Navigating Weight Gain in a Relationship


You know that thing where you’re busy living life then with the blink of an eye, you’re 50lbs heavier? For the majority of women, well, it’s quite the familiar tale.  This comes to vicious light when the tops that once hugged you now hug you – and your stomach fat. The very flattering jeans that, to the nods of many, showed off your derriere? That now highlights the urgency of a run as it can no longer zip. Then, the most humiliating of all is looking in the mirror. Staring back at you is yourself, yes, but now accompanied by unflattering rolls, back fat, belly fat and more cellulite than you last remembered. So, how? How does one deal with this physical change and the “new you”? 


First things first, you have to accept that this is who you are now. Sure, easier read than done but it is a start and a very vital one at that. Maybe the journey to where you currently are is due to a serious medical problem, you could be depressed or face long hours at work making working out the farthest thing from your mind. One can even fall victim to the holidays which is known for being the shameless plug for calories and alcohol. These suggestions and more can have a direct effect on one’s physique or it could simply just be that fitness is no longer taken into consideration.  Now the following is not a bash against body positivity, please, understand that. Admittedly, there’s nothing wrong with gaining weight as loving yourself at any size is absolutely encouraged. However, it’s just that for some, moving from what was to what is, can present to be somewhat rocky, especially when what is staring back at you just makes you wish that the reflection didn’t belong to you.  Rocky, because it isn’t just a challenge physically, but also emotionally and mentally. 


Though what is it like to be the partner who put on weight? 


It’s not a hidden fact “the possibilities” that can populate when a partner isn’t found attractive due to weight gained by their partner. With self confidence at its lowest, as most likely self care isn’t a priority, it’s easier to support the lack of intimacy a situation as such can undoubtedly breed. On the topic of intimacy, sex for the couple becomes considerably less as there’s extreme reluctance to partake in it much less initiate it. At this point you’re hoping it doesn’t come up.  When speaking to women who’ve gained weight in the relationship the following things often take place when the time comes to get intimate with their partner. They’d opt for the light off and their shirt to never come off. They cringed and “died inside every time” their partner’s hands passed over their stomach or kissed their skin. They also doubted every version of “you look so hot” and questioned every moan that escaped their partner’s lips. To sum it up, they just didn’t feel attractive or sexy at a time where those two things are of the utmost importance.  


“Gaining weight is always a tricky topic. Most of my clients know that we should appreciate and care for our bodies at any size, but we’re so steeped in weight loss culture that it’s difficult to feel that way.”

Abby Thompson  


When it comes to coping with these feelings it can be easy to stay tuned to the fact that you’ve gained weight, so much so that one can become engrossed and hyper-focused on it.  Instead of focusing on how you look or once looked, it can be helpful to channel that energy into improving how you feel. Something that can be a mood booster and influence how you feel about yourself is how your clothing sits on you. New articles of clothing in your current size can be a fun way to connect with yourself on this brand new level. You may even feel compelled to try a whole new style of dress or a haircut. The aim is to find pieces that make you feel confident but most importantly, comfortable. Shopping for clothes is known to creep up there in price, here are a couple of options that are pocket-friendly. You can pay a visit to your local vintage shops, spend some time in thrift stores, browse second hand clothing apps or even scroll through buy-nothing Facebook groups which support community trading. 


If you’re struggling with weight gain, some things in addition to a new wardrobe haul that can help you adjust to the new you can be things like: 


  • Journaling about how you feel. It may sound bland but to those who know, Journaling can relieve built up emotions. If you’re opposed to writing how you feel, you can just sit and stare at nothing in particular and just feel what you feel. Talking about it is always encouraged but, no matter the way, just acknowledge how you feel.  


  • Engage in some form of self care. This can be at-home versions such as pouring a glass of wine with a face mask on, or by tapping into professional services. Options for an at-home self love moment can include painting your nails, baking or cooking a meal that you’d enjoy, even binge watching the current show you’re into with nothing but snacks around you. Professional services include spa days and treatments geared toward wellness such as Cryotherapy.


  • Flirt with the idea of working out and figure out how you feel about it. If it is something that interests you but you don’t have the capacity to facilitate then you can work toward a time that better suits you.  


  • Vlogging through your journey can also be a fun way to get through this period in your life. It’s a great way to keep track of yourself not only physically but also emotionally and mentally. It’s a neat way to find community.  


Something to keep in mind is this: Throughout life, at certain stages we’re meant to gain weight as our bodies are designed to do so and, although uncomfortable for many, it is a fact. Fighting against the inevitable often produces added stress, which can only further hinder your weight journey. As with many things in life, acceptance is the first step.



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