A few days ago I was driving to work and listening to my favorite morning radio show when the main DJ, Kane, proposed a very interesting question to his audience. He asked, "Would you rather be single and your ideal size, or overweight and in a great relationship?" Listeners immediately began calling or texting to weigh in on the topic. I was not really surprised to hear that most women would rather be their perfect weight and single. Kane pulled the question from an article he had read and explained that the trend is due to singlehood now being more common and socially acceptable than it has been in the past, while being overweight is regarded with more disdain now than ever before. I have to say that, while I'm obviously in a happy relationship and getting married in a week-and-a-half, if I was single I would agree with the majority of the listeners. I've been fighting with my weight for years and years, so I could definitely live with being single for the sake of getting to my dream size. Besides, being single is fun. It gets lonely sometimes but it definitely has its perks; not getting a knee in the back when trying to sleep is just one example.
But I digress. Getting married is what I want to do but am I doomed to live my life as an imperfect being just because I'm in a happy relationship? No way! We all know the old story about the beautiful woman in fabulous shape who gets married, and not ten years later has put on fifty pounds. I get that when you are with someone, you relax a little more and tend to let yourself go, at least in the beginning. I can relate for sure because a bride-to-be spends her entire engagement attempting to lose weight or tone up and basically be in the best shape of her life on her big day. It's a lot of work, both mentally and physically, and it's exhausting. And what does exertion of any kind induce? Hunger! So when that big day finally arrives, you spend it in total celebration of not only the marriage, but of your hard work paying off. So you drink champagne. You enjoy the fancy dinner. You don't say no to wedding cake...how could you? And then it's time for the honeymoon and you don't have any responsibilities except for enjoying your new spouse and celebrating some much-deserved time off together. And of course that entails eating whatever exotic fare comes your way. By the time you get home, you're relaxed and blissful, and not so worried about getting back to the gym. And so the cycle begins again, and before you know it, your eyes are bugging out when you step on the scale.
This is how I envision others but I know I'm in danger of falling into the same rut when I get back from the Bahamas. What I and everyone else in this situation need to remember is that although society as a whole has become much less tolerant of the obesity epidemic, it is not necessarily our fault that the epidemic has grown. Working in the natural health industry, I learn more every day about what the government has done to our food supply. Food is no longer really food. It is some distant version of a food we once had, and are in danger of never seeing again. It is full of toxins, chemicals, artificial everything, and now even becoming genetically modified. We have very limited access to real, whole, healthy food but the FDA tells us that we're just fine, even better off, eating something we take from a box and microwave. Even weight-loss companies that say they believe in helping us offer frozen nastiness chocked full of preservatives, all in the name of profit for themselves.
If we want to get healthy as a society, regardless of whether or not we are single or happily not, then we have to take responsibility for ourselves. The food we have been offered and have grown accustomed to, whether for convenience or for someone else's monetary benefit (or both), is not going to get us to a better place. So after the wedding stress is done and I return from the honeymoon, I plan to get back to basics and feed myself and my family the way people were meant to eat. That means going back to the farmer's market, taking the time to prepare and cook meals, and trying my best not to be lazy. After all, Billy may love me just the way I am, but if I'm not healthy and happy with myself, then what's the point? Single or not, we all need to feel good about ourselves.
Published On: October 08, 2010