This month I am writing about a dilemma I think is common among some couples; it’s the slimmer of the pair who is most obsessed about food. Not you, the overweight one. Sound familiar?
My other half is hyperactive and always has been. He burns calories as soon as look at them. While I can positively feel myself ballooning out at the thought of a cream bun, he loses weight just by mithering about food all the time! It’s as if when he does eat – which, trust me, is constantly – it barely touches the sides of him and instead is reduced to an instant puff of smoke. He really does burn calories while they stick around on me and won’t budge.
He’ll be thinking about his tea (which is what he calls his evening meal) from the minute he wakes up. He’ll be wondering about weekend food from Monday morning. Nominally he likes his “tea” at 6pm but that’s a compromise on our part; actually he’d prefer it at four with supper a bit later at, say, eight or nine pm.
He likes to graze and he really does either eat constantly or think about food constantly. My ex from years ago – who was also effortlessly slim, jockey thin even – hated eating and regarded it as a necessary evil. How I envied him! But how I also longed for someone I could cook for and who wouldn’t bite my head off if I said, after hours of gnawing hunger, “Isn’t it time we had something to eat?”
What you wish for
Well I got what I wished for and found a man who loves being cooked for and who loves eating and who NEVER snaps nastily at me if I suggest we have a meal. However, beware getting what you wish for. For my partner may like, nay need, to eat all the time. But it doesn’t mean he actually enjoys food if you know what I mean? As with my skinny ex, it’s just fuel. My other half is no gourmand. He doesn’t mind what he eats so long as he does eat. All the time.
It can be fun to “nush” as my dear Mum called it in front of your favourite TV programme and I’m aware of some research that suggests TV makes us fat. Though I’ve never been able to eat a whole one. We like to nush while watching Midsomer Murders or Foyle’s War so we’re getting brain candy fed into our heads from two different sources. And why not? One of the pleasures of being with someone is surely enjoying lighthearted TV together? But for someone watching their weight, it can be very difficult.
Slim when single
I wrote a piece years ago about how difficult it was to stay thin after you’d become part of a couple again having been single for a while. It’s as if we find it easier – and more necessary? – to watch our weight when single and seeking than we do once we find someone. And this is of course true for men with weight issues as much as for women. You relax more when you’re happy and can’t see the need to diet. It just feels more imperative to keep yourself trim if you’re single – at whatever age, gender or sexual orientation. I think this is universal.
Put them on a diet?
So what’s the solution? Stick them on a diet too or ask them to join you on yours? My OH doesn’t need to diet. He’s been blessed (the git!) with a metabolism that burns baby burns. He could no more gain weight than fly to Mars without a rocket. Whereas I am set to be at best a bit plump and at worst Diabetes-risking overweight.
Paleo the answer?
Paleo is a good answer to all of this. It means we can eat the same things and enjoy them. I’ve yet to meet a man who doesn’t like fryups, steak and full cooked breakfasts. And I’ve rather let the old Paleo thing go a bit lately but, and this is interesting (well I found it so!) I’ve been getting terrible heartburn from eating more carbs and less protein. My body wants Paleo. My body likes Paleo. I can lose weight on Paleo and my other half adores it!
So, time to go back to life, back to reality. The song that was Number One when I got together with my very own Slim Jim!
Have a good Thursday and a great weekend. And if you have been, thanks for reading.