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Boyfriend Thinks I'm Fat

Group Therapy: My Boyfriend Wants Me to Lose Weight — I Feel So Ashamed

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I have been dating this guy for 7 years. When we met I was 150 pounds. I am 5'5''. Over the last 7 years I had put on 30 pounds and was at 180 pounds. Eight months ago, right before I went on a 3-month vacation with my family, he told me that I have put on a lot of weight, and though he still thinks I'm beautiful, there are issues with health and sexiness and attractiveness and he thinks it would be best if I lost weight. Of course being a silly proud girl I spent the next few days crying and hating him. But then I knew he was right. So in 4 months I lost 20 pounds and I am now at 160 pounds. At first he said he was so proud of me, etc. . . . but after another month or two he is now saying that I should lose more weight still.

At 5'5'' and 160 pounds, I know that I'm still far from skinny. And I do want to lose weight. I am an emotional eater, and I hate exercising (although I push myself to) I don't want to make excuses. But now I am having serious pride and feeling issues toward him. I know that he only wants what every guy would want (a girlfriend he can be proud of and be attracted to) and that I wouldn't want to be with someone I'm not attracted to either. But every time I think about this tears fall down my face, and I have trouble looking him in the eye without feeling ashamed and ugly.

To be fair, we have a code of honesty in our relationship and he broke the "you should lose weight" messages to me nicely, followed by "I love you" and "you're beautiful." But I can't help how I feel — now every time I look at him I feel fat and ugly and inferior. I don't want to have bad feelings toward him for being the messenger of bad news. I don't know what to do.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Burkina Burkina 5 years
My only concern is that you need to remain stress and depression free. You need to address why you are eating emotionally. Instead of eating unhealthy foods, make habits of doing something else when you are feeling sad or angry. Channel it into something that will help you blow off steam/release hormones that make you happy and benefit your health. The next time he brings up his opinion, because thats what it is, you should kindly but firmly tell him you have to covered. Hopefully he will stop bringing it up. Now unless your doctor is telling you that you need to lose weight because it is impacting your health I suggest you do it for YOU or not at all. You will only resent him if you change who you are to please him. If you want to lose more weight thats great and I wish you the best, but do it for the right reasons. Not to be "a girlfriend he can be proud of and be attracted to" because you already are that person. Good luck!
Burkina Burkina 5 years
My only concern is that you need to remain stress and depression free. You need to address why you are eating emotionally. Instead of eating unhealthy foods, make habits of doing something else when you are feeling sad or angry. Channel it into something that will help you blow off steam/release hormones that make you happy and benefit your health. The next time he brings up his opinion, because thats what it is, you should kindly but firmly tell him you have to covered. Hopefully he will stop bringing it up.Now unless your doctor is telling you that you need to lose weight because it is impacting your health I suggest you do it for YOU or not at all. You will only resent him if you change who you are to please him. If you want to lose more weight thats great and I wish you the best, but do it for the right reasons. Not to be "a girlfriend he can be proud of and be attracted to" because you already are that person. Good luck!
Laplander Laplander 5 years
Best things I ever learned: 1. Relationships are not fairy tales, so don't put yours on a perfect pedestal. 2. Men are a completely different sex, respect and understand the differences that cause clashes. That said, don't worry. He was just being honest and since he had you at 150 lbs he has something to compare you to, so don't be upset that now his expectations have changed--they haven't. Embrace the comment as a challenge. You know you'll be much happier at that lower weight and you owe it to yourself and your health to make it to it. Yea, it's tough but shopping is so much more fun when your thinner! That's the sweetest reward. My boyfriend said he noticed 2lbs on me the other day and I was appauled. He's the honest type too! But, truth is, I noticed those couple pounds days before he did I'm sure. It was his way of saying "I hope your watching little changes so when we're married you don't let yourself go...". They're just guys! I'm not hurt by the comment, but I let him know that I'm aware of my body and I'm not letting anything slide. He wasn't any less attracted to me, but if I let my sensitive girl crap get to me I could have caused an argument. Last, if you don't feel you can deal again with so much honesty, let him know that you need him to be a little gentler and that maybe complete honesty is not the best policy for the two of you. Some men can't "cushion" comments like women so it may be best to just say that when it comes to weigh, encouragement and a motivation buddy for workouts is all you need. Good luck!
Laplander Laplander 5 years
Best things I ever learned: 1. Relationships are not fairy tales, so don't put yours on a perfect pedestal. 2. Men are a completely different sex, respect and understand the differences that cause clashes. That said, don't worry. He was just being honest and since he had you at 150 lbs he has something to compare you to, so don't be upset that now his expectations have changed--they haven't.Embrace the comment as a challenge. You know you'll be much happier at that lower weight and you owe it to yourself and your health to make it to it. Yea, it's tough but shopping is so much more fun when your thinner! That's the sweetest reward.My boyfriend said he noticed 2lbs on me the other day and I was appauled. He's the honest type too! But, truth is, I noticed those couple pounds days before he did I'm sure. It was his way of saying "I hope your watching little changes so when we're married you don't let yourself go...". They're just guys! I'm not hurt by the comment, but I let him know that I'm aware of my body and I'm not letting anything slide. He wasn't any less attracted to me, but if I let my sensitive girl crap get to me I could have caused an argument.Last, if you don't feel you can deal again with so much honesty, let him know that you need him to be a little gentler and that maybe complete honesty is not the best policy for the two of you. Some men can't "cushion" comments like women so it may be best to just say that when it comes to weigh, encouragement and a motivation buddy for workouts is all you need.Good luck!
Pistil Pistil 5 years
Two compatible people probably lead similar lifestyles, like diet and activity level... what is he doing that you're not? I think a good approach to weight loss in a relationship is both partners adopting healthier eating habits and exercise. Maybe you can set goals together, make healthy meals together, take a hike or a bike ride (whether he has any weight to lose or not, that's no excuse to not stay fit). Then you won't feel like you've been outcast.
jenjen82 jenjen82 5 years
This sucks! You should probably talk to your boyfriend and tell him that even though he is being nice about how he tells you this is killing your self esteem in a major way. Let him know you have succeeded so far on your weight loss and there is no need for extra reminders. You are way too obviously aware he thinks you need to lose weight! If he handles this well and realizes how his comments have hurt you and backs off then that is good. Some guys don't realize how weight comments affect women. They don't have the same pressures. I dropped about 20 lbs recently by trying to go on the "Belly Fat Diet." Basically cutting your sugar intake down a lot and watching the unhealthy carbs you eat.Good Luck!
jenjen82 jenjen82 5 years
This sucks! You should probably talk to your boyfriend and tell him that even though he is being nice about how he tells you this is killing your self esteem in a major way. Let him know you have succeeded so far on your weight loss and there is no need for extra reminders. You are way too obviously aware he thinks you need to lose weight! If he handles this well and realizes how his comments have hurt you and backs off then that is good. Some guys don't realize how weight comments affect women. They don't have the same pressures. I dropped about 20 lbs recently by trying to go on the "Belly Fat Diet." Basically cutting your sugar intake down a lot and watching the unhealthy carbs you eat. Good Luck!
weffie weffie 5 years
You are only ten pounds heavier than when you started dating SEVEN years ago? Sounds like he's an asshole in sheep's clothing. It doesn't matter how sensitively and kindly he phrases his attacks, he is making you feel terrible over what is a really minor difference in appearance. If you were morbidly obese and he was genuinely trying to help your health, I'd cut him some slack, but you are basically the same size he fell in love with so he has NO right to criticize the way you look this far along in the relationship. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a controlling dick in other aspects of your life, too. If you want to lose weight to feel better about yourself then I wish you luck, but you shouldn't do it just to satisfy him because there are plenty of guys out there who understand that some of us get a bit heavier when we age nearly a decade... maybe he needs to be reminded of that fact. Either way, I hope you end up with a man that will tell you you're beautiful without adding any ifs or buts.
weffie weffie 5 years
You are only ten pounds heavier than when you started dating SEVEN years ago? Sounds like he's an asshole in sheep's clothing. It doesn't matter how sensitively and kindly he phrases his attacks, he is making you feel terrible over what is a really minor difference in appearance. If you were morbidly obese and he was genuinely trying to help your health, I'd cut him some slack, but you are basically the same size he fell in love with so he has NO right to criticize the way you look this far along in the relationship. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a controlling dick in other aspects of your life, too.If you want to lose weight to feel better about yourself then I wish you luck, but you shouldn't do it just to satisfy him because there are plenty of guys out there who understand that some of us get a bit heavier when we age nearly a decade... maybe he needs to be reminded of that fact.Either way, I hope you end up with a man that will tell you you're beautiful without adding any ifs or buts.
testadura67 testadura67 5 years
It sounds like he's going about a sensitive topic in a respectful way, but it's still hurting your feelings. Since you have an open, honest relationship, then you should tell him you're trying, but when he keeps bringing it up, it makes you feel ugly and inferior. It sounds like it's the repetition of the request that's upsetting you. I bet if he knew he was making you feel that way, he would do his best to stop. He sounds like a sensitive and understanding guy, so let him know how you feel.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 5 years
You are not *THAT* overweight. Slightly, yes, but not so much that I would worry about it interfering with your health unless your doctor expressed a concern. Regardless of your size, it's a fact that exercise and eating a balanced diet will help you feel better. If you are eating emotionally, there are obviously some underlying issues that you need to work on that have nothing to do with weight. If your boyfriend was really worried about those underlying issues, he'd be talking to you about those rather than your dress size. While he may be trying to broach the subject in the nicest way possible, I happen to agree with JoeTyndall that if you want someone who is going to love you unconditiontally--i.e., when you're old, fat, and ugly--that is not the guy that you have right now. Since your boyfriend is being honest with you about how he feels, I think you need to be honest with him as well about how his comments about your weight are making you feel. Even if he's trying to be nice about it as everyone else seems to think he is, he should know that he's making you feel "fat and ugly and inferior." Given that you do have some underlying emotional issues that are driving you to eat and contributing to your insecure feelings around your boyfriend, I also think you need to seek outside help for yourself so that you can get to a more healthy place emotionally regardless of your size.
annoyedlibrarian annoyedlibrarian 5 years
At 5'5 and 160 pounds, the fact is you ARE slightly overweight (If you aren't a well muscled athlete I suppose). It doesn't sound like your boyfriend wants you to be a 100 pound skinny mini- but it does sound like he wants you to be healthy and active.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
I agree with the majority that your boyfriend is attempting to broach a really sensitive subject in the kindest way possible.
strangehunny strangehunny 5 years
When I remarried we both put on post nuptial weight. I felt unsexy without him saying a word and felt guilty because I knew I wasn't my best. Now back down to pre-wedding weight I know I feel better but he is struggling to get his weight back down too without a lot of success at this point. Being supportive can be a sensitive subject. He knows I am concerned for his health. If he dropped 50 lbs he wouldn't be diabetic any more. It sure sounds like your guy has been very honest and sympathetic because he loves you. When you lost the 20 lbs you were proud and probably a bit hopeful that it was enough but you knew that you still have a ways to go. He was in a difficult place----proud of what you have done but still wanted you to go for the goal. Only someone who really loves you would step up to the plate and try to keep your weight loss on track. I would bet that he is proud of all your hard work. The closer you get to the goal the prouder you will be of yourself too. Sex will get even better and so will your relationship. It is never fun to do the work---but the rewards are going to be fabulous. Focus on the fabulous and you will get there. He may have a ring waiting.
somekindofmagic somekindofmagic 5 years
I agree with the person above. When you get in a relationship you should feel like that person will love you regardless of weight change, wrinkles and bad hair mistakes. This guy sounds like he is being nice about it but there really is no way to be nice about telling a person your dating that you want them to lose weight, especially a woman. He also put on the pressure which is really hurtful. With my ex I gained 10 pounds during our relationship which didn't look great on my 5'1" and a half frame. He would start to make comments. I remember once I got food poisoning and said I felt like I lost 5 pounds from all the throwing up and he said that I should throw up more often. It was one of the most hurtful things anyone has ever said to me. I feel bad for his new girlfriend if he keeps up that behavior... My new boyfriend from the moment I met him it was obvious to me that he really cared about me. I ended up gaining the 10 pounds back like my last relationship and I was complaining to him just the other day about not finding pants that fit right for my body type and he went on about how I have a beautiful hourglass figure and I should be proud of my body because he is...and the drastic difference from being with someone who made me feel bad about what was me, to being with someone who made me feel like it was okay to be me, even with the slight changes...it made a world of difference. I know the long story might not make a difference but I'm trying to show you it isn't really right.
heartsamess heartsamess 5 years
The fact that your boyfriend told you how he felt, means he loves you enough to try and make the relationship work. I think that is a good sign.You should believe him when he tells you you're beautiful, because you probably are and that's why he loves you. You said you're an emotional eater. Maybe for him it's more to do with the reasons WHY you have put on the extra weight. Have you thought about seeing a psychologist to get to the bottom of your emotional eating? If you look at the extra kilos as a symptom of something else that is not quite right in your life maybe you will feel less ashamed?
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 5 years
OP, When you meet someone new, you should always ask yourself the question, "Will he still love me when I'm old, fat, and ugly?" I'm afraid the answer with this guy is no.
redbudderfly redbudderfly 5 years
I'm with the majority here! At 5'2 myself, I know that a little extra weight can certainly go a long way. The most important thing to remember here is that your boyfriend is being supportive. He is not pushing you or saying horrible things about you. My best friend in the world is a "big gal" and I am constantly helping her to stay motivated--not to LOOSE weight, but to stay active, to eat healthy--put down that brownie or cream cheese covered bagle--have some organic tomatoes or a piece of fruit instead. As humans, it is our instinct and our compassion that leads us to want the BEST for those we love. Like me for my bestie--I want her to live a long and healthy life; and is sounds as if your boyfriend wants that for you and him as a couple. By telling you that he finds you beautiful, he is trying to enforce that he is not disenfranchised by your image, but rather wants to motivate you to be healthy. Guess what that means?--he wants you around for a long time! Look at it that way! If he simply meant it as "you are too heavy" and i dont find you attractive--he would simply walk away....don'tcha think?!
dahliadreamer dahliadreamer 5 years
I agree with the above when they say that you're really lucky you have such a respectful, honest relationship. There are so many relationships that don't have what you have, and I know so many girls who would LOVE to know what is going on in the minds of their men. I don't think your boyfriend thinks you're any less attractive when he tells you that you need to lose weight. He's thinking about your health, and he only wants what is best for you. When you think about it from a loving perspective, he wants you to be the best you can be, not be the best you can be FOR HIM. He's not thinking about himself, he's thinking about you! If you aren't healthy, he won't have anyone to love! He's doing a great job of being a wonderful boyfriend: he's encouraging, non-judgemental, extremely kindhearted, and VERY respectful of you. He's telling you all this for the sole reason that he loves you! Think about it this way: He wants a future with you. If, (and I wish this upon no one) somehow your weight and unhealthy habits caught up with you down the road, he would have spent less years with you than he could have if you were healthier. I cross my fingers, and all my toes that you don't smoke, or drink too excessively, because this man is a keeper. Don't think of this as an attractive-ness factor. Think of it as your future with this man. He's doing everything he can to help you be the best YOU. You did it by losing 20 pounds, and that's an AMAZING accomplishment, by the way! Health is a biiiig factor in today's society. Get your boyfriend to go with you to the gym, or encourage him to go for a jog with you. I personally love to swim, so find something that you enjoy, that maybe your boyfriend can join you in! (Kickboxing, Zoomba, or even a dance class can really help your health, as well as boost your confidence, all at once!) Let me know if you need any more ideas: my boyfriend and I love being active together!
lcrox07 lcrox07 5 years
He could be a jerk about it, but it sounds like he was nice about the whole sitch. He could have approched it better yes, and I agree that he better be freaking hot. But go about the weight loss, but do not feel insecure. He said it himself that you are beautiful.
MsGinger MsGinger 5 years
I am so sorry how he's made you feel, but I do understand why you do. It's not easy losing weight when your health depends on it, let alone your boyfriend making comments to you about it. Sure, he may be concerned about your health, but there is an easier nicer way he could have approached this subject with you. He could suggest both of you getting more active, just walking in the evenings, eating healthier, taking it day by day, step by step. I have to say, that boyfriend of yours had better be Freakin hot and toned himself if he wants you to lose weight. Grrr....this makes me so mad, but....for your health and feeling confident, do this for YOU. You are an amazing woman who is soooo much more than your weight. Yup, many guys want the hottie on their arms, but usually some (not all) have nothing upstairs. Hold your head high and keep telling yourself and him, "this is you in all of your splendid glory"....it's not going to happen over night, and sure, his comment and asking you to lose weight for your health might be the reason you begin working on your weight, but take it too far, watch him begin to feel a little less attractive, inferior. It's great you have an open relationship, being honest with one another, but this is something you can change, you can work on IF YOU want to. I've tried changing for a guy, and you know what, it's never worked for me. I have to figure out a way to get it into my own head, to do it for me...that's when I succeed. I wish you the best....and I can't wait to hear the advice of others. Hold your head high, you are amazing and you are beautiful!!!
nowaylady nowaylady 5 years
You said it yourself, you would want to be with someone you are attracted to. As harsh and apparently shallow it sounds to tell someone to lose weight, it is still something everyone wants for their better half. And he is being nice about it. So unless he nags or becomes overly demanding, don't feel insecure. Go about the weight loss in a systematic manner so that you don't gain it all back. He thinks you are beautiful, remember that. :)
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