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The Weighting Game, Part 4

Dear 4-Way,

I’ve been dating a great guy for about 10 months. Right about the time we started dating, I got a new, even more demanding job, which has prevented me from working out as much as I’d like. On top of that, my job also requires me to take clients to lunches and dinners, so I’ve gained about 18 pounds. My boyfriend used to joke around about what a hot girlfriend he had—he doesn’t do that anymore. In fact, recently, he told me he was worried about my health because I’d gained so much weight. He said he’d also noticed that my self-esteem had taken a bit of a nosedive. (He’s right.) Then he told me that he wasn’t as physically attracted to me anymore. I can understand where he’s coming from, but my heart is broken. I thought the rest of his “intervention” was caring, but that part killed me. I know I need to lose weight, but now I’m wondering if I should stay with a guy that puts physical beauty so high on his list. Realistically, I know I can’t maintain a hot body forever. What do you guys think?—EM

Jody    The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer

This seems like the perfect time to serve up a hearty helping of positive body image, self-love and romance. What I hear you and your boyfriend dishing out is a jumbo-size portion of criticism. I’d like to remind you of an item that’s “off-menu” that you can substitute for your regular selection. I invite you to consider being gentle with yourself and with that voice inside of you who thinks you have to be scolded in order to change.

EM, we’ve all been to the place where this inner war is brewing; one part is trying to change because it’s worried and fearful that it won’t be loved, but the other part is resisting and feeling bad about it. Here’s the thing: This war cannot be won. You may let others threaten you into change or impose rules on you that make you change, but for most of us, this is only temporary.

Even though the war can’t be won, it can be ended when you stop identifying with one side or the other and really listen to yourself. Your inner critic may find it hard to listen, but the real you can. Listen and be gentle. That’s how lasting change begins. And as for the guy, I think if you listen to yourself, you’ll see that his kind of “love” is never served in the finer restaurants. Send him back and order something good for you that you’ll love.

Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.

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