I met my first serious boyfriend when I was 16, and we started seeing each other properly from when I was 17 until I was 21. In that time, I swelled from 120lb to 190lb. The first thing that you should probably know, is that I hated it. I'd gone from being athletic and sexy with bags of confidence, to feeling pissed off and wanting to be invisible.
He made me feel sh*t about it; I've been perusing the threads on here and occasionally a comment like "she already knows" will be raised. Of course she does! She has a mirror - and she's not an idiot, the chances are she'll equate her new fatter bum with the distinct lack of sex around now. Not that was a problem for me of course; our sex-drives were very, very mismatched - I was a several times a day girl - he was a once a week man. I do think this contributed to my weight-gain because I was already feeling rejected physically as it was.
My boyfriend was blatant in his contempt when I put on a few pounds at uni after we'd been together about a year (I'm not going to defend my initial weight-gain, it was down to too much booze, bad food and no working-out): I let it slide and lost it, but a year or so later a few pounds slipped on again and his repulsion was difficult to ignore. This time I felt so bad about myself that I didn't lose it - and what was I losing it for? We were barely sleeping together anyway, so what was the difference. And so my weight yo-yoed for the next two years until it finally settled around 190lb. What was worse about this whole thing, is that he put on over seven stone, weighing over nineteen stone at one point. I didn't make him feel as worthless about it as he made me; I think he's hypocrisy made me dig my heels in about losing it. I was made to feel useless about everything and I think I equated that with being fat - and after all he'd put on, I really couldn't help thinking "what a nerve" he had!
The point of the story is this: firstly, I'm not saying it's "his fault", because it's not - I'm the one who fed myself the ice-cream, so the blame is mine. What I am saying though, is that sometimes when you're in an unhappy relationship but you don't want to leave, you need an outlet. And consciously or unconsciously, my outlet was to take control by piling on the pounds. A dangerous, health-threatening way, but what's done is done. Though before I am slammed by you horrified husbands out there; it wasn't something I did on purpose, nor did I enjoy the way I was changing: it just kind of happened.
We finally broke up; I was devastated for a while and I crept up to a shocking 206lb: however, being alone after such a long time really did me some good. I'd graduated before we'd finished and I'd been struggling to find work: as a single girl, I had more time to devote and I found a great job quite quickly. Things were going in the right direction for me, and it gave me the self-respect I need to kick myself in the a*se; I got a grip and focused solely on myself. I didn't have anyone around to tell me not to do something - or that I couldn't do something. I could do whatever I wanted!
I started eating right and began working out; first with exercise DVDs, but as the weight came off and I got fitter, I started running. I lost two stone by Christmas and by then I'd bought a house and moved out on my own. I had even more freedom in what I ate and cooked and if I got up at 5am for a run with the dogs, there was no one in the house to complain. And I went from strength to strength.
I settled at 122lb: I feel strong and healthy - I feel great in general. I run, circuit-train and box every week; I ride every day and I'm dying to take up fencing - something I always wanted to do but wasn't fit enough. When I compare myself to the girl I was a year ago, I feel terrible: I was miserable and I had no quality of life at all. All because I clung on to a toxic relationship that I wasn't happy in anymore.
I need to add here; that the same goes for my ex; he's now back around the same weight he was when we first met. So I suppose the point here is that yes, laziness and over-eating make you fat: but the real question is, what's making them lazy and over-eat??
I am in a new relationship now, with a man who has a libido to rival mine! He is not my type; I was always partial to clean-cut pretty boys. But this new boyfriend is rugged, blunt and forward. He thinks the sun shines out of my every orifice, and because he makes me feel so good, I want to be at my absolute best all of the time. He's very fit; we go running together and he runs through some of the Infantry PT work-outs with me. Keeping fit and healthy has become a joint activity and part of the relationship; something I have never had before - and I really, really like it. I never feel under-valued or unwanted around him; we have a policy of honesty and I find that really comforting; there's no embarrassment or anything to hide behind.
So, have a think about it. Personally, I needed to be alone and find a bit of self-respect before I could become the woman I really am. And once I was, I could find a healthy relationship with someone who is good for me. Sometimes a relationship can be damning and can strip away your need to look after yourself, simply because you're so miserable. I do want to highlight that just as I did not blame my ex for my weight-gain, people with heavy spouses are not to blame - I just think that there are always reasons for getting fat, past wanting to taste another cake and those reasons should be explored with your partner. I never did in my relationship and I do wonder, if we had, whether things could have been resolved.