I’ve got this lyric from the Barenaked Ladies stuck in my head: I’m like a baby, she’s like a cat; when we are happy we both get fat. And isn’t it so with dating? You’re single for awhile and you make sure you always have time to work out and look rocking. And then you meet someone and fall head-over-heels for them and in a few months time, you’ve put on five pounds amidst your bliss. Oops.
Wondering why love can make you a little softer around the midriff? Well, let’s think this through logically. When you start dating someone, most of your dates center around food. Our culture’s idea of a romantic time is to hit up a fancy restaurant most certainly making full use of butter, and ordering dessert to boot. Oh, plus any cocktails, wine or beer that goes along with the meal, and if you want to extend the date, we tend to think lattes.
I’m not suggesting you deny yourself any of these fun dates; getting to know someone is all about having time to talk with them, and sitting through movies isn’t going to allow you to do so. Take a tip from Jennipher Walters: “…instead of saying no to certain foods, think small. When you’re out, be sure to put your fork down between bites, order healthy foods whenever possible, and remember to listen to your hunger signals.” Being on a date isn’t just about the other person. It’s about being exactly true to yourself, too. Don’t feel pressured to be different than who you are.
Personally? I like to order side dishes when I’m out with my friends. They’re smaller, they’re usually plenty filling, and if worst comes to worst, I can order a second one. I feel like those sides get neglected anyway, and some cook in the back is thinking, “Why oh why won’t anyone order my Brussels sprouts?! They’ve got cumin on them and deserve to be enjoyed!” You’ll be making the sous chef’s day!
Walters has a few more good ideas for keeping yourself fit while you find love. First, plan “active dates.” You know…dates that involve going on a hike, hitting up the rollerskating rink, or my personal favorite, going dancing. Who was it that sang Let’s Get Physical? She was totally not discussing anything more than getting some fun movement on while out and about on a date. Like going bowling.
Oh god, remember those TV shows like Blind Date or whatever other into-to-reality TV gems there were? We can really all take a lesson from them, because every date started with something active, like learning to skydive, going rock climbing, or taking horseback riding lessons. In essence, every date started with something active. Channel the vibes from Blind Dates past when planning what to do when going out.
I think the best advice Walters gives regarding how to stay slender while being enraptured with your sweetie is this: “When you’re falling in love and consumed by a new relationship, it’s easy to want to spend every free minute with your honey. Just remember to give yourself some “me” time. Whether it’s hitting the gym, going to an exercise class, heading out for a walk or doing a yoga DVD at home, take at least a few minutes of every day to do something good for you.” This goes back to the idea of being true to who you are. Don’t let go of things that make you uniquely yourself simply because you’re enamored with someone else. Yes, we’ve all totally done this, and no, it doesn’t have to be that way.
You don’t have to get fat to fall in love. Honest.