Columnist Cary Carr doesn’t compromise healthy habits in her relationship.
Falling into the cuddly cushion a relationship offers is far from difficult. But pulling yourself up from that cushion, dropping the Doritos and motivating yourself to get to the gym is a different story.
Sometimes your significant other doesn’t have the same drive as you to eat right and exercise. Maybe they associate the gym with prison and healthy eating options, such as salads, with poison. But that doesn’t mean you have to.
Take my boyfriend for example: He’s approximately 6 feet tall, skinny as a rail and eats whatever he wants. Besides his weekly basketball games, he doesn’t step a foot in the gym.
On the other hand, I consider the gym my second home. I work out at least five days a week, on top of hours of dance practices and performances almost every weekend.
I was raised on a low-fat diet of mainly fruits and vegetables, so I am constantly searching for new healthy recipes. I study nutrition labels while grocery shopping and avoid anything fried or greasy.
But that’s not to say a life filled with French fries and fast food comas isn’t tempting. Sometimes a nap and a “Jersey Shore” marathon has the potential to suck me in and jerk me from the treadmill to my boyfriend’s fluffy bed.
When my boyfriend and I grab lunch, our meal choices are extreme opposites. I grab tofu and veggies, and he hits up the nearest fast food establishment for a double cheeseburger and a milkshake.
At 7-Eleven, I’ll reach for the fruit and vegan sandwiches while my boyfriend is already face deep in two taquitos and M&M’s. And while I’m busy searching for low-fat dressing for my garden salad, he’s shoveling croutons soaked in ranch dressing into his mouth.
You can see how our date nights could result in conflict. First, we have to decide which restaurant to attend – Nifty Fifty’s or the nearest Saladworks. Usually we’ll settle on Applebee’s where the calories are listed, and I can order in peace.
But then he orders chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream soaked in chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I have to try my best to avoid the sugary temptation as he devours the dessert, happier than ever.
While his food choices are quite alluring, he also has the fastest metabolism known to man. I, unfortunately, could take a bite of a Butterfinger and have it go straight to my thighs.
I’d love to spend as much time as possible with my boyfriend, but sometimes our dates can’t be as long as we’d like because I need to fit in workouts and rehearsals, while he doesn’t face the same responsibilities.
Maybe if both of us visited the gym we would get those extra hours of togetherness. However, his idea of exercise is playing basketball and mine is taking boot-camp style classes and dancing to the Black Eyed Peas.
Last time I attempted to shoot some hoops with him, I would run and hide every time he tried to pass me the ball. Every time I tried to make a shot, the ball would end up over a fence or hit a little kid in the face.
And his idea of dancing isn’t much better. He would rather break out moves to Michael Jackson and bop along to obnoxious songs on the radio than attempt to take a ballet or hip-hop class.
But this isn’t to say my boyfriend doesn’t applaud my slight obsession with living a healthy lifestyle. He tries to understand the pressure I face to stay fit as a member of a professional dance team, for which I am required to sport outfits that fail to hide a bloated belly.
However, he also thinks I’m too hard on myself and tries to encourage me to take a break, which is probably smart advice. In the long run, his carefree attitude balances out my health-entrenched lifestyle and allows me to enjoy relaxation on occasion.
So while I definitely get jealous from time to time of his laid-back style and ability to consume mass amounts of food with no side effects, I make sure not to let it take away from my own goals. We find a way to compromise and never force feed each other our lifestyles.
Cary Carr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.