In the erudite words of Chris Rock, "When you meet somebody for the first time, you're not meeting them, you're meeting their representative." So what do you do when, a year down the line, your girlfriend's representativeand, with it, the voice that was prodding her to eat right and work outhas packed up and left? Now her exercise regimen consists of shoveling handfuls of kettle chips into her mouth and carrying a spare tire around her waist.
I've seen many women succumb to the lure of a cushy relationship and let themselves go. Most of the time, it's a little extra padding that small dieting changes and using the stairs more often would quickly repair. Other times, it's developed into a much bigger (literally) problem that requires a major lifestyle overhaul.
So you've observed your girlfriend's habits and, with them, her waistline, go pear-shapedhow do you broach this sensitive topic?
Make it a "we" problem
This isn't a problem that's exclusive to women. If your girlfriend is packing it on, it's likely you aren't just an innocent bystander. Evaluate yourself, see if your habits have taken a turn for the worse as well and approach the subject from a "We need to work out more", "We need to eat better" stance. Sure, it's transparent, but an accusatory "you" will do absolutely nothing for your cause except make you look like a superficial dick.
Focus on health as opposed to aesthetics
Sure, significant weight gain carries with it a drop in sex appeal, but if you legitimately care about her, that should be secondary. According to Livestrong, gaining weight at a rapid pace can lead to several serious disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Gently tell her that you're concerned your lifestyles have taken a dangerous turn and it's time to make changes. Again, use the words "we" and "our" liberally.
Understand that you'll have to work too
If you want your lady to get off her ass and eat more greens, you have to be prepared to do the same. You can't force-feed her salad and watch her run on the treadmill while you sit on the couch and eat a hamburger. Go biking, hiking and rock-climbing together, cook healthy meals at home and opt for healthier options when you go out to eat.
Accept that there's no right way to tell her
No matter how delicately you approach this subject, it's still going to hit a nerve, so prepare yourself for a shit storm. All attempts to address a topic like weight are potentially transparent, but if you really care about this woman, brace yourself for some emotional moments. However, rest assured, if you notice she's gaining weight, she does too, and she may simply need that little push to get motivated. Ultimately, if you're coming from a place of genuine concern and not just "I'm embarrassed to leave the house with you," you're doing a good thing in raising a red flag. A logical woman will come around.
If all else fails, you might have to cut and run
I don't condone breaking up with a woman purely because she has gained weight, but if she has completely abandoned any regard for her well-being because she's found the protective cocoon of a long-term relationship, it's indicative of a much larger problem. We all slip, but if she adamantly refuses to right the problem even after you've put in every effort to be supportive and understanding, is that the kind of woman you really want to be with for the long haul?