I’ve been lucky enough to have found a boyfriend that is very dedicated – not only to me, but mostly to the gym, being fit and living a healthy lifestyle! I get a lot of questions about this from my family and friends. Does he eat normal? Do I also eat like he does? Does he eat strange things? How much time does he spend in the gym? What does he train? Why is he doing this? Really, sometimes it feels like I am dating an alien, with all these questions I get… So I thought, let’s talk for a second about what it’s like to date a gym rat.

Eating all day long: Being on a certain food schedule like Ricardo means he is eating multiple meals throughout the day, but smaller portions to optimize metabolism. I join in on his meals when I feel like it but it’s obvious he takes his food timing and planning much more serious! I noticed that timing meals, and spreading food intake over the day, are usefull when you want to bring down candy cravings. So don’t impair your food to just three meals a day, start to eat more (but make healthy choices) all day long!

We cheat in our relationship: with food of course! Cheat meals have become an interesting thing. Depending on his program, he may or may not have one once a week. Trying to talk him into eating more cheat meals or soul food than his plan allows for will only throw him off track, and it will not make him happy (believe me, I tried). He lets me know when he can have a cheat meal, and mainly this means: going out to dinner. Cheat meal days become date nights, and I love them.

Prep it!  No matter what the plans for the day are, meal prepping is almost always included. The amount of time this can take can vary by his method of cooking and how many days in advance he cooks. There will be lots of rice, chicken, and veggies accompanied with herbs and in Ricardo’s case sambal & peppers. He likes it very hot! But no eating yet, just stuffing it into Tupperware boxes. He now even has a meal preparation bag to keep everything for a day fresh, which is very conveniet in his life as professional golfer (a round of 18 holes can take up to 4-5 hours). I learned that preparing meals can really help to stick to eating healthier, even if the diet is not that strict. It prevents me from snacking on bad stuff at work for instance. Also, we almost always have prepared food at home, so no excuses for ordering pizza when I don’t feel like cooking.

Tupperware collection. Speaking of Tupperware, we have it everywhere! In the car, in the kitchen, at his work, and maybe even in his gym bag sometimes. This is because he is toting around 2-3 Tupperware containers on a daily basis. They land in strange places before finally making it to the dishwasher at the end of the day (smell wise this is not good).

Candy & snacks. We don’t own candy or snacks… ever (exception: if we get visitors, then I go nuts in the snacks section at the supermarket haha). But normally, no matter how many times I open the refrigerator or look in our food drawer (you all know that feeling), there never magically appears a piece of chocolate, cake or chips…Ok, there was this one time he discovered my secret chocolate stash. Not having snacks in the house really helps with not eating crap. However, it doesn’t prevent me from getting that ice cream every once in a while, but hey, I’ve got to keep sane!

No skipping gym day: motivation. When I started to date Ricardo, I got inspired to get off the couch more often. I still get motivated to go to the gym more often than I would when being alone. Going to the gym is also a thing we do together. I especially like walking to and from the gym, reviewing our training session and cooling off together.

Shopping clothes challenge: The specific muscle definition of weight-trainers like Ricardo gives him a different body frame than the average Joe. This means he has to invest a small fortune to purchase (and then have tailored) any shirt, jacket and slacks that he bought a size or two up just to fit his shoulders and thighs. Shopping for jeans is also very hard because his legs are very muscular, and his waist is tiny in comparison. My personal suggestion: just don’t wear clothes honey! His solution: wear a lot of clothes that stretch…

Protein fetish: If there were shares in chicken and eggs, we would invest in them. Also we have a special white fish section in our freezer: a drawer full of rectangular high protein fish that you can store for weeks. Our newest favorite high protein food is shrimp, delicious with garlic!

Science of dining out: If I want to go dine out to for example an Italian place, something about pasta and bread just doesn’t seem to fit with the whole “fit diet” thing (at least when it’s not a designated cheat day). It pays off to find a place that offers tasty options with lean meat or fish and veggies. He can still eat out on regular days, he just prefers restaurants with fewer temptations and more options for low carbs and high protein. Healthy dining options that we like are steak houses like Carnal in Maastricht. Here you can order lean meat of fish, and make healthy food choices by ordering responsible side dishes.

Supplements all over: Don’t be surprised if you pay a visit to our home to find our entire kitchen counter littered with a vast array of protein powders, whey powders, creatine powders and pills. In the beginning I thought all those mean looking pots and boxes where a little bit strange, however, if you learn more about the fit lifestyle, it makes sense. You simply cannot eat the amounts of food that have the same nutritional values that go into these supplements. When you work your body out more than 5 times a week, on a schedule like Ricardo’s, your body really puts them to good use. They help with recovery as well as muscle growth. Disclaimer: Neither I nor Ricardo take or accept illegal substances in our house like steroids or horse medication, or anything else in that category. In our opinion this does not fit into a healthy lifestyle! Also, as a golf professional he is not even allowed to take illegal substances, nor would he ever take that risk.

Hello body! Unless you’re currently looking at Magic Mike, how many times in your life are you going to get to hook up with a guy who has a godly body? For me, this is a big plus!

Loyalty & dedication. All of these points may sound a bit scary. Fortunately, dating a gym rat offers more advantages than disadvantages. I’ve found myself a man with drive, persistence, and best of all, loyalty. He takes pride in his appearance and is willing to work hard to keep a good thing going. In other words, when he commits, I know I can trust him to do what it takes to maintain a happy relationship for both of us.