time to talk about this (a weekend morning would be best, since people react to stressful situations better when well rested). Tell him what you are feeling in a nutshell, and ask him how you can help him with his goals. Make it clear that you want to support him, and that you can help out in any way that he feels is necessary.

For weight loss, changing diet is more important than exercise. If you guys haven't seen it already, watch "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" together. It's about 2 guys who use juicing to lose a bunch of weight. That film inspired me to get my act together.

A personal trainer is a great idea, but if that is a possibility I would suggest getting someone who can spend a lot of time talking about diet and nutrition. It sucks to work out for weeks only to stay the same weight because the diet isn't right.

If he doesn't seem to want to really do this, than you might be better off breaking up. No matter how simple this seems to you, for him it is unbelievably hard. It's like trying to get off of drugs, except for the fact that you need to eat every day, so there isn't a hard line that you can use to keep yourself from slipping. It is very likely that he will never lose much weight, and you don't want to end up breaking up 10 years from now because of this.
posted by markblasco at 11:57 PM on August 2, 2012 [10 favorites]

How this sits with you is unclear, but it seems clear that getting things sorted with this for that relatively short amount of time was done to placate you/get you back, not for himself... which has an extremely low success rate.
posted by ambient2 at 1:37 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Let's say my SO has a health problem. I want my SO to get better. That's definitely true. But if she doesn't get better, I don't see that as a relationship issue, even if there's stuff she could do that might help. I don't blame her for occasionally leaving a shirt on the floor or hanging her towel up in a way I don't care for. Those things are inconvenient, but they don't really impact our relationship. She's imperfect. I'm imperfect. We manage.

It's very easy to tell when your partner has something they want from you. To try to be that person. It's not as easy to succeed. Sometimes it's a minor thing. If my SO really wanted our towels hung up her way, by god, I will fold my towels her way! But those are towels. This is bigger than towels.

If you can content yourself with minor things, they aren't necessarily hard to achieve. Make the walk something you do together--perhaps slower, at first, an opportunity to be together as well as to move. Cook when you can cook. Don't worry about whether he loses weight. By all means, if it's his goal, compliment him when he does well, but if he doesn't make it a priority, so you have a slightly rounder boyfriend who doesn't work out, who maybe later is a slightly rounder husband who doesn't work out, who maybe someday does get high cholesterol or diabetes and may or may not change his habits then, either. Or maybe he finds the habits that work for him and things change. "Taking care of yourself" is not just about this. It's about your mental health, and your financial stability, and happiness. If he did none of those things, it would certainly be destructive to you both... but how big a part of life is this, really?

You have to be okay with the guy he is now. You can't just want the guy he might be. If you really cannot picture this guy, as he is, as your future, then move on, but I would suggest that maybe there are higher priorities than that in a relationship, and that in evaluating these, you might find it matters less than you think. Maybe. Only you can make that decision, and you're not a bad person if you decide otherwise, I just know that my late 20s included a lot of re-evaluating my relationship priorities, and I'm glad for that now.
posted by gracedissolved at 3:04 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

The reality is people who do manage to lose a large amount of weight do so by significantly changing their diet. It has to come from them and it has to be a change of lifestyle rather than a "fad diet" they do until they reach a goal weight. Unless your boyfriend chooses to make that sort of dramatic change, he will not lose weight and there's little you can do since I assume he's got free time to eat when you're not around.

However, after we broke up he immediately started eating healthy and working out 5x a week, for 6 months straight. He apologized for specific behaviors during our relationship. Honestly, it was shocking. I was so happy for him and we eventually got back together because it felt like a new beginning. He lost 30 lbs. Less than a month after we got together, he stopped working out and eating healthily. The weight loss stopped as well. This was six months ago.

He was motivated then to get you back not to lose weight and when he got what he really wanted he stopped caring about the weight loss. You need to be honest with him about how you feel and then he needs to be honest with you and with himself if he's willing to make a serious lifestyle change forever because that's how long I assume the two of you want to be together. If he wants that, then you can support him by cooking meals with him, taking walks with him, helping him find resources that he expresses interest in but you can't mommy him with gold stars for good days or writing his calories down. He needs to do that so that he's more aware of the calories he's taking in and also, you're his girlfriend not his mommy.

Here's the thing, most people don't lose weight. It's hard and the foods we eat are made to hook us. Carbs and sugars are addictive. He probably isn't going to become a normal weight; he may lose some weight if he cuts down on eating out but getting to a healthy weight is more than just that. You need to look at the imagined future in your head and decide if it includes your boyfriend as he is today. If it doesn't you have to be honest with him about that fact .
posted by GilvearSt at 4:21 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

You must feel deceived. Honestly, he doesn't want to do this at all and was just doing it to get you back. Then he felt fine with quitting. That's not really the kind of person I'd want to date, someone who put on what is essentially a show in order to get me back. He also has said that he's active when he's obviously not, that would really be frustrating for me too.

I can't make that decision for you but spending every day worrying about someone else's eating and exercise when they don't care...sounds like a shitty, tedious way to live.

(I say this as someone who is almost completely uncaring about fitness and diet...)
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:24 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

You want to change him and only he can do that. Realistically, he's the one who should be posting this question to AskMe, not you, because you can't fix him. The only think you can do is fix yourself.

Here's several things to jump out to me from your question:

He's knows how to lose weight and exercise, he's done it. But only when y'all are apart. Any time you guys get together, he stops exercising and starts eating like crap. There's a mental and emotional dynamic going on there that's affecting him. It's hard to say what it is, but I'm guessing he's dealing with everyday pressure of trying to keep you and can't cope, so resorts to old habits. Either that or he feels he's "caught" and no longer has to work at it.

You think you're right and he's wrong and you need to correct and/or fix him. Part of the problem is that you are right in that being overweight isn't a good idea in the long term. He would most definitely benefit by losing weight and being more active. But do you want to be right or do you want to be in love?

How much weight do you want him to lose? What's your end goal here, in terms of his weight and health? Do you have one?

You two are speaking and thinking foreign languages and probably don't even realize it. You see a pint of ice cream and probably think "Delicious, but there's fat and sugar, maybe just a little bit or better yet, just don't buy it." He probably thinks "OMG, ICE CREAM! That'll taste so good after a long day of work or a good meal or it'll be so soothing after dealing with the stress of trying to eat right" You think "This is easy, I've been doing this since childhood, what is his problem?" He thinks "This is hard, I've never learned this and now I'm in my late twenties, there's so much to learn, what is my problem? Mmmm, a pint of ice cream would make me feel better."

Having grown up eating healthily, you may not be able to understand where he's coming he, what he's dealing with. Same goes for him. You two need to talk, even if he's sensitive about it. Otherwise, nothing will get resolved and you two will keep spinning your wheels in different directions.

You say you can't do the exercises he does. Can y'all find something else to do together, such as riding bikes, swimming, walking, hiking, rowing, playing tennis, whatever? Even Wii fit could work.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 AM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

If he wants to live an unhealthy and not active life, then it is not for me to judge, but it is not what I want in my life.


I view this as a lifestyle compatibility issue, health issue, and personal hygiene issue. I have been resentful at times that I am taking care of myself while he is not.

It's entirely possible to be active and healthy (at least in ways not connected to weight) while being overweight. You say that you're attracted to him. So if the weight in itself doesn't bother you, then focus on the health and activity not the weight-loss.

Instead of thinking of health and activity as goals in and of themselves, try to work out what they mean to you. Do you want to go on long walks with him but he can't keep up? Make going on walks together the goal. Do you want him to cook healthy meals for you both? That's what you need to ask for. If that happen, does it matter if he wants to eat twice as much of the tasty, healthy food as you?

These are much more acheivable goals than losing weight (which is hard, requires massive lifestyle changes and takes forever).
posted by xchmp at 5:47 AM on August 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

I think xchmp makes a good point. Do you want him to get skinny, or get fit? (Or both?) Skinny you approach with diet more than working out (and this won't work unless he is onboard in a very committed way, and even then it will be tough). Fit you approach by exercise -- and even if you have better endurance, he's already stronger than you in some ways (would you want to arm wrestle him?) just from moving his own weight around every day.

I'd suggest you go for functionally fit and ignore the bigness since you seem to be attracted to him right now. That means not worrying about the ice cream and diet lapses, and just figuring out how to work with him on getting off his ass and having fun moving. But as you noted, he's a different shape from you and what works for him might not work for you -- even if you can't lift weights, can you go with him when he lifts and either do other exercise stuff or be his hot cheerleader? Don't make him do the exercises you enjoy -- help him find and do the exercises that he is good at and has fun doing.
posted by Forktine at 6:06 AM on August 3, 2012

I think you've given this a good shot already. This is going to continue happening for the rest of this guys life so be prepared for that. You need to ask yourself how much you are willing to take. How much day-to-day drama do you want in your life?

There is no reason that you can't find someone who is nice, healthy, has a "great heart", who doesn't come with a bunch of initial compromises and baggage.
posted by zephyr_words at 6:16 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Personal anectdote time!

My badass boyfriend lost a TON of weight through diet and exercise at the time we met through a local sports club. I strongly think that a couple that does active things together makes the relationship stronger!

You said you don't want to do weight lifting or running. What about other healthy, active things like biking, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing? Find something fun and active that you can do as a couple to get outside and get fresh air. Lots of intimacy can be built doing these things you know.

As for weight loss, as a long time endurance athlete, I've come to terms that weight loss is mainly a function of a healthy diet and my boyfriend (who pretty much lost the equivalent of an Avril Lavine) totally trumpets this and goes so far as to say it's 90% diet and 10% activity. Maybe as the super-supportive girlfriend you are, you can take some healthy cooking classes or try out some light-eating recipes that will support his efforts?

Also: exercise and eating healthy is not restricted to things that have to do with weight. Even "model type bodies" can benefit from healthy eating and regular activity. Neither diet nor exercise are mutually exclusive to weight loss. In fact, some people use diet and exercise to gain weight, maintain weight, reduce cholesterol, ward off diabetes, gain flexibility, you name it. Even though someone might look pretty on the outside doesn't mean that their internal organs and plumbing and heart are as pretty. Someone can be the hottest person in the world on the exterior but with a rotting, sick heart on the inside? Gross! So not worth it.

[And PS - Personally speaking, I'm so freakin' proud of my BF for taking charge of his health. It's made me love and admire him more for his motivation. Even when he was 300+ pounds I still think he was drop dead sexy].
posted by floweredfish at 6:53 AM on August 3, 2012

Is time part of the problem? Here's what I'm thinking: After the two of your broke up, he was alone all the time and he worked out 5 days a week. Now, you're back together and when faced with the choice of "go to the gym vs. spend an evening at home with anonymous," the girlfriend time is way more appealing. He still wants to be active, but he wants to spend time with you more.

If you ask him and this is how he feels, then exercising together might be a good fix. (But I have this problem in my relationship, and haven't solved it, so I'm not sure!)
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:37 AM on August 3, 2012

Is he in therapy?

I only ask because when you mentioned the period of time when he was negative and selfish and behaving contrarily to his stated goals, that's often a sign of depression or other deep-seated issues that are roiling away under the surface and fueling self-sabotaging behaviour. And they could become an issue again, no matter how you choose to participate and support in his current healthy turnaround.

If he's not, is there a way to encourage him in that direction? Because that would be very supportive and help him keep working on his health while cutting the risk of it all turning around again, which will be even more demoralising (I can testify).

Aside from that, making good choices for yourself food-wise when you're around him, contributing to the prevalence of healthy meals, and not undermining his attempts at eating better is the best you can do in that realm (sounds like you're already supporting him this way, though). Maybe help him find more yummy, healthy recipes that scratch particular cravings without getting him offtrack and make it a fun couple activity?

Without necessarily focusing on bringing your workouts together, are their sporty activities they two of you can do together? Bike riding? Beach running? Swimming? Kickball? Basically, try to get him to play with you as much as the two of you can bear. Making movement fun is hugely encouraging, makes it so much less onerous, and helps to cement it as a real lifestyle change instead of temporary measures to accomplish a one-time goal.

Whatever the two of you end up doing, I hope it all works out for the best.
posted by batmonkey at 7:59 AM on August 3, 2012

He was inconsiderate and self-centered at times, and that he wasn’t motivated to live any sort of active life while telling me that’s what he wanted was a huge contributing factor.

How do these statements tie together? There's no link between them. You've conflated his losing weight with him being considerate towards you, and are judging him as inconsiderate and self-centered when he doesn't/can't meet your expectations of how you want him to live?

You've been thin since childhood. He's struggling to achieve something you've never had to do. You got where you are now by avoiding gaining weight. You went from skinny child to skinny adult - at no point did you have to lose any weight. In contrast, the mountain in front of him is to go from obese adult to thin adult, which is going to involve losing large quantities of weight. It is much, much harder to lose weight than it is to avoid gaining it.

Stop expecting him to be perfect. Yes, getting to where you want him to be is going to involve huge lifestyle changes. But you can't develop brand new habits overnight, even when you want to. There's going to be struggling and dithering and backsliding over and over, and that's okay. He can't expect to be perfect straight away, and you can't expect him to, and you definitely can't judge him for not being as perfect as you straight away. Any little change in the right direction is a victory.
posted by talitha_kumi at 8:07 AM on August 3, 2012

argh. there, not their. poop.
posted by batmonkey at 8:21 AM on August 3, 2012

I was a fat guy my whole life. I'm just over 6 foot tall. On January 1, 2010 I was 33 years old and 352 pounds. That year I lost most of the weight. This morning I weighed 204.6 (yes I weigh every day). I'm still about 20 pounds over my "ideal weight", my BMI is 28, but I'm much healthier, and my weight has been pretty stable (within a few pounds of 205) for well over a year. I'm a runner, and I do races at least once a month to keep me motivated, mostly 5ks and such, but I have run 2 full marathons, at least a dozen half-marathons, and am now training for an Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Here's my advice.

How do I support his health and weight goals?

Nothing. The motivation to lose the weight and get in shape has to come from within him. You can't do it for him. If he doesn't want to, deep inside, regardless of what he says, then there is nothing you can do. Sadly, it sounds like the only thing that motivates him to take care of himself is losing you.

It's okay that you value a healthy lifestyle, and want a partner that values it similarly. That doesn't make you a bad person or make you shallow.
It's also okay if you flat out don't find him attractive. Not being attracted to someone, even because of their weight, doesn't make you a bad person or make you shallow.

The old adage is that women go into relationships hoping the man will change and he never does, while men go in hoping the woman will not change and she always does. This sounds true for you. You came into this relationship hoping he will change, but you can't count on that. You have to look at this relationship and your boyfriend as it is right now, and decide if you are happy, and if it is something you can stay in forever. If not, you need to bail. Because the statistics say that most people will not lose the weight, and most of the ones who do will regain it. So don't expect him to change, because it's unlikely he will. And if that is a dealbreaker for you, that's okay.

I don't think this is the advice you wanted, so if you have specific questions about how I lost the weight or got motivated or got into shape, feel free to memail me and I will gladly answer your questions.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:12 PM on August 3, 2012

I fight my weight every day. I loathe working out, but I do it. I resent the fact that I have no control over myself when chips or chocolate enter the picture. I am 100% aware of what I need to do to manage my weight, and I do it. But I do not enjoy it.

Husbunny could stand to lose a few, but he's a grown person and he makes his own decisions.

We recently bought a treadmill and I now wake up 30 minutes early to get my trotting in. I don't like it, but I do it. I suggested that since he has time in the moring to dick around on You Tube, that he might want to get on the treadmill when I get off of it, and then get ready for work. That was it. I suggested. This morning he did just that.

I cook, and I do my best to provide healthy, veggie laden meals. Husbunny, does not enjoy veggies. So I hide them in his food. He knows I do this. If it tastes good to him, he'll eat it. If not. Not.

We are both adults and we're responsible for our health. We support each other as best we can.

If he nagged me and manipulated me, I might not feel as I do about him. He loves me unconditionally (although he knew what I looked like when I married him, so it wasn't a bait and switch.)

You have two separate issues here. One is how to be supportive of someone who needs to be healthier. The other is, you like him when he's fit and active, and not so much when he's an ice cream eating lump playing Halo. That's the bigger problem.

If living a healthy and fit lifestyle is important to you, then if he's not willing to do so with you, this may be a deal-breaker.

Would you be happy if you were free to eat what you wanted, exercise as you deem fit and he did as he chose? Basically acknowledging that you both have different desires in this area. Could you accept that? If not, you may want to break up, because he may NEVER want this for himself.

I had to decide that I was willing to eat healthfully, but I'm not willing to starve. I am willing to do moderate exercise, but I'm not willing to kill it in the gym 3 hours per day. Therefore I will never be slim. I can live with it.

If your boyfriend makes the same arrangement, and he doesn't lose weight, would that be a problem for you?

It's something to think about.

As a fat person, let me say, I don't want to be with someone, no matter how great they are, if they can't love me as I am, in this moment. You're not dong your boyfriend any favors if your feelings are conditional.

It doesn't make you a bad person, but trying to fit a square peg into a round hole might.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:15 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

The question is, really, does he WANT to lose weight and is just having trouble making the lifestyle changes necessary? Or does he just SAY he wants to lose weight because he knows its what you want to hear?

If he doesn't actually want to change his life, then, see above.

If he actually wants to lose weight, though, the number one thing you can do is identify and help reduce the stressors in his life. What changes could be made to result in better sleep, more free time, etc? Less stress = more willpower = better decisions.
posted by hishtafel at 2:25 PM on August 3, 2012

He needs to want it. Changing people doesn't usually work.
posted by manicure12 at 4:56 PM on August 3, 2012

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