Tag Archives: relationships

Let’s Talk About Health, Baby

19 Feb
This will be a much less stressful conversation. Promise. Courtesy of Tublr

This will be a much less stressful conversation. Promise.
Courtesy of Tumblr

I’m a bit of a night owl. As I type this, the clock is nearing 3 a.m. “What are you doing up so late?” you’re probably asking. Well, getting this handy-dandy post up, for one. But for another, I just like being up late. I love the quiet. But when I need a little noise, I’ll channel surf.

Do you know what’s on basic cable at 2:30 in the morning? Reruns and infomercials. There are only so many times you can watch the Evanses have “Good Times” before you switch to something else. That’s when the infomercials and regular late-night commercials become some of the most interesting television you’ve ever seen. My first workout DVD was bought from an infomercial. And it sat in the box for more than a year before I actually put it to use.

The late-night commercials are something else, though. There was one that aired in the days leading up to Valentine’s. It was an ad selling a giant bear that measured up to six feet. One of the taglines was, “You could buy her chocolate, but she’ll just ask you if she looks fat?”

The ad was meant to entice men to spend hundreds of dollars on stuffed polyester that, honestly, looked like something out of a nightmare. But that line is what irked me the most. It played into the fear that people can’t handle the truth and are only looking for  a quick fix. Why buy her the health club membership she’s been talking about when you can buy her an atrocious stuffed animal no woman over the age of 13 would ever want? Forget having an honest conversation about what she really wants and needs. Get her a doll that’s sure to collect dust and fulfill nightmares for years to come.

The weight-loss journey is traveled alone. I’ve said this many times before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people about it. Joking about a woman asking if she looks fat is old, tiresome and trite. Beyond that, it halts the conversation about health. Sure, it’s an ad for a ridiculous bear (and if your boyfriend bought that for you, there are bigger issues to discuss than weight). The ad and that line rely on the idea that discussions about appearance and health are too much for any relationship to handle.

I call bullshit. Your first discussion is usually with your doctor who will notice fluctuations in your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol with your annual physical. Next comes your boo thang, who may have added a little around the middle with you as you two have grown more comfortable with one another. Then comes my favorite: your grandparents, aunts and uncles, who will never, ever forsake the opportunity to comment on how you look—good or bad.

You can take these comments and observations as insults, or you can take them as jumping off points to a bigger discussion about what your weight and body image mean to you. No one’s saying to go on a crash diet. But I believe that opening the dialog to the future of your own health is a great way to charter the path for your weight-loss journey.

What does it hurt to say, “I’m going to start eating lighter to take better care of my weight”? Or, “Why don’t we go for a walk after dinner some nights to burn some of these calories”? Observing that a shirt or a pair of pants don’t fit the way they used to doesn’t mean you’re being critical. It means you want the person you’re with to look their best. Discussing what you’ve seen and what you’re concerned about can only open up your conversations to other things, like past history with weight or even family health issues. It’s all for the greater good.

What kinds of conversations have you had with people about your weight and body image? How do you feel about discussing these things with people? Did you have a good Valentine’s Day?

Dating on the Run

14 Jul

My weight-loss journey began out of a need to make productive use of my time after a break up. I didn’t want to become the cliche of the girl who gorged herself on brownie sundaes to dull the pain of a failed relationship. While a brownie sundae sounds good even now, practicality is my thing.

When you’re in beast mode, time management is key to life. You have to work a workout into your schedule. You have to plan times for your meals. You need to have a steady sleep schedule to recover from the changes you’re making to your body. Add the daily activities of your actual job and extracurriculars and you realize that your social life can take a nosedive.

If you’re single like I am, dating can be difficult at the best of times even when you’re not on a fitness track. You want to meet up with that guy from OkCupid for after-work drinks, but your workout schedule already has you penned in for an hour at the gym. The guy from a couple weeks ago texts you for a movie in the park—he brings the treats, you bring the wine. But if he’s bringing treats, will he remember to bring you peppers and hummus because you’re not eating pita chips right now?

It can be all so nerve wracking. You don’t want your social schedule to ruin your good works, but you don’t want your good works to keep you from enjoying life. So how do you compromise the two in hopes of meeting the bae of your dreams?

1. Prioritize. You have to know what’s important to you. Understand where you are on your journey and what you’re willing to do to achieve your goals.

2. Let your freak flag fly. You know what you have to do to maintain or achieve your goals. Letting future bae in on where you are in your journey can only help. If he wants to grab snacks for a picnic in the park, give him suggestions. If you’re in training for a race, ask him if he wants to go with you for a run. You had a life before you met him, now just let him in on some of the things you like.

3. Cheating isn’t always bad. Say you have a rest day coming up where you’re allowed a few more cookies and a little extra syrup on your waffles. Sounds like the perfect day for a date. You’re not worried about how this slight divergence from the plan is going to affect you because you’ve already planned for a few extra calories on your plate.

 4. Lackadaisical can kick rocks. Sometimes you’ll meet a great guy where you two will hit it off. You’re both bottomless pits of useless information. He likes the same obcure BBC show that you like. But he’s a bit of a couch potato. That’s as big a deal as his need  to question your routine. If he pooh-poohs your goals and plans, he’s not worth it. Don’t settle for someone who can’t support your fitness regimen.

5. Just have fun. Dating is supposed to be fun. You’re meeting new people, learning about other interests and exploring new things. Don’t take it so seriously. Your next date may not be your husband, but he might be the guy to introduce you to a really great trainer. Or he could be the person that takes you to your new favorite restaurant, even if he wasn’t the best dinner partner.

You’ve made room in your life for fitness, now you’ve got to squeeze in more room for a social life. It’s a lot to take on, but you can do it. Look at all the progress you made just to shed a few pounds. Think of all the good you’ll do on the social scene.

How do you balance your dating life with your fitness life? What are some of the things you like to do to incorporate both?