Angela Johnston – columnist
I have this perfect girlfriend but I’m a very active person and appreciate people who care about their outward appearance (call that shallow if you want). My girlfriend doesn’t really go to the gym much and her physique shows it (her idea of a workout is drinking a six-pack). I feel our relationship would be even stronger if we had a chance to work out our bodies together and reap the benefits that come from living a healthy lifestyle. Can you help me? #shallowhal
I understand your desire to have your girlfriend partake in healthy workouts with you, but I can’t help but notice your comments about her body.
We live in a fat-shaming culture and the underlying sentiment of many people’s “health advice” is that we should all be thin. Critics (anyone from doctors to family and friends) may be quick to assume that a chubby person doesn’t work out or eats too much, but this isn’t always the case. In this case, I assume you have a decent understanding of your girlfriend’s habits.
I would recommend that you do not comment on her body unless asked to do so. It’s not appropriate to tell her that she’s put on weight unless it’s an extreme scenario and you’re concerned she may have a thyroid problem or another health condition. Similarly, don’t mention her drinking unless it’s a serious issue.
You can certainly tell her that you would love if she worked out with you — that it would be a turn-on. It would be smart of you to think of an activity she would enjoy. Instead of jumping on a treadmill, you could suggest going outside and jogging together or playing a sport she likes.
Just remember to always treat your partner with kindness and sensitivity — ye olde golden rule.