Be the Expert: What do you say to a partner to help them lose weight?
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All right, today we’re doing a VERY challenging “Be the Expert.” This is the series where you try to take my material, apply it in the real world, and usually end up miserably failing. Then I shake my head and clean house.
Here’s the scenario:
You’ve been dating your partner for 3.5 years. Man, woman, straight, gay, doesn’t matter. Your partner has gained 35lbs. You’ve noticed their energy lagging and you’re concerned about their health. You start to notice that you’re becoming less attracted to them.
Your goal is for your partner to start taking better care of themselves and lose weight. How do you do it?
- You didn’t mind 5, 10, 20lbs. But at some point, you want to say something. In this scenario, that point is now.
- You have not gained much weight since beginning the relationship with your partner.
Objections that will not be accepted: “Ramit how could you? This is simple heteronormative fat-shaming” or “Ramit, you imbecile…you can’t change anyone until they’re ready to change themselves.” Um…please leave this site. This is a hypothetical scenario. You can choose to participate because you’re concerned about your partner’s health, or becoming unattracted to them, or even for another reason. Or you can simply not participate. What you can’t do is use hackneyed excuses to shut down a hypothetical learning environment. However, if you have ideas for future Be The Experts, email me directly — I’m always open to new ideas.
How would you do it?
- Don’t just say, “I would encourage them to go to the gym together with me!” (Silence as 100,000 people groan, their only strategy now swept away from them.) Play it out: What happens if they say no? Or they go once, then stop going? Really map out the likely scenarios. If A, then B. If C, then D. Take it to the logical conclusion.
- Use EXACT words. When you say, “I would just tell them to ___” you are glossing over the critical part, the words you use to communicate. Use the actual words, not a glossed-over version.
- Be sensitive. This is an incredibly sensitive topic, so if you say, “YOU JUST NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT” not only will you be mercilessly mocked on this site, I feel sorry for your partner. Hint: You may want to read this and this first.
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