Saturday, 15 March 2008

Meet Matt's Girlfriend...

Hi I’m Bab’s and I’m Matthew’s girlfriend. We’ve been together almost 3 years and I moved in with Matt in early January this year.

I love Matthew whatever his weight and fitness but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t like him to loose a bit of weight and be a bit fitter. At 5ft7” and 8 and half stone I sometimes feel like we are little and large, but that’s not my concern. My main concern with Matt’s weight is his health and wellbeing, which will affect both his and our future.

I love watching health programmes like ‘you are what you eat’, etc. on TV while Matt hates them! Now I can only presume that it’s not only because of the bossy nature of the programmes that Matt complains to me about, but also perhaps because I can watch them with the peace of mind that I am careful about what I eat and am a healthy weight, while Matt is thinking differently about himself and his eating habits. Not only is it the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, etc. that I am concerned about for Matthew, but having been through a period of ill health when I was younger and having had to completely change my eating habits to become well again, I am hugely aware of how what I eat and how much exercise I get affects the way that I feel. A concept that I feel Matt doesn’t yet fully understand – but hopefully soon will!

Matthew has a couple of current health issues that I think need to be addressed, let alone what his weight and lack of exercise is doing to his body on a longterm basis. The first is tiredness. I would say that for a 24 year old his levels of energy and concentration should be higher. Since I met him Matthew has also suffered from a bad back, on one occasion it was bad for 6 months, at the beginning of which he could hardly walk. As I am sure many of you can understand, this was a very difficult and frustrating time not only for him, but also put a big strain on our relationship. But even when his osteopath told him that exercise and loosing some of the weight he is carrying around would help his back he has never really followed that advice. The one thing I have most definitely learnt about Matthew is that he isn’t very good at helping himself. I’m not sure if it is the way that this advice is given to him, but whatever it is, he is unlikely to follow the recommendations for more than a week before giving up.

I already knew this, but having moved in with him has reaffirmed this, I can have all the desire in the world (along with his very concerned Mother) to help Matt get, fitter and eat healthy to loose weight. Buying healthy food, making him nice salads for lunch and encouraging him to go swimming\walking, but it doesn’t matter how strong that desire is to help him, nothing is going to change until he has the desire and willpower to help himself. Living with him I now have more influence over what he eats at home, but I have no impact over his eating habits during the day or for his love of beer!

There is also the aspect that I am too close to him to make the changes and have a positive influence. My advice and help are seen as offensive and only cause to hurt and so I have got to the stage where I try not to say anything – which is not always easy when I see him tucking into too much food and downing those beers as if they are water, and know what harm it is doing to him.

I’m not at all implying that making the changes to his lifestyle that he needs to are easy, but I am pleased to say that over the last two weeks, for the first time since I met him I am now witnessing Matt’s desire to change. The input of some external advice in the correct way is making a difference. The ladies at Portsmouth are great and I’m sure are going to make a huge difference to Matt’s attitude, they seem to have been able to communicate in way no-one else has before, or perhaps it is just that Matt is finally ready to accept that help and take on board what he needs to do to help himself. Plus with his new exercise plan he has actually found a form of exercise he enjoys. I know for many it sounds like a very scary and un-enjoyable form of exercising, but I have seen the big smile matt has had when he has come back from their sessions. For the first time I actually have the belief that things are going to change, and I am excited about where that might take Matthew.


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