How To Avoid The "Relationship 15"

by jenny sansouci on January 28, 2009

So, I’ve noticed a trend lately and have had many people voice their struggles with this particular phenomenon.

It all began last summer, when I was a single gal. I worked out with a personal trainer 3x a week, ate a vegan/no sugar diet, and felt generally awesome about my health (except I was a smoker. no longer!)

Anyway, at the end of the summer I found myself suddenly dating someone- and that whole euphoric feeling of falling in love took away from my workout/healthy eating habits a little bit. I mean, lets be honest, who really wants to take hours to work out when you could be spending time with someone who already thinks you’re super hot? Plus, I think something about commitment in a relationship makes you automatically feel a little more lenient in other areas of life.

It’s like my new favorite Starbucks cup quote:

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating β€” in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” – Anne Morriss

That Starbucks quote tells me that when you commit to someone, you are less critical of yourself and more likely to stray from your stringent ways. I’d like to investigate here some more reasons why people become less strict with health habits when they get into a relationship. When I began my search, I found this hilariously random blog post called “The Boyfriend 15.” Read it and laugh.

Here are a few of my personal thoughts on the matter:

When people enter relationships, they tend to be indulgent together. Waking up late on a Saturday and going out to brunch and then taking a post-brunch nap may seem a lot more “romantic” than waking up and making a protein shake and going to the gym.

When you’re in love, you want to eat chocolate. It’s just human nature, friends. I don’t remember the last time I actually bought chocolate, until I got a boyfriend and suddenly felt like chocolate was the only rational thing to eat.

*Sorry Brit, I still love you

When your newfound lover wants to make plans with you, suddenly you have way more “free time” than you did before you got involved with them. When I was single, I always used to say “I would never even have TIME for a boyfriend, I’m so busy!!” Then…when I started dating someone, he’d be like “what are you doing tonight?” and i’d all of a sudden FORGET about any previous plans I had made for myself. Even the most disciplined of us all can experience forgetful episodes when pheromones are in the air…

So give it a few months of being indulgent together and suddenly you don’t feel in tip top shape anymore. Maybe you even start feeling lazy enough to call yourself a walrus. Who knows. So what to do? How to avoid this new relationship weight gain?

In my humble opinion, the best way to maneuver this situation is to be healthfully indulgent together. Recently I’ve started to realize that it actually feels a lot more romantic and sexy to eat or cook something together that’s good for your body- when you have more natural energy from food, you feel much happier! Recently it’s changed from eating pizza or going to a big brunch together to making quinoa, eating dried fruit, finding new vegan restaurants, cooking burritos with healthy ingredients, and even (trying) to make raw chocolate shakes. I’m finding there is much more pleasure in eating healthy foods together than there ever was eating real chocolate and cheese. Who would have thought? Plus, now every meal is an adventure. *HAHA Please, for the love of God, refrain from wearing aprons together. Well, I mean, if you want to, fine.

You can influence each other with your healthy habits. According to this article, people were much more likely to make health improvements if their spouse did so first. My quitting smoking was partly influenced by my relationship so I did get a great health bonus there. And hey, my sister got her boyfriend to eat Quorn nuggets and now he loves them!!

Plus, think about all the endorphins that get released when you exercise. This is a great compliment to any relationship for sure.

So bottom line – if you’re newly attached, think about the things you want to keep constant in your life. If you eat healthy and work out but simply can’t spend a minute away from your newfound hottie, try and incorporate them into your healthy lifestyle. I promise it’ll be fun and you’ll feel super awesome.

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ggw_bach January 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

lol. yeah there are no rules. Good relationships are unique in their nature.

Leo January 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm

1. What dartboard?
2. My chocolate shakes are awesome! It’s your tastebuds that aren’t “trying”
3. You should have replaced Jared Leto’s fat pic with my real pic, it would have been way funnier

Shannon February 16, 2009 at 4:51 pm

After Mike and I started dating, his boss said something to him like, “You must be in a great relationship, you can always tell that by how much weight a guy gains.” Haha, Mike lost all the weight again last year when I went on a health kick so one person definitely has to take the reins. But its tough, its just like anything new and once that wears off you go back to paying attention to the stuff you used to care about. Not that you don’t care about your s.o. anymore, but you find a balance again. Yay love and health! haha

kathydodd March 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I totally understand this! I moved in with Eric and gained 10 pounds. I’m back to working out and eating better. Since I make dinner we’re eating a lot healthier now. πŸ™‚ Nice blog Jenny!!

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