The celebrity chef, 51, revealed that he realized he was fat when he stepped on the scale and saw he was a whopping 250 pounds, and immediately thought of his wife, Tana, 41. He knew he was not appearing attractive to her and needed to drop some pounds.
“Tana was not impressed with the way I was,” he told The Times. “I was overweight, 18 stone [250 pounds]. I looked like a sack of s—t. I look at the pictures and think, ‘How did Tana stay around?’ Because Tana has got better-looking and more gorgeous. And there she is, getting in bed with a fat f—k.”
Gordon says while his wife was keeping it together, his late nights at work were allowing him to snack like crazy and shovel fatty foods into his mouth all hours of the day and night.
The worst part? Going on vacay with hard-bodied couple David and Victoria Beckham, who put him to shame.
“I didn’t have a figure. I didn’t feel that good,” he said. “It was painful. I used to look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘Holy s—t!’ So it was a big wake-up call.”
The chef hired himself a former army captain to whip his a** into shape. He lost 56 pounds overall, and now competes in Ironman competitions.
“I don’t want my industry to kill me. I know how unhealthy chefs are at the top level. Stress. Suicide. There’s a big downside to cooking loads for a living. It’s lethal: from obesity to heart attacks to cocaine habits,” Gordon said of his career.
What if it’s your partner who’s developed the weight problem?
“There is no easy way to say ‘you’ve gained weight,’” says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman. “There are levels of diplomacy broaching the topic.”
Gottsman says one way to go about solving the problem would be to make it a “dual effort.”
“You know honey, the start of the new year is a great time for us both to get back on track. I’m going to start cooking healthy meals and would love your input on menu ideas. I think we can both agree we’ve let ourselves go…You don’t have to mention his 40-pound weight gain! He’ll get it…” she says.
“Make it fun. Joining kick boxing class or take dance lessons. Perhaps an aerial class hanging from rope would be fun! Anything to get you to move in together so he or she will think it’s fun and not punishment,” Gottsman adds. “Or, a more pointed way would be to just have an open discussion. ‘I’m concerned about your health.’ Offer to be a part of the solution, rather than making the sticky situation worse.”
And, she says, take a look at your own attitude.
“He or she may not like your new haircut or your new style of pants. They may be holding back feelings from you as well,” she says. “Default to kindness in every hard conversation. Show compassion and kindness when sharing your thoughts.”
Psychotherapist Ami B. Kaplan, says that sexual attraction can never be forced. “If it’s not there, it there not there. But if you are partners, you can be honest and helpful,” she says. “Be loving and helpful, tell them whatever they need to do you’re on board, say let’s exercise, that you’ll do with them, make changes about food, help them shop and prepare and plan meals, say you won’t be bringing in ice cream. You want to be a good partner.”
Kaplan says it’s a very personal decision if you want to leave someone over weight gain.
“Couples are together for various and sundry reasons,” she says. “There are different stages of life, if you’re young and your in your 20’s and you’re together to be fashionable, then that’s your relationship. If you’re in your 50’s and you’re established and put down roots, I think it’s not ok personally, it doesn’t jive with my morals. When I was younger I know people who left partners who have gained weight..It depends on your values.”
Kaplan says if you’re a true partner and in a relationship you’ve got to also be “a good friend and a decent person.”
“That means helping. Motivation for weight loss is very personal. It’s doable, but it helps to have a partner on board that can make or break it.”
Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash says, "There's a way to convey how you feel without putting your partner down.”
“Has your partner expressed feeling frustrated that clothes aren't fitting? If so, you can say something like, ‘I know you're frustrated that you're not fitting into clothes. How can I help? Maybe we can start a work out routine together or cook healthier meals? Invite dialogue, instead of putting your partner down by saying you're grossed out by the weight gain,” she advises. “If your partner hasn't mentioned it, try initiating fun challenges like going on a hike or to the gym together. If you frame it as a goal you also have for the new year, your partner may be more inclined to participate with you.”
How can you get that attraction back if you are still in love?
"Remember what drew you to your partner in the first place. Think back to the early days. Chances are you both looked different, but your connection was about more than the physical. Another good way to re-spark attraction is to do novel things together. You're bound to see your partner in a different light when you're both outside your usual routine,” Syrtash says.
Where to draw the line?
“Evaluate the cost-benefit of staying or leaving this relationship. Is this really a deal-breaker?” she asks. “If you find you absolutely can't be intimate with your partner and are constantly dreaming up escape routes, this may be a sign that you're ready to explore moving on. Realize, though, that everyone's appearance will change through time. The hope is that you have a strong enough connection that it'll transcend how you look."
Lauren Eavarone, who offers offer couples counseling and sex therapy in NYC, says that weight being a sensitive issue for so many, talking about the topic can feel like a really difficult task.
"However, if you are able to communicate yourself in an effective way using 'I' statements, your message will come across clearly without pointing blame, placing expectations or talking down to your partner," she says. "Weight fluctuates and maybe having the support of a partner will aid to motivate weight loss and self care. Work together to improve diet and exercise. It’s easy to present a problem but best to also offer solutions. Get a gym membership together and commit to a routine. Are you in a relationship with the person or the body? If you love your partner for more than just their looks it may be worth it to put in the extra effort and patience while working together to help improve the attraction in your relationship. Weight gain or not sexual attraction in relationships fluctuates. Be open to compromise with your partner by inquiring how you too can improve the sexual attraction in the relationship. This demonstrates your commitment to positive change and willingness to meet your partner halfway. In the meantime engage in activities that make you feel attractive and that you find fulfilling and see if that translates to the happiness and attraction you feel in the relationship."
Cindi Sansone-Braff, The Romance Whisperer, says the issue can weigh heavy on your heart and mind, no pun intended.
"You're certainly worried about the dangerous health risks that excess weight and bad eating habits bring along with them, but you're even more concerned that something even scarier is starting to happen: You're no longer physically attracted to your partner, although you once had a strong sexual attraction in the past," she says.
"The first thing you need to do is stay calm and come up with a strategy to help get your mate back on a healthier track, without coming out sounding like a berating parent. Nothing is a bigger turn-off to you or your partner than becoming a mommy or daddy figure. That is an even bigger buzz kill to your sex life than the weight gain."
When addressing the issue, be kind and non-judgmental, Sansone-Braff adds.
"Suggest a work-out routine you can do together. Incorporate fun physical activities into your routine, such as: long romantic walks together, dancing, or going for a bike ride. You can also help plan some healthier meals and snacks for your partner, and when you go out dinner, seek out healthier restaurants to make dieting easier and a bit more fun."
Whatever you do — be patient and see if the healthier lifestyle and eating habits add up to a stronger and healthier love life in the not-too-distant future."
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.