The Ex Factor

I don’t do very well with ex-boyfriends. In the words of Miranda in Sex and the City, “We didn’t work out, you need to not exist.”

Miranda looking not-so-great when she sees an ex on the street

Miranda looking not-so-great when she sees an ex on the street

But exist they do – according to Facebook, at least. Which means I might actually run into one or two of them sometime during the years I have left on this earth. I thought about this during a recent trip to Lubbock, where I lived for three years during college. Though I’m happily married now, I cringed to think I might run into someone I dated who still lives in Lubbock – a guy a 21-year-old me thought was the love of my life – weighing 142 lbs. I’ve experienced this once before, the spring before my wedding in 2009. I weighed about 160 lbs. and happened to see an ex at a Round Rock Express game. Like the very mature adults we were, we pretended not to see each other. We had a very bumpy breakup just a few years before, and had agreed to stay out of each other’s lives. As small a city as Austin is, we managed to avoid each other for half a dozen years. Until that stupid baseball game.

I’ll admit I was unhappy he saw me at that weight, and ashamed I’d let myself get to that point. People always say things like “who cares what other people think?” but let’s be honest – no one wants to be the “ex who got fat after we broke up.” And there I was, at the concession stand, the ex who got fat.

Don’t get me wrong here. I want to look good for my husband more than for anyone else. But my husband has always loved me at any weight, and has always praised me, even at my heaviest. This post is purely about using exes as motivation for weight loss.



Luckily, I didn’t see the former love of my life a couple weeks ago in Lubbock, but the possibility got me thinking what a great motivation a possible “ex sighting” can be for weight loss and fitness. They say the best revenge is living well, and I got to put that into action 11 years ago when I saw an ex – my very first boyfriend, in New York – after losing a lot of weight and going through substantial physical transformation. His look of disbelief was so sweet. I looked good, I was seeing someone back in Texas, I had a good internship lined up and I was simply…doing well. His bitterness was palpable, and I ended up feeling sorry for him – but not sorry for what I’d accomplished in his absence.

Knowing that I will, of course, again visit the Cities of My Exes, I crawled onto the elliptical machine at the gym yesterday and worked out furiously. I did it again this morning. I’ve eaten healthy this week.

If the ghosts of boyfriends past materialize, I plan to be ready for ‘em.


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