Since I was in a long-term relationship where I actually lived with my boyfriend during the entire process of losing weight, I wasn’t sure what being on my own and living alone would bring in terms of challenges or benefits for weight maintenance. I honestly thought it was going to be a lot easier to maintain my weight since I would have full control over what was in my kitchen, but that has not exactly proven to be the case.
Some of the main challenges that I faced in living with a boyfriend (who was a lot less weight/health conscious than I was) were:
- Not having full control over what was in the kitchen. My ex really liked sweets and treats. There were always chips, peanut butter crackers, random fudge and other sweets peeking out at me from the cabinets.
- Not caring as much. I was in a long term relationship with a guy I thought I was going to marry. While I lost weight mostly for health reasons, I’m not going to lie and pretend there wasn’t any vanity involved.
- Staying up later. Since my ex was a chef, we worked VERY different hours. This meant I would often stay up much later than I would normally would so that I could spend extra time with him, and this made it much more difficult to wake up early to work out in the morning.
- Being influenced by his habits. Since he didn’t regularly work out or eat that healthfully, it was easier for me to justify not working out or splurging more often than I would have if I didn’t watch him eat fries and chips for many meals. It took a lot of self control to realize that he didn’t have a weight problem and could eat a lot more and a lot less healthfully that I do to still maintain his weight.
I think because we had such different working schedules, I was less influenced by his lifestyle and habits than I would have been otherwise. I cooked dinner for myself most nights of the week and would automatically put the leftovers into Tupperware for the next day’s lunch. I didn’t anticipate that much changing when I moved out on my own, but I was wrong!
Now that I am recently single, there has been a slew of new challenges that I am facing with maintaining my weight that I honestly didn’t think about too much.
- Much more social activity. Which is a great thing, but before I lived outside of downtown DC and was very content with just being home and waiting for my man rather than going out during the week. Now, there are things going on almost every night, so I’m out and about much more. And, these things usually involve #2 and #3 on this list as well…
- Much more eating out. I cooked home almost every single night before – now I’m going out 2-3 times a week for dinner. This is detrimental to both my waist line AND my wallet!
- Much more drinking. I only drank 1-2 times a week MAX when I was living with my ex, mostly once or less though. Now, almost all social gatherings involve alcohol. For a while I was a little out of control in this department, going out 4+ times a week. But now I’m trying to plan some non-alcohol related things (like sweetgreen!) and gym dates with a few friends who belong to the same gym, so I have it down to 2-3 times a week and have been trying to be semi-moderate when I do go out. The drinking also leads into eating more under the influence, and makes it harder to wake up the next morning to work out! Such a bad cycle.
So, I guess the bottom line is, regardless of my living situation, maintaining my weight is hard! Every situation presents separate challenges, and I’m not sure which is easier. I guess ideally I will get into a relationship with someone who is health conscious like me so I can get the best of both worlds. That said, I think being in an intense relationship followed by being single makes me realize I need more moderation in my life in either case…