Losing weight is hard- period. And for me, losing weight became harder when I moved from singledom to having a boyfriend (my now hubby!). Why you ask? Because D loves him some food. Like... a lot. Don't believe me?
I have proof:
I told you.
Earlier today a bloggy friend wrote me expressing that she was now having trouble continuing to lose weight now that she is in a relationship and as I wrote her back from my experience and with some advice I thought that surely this could be helpful to others because the truth is that it's a lot easier to deny yourself and go into 100% hardcore weight loss mode when you are single and your choices are directly effecting someone else.
Let me preface this by saying that I've done nothing but lose weight since D & I started dating 11 months ago but it has not been without struggle. I found that when we would go on dates that I felt like turning down the opportunity to feed each other ice cream and bake cookies together just didn't seem fair- I felt like I was missing out on some essential dating right of passage or something. And because I was far from my heaviest at the time, it was easy to slack a little here and there. For a few months during our dating relationship, I found myself quite comfortable in maintenance mode. The problem with that is that I wasn't at a weight I wanted to maintain- I still had more to lose and I needed to stop living, thinking & eating as if I had already reached my goal.
It's hard to tell the person you love who just wants to do nice things for you and have fun adventures (that include food) that you just can't or that they are going to have to rethink their plans in order to accommodate your healthy living choices. It's hard, but not impossible.
For example, the other night D lovingly texted me that he was going to pick up dinner for us on his way home from work (so sweet!); however, although I made sure to ask that he get me something healthy (which was hard enough) he decided to come home with BBQ ribs, pulled pork, mashed potatoes & garlic bread...REALLY!!?!?!
After dinner he could tell that I was kind of quiet and when he asked what was up we had a very honest conversation where I explained that when I eat something that is unhealthy, it's not the same as it is for him where he just thinks, "Yea, that wasn't very healthy or nutritious, oh well, it was delicious and so worth it!" I explained that for me, when I eat things like that it's more than just a feeling of guilt that I feel, it's a feeling of defeat. I feel defeated because I know that I'm not making decisions that are going to lead me where I want to go. I think that helped everything click for him because, I believe, that if someone truly loves you, they aren't going to want to contribute to you living in defeat, but victory. And he followed up by asking what he could do to help me reach my goal; see if you're like me you'd think..."uh, not wouldn't not bringing home BBQ be an obvious answer?" but to the mind of the person who has never been overweight or had 100+lbs to lose, they don't realize that it's not just a cheat meal, it can lead to a cheat meal marathon month.
So here's the advice that I gave my bloggy friend & that I'm currently living out myself. When it comes to enjoying your relationship/marriage and still reaching your weight loss goals, I suggest:
- Having a frank and honest conversation with your significant other; share your story of how you became overweight, what your goals are & how they can help you reach them.
- Find ways to incorporate and enjoy food with them- it doesn't have to be all carrot sticks and protein shakes; make a healthy dessert together or research a new restaurant to go to and check the menu before you go for the healthiest option.
- At the end of the day, we all have to come to the realization that the only person who is going to make the tough decisions of saying no to food temptation and yes to the gym is us- it's not our significant others. If we are waiting on them to suddenly change their eating patterns or plan our meals for us, we're gonna find ourselves 5 years older, 25lbs heavier and regretting letting ourselves go.
Losing weight and being married/in a relationship is possible. It will take sacrifice, planning & hard work, but hey, doesn't anything that's worth something?