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Women in Relationships More Apt to Develop Love Handles - Black Married Momma: The Anti-Statistic By K. Danielle Edwards, Columnist


A new study says that women who live with a mate - even if they don't have a child, but especially if they do - are more likely than their single, solo habitating and childless peers to pack on the pounds.

Those of us who have been bitten by the love bug knows how it can be. You meet someone. You click. You get to know each other better over restaurant meals; then you start staying in and eating take out. You used to order salads, now you polish off plates and order dessert. Years later, you're living together and/or married, getting comfortable, being yourself, practicing fewer dietary niceties, perhaps exercising less and putting on the love handles, as you get that good loving, and stop caring if anyone else ever does a double-take when they see you.

The story "Study Says Women With Mate Get Heavier" says: "After adjusting for other variables, the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds if she had a baby and a partner, 15 if she had a partner but no baby, and only 11 pounds if she was childless with no partner. The number of women with a baby but no partner was too small to draw statistically significant conclusions."

Our metabolisms slow as we grow older, and there may be physiological forces at play that permanently alter the way women process calories after having children: “Women’s bodies may adjust to the increased weight associated with having a baby,” Dr. Dobson said. “There may be a metabolic adjustment that goes on when women are pregnant that is hard to reverse. This would be more consistent with our findings than any other explanation.”

After I had Little Lady #1, I dropped most of the weight by the one-year mark, but my hips were permanently wider. I gained half as much weight with Little Lady #2, but have retained more than I did after having my first child. It really doesn't faze me because I work out more than ever, lift more weight more frequently than ever, am stronger than ever and have more muscle definition than ever - and still fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, even if I weigh 25-30 pounds more than I appear (LOL).

Women aren't the only ones being picked on. Apparently, other studies show that men gain weight, too, once they become fathers.

So, how do you maintain your sex appeal as a parent? Is it less of a priority once you're married and feel relationally and romantically set for life? Or are the stakes higher because you want to continue to please and keep your mate?

BLACK MARRIED MOMMA are musings from Columnist K. Danielle Edwards - a Black full-time working mother and wife, with a penchant for prose, a heart for poetry, a love of books and culture, a liking of fashion and style, a knack for news and an obsession with facts - beating the odds, defying the statistics. Sister Edwards is a Nashville-based writer, poet and communications professional, seeking to make the world a better place, one decision and one action at a time. To her, parenting is a protest against the odds, and marriage is a living mantra for forward movement. Her work has appeared in MotherVerse Literary Journal, ParentingExpress, Mamazine, The Black World Today,, The Tennessean and other publications. She is the author of Stacey Jones: Memoirs of Girl & Woman, Body & Spirit, Life & Death (2005) and is the founder and creative director of The Pen: An Exercise in the Cathartic Potential of the Creative Act, a nonprofit creative writing project designed for incarcerated and disadvantaged populations. Click here to contact Ms. Edwards.


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Issue 357
January 7, 2010

is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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