I cringe now looking back on my eating habits as a teenager—snacks out of vending machines, eating nachos and ice cream sandwiches out of the a la carte line at school lunches, constantly feasting on the convenience of fast food. But I was extremely active during those years, and the pounds never piled on.
That lifestyle was fine and dandy for me until I graduated from college. But then my days of more than an hour of cumulative walking—to and from campus and between classes—were offset by a long commute and a short walk to the office door. My job of waiting tables and hustling around restaurants for hours on end was traded for eight hours in a cubicle. Add to that a new love who is not an eating angel, and it now takes a concerted effort to maintain my fit-bottomed figure.
Your Big Fat Boyfriend: How to Stay Thin When Dating a Diet Disaster is author Jenna Bergen’s how-to manual for avoiding packing on the pounds when your boyfriend or husband isn’t as diet savvy as you are. This isn’t to say that there aren’t millions of men out there who love their salads and veggies, but this book helps battle the buffalo wing-lovin’ pizza-ordering Big Fat Boyfriends out there (and they don’t even have to be fat to fall into this category, Bergen notes).
With its youthful energy, straightforward honesty and helpful strategies, Your Big Fat Boyfriend gives the everyday gal some tips on not only avoiding the crazy temptations your man brings home but also gives hints on how to health-ify his habits.
1. Ravenous Is Risky, page 52
When eating out, “if you hit the table famished enough to eat the raspberry lip gloss you just slicked on, the caloric weight of today’s appetizers—not to mention the breadbasket—could easily wipe out your recommended daily allotment before you even see your entrée.” I live by this rule. If I get too hungry, ever, it’s a recipe for a bad attitude and a guaranteed binge. Snacking is my friend, and according to the book, should be yours, too.
2. Ignore Yourself, page 128.
This one I’m going to try. Bergen recommends getting a workout done first thing in the morning, something I’ve tried before, albeit unsuccessfully. But she says that no matter how tired you are, just do it anyway. GASP! According to her, after my first 10 to 15 minutes of what I call “my morning hell,” I’ll feel better and be ready to work out. I guess I’m willing to try, again. She also champions not letting your boyfriend/partner/lover derail your workouts. It can be easy to skip the gym when you’d rather snuggle with your non-gym rat boyfriend, but you have to be accountable for your actions, and just do it anyway.
With tips on eating out, ordering in, grocery shopping and even working out, this book will give you some practical tips on how to eat better—but you still have to bring the self control. After all, the relationship with yourself never ends. —Erin
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