goat
Dear Emma,
This is a very sensitive issue for me. My fiancé criticizes me all the time about my weight. I have struggled with it for years, and am probably now at the heaviest I have ever been. I’ve had a lot of stress at work, and my only brother passed away a year ago. My fiancé is very conscious about looks, though he himself is quite overweight. We do try to work in hikes on the weekend but neither of us has a regular workout regimen. We also eat together as a social activity, and enjoy going out for dinner. He likes to eat meat, bacon, sauces with rice, potatoes etc., he says salad is for goats. I’d like to be healthy and am really motivated to lose weight, but every time he criticizes me, I feel defeated, ashamed and unhappy. What should I do?

– Salad-loving Goat

Dear Salad-loving goat,

Live up to your name and butt his butt! This isn’t about what you weigh or how much you work out or even what you eat (although you should be able to eat as much arugula as you like). This is about acceptance. It’s easy to put on the pounds when we’re swallowing anger about having someone on our back (especially if he has a similar issue about his weight and is projecting his unhappiness about his own weight onto you).

On the other hand, feeling defeated and ashamed and unhappy is your issue, not the weight! Talk to friends; a therapist might be helpful,  especially after losing your brother. Mindfulness meditation for developing self-compassion works for some people; others just need to go to the gym. Think about what you need for yourself, because this is about you and how you want to feel. What your fiancé thinks and eats are his issues. The piece about him criticizing you is a relationship issue that once you are feeling better about yourself, you’ll be ready to take on.

– Emma