The SparkPeople Blog

Living Alone? How's it working for you?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/25/2008 12:50 PM   :  268 comments

If you live alone, youíre not...well, alone. From 1940 to 2003, the percentage of single-person households in the United States rose by over 1000%, from 2.7% of all households to 27%. There are now more single-person households than traditional family households (two parents with children) in this country.

Iíve been living alone for about 8 years now, after many years of marriage and/or parenting, and I frequently wonder whether this makes it easier or harder for me to keep my healthy lifestyle on track. It seems to do a little of both...



I never lived alone for long as a young adult. I spent quite a few years living commune-style in the Haight-Ashbury in the late 60s and 70's, and got married soon after that. So, I never really had to deal with the social stigma that used to be attached to single people of "marrying age." Fortunately, the big change in numbers of people living alone has also changed that attitude to a substantial degree . These days, living alone is more widely recognized as a practical and functional alternative for many people, not a sign of psychopathology or weirdness.

There is some statistical evidence that, for some people (especially those over 50), living alone is associated with increased risks for some medical and emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, and heart disease. But it's not at all clear that living alone directly causes these problems; rather, there may be other factors that happen to be associated both with living alone and with the medical issues. I don't think my health issues or health care have been negatively affected by living alone.

Time-wise, living alone definitely makes things easier. Once I have my work responsibilities handled, I can do what I want, when I want. That makes it very easy for me to fit in lots of exercise time. I actually look forward to getting myself out of the apartment and on my bike, heading out for a long ride, or a trip to the beach or the local redwood forest.

Part of the enjoyment I get from this is attributable to the wonderful places I get to go, and the outdorphins provided by being outside in natural places. And part of it comes from not being at home alone, where Iíd likely be getting pretty bored with myself, and hanging around the refrigerator a lot. Thatís probably one of the reasons I spend as much time exercising as I do.

On the other hand, I do like my alone time, too. I love to read all kinds of things, from stuff about exercise science and nutrition, to philosophy, politics, and good poetry. And itís very nice being able to listen to a favorite song 5 or 6 times in a row without someone complaining about it, or leave the dishes in the sink for a day or two.

I used to do a lot of socializing, back in my heavy drinking days, but without the ďliquid courage,Ē that really doesnít appeal to me much any more. I'm pretty shy, even uncomfortable, around people I don't know real well, so I tend to do better with a computer screen between me and the rest of the world. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm letting my social anxiety get in the way of doing things I "should" be doing to have more of a social life, but so far at least, doing things with my granddaughter, spending time on line here, and hanging out with the redwood trees and the sand dunes seems to work pretty well for me. I don't feel lonely very often.

I used to be a pretty good cook, and that is probably whatís changed the most since I started living alone. Itís pretty hard to work up the energy and interest to prepare a nice meal just for myself. My diet is healthy enough, but itís limited to about 10 or 15 staples that I eat all the time, and none of them require much cooking. I just moved into a new place about 7 weeks ago, and I still havenít used the stove or oven. I use a crockpot for making soups, lentil stews, beans and rice, and chili, and throw in different seasonings to make these concoctions taste different from time to time. And I use a microwave for heating up leftovers and making my morning oatmeal. Otherwise, itís pretty much yogurt and frozen berries, apples and peanut butter or cheese, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, microwave popcorn, and my daily bar of dark chocolate or M&M peanuts.

This all works for me pretty well, most of the time. But if something happens that pushes my anxiety level up pretty high, it gets pretty easy and tempting not to even bother with the crockpot meals and head straight for the peanut butter jar. Without the structure of having to cook for someone else, the first thing that goes out the window when Iím having a bad day is my nutrition. I donít necessarily overeat, but peanut butter on a spoon does not a balanced diet make, lol.

So, thatís my story. Whatís yours? Does living alone make it harder or easier for you to live a healthy lifestyle?

What tricks have you found for keeping yourself on track?


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Comments

  • 268
    ive never actually lived alone. ive either lived with my parents or a roommate. unless you count the year i had to live in my car which i dont really count that. i now live with my boyfriend. ive realized i cook for him not me. he has high cholesteral so im finding new ways to lower it with food. im an amazing cook. i love to cook. but when he has to go out of town i just cant bring myself to cook for myself. i dont even eat healthy. he was gone for a week and a half last month. i stayed in bed watching tv and eating pizza rolls all day. i couldnt even get the motivation to get up and workout. being alone doesnt work for me. at least the year i had to live in my car i hung out at a park and i would walk the park for half an hour a day. i needed something to do to get out of the car. i got up to walking 14 miles a day around the park. but now if im left alone i cant bring myself to do it. i like cooking for people. i like seeing how they like my food. so when its just me i know its good. i taste while its cooking. theres no reason for me. - 10/24/2012   1:45:14 PM
  • 267
    ive never actually lived alone. ive either lived with my parents or a roommate. unless you count the year i had to live in my car which i dont really count that. i now live with my boyfriend. ive realized i cook for him not me. he has high cholesteral so im finding new ways to lower it with food. im an amazing cook. i love to cook. but when he has to go out of town i just cant bring myself to cook for myself. i dont even eat healthy. he was gone for a week and a half last month. i stayed in bed watching tv and eating pizza rolls all day. i couldnt even get the motivation to get up and workout. being alone doesnt work for me. at least the year i had to live in my car i hung out at a park and i would walk the park for half an hour a day. i needed something to do to get out of the car. i got up to walking 14 miles a day around the park. but now if im left alone i cant bring myself to do it. i like cooking for people. i like seeing how they like my food. so when its just me i know its good. i taste while its cooking. theres no reason for me. - 10/24/2012   1:44:58 PM
  • SHARONSUE58
    266
    Maybe for those over 50 who have health issues the problem maybe why they are living alone. I have been a widow for 2.5 years and yes I do have health issues. In the past month I have just begun to take care of myself. When one is in grief sometimes they don't care if they live or die and getting out of bed can be a chore. I thank God I am working through my grief and it is work! - 10/10/2012   4:58:06 PM
  • LAURANCE
    265
    I really really LOVE living alone. I'm not alone now, and frankly, it's difficult. At this time living alone is not really an option. I hope I do get another opportunity to live alone before it's too late. - 10/10/2012   7:25:48 AM
  • 264
    Before Marriage and kids - I lived alone, and was skinny. I loved it - I loved living alone. I know in my heart that it's the lifestyle of a wife/mother that doesn't make me as fit as I liked to be.

    I was also a single parent (I'm remarried now) and I was skinny then too! Why? I had WAY MORE "me time" and could go do what I wanted more often. Plus I ate healthier - no having to cook for other people. I ate my healthy foods I enjoyed with out hearing any complaining - or making two or three different meals.

    Living alone is WONDERFUL. And I'm extroverted. Living alone re-charged me for my days, I had way less stress, ate what I wanted (healthy) and exercised with my free time.

    - 10/9/2012   1:56:29 PM
  • JULZRAEL
    263
    I have lived alone for 7.5 years now, since a divorce. I have bad luck with men. And I have come to happily cultivate a lovely, wonderful relationship with myself! Over those years, I had one relationship with a guy for 5 years, on and off; I dated another for one, and another for another...and I think one more guy in there too. What a way to learn that it is far, FAR better to not attempt to live with someone that makes you feel bad *just for being you*; as if you have to apologize for your very* existence* when you have a difference of opinion, or when you know something he doesn't, or when you feel depressed or sad (even with GREAT reasons), etc. ( Or when you disapprove of his porn addictions, or his cruelty to you, or neglect of others...) It is far, FAR better to live alone than try to make a relationship with someone who's definition of relationship is different than yours (wanting his Kate and Edith too, lol), it is far, FAR better to live alone than to ridiculously attempt to fake anything - with anyone. When it has come to friendships, I have discovered that I am very different than most people out there (that I have met) - and that it is far, FAR better to carry on alone than in the company of a fool (or in the case of the majority of people I met through my workplace or randomly out, in the company of the cruel; the ignorant; or the barbaric). I found a group on a meet-up site to encounter some like-minds where I made a couple of quality friends. And when it comes to relationships, I now choose to be alone, rather than compromise my integrity to accommodate another's poor choices or judgement. Yes, it does get lonely. But it is worth cultivating a wonderful loving relationship with myself, where I do NOT sell myself short for another who's issues I shouldn't share. If I meet a quality man, and we actually love each other, integrity and respect will be natural. If I never meet him, that is fine. I can still sleep at night knowing that I made good decisions. Good luck to anyone in this position. It can be a challenge. But please, choose self-respect and independence over tolerating neglect, abuse, cruelty, criticism, and co-dependence. You deserve more. You deserve MORE. I am my own caring spouse, and I am the best mate I could ever want. Good luck to you. - 9/27/2012   6:25:17 PM
  • 262
    I have lived alone for about 30 years. I went straight from my parents house to living alone. I don't think that I could live with anyone else at this point and am not really interested in finding out. I seem to take by spells when I will cook every day or sometimes cook something that lasts the whole week. That is one downfall....sometimes you get tired of the dish before it is gone. I would also be happy with a bowl of cereal or tomato sandwich every night in the summer time. The latter can be a healthy choice when done right but the cereal I try to stay away from most of the time. Basically, I tire of thinking about what I'm going to eat and would rather just grab something quick and easy. Especially after a full day of work, the gym, yoga class and errands. But again, you can make healthy choices with quick and easy too.
    I want to 2nd what JHADZHIA said about not every female being geared for the kids & hubby lifestyle. - 8/6/2012   12:39:25 AM
  • 261
    I live alone, by choice, and I love it. For me, it's much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle when I am able to choose exactly what I buy, what I cook and what I do. - 5/20/2012   10:37:56 PM
  • 260
    My husband of almost 38 years passed away a little over a year ago, very unexpectedly. I was plunged into 'singlehood/widowhood' with no warning. We'd met and married during college, so I went from living at home with 4 sisters and 2 parents to being alone overnight. It's taken a while to adjust and I'm still learning! My grown children have been wonderful, as have my friends. My husband wasn't one who really enjoyed a lot of socializing so we didn't have a lot of couple friends to possibly 'drop' me, as some here have had happen. I always did things with my own friends and they have continued to be supportive. I am trying to keep a balance between working another couple of years, exercising, being with people, and enjoying my alone time, as others have suggested. I tend to go out for lunch or dinner on the weekends with friends and that derails my good eating otherwise. I know I will achieve that balance with all the help I have...and I'm hosting a group of Spark Friends in early June! - 5/8/2012   6:52:45 AM
  • 259
    In my early 20s I couldn't wait to have the financial stability that would allow me to live alone. Since then I have invited a couple of people into my space for various periods of time but have to say that I love living on my own. I enjoy my own company. I read extensively and have a huge park on my doorstep where I walk with my dog every day. I found it easier to live alone when I worked and bliss now that I don't. I also love to cook and find no difficulty in cooking beautiful healthy meals for myself which I often divide up and freeze for those days I don't feel like cooking. I find that I am able to have just what I want that way and know what's gone into my flatbread for example or my healthy muffins, soups, stews etc. I used to eat out a lot but now I feel rather strange about having strangers prepare my food.
    I used to be surrounded by hundreds of people daily in my work and now there are the odd few and yet the transition was seamless. I was married once briefly - way too restrictive. - 3/13/2012   5:41:57 PM
  • 258
    I think the clue is to have a healthy balance between "alone time" and "with others time" no matter what the living status is. I do not mind being alone, I enjoy my time doing things I like, however, when I live with others, it is also important to have some time for myself.

    On the other hand, in today's economy more and more single people are sharing an apartment because it is cheaper to keep, and even easier to pay a cleaning lady to keep the place neat. - 2/24/2012   6:58:10 PM
  • 257
    There are good and bad points to living alone. Good is I do what I want when I want. I eat what I want when I want, usually I eat much less and eat healthier too. I've noticed when I eat with friends I tend to eat more and make poorer choices.

    Bad is when you're sick and have no one to care for you, go to the store for you, hand you something you need, etc. You are on your own. Loneliness is also a factor. I enjoy living alone. I don't enjoy feeling lonely at times. - 2/7/2012   9:54:42 AM
  • 256
    i grew up in a family of ten...so was always used to cooking for that many people with lots of variety...and when i moved out that habit was still there for many years...hence the weight piled on since living on my own.....its forced me to re-programming my entire concept!!!! - 1/13/2012   4:36:29 AM
  • 255
    I have to admit, I get depressed a lot these days being alone- could be because Im older and have been single along time. My life is good, I have a job, a nice apt in NY and Its nice to have alone time dont get me wrong, but I often have too much alone time. Can relate to the talking to people online though. - 12/29/2011   3:16:38 PM
  • 254
    I am happy living alone. Being able to make menus and cook what I need to eat is good for me. I do not mind eating leftovers for 2-3 days. I like quiet; yet, there are lots of friends to spend time with if that is what I am in the mood for. I find that I am able to concentrate more intensely on my relationship with God if I am alone. I like that. After all, we are here for a moment, eternity is forever. - 7/23/2011   11:09:55 PM
  • 253
    I have no problem with living alone. In fact, I enjoy it. Like you, however, I have trouble coming home and cooking a healthy meal for one. It's just so much easier to fix a bowl of Cheerios and skim milk!

    My daughter lives close by (also alone) and I sometimes just take stuff over to her house and we cook together. She has a much more active social life than I, so we only do that about once a week.

    There are many people who have absolutely no problem with cooking a meal for themselves or cooking on the weekend and then freezing. I just haven't been able to get into that mind set, yet. - 7/19/2011   2:24:34 PM
  • 252
    I have mixed feelings about living alone, I enjoy being able to come & go as I please, I miss companionship & someone to share the good & the bad. - 7/13/2011   10:57:25 AM
  • 251
    I love living alone...so much so, that if I ever get married, I think we'll have to maintain separate households. lol I'm set in my ways and not really looking to change the way I live. Like many people have said, I have certain staples that I fall back on, and I'm good with that. Don't think I'd like having to prepare meals and be creative every single meal. Plus, this way, I control which temptations are in the house, if any. I don't necessarily want to stay single, but I truly like living alone--except when there are spiders to be evicted, then a roommate wouldn't be so bad. :o) - 7/11/2011   11:30:51 PM
  • 250
    I love living alone so much so that like another memeber said I am afraid of what will happen if I ever get married. I definitly am healthier when I live alone. I eat better, I like fruits and veggies and soup and salad. I can work out whenever I want to and I seem to work out more consistantly. I have friends to visit and go out with but I also enjoy being in my own place without anyone else around. - 7/11/2011   6:49:58 PM
  • STACIBUK
    249
    I love living alone. I'm actually staying with the 'rents at the moment & I hate it. I can't cook the food I want etc. It's just annoying. - 6/8/2011   1:50:35 PM
  • 248
    After my divorce I did not deal well with living alone. It took a long time but I got to the point where it wasn't so bad and then I got to where I actually liked it. Now, within the past 6 months I've been invaded by my mother and stepsister and I really miss living alone. - 5/24/2011   2:09:32 PM
  • 247
    I have been a widow for 40 years and became an empty nester 35 years ago. I don't like to cook and trying to be healthy and eat right is sometimes a problem. But, with the support of Sparks I am learning that simple is better. Lunch and breakfast is no problem. Frozen dinners with extra vegies and fruit are really my staples for an evening meal. A little dark chocolate helps for get though the day. Although living alone, I am never lonely as I have a wonderful family and wonderful friends. - 5/24/2011   1:23:28 PM
  • PIXIESTIX6669
    246
    I LUV living alone, and have been for the past 16 years, when I divorced after 12 years of marriage...I dig the peace and comfort of my place, especially in the morning and evening when I watch the sun rise and set over the Empire State Building...my apartment is my sanctuary, for myself and friends and family...I take one or two days and just cook up a storm...all the veggies/beans/meats/fish I'll be eating for the week; when I get home from the gym, all my eats are ready to be heated or eaten cold...makes things very easy...now all I need is a fabulous lover, and I'll be set lol... - 4/29/2011   12:15:13 AM
  • POPPIES1988
    245
    I find it really hard living alone sometimes I was in care from fifteen and have spent 4 years in a adolescent psytriactric hospital with loads of other girls 24/7 which was pretty intense I didnt learn many life skills like cooking and was released from hospital about eight months ago into a shared house I am just starting to learn to buy food on a budget though when I first got out I seemed to have plenty to spend on takeaways and alcohol lol if nothing else! But it is getting better - 4/1/2011   3:24:13 PM
  • 244
    Got married before i finished college, age 20, have had 5 children, now 12 + grandkids, and was widowed in '09.......the adjustment has been very difficult....that feeling of "gotta" do or go is still there. I don't have a challenge with cooking, cause i love to cook. But going out to eat and lots of other social activities just don't have the same meaning. Neither one of us like living in the city, small as it is in NH, but i'm "country" at heart, and for me, being able to get a small place in the country, where i could have a garden and some animals is really what i would be happy with. Just waiting on God to show me what he has in store for me...........kids and grandkids and friends are really a blessing, but after living 50 years or so with a super hubby and friend, it's just HARD.......... - 3/21/2011   6:58:43 PM
  • 243
    I live alone, love it and don't see it changing any time soon! I have shared my space and now it is my time!!! - 3/21/2011   1:12:51 PM
  • 242
    I've lived alone mostly for about 10 years and I love it. I can't imagine sharing my space daily again with anyone. I have family and friends who come and visit or visa versa and I enjoy their company very much, but I enjoy my home when there's only me more. Being alone and being lonely are two different things to me. I can't remember ever being lonely...I do what I want when I want without having to be accountable to anyone but myself and my dog. I exercise, garden, fish and am thinking about getting a bike. I can't say that I love to cook, but I'm pretty good at it and I do a lot of cooking so I'll know exactly what I'm eating. I do go out to dinner on occasion, but for the most part I cook.
    Being happy and alone works for me, but I know that it's difficult for others. - 3/21/2011   1:01:19 PM
  • 241
    I have been living alone for 9 years and retired from my job 3 years ago. Compared to many widows, I am "wealthy". My income is adequate, my house is paid for, and I am physically able to do necessary maintenance, or take a trip.

    I am very bashful, but I daily force myself to reach out to other people. I go to the gym or supermarket and make a point to talk to strangers, I take classes at the community college, I attend church with my neighbor, I volunteer at the food pantry, and do yardwork for friends who are less able than I am. I have to confess, I do these things not from a religious or social inclination, but from the knowledge that it isn't healthy for me to become a hermit! I think many people suffer from a feeling of isolation, and only my efforts can make it better for myself. Reaching out has become easier with practice!

    Being alone does make it easy to eat mostly healthy foods, because there is no one here to sabotage my efforts, and I can work out or not according to my mood. If I find myself craving sauerbraten or gumbo or cheesecake, I cook it and invite someone to share so I don't have to eat it for a week (or don't suffer the temptation to overeat).

    All things considered, I enjoy living alone, coming and going as I please, but sometimes I worry about my disconnection. I'm not getting any younger, and I dread the declining years with no companion!











    - 3/15/2011   2:15:11 PM
  • AGIFT4U56
    240
    I am living alone after loosing my spouse in 2006. I then also lost my home job everything. I moved to another side of town and moved into a small community. As far as eating goes. i try to vary it alot but I enjoy cooking althogh it is not the same cooking for yourself. I recently purchased something I saw on one of those infomericals called "Express Ready Set GO".......It works for me takes 10 min a night to prepare a healthy dinner and I do not have to waste alot or eat the same thing for days on end. They now sell most As seen on TV things at stores i got mine a Target and really like it. - 3/6/2011   7:38:15 PM
  • TESSA55
    239
    Ya, well, so far it's been pretty awful. My husband died in 2008. I lost my entire lifestyle, my home, my cars, my new house full of furniture, most of my personal things. I just lost everything in one fell swoop. I had to leave Hawaii where we had planned to retire and come back to the mainland to live in a place that I hate. I thought I had a few friends here but since he's gone they have just conveniently forgotten that I exist. I was married for 35 years, never lived alone on my own as a young woman. There was always a man in my life to take care of me, as of course, there should have been. Now I and the few possessions I managed to save are crammed into a little 530 Sq. ft. apartment in a medium to lower class complex. Some of the people who live here look like absolute trash, some look more normal. I'm completely miserable. This apartment has ONE window in the living room, that's it! I can't work. I draw himself's social security as I never needed to or wanted to work. It's a great deal more than most people draw, the maximum anmt. they allow. Yet I barely manage to be able to provide for myself in a meager style.
    I HATE being alone all the time. I can't afford to travel or attend anything entertaining or shop for the enjoyment of being out there. No extra driving is possible as gasoline is up to $3.00 a gallon. I'm ashamed to go to thrift shops and the like. I can't qualify for any govt. help at all as the SS check is much over their income limits yet not enough for me to have any health care. Medi-care is a big joke, they take $110.50 from the SS check and then since I can't afford to but part D, there's no need to see a doctor, I can't go get any medication for whatever ails me.
    We spent our lives saving and planning our retirement and when he became terminal it was ALL spent trying to save his life, all gone, everything, incl. his life insurance...that went quickly with making arrangements for his burial and my moving and all the related expenses involved in that.
    I've been shy all my life to some degree and he was my front man for all those years. I have NO EARTHLY IDEA what to do without him now. I can't remember how to make friends. I am scared to death! No one approaches to ask for your friendship and I am not about to approach others so I guess I'm pretty much out of luck from now until I die.
    I don't have the over eating problem now that I'm alone, I have the " I don't feel like eating, It's a waste of time", problem. Nothing appeals to me, I forget to eat until I feel sick after a day or two. I never cook, I shove some box of stuff in the microwave and hope it comes out edible. I have a small dog that I dearly love and a nice fat cat and believe me, they DO NOT make a single bit of difference in how it feels to be without other humans in your life!!!
    I feel as though I've been thrust into involuntary hibernation. I did the church thing and I looked for org.'s and groups and clubs and and and...no good. Cliques going on there, they don't want new folks to join them. They aren't friendly, they don't want to know about me or want to include me in their goings on. I can only put myself out there to be shot down so many times and then I give up. So that's where I am now, I'm just about DONE! - 1/27/2011   3:21:09 PM
  • 238
    So funny! I live alone and eat a lot of the same things!! Yogurt and frozen berries, peanut butter and crackers, etc. I have my regular staples that require very little cooking and just rotate around in my diet. - 1/20/2011   2:05:41 PM
  • POMIKAB1
    237
    I'm living alone and it took time to adjust. Not the partner issue, I have always loved the space of not having my Honey in the house daily with him being a long distance truck driver, we love each other and respect each other and it seems that having that time apart allows me to grow to love him in a whole new way but since our daughter and son have gone off to college I have been a little lonely. When the cat died, I was very lonely and it wasn't until this month when I really felt the loneliness. My daughter received an offer from MTV so she will be moving to Miami upon graduating in May and my son will be graduating Valley Forge Military Academy Collete and going into the service full time. I decided to do something for myself. I want to stop the emotional eating, stop the pity parties and stop relying on Facebook to be my link to old friends. I have decided to travel more, make dates to have ladies nights with my friends from highschool once a month at a new person's house, learn a new hobby, buy a bike and go bike riding, Take a bus or train to somewhere far from home just to walk around and get to know a new place. I had to learn to not call so much when my Honey is on the road and especially when they first went to college. I think they were mortified that Mom was calling 3 to 4 times a day to check on them when I was just alone. You have a house with twins in it and a cat to a house that is empty 20 to 25 days out of a month, it gets to you. I'm still learning how to get through and finding Spark People has helped as well. People want to chat, I have found a few friends who don't mind even calling and that other human voice even someone you have not met or know, seems to help with new conversation and new adventures in your life. I can appreciate living alone now that I have found that just because you live alone does not mean you have to BE alone. You can make adventures for yourself and have a life. - 1/10/2011   11:15:05 AM
  • 236
    I love living alone. I once thought i couldnt live without a partner, now it seems I would rather live alone. I just retired, now i have more time to do what i want, when i want...........I just love it! - 1/1/2011   7:19:52 PM
  • 235
    I am also living alone for the first time in my life; my daughter left for college a few months ago and I do not have much of a social life in the town where I have been living for 2 years. Eating right is the hardest thing for me now: I either eat too much or way too little! I cant seem to get myself back into a balanced diet since my daughter left! - 1/1/2011   1:06:23 PM
  • 234
    I love to cook, but it's definitely harder to cook for one. I also feel like it's harder to eat a balanced dinner. I'm very healthy at breakfast and lunch, but it's hard when I come home late from the gym or errands or whatever and I'm hungry and all I need to do is open up the fridge or the cabinet. What I end up eating for dinner is not really a balanced meal. Thanks so much for sharing this blog - such a wonderful topic. I really believe in solitude - it's hard sometimes, but it helps you understand yourself, and be comfortable with yourself, and grow as a person. - 12/22/2010   9:19:25 PM
  • 233
    I use to think there was something wrong with me... because I love living alone. I have friends... some close ones... that I do things with on a regular basis. But if, for some reason, I'm on my own for 2-3-4 days in a row... that's ok. I have my family that I try and get together with on a weekly basis, but sometimes, there are plans that prevent it. I still sometimes think that I'm a bit of a hermit and somewhat antisocial... but then I think... that's me. I like my freedom and independence and I've worked hard to get this life. I won't give it up easily. - 12/2/2010   11:15:32 PM
  • 232
    i love living alone! So much so that i worry about if i ever get married, how will i survive?! I enjoy being able to go to the gym at any hour & not have to worry about leaving someone home alone. I can have no unhealthy snacks in the house & not feel like a party pooper. I can choose to NOT pay for cable so i am not tempted to sit & watch TV. I can put my eliptical trainer in front of the TV so when i watch a DVD, i can work out. I can have exersice equipment all over the house & no one complains! I can make every meal a healthy meal & no one tells me they don't like it.
    I find living alone is SO much easier for a healthy lifestyle, in so many ways! I have only 1 person to be responsible for & that is me! No stress of if i am neglecting someone's feeling by not being home. I can make dinner whenever I want & save the leftovers for MY lunch! Sure these are all selfish reasons but who else is going to put me first?!
    As for getting lonely... eh, on a rare occasion. I have a dog & cat, they are entertaining & when I want human contact (other than co-workers) i can go to the gym or go see a friend. All in all, I have to say, the pros DEF out weigh the cons - 12/2/2010   3:08:55 PM
  • 231
    I'm someone who likes living alone. I am very selfish of my time, and like to not have to consult someone else when deciding what I want to do. I find it is actually easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle alone as well -- I can exerciser whenevery I want during the day (I'm retired now) and can fix just those foods that are healthy. I don't have to keep any unhealthy food in the house at all. I have a "significant other" who also enjoys living apart, so we are very good for each other -- company when we want it, time alone when we want that. - 12/2/2010   1:45:23 PM
  • 230
    Well, I am not going to say that living alone is ideal. I am lonely and it is hard to manage life on my own. I have had live-in boyfriends and really been happy. HOWEVER, I will say that my healthy lifestyle suffered as a result. I was "fat and happy". I spent most of my time with my significant other and did not eat well or get nearly enough exercise. I would like to think that my ideal life partner would exercise and eat well with me, but so far it has been the opposite. Perhaps, magically, I will marry a super healthy individual someday. Until then I am healthier living alone. - 12/2/2010   9:08:59 AM
  • TWOOFTHREE
    229
    I could've written this article. It describes my situation quite well. . . except I don't have social anxiety and have never been much of a drinker.

    But I do tend to workout more, go for walks, bike rides etc., to get out of the house. And I can go at my own pace, and stop and take photos as often as I like.

    There's no debate over where/when to go.

    I also tend to make the same dishes with variations, over and over again. Utilise the freezer. Most of my meals are prepared in the crockpot, wok or oven - I have only one small saucepan for boiling eggs.

    What I do miss is someone to encourage me when I find it hard to motivate myself to go.

    2/3 - 11/22/2010   7:03:51 AM
  • NJ_HOU
    228
    Dear Kathy:). My husband and life partner of 33 years died a few years ago suddenly. At first I found it very difficult As you , I miss him especially his support and yes that growing old together is now no longer going to happen. I have found over the past few years that I like the solitude . I have been a wife , mother and grandmother and now I only responsible for me. It's like I have a new pattern to live. I am learning new paths I might never have done otherwise which makes this differnt life interesting. Best wishes to you - 7/22/2010   5:48:42 PM
  • 227
    I've lived alone most of my life. It isn't unusual for me to go a week without talking to anybody. I'm considered weird by most people in the neighborhood. I prefer being alone. I can eat the same healthy meal every day, or try something different. I can take a nap when I want, stay up late watching movies, go for a walk, go to the movies without having to PLAN. Yes, I think I'm probably selfish. I don't think it's healthy to try to change into a different person. I am what I am. My only great stress is $$$$$$$$$ - and that's a big one. THAT is what has damaged my health. - 7/21/2010   10:28:14 AM
  • 226
    What an interesting read. I can relate and have often wondered how being single and living alone impacts my own health status. I believe it's got it's advantages however if I had a choice, I'd much rather be living with that special someone that I share a healthy relationship with. Until I find that special someone, I'm doing what I need to do to focus on my own health & wellness. - 7/20/2010   10:00:46 AM
  • DREAMT1
    225
    I was able to relate to this topic, and the many comments. I enjoy the freedom of living alone, but have also found that it's important to stay connected to others. For most of the time I have lived alone, I haven't cooked much. Started doing it more this past year as part of my healthier routine, but it is hard to motivate myself to do it. - 7/20/2010   1:47:04 AM
  • 224
    I am always happy to find there are other women who are living alone. I have been divorced for many years and my children are long gone with families of their own. I enjoy the solitude that comes from being alone. I don't watch TV and rarely listen to the radio as I really don't like the noise. I much prefer the sounds of silence and nature. I'm not a big socializer, but I do enjoy the other people in my water aerobics classes. And I have SP and a few friends locally. I took a big risk in 2008 and moved from Maryland (where I spent most of my life) to Florida. I had recently retired on disability and it was a big change even though I moved into the same neighborhood as my sister. The move was definitely worth it. Like many singles, I too have issues with cooking motivation. I have an additional issue with cooking which is that I cannot stand or sit for long enough to make most things--I'm hoping my recent back surgery will fix that so when I do find a recipe I want to try, I will actually be able to make it instead of just wishing I could. I think being unable to cook has actually increased my motivation--LOL. - 7/20/2010   12:10:52 AM
  • 223
    I lived alone for the first time after my divorce in 2002. I decided to get into shape and found it pretty easy to eat well and exercise enough since I didn't have to work around anyone else's preferences and schedule. After my boyfriend moved in, in 2005, I found it harder to eat well and the weight crept back on (there were several other contributing factors). Now I'm back to working on fitness, and he is away for work three or four days a week. I'm doing pretty well at eating really healthy while he is away, and preparing healthy foods - just in larger quantities - when he is home. It takes some doing, but we're managing. it is still easier to get in my exercise when he isn't home, though. - 7/19/2010   2:01:37 PM
  • 222
    It does have it's pro and cons. But I find it easier to eat a little healthier, because before when I had a roommate she bought junk food and it was always in our pantry just begging to be eaten by ME! lol Now that I live alone I buy only healthy things and I never have temptation stareing at me. - 3/30/2010   11:28:53 AM
  • 221
    When I was first widowed, I went through all the problems of feeling left out and isolated mentioned here. One day, I realized that she who gives, gets. I invited some of my co-workers and their spouses to my home for dinner. In this way I forced myself to make plans for the pleasure of someone else, to clean and cook. That was wonderful therapy for me, and there was an unplanned benefit: leftover food I could enjoy for days, peanut butter free! It has been 8 years and still I have a "party" each month. Some I do alone, trying new recipes and exotic foods, or cooking foods my grandmother used to make, and some are potluck. My circle of friends keeps growing. I invite neighbors I have never met, and get acquainted with relatives of my friends. I even moved to a new town, and armed with my experience, I got acquainted with my new neighbors and co-workers by being the hostess. I am always included in the guest lists of other people, and I have tried all sorts of new activities with people I might not have met in more conventional ways. Although I love being alone in my house, to exercise or read or eat peanut butter, it's great to know there are many fine people in the world when I reach out to them. - 3/26/2010   5:31:51 PM
  • 220
    I've lived on my own, for the first time, from 1993 to 1994, & then permanently from 1997. I've had roommates, & I've been pretty blessed in that department. When it comes right down to it, though, I'd much rather live on my own with Dublin (my cat) than have a roommate. I like my independence & having my own way in my own home too much, & that includes food & exercising. I like having the freedom to move around & do the kind of exercise I like without disturbing someone or having an audience. Yes, Dub watches me, but that's fine. He loves me anyway, no matter what he thinks about me. I don't have to ask someone if she minds the kind of music I decide to listen to or whether it's all right if I use the living room for my exercise time. I can just go ahead & do what I want. As long as I don't play my music too loud (which isn't something I've ever done) so that I don't disturb the family upstairs, I'm fine.

    As far as eating, I'm the same as always except when I lived at home with Mom & Dad. There, I always had 3 squares a day, whereas on my own I've tended to not cook too much, even though I'm a pretty good cook. It's just too weird cooking for just one person. When I had roommates, we each fended for ourselves, & that was fine, too. So that's not been any different.

    I have been preparing proper meals for myself lately, & I've noticed a difference. It's been good! I can't cook for just one person - is it actually possible unless a person buys a prepared meal? :P - & I always have leftovers. That's not a problem for me because I like most leftovers. I've learnt to freeze things I won't eat by the next day, & then I have meals for the future. That's good because I know that I cooked & how I cooked them & what went into them, & if I freeze leftovers, they're done so individually. It works out well!

    It is possible to eat healthy & do well when living on your own. It's not always easy, but it is fully possible. I don't always put what I've said here into practice, but slowly & surely, I'm improving in this, & it's only getting easier the more I do it. - 3/26/2010   5:26:06 AM
  • 219
    I am having lots and lots of trouble living along -- always before had family / roommates / boyfriends / husband in my life and I'm really struggling with working up motivation to do all the things mentioned in the article (& trying to adjust to having almost no money). Joined Spark and hope this will help perk me up. - 3/25/2010   2:08:30 PM

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