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Why do people let themselves get out of shape in a relationship?


diabolik
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I've seen a lot of friends get married or stay in LTRs, and often one or both people let themselves get out of shape (i.e., fatter). In situations that I've seen, usually it's the woman. Why is this?

 

I get that childbirth adds weight, but there are plenty of women who get rid of all of the extra weight. And sure, some people can lose fat faster than others, and guys generally have an easier time of it than women, but pretty much everyone, barring some medical condition, can do it, if they care to, so I think it's primarily a motivational problem.

 

The funny thing is that once there is a breakup, these very same people find the motivation, probably because they realize that their prospects in the dating market will be better if they get in shape.

 

I suppose the obvious answer is that we get comfortable in relationships, and assume our partner will find us just as attractive no matter how much we let ourselves go. Or is it worse - i.e., we know our partner will find us less attractive, but they're somewhat locked in by marriage, so we don't make the effort to stay in shape because we don't "need to" for the sake of keeping our partner around.

 

Thoughts?

 

Those of you (men or women) who manage to keep yourself fit during LTRs or marriage, why do you do it?

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I just replied to the other thread (Advantages of Breaking up), so you can read that if you wish.

 

As I said there though, I don't think it's always our faults. I know when I was in a relationship with my ex, I constantly told him that I wanted to start working out and lose some weight. He always told me, "Ok, I don't think you need to, but I support it and I will help you" ...10 minutes later, he would be putting chocolate cake and pasta in my face, knowing that they were my favorites.

 

I know, I could have practiced self-control, and not eat things. However, when I have a man who thinks I'm so perfect and beautiful the way I am, sitting there, telling me, "Come on, I got this especially for you...eat it, it wont hurt anything" ...What am I supposed to do? Curse him and tell him to go to hell and get the cake away from me, after he went out and bought it?

 

No. He should have meant it when he said that he "respected me wanting to lose weight, and would help me"

 

And the reason I wanted to stay/get back into shape when we were together was for me, not him. Maybe he just couldn't accept that I actually wanted to do something for me?

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I suppose the obvious answer is that we get comfortable in relationships, and assume our partner will find us just as attractive no matter how much we let ourselves go.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head right there. We're in our relationship, so who else do we need to impress?

 

Those of you (men or women) who manage to keep yourself fit during LTRs or marriage, why do you do it?

 

I do it because I'm a health freak and want to live as vitally as I can. It's also become something to share in the relationship. My fiance used to be a few pounds overweight so I introduced him to new, healthier foods and he cooks good stuff for both of us. We also work out together. It's a good way to keep yourselves from "letting go" and also spend time together.

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I see it too. But I haven't seen any cases yet where the woman let's herself go for no reason. Usually I've seen women become out of shape due to reasons like having a kid and illnesses such as thyroid disfunctions.

Other then that just sheer lazyness.. It's sad how on the whole nowdays excersize doesn't seem to be as important. I'm guilty of it myself. Only right after a break up do I have a huge REASON to lose weight and get in shape.. Which is also the only reason I don't mind break ups lol. I eat healthier too.

 

Also, let me give 2 really good reasons why it seems some women "let themself go":

1. the male doesn't excersize either. therefore he doesn't really feel she needs to, or isn't really aware of how important it is. They both feed each others bad habit.

2. when in a relationship/married most free time is spent with each other. You have to work, take care of kids, cook, clean the house, or attend school, etc. So obviously one of those has to take the back seat for you to be able to excersize, and so the list of excuses goes on. And you're always coordinating with each others schedule (well... most of the time). When you're single you usually have no one else to bother with.

 

I'm guilty of both at the moment, but luckily I haven't packed on alot of pounds. I'd say maybe 5 and I'm not letting it go further.

I have to say though that now that I'm in a relationship (long term), I've made alot of improvements with my appearance when it comes to how I dress, make up, hair, etc. It's just the excersizing which doesn't happen as often as it should.

 

 

editted to add: good reasons given by other above posters too.

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Also, let me give 2 really good reasons why it seems some women "let themself go":

1. the male doesn't excersize either. therefore he doesn't really feel she needs to, or isn't really aware of how important it is. They both feed each others bad habit.

2. when in a relationship/married most free time is spent with each other. You have to work, take care of kids, cook, clean the house, or attend school, etc. So obviously one of those has to take the back seat for you to be able to excersize, and so the list of excuses goes on. And you're always coordinating with each others schedule (well... most of the time). When you're single you usually have no one else to bother with.

 

Good reasons. But what about when the man in question actually does workout and want to stay in shape?

 

My ex was like that. He always made a point that he had to do it so he could look good, but that I didn't need to. It was almost as if he thought if I worked out, I'd look better than him. And he wanted to be the better looking one in the relationship.

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Aerorobyn, you mentioned in the other thread that the guy is partly to blame b/c he tells the woman she looks great, etc. What a catch 22!! If he doesn't say anything, she gets upset. Or worse, if he says, "honey, maybe you shouldn't have that extra cookie", then he's really in for it.

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My ex was like that. He always made a point that he had to do it so he could look good, but that I didn't need to. It was almost as if he thought if I worked out, I'd look better than him. And he wanted to be the better looking one in the relationship.

Yeah, your ex was a weirdo, stuffing you with sweets while he was working out. Maybe some insecurity issues there. Pretty much every guy I know would love for their woman to work out.

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I think the answer is one you mentioned- people get comfortable. People get comfortable, they get complacent, they get chubby, they stop with the romantic gestures, they stop doing sweet things for each other, etc. etc. Definitely goes beyond just keeping in shape.

 

As to how/why I keep myself in shape- I do it for myself. I am into sports, and being fit, and setting fitness goals. I love being outside, riding my bike, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, etc. My husband is the same way.

 

For me, fitness is a way of life, and that includes healthy eating.

 

I don't think fitness can ever be something that you do for another person. Sure, if your bf/gf or spouse is unhappy with the way you look, you can diet and grind away on a treadmill or eliptical for a few hours a week, but how long will that change last?

 

I think if fitness is a pre-req for you in a relationship, you should find a partner who loves being fit, is happy being active, likes eating healthy, etc. Those are the people who will stay fit and healthy throughout the realtionship.

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Aerorobyn, you mentioned in the other thread that the guy is partly to blame b/c he tells the woman she looks great, etc. What a catch 22!! If he doesn't say anything, she gets upset. Or worse, if he says, "honey, maybe you shouldn't have that extra cookie", then he's really in for it.

 

Funny you mention that.

 

One day I was talking about working out, and he told me I didn't need to. He then suggested that we watch a movie and share a bag of cookies. An hour later...he told me, "well, you could go to lose a few pounds"

 

I cried and cried. He told me, "I'm sorry, I didn't know it'd hurt you that bad" .....

 

I was only 115-120 at the time. And I supposedly needed to lose weight.

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My story: I cooked him big meals and ate them with him while and directly after I was pregnant and had a new baby and no time to work out. We broke up, he gets the baby 2 or 3 times a week and there's my workout time and nobody to cook for. I lost 20 lbs.

 

That was the first time we broke up. He came home, I quit going to the gym after summer last year and didn't gain any weight back really (a little when we were really happy, we were happy, who cared about 5 lbs?).

 

And oh yeah, he gained 30 lbs. while we were together!

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Also, let me give 2 really good reasons why it seems some women "let themself go":

1. the male doesn't excersize either. therefore he doesn't really feel she needs to, or isn't really aware of how important it is. They both feed each others bad habit.

2. when in a relationship/married most free time is spent with each other. You have to work, take care of kids, cook, clean the house, or attend school, etc. So obviously one of those has to take the back seat for you to be able to excersize, and so the list of excuses goes on. And you're always coordinating with each others schedule (well... most of the time). When you're single you usually have no one else to bother with.

1. well look, if the guy lets himself get fat, he really can't complain if his woman does as well.

2. this is a poor excuse. All that work (taking care of kids, cleaning, etc.) burns a lot of calories. Think about effort involved in lugging around babies, carriages and all that baby stuff. I think diet is a bigger problem than lack of exercise for busy parents.

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what hasn't been mentioned yet....

 

when the relationship gets more comfortable, the couple might start going out for big romantic meals together, or start cooking dinners in together. the women might start eating like their men, and eating an equivalent amount to him. men have faster metabolisms, are bigger and require more calories. so a meal that helps keep him at a healthy weight can put a few extra pounds on her. imagine a 120 lb woman and a 225 lb man. obviously, if they both eat the same pasta dish at the romantic restaurant, the weight will show up on her a lot more and faster than on him!

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what hasn't been mentioned yet....

 

when the relationship gets more comfortable, the couple might start going out for big romantic meals together, or start cooking dinners in together. the women might start eating like their men, and eating an equivalent amount to him. men have faster metabolisms, are bigger and require more calories. so a meal that helps keep him at a healthy weight can put a few extra pounds on her. imagine a 120 lb woman and a 225 lb man. obviously, if they both eat the same pasta dish at the romantic restaurant, the weight will show up on her a lot more and faster than on him!

Yes, but isn't it entirely obvious that a 225 lb man requires more calories than a 120 lb woman? Why would a woman eat as much as her man (unless of course she's taller and/or has a bigger frame)?

 

When I go out to eat with a woman, I usually have to help her finish her meal. Except one woman; she ate more than me. Not surprisingly, she was the biggest girl I ever dated.

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i'm just telling you what happens. when you're on a date, and it's all romantic, and he wants to order appetizers and a second or third drink, and that yummy bread is there with the olive oil ....... mmmm!!! it is so hard to just tell the waiter, "I'll have the salad with the dressing on the side, take away the bread, and no dessert!"

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i'm just telling you what happens. when you're on a date, and it's all romantic, and he wants to order appetizers and a second or third drink, and that yummy bread is there with the olive oil ....... mmmm!!! it is so hard to just tell the waiter, "I'll have the salad with the dressing on the side, take away the bread, and no dessert!"

Yeah, I hear you. Maybe I can use this as a weeding out criterion: "Oh, you're going to finish your entire entree? . . . Check please!" :splat:

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well, i have to say, it just requires more planning. you can still enjoy dinners out and keep your figure. it just might mean nor splurging during the work week, and then letting loose on the weekends. planning is hard some times!

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1) There's a social perception out there that fat does not equal attractive. Once you are in a LTR you might just be so crazy as to assume that you are attractive in your partners eyes for the person you are inside - not just who you are on the outside - and so you don't have to work so hard to stay in shape.

 

2) There are many obligations that take up your free time when you are in a LTR. You might not have as much time to spend at the gym.

 

3) When you live on your own you have a lot of control over what you eat. Men can eat unhealthier foods and larger portions than women and not put on weight. When you have to eat every meal together it can be difficult for women to regulate what they eat as easily.

 

4) Getting older can change things for a woman so that one who could eat anything when young now will suddenly put on a lot of weight, eating the same food.

 

5) Some people eat out a lot more in LTRs so its harder to eat healthier foods.

 

6) As you get older you realise life is about more than maintaining a particular body shape.

 

Just some suggestions..

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When i met my hubby 22 years ago he had a body to die for. 22 years later he has really let himself go. He has put on 100 pounds in weight, refuses to shave or make any kind of effort with his appearance. I think its down to laziness if i am honest. He has gone on the odd diet and has lost something like 14 pounds per week but soon got bored and balooned back up after sitting each evening eating chocolate and bacon sandwiches. I worry about his health and had discussed it with him to which he always says "I dont have a problem with my body so mind your own business"!

 

I on the other hand keep in good shape, always make an effort with my appearance and make the most of what i have. Why do i do this? For me! We grow old and lose our looks all too quickly so why not make the most of what god gave us and look after our bodies? I also think that my hubby does not want to come home and be greeted by a woman that looks like she just crawled out of a cave even though he doesnt really care how i view his appearance.

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One of the main reasons why my partner and I work so well together is our shared interest. And a major one for us is physical activity. We work out together, do many athletic things together, and we're probably in the best shape we've both been..5 years into a relationship.

 

I do see it with many people, girls and guys. I think they just get comfortable. Their routines change [instead of having time alone and going to the gym..they now spend it with their partner instead..for example...] or alot of dates or time spent together revolve around food..going out to dinner, or ordering in.

I think moreso, its a comfort thing. The idea of not having to impress someone anymore, or have to look your best at all times to find someone. You have someone, and they love you, so who cares! [Although I completely disagree with it]

 

The baby thing, to me thats different.

If I gain weight because I have a child, to me thats different. Thats not a result of sitting on the couch eating take out night after night.

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At the risk of sounding agist here, I just want to point out the fact that it's relatively easy for someone in their 20's to stay in shape, especially if they've never had children.

 

Not that some of the posts on here are invalid, but let's fast-forward 20 years and 3 babies and then talk, you know?

 

I heard once (I think it was even on ENA), "if losing weight were easy then everyone would be thin". It's not easy, especially after bearing children or aging.

 

Also, diabolik, remember that genetics plays a huge part in how quickly or easily a woman can lose weight after giving birth. Some women have already lost all the weight before they've even recovered physcially and can start exercising again. It doesn't mean that every woman could do the same if she just had a bit more motivation. Hardly...

 

Staying in shape is not easy when you have kids. After a long day's work, you come home, cook supper for your family and then.... start cooking your own supper?!? ugh.. And have you ever tried jogging while pushing a stroller? Not nearly as easy as you may think.

 

Now, I think that it's great to make health a priority. But when you're a parent, and you have so many important priorities, being thin and hot just doesn't make the list for everyone. And there's nothing wrong with that. I was at the pool yesterday and I noticed at some point that I was sitting in the toddler pool with about 15 other moms and not a single one was thin. Does this mean that they are all lazy and unmotivated? I really doubt it.

 

diabolik, you are very focused on being in tip-top shape and have very high expectations for yourself and those around you. try not to judge those who have different priorities.

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Oh forgot to mention why I stay in shape.

 

I ended up becoming a wife and mother much sooner in life than I expected. I like this saying I heard, "you can have everything, just not all at the same time". There are alot of things I'd still like to do with my life but I don't necessarily need them today. I can focus on my kids when they're small, and once they're older, I'll go back to living the young, spontaneous, fun life. In order to do that, I need to stay in really good shape.

 

I want to take up rock climbing and surfing. I want to go hiking in nepal and scuba diving in the reefs. And at the end of the day, I want to dress up in some hot outfit and go hang out at a lounge with my husband, showing off my tan.

 

Not today, not tomorrow, but soon enough...

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I always get fat in relationships. It comes down to eating out several times a week, taking snacks with me when we go out to do things and having less time to exercise. Relationships are time consuming and it's difficult to be preparing healthy meals all the time when you're so busy. It doesn't help when your boyfriend takes you to ballgames and the movies or that sort of thing. The worst is when he complains that you only eat salad and then you fix that problem, but by then he's complaining about your rolls.

 

I'm definitely much thinner when I'm single. I have plenty of time to look after myself and I'm not on the run so much. That's about all there is to it.

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for what its worth, when i was very vulnerable when a realtionship had finished i used to shift at least a stone in weight worrying about what they were doing curling up in pain with love sickness. but in a relationship i used to pile on, just got complacent, its a funny old world!

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Also, the guys I've dated have all been the type that can eat anything they want and not gain. They assume that just because I'm thin to begin with, I'm the same way, so they have no problem buying me chocolates or cakes or that sort of thing. The thing is, I am not one of those people with an overactive metabolism. To stay thin, I need to work on it HARD.

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