Long Walks on the Beach


Dear Dharma,

I’m trying to get my partner in better shape…but it’s impossible to get him to the gym! What can I do to motivate him without sounding like I’m constantly nagging?

I exercise pretty regularly myself, and when we got together we were both health focused…but over time this has changed.  We’ve drifted apart and I feel I’ve kept it up, but my partner has just let himself go.

I’m still very attracted to him, but I’m worried that his weight is going to becoming a health hazard. I’ve tried to politely bring that up several times, but it’s just been laughed off.  What should I do?  I want my partner and I to grow old together.  I’m trying to explain that I’m being supportive, but he doesn’t think it’s as big a deal as I do.  How can I make him see that his health is important?

Someone’s Gotta Nag

Dear Nag,

As soon as I read your question, two names popped into my head – Andrew and Shalini!

Andrew and Shalini are the proud owners of Creative Core Fitness, and I knew they would be able to help you with your dilemma.  So without further ado…


Firstly, thank you Dear Dharma for letting us take this one on!

In a way you’re right – someone’s got to nag, but it’s the way you’re doing it that will help solve the problem.  We get it: You’re concerned for your loved one and you’re doing your best to make him see the light.  We think it’s fantastic that you’re setting an example by continuing to regularly exercise and staying health focused.  The first thing you should know is that you can never make that decision for someone else; ultimately he has to choose to make the changes in his life. That being said, there are several things you can do to not get laughed off and to gently show him that maybe it’s time to make some changes.

First off, maybe for you exercising in the gym is fine, but for some people that’s just not a way they enjoy spending their free time.  If he doesn’t like hiking, maybe you can rent some bikes and go around the seawall, or go paddle boarding, kayaking or skiing. Maybe look into a team activity that you can do like dragon-boating.  Some people are driven by competition and you can burn calories while you win!

Try starting off nice and easy.  A nice romantic walk along the beach with a homemade picnic is hard to resist.  Just make sure the basket has some healthy choices like fresh salad, veggies, hummus and even a refreshing fruit smoothie.  Maybe all that romance will lead to some cardio at home…if you know what we mean 😉

For a lot of people, healthy eating seems like too much work to tackle along with a busy schedule. Find some recipes that are healthy AND delicious and surprise him with a meal.  Wait till he’s eaten and enjoyed it before you tell him how good it was for him.  He may be pleasantly surprised and want more.  We love this mac and cheese recipe that is 100% vegan, easy to make, rich and delicious – but so healthy! http://detoxinista.com/2011/01/move-over-kraft/

Often it’s a health scare that prompts people to make big changes in their diet and lifestyle.  Go and visit a doctor or a naturopath and get some blood work done.  If you’re scared of losing him, maybe some evidence that it’s a possibility would help (and also it might be a load off your shoulders so you don’t have to worry so much).  A medical professional backing you up is a powerful thing.

And remember, HE has to make the decision himself.  Your job is to support him and gently coax/bribe/trick/nudge him towards healthier choices.

Hope this helps – and do keep us updated!  We’d love to know what worked for you!


Andrew Hill and Shalini Kumar at Creative Core Fitness


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Categories: Advice, Fitness, Health


  • Anonymous says:

    I feel like I nag at my girlfriend all the time to lose weight and she just plays Meghan Trainer and tells me to appreciate her curves. How do I get the point across to her as a guy?

    • Dharma says:

      Girls don’t dig being told they are fat, so if that approach isn’t working, try playing the health angle instead of focusing on weight.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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