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February 19, 2003


Question from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA:

My boyfriend is 20 pounds overweight, in partial diabetes denial, and he"sneaks" sweets too often. I am a new student to diabetes and I'd like to keep him around a long time. How can I encourage my boyfriend to change his eating habits or at least address nutrition?


If only love could motivate folks! Your boyfriend has a choice to make, and it really is his choice. All the love you have for him cannot make him choose wisely.

You are doing the right thing by educating yourself about diabetes and its possible complications. You not only want him around; you want him healthy!

Additional comments from Joyce Mosiman:

Until people are ready to change themselves, change is impossible. You can keep sweets out of sight when you are with him, maintain healthy eating habits to reinforce how important you think they are and emphasize how much you want him to live a healthy and long life. Maybe you could develop an exercise or activity to do together which might help him move to a more healthy lifestyle. Being supportive and not judgemental is hard but much more constructive than pointing out his faults. Everyone who is overweight knows that they would be better off if they lost weight, so pointing that out constantly will only serve to make him feel worse about his situation. Encourage him to explore reasons he goes on sweet binges and you might suggest he get some help coping with stress if he needs it.

I am glad you are concerned for his health and I hope you can help him move on to change.