Food Compromises in Relationships

A big “thank you” to Ashley for letting me share my story while she is on her honeymoon!

Guest Post by Lisa Eirene

I used to tip the scales at 250 pounds. I was only twenty-five years old yet I was developing diabetes and I had high blood pressure. The prospect of being diabetic scared me enough that I made the changes I needed to make.

It took me almost two years to lose 110 pounds but I did it. I counted my calories and started swimming. Eventually I added other activities into my routine. I even started running! I never thought that I’d become a runner. I never thought I would participate in something like the Hood to Coast Relay (197 mile relay race). I changed my lifestyle and I completely changed my life for the better.

That being said, a huge challenge for me was moving in with my boyfriend, Michael. I had maintained my weight loss for a few years when we moved in together but I saw the scale start to creep up. And I noticed that my mentality was changing as well.

The problem? I had lived alone for nearly 10 years and that was beneficial when I was trying to lose weight. I was solely responsible for all of the food that was in my house. I cleaned my house of all trigger foods and temptations. I only bought things that I could eat in order to lose the weight. This proved to be successful in losing the weight and keeping it off. The biggest challenge with merging households with Michael: the food HE bought.

Michael was a fairly healthy and active guy, but he did like certain kinds of junk food. And he always had his favorites on hand in the house. Suddenly having these temptations right in front of me all of the time meant I could either give in, or I could try and resist them. Sharing a kitchen with someone else is a challenge. Period. I would never dictate what Michael can or can’t eat so there are those treats in the house. It wasn’t always an easy process to resists! It’s a very common thing to gain weight in relationships.

The other challenge was that Michael liked to eat things like pizza and nachos and burgers with fries. All stuff I hadn’t eaten in YEARS. And oh man did it look good! PLUS, he could eat bigger portions than what I was used to. For some reason my brain told me that I could eat huge portions too!

No! As a 5 foot 5, 143 pound woman, I could NOT eat the same amount of food as a 6 foot, 200 pound man. I realized that pretty quickly and adjusted my thinking AND my portions. He got the bigger steak. He got the extra slices of pizza. I ate what I knew I should be eating and that was that.

How we solved these problems was compromising. Pizza was my trigger food, but he agreed that we could get the deLite thin crust pizza at Papa Murphy’s for half the calories. I was happy with the low calories and he was happy to be eating pizza. Win-win. If he wanted things like nachos or burgers, I tried to make healthier versions of the foods he craved.

Something I write about on my blog, 110 Pounds and Counting, is moderation. I’ve kept the weight off for nearly 4 years now and I do that by living my life in moderation. I drink wine, but I keep it to 1-2 glasses once or twice a week. I eat pizza but I eat only a few slices and not the entire pizza like I used to eat. I balance my “indulging” with healthy meals 90% of the time and regular exercise.

Michael and I have lived together for three years now and we have a healthy balance of eating, indulging in treats and we fit fitness into our lives as something we can share together. We bike together, we participate in events like the Portland Century bike ride and we go snowshoeing! Living a life as a weight loss maintainer means making choices and enjoying EVERYTHING in moderation! It just takes some work and compromise.

Bio: Lisa lives in Portland, Oregon with her boyfriend Michael. She’s kept 110 pounds off for 3.5 years and is looking forward to new challenges. She will be biking a full Century in 2012 and hopes to train for a triathlon. Her weight loss story has been featured in magazines, Yahoo! Health, Woman’s Day, Glamour and KATU News. You can find her at


  1. says

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa! This is the HARDEST part of weight loss – maintaining. I lost 125 pounds, met the love of my life, lost 10 more and hovered in that area for two-ish years. And then we moved in together and I started training for a marathon. And before I knew it (well 4 year), I’ve regained ALL but 10 pounds. It is BRUTAL and so hard to deal with. But I think that balance is what has to come back into play. Moderation is key. Thanks for sharing your journey and reminding me that I can do this (again)!

  2. says

    I loved reading your post, and can’t wait to read your blog!! I lost 60 lbs before I met my husband 5 years ago and have gained about 20 back. He is very thin and can eat an excessive amount of calories without putting on any weight- and I’m the cliche “I look at a piece of cake and gain 5 lbs.” It sucks, but it is what it is. I’ve had to learn to not “blame” him for me gaining weight and just realize that our bodies are completely different, and we have different needs.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    • says

      Lauren – congrats on losing 60! And yes, I totally understand… My boyfriend doesn’t really gain weight and when he does he can lose it fast. It takes me a lot longer!

  3. says

    In the two years that I have lived with my boyfriend, who can eat a gallon of ice cream a night, our eating arrangement has been the hardest compromise. But we’ve worked through it. I’m glad someone else knows what this is like!

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