Dear V: The holidays made my honey not so hot

Lately, my boyfriend’s belt has been a bit hard to buckle. He really mashed on the pounds because of his fixation on holiday grub, and I need an easy way to break the news to him. He claimed that he was going to start working out after New Years as his resolution, but it’s almost been a month and it seems like his belly has been growing rather than shrinking. He really needs to hit the gym, and pronto. How do I tell him and not break his chubby heart?

Wishing the gobblin’ would stop

Dear Ringling Brothers Elephant Handler,

The problem with entering relationships sometimes is that one or both people decide to just give up on staying in shape. Once they realize that they don’t have to look good to pick someone up anymore, the pounds pack on. Before you know it, you go from dating Robert Pattinson to Robert Reiner. I’m sure you love him no matter what he looks like, right? You’re only concerned for health reasons; it has nothing to do with the fact that you might be a shallow wench, correct?
Nah, I’m just kidding, you shouldn’t have to deal with Porky Pig roaming around your house in sweatpants because the jeans don’t fit anymore, so here are a few tips to firm up his mid-section.
You could start buying healthier foods for yourself and drop hints to him about eating healthier. Pretend that you’re going on a diet and start working out (if you don’t already) to motivate him. Make jokes about how you think you let yourself go and you’re trying to get down to your high school weight. You should ask him to be your workout partner, and justify this by saying that without another person to help you achieve your goal, you’re afraid that you won’t be able to stick to it. Make it a point to go to the gym and don’t take no for an answer.
If that doesn’t work, tell him he’s gotten fat and you’re not attracted to him anymore. Sometimes, you have to bluntly provide your message because some people just can’t take hints.
Tell him that you will help him lose the extra weight and that you love him, but you hate to see him let himself go like that. Make up some story about how your uncle had a heart attack when he was 34 years old because he was overweight. If you don’t get on him now, before you know it you’re going to come home to him sitting on the couch with hot sauce smeared on his white T-shirt, covered in chicken bones and sweat. He’ll be breathing so heavily you won’t be able to have a conversation, and the television will be stuck on re-runs of “Mork and Mindy” on TV Land because he was too lazy to grab the remote from the ottoman that’s only six feet away. I’ve seen it happen and it isn’t pretty.

Remember, hippos are responsible for more human deaths than any other animal in the world.