Most women often wonder, either aloud or silently, what in the heck our guy is thinking. Why does he do certain things? Why does he say things that we would never in a million years say? Why can’t he understand how we like the towels folded? Why, why, why?
This question about weight is one that weighs too heavily on us as moms. So when we got the question, we wanted to know the unvarnished truth from our anonymous panel of anonymous.
Dear Inside His Head,
I’m not happy with my weight. I definitely need to lose about 10 or 15 pounds (maybe more?). How does weight gain affect how men feel about their wives/girlfriends? Do they really notice?
GRAY: Wow, even in typing this I can’t help but feel it’s a loaded question. Does weight make a difference? Yes, weight always makes a difference, but before I’m dubbed as someone who’s been brainwashed by advertising and society give me a minute to explain myself.
If you ladies see a guy with a toned body, athletic and solid, doesn’t it seem a bit more attractive to you? I think it’s human nature to see fitness as more attractive than someone who, well, isn’t quite so fit.
And are those feelings rather shallow? Yes, and I think part of the problem is this superficiality. Even after we’ve been with someone for a while people sometimes wonder just how strong their relationship is, partially because television, magazines and movies continually flood us with what beauty is supposedly all about. But the reality is that we don’t stay with people, let alone marry them, for their looks.
At least that’s hopefully not what we do.
The reality is that we stay with people because of who they are and not what they look like and although we do notice the extra pounds, we probably notice the same on ourselves.
In the end, we’re more concerned about how you perceive yourself than how you think we see you. If you’re not happy with who you are then we might want to help you get to a point where you are, but it doesn’t affect how we feel about you. And if it does, I’d say weight issues are the least of your problems.
MAVERICK: Generally speaking, I don’t think much about my wife’s weight. It only crosses my mind when she brings it up with comments like “I’m getting so fat!” or “I gotta get out and exercise.”
I’d like to see her lose weight but only from the perspective that I want her to be happy, and feel good about herself and that I’d like her to stop talking about how “fat” she is when she still turns heads everywhere she goes.
A woman who says stuff like, “I need to drop 10 pounds” and then starts to watch what she eats (not go crazy, not even go on a “diet”) and get some exercise until she reaches her goal is to be admired.
If she says “I need to drop 10 pounds” then reaches for a fifth slice of pizza or chooses to yack on the phone with a pal about how blimp-like they are rather than take a walk, she’s to be ignored.
To actually answer the question though, I wouldn’t give it a second thought if my wife gained or lost some weight. If it was an issue where it was obviously unhealthy I might mention something. What bugs me is constant yammering about weight gain and appearance without any commitment to change things — now that’s annoying.
Just shush, we think you’re beautiful.
JON: As with most topics that relate to appearance, the issue of weight/body type is complicated.
In general, men, like women, vary in their taste for the opposite sex. I do not personally find very skinny women attractive, others do. My guess would be that like many other features, there is an upper and lower boundary for most of us that is not set in stone, but is a general unconscious guide. Personality can certainly move the boundaries in either direction. Height also matters in the fact that a taller person can hide weight gain easier than a shorter one.
I have been married for 12 years. I love my wife regardless of her weight. I care about her weight gain only as it affects her health, both physically and mentally. Please do not take that to mean that my wife has gained tremendous amounts of weight since we were married. She exercises regularly. She has gained about fifteen pounds since we were married and delivered three healthy children. Both of our bodies are not what they once were.
Weight is a poor indicator of physical health; however my wife’s mental health declines as her weight increases. She finds herself less attractive and thus becomes less outgoing and affectionate. Her view of herself affects how she believes others must view her, regardless of what they say.
I guess weight gain is like other personal changes. How do you feel about yourself? Men and women alike sense desperation, insecurity, and depression. Be comfortable with who you are and others will be comfortable also.