Detox your relationship

Jan 12, 2009 at 1:19 p.m. ET

There is something about the beginning of a new year that energizes and inspires people to purge past mistakes and start fresh.

Couple OutdoorsFor myself, I've decided to go on a detox diet for the soul and ditch all of the bad behaviors that are clogging up my relationship. I've come to realize that while it may be easy whenever I'm feeling low to reach for that bag of honey dijon potato chips (sooo good) or scream at my significant other for yet again using my expensive Japanese shampoo (why can't he stock up on Suave?) the momentary pleasure each gives me is not worth the long-lasting damage to my body or relationship. So here is my 2009 love-life detox diet. No matter what relationship stage you are in, whether your romance is just beginning or you're celebrating your tenth wedding anniversary this year, make it your plan to drop the emotional baggage once and for all and allow your relationship to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans.

The Relationship Dietâ„¢:

Relationship Diet Tip #1:

Friendships are the base of the diet pyramid. They are the vegetables that make our lives full. Be sure to have a variety of them on your plate in all shapes and sizes.

Relationship Diet Tip #2:

Remember, anything in excess (fiber, sex, "quality time," no-calorie dressing) is bad for you even if it seems good.

Relationship Diet Tip #3:

Losing your temper, yelling at, or insulting your partner will help solve a problem as effectively as watching an exercise dvd with your butt planted on your couch will help you lose weight. Work out your problems instead.

Relationship Diet Tip #4:

At night, go to bed hungry, but not mad; a rumbling stomach is better than a rumbling relationship. Agree to disagree if a resolution is preventing you from rest.

Relationship Diet Tip #5:

Recognize self-sabotaging behaviors in order to avoid them. For example, if you can't resist a honey-glazed doughnut, don't drive past Krispy Kreme. Likewise, if you can't resist checking your boyfriend's email, don't sit down at his computer.

Relationship Diet Tip #6:

Instead of consuming sweet nothings, whisper them into your lover's ear.

Relationship Diet Tip #7:

Dieting can't heal what is ailing you on the inside, no matter what you eat. Existing on celery and water alone won't control your depression, stop you from criticizing yourself, and/or eliminate the conflicts in your life. Neither will a relationship.

Relationship Diet Tip #8:

Eat lots of leeks. (Just trust me on this one.)

Relationship Diet Tip #9:

Lastly, like with any diet, there is a very good chance that you will cheat. It may be with a banana cream flavored pie or with banana cream colored guy at the gym. Regardless, the worse thing you can do is give up or run away. Svelte bodies and happy relationships don't happen overnight, so when faced with temptation keep your eye on the long-term prize - a happier, healthier, more-in-love-than-ever you.

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