Dear Christine, Lean in Lansing

  • Posted on December 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm

I’ve been living with my girlfriend for about six months and we dated for about a year before that and I’m a person who struggles with their weight. I’m about 40 pounds overweight my girlfriend is thin and she can eat anything she wants… very frustrating! So, our schedules work out so that she makes dinner three nights a week I make dinner three nights a week and we go out to dinner once a week. The problem that I’m having with her and she knows I try to avoid bread but on her night to cook dinner she makes like a big plate of lasagna with garlic bread and there’s always dessert.  Bread and sugar and desserts are my weakness and I’ve asked her to please consider the fact that I’m trying to lose weight but it doesn’t change anything. And then sometimes when it’s her time to cook dinner she gets busy and says let’s go out to dinner instead. We’re going out to dinner I mean even if you eat a salad you know there’s a lotta calories in that. So I’ve been struggling with my weight since we’ve lived together I’m starting to gain weight. I know it’s on me, I know I should have will power, and even if she makes lasagna maybe I could watch my portions, maybe I could say no to the desert, but when it is there in front of me I can’t help myself. When I lived alone I didn’t keep bread in the house. I kept lean chicken fish meat fruits and vegetables in the house and I was doing OK. I have gained 10 pounds. Is there a way to convince her or do I just have to find will power myself? If I have to find the will power, how do I do it?

Signed, Lean in Lansing

Dear Lean,

My wife isa lifetime member of Weight Watchers and every few years goes back to meetings and weighs and measures her portions, and cuts up a great many vegetables.  She has successfully lost weight each time.  She does most of the cooking for us and has told me over the years how much she appreciates my support in her investing in that healthier style of eating.  What is not to support?  It is healthier, and we both benefit.  I no longer can afford to graze as I please, though for many years I did. I would change my eating style to match hers, and if I wanted bread or pasta, I would get a carry out lunch when she wasn’t around.

The question is about what kind of relationship do you have?  Are you both able to take care of your own self first and foremost, and with what is left over, support the other in their goals?  It’s great for her that she can eat anything and not gain weight.  But you can’t!  Is she willing to modify her cooking for your health?  It might require to learn some new recipes and if you’re into lean meats and vegetables, learning more about spices and herbs can enhance meals that have less fat and starch.

Have a conversation about both of your needs and how you can support each other in healthy goals. Take some time to check out some cookbooks, go shopping for produce and lean meats together and go to Penzey’s Spices on line, or the store on 13 Mile at Southfield.  Planning, shopping and cooking new things might spice up your relationship!  Check out these on line resources as well.  https://www.penzeys.com/shop/recipes/   https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/article/weight-watchers-most-popular-recipes

Good luck to you both!

Christine C Cantrell, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

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