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Is Your Relationship Making You Fat?

BLT from Carnegie Deli, NYC.
BLT from Carnegie Deli, NYC.
personal collection

Life is wonderful when you’re in a new relationship. You go out to dinner together, cuddle up on the couch in front of the TV with some Chinese takeout, stop by Spot for a gourmet Panini; but is all this indulging really good for your waistline?

Studies have shown that lesbians struggle with obesity more than their heterosexual and bisexual sisters. While the reasons behind this have yet to be fully explored, some studies suggest that social and cultural differences play a part. Lesbians are said to have a better body image (in that physical function is prioritized above appearance).

Another theory is that because a lesbian isn’t trying to please a man, she doesn’t judge herself by a heterosexual woman’s standard of beauty. She isn’t chasing the illusion that she should be supermodel thin and her “acceptable weight” level is higher. She’s less likely to worry about the same two pounds that frustrate her heterosexual sister.

But when two pounds turns to five, then ten, then twenty-five and we know it all began when the (now not so new) relationship began, it’s time to take a look at our habits and make some changes.

Step away from the menu
If the relationship is more than two years old now and you’re still going out for dinner three nights a week, stop. All that dining out is killing your waistline (and probably isn’t so great for your heart either). Restaurant food is notoriously high in calories, especially if you start with appetizers and go straight through to dessert. Do yourself (and her) a favor and cook at home. Sure, cooking doesn’t sound as romantic as enjoying a quiet candlelit dinner at Left Bank, but you can make it fun by cooking together. Open a bottle of wine, grab a couple of cutting boards, and go at it.

Portion Control
We always hear about this one because it’s true, Americans eat too much. What’s more, Americans in relationships eat almost twice as much. If that’s the case, you can safely cut your portion practically in half and still get all the food and nutrients you need.

Get moving
You don’t have to run a marathon, but it’s probably a good idea to burn off some of those wine calories you just had with dinner. It’s possible you skipped the wine of course, but if you went for it (as most of us will), it’s going to sit right there with you on the couch, contributing just a little more to the ever-growing padding around your midsection. Skip the TV for awhile (you’ve seen that Family Guy rerun a hundred times anyway). Grab your girl and the dog and head out for a short walk. If it’s summer, indulge in a longer walk.

Don’t believe everything you hear
She may be telling you that you look great with “a few extra” pounds, and she probably does mean it (it isn’t often that we don’t think the person we love looks great) however the way you feel about yourself is what’s going to count. If she says you look beautiful but you think you need to lose ten pounds, you probably do. You’re never going to believe her compliment until you see it in yourself. Just remember, you were ten pounds thinner before you met her, and with a little watchfulness, you can be ten pounds thinner again.


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