Help! Falling in Love Made Me Fat, Tired and Messy

For years, all I wanted was a great relationship with a man I shared interests and could be honest and open with, but now that I finally found him the rest of my life feels out of control. When I was single I lost weight and stopped smoking. I was in control of my household, feeling lonely, but physically I felt great. Now, my fiancé and I live together, and physically I feel awful. I gained about 30 pounds, picked up smoking again (which boggles my mind), my house isn't neat like I prefer, and I've stopped going to church, which was an important part of my life. I have a good job, but I sit all day, and don't have time to exercise. What happened to my life? Do you have any suggestions on how I can get the balance back?

--from earnhardtfan03


Dear earnhardtfan03,

Your life prior to this relationship does, indeed, sound wonderful. But you still have a good job. And how great that you've created a life with a good man, with whom you can talk and share and be intimate.

It sounds as though you don't believe you can "have it all" -- the good relationship, job, money, health and spiritual study. That negative belief got set for me at an early age -- that I couldn't have both a tremendous relationship (or family) and career. I was always making sure that I didn't sacrifice some part of my life when something new and wonderful happened. But recognizing that is powerful because now I know I don't have to be caught in it. If you see what you're doing, you can start to take charge of your life.

To reclaim those things you love -- being in good shape, not smoking, having your house the way you like it and going to church, I encourage you to take small but consistent steps. Keep reminding yourself every day that you don't have to sacrifice anything in your life in order to have a meaningful and loving relationship. Like cherry, an iVillage member who gave herself a mantra, you can have one too. Hers was about always using excuses, but why don't you think of something that you say to start each day like: "It's okay for me to have it all," or, "I deserve love, health, meaningful work and a connection with my spirit." Choose words that will plant in your mind this idea that it's okay for you to live a full, balanced, prosperous-in-every-way life.

More from the Life Coach

1. Choose some step that will begin your journey for renewing balance and make it your "courage goal" for the week. You can write it in your own journal or share it with us on the message board>. Either way, when you finish that goal you'll be ready to start another step. Just don't try to have it all, all at once.

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