Better with a Partner
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Prompt: Do you think it's easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle when your single or in a relationship?
I suppose I need to answer this question in two parts.
I lost the better part of my weight about 3-4 years ago. I was single, and more than that, having just moved to a new city, for a job, I was really completely alone. Having just started said job, I didn't have any extraneous responsibilities as I was getting settled in: no long hours, not a whole lot of stress. In that environment, I had no distractions. I was able to completely focus on my fitness and weight loss. All I did in life (basically) was go to work and then go to the gym - lather, rinse, repeat. I was able to choose my meals and my foods for myself, take the time to measure portions, and take the time to plan my cooking. I went from 240 lb to 175 lb, and I've kept it off since then. So the nice thing about being single is that you can have this incredible focus on yourself, your goals, and what *you* need to do for yourself.
Two and a half years ago, I met my now-fiance. Through our relationship, I have not really been actively trying to take off my "last 30," until recently, but I have managed to keep the other weight off. Now that I am trying to lose, I realize what a blessing it is that he loves to eat healthy and is committed to fitness! I honestly think I eat better when he is around than when he is not. When he is away I am much more likely to slip into emotional eating patterns. He also encourages me to work out, and on days when I "don't feel like it," I'm much more likely to go and do something anyway if he suggests it. When my job gets stressful and other commitments distract my focus, he helps me remember to make healthy food choices (mostly by cooking for me!) and reminds me to exercise, even in small bursts.
I can't say that I don't get distracted from my focus on myself and my goals, because most of my focus has now been transferred to him. But I have to say that when you are living in the Real World with a real job and real commitments, a supportive spouse/relationship really is key. I can only imagine that when the time comes to conquer the post-baby weight (sooner or later), he'll be my strongest ally.