Marriage Mondays: The Marital Waistline

Hi there! I'm trying to find out what works best here on Not the Marrying Kind, and I'd really like your help. I've created a short survey in order to get some feedback on what goes on with my wee small blog. I have a lot of lurkers that visit, seemingly consistently, but are silent observers. I respect silence on blogs, but if you could please break your silence in a completely anonymous way and let me know what you think of some stuff around this, here stretch of the internet, that would be oh, so wonderful! You can access the survey here and it will be up until July 15th. I will probably remind you about this on a daily basis, so please don't get mad at me, k? (PS. A.P. told me that nobody would fill out my survey. Help me prove him, and all men, wrong by sticking it to him. Seriously. Go here.) And thank you to those that have already filled it out! Your feedback is very helpful!

Years ago, when I was working in advertising, a coworker (and friend) got married. Unlike most people I know who get married, this girl had never lived with her now husband. They were both fairly religious and so they didn't move in with each other until after they'd said their "I do's."

After her wedding, we would find her in the kitchen snacking away on the company candy and Friday morning donuts like the rest of us (all things she avoided before her wedding, of course). One day, this girl confided in the rest of us that she couldn't stop eating and that she had to get it under control. I hadn't really noticed, but after this confession, another coworker of mine remarked that the girl really had gained a lot of weight. Shortly after, the newlywed joined weight watchers.

I think about that memory all the time. Especially now that I'm married. Because there's nothing like an awesome relationship to ruin a perfectly good waistline. It never fails that if you're in love, you're going to fatten up like a sausage. I like to call this nesting. Your body's primordial way way of prepping itself for the possibility of a baby. Human dating rituals have changed drastically since prehistoric times, so we don't all fall in love and have babies right away. But we might as well still be clubbed over the head and dragged to a cave where we can have a feedbag attached to our heads. It seems like the minute we only have eyes for one, we forget about portion control, scales, mirrors, and any clothing without spandex.

When I first started dating A.P., I was the thinnest I'd been in my adult life. I was in great shape, tan as all f*ck, and super broke, but super happy. I was biking 10 or more miles a day. I was finishing up a job right before I was going to grad school. I wasn't starting school yet and didn't have another job lined up. I had a reasonable amount of money in the bank and wasn't worried about paying my bills, so I was, in some ways, pretty carefree. I was taking life day by day. I was literally drawing/painting, writing, or reading every day. It was awesome.

A.P. is extraordinarily thin, and he likes to eat, so what do you think we did on a lot of our dates? Ate out! Then I started grad school, and my schedule went from 9a-5p to 8a-10p. I had to make up some undergrad credits for my specialization since I only had a minor from my undergraduate studies, and so I was taking a ton of classes. More often than not, I would spend whole days downtown at school. That means that two of my three meals were on the go.

These two forces collided right on my ass...and my chin. All the weight I'd lost and then some found its way back onto my figure. It was depressing to go from my looking my best to looking my worst, and it's affected me in ways I won't even begin to talk about, not even to A.P. I deal with it every day, and though I deal with it better than I did five years ago, it's still hard.

In the months before our wedding, I lost about 25 lbs. But in 2009, I'd lost about 10-15 lbs, bringing my total pre-wedding weight loss to approximately 35-40 lbs. I am still about 20 lbs. overweight. Maybe even 30, if I want to be as thin as I was when I first met A.P. All of which makes me long for those days when I foolishly thought I was fat! It also makes me wish for the pre-living with A.P. days (not for the pre-A.P. days) where I had more control over my diet.

Food is an issue in our marriage, whether we like it or not. We both place and accept blame for various food issues we bring into this relationship, but the fact is we both have bad eating habits. We may not both need to eat better to lose weight, but we both need to eat better to make ourselves healthier. This summer, I've decided I need to be more like my friend was all those years ago. Five years is a long time to procrastinate on losing some damn weight. I need to get this under control. Most of our problem is us eating out so much it hurts our guts and our wallets, as well as trips to the corner store for snacks, beer, and soda. Beginning in August, we've set a new budget and some new rules about eating out/running to the store. Our new budget will help with our checkbooks, but will also hopefully help our (read: my) waistline.

And just for visualization purposes, here are some pictures of me (even the embarrassing ones!) from 2006, right before I met A.P. until the present. You can see my weight go up and down and then sort of stabilize itself.

Summer 2006

January 2007May 2007
Christmas 2007
March 2008
Christmas 2008
March 2009
August 2009

Wedding (March 2010)


July 2010
Christmas 2010


It was actually really good for me to do this. It's inspiring me to get my ass in gear faster. Do/Did you struggle with your weight as a result of your relationship? Has it affected your relationship? If so, how?

(All photos by me!)


  1. I struggle with weight, full stop. I've been every weight from 200lbs to 120lbs, now am at 152 and desperately trying to get back to 143 which is like the perfect weight for my 5'9". I find that not eating out and bringing my brown bag to work helps a ton, though.

  2. @I'm hoping that my eating less (and soon specific, healthy meals) will help with my cause. The (post-) engagement shoot photos are good motivation, too.

  3. Yes, yes, and yes. All of this happened to me when I got married. It unfortunately contributed to the negative feelings I had about the changes marriage brought to my life. It's doubly tough when your partner doesn't gain weight, and it feels like it's easier to just to eat separately.

  4. @Pants: We don't eat separately (I think A.P. would waste away...before me, he ate at the Greek takeout place up the street every night...the same dinner), but I almost wish we could sometimes! A.P. doesn't gain weight AT ALL. He's gained a little in the five years we've been together, so I know what you mean. It's so much harder with him than it ever was with anyone else I've ever been with. We need a support group or something. : O )

  5. I struggle with my weight all the time. I did Jenny Craig 4 months before our wedding and went from 200lb to 185lbs...and 9 months later I'm back to where I started. I wish I could get to the mindset where it's routine so that I don't have to think about it but I know deep down that I won't lose weight until I'm conscious and in the present of everything I do -- from eating to getting my heart rate up. I'm actually more active than my husband (I play tennis and love to hike) but he sure seems to lose weight faster than me with half the effort. No fair. I vote for a support group too. :)

  6. @Vera: I'm saying, right? I've never done Jenny Craig or WW, but before my wedding, I did a very structured meal plan with Lean Cuisines and select add-ins. It was...sucky, but I lost the weight. I've since gained back about 7 lbs. of it. I need to get cracking on this diet before those 7lbs. creep up to where I used to be!

  7. I've been a chubbo for my whole life - I literally have no concept of what it's like to be "thin" as I've never been, and in a lot of ways, I think I'm better off for it, because there's no comparison. Dude fell in love with me when I was the exact same weight I am now, and I actually DIDN'T gain weight when we got together (although he did!). In fact, I LOST weight - to the tune of 25lbs, via weight watchers (which I started a year after we got together). But ultimately, I gained that back (and then some) and got married at my heaviest weight ever. I didn't even bother trying to lose weight for the wedding, because I figured the planning process was stressful enough - I didn't need to add some vanity project to the mix. Plus, everyone already knows that THIS IS WHAT I LOOK LIKE, so it's not like I was worried about some long lost friend seeing me and being like 'oh no, she's so fat!'

    I've since lost a little over 40lbs, and like I said, I'm basically the exact same weight I was when Dude and I met and I intend to lose another 40 or so, which will put me at the lowest weight of my adult life - a weight most women would probably despair to see on the scale...but not me. I'll be psyched as hell when I get there.

  8. @Lettuce: I've never been a thin person either. Even at my thinnest, I still had a gut and wouldn't have worn a bikini. In fact, I've only ever owned a bikini twice. Once was a knit one my mother made for me when I was a toddler, and the other I bought in high school and promptly returned two days later. I don't mind gaining a little weight like some people, and mostly I'm comfortable in my own skin. But this is the worst. I'm not comfortable and I feel...not like myself at all. This has been going on for five years now. I felt good around the wedding. I'd lost a chunk a change and started to feel more like myself, but now am gaining again (7 lbs. and counting...) and am starting to feel like shit again. Honestly, I just want to get to a weight I feel comfortable and my many, many beautiful old clothes fit. That would be ideal.

  9. I hate to look at how much weight I've gained sinc I met Josh. It is insane. Maybe I shoould do a photo retrospective too, and face the music?

  10. @The Maiden Metallurgist: I will say that it helped me really get my butt in gear finally this summer. But you also had a baby in that mix. What's my excuse? I just ate like I was feeding two. Lol...

  11. I definitely can relate to this post! When I met my fiance' I was the thinnest I had ever been as an adult, I walked about 3 miles a day, and ate like a bird. Now (2 years and 20 pounds later) we are planning our wedding and I am struggling to get my behind in gear. I feel your pain!

  12. @Blingy: I think everyone gains weight in a relationship. The tricky part is figuring out what works for you in terms of maintenance. Because its like pulling teeth trying to get A.P. not to order in a pizza every night. : ) You'll lose the weight! You get more focused with the wedding. I lost 25 lbs! I still had/have more to lose, but that was a huge relief. I didn't hate the sight of myself. : O ) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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