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Boyfriend asked me to exercise

(247 Posts)

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SecretProfile Mon 25-Feb-19 09:36:08

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about 5 months. This weekend just gone he suggested I do some squats. It started out jokingly and then he brought up the squats again then he suggested lunges as “surely you can cope with lunges?” - he then looked at me very seriously.

I’m currently an Australian size 8 and I’m 57kg. I’m short but I’m in the healthy BMI range.

The history of this is I’ve been very unwell lately and doctors and specialists are trying to work out what is wrong with me.

I’m too tired to exercise and I’m often sick and taking a lot of painkillers.

I’m thinking that he isn’t happy with my body, even though I’ve seen pictures of his ex-wife and she looks to be a size 16.

The only comment he makes about my body is that he loves my tits (yes, he says tits).

Is this a red flag or am I oversensitive to this? I am very insecure about my weight and his comments have bothered me.

SecretProfile Tue 26-Feb-19 13:37:39

@SinkGirl

I’ve had a course of B12 and an iron infusion.

Why is everyone so obsessed with this?

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 13:41:21

No one is obsessed.

It clear you are in the grip of an eating disorder and making very poor decisions and your judgment is off.

Which is important. Because there is a good chance your boyfriend, isn't the problem.

SecretProfile Tue 26-Feb-19 13:44:55

@bethy15

Your problems have not gone away, you can still gain back all of your weight, even as your stomach is now.

Highly unlikely, it was a consequence of medication.

But yes, your comments and your nastiness are not entirely new to me.

Please tell me one more time how I’ll get fat again 🙄

You’ve hijacked this entire thread.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 13:46:05

What was a consequence of medication?

SecretProfile Tue 26-Feb-19 13:48:02

@Tennesseewhiskey

To be clear, I don’t want to do any squats ....so doing “as many squats as I want” is zero. I choose zero squats. They don’t interest me.

over50andfab Tue 26-Feb-19 13:49:14

OP yes I understand that (I have studied food and nutrition). You said you do not have a stomach and it cannot break food down. This was why I asked. If your stomach can’t accomplish its normal function of breaking down the food can your intestines absorb any nutrients at all?

I’m just trying to understand how your body can function.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 13:50:22

To be clear, I don’t want to do any squats ....so doing “as many squats as I want” is zero. I choose zero squats. They don’t interest me

When did I say you should do squats?

I apologise if I have, because that's not my point of view at all.

SecretProfile Tue 26-Feb-19 13:54:18

@Passing4Human - why is everyone focussing on this being an eating disorder. I had an eating disorder and wanted to constantly put food in my mouth and had to starve myself to lose weight. I had 80% of my stomach removed so that I could rapidly lose weight and so I wouldn’t be hungry (and wouldn’t put it back on).

I asked for an opinion on red flags - not everyone else’s perception as to how I perceive myself 😒

I know how I perceive myself, I’m not fat. I don’t think I’m skinny either. I’m normal. I have a normal body image. I wanted to know if others could see red flags in my boyfriends behaviour.

over50andfab Tue 26-Feb-19 13:54:33

....and also you said you don’t need to lose any weight, yet earlier you said you are continuing to lose weight.

We really are not trying to get at you, and realise this is real life for you, but what you have written is actually of more concern than your bf’s comments.

And with greatest of respect, Bethy has not hijacked the entire thread, although you perceive it that way.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 13:57:26

Jesus wept op you need help. I have found where is said that. What I said was He may have been suggesting things that she could do at home and do as many as she wants.

When discussing why he may have suggested squats. My comment was that his comments by be because he concerned that you are so weak and I'll and think of exercising you can do as many as you want, when you want.

Not that you should do squats. That this kight the reason he suggested squats. You have taken part of a post with non of the context around it and claiming posters are saying something they aren't.

The problem is you. Everything relates to your dress size. You genuinely think people interact with your body, rather than you.

You clearly take bits of what people say and twist it into being negative about your body.

Putting a ton if weight in, so you can have your stomach removed is not the actions of someone in control if themselves. Neither is twisting what people say.

I am imagine the boyfriends version of these conversations are very different.

SinkGirl Tue 26-Feb-19 13:57:56

With B12 if you are deficient you need to be on injections for life - I’m not sure what your symptoms are, but if any of them are neurological then the protocol here is an injection every other day until there are no further improvements in symptoms and then regularly (varies, usually every two months but some need it more often) forever.

I’m not obsessed - I’m just trying to help, B12 deficiency can cause horrendous health issues which can be irreversible if not treated properly for a prolonged period. You said they haven’t figured out the cause of your health issues yet so I was trying to be helpful. You won’t be able to absorb B12 from food any more so this will become more crucial over time as your stores are used up.

I’m not trying to upset you - I just recognise so much of myself when I was similarly unwell in your posts and I know that life doesn’t have to be this way. I wouldn’t go back to how I was for all the money in the world, I was killing myself a little bit every day and there was no way to be happy when everything was focussed on how little I could eat, what my weight was, what my size was, whether other people thought I was disgusting, it consumed me.

Your bf may well be a manipulative, gaslighting piece of shit, or he may be completely clueless about the issues you’re tackling and how to handle them. He may think that if you exercise the obsession with food will ease off (when the opposite is likely to be true). It’s very hard to say from the posts here. What is clear is that your attitude towards your body and food is unhealthy and worrying and I think lots of people here are hoping you will get some help with this before your health deteriorates further.

Does your GP know about your eating disorder? Do they know you deliberately increased your weight to have surgery that would enable you to not eat much for the rest of your life? Would you feel able to talk to them about what you’re going through?

SecretProfile Tue 26-Feb-19 14:00:19

@ChariotsofFish
I have private health insurance - I paid a large gap. It’s not necessary to have any pre-surgery counselling as long as you have money.

woollyheart Tue 26-Feb-19 14:13:21

I think your boyfriend is probably amazed that you look normal (or even attractive) but you can't manage a few squats or lunges.

I am quite old, not slim and probably not very attractive and I don't do any strenuous sport. I don't care, because my relationships with family and friends don't depend on those things. However, even in my geriatric state I can still manage a few squats and lunges. Even my mum in her early eighties could do one or two.

I think he can't believe that you have intentionally disabled yourself in this way.

You desperately need to ask your GP for help. You have deceived the surgeon who carried out your surgery - you were able to manage your weight, and this surgery was unnecessary and extremely dangerous.

ItsABeautifulDayNow Tue 26-Feb-19 14:20:43

Absolutely spot on from @Tennesseewhiskey

"Everything relates to your dress size. You genuinely think people interact with your body, rather than you."

You almost aren't letting people try to support you by making out we are jealous or unreasonable etc.

We are on your side!

IHateUncleJamie Tue 26-Feb-19 14:42:07

I asked for an opinion on red flags

And that is what people are giving. Their opinion. Just because they’re not saying what you want to hear, does not make them nasty, jealous, obsessed or hijackers.

My personal opinion is that you are mentally unwell and the surgeon who operated on you without insisting on therapy first is a money grabbing charlatan. I suspect your ED makes you extremely convincing though - until people don’t tell you what you want to hear.

We really can’t tell you definitively that your BF is exhibiting red flags because your ED skews what people say and what they mean. Until you get Professional MH then you’ll only be able to hear what your ED wants you to hear.

mentallyfacked Tue 26-Feb-19 14:42:56

OP you have a thread full of people who are concerned about you, some from a relationship side, some from a mental health side.

But it genuinely, all is support.

No one is attacking you here.

In reference to your doctor giving you jabs for things you're lacking nutritionally, you first had to appreciate that to get that jab, you'll already be deficient.

While admittedly after your surgery it is a lot easier for this to happen then before you had the operation, it doesn't deflect the fact that you've stated you know you eat very little.

How often do you get your bloods tested? Could it be weeks? Once every few months?

In worst case scenario you could be severely malnourished before your doctor is even aware.

I've read through the post and you mention your BF said you look tired as if it was an unfair criticism, maybe it is because you are genuinely running on empty.

I've watched you interpret posters concerns as being nasty when they havent been, I do worry that you'll push away genuine concern for you and your health as an attack or nastiness.

SecretProfile Tue 26-Feb-19 15:24:43

@woollyheart

However, even in my geriatric state I can still manage a few squats and lunges.

I loved reading that comment 😝

You’re right, I’m incredibly unfit and have no desire to do squats and lunges.

That was the point of my post.

woollyheart Tue 26-Feb-19 15:30:49

Ok, point taken. I'm not keen on exercise either. I just think your boyfriend is just concerned that you are so unfit.

My family recommend more exercise when I complain that I get tired walking uphill. I don't see it as a red flag. I understand that they are concerned about me, and it is usually good advice. I don't always do exactly what they suggest if I don't like it but I usually look for another way to achieve the same effect.

Weetabixandshreddies Tue 26-Feb-19 15:37:50

OP I don't think that any of us can give an opinion on "red flags" because there is so little to go on.

The way your BF behaves the rest of the time, what he knows of your illness, the context of the conversation...all of these contribute to whether he was making a suggestion, being helpful, continuing a conversation, being controlling.

I might ask someone what exercise would be good for increasing flexibility and they might answer "you need to do more yoga". Fair enough given the context.

I could however come on here and say my husband hates my body. He wants me to get fitter and more toned because he hates the way I look. He told me that I need to do more yoga because he wants me to change how I look. I've applied my own bias to the conversation and completely misrepresented the meaning behind the comment.

See,the context and honest reporting make all the difference.

motherheroic Tue 26-Feb-19 15:42:42

He is very specific with the type of exercise. Does he make any comments about your bum being flat?

Aeroflotgirl Tue 26-Feb-19 15:45:29

I hope that you have told him to sling his hook op, I bet you will feel much better after that.

Weetabixandshreddies Tue 26-Feb-19 15:52:02

He is very specific with the type of exercise. Does he make any comments about your bum being flat?

We have no context though do we? The BF might have been talking about exercise in general and the OP could have said "I wish I could get fitter but I can't do any exercise at all" he may then have replied "can you not even do any lunges or squats"?

That's not insulting or controlling in my book.

Obviously the conversation might have been nothing like this but my point is, we just don't know.

I find it odd that the BF just out of the blue told the OP that she needs to start doing squats or lunges, but who knows, maybe that is what happened.

Either way, if the OP isn't happy she doesn't need a reason to end the relationship. If it isn't working, that's reason enough.

bethy15 Tue 26-Feb-19 16:05:59

*But yes, your comments and your nastiness are not entirely new to me.

Please tell me one more time how I’ll get fat again*

I think you are seeing nastiness where there is none. I am not telling you you will get fat again, I am correcting your misconception and your false statement that it's impossible for you to ever get fat again and therefore your issues with food do not need to be addressed.

People can put weight back on after this surgery. They just do, it's everywhere if you care to look it up. I am not saying this is you, but when you don't address the issue, then it can be.

I am not being mean to you, nor am I in any way jealous of you. I am slim myself without having to go through major surgery or never be able to eat or gain nourishment through my food due to extreme surgery.

You yourself are quite mean towards those of us who are slim without surgery, saying we must starve ourselves or exercise excessively. Well, we don't. I can just control what I eat without going to either extreme.

You seem to think the world is jealous and mean to you due to your size or something. Truly, I would get over yourself a little bit here.

I don't wish for you to put any weight on, so there's no need for your attitude towards me.

Motoko Tue 26-Feb-19 16:10:10

OP said there was no conversation that lead to her bf suggesting the squats and lunges.

Also, if your partner, or someone you care about, is currently undergoing tests for her illness, and is on lots of strong painkillers, but it's still in serious pain, would you really suggest they do lunges and squats?

You wouldn't suggest gentle walking? Or swimming?

OP what was your previous thread about, that lead to people telling you he was gaslighting you?

Mominatrix Tue 26-Feb-19 16:29:08

Motoko, I'd be very wary of taking the OP's account of the story as gospel - she is filtering events through her illness.

I can understand why he would have suggested lunges and squats - in his eyes they can be done at home, without complicated equipment, and can build strength. Swimming and walking, particularly in someone with a severe enough B12 deficiency are much more problematic.

B12 deficiency results in neurological symptoms like gait instability, parasthesias, skin changes, diarrhoea, mental status changes, pallor, weakness and fatigue. Bizarre that someone would risk a high chance of developing this unnecessarily!

PlinkPlink Tue 26-Feb-19 16:37:09

A swift "Fuck off I'm happy with the way I am thanks" should sort that out quickly and put him back in his box 🤨

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 16:41:51

Motoko have you read the thread?

PlinkPlink I would suggest you read the thread. The OP has serious eating disorder and is not happy with the way she is by a long shot.

Weetabixandshreddies Tue 26-Feb-19 16:42:05

Motoko
I'd quite to like to know how the conversation arose then, if there was nothing that led the bf to suggest doing squats and lunges.

Also, if your partner, or someone you care about, is currently undergoing tests for her illness, and is on lots of strong painkillers, but it's still in serious pain, would you really suggest they do lunges and squats?

Again, with the proviso that I don't know the OPs condition and we aren't all the same, I do have a serious illness. I am having tests. I go to the hospital at least once a week (3 times this week). I am taking lots of strong pain killers and am in serious pain. I still do squats and lunges, so no, I wouldn't immediately condemn a partner who suggested this without knowing more information.

The OP might be spot on with her summing up of the bf or she might be misinterpreting his intentions. Who knows?

The fact remains that if she isn't happy or simply doesn't want to exercise then she should do what she wants to do.

Motoko Tue 26-Feb-19 16:49:34

If OP can't manage walking, she's not going to be able to do squats and lunges!

What about that he told her he likes that she doesn't eat much? He knows she's got an ED, that's a very dangerous thing to say.

Yes, she might be seeing things in a skewed way, but it's dangerous to just dismiss what could be red flags. Abusers make a beeline for vulnerable women.

She's only 5 months into this relationship and is obviously unhappy in it. She should leave him, and concentrate on her health.

Mominatrix Tue 26-Feb-19 16:55:31

Motoko, the only thing we agree on is that the OP should not be in a relationship now and should concentrate on healing herself. She will never have a normal romantic partnership with anyone unless she loves herself.

Motoko Tue 26-Feb-19 17:01:59

As someone who can't walk outside the house (I use a wheelchair when out), I know I couldn't do squats and lunges. But gentle walking could be done around the house/garden, and stairs are good too. You don't start exercise by going straight in to something as strenuous as what he's suggested, ill or not.

The OP might be spot on with her summing up of the bf or she might be misinterpreting his intentions. Who knows?

Well, people seem to be assuming she's completely wrong, and telling her that what he's saying is ok. She could take it on board, and end up staying in a relationship that's increasingly abusive, but ignore her feelings that something's not right, because people on MN said he wasn't being abusive.

She's not ready for a relationship.

Motoko Tue 26-Feb-19 17:04:34

the only thing we agree on is that the OP should not be in a relationship now and should concentrate on healing herself. She will never have a normal romantic partnership with anyone unless she loves herself.

Exactly, so people should be telling her that, not telling her she's wrong about her bf.

Mominatrix Tue 26-Feb-19 17:07:17

I completely agree.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 17:08:43

A squat isn't that strenuous for everyone. One squat.

And we don't know his intentions. What we do know is that op cant communicate with people without relating to her body and weight.

His intention could have been shitty or it could have been, worry that she is extremely weak and thinking about building muscle and helping her get stronger.

The point is that no one knows and given the fact that the OP sees everyone as picking on her body, it's more likely that's what she interpreted here.

And she isn't going to leave him anyway.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 17:09:44

Exactly, so people should be telling her that, not telling her she's wrong about her bf.

No one has she is definitely wrong. They have said there is a chance she is wrong AND that she shouldn't be in a relationship until she is well.

mentallyfacked Tue 26-Feb-19 17:20:45

Motoko, 100% agree her condition makes her more likely to attract an abuser.

However, BF said this because they share food. It could easily be in a jokey "more for me" way.

He may only just be starting to notice her eating disorder further along in the relationship.

When I had my issues I had a mystery illness aswell, I used it to excuse the weightloss and to cover the need to vomit all the time.

I also used strong medication to suppress my appetite/ induce nausea/vomiting.

I am definitely not saying this is what the OP is doing, it's more to show the level of deception I would go to, so I could protect myself from having to address my issues.

Op has no issues being unable to walk away, she done it to her best friend for mentioning her weight (the she called me fat thing I am doubtful of after seeing ops interpretation of other posters points)

On a final note completely agree she needs to be out of the relationship, she needs to focus on herself.

Passing4Human Tue 26-Feb-19 17:57:12

Given the masterclass in acting and lying about her ED that the OP must have performed to get an unscrupulous surgeon to perform that surgery on her stomach, there is no way of knowing what or why or even IF the BF said what he said. In ten pages of this thread, full of supportive posts and advice, the only thing the OP has picked up on at all is that she thinks Bethy15 is picking on her by suggesting the possibility of putting on weight after the surgery. Bethy wasn't, but the OP can't see past the suggestion of it in Bethy's first post.

The OP genuinely thinks that she's "solved" her ED by having 80% of her stomach removed: "I had an eating disorder. I chose to spend thousands of dollars having bariatric surgery so that I could have this sorted out once and for all."

It is deeply disturbing to read.

bethy15 Tue 26-Feb-19 18:24:56

Thank you @passing4human

I was never intending to pick on the OP and in no way would want her to put the weight back on. I'm a little bemused that it was taking as picking on her and 'nasty' and like those who are jealous of her weight loss.
It's just a simple fact that the weight can come back on, as I have seen IRL. I'm not wishing it on her. But she is wrong to think that the op can fix everything.

As you said, I think it's a bit disturbing to read it all.

SaturdayNext Tue 26-Feb-19 18:41:38

I have private health insurance - I paid a large gap. It’s not necessary to have any pre-surgery counselling as long as you have money.

Only if you are dealing with a surgeon prepared to ignore your mental and physical health and wellbeing, and basic professional ethics.

Weetabixandshreddies Tue 26-Feb-19 18:46:00

If OP can't manage walking, she's not going to be able to do squats and lunges!

Where does the OP say that she can't manage walking? Apologies if I've missed it. The last I saw she said she was arranging a hike for the weekend.

Motoko Tue 26-Feb-19 19:10:24

She didn't, but another pp said that her bf might have suggested lunges and squats so she could do something in the home, if she couldn't manage walking.

But you make a good point, OP said she'd go on a hike, so he obviously didn't suggest those for that reason.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 20:07:50

but another pp said that her bf might have suggested lunges and squats so she could do something in the home, if she couldn't manage walking.

I said that but didn't mention her not being able to walk. Not sure if some else did.

It's odd the op is planning a hike when medical advice is not to exercise and she says she is following it.

I think the ops thoughts are so disordered she doesnt really understand much of what's being said here. She has, several times said she doesnt have a stomach, but she does.

I hope she gets help.

woollyheart Tue 26-Feb-19 20:23:06

She said she was too tired to exercise.

She also said 'My doctor has not told me to exercise'

So her doctor hasn't told her that she needs to exercise. But her doctor hasn't banned exercise either.

Wedgiecar58 Wed 27-Feb-19 09:51:17

@SecretProfile I don't know if your response was sarcastic or not, but best of luck to you

TooLittleSleep Wed 27-Feb-19 10:24:54

OP, please be kind to yourself. As so many PPs have said, it is really hard to tell if there are red flags in your BFs behaviour as an ED shifts everything. I had an ED for many years when I was young and my BF, friends and family genuinely didn’t know what to say or do as I was so obsessed with my weight and appearance that I misinterpreted both comments/compliments and lack of them.

You said that you do not want therapy about your childhood (completely understandable if so), but have you considered cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)? When you have an eating disorder, I believe there are actual changes in the brain and it is easy to get stuck in certain behaviours. For some people (like me) it helped to change the behaviours through CBT. You can still be slim (am about size 10, above average height in my forties after multiple children) but it will be through a general healthy living. I am only mentioning this because I used to believe like you that it was a binary choice of either continue focus a lot of appearance or completely let myself go. That is not true. An ED can rob you of your life in that it takes so much energy to focus on your appearance when you really could get on with living (studies, job, BF, friends and travel or whatever you like). Please OP, I think many here are worried about you, as am I because I recognise some of your thinking patterns from a time in my life when I was deeply unhappy. Maybe just take the small step of googling CBT to see if it could be something for you? Big Hug

PlinkPlink Wed 27-Feb-19 10:55:23

Alright @Tennesseewhiskey I missed the last half of the thread. My app isn't very good at showing full threads... or rather my connection sucks.

Just a swift "Fuck off" will do then. Anyone who makes comments like that to someone with an ED lacks sensitivity and care. Being around someone like that can be damaging to your mental wellbeing OP.
Time to find someone nicer perhaps?

HopeMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 27-Feb-19 12:51:30

Hi there,
We've written to SecretProfile to explain why in more detail, but just to tell everyone on the thread that we are going to close this as we don't feel that it's helping anyone at this stage.

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