Deciding whether to share my Sparkjourney with the boyfriend...
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Conveniently, we're required to blog about our journey for BLC, and I just happen to be wrestling with a facet of my journey right now!
So, one of the Questions of the Day on my BLC team asked who is the biggest obstacle in my weight loss efforts. My initial reaction was to say my boyfriend - he's both a major inspiration and a major distraction from my weight loss efforts! Of course, the biggest reason that he's an obstacle is probably that I haven't TOLD him about my efforts, so my biggest obstacle really is myself!
Chris has been an inspiration since before I met him -the idea that I wanted to date, and eventually find a long-term relationship, was a huge part of my motivation for losing weight. Once I had lost 30 pounds, I signed up for e-harmony, and my desire to look cute for our dates (and for our increasing physical intimacy) has been a motivating factor for me during the whole length of our relationship. But, now I have a man in my life, telling me that I'm beautiful just as I am. He's attracted to me. So, I do feel like a big part of my motivation (the fear that I'll always be alone, if I stay fat) has evaporated. I've lost 40 pounds and reached a weight that is "cute enough" to attract a mate, and for me to feel pretty darn good about how I look.
Still, though, for optimal health (and optimal cuteness, in my own opinion!) I should lose another 15-25 pounds. I WANT to keep losing weight. It's just gotten a whole lot harder as I've gotten closer to goal. Also, instead of a motivation, now having a man in my life is bringing with it a LOT of extra calories! We live apart, so often our dates involve meeting in the middle somewhere, going to a park (yay exercise!) and then going out to eat (boo, excess calories!). Even when we do eat together at one of our homes, it involves dessert and often at least a little alcohol.
It's really tricky for me to reduce these indulgences! I honestly don't feel secure enough in the relationship that I want to stop "wooing" him - I like showing off my dessert-baking skills! And I think he feels the same way for me! Also, since we see each other infrequently, it's like we want to make the absolute most of our time together and enjoy it to the utmost - therefore, splurges like desserts. Lastly, I've always been very body-shy, and I definitely feel more relaxed and amorous if I've had a drink with dinner, so I haven't exactly wanted to nix that tradition when it started up! Doh! What's a girl to do??
My hope is that I can keep losing, even while letting myself have a once-weekly "date day" where I can indulge with him. But I'm concerned that it's definitely slowing my progress, and possibly establishing a precedent that will only grow harder to break. Also, once he moves closer to me (he's graduating this summer and moving here), we'll be seeing a LOT more of each other, and I'll HAVE to make sure that I can follow a liveable eating plan even on multiple days/week that we'll be together.
So, I'm contemplating when and how to let him know that I'm working on losing weight. He knows that I'm working on building physical fitness, such as doing the C25K. He was even inspired enough to start the program, himself! And he's very supportive of us doing outdoorsy and active dates (walks, tennis, etc). The hard part is the eating. I want to gently introduce the fact that I'm trying to work on weight loss, without totally spoiling all of our food-related fun (such as, we have an overnight trip planned for Valentines Day, including dinner reservations and an already-planned "cheesecake and champagne" breakfast in bed!).
As I'm sure you're thinking, that type of thing spells "disaster" for a diet. Yet, I'm NOT actually on a diet - I'm really trying to make healthier living a lifestyle, that will allow for holiday splurges and be something liveable for the rest of my life. I just wish I could find a way to gently tone-down how frequent the splurges are turning out to be! And I'm worried about my ability to convey the message without hurting his feelings or confusing him, since what to eat - and what to say "no" to - is a balance that I"m constantly struggling with and re-defining.
One thing I know for sure - somehow, the idea of telling him that I'm working on weight loss seems LESS embarrassing, the closer I get to goal. Why does it seem easier to contemplate admitting to being unhappy with my physical appearance when I'm looking so much better than how I used to look? Maybe it's just that I can imagine minimizing the emotional ramifications if I could breezily say something like, "Oh, yeah, I think I'd like to lose 10 pounds. I'm going to be cutting out dessert for a little while." On the other hand, explaining my real journey - including how far I've come, and how hard I'm working to continue my weight loss for the next 20 pounds, seems like it would reveal a whole host of struggles and insecurities.
What do you think, Sparkbuddies? If you were me, how much would you reveal, and how would you go about the conversation?
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I think you should tell him for sure (maybe you already have since I've been MIA for awhile!)
It doesn't have to be a big serious conversation, just let him know that you are incredibly happy now and a big part of that (aside from him of course!) is that you are taking care of yourself. It doesn't mean that you can't share the occasional indulgence it just means they can't be everyday. (Take it from the woman who has been having daily stress cupcakes, not working out for me!) If he loves you, and it sure sounds like he does, he won't view your journey as a sign of weakness, he'll see it as a sign of strength. You have taken control of your life and look at all the joy that has come into it! How could he not think that is awesome?
1634 days ago
Flutter, love is blind! That's for certain. If he truly loves you then it doesn't matter what you weigh, what you look like, what you eat or don't eat. He is still going to love you. And that love goes both ways. If you truly love him then you tell him your true feelings, the real you. Not saying that you are lying but not telling him is giving him the wrong impression of who you really are. And think, cutting down the frequency of your desserts is going to be beneficial for both of you! As much as you want a cuter you, how great would you look with him a little cuter on your arm? So on your next long walk or your next dinner in bring it up. BEFORE Valentines weekend leads to an extra 5lbs!
1641 days ago
IMO I think that you should tell him. I don't think there is anything wrong with the occasional splurge. Especially when it comes to dating. But it sounds to me like some of the food you are not wanting to eat, but you feel obligated to, for lack of hurting his feelings and I just don't think that is a good thing. This is not a diet for you this is a lifestyle change. And it is something that needs to be addressed. Prolonging telling him might make it harder for you to tell him and then the issue might be "why did she wait so long to tell me?" He might feel like you felt you had to keep it from him because you didn't trust him or something and he is going to feel bad if he finds out that you chose to ate a bunch of food you didn't really want to just because you didn't want to hurt his feelings. Have faith in him, that he is the kind of man that will see how far you've come as a strength and not where you were as a weakness. I tell everyone who will listen about how much weight I have lost. It is a huge part of my life and I am super proud about it. If someone wants to judge me because I used to be fat then they are not the person for me anyway. What you have done, and how far you have come is amazing. It is a big part of your life. If you don't wanna be one of those unfortunate people that gain back the weight that they lost than you are going to have to be doing this for the rest of your life. (When you are done losing, maintaining I mean). If you want Chris to be ap ermanent fixture in your life then I think it is time to let him know about a weight loss journey. Something that is such a wonderful thing, a thing to be proud of, should not be looked at as some kind of dirty little secret. Be proud! If he is the great guy he sounds like he will be proud of you and glad that you trusted him to tell him how you really feel. Chris is your boyfriend, not some guy you are just on a date with. I think you guys have been together long enough that you need to faith in him and in the relationship that you don't have to keep this part of your life hidden. f you wait until the summer when he moves closer and then tell him why you are having to change your eating habits he might feel bad that you waited a year to tell him. I know I am very opinionated and I won't take it personally if you don't agree with anything I said, but honestly, there are a lot of other ways to woo a man than by baking desserts for him. And if you still want to bake for him you could always bake a low calorie dessert or simply just not eat any of it. Instead of waiting for dessert time at your house and showing him what you made and having to eat some of it, how about as he is leaving you say, "surprise, I made tihs pie just for you. Something to eat during the week while we are apart and you can think of me while you do it." That kind of thing. Just an idea. Anyway, I am so proud of you and of all your accomplishments.
1643 days ago
As I had mentioned on the thread, my DH and I started out very much like you and your BF. I had lost close to 40 lbs when I started dating my hubby. We only saw each other on the weekends and we ate out most of the time. My DH lives to eat! I soon took on his eating habits (he loves dessert) and started putting the weight back on. We eventually got married and I reached an all time high weight.
Food for us is a struggle, I wish I had told him when we had started dating of my desire to stay fit and eat healthy. He tells me sometimes I'm no fun anymore when I don't want to indulge in a dessert with him. He won't' eat it by himself so therefore I'm depriving him.
My advice...be honest from the start an let him know how important health and fitness are to you and that includes eating healthy. There are plenty of healthy desserts you can make together. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!
1643 days ago
I agree with both Leigh and Eu. My 2 cents is this... tell him everything. Just like you said it here. You wanted to be healthy, fit and at a healthy weight for him. Before you knew him. That you want to be a healthy and fit partner.
I like the idea of cooking healthy together... There are all sorts of good healthy desserts based around fruit as well that you could try to show off your cooking skills but still not break the calorie bank.
Have fun and good luck. If he doesn't want you because of past issues, then it's better to find out now rather than later.
1643 days ago
What Leigh said. Frankly, considering how inspired he's been by YOUR efforts, I bet he'd be just as inspired (and proud of you) - and honestly? Being open and honest with each other about EVERYTHING is one of the true backbones of a successful relationship. :) Doesn't mean you have to stop "wooing", but it does mean being REAL with each other, so you know you're getting to know the REAL person. Right?
1643 days ago
Here's my two cents (this is coming from a woman who hasn't been asked out on a date in 11 year, so take it or leave it!)-if he really loves you for YOU, he will be able to handle anything you tell him about your weight loss journey. Now, if it was me, I wouldn't dump it all on him at once-just let him know that you're working on your overall health, including your weight. You're trying to be stronger, fitter, and healthier, and as such, you've made great progress losing some extra pounds. Once you let him know that, and how important it is to you that you keep moving towards that goal of better health (and, tangentially, lower weight), maybe you both could start exploring ways to enjoy food in healthier, less *splurge-tastic* ways. Totally just made up that word, and I like it! Anyway, I think maybe structuring some dates around some healthy cooking might be a neat way to work the healthy living into your dating. You both already love doing active things together, so why not add that to the mix? Maybe you could even sign up for some healthy cooking classes together?
Hmmm, if I ever start dating, I might have to try that, too...
Anyway, if the boy has any sense (and it seems like he does, he loves you, right?), he'll be able to take this all in stride. I think it is important to let him know about it, since it is an important part of your life, and his support could prove invaluable. Good luck!
1644 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
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