There are several ways to tell that you have attained a high level of comfort in your relationship: she passes gas in front of you, you give your date wardrobe as much thought as if you are going out with your friends. One of the most telling signs that you have been together long enough to feel comfortable is when you both start letting yourself go physically.
When you first start dating someone, there are conscious decisions that go into flattering clothing, there is a general sucking in of the guts and flexing of the muscles when she touches them. When you are single, you are more apt to go to the gym regularly, or at least intend to, think about dieting, and update your wardrobe. As you become more secure in a relationship, many of these superficial worries start to fall away. This is a good sign, that both of you are happy and secure.
What isn’t good is trying on a pair of pants you haven’t worn in a while and realizing that they don’t quite do up, or that you are slowly inching your way down the notches on your belt. You ask yourself: where did this belly come from? Has she noticed it? How did you not realize that it isn’t just her getting chubbier?
How Did It Happen?
If you have always been a pretty fit guy who has prided himself in being the same general weight since your early 20s, you might wonder how this happened. How did you suddenly jump a couple of pants sizes without even noticing?
When people get into long-term relationships, they gain weight for several reasons. Primary among them is the fact that your physical attributes are a means to attract your mate, and your personality, how you treat them, is why they stick around. Purely physical attraction can only keep people together for so long. In the long run, personality is what you fall in love with, and you come to love your mate’s body not just because it’s hot, but because it’s theirs. In short, after a while, you don’t need to depend on your physical shape because your relationship is built on so many other aspects of you.
The path to gaining the Honeymoon-15 begins with the rituals of dating. When you are first dating, many of your activities, you will find, will revolve around food and socializing. You will go out for dinners, go out of appetizers, go out for a drink and a snack, get together with your friends for socializing, snacking, and probably dinners as well. In short, you will likely be eating out more often, where you are less able to regulate what you are eating and the portions thereof.
Another factor is that many relationship activities involve excuses for being able to be close to each other. Hence the explosion of movie-watching. Renting movies increases exponentially when you are dating someone (as opposed to when you are single) because it provides the perfect opportunity to lay around and feel each other up. And what goes along with watching movies? Snacks, soda pop, ordering in. This is what is going to get you in the end. The amount of snacking and eating that will do in the first year with someone as an excuse to be close to them, paired with the dwindling self-consciousness and increased security one experiences in the second year of dating, will, more often than not, result in a little more of you love each year.
But is there hope? Is the Honeymoon-15 irreversible? Of course it is. But, as we all know, taking it off is much harder than putting it on, and while there is strength in numbers, living with someone who is not participating in the slim-down, and may even be sabotaging you, is never easy.
Losing The Love Handles
They don’t call them love handles because we hold onto them in the heat of passion. They call them that because they so often appear once we have fallen in love. The question is, how to ditch the handles to become the lean, mean loving machines the two of you were when you met.
Losing weight with your partner has its pros and cons. The first big hurdle is suggesting that you both need to lose weight. The best way is to not suggest it, but let her think it is her idea. Talk about how you are feeling unhealthy and how you really want to get into an exercise regimen, wait for her to agree that she does too. If there are activities that you know she likes, suggest that you do them together (for example, play badminton or squash). If you frame it in a way that emphasizes that it is a way for the two of you to spend time together, she is likely to go for it.
If the two of you don’t do competitive sports together well, find a co-ed gym that gives a discount for a double membership. That way, you can tell her that you are planning on joining a gym and that if she wants to join as well, so you can go together, there is a discount. Again, it is important to stress that you do not want her to join because she is fat, but because it would really help to motivate you if going meant going with her.
Another way to get physical together is to buy his and hers equipment. This could be racquets, bikes, snow shoes, skates, skis, or climbing equipment. Figure out an activity both of you like, which can be something as simple as walking, yoga, or joining a running club. Doing it together is a good way to spend time, and can be a good way to motivate each other.
The other component, once you have moved your dating activities off the couch, is diet. The best way to shape up your diet is to cook for yourself more often than going out. If you cook for yourself, you can control portion sizes and fat and calorie content. Instead of ordering in, take up cooking.
You can even take a healthy cooking class together through a community centre or cooking school. Cooking together can be a great time, and is cheaper than eating out all the time. If you are doing a low-energy activity like watching a movie, snack on air-popped popcorn without the butter, or bake some soft tortillas in the oven instead of snacking on salty chips.
When you have a partner in getting healthy and trim, you can help to motivate each other to keep the commitment level up. It is also easier to convince each other to stay home and slide into your old ways, however, so instead of going on a health kick, talk about making a lifestyle change. Just being conscious of your lack of activity and poor diet is the first step to making that change.