Ah, the cliche of a great relationship: happy people are fat people. I read somewhere on a blog or website written by a guy (or maybe it was on The Real Housewives of Orange County?) that women have an obligation to remain in precisely the physical shape that they were in when they attracted the guy in the first place. No word, of course, on whether the guy has a similar obligation.
Obviously that kind of expectation is impossible, but at the same time I resent the mentality that once a couple is together they can just let themselves go and that somehow their intellectual and emotional connections will be “enough.” The BF has observed more than once that when he and his ex were getting along she gained weight and when they were fighting she’d lose it (he was in fabulous shape the whole time they dated, which I like to think must mean he was miserable the whole time), but this time the fate of most of America has caught up with both of us. While I’m flattered to think that our relationship makes him as happy as it makes me, swimsuit season is almost upon us and this is unacceptable.
(Not liking what I see, plus we bought our home scale at Good Will and it weighs 10 lbs. heavy!)
Why We’re Fat
Of course, there are other factors at work here. I’d gained about ten pounds as a PhD student and been working out even less than usual while working on the dissertation–another ten right there. All of my cutest clothes–the ones that I’d most like to prance around in to raise his, um, temperature–are hidden in drawers he’s forbidden to look in, lest he suggest that I wear them and I have to explain why I can’t.
He graduated and started working a real job…one where he eats out for lunch almost every day. His latest discovery was that a pair of pants he had tailored before he realized that he actually bought them a size too big are now the only pair of pants that fit. He has to wear dress clothes to work every day, so this presents a problem from his perspective that has nothing to do with whether I think he’s still a hottie.
What To Do?
To remedy this situation, we’ve cut a deal. We will both go to the gym at least three times per week. We have made a list of $10 “rewards,” and the other person will buy something off of that list for each week that we reach this goal (we figure that this is money that we have been spending going out to dinner and drinking beer and would be better spent this way). We will do this for the first ten weeks to get us in the habit of going, and at that point we will set new rewards for reaching various goal weights, rather than simply going to the gym.
His stated goal is not to alter his eating habits, be healthy, or gain muscle mass: it is to fit into his work pants. Luckily for me, if he is going to the gym regularly and fits into his work pants then the latter two things, at least, will happen anyway. However, this is a little frustrating for me because now that I’m ready to get back in it, my goal is to be in the best shape I’ve ever been. We joined a gym together a little while back, and every other gym buddy I’ve ever had has worked out with me–like we spotted each other on weights, chatted while doing the elliptical on side-by-side machines, or went to hour-long cardio classes together. He doesn’t like the cardio machines that I do and refuses to do total body weights, so in some ways I feel like the whole point of joining together is a wash.
I prefer the elliptical…he likes the stair-stepper…
So I’m going to have to suck it up and either go myself or find a female workout buddy who’ll be a little more social on trips to the gym. Either way, look out cute clothes! I’ve had it with my dissertation body…
Any workout or diet suggestions for someone approaching 30 and the full-time employment and inevitable metabolic slowdown?