Happy Marriage, Bigger Pants?Heather Neal
Ahh, wedded bliss. The comfort of lounging in your pjs, make-up free, and hair a tousled mess. Dinner in front of the TV and staying in on a Saturday night. It’s a stark contrast to the early days of dating. When romance first blossoms you’re sure every piece of hair is in the right place, your eyeliner’s perfect, and you’re dressed just right, maybe even a little fancier than that movie date calls for. You keep up your dedicated gym routine, with the added motivation to continue to look good to the partner you’re pursuing.
Then it all goes downhill. You say your vows, move in together, and bask in the euphoric state of newlywed-ism. (Yes, that’s a thing.) But along with that sickening happiness come expanding waistlines, pudgy bellies, and a little extra arm jiggle. Think weight gain with marriage is a myth? This Ohio State study shows otherwise. And ladies, it’s even worse news for us: women tend to gain the most weight after marriage; the fellas wait until divorce to pack on those pounds.
Just to make that news a little crueler, happy couples bear the brunt of the weight gain. The exact cause and effect is still unclear, but a study at Southern Methodist University revealed that for every increased unit of “satisfaction” in a relationship, there was a .12 increase in BMI. Now that’s not an awful lot, but it could certainly add up over time.
So what’s the deal? Researchers aren’t really quite sure just yet, but there are some theories brewing. Perhaps it’s because happy couples go out to eat and socialize more than unhappy couples. Perhaps it’s because couples spend more time in front of the TV, promotes eating. Not only are you watching the shows you like, you have to put up with your partner’s taste in TV too. Andrea Meltzer, a social psychologist and lead researcher on the Southern Methodist University study suggests the theory that unsatisfied couples are looking to attract a future mate and thus care more about their appearance. On the flip side, happy couples make slack off now that the hunt for love is over.
What’s your take on post-wedding weight gain?