My body image in my relationship with Taiwanese boyfriend

My Taiwanese boyfriend makes comments about my tummy fat semi-regularly and encourages me to work out to lose it. (He also encourages me to work out for general health reasons, which I do appreciate.) Although losing some tummy fat certainly wouldn’t hurt, I never really saw it as something I needed to do anything about, as I think it’s quite normal. I’m 5’4" 130 lbs/162.5cm 59kg (as far as I know), and doctors have always told me I am well withing a healthy range. Personally I have always been relatively confident with my body image.
For the sake of my boyfriends preferences, I am willing to work toward losing a little fat, but I am not sure how serious I should take this. He seems to think weight loss can be mostly attained through exercise, while as far as I am informed, it has more to do with diet.
I have a problem with eating consistently, and often skip meals. This has been worse since I came to Taiwan. I’m also pretty sure it’s led me to lose a little off my waist, as my pants are feeling a lot more roomy than before. I am aware that skipping meals is probably not a very healthy weight loss strategy and I’m a little afraid that if I focus more on weight loss, I will let it become another excuse to skip meals and maybe be a slippery slope to an eating disorder.
I guess this post is a bit all over the place right now, but I’m trying to figure out how I should balance this pressure to lose weight with my own concerns. (Note, it’s not a huge pressure, and my boyfriend already thinks my body is very sexy the way it is right now.) I think doing it would really be a nice gesture, especially since he works out very hard to keep his nice figure. But on the other hand, I feel like this desire for me to have no tummy fat is influenced by the body image that promoted in the media (and especially Taiwanese/Asian media). I am all up for exercising more, and I am starting to go to the gym more than I used to, but does anyone have any advice on how I should balance this desire from my boyfriend for me to lose weight while maintaining a healthy body image/lifestyle? Is how my boyfriend thinks of my tummy fat even something I should concern myself with that much? Or would brushing it off in favor of “body positivity” be being too sensitive?

Edit for typo

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Race does influence what you will be able to sustain. You can attain it, but keeping it that way may not be a lifestyle you want. Our genetics give us different attributes. I’ve got great knockers, but I also have cellulite. It’s just my lot.
Personally I’d tell him to fuck off


Go with someone who doesn’t berate you for your physical looks

It’s a bad platform for a good relationship


Taiwanese will often judge image. It is easier to take it as nothing even though it is annoying as all fuck. Be itntoo fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too light or too dark. It is often just a cultural norm to comment on something. Frankly it is often as a negative in a passive aggressive way, but people here tend not to realize what they are saying as such. And by proxy, it is not meant to be intentially hurtfull so much as selfishly trying to assert some kind of dominance.

Be prepared to either:
Follow in his shadow and obey
Have a mature conversation to let him know just to fuck off on certain points
Or, break it off.

My only real advice wpuld be thatif you cant figure it out with your signifivant other, never get married cause the stress you will get from the inlaws will be 10x.


Are you 50kg or 130lbs. 50kg is pretty solid assuming you have a healthy muscle weight. I wouldn’t say you really need to go below 50kg for your height.

Listen to your doctors and not your boyfriend. Tell him to take a long walk on short pier.


Oops! Typo. Around 59kg maybe. I’m actually not sure though, since I haven’t taken a look at my weight since I lost the weight that I noted in my post.

But I don’t really think my boyfriend is wanting me to lose weight because he thinks I’m unhealthy. It just seems like his preference. Also, if I were to lose a little bit, I would still be withing a healthy range, according to my doctor.

Why can’t he just accept you the way you are? Of course, if it’s something you really want to do for him, that’s your choice.


It just seems to be a preference of his. On one hand, I think it’s normal to have preferences, but on the other I find the way he teases me a little annoying. I guess I probably need to be more up front about how I feel about that. I usually just laugh it off, or tease him back telling him that he’s being mean

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It looks like you already know the solution to this situation. :grin:


Upgrade to someone that isnt shallow like that. Those kinds of comments are a bad sign


Is it shallow though? It just seems like a preference to me, and I think he might lack a bit of sensitivity in an area like as this because I’m his first relationship.

It’s true that Taiwanese tend to be pretty casual with negative comments about appearance, but if it bothers you, you need to let him know.


If his preference, it’s his preference. It’s kind of up to you if you’re willing to accept that he is going to base his attraction to you on that criteria.

59kg at 162.5 isn’t fat or overweight by any measure. But if I’m going to be honest, I would probably think you were a bit chubby for my preference. People have difference preferences. I make t pretty clear from girls i’ve dated in the past that it’s something I care about. But I also take care of myself very well so I’m not asking for anything I’m not doing.

Is he in great shape? Maybe you should bring that up with him. He wants you to lose a few lbs, you want to see him loss some fat and gain a bit more muscle. 100% fair.

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Preferences are natural and fine.

So is respect. You can chise how you like his style and talk to.him. both sides should be mature, then there is no hostility.

I guess what I have a hard time with is that I really don’t know how to lose fat in a healthy way, especially when I’m living off restaurant food. When it comes to gaining muscle or just becoming more fit generally, I have no problem since there is a clear path for me.
I’m not even sure how to measure my progress. Just looking at a scale isn’t very helpful, because as I work out I’m gaining muscle weight. In a way, if my bf simply wanted me to put on muscle I would feel a lot less frustrated.

I can tell you that you won’t be losing weight in a healthy way at least eating restaurant food.

You have to cook if you’re serious about it.

Also look into intermittent fasting. I do it and it’s easy to lose some fat without complicated changes to what you eat. All about timing.


Its fine if its his preference but if hes continually bringing it up and it feels weird to you thats not ok. Id tell him you dont like it…if he makes an adjustment thats fine. If not cut him loose.

Theres no reason to date someone that is riding you to make changes for their sake.


And I know that, which is why I feel so frustrated. In order to start cooking for myself, I would need to change a lot of habits and learn some new skills in a very unfamiliar environment. While this is just an excuse, I want to develop one habit at a time, (as to not get overwhelmed) and developing a consistent exercise routine is my current priority.

When it comes to intermittent fasting, I’m not exactly how to execute it in a way that works for me. I had a habit of skipping breakfast which almost seems like a kind of intermittent fasting, but my boyfriend actually persuaded me not to. Once I stopped skipping breakfast, I started feeling a lot better in the morning.