“My husband tells me he loves the way I look. I wish he wouldn’t.”
Yes, in fact I hear this more often than you might think. When a significant other is so comfortable with their partner’s weight, it is tempting to think, ‘I wish he/she were not so accepting of me at my current weight. How am I supposed to get motivated to lose weight?!’
Is this really what we want though? Would it really help?
I don’t think a partner’s lack of acceptance of a person’s body is helpful for most people. Just as it helps to accept (not necessarily love, want, or settle for) the current state of our bodies, it helps when those around us accept it as well. Even when weight loss can improve health, and when it may be necessary to express a concern for another’s wellbeing at their current weight (preferably in as kind and gentle a way as possible), accepting them as they are is helpful for moving forward with changes. When that is the case, it will not seem so urgent (i.e. anxiety-provoking, panic-inducing). Acceptance of current reality says nothing about what we aspire to, or what we are capable of changing. It is simply a very good, healthy starting place!
I witnessed a version of this today as I met with a couple aiming to get “beach bodies” for their upcoming vacation. There is nothing wrong with that!
Wife: He just thinks I’m fine the way I am. (She sees this as a barrier to meeting her goals.)
Husband: It’s true. I think you look better now than you ever have.
I am not making this up! Clone him, right?!
Sometimes a spouse can get in the way of weight loss that would make their partner healthier. This can be a problem, but when the weight loss is more of an aesthetic preference, a partner who just likes you the way you are can be more than just sweet; it can actually make it easier to get to a weight you would prefer to be.