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How Working On My Relationship Helped Me Reach A Healthy Weight

Sarah Jenks
Written by Sarah Jenks

When I first graduated from college, a few years before I founded my company, I was living in NYC with my boyfriend in a 300 square foot studio. I could touch opposite walls with my hands in the living room and the only door was to the bathroom. No privacy whatsoever.

Sure this situation was pretty romantic (in a struggling artist kinda way) and I didn’t need a huge decor budget, but there was one major problem: I didn’t want my boyfriend to see me naked. And with nowhere to hide, this was a problem.

You see, I had been struggling with my weight for most of life and had been on over 50 failed diets. When I looked in the mirror I saw a bulging tummy, lumpy thighs and pudgy cheeks. Why my boyfriend wanted to be with me was a mystery as far as I was concerned. But I figured as long as I could keep my clothes on—at least when all the lights were on—he wouldn’t notice the truth about my body.

As you can imagine, our relationship was feeling pretty flat, we fought a lot and had very little romance. Not cool for a couple in their early twenties. This made me hate my body even more. I couldn’t believe I had let my lack of willpower create this blockade between me and my boyfriend. My only option was to really buckle down and lose thirty pounds. Then I’d feel sexy, flirty and so much more attractive.

Another try at dieting & making a change

Like every other diet I had been on in my life, by day four, I was half way through a pint of ice cream wondering why I couldn’t keep it together. I was starting to wondering if I was ever going to be happy and free in my relationship.

Then I hit rock bottom (in the form of eating an entire bag of Dove Chocolate Promises on the third day of my seven-day juice cleanse) and I realized that if this diet thing was gonna work, it would’ve worked by now.

So I considered this: what if it wasn’t my body that was causing my relationship to suck, what if my sucky relationship was causing me to overeat? I figured I had nothing to lose so I got to work on my relationship.

We instituted date night out of the house 2 nights a week, I started leaving my boyfriend love notes, I cooked us romantic dinners, I bought lingerie and actually wore it (one of the scariest moments of my life), I made an effort to be nice, I flirted with him on a regular basis, asked for massages, complimented him and tried to treat him like we had just met. I also spent some time really working on me and doing things that made me happy.

The results were astounding: within a few short weeks I was feeling sexy, open and incredibly in love with my boyfriend. And without losing a pound, I felt comfortable walking around naked all the time. And since I was being so filled up with love and attention, I no longer needed copious amounts of ice cream, cookies and chips to help me feel loved, comfortable and grounded, so all that extra weight I was carrying around melted away. No diet, calorie counting, or treadmills involved.


What I learned

If you’re finding yourself stuck in your relationship or your life and blaming it on your body, you have to understand that real change only happens when you stop waiting on the weight, and really get to work on your life. It’s actually the only way you’re going to save your relationship and your body.

A few months after I committed to making my relationship amazing, my boyfriend proposed out of the blue, and we continue to have the most incredible relationship. And I have the great honor of helping women stop waiting on the weight, and start designing their dream lives now, so they can finally create their ideal weight. 

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