Being in Love Is Great But It Makes Me Fat

Love weight
Not that my abs ever looked like this...
I’ve felt it three times in my life: that ol’ familiar flutter in the pit of my tummy, that daydreamy giddiness, that tendency to break out in random smiles at just a passing thought of him. I love everything about being in love. Wait, back that up. I love almost everything about being in love — except the fact that I get chunky.

Love weight sneaks up on me like love itself. It racks up from nights out on the town while he’s wining and dining me and refueling and replenishing me at IHOP in the mornings (or, if he’s really smooth, breakfast in bed). It’s happened in every episode of Days of Janelle’s Love Life. The first go-round, I was 18 and the pounds — like the relationship itself — eventually fell right on off. But every affair after that has taught me a lesson about what makes me feel spoiled and pampered by my man, and that usually entails that four-letter f word: f-o-o-d. 


I ain’t no salad and bean sprouts kind of girl. I’m a hearty eater. I’m first in line at Thanksgiving dinner, I prefer down home buffets to those swanky restaurants where the entrees look like art, and my former boyfriends have all teased me about one thing: how my appetite put a dent in their pockets. In other words, I can eat. My last ex, the one I was with for eight years without even a whiff of an ensuing proposal, initially won me over with a steady supply of chicken fingers, French fries, and — Lord help me — Jack Daniels sauce from TGI Fridays.

Eating was a regular part of our date nights. Working out, however, was not. He didn’t have too many snazzy social activities in the hopper but he knew how to keep me interested. We’d go on long walks — I love to walk and so does he — but when you wolf down a 2,000-calorie meal, a leisurely jaunt around the neighborhood is only going to counterbalance so much.

There must be an air about me that sends the subliminal message that I can be won over with snacks before I even let the cat out of the bag. Maybe it’s the tattle tale love handles (or, as I call them, kick stands) wrenched to my sides. Some girls give off the signal that they’re easy. Some give off the signal that they’re gold-diggers. I give off the signal that a two-piece and a biscuit can buy my affections.

My current sweetie hadn’t even met me in person — our initial introduction was over Facebook — but he knew what to do. He cooked for me on our very first date. It was good, I was hooked, and we’ve been an item ever since. What can I say? Food works magic.

It also hasn’t hurt that I like big guys. But see, while they come to me plush and fluffy, it usually takes me a little while to start seeing the negative effects of their willingness to bait and hook and lure me in with vittles. If they gain any weight in the process of our courtshipping, I sure can’t tell. Meanwhile, my pants start looking more painted on than Steven Tyler’s on tour.

Whenever I start throwing the word ‘diet’ around, The Boyfriend gets nervous. He envisions me wasting away to an emaciated waif a la Jennifer Hudson. He likes me thicker than thinner. Most black men do tend to appreciate some extra weight and will more than likely overlook a muffin top and a set of chicken wing arms if a gal is packing curves in all the places that matter in man world. So if your booty has some bass in it and your hips and thighs have some volume, there’s no need to tamper with your frame as far as they’re concerned. In fact, too much reconstruction and they’re afraid you’ll lose the assets that they like to smack up, flip, and rub down.

Although I appreciate being appreciated no matter if I’m a size 6 or a 16 (and just for the record, I’ve never been either one), it can be kind of dangerous to let being booed up keep lulling me into a false sense of security. Even when I’m all dressed up in the colors of love, I’m compromising my health and well-being by hauling around unnecessary pounds and not taking care of me.

I thank the brothers for a pass to be full-figured and voluptuous, but I gotta learn to speak a new love language — one that doesn’t come with a side order of fries.

Do you tend to gain weight or get more (eh-hem) physically active when you’re in a relationship?


Image via Charlotte Astrid/Flickr

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