How Your Relationships Improve after Weight Loss
By Claire Kowalchik
The sweetest way to win your sweetheart’s heart is with good health. It may not seem like an aphrodisiac, but a healthy weight and body offers physical, psychological, and emotional benefits that can light up your love life in all ways.
“So many people have reported that once they’ve dropped weight, their libido increases. And we’re not talking just about the physical,” emphasizes Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of Body for Life for Women and chair of the Curves and Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board, “Intimacy as a whole is enhanced.”
Weight loss doesn’t just improve how you feel about your body, it also boosts your self-esteem. When you consistently follow good eating habits and exercise regularly, you feel good about you. Choosing healthy foods over junk, logging 30 minutes of activity on at least three days per week, dropping even a few pounds—these are all significant accomplishments that lift your confidence.
When you feel more love for yourself, not only do you become more lovable, but you will be better equipped to love your partner more fully. “Losing weight and taking care of your health brings you energy, interest, and the ability to optimize your entire interaction with your partner,” says Peeke. “We’re truly, truly talking about the ability to engage mentally. You can’t do that if you feel like crap.”
Weight loss improves circulation to all parts of your body, and that’s important to physical pleasure. “Diabetes, in particular, impairs circulation in both men and women,” Peeke points out, and with weight reduction, circulation improves nicely.”
“Of course nothing kills your sexual drive faster than having a poor body image,” says Peeke.” Even if you haven’t reached your goal weight, you feel sexier when you’re slimmer.
Research shows that people who work together toward weight management and healthier living are the most successful says Peeke. “If you and your partner have created an environment in which you support each other in this journey—for example, you come home and cook a healthy meal together versus picking up junk food for dinner at some drive-through—managing weight and health become easier and more enjoyable for both of you, and you are more likely to reach your goals.”
Unfortunately, not all couples take the journey to better health together. “If your partner comes along with you, great, but he or she may not be in a state of readiness,” says Peeke. That doesn’t mean you should wait for him or her. You need to live your life to the best that you can and model healthy living through your actions and choices.
And if your partner is unsupportive or seems to be sabotaging your healthy living habits? “This is a beautiful time to refine your communication skills,” advises Peeke. “Look your partner in the eye and say, This is what I’m doing. I will be eating healthy foods. I will be getting up and exercising in the morning. I need you to honor and respect that. You may not agree or want to go along, but I need you to support me.”
Troubleshoot as you go adds Peeke. If your partner brings your favorite junk foods into the home or plans activities that interfere with your exercise routine, you need to make a quick repair. “Go to the person and say, this Is the way I feel about what just went down; we need to talk because I can’t have a repeat.
“If your partner is stuck behind you, that’s okay,” adds Peeke. “You have to live your own life. Go do the 5K you’ve planned. Wear your new dress. And feel good about yourself.”
Remember, when you feel good about yourself, others will feel good about you, too.