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Sunday, June 28, 2009

On the Fitness Journey Alone?

Dear Boys and Girls,

I often receive emails from both men and women who are determined to lose weight and get fit, but live with partners who are not ready for that kind of lifestyle change. And so, they must do it alone.

I also get emails all the time from single folks who say it's difficult to cook for just one person.

This summer I am spending the summer in California with my boyfriend, who is super fit and does eat clean. Nonetheless, the challenges in the food department have been great for me!

When I'm living by myself, I have full control of the foods that are in the house. I can decide to not keep peanut butter in the house if I choose to. I love the stuff so much that I can hardly keep myself away from it. Yea, confessions of a peanut butter addict. The same goes for bread. In general, I only keep oatmeal or whole wheat waffles in the house. When I do buy bread, I keep it in the freezer and only take out a slice or two if I know I'm going to eat it for either breakfast or lunch. When it comes to food, as a single person, I find that I don't have to compromise, ever.

Yes, it can be a pain at first to have to cook by and for yourself. But you can quickly get over it. Learn to cook and store your foods in tupperware for later consumption if it's really a pain. My advice is that you should try to embrace the fact that you are faced with much fewer temptations.

When you live with someone it becomes much harder to say: no natural peanut butter in the house! no 100% stoneground bread in the house! These are healthy foods and it's MY responsibility to control myself. Someone else shouldn't have to be deprived of wholesome foods because I can't say no to them! Now, I know that for many folks with kids and/or partners, peanut butter is the least of your worries. I know, if you could be so lucky! Oh, can I just say: I feel for you! I find myself touring the peanut butter jar and talking myself down the ledge...and for God's sake, it's JUST peanut butter!

This summer has been a real challenge for me in the kitchen department, not because my boyfriend is not into the fit lifestyle (like I said, he's super fit), but because I have found it difficult to fight off peanut butter and carb temptations! Controlling myself to not eat as many calories as my 180 lb boyfriend has also been more difficult than I care to admit!

I have found myself asking, How do these men and women do it who have husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, who eat like crap? Again, boys and girls, I really do feel for you.

So: It is possible? Should you throuw in the towel? Absolutely Not! You are still in control! My only point is that the temptations are bigger and that, in my humble opinion, you have more to overcome. But, you CAN do it. You might fall on your face, like I have, um, several times, but you can do this.

If you're a mom or dad with kids and lucky enough to be the one doing the food shopping, remember that your kids don't need to eat junk. Set an example early in their lives so they won't have to learn what clean eating means as an adult.

If you have an uncooperative partner, then, boys and girls, it's time to take out the big guns: get the support of your coach, your affirmation cards, your mantras, pictures, whatever you need to keep you strong. Maybe eventually, and yes, I've seen it happen, your partner will join you on the journey. But, in the meantime, you must do this for yourself. Yes, you can!

Bring it!

Barbie, PhD

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