Sex and Weight Loss

by Christine Sutherland

One under-recognised factor in overweight is lowered metabolic rate due to anxiety or depression related to a non-existent or unsatisfactory sex life. In examining a range of important lifestyle factors that impact on metabolic rate and weight loss, this is one area that certainly deserves consideration and support.

If your sexual relationship is healthy, meaning that it provides the emotional bonding necessary for your wellbeing, then it is supporting good metabolic performance, and supporting weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight.

Did you know that diet and exercise programs fail for nearly 100% of people? It’s no wonder, because the whole issue of overweight and obesity is much bigger than diet and exercise. In fact a poor diet and too little physical activity can be seen as SYMPTOMS, not as causes of overweight. When you’ve successfully “ticked off” all the important lifestyle factors, you won’t have to think about dieting ever again because overweight will be a thing of the past!

When it comes to weight loss other lifestyle factors are just as important as the topic of this article, but I’ll be writing about those separately. For now let’s just focus on your most intimate relationship, and see what we can do together to improve that and ensure it supports your sense of wellbeing.

The Importance of Your Most Intimate Relationship

Although intimate partners experience different kinds of sexual expression together, ranging from “fast-food” sex to “perfunctory” sex to “gourmet” sex, in every case they are communicating to each other their state of wellbeing, and the state of wellbeing of the relationship itself.

When you consider that sex is such a powerful way to communicate, it may become obvious to you that you need to look at what it is you’re actually saying!

Being on the Same “Wavelength

Do you and your partner share the same sexual “language”? If you don’t you may be mis-communicating, or misunderstanding each other, leading to disappointment, hurt, or resentment.

This is not so much to do with technique, but rather with things like the amount of eye contact, the facial expressions, or the noise you make (or don’t make). In conversation “body language” accounts for a very important 70% or more. In sex, it’s practically all about body language.

Practice being more aware of your partner’s non-verbal expressions; mirror those back and notice what happens to the quality of your interaction as a result.

Are You Actually Compatible?

Obviously not every partnership is between people who are naturally compatible. Different body clocks may have libido rising at completely different times and there’s not much you can do about that if your libidos virtually live in different time zones.

If she likes wearing flannelette to bed because it keeps her warm and toasty and she sleeps better, and he is revolted at the sight, barring therapy there’s not much you can do about that one, not if he also refuses to have an electric blanket!

He prefers sex that is deathly silent, with no eye contact, and she likes “connection”, eye contact, and racy conversation!

Or perhaps he likes to wear women’s clothing but she perceives that as being unmasculine and not in any way sexually interesting to her.

These are examples of “barriers to bonding” that occur in even the most loving couples. The extreme the mismatch, the harder it is to do the work to overcome it. I’m not saying this is impossible, just that each partner must be prepared to put in some very hard work.

However if these types of incompatibilities are not worked on, or are left unspoken, they can and do eventually undermine the relationship. The best thing to do is to admit the mismatches openly and honestly, maintain respect in relation to each other’s differences, and if necessary elect to work with an experienced therapist to get help to resolve them.

In an ideal world we would have enough confidence and self-assurance to be open about these things from the beginning. This would be of enormous assistance to young people (and older ones) in determining compatibility from the start of a relationship, instead of years down the track when so much more is at stake.

Because this next item is so important …..

The Vital Importance of Honesty

So many relationships stagger on with very little sexual honesty. I’m not talking about infidelity here, but the sexual dishonesty of holding back one’s true thoughts and feelings about sex, and in a cowardly or resigned way, giving up on making that all it could be. And the longer it goes on like this, the harder to face up to it, and the harder to now communicate the truth.

Nevertheless, that’s what is necessary in order to build a truly fulfilling intimate relationship.

We’ve all heard the joke about women faking orgasms while men fake relationships, but you should realise that faking an orgasm IS faking the relationship. A faked orgasm is a way of saying “I’m bored now”, “I want this over with” or “I can’t connect with you”.

This faking has more consequences. Practised often enough it can become so habitual that the woman is unable to achieve the real state.

So you can see that “settling” when it comes to your sexual relationship is not good for your relationship, or for you personally!

One of the best ways to deal with this is to take courage and actually write down (because it can be more comfortable to write it than say it):

1) What is not happening during sex that you want to happen, 2) What is happening during sex that you don’t want to happen, 3) The words you might actually speak to your partner, or the things you might actually do, to clearly communicate your wants

In order to make it easier for partners (or individuals in partnerships) to accomplish this, I wrote the book “Intimate Partners”. This book explains how to pre-frame requests, how to deal with criticism, and how to be more direct, at the same time maintaining comfort and ease in the discussion.

Getting Time Out

An intimate relationship IS intimate because of its exclusive and private nature. Without privacy and exclusivity the experience of intimacy is drastically reduced, and so is the quality of the relationship.

With all the busy demands of daily life, particular where there are new babies or small children, the challenges of intimacy may seem insurmountable. Keep in mind that the world, including your children, must turn around YOU. Together you are the solid foundation to their lives and it’s up to you to keep that foundation intact and healthy.

Help for Sex Issues

Adult beings need and are entitled to a deeply satisfying sex life, just as all humans are entitled to clean air and water, or need nutritious food, in order to function optimally both physically and mentally. But too many couples put up with unhappy sex lives because they don’t know what to do about it. That scenario isn’t good for the relationship, isn’t good for the people in the relationship, and isn’t good for people who depend on the relationship.

I want to assure you that you can have hope, and that you can make a difference and enjoy a much better sexual relationship, even if that means working with an experienced and compassionate therapist to get the goals you’re after.

With your sexual life in great shape, you know that’s one aspect of your life that is certainly supporting your general health and wellbeing, and definitely performing as a plus when it comes to naturally maintaining that ideal weight.

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