We want our partner to be our biggest cheerleader. And for the most part, Redditor u/Appropriate-Pea-156 was exactly that.

She embraced her boyfriend the way he was, didn’t force him to make any changes, and was trying to make the best of their time together. But the guy had enough insecurity about his weight to go around for the both of them. Still, u/Appropriate-Pea-156 tried to make the relationship work.

It was when he started projecting his disappointment with himself outward and directing it at other people that she couldn’t take it any longer.

Image credits: Martin Vorel (not the actual photo)

Of course, u/Appropriate-Pea-156 knew her partner and if she says he was obese, we have to take her word for it. But in general, a person’s height and weight aren’t really enough to determine how healthy their body is. Yes, these two numbers can give us their body mass index (BMI) but this measurement has its flaws.

“The BMI is a measure of the mass of a person’s body divided by their height squared,” general practitioner, medical researcher, and founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research, Iris Gorfinkel, M.D., told Bored Panda. “So it’s just taking into consideration those two things, how much they weigh, and how tall they are. But the problem, of course, is that mass, how much a person weighs, is made up of both fat and muscle. So the BMI doesn’t give you a good idea of if a person is truly healthy or not, for example, they could look like, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger and be solid muscle.”

Gorfinkel said a much better metric is waist circumference. “People who carry their weight on their bellies is called visceral fat. It sits under the skin and it’s like a spare tire around the waistline. But it also includes the fat that’s deep inside our abdomen, and that’s the fat that surrounds the liver, the pancreas, the stomach, and the intestines. Turns out, the more visceral fat a person has, the more fat surrounds the heart, and the more artery blockage from atherosclerosis can occur. So visceral fat — that the tire around the waist — is actually a predictor of heart attack and stroke.”

According to the doctor, when their weight is distributed more on the person’s hips and thighs (and not their waist), disease risk actually drops. “That may be because hip and thigh circumference measures not just fat but fat plus muscle,” Gorfinkel said. “We know that strong muscles protect from inflammation and that directly reduces the severity of chronic conditions.”

“As muscle strengthen, blood pressure tends to go down, cholesterol levels tend to improve, sugar levels tend to go down in diabetics, and heart attack and stroke risk go down as well. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, but a big waist circumference is far more dangerous than big hips and big thighs.”

The ideal waist circumference in men is less than 40 inches (102 centimeters) and in women, it’s less than 35 inches (79 centimeters).

As the story went viral and people expressed their support for OP, she provided even more info on the situation

We already talked about how extra weight affects the body but there’s one more thing that needs to be said. “Obesity ( especially central abdominal obesity) has a number of negative impacts on COVID-19 as well,” doctor Gorfinkel added. “If somebody is really big, what winds up happening is that they have high levels of inflammation. Then if they’re struck by COVID-19, that inflammation can go ballistic, and a ‘cytokine storm’ can happen — that’s where the body’s own immune system attacks not only the virus but the body’s own cells. In other words, the immune system turns against the person’s body. And that can not only worsen pneumonia that COVID-19 can cause, but it can directly damage lung tissue.”

That can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that’s been a major cause of death in patients with COVID-19. The mortality rate from that is about 40%.

u/Appropriate-Pea-156 partner felt he’s wasn’t getting enough support. It’s true, knowing how to rot for someone else in a healthy and balanced way is a common issue. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly, instead of blindly guessing what the other person wants and needs, be sure that you and your partner feel free to talk to each other about how you’re feeling.

“It’s important for the partner who is craving support to be specific about the issue at hand and exactly what would feel supportive,” she told Bustle. “For example, a partner might say, ‘I’m really stressed about work right now. I would love your support; It would feel so good if you went on a quiet walk with me (cuddled me, watched a movie with me, etc.).'”

However, while supporting your partner should be important to you, that doesn’t mean you have to go along with just about anything they want, especially if they’re doing something destructive. “Part of being in a healthy relationship is having hard conversations where we share our true thoughts, especially when our partner is doing something destructive,” Dr. Marisa Franco, a former professor with a PhD in counseling psychology, said.

Having a relationship is hard work. Partners have to make sacrifices for each other every once in a while. For example, maybe one person agrees to get up early and take the dog out so that their loved one who came back from work late can sleep in a bit. But experts say that ignoring all of your needs for the common good isn’t healthy.

“A relationship is about compromise to ensure that each party is getting their needs met to the extent that they can,” Franco explained. Instead of enduring a situation in which a person gets all of their needs met at the expense of the other who is constantly sacrificing, the second one should probably think about a (new) more balanced relationship.

At the end of the day, however corny it may sound, happiness comes from within. And this story is an excellent example of that. If you’re not content with yourself, you are the one who has to solve it.

Later, the author of the post said the relationship eventually ended