Apr 2016

Worried you’re too fat for your partner? I get it. Here’s what to do.

Last week I asked you if you had any questions for me or topics you wanted me to talk about, and I received so many beautiful requests, thank you! I love knowing what you need, and I am here for you. I’m going to try to get through most of them over the next few months.  If you have something you want to learn more about, you can just reply to this email and let me know.

The question that hit me like a ton of bricks was, “how can I feel like I’m good enough for my partner despite my weight?”

I have worried about this since the moment I met Jonathan (and every guy before him) and this is something almost all of my clients struggle with in Live More Weigh Less, so we talk about it A LOT.

I am happy to report that after years of worrying I wasn’t good enough for Jonathan because of my weight, I no longer feel this way.  I have a deep knowing that he is the luckiest man on earth to be with me AND I am also not at my ideal weight right now.

I spent so long thinking I needed to look a certain way in order for our relationship to feel amazing, and now, here I am in a relationship that has never been better in a body that has never been worse, so I know without a doubt that the two are not related.  Let me walk you through a few truths on the matter…

  1. The reason we are programmed to think we are not worthy of our partners because of our weight is because we have attached so many character flaws to our physical state.  Subconsciously we believe that if we are overweight we are also lazy, unsexy, stressed out, grumpy, frumpy, masculine, volatile, flat, etc, etc.  Now, you may be that way, but that has nothing to do with your weight.  Those character traits come from not nurturing the parts of us we want to exude, usually because we are putting so much energy on trying to lose weight whilst ignoring becoming the person we long to become.  Take some time to identify what characteristics you are associating with being overweight and then get real with yourself.  Are you actually that way? If so, do you long to be different?  How can you put attention on those qualities directly instead of solely focusing on your weight?
  1. So here’s the deal, not only is it not true that you are unworthy because of your weight, but it’s also not true that you are unworthy because of how you are acting, what is true is that you feeling unworthy of your partner has nothing to do with them at all! You feeling unworthy of them just means that you don’t like yourself, or that you are not living up to your potential. It is so easy to project how we are feeling about ourselves onto our partners and blaming it on our weight but when we peel back the layers, it just means you aren’t completely in love with yourself.  Let me give you an example.  Since having Annabelle I have not felt sexy at all.  At first I went into this whole thing about how because I had gained weight since having Annabelle that Jonathan didn’t think I was sexy. Then I remembered that sexiness comes from within not from how I look so I judged myself for not cultivating my sexiness for my relationship.  AND THEN I asked myself if I longed to feel sexier for me.  Nope.  Here’s the reality, that part of me will come back, and I nurture it a little bit more every day, but I am letting myself sink into this postpartum phase and give it the space it deserves (a blog post for another time).  All of this is to say, when you follow the thread back to yourself, you may find you have total acceptance for that part of you, especially when you know there will be a time and place to cultivate it in the future.
  1. This is the most important one: you are not your body.  You have a body, you are not a body.  Your partner married a whole, dynamic, multilayered, complicated woman! Saying you are not worthy of your partner because of your weight is like saying you aren’t worthy of your partner because of your shoe size, your hair color or your ethnicity.  I can’t believe my husband married me, I have size 9 feet! Can you imagine? This is the thing I keep coming back to in my relationship right now.  I am still me, even if my tummy is stretched out and my cheeks are chubbier.  I am still fun, loving, interesting, smart, and I don’t let my weight dim those things (this is key).

It is a terrible feeling to believe we are not worthy of our partners and it is even harder to not truly love ourselves.  The best first step is to separate how we look from the way exist in the world and then we can do the work to accept the way we are and grow in certain areas if we choose to.  What I have seen with myself and the many of women I’ve worked with in Live More Weigh Less is that when we are taking care of the human/soul part of us, which will allow us to feel unconditional love in our relationship, it is so much easier to take care of our bodies and move towards feeling physically strong and energized, but then that’s just icing on the cake!

Being a woman isn’t always easy, and we need each other to move through some of these difficult topics.  If you know someone who is struggling with this or who may find this helpful, I hope you’ll send them this article.  Why stay on the surface when we can get deep and real with each other?

In the comments, I would love to know if you’ve experienced this feeling before?  Now that you have some insight, what you do you think it’s actually about?

Looking forward to hearing from you.



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  • I like what you are saying here. I think the conversation could also include how to communicate your concerns with your partner. Very often we project our feelings about ourselves onto our partners, believing we know how they must feel about our body changes. If we have the courage to share how we feel, we will likely find our concerns to be unfounded. However, I was married to a man that was very conscious about body image and let me know that my weight gain after pregnancy was not going to work for him. He did not want to be married to a fat person, his words. Luckily not every partner is going to feel that way. I have put that last relationship behind me, and am now married to a man that loves me for me at any size. We all deserve to be loved for the things that you mentioned about. However, we also have to be able to identify if the partner we are with is supportive, or hindering us with their negativity. Sometimes our partners are not worthy of us.

  • Nina


    I never had this problem with my ex-boyfriend. But now that I took a lot of weight, that I had losed when I was with my ex-boyfriend, it difficult to think about seduction when I don’t feel well in my body.

    • Hi Nina! I know you are diving in and working to take great care of yourself. As you do this work, your confidence will increase and you’ll start to feel so much sexier and alive than you have in a long time. Big hugs.

  • Jaime

    Love this! Perfect timing for conversations I have been having with a couple of my friends lately. Let me preface this by saying, I am almost 48 years old and my friends are 49 and 52. None of us are married and we all have very different bodies. I am tall and gain all of my weight in my tummy, waist and boobs but I have great legs! One friend is short and round in her tummy and waist and is beautiful and super photogenic and the other friend is tall and slender and gorgeous with no butt and wears a hairpiece after suffering from alopecia as a teen. We ALL have insecurities about parts of our bodies!! The other day, my “short, round” friend said she didn’t know if she was ready to date because her body isn’t good enough for sex. WHAT?!?!! I told her that the gentleman I’m with thinks my body is “hot” ( it really isn’t, but I love that he thinks so!), and that I think most good and decent men are just happy that a woman is willing to get naked in front of them! They are just happy to see boobs! Especially at our age. It really does come from within….and trust me, this took me almost 48 years to learn. I love how you talk about feeling unworthy because of a part of what makes us who we are…and a changeable part at that! All of the parts of us that really deeply matter are not going to change. I’m going to forward this to my friends and hope that it makes them stand a little taller, like it did for me!
    Thanks so much!!!

    • I love this so much Jaime. Thank you for sharing with your friends and for sharing your experience with us. xo

    • Dating again after 45, in any size body, is possible. The men ALSO often have weigh problems, confidence in their finances or career not going where they thought, sexual function not being what it was when they were 19, hair loss, etc…. If you are looking to find someone similar to yourself in various categories, that is quite possible. I was surprised how fun it was to date, and how several many men were pleased with a size 16. Some weren’t… so, their loss 🙂

  • Marsha Selwyn

    Dear Sarah, response to your Gmail, I don’t have a partner, but I have a beloved son who is ashamed of his mom’s weight, with comments like I can move near him if? I lost weight. I guess I do not want to live near him if that is how he feels feels about me. I have another son who also lives far away but has never said he was worried so my weight! As you know ,I live in a nursing home and to feel good about myself I am taking good care of myself with nail products, new hair style, and cue plus size clothes. I am happy were I am and with who I am ,weight and all! I went on chocolate binge when I landed in nursing home,I was depressed and put on 60lbs.I can’t walk so I try not to eat sugar! For me it’s addictive! Stay strong one and all marsha

    • Marsha, I’m so glad you’re taking care of yourself. Thanks so much for sharing with our community too. I know it isn’t easy, but continue to think about other things you can do as well to help take care of yourself physically too. xo

  • Christy

    Beautiful post.

  • Valerie

    Hi…good read. I am not married (yet) but I know I exclude certain men as “candidates “because of the voice on my head that says…he wouldn’t want someone that big…and yet I KNOW I am so much more than the size of my thighs…so this is my struggle. I totally relate. I am active in self love and know this is what is key…THE key actually. Blessings everyone.

    • Hi Valerie. Self love is absolutely the key. Now, let’s get that voice in your head to quiet down because you are an amazing woman and deserving of a partner that loves you despite your appearance.

  • Deborah

    I am in my sixties and I have smallish breasts, whichbothered me for years, wondering if anyone could like me in spite of that.. Added to that, I am now well above an ideal weight for my body. But I know this for sure…when I am aware of my assets which includes my breasts, and when I exude confidence,and when I dress with pride in myself, then I attract attention from men, even those more than 30 years younger than me. It’s all in the attitude, you are so right, Sarah. Holding my head high, thank you!

  • nicole

    Wow. Thank you. I so needed to read this post. So many things rang true for me, things I didn’t even realize I was thinking or feeling. I have a lot of processing to do!

    • Hi Nicole!

      I’m so glad this resonated with you and came and just the right time for you. Keep us posted on how you’re feeling after some processing and don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

  • Katie

    Thank you Sarah. So much to think about and process, and this is a fabulous start!! It’s a really tough topic and I really appreciate all you had to say. I’m so glad you’ve worked through this stuff for yourself and for all of us to follow your example. Much love?.

    • Thank you Katie. That means so much to me. I find it’s so much easier for us to do the work when we know that we aren’t alone. xo

  • Kirsty

    I’m not underweight but I still feel the same body issues. I feel I’m too skinny and try and hide my body from my boyfriend. We women need to realise we are amazing and beautiful no matter what ??

    • This is so true Kirsty. I’ve worked with so many women who have also felt this way being underweight and I think so many of us, no matter our size have to do the same work to feel great in our bodies. Big hugs!

  • Lyndsey

    Thank you Sarah! I am 7 months pregnant and have totally lost my mojo (like 5 months ago) Having this new body has been amazing and I love every moment of pregnancy. However, navigating and feeling like myself in this ever growing body isn’t always easy. This hit home so perfectly. Thank you.

    • Michelle Harvey

      if a guy rejects me but we have great chemistry after dating a few times I always attribute it to them not getting over my weight, or being shallow. But truthfully it is me who can not accept I am attractive or can be loved because I am so grossly uncomfortable at this size. So if I can’t love myself and see past my size how can I expect them to. Great article. X

    • Hi Lyndsey, congratulations on your pregnancy. When you’re feeling down about your changing body, just remember, you are growing a human which is a pretty tough and amazing job! xo

  • Mykella

    Thank you for this. It never occurred to me I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. The last time I didnt feel this way was high school. Scary. I have fought my weight since university. It makes me sad. Now I am not dating anyone per se. I have a best friend. We’ve both dated others but last few months we spend all our time together, practically live together. Everything but the sex. And I wonder if I’m the obstacle. Well my fear is. We’ve talked about it and agree it wouldnt work cause he’s not great at relationships and doesnt want to hurt me and I’m afraid I’ll get too jealous and clingy after sex and mostly I’m afraid he’ll leave me. He has a beautiful body and is younger. So we just stay away from the sexual. Of course everyone outside us think we’re together or are totally confused. The other day he said I could think of him as my boyfriend and I brushed it off as a joke but I feel like my insecurities make me dismiss things that are important to him cause I just dont think I’m good enough to be more than just his friend. And the men in my two long term relationships cheated and were very into the sexiness of women and ome ex just ogled women in front of me. So my jealously can get intense. So being left before reinforces I was not enough and definitely couldnt keep the interest of a younger very beautiful looking guy. This is making very sad. Thanks for listening.

  • Thank you for this post! I literally typed into Google this morning: “worried about what my husband thinks of my body.” My husband is 4 inches shorter than me and has little to no body fat. He has always taken care of himself by eating right and exercising or surfing. He doesn’t make comments to me outright, but has asked if I wanted him to pay for a gym membership of that will help me workout to feel good about myself. I’ve been doing Crossfit for a year now, stronger, but still “bigger than my husband.” It’s my own insecurity, I know, but I feel like I need him to know that my body is different from his and even if I don’t lose certain pockets of fat, please don’t look at me like I’m lazy. I’m more worried about what he thinks I guess.

    “You are not your body, you HAVE a body.” I love this statement, thank you for reminding me that I am more than what I look like. Wondering if I should talk to him about this so I know where he stands

    • Hi Jennifer, thank you for your share. I believe you need to go within and listen to what you want for your life- how you want to feel, look, all the things and visualize how your body is in this desire. Once you have a picture of what YOU want, you can start to lean towards those things that bring you joy and inspire you. It will also help you determine when and if you need to talk to him about where he stands and how he can support you!. xxo

  • Maria

    I have been looking for an answer to this issue for so long. After being in a marriage whereas I was belittled for being overweight and hearing hurtful comments by SOME men I dated after my divorce (not all men…some did find me very attractive, I realized I was just besting me down to nothing. Now, I myself am at my worst weight size yet and was starting to feel absolutely hopeless in everything until I read this. Everything you said made sense and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has gone/is going through this. Thank you for posting this! It has helped far more than you know!

    • Hi Maria- I am so glad to be of help and inspiration for you. Please know- you are beautiful and amazing! Keep me posted- xo

  • Jefferson

    Can a Man feel this way!?

    • Absolutely! Both men and women experience these situations and I would ask you to use the steps listed and set boundaries for yourself. Be sure to let your partner know how they can support you and that it is not okay or helpful to address your health this way. I would love any updates.

  • Mariana

    Hi Sarah.. I’ve been googling things like ”i’m chubby and my boyfriend is skinny” for the last couple of hours. I always had confidence problem… what is really challenging is that not everybody knows how bad it is. Most people think it’s the adorable kind of insecurity.. the one where we are a bit shy of how we look and it goes away after a few moments. Well, it’s not. I’m constantly judging myself. When I say it out loud it sounds terrible and mean. Especially because I would NEVER do this to anyone else. I really believe that weight is just a number. We are so much more than that. We have so much more to offer to world than a number on a scale. But it’s also SO incredibly hard to get out of my head. I started a relationship recently and he is so amazing, kind, fun, and dear to my heart. Every time that he can he calls me beautiful, sexy or whatever. Without even knowing any of it what goes through my mind. We decided to abstain from sex and that also gave me a sense of relief. But I honestly don’t know what to do… I keep remembering a quote that says ”the only one standing on your way is you”. Any how, I loved what you wrote, it gave me a little peace to my troubled heart. so thank you!

    • Mariana- I want to give you a huge hug! We can be so mean to ourselves and I think it would be a great practice for you to say 3-5 loving things to yourself each day. They can be anything like- thank you for supporting me today, you are beautiful, I love you, etc… Then hug yourself! Try it and let me know how it goes- I know you are amazing and beautiful. xo

  • Michelle

    I am a big woman…due to several auto immune diseases. Wheni met my husband i was about 75# lighter. He will NOT have sex with me..he says..i am TOO BIG !! Obviously this has TORN my heart to pieces. The sad thing is 1) we both are Christians and 2) i hear him masturbate frequently!!! I have TRIEDto talk to him…and even suggested counseling which his response…he does notneed..maybe i do.
    I feel soooooo rejected, disgusted and alone. Iknow this is a older article but i hope you read this.
    Thank you for listening.

  • Natasha Jane Thompson

    Hello, I’m Natasha and I’m 21 years old. I’m currently in a relationship and I’ve been with him for over 2 years now and we have a 4 and a half month baby together, I love him so much but he always seems to be looking at other women who are more attractive than me because I’m a big women and he’s normal… and that makes me feel so uncomfortable! I really don’t know what to do… it breaks my heart when I see him looking at other women when we’re out shopping etc He has told me before, if I want to go to the gym so go.. he told me. That makes feel even worse because it feels like he’s telling me to lose weight but he also told me that he doesn’t look at other women but he actually does, but he doesn’t notice it! Please help, I don’t know what to do, I just feel like going back to my mum and dad’s home in Wales 🙁 xx

    • Hi Natasha! I remember what it was like after I just had my babies- and becoming a mother takes time. I would focus on what you need for yourself to make you feel joy and where you are in your body right now. Your body has changed- in fact, everything about you has changed. I invite you to see the truth about your body and all she does for you. Write her a letter to tell her you really see her. Like a mother who has never heard “thank you” after years of selflessly raising children, you will feel your body melt in the joy of being appreciated. Next- have a conversation with him and set the boundaries on what is ok and not okay. Check out these posts I wrote to help and inspire you: https://sarahjenks.com/blog/a-vulnerable-post-about-my-body/ and https://sarahjenks.com/blog/what-to-do-when-your-man-insinuates-you-could-lose-a-few/ Know that you are enough and are beautiful. xxo

  • Samatha Holsinger

    I hate my body and I’ve been trying to loose weight I honestly feel like the sex drive isn’t there because of my weight I feel if I was thinner he would want to be with me more physically and sexually and maybe even mentally I’m just tired of trying

    • Hi Samantha- thank you for reaching out. I invite you to light a candle, grab some tea, and sit for a moment. Now try and listen to what your body is telling you and how you want to feel. For me, I want to feel vibrant, sexy, and energetic (how I want to feel changes from time to time). Notice how you want to feel and ways you can start to lean more towards that. (If you think you may have a health issue- please go visit a healthcare professional to attend and support you around this.) Lastly, know that you are amazing- just the way you are right now! Hugs.

  • Elaine

    I am so taken back, and PROUD of the women on here who had the courage to step forth and show their vulnerabity. I loved reading each comment, and gained more and more inner-strength with each one. I have always been highly critical of mysef, and a perfectionist. I’ve always had unrealistic ideas of how I should look; even as an older woman. The ridiculous message in my head has always been “if you don’t look perfect like a fashion model, you are undesirable and “common.” Wow–how mean can I get towards myself!! (And of course, I know it came from a highy critical and verbally abusive father.) I had always been very thin when I was younger, and it’s been horribly difficult, even now at the age of 62, to accept my weight (180 lbs.) I am about 5 feet tall, and was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. But after reading all of your comments, I’m ready to start doing more work on my “inside,” than worrying about the outside! Let’s continue to stick together, ladies. We need each other more than ever!!!
    Hugs, Elaine

  • Thank you. I needed this tonight 🙂

  • Its good that you wrote so nice things for loving your ownself but I had a question. What should one do when your partner keeps on reminding about your weight and makes you feel how ugly you look. Everyone in the environment says that you are the most beautiful girl in the office but your boyfriend says look at you.. Your arms are bigger than me. How should I convince myself here. I am trying my best to get in shape but my work is like everything goes in vain. I m not even taking time for myself. What can I do now?

    • It’s super important to set boundaries around this- boundaries are a good thing! Also- are you losing weight because you want to or because of your partner? Please know you are beautiful and should be treated like a queen- not to be ridiculed. Sending you my best!

  • Samantha

    Thank you so much for writing this post Sarah. I can’t tell you enough how much I have felt this way for the majority of my life. I’ve worked extremely hard over the past year to dig deeper within myself in search of compassion for the body that I feel trapped in. So much of my struggle comes from feeling like despite being my amazing characteristic self, nobody will see it or respect it because I’m trapped in a shell that just begs to be judged. I can’t help but care, and obesity is a symptom of a multitude of issues I haven’t learned to accept or cope with… I’m getting there quickly now, and am extremely proud of my progress, but I still feel trapped. To top it off… I’m talking to a man who is extremely worth meeting. Who has me more excited than I’ve been in years. Who knows about my weight, and understands my insecurity, acknowledges it and is willing to wait. He’s incredibly kind (and extremely attractive) but I just can’t work up the nerve to meet him. I’m worried that if I let him go, I’ll regret it completely. But I also fear meeting him with either prove I’m not attractive enough or too insecure to love him in the way he deserves; I may just need too much reassurance.

    I’m lost on the issue. I don’t know what my next step should be.

    Any advice is appreciated, but for now I’ll take the small points I’ve gathered from this article to heart and do my best to continue to discover my self love and acceptance.

    • Hi Samantha! Thank you for writing and having the courage to reach out. My first thought is for you to start treating your body with love and self-care. An example of this would be while applying lotion to your legs and feet saying “thank you, feet, legs, body for carrying me, taking me on adventures, and being so supportive”. Or saying aloud- “I love you” to yourself. As far as meeting this man- try and reframe it as going to have fun and seeing what fun you can have when you meet- try not future yourself out too much or think about if he will like you or not. He already does! Keep me posted.

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