The Romantic 15: Why You Gain Weight When You're Dating
The relationship you have with your body is the longest relationship you’ll ever have. It’s easy to forget this and abandon your body for a romantic relationship. When you give priority to your relationship with a partner over the relationship with your body, you become very susceptible to what I like to call the “Romantic 15!”
The “Romantic 15” are those extra pounds that seem to sneak up on your belly and butt when you’re in a relationship. You can try to exercise or food-restrict these pounds away, but they showed up on your waistline for a very specific reason. Your body wants you to shift your focus from pleasing or securing love from your partner to giving it the attention it deserves and hearing its voice. Here are some common ways you may be abandoning your body and gaining the “Romantic 15.”
1. You spend time together around food.
Does your relationship revolve around food or drinking? I did some research to find out if I’m the only one who thinks going on a date means going out to eat. Apparently, I’m not! I Googled “Top Date Spots” and almost every single suggestion was a restaurant or bar.
What would your relationship be like if you explored spending time together without food or alcohol? Most people think this is impossible, but if you’re wondering why you’ve gained 15 pounds since you started dating your new beaux, maybe it’s time to separate food and quality time.
My favorite experiment with food and relationships is to do a dinner fast together as a couple. Together, skip dinner and use the time to hang out. I promise you won’t die if you skip one dinner. However, I will promise that you will realize how much you have in common or don’t have in common when you spend quality time together without food or alcohol.
2. You eat your self-worth and love.
Have you ever changed the way you eat or drink to impress someone or to fit in? I have! Once, I was in a toxic relationship in which the other person loved to eat anything processed, sweet or greasy. As a personal trainer and health coach, I knew that my body didn't like those foods, but I found myself making some very curious decisions in the presence of this person. Fifteen pounds later, I took a look at my body and heard it speaking to me. I investigated those curious food decisions and discovered that I changed my eating habits because I thought that I had to eat like him to earn his love and respect. I wanted to be seen, loved, and feel worthy in our relationship.
So I abandoned my body and ate the foods I thought were necessary. I ate the foods I thought would make him love me. My body expanded for me. With every pound it was saying, “Look at me! Don’t abandon me! Come back home!” When I decided to connect back to my body, I realized I had totally abandoned my health by seeking love. I also realized that love for myself is the only love possible, and that I didn’t have to earn that by eating or doing anything. It's a choice I can choose to express or not.
3. You're in need of some sweetness.
Do you find yourself craving a lot of sweets? One of the first questions I ask someone who is experiencing intense sugar cravings is: “Where are you lacking sweetness in your life?” Most people answer that the lack is in their relationships. Quite often, sugar cravings are your body alerting you that you need some sweetness, kindness, or compassion in your life. You can get these through hugs, kisses, cuddles, smiles, glances, words, or even gifts. When you aren’t giving your body enough sweetness, it may alert you in the form of sugar cravings.
It’s important to note that blaming your partner for withholding sweetness from you is futile. If your partner is withholding sweetness from you, it’s only because you’re withholding it from yourself. Offer yourself a little love, kindness, and compassion and see how it’s reflected in your relationships and how your sweet cravings diminish.