Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Common Ground

Growing up, my mother's favorite thing to say to me when I would whine and complain about going to church on Sunday was "A family that prays together, stays together".

Corny? Absolutely. But it never failed to make me feel guilty, like my 7 year old self was going to singlehandedly tear apart my family because I refused to go to church.

What's the point of this? Well I was at the gym with M yesterday, and I found myself thinking "A couple that works out together stays together"


Wicked goofy, but I can't even begin to tell you what a positive impact M taking control of his weight has had on me.

We started dating a little over three years ago, and by 2 months in I was completely and totally smitten. We did LD for the year and a half I had left at school, which sucked, but we made it work, and it honestly was through those 3 hour phone calls back and forth that I got to know him so well.

I came home the summer after my junior year about 20 pounds heavier than I left, thanks mostly to being depressed about abroad ending, and  being back at Fairfield. I was also not working out, and working at the Loft which had me eating on the go a lot. Plus I had a car now, so I no longer needed to walk to work every day. That following summer was full of drinking, eating and going on birth control which definitely made me gain. It's not the blame, I practiced no self control and rarely worked out. I wanted to spend all my free time with M,  and made up every excuse in the book to order that large sandwich or skip the gym "just that one time".

This is basically the story of my life, btw. The only difference is I used M as my excuse. Subconsciously, I knew what I was doing, but I am awesome at convincing myself that bad behavior is ok.

 When I graduated and moved back home back in Spring 09, nothing changed. I still found reasons to not go to the gym, and to eat poorly. I joined WW initially in October 09, but by January I had lost 5 pounds, and felt like I wasn't gaining anything. I told myself I can do this myself. And I did do something, I gained about 25 pounds in 3 months.

Obviously, this didn't continue on forever, but longer than I wish it had. It's not like M isn't supportive, he's my biggest cheerleader. But he was brought up eating large portions (like me) and take out a few times a week. And I have a really hard time saying no to chinese food.

Eventually I found my balance, in April 10. After seeing my pictures from a Florida trip with two friends, I rejoined WW, started to focus on eating healthier, working out consistently, etc. I set up small goals, like plan for good lunches and breakfast, and to work out 2X a week, which I gradually increased.

M isn't nearly as overweight as I am, but he wasn't active, and was still eating poorly. After he came home from his grandmother's funeral, he started his change. He was probably 50 pounds overweight at this time, and was feeling tired and sluggish all the time. He has a history of diabetes in his family, which made him nervous, and gave him the courage to start losing. He focused on implementing fruits and veggies into his diet, snacking less and eating smaller portions. He works out 3-5 times a week,  and in the past 5 months has dropped about 35 pounds. Instead of lying around all weekend, we go to the gym at least once together, and instead of eating out we either get sandwich meats/ salad ingredients, or we find a healthy recipie (he's started to love skinny taste just as much as I do!) and try and make it, which I've started to love more than going out to eat.

 I always denied how much M affected me weight wise. I mean, I've always been big, that has nothing to do with him. But having a partner to go to the gym with, or being able to ask if we can try and make this meal a healthy one really makes all the difference. I no longer feel bad for pushing out meeting times back because I want to work out,or requesting that we don't have the fatty lunches/dinners. We both want to get healthy for our futures, so we can feel and look better. That common ground to me has become so important, because it's extra motivation. When it was just me losing the weight, I would fall off track pretty easily, for whatever reasons. Just knowing that M is doing the same thing, and is being successful makes me want to try harder, and make him proud of me. I know when we move in together he won't care when I buy all healthy food, because he'll take it as a blessing in disguise. It makes me that more confident that I can do this, and that we will be achieving our goals together :-)


  1. What a wonderful post, Marie! I wish that I had an M in my life to make healthy changes with =) And we started WW at about the same time--I joined on March 30th 2010.

  2. Thanks Katie! And that's too funny, apparently it was a good time to start :-) I love reading your blog btw!