Not surprisingly, people who have found a partner and settled into a happy marriage or life with them, tend to gain weight, reports Abby Ellin — (author of a book on teens and weight loss) — in The New York Times:
Call them happy pounds, love chub or the marriage 15. No matter what, gaining weight during marriage is about as common as holding your breath under water.
A 2008 study in the Journal of Economics and Human Biology examined data from 12,000 men and women ages 18 to mid-40s. Compared with when they were single, the body mass index (or B.M.I., a height-to-weight ratio) of married men increased by 1.5 percent above and beyond what they would normally gain as they aged, and that of women shot up 2 percent.
“Marriage brings along with it social obligations: you eat out more, entertain more frequently, cook meals more frequently, and there’s also an element of being too busy to exercise,” said Laura Argys, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and an author of the study. What’s more, for better and worse, married couples tend to share behaviors and activities, like snuggling on the couch with a vat of popcorn rather than hopping on the treadmill.
There are also incentives that could explain why the B.M.I. of couples who lived together without making it legal increased by only about 1 percent. If you’re married, the thinking goes, you’re somewhat settled. You don’t have to prove yourself; your spouse will ostensibly love you, all of you, muffin top notwithstanding.
The skinniest I’ve been since moving to the U.S., partnered, living in places that demand driving everywhere and assaulted by American-style huge portions, was the week my husband bailed and I didn’t eat for a week.
Fifteen pounds — gone! Hot new boyfriend showed up three weeks later.
I’ve been with the sweetie a decade and we are both fighting this weight(y) issue. We love to cook, love great food, love eating out, know how much we make one another happy with a terrific meal shared in a restaurant or cooked well at home.
Other than the obvious, there aren’t a gazillion quick, easy ways to show your love; your hubby can tuck a brownie into his briefcase (or green salad, yes) but which — when homemade — most signals your love?
Breaking the calories = love link is a challenging one. No longer does the sweetie (sigh) bring home muffins. No longer do I bake. But, no matter how beautifully prepared it is, I just can’t get all misty-eyed over yet another bowl of leafy greens with a tbsp. of oil and vinegar dressing.
How do you handle the issue at your house? Have you gained (or lost?) weight when happily partnered?