When people ask me what I found hard about moving in with Matt, the obvious answers don't come to mind.
It's nothing to do with sharing the TV, sleep schedules or getting used to his company everyday. For me, the most difficult thing about living together is actually staying in shape. If you live with your partner, i'm sure you'll understand where i'm coming from.
See, when you live alone, it's easier to be disciplined. You buy your food in for the week and stick to your gym schedule. No daily temptations. Easy peasy. But when you move in together, that little devil appears on your shoulder everyday or every week, asking if you want take out for dinner or ice cream for dessert. It suddenly becomes much more appealing to stay in with your lover than it does to get your ass to spin class or out for a run. And that's fine for a week or two, maybe a month at a stretch. Besides, that's all part of the fun when you move in together. But, when it's like that for 3 months, and then you try on your summer shorts and you realize they no longer fit, that's when you've got a problem. (Yes, that happened to me, and I cried).
When you live with your partner, you think about food when ordinarily you wouldn't. They put the idea of cookies into your head, and BAM, discipline goes out of the window. They make you feel good about yourself, so you inevitably eat more. Then, when you do start to feel a pang of guilt, you convince yourself it's the first stage of the 'get healthy' process. "Let's eat all the bad stuff tonight then we'll be good after tomorrow", you might say. But then that happens every week. And it's a downward spiral... Anyone with me on this?
Okay, don't think i'm being negative about living together - I'M NOT! I love living together. It's a beautiful feeling knowing that I get to come home to my boy every night. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But what I am saying is that it does require a certain amount of discipline to stay in shape. And sometimes that discipline doesn't come easily.
Here are a few rules to keep in mind to help you stay in shape when you live with your partner. Hopefully you find these useful & let me know if you have any great tips!
Rule 1) Don't eat when they eat
Do you ever feel like you're missing out if your partner's eating something that you're not? Ok, maybe i'm alone on this one, but every time Matt pulls a box of Corn Flakes out for supper, I immediately tell myself that i'm hungry. Actually, i'm not. Actually, i'm just being greedy. Actually, I don't even need it. But I want it because he's got it.
(And because they taste so frikking good, of course)
So how do you fight it? Well, unless you can get them to eat less (which, let's face it, you'll probably struggle to do), there's only really one answer. Good old willpower. It's not easy, and it'll probably make you salivate whilst going green with envy. But unfortunately it's got to be done.
Rule 2) Stick to your exercise schedule
This is a 2-step process. Step 1 involves respecting your schedule yourself. Stick to your routine and be strict.
Step 2 involves getting your partner to respect your schedule. If they know that exercise is important to you, they'll encourage you to go when you're trying to slack off. You'll probably hate them for it at the time, but it'll help you to stick to your schedule and stay on track.
Rule 3) Watch your portion sizes
When you're serving up dinner, it's easy to dish out the same portions on both plates. However, this can easily lead to you eat more than you need.
My metabolism is nothing like Matt's. He's so active everyday and somehow can eat whatever he wants. I, on the other hand, pretty much gain weight by just looking at food. Ultimately, I don't need as much as he does.
The key is to watch your portion sizes, and remember - just because they've got a pile of chips, it doesn't mean you need to as well.
Rule 4) Workout for you
I don't know about you, but working out makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong, toned and happy. When I feel good, I feel that I look good. And when I feel that I look good, I feel more confident. Ultimately, I do it for me.
However, the problem comes when you start working out to please your partner. Because as soon as they say, "You look great! Don't bother with the gym tonight," guess what? You don't bother with the gym. And soon enough, you fall out of your routine and it's so difficult to get back on the wagon. Remind yourself how great working out makes you feel. Be strict with yourself, stick to your schedule and workout to please you, and you only.
Rule 5) Be healthy together!
Don't you find that when others are being healthy, it prompts you to be healthy too? If you want to stay in shape when you live with your partner, the easiest way to do this is to be healthy together. Eat the same meals, go to the gym together and encourage each other to stay disciplined. It's always much easier to motivate yourself to be good when you've got a buddy doing it with you.
What do you think? Do you find that living with your partner makes being healthy more difficult? Drop me a comment below!