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Should You Lose Weight as a Couple?

From the Show: HER
Summary: It’s no secret that millions are affected by the unhealthy results of being overweight, but few people recognize the strain it puts on close relationships.
Air Date: 5/1/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Russ L'HommeDieu, DPT
RUSS Dr. Russ L'HommeDieu is not only a doctor of physical therapy, he is a former 400 pound stand-up comic and a big loser!

He has lost over 200 pounds but, what's even more amazing is that he has managed to keep it of for over TEN years. After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, he finally realized that losing weight and keeping it off required completely different skills. Just as a computer requires operating system updates, he realized that his Lose Weight for Good operating system needed to be updated. A big part of that update was to realize that "The only way to keep your smaller body is to grow a bigger life!"

While Doc Russ' re-invented, adventurous life worked great for him, it did not work for his marriage. But, his divorce wasn't because his then wife failed to lose weight, not at all. Frankly, her increasing body size didn't matter to nearly as much as their shrinking life together.

After the divorce, Doc Russ was left with the feeling that he had failed her. What he soon realized is that just as losing weight and losing weight FOR GOOD required a whole different set of skills, a whole new way of looking at things, a whole new operating system, so too did coaching within a marriage. In other words, the exceptional training he had received in becoming a coach to strangers was not the right programming for coaching a spouse.

Now, through his company, I Love You to Health, he has dedicated his work to helping couples gain the skills necessary to get better together.
Should You Lose Weight as a Couple?

It’s no secret that millions are affected by the unhealthy results of being overweight, but few people recognize the strain it puts on close relationships.

Competition can be a great motivation, but perhaps not so much when it’s against your significant other. Everyone’s body operates differently. Men and women lose weight in different areas and weight proportion looks different depending on height and body type. If your partner loses more weight than you, it’s possible to have feelings of anger and jealousy.

Is there a balance between getting healthy while also staying happy?

Focusing on losing weight can cause some unwanted (and most importantly, unnecessary) tension between you and your significant other. However, what if you and your partner created a plan about living and aging well with one another?

The most important step of doing this with your partner is getting on the same page. What are your goals? Why do you want to lose weight?

Your initial thought may be that you want to fit into your skinny jeans again; but the bottom line is you need to live healthier.

What are some of the biggest challenges you might run into with your partner?

Sometimes without even realizing you’re doing it, you are giving your partner negative feedback. Critiquing your significant other for having a second bowl of ice cream isn’t going to help him feel better about himself or help in the long run. Instead, share your compassion with one another and always promote positive feedback.

Dr. Russ L'HommeDieu discusses why you shouldn’t just be losing weight as a couple but instead getting healthier together, as well as the pros and cons of doing it as a team.