Relationships. Good for our hearts, not so much for our waistlines.
Not sure what I’m referring to? Then consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us, our blossoming relationships have generally mirrored our expanding midsections. Oh, and the happier the love-bubble, the quicker it would occur.
Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of balancing everything out. In a disgustingly cute relationship and happier than you’ve ever been? Awesome. Now get fatter so your friends don’t get so jealous that they disown you.
Well, that’s my theory.
According to the internet, there are a few key reasons this relationship weight-gain occurs. Things like: changes to eating habits, more eating out (or in our case, having it delivered straight to our doors), priorities changing (investing more time in things other than self-maintenance) and finally – and it’s a biggie – caring less! I mean, you’ve found “the one”. They love you unconditionally. No need to cut carbs ever again. Woohoo!
My partner and I had this problem. I started not long after we met and continued for over 18 months. My weight peaked at 15kg above my “happy” place. Needless to say, this did not make me happy. I mean, yes, I was happy in love, but there was a part of my brain that was screaming at me, 24/7 saying, “What are you doiiiing??? You’re going to end up on The Biggest Loser!”
I’d have the occasional melt-down and say that things had to change. I couldn’t deal with the lack of clothing that fit or how self-conscious I was feeling. I was also tired and had lose all motivation to go to the gym because exercise was getting more difficult. And yet we continued.
And then one day, I noticed something. I realised that we were taking turns at our (albeit, poor) attempts to clean up our eating and hit the gym. And just as one of us seemed to be making headway, the other one would do something horrible like suggesting pizza for dinner. And because the “motivated” one was only hanging by a thread at that point, he/she would cave in and fall right back off the wagon, waking up the next day feeling like a failure.
How would we ever achieve anything this way? It looked like we were fighting a losing battle. Until one day, I had a lightbulb moment.
We had been knowingly sabotaging each other up to this point with zero repercussions. In fact, the punishment was getting dished out to the partner who caved in and was then left feeling like crap the next day. It wasn’t fair. And it had to change.
I thought, there must be a way that we can be punished but still benefit as a whole from the experience. A “win lose” type solution. And then it came to me.
The fat jar.
We would create a fining system where, for every level of suggested “cheat”, there would be an associated cost. Only, you don’t pay it to your partner (that’s too easy); you deposit it in your joint savings account, thus creating the beneficial “win”. Oh, and most importantly, the cheat will NEVER happen. The partner is fined simply for suggesting it, then fined, and things go back to normal.
Our table of fines looks like this:
$20 Per person for skipped gym session
$25 Chips, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, wine
$50 Grill’d and other burger places
$75 Nice restaurants (usually involving pizza)
$100 All takeaway and fast food (McDonalds, KFC, Domino’s etc)
So… does it work?
Hell, yes! As much as we want our savings to grow, we generally don’t have the spare cash to part with. We began to stop ourselves mid-dodgy-thought because we knew there was no point in following through. While it took us longer to build a fitness routine and healthy eating plan (it’s one thing to not eat junk, it’s another to truly eat WELL), the fat jar was the kick up the butt we needed to get started. I highly recommend you giving it a go if you’re stuck in the same viscious cycle we were!
As always, thanks for reading! I’d love to know if you have your own technique for avoiding love chub or, if you gave the fat jar a go, how it worked for you. Please share your story in the comments below! 🙂 – Kat