31 July 2006

Telling her she’s fat

It could possibly be one of the most dangerous things you ever do. Failure will lead to consequences beyond your control, and you’ll probably end up looking for a new girlfriend.

It could possibly be one of the most dangerous things you ever do. Failure will lead to consequences far beyond your control, and you’ll probably end up looking for a new bedroom buddy. Are you man enough for the challenge?

The mission – if you choose to accept
So you’ve been with your girl for some time now, and have noticed that over time she has begun to soften around the edges. Gone are the days of flawless legs and a rock hard tummy. You’ve noticed that extra roll, and that slight wobble. The time has come to say something.

But prancing up to your girl one day and telling her she needs to lose the spare tyre is either going to get you castrated, or left for dead in a damp gutter somewhere. It’s a risky business, and one that needs to be resolved with the greatest of care.

Weight to a woman is like reality to a pothead – they know it’s there, but they refuse to acknowledge its existence. The last thing you want to do is destroy her self-esteem, to which this could easily lead. Remember that for her, hearing your criticism is like when you get a knee to your squishy bits.

However, with a little tact, sensitivity and understanding, you can get the message across to her, and hang on to your giblets in the process.

Understanding the game
Although you may think you have a right to decide on the size of your lady’s jeans size, you are horribly wrong. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and the sooner you realise that, the better.

Questioning her continually about that extra roll she’s developed is going get you deported to singles-ville before you can say, ‘but I still love you!’ The trick is helping her realise the problem for herself, without taking the blame for the bad news.

It’s not as easy as you think, and more often than not, you’ll probably come out of it looking like the bad guy. But it’s more than just choosing the right string of words to convince her, or dropping hints regarding free gym contracts or a brand new exercise bike. It comes down to how you handle the situation as a whole, and how well you can communicate with her.

Also remember, that if your girl was born with a fuller figure, there’s not much you can do to change what her genes have given her. Telling her she’s chunky - when it’s her natural physique - will just hurt her, and have you wandering the streets, alone.

Read the signs
What many guys don’t realise is that an increase in a girl’s pants size is not only the result of tubs of ice-cream being demolished on the weekends. If your girl is picking up weight, it is usually a sign that something is wrong. It’s up to you to work this issue out.

Her weight gain could be an indication that she isn’t happy in the relationship, or that she is bored. Or, she may even have a metabolic disorder of some kind, which is causing her to pack on the pounds.

If it is one of the first two things, though, she is not confiding in you, and is turning to food instead. It could be a good time to re-evaluate your relationship. Try doing something with her that will rekindle the passion and you just might find her getting back on track to please you. An exotic weekend away perhaps, or a naughty evening at home could do the trick.

Are you paying enough attention to her appearance? Do you tell her when she is looking particularly good? If not, you might as well fill the fridge. If she has a low self-esteem and is not receiving comfort from you, she’s going to get it elsewhere – and it’ll probably be from something greasy.

But take the stick out of your own eye first. If you’ve been letting yourself go, and aren’t exactly the toned hunk you used to be, maybe it’s time to hit the gym. If you don’t make the effort, why should she? If she sees you working that flab away, she’ll soon follow.

Subtle hints
If you really can’t identify a problem in your relationship, or why she might be upset, then maybe she’s picking up weight because she’s just plain lazy. In that case, it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

The most important thing is to keep collateral damage down to a minimum. The best way to do this is to make yourself seem like the bad guy, and not her. Mention every now and then that you feel out of shape, and want to start going to gym again, then do it. Your dedication will inspire her to follow.

Stop eating unhealthy foods altogether. This means that whenever she is with you, she’ll be eating healthily. If she questions your change in diet, tell her you think it’s time that you get healthy. And if your new healthy diet is really great, it’ll be easy to convert her.

Why not spark her sense of adventure? Join a walking or hiking club, and take her with you. Not only will you end up spending some quality time together in beautiful surroundings, but you’ll be burning those extra pounds off together. Why not buy a set of bikes, and make it daily routine to go on a 10km cycle every evening with her.

The perfect bait
If you’ve tried all the gym hints and spent your bonus on new bikes for the two of you and are still not seeing results, you might have to resort to more drastic measures. Like the perfect fishing cast, you need to set the bait just right, and the bite will follow.

Start speaking to her about her close friends. Show some interest in them, and maybe even spend some time with them. At some point, mention to your girl that her friend isn’t exactly looking as good as she used to since she gained weight. If this snippet is delivered well, you’ll have her thinking about what you think of her, and might prompt the start of that much-needed diet.

Spend some time focusing on the way she looks and the way she dresses. Take note of her clothing, and compliment her if you think she’s looking good. After a couple weeks of this pampering, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Every now and then, tell her that ‘that outfit doesn’t look that good on you anymore’. Don’t explain why, just say so. She’ll do her best to have that opinion changed, especially if the outfit is a favourite.

If she won’t come with you to gym voluntarily, then it’s time to get a little bit dirty. Tell her you’ve just signed on with a female personal trainer, and start spending more time than usual sweating away. She’ll get into her gym tracksuit and onto that treadmill to check on you faster than you can say ‘spot me’.

Lead, and she’ll follow
Whichever route you decide to take, remember that the last thing you want to do is make her weight an issue. The real trick is to keep the focus on yourself, and just hope that she will tag on. Any direct reference to her love-handles is bad.

Feel sorry for yourself – not her – and then do something about it. If she sees your dedication to losing weight, she will inevitably follow suit. And if you are a blimp, or are not willing to shed the pounds with her, you have no right to say anything about her weight at all.

Remember, it starts with you.

- (Warren Vonk, Health24, July 2006)



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