Love and Friendship

How a gym membership brought this couple together in love again!

A couple membership to the gym was the best birthday present she ever got from her husband
Finger art of happy couple exercising

The husband ran at a speed I could never attempt. I changed the incline to compensate for my lower speed instead, in an attempt to defeat him by calories. I had lost weight and it made me happy. That was important because lack of happiness may slow the weight loss process, I had learnt. I had also learnt that the love hormone phenethylamine boosts the fat-burning effect of dopamine and norepinephrine and suppresses appetite. My theory that I lost weight when I fell in love and had a torrid affair had a basis.

I always knew you are what you eat; or don’t. So I attributed my weight loss more to the fact that the-then-not-my-husband and I spent hours together in each other’s company during our affair stage; sometimes forgetting to have our meals, and sometimes unwilling to leave each other’s company even to pee. We survived on air, water, conversation and the sundry stuff couples do when together. We had little time to waste in the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of need – food. Little did I know the love hormone more than the lack of food was the real hero!

In case you need more help than just the love hormone, here’s a handy video that tells you the best way to lose weight before your wedding!

My unverified hypothesis says that marriage and children are the topmost reasons that send the love hormone into hiding. So, married people must exercise maniacally to stay in the fat-burning zone.

Comfortably married

The hypothesis also meant that marriage perhaps reduced the ardour we had for each other because I recorded a steady gain in weight thereafter. Moreover, we went on a spree of compensating for four years of nutrition loss by eating out every weekend. Given that every entry of the spouse into the kitchen resulted in a disaster, I’d banished him from the danger zone altogether, so the least he could do was to pay for a decent meal for the two of us. The weight meanwhile, continued its upward journey, without even catching me unawares. I remained in a state of blissful ignorance, as the clothes still fit.

After my twin boys were born, I breast-fed with a rigour. I learnt that as long as I breast-fed, fat would take the arduous journey from my body to the babies. I knew this was the only time when the God of weight-loss would reward me disproportionately and I took full advantage of this benediction.

Both keeping pace

Years later, after the breast-feeding days were done and dusted with, my moment of reckoning came when one day I retired yet another batch of clothes that seemed to be afflicted with the disease of shrinking every two years. I decided to stop being an ostrich, albeit an overweight one and look squarely at hard evidence. I stepped on the weighing scales. The steady progress of the numbers drove me to panic mode and I jumped off the scales before it could finalise the horrific display that threatened to cross the diamond jubilee Rubicon.

The husband chose that moment to take his turn on the scales too. As I reflected on my new weight, I looked at the silver lining. At least I still maintained the 10 kg distance between the husband and self. All was not lost, yet. The lack of love hormones had affected both of us equivalently and I must, at no cost, allow this distance to reduce.

Related reading: Best love stories ever

As if on cue, the loving spouse asked, “What do you want for your birthday?”

I simpered, “If you love me, you’ll gift me a gym membership.”

“That’s my girl,” the husband said, as he gave himself the critical apprising once-over in the mirror. “Let’s join the gym together.”

love - friendship

Romancing the exercise

And that’s how we got round to taking a couple membership at the gym.
As I raced with the husband on the treadmill, I considered our married life of the last few months. The gym had improved not only our health and stamina but also our love life. We were tough on ourselves as far as our gym schedule was concerned. Having paid good money for the membership, to get the best value for money, we ought to go twice a day to the place! We made a schedule down to the last detail of steam and sauna days and a nutrition plan to boot.

I realised that after having children the only time we spent in each other’s company was during our time in the gym. We were coordinating schedules to ensure we spent alone time in the gym, going to the extent of calculating non-peak hours so we could be at times the only people in the gym, making it our own private romantic getaway. The phenethylamine was indeed back in our life; thus supporting our weight management attempts.

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