Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's the love equivalent of the Freshman 15?

Conventional wisdom states that when kids move away to college, the access to copious amounts of already paid for dormitory cafeteria food causes most new freshman to pack on a few pounds. With unlimited exposure to soft serve ice cream, all you can eat Lucky Charms, french fries at every meal and delicacies like “Turkey Americana” (a hideous concoction of processed cheese and thinly sliced ham sandwiched between two large slices of deli turkey, then battered and deep fried into Frisbee sized discs of deliciousness that I haven’t eaten in nearly 20 years but I’m fairly certain I would knock over a four year old to get to if presented with the opportunity in the next five minutes), it doesn’t surprise me that many new college students pack on the ubiquitous “Freshman 15” as a result. Not me, of course. I put on the “Freshman 32”. But hey, I’m an overachiever.
Apparently there’s another rite of passage that is notorious for packing on the pounds. Turns out they don’t call them “love handles” for nothing.

As I mentioned last week, there’s a new man in my life. As I’ve also mentioned on several occasions, I am committed to keeping this blog on-topic. Because I reveal so much of myself through what I write here about food, weight loss & obesity issues, I purposely don’t write much about the rest of my life, preferring to hold those things as private. But in this case, my weight loss and non-weight loss worlds are colliding, so a little discussion of the phenomenon seems appropriate. But if you’re expecting juicy details, you’ll be disappointed because I NEVER kiss and tell.

(Which is a lie straight from the pit of hell, because I TOTALLY kiss and tell…just not on my blog.) ;)

According to several credible sources (The New York Times, Prevention, Seventeen magazine, my friend Michelle, and a stranger I was talking to in the drug store the other night) it turns out that love can indeed make you fat. This doesn’t surprise me, particularly, since the generic date usually includes a meal of some kind, a little shared buttered popcorn and finishes with a cup of coffee or a pomegranate margarita (or two, even). Even when the butterflies that have taken up residence in your tummy won’t allow you wolf down the entire #1 combo platter while sitting across from him at your favorite Mexican restaurant, it turns out that eating even HALF of that monstrosity is more food than any normal human being should eat in one sitting (or two, even). Add in that he’s a classically trained foodie and also spends 40+ hours a week running a huge restaurant specializing in the production sauced up chicken parts in every conceivable iteration and you’ve got a foolproof recipe for packing on the pounds if you’re not careful.

But if you’re very lucky, the special someone you’ve found will share your commitment to eating well. If they’ve, say, lost 40 pounds themselves this last year and want to take off 20 more then it makes it easier to put on the brakes when the food starts getting out of control…but it’s still not as easy as it sounds. The giddy, giggly, hearts-and-flowers nature of new love often has the same kind of intoxicating effect on our decision making process as frat party keg beer has on a new freshman (for proof of which I offer the sporadically written in but nonetheless scandalous account of my 18 year old self preserved in diary form). So a little frank discussion is in order, about where you’ve been and what your goals are—and just how important not letting the food get out of control again is to you. And that, my friends, isn’t the easiest conversation on earth to have.

This little patch of the web has been the strangest of phenomena for me. It’s the place where I’m the most open I’ve ever been about my weight and what it takes to fight the fat every day. Nearly everyone I know (and countless people I don’t) knows about this site, and I’ve revealed details of my life and my experiences that are more intimate than I ever dreamed I’d share publicly. But I had to give some real thought as to when I’d be ready to share it with a new significant other. I want to share my life with someone again, and the things I write about here are a big part of that life.

So I dropped hints about it, mentioned I was a blogger and that my website was important to me. I told him that one day I’d give him the address and he could read all about me and my special brand of food-crazy. I waited to see when I’d be ready, and wondered what he’d think about what he sees here. Would he see my starting pictures and cringe? Would he read what I wrote and realize he’d bitten off more than he could chew? Would it bother him that the internet saw me in my underwear before he did? And after he saw it all, would he still like me?

I guess we’ll find out…


  1. Oh my dear Sara, if he's even half the guy I think he is, when he reads your blog he will fall even more in love with you. Much as all of us have that reads your blog on a regular basis.

    He will wonder why he is so lucky that the Gods have smiled on him and blessed him with such an angel as yourself. He will think he's the luckiest guy int he world, now that he knows the inner workings of the wonderful Sara

    And he's right, he's damn lucky to know you. Because as we all know, you are a fabulous, wonderful, smart and absolutely lovely woman. :)

  2. You'll know when is the right time. But really? He should be thankful when you do because you'll be sharing something that is uniquely you.

    And on the freshmen 15? You forgot how copius amounts of dope smoking contributes to the munchies that turn it into the freshmen 50.

    Or maybe that is just my story. Or someone else's I heard some where.

  3. If he doesn't still like you, then I will hate him. And he won't deserve you anyway.

    When he does read it and still loves you, then I will like him, too. :)

    My "fall in love freshmen 15" has lasted 7 years and and turned into the "love freshmen 175". Dont let that happen to you. lol

  4. Looks to me like it is love. How very sweet and wonderful fro you and your guy. Hope it continues out well, and thanks for sharing. I have the same man for over 36 years, and I STILL get butterflies.

    I had some of the same fears about sharing my blog with my hubby. I realized that one of the reasons was because I was fearful (just like you). But, I faced those fears and it has been liberating. I gave him and the rest of my blog to read. They do, but not so often. I know my hubby has read it start to finish a couple of times. But, here is the real story: it is not only about the blog, allowing him to read it and access it if he wants to is a way you face the fact that you have issue s regarding your health. Writing the blog is therapeutic and a good tool for weight loss. He may never, ever comment. My hubby doesn’t and to me that is okay. But he knows, I know, that he knows about what I am learning about myself. We talk about it, too which I think is really important. Before I started this journey (June 26)_ I was paralyzed to talk with any one including my spouse about my obesity. Now I know that was just my own fear and panic. I was in denial about being obese. Out of the closet now. I am telling you all these things because I hope you continue to blog for yourself first. If he reads it fine. If not, be okay with that, too. It will no doubt leave room for you to have conversations about these deep changes that you are facing head on.

    Stay strong!

    Michele at

  5. Awwww ... he sounds perfect! I'm so happy for you, Sara! I can't wait wait to read more about him. :)

  6. This is such a great post. I love that you shared this with him.

    Stop by Coach Your Mind and check out my latest post, SHARE YOUR STORY.

    I think you'd have a lot to share with those looking.


  7. I think he'll think you're even a million times cooler after he reads your blog, but with that being said, don't give him the link! I regret giving it to a random few real life people. My two cents.

    And, you totally need to dish more on the new guy on your blog, it drives me crazy not to know!

  8. Congrats on the new love interest. I gained the Love 50... the relationship is kaput but the pounds are still there! lol

    P.S. Your eyes are not the only thing gorgeous about you!

  9. miss your posting. hope all is well :-)

  10. Haven't heard from you in a while - hope you are doing okay.