What else was he nibbling?!

My healthy-eating fella seemed to be cooking up a tastier dish on the side...

Published by: Matthew Acton and Jean Jollands
Published on: 14 February 2013

Singing along to the radio, I popped the slow cooker on the stove and chucked in some carrots, celery and chicken breasts. I was preparing a healthy casserole for my bloke. A labourer by day, Lewis, 23, was a fitness fanatic. He spent hours in the gym and he hated junk food. Instead of a Big Mac after a night out, he stuffed his face with fruit and veg!
After 10 months together, I was smitten. I spent ages knocking up healthy treats for him when I wasn't at my supermarket job.
‘Something smells yummy,' Lewis grinned, walking through the door later that evening.
Still in his sweaty gym vest, his ripped muscles were glistening.
‘Hello, you!' I smiled, giving him a kiss as he sat down at the dinner table.
Although it was his 6ft physique and sexy tan that caught my eye when we'd met at a local nightclub, he had a real soft and cuddly side, too.
In a few weeks time, he was moving in. It felt good to be making a commitment.
‘That was delicious,' he sighed, pushing his plate aside. ‘You know how to spoil a bloke!'
‘Wait till you see what's for afters,' I winked saucily as we cleared the table.
Days later, Lewis moved his stuff into mine, dumbbells and all. Over those next few weeks, he did all the decorating.
‘I must really love you to put up with this girly peach colour,' he grinned as he painted the living room one day. And he was so romantic, too...
‘That's beautiful!' I sighed when I came back from work one night. Lewis had sprinkled our bed with rose petals.
‘I want to spoil you because you're perfect,' he grinned, pulling me close.
Despite all that romance though, our steamy love sessions were becoming few and far between.
‘If we're not both working, then Lewis is down the gym,' I moaned to my mate Jen on the phone one night. ‘With all his flipping workouts, we hardly spend any time together.'
‘It's better than being with some lager lout with a pot belly!' she chuckled. ‘At least you have a hot body to lust over...'
‘You're right,' I agreed, rolling my eyes. ‘What am I moaning about?!'
We had our first anniversary approaching soon anyway, so it was time to celebrate. Lewis was definitely as loved-up as ever, too.
‘Let's plan a holiday soon,' he suggested as we cosied up together on the sofa.
‘Somewhere hot and romantic would be nice!' I giggled, smiling at the thought of having him all to myself for a whole week.
The following day, I was still dreaming of holidays as I cooked up another healthy casserole when Jen called.
‘Is Lewis there?' she mumbled, her voice on edge.
‘No, he's down the gym - as usual!' I giggled.
‘Oh,' she said. ‘Look, I need to talk to you. I'll be round in 10 minutes.'
When she turned up, her face was pale with worry.
‘I don't know how to tell you this,' she began, sitting me down. ‘But I was in the queue at McDonald's earlier when I spotted Lewis sitting in some girl's car in the drive-thru section.'
‘No, you've got the wrong person,' I laughed, brushing her off. ‘He wouldn't be seen dead at a fast food place. His body's a temple, remember?!'
But she was adamant.
‘That's what I thought,' she admitted, nervously wringing
her hands. ‘When I saw him kissing her, I definitely thought it must be someone who just looks like him...'
To be certain she wasn't seeing things, she'd left the queue and snuck up to the car where the couple were parked in a bay.
‘I'm sorry but it was definitely Lewis,' she continued. ‘I'm not just 100 per cent sure, I'm 1,000 per cent sure...'
My tummy tightened with shock and disgust as tears filled my eyes.
I didn't want to believe it. But why would Jen make it up?
‘Here I am slaving over a hot stove, while he's getting his teeth into another woman,' I sobbed, breaking down.
It cut me to pieces. He'd just moved in, we had our whole future ahead of us. Had it all just been one big fat lie? Eventually, I pulled myself together.
‘Thanks for being honest with me,' I told Jen.
‘I just thought you should know,' she said, before leaving.
Although I was heartbroken, over those next few hours, as the casserole bubbled away, so did my anger. How long had it been going on? And how had I been so stupid?
Finally, I heard his key in the door. Lewis plonked his gym bag in the hallway, his muscles glistening from his ‘workout'.
‘Tea's ready,' I smiled sweetly, but inside I was struggling to stay calm. ‘Hope you've worked up an appetite?'
‘I had a few energy bars at the gym actually,' he said, looking a little sheepish. ‘Sorry, I'm not really that hungry.'
But he must have seen the look on my face, because he suddenly changed his tune.
‘I'll try my best, though,' he said, sitting down.
I piled his plate as high as I could. But after just a few bites of chicken, he pushed his plate away. ‘Sorry love, I'm just full up,' he said.
‘Full up on what?' I screamed, unable to hold it in anymore. ‘A large portion of your bit on the side and a mucky McDonald's?'
His mouth fell open in shock.
But I couldn't resist. Leaning over the table, I scooped up his plate and tipped the steaming contents into his lap.
‘What are you doing?!' he yelled, hopping up and down like he was dancing on coals. Scraps of potato and chicken breast were sliding down his tracky bottoms onto the floor. ‘Jen saw you kissing a girl at McDonald's!' I sobbed. ‘Get a good feel of your nuggets did she?'
‘N-no... you don't understand!' he spluttered. ‘She's just a mate.'
‘You snog all your mates do you?' I fumed, brandishing my fork.
‘It wasn't my fault, she came on to me,' he insisted, wiping at his trousers. ‘It won't happen again, I swear.'
Well, at least we agreed on one thing!
‘Too right it won't,' I cried. ‘It's over.'
Although he carried on begging for me to forgive him, I was having none of it.
‘Get out!' I shouted, showing him the door.
Realising he'd left something behind, I shoved his gym bag out after him, too. Tears streaming, I ran upstairs and collapsed on the bed. It was only then, though, that reality hit home and I realised what I'd lost. Thinking back, I remembered a romantic day trip we'd had in Scarborough just a few months before. We'd gone to an arcade. It had been so much fun.
‘I'm going to win you that giant teddy if it's the last thing I do!' he'd boasted, stuffing more and more money into the slot machine.
‘You big softy,' I'd giggled.
He'd spent over £40 in 20p pieces trying to win me that fluffy bear, but he'd done it! Except, my sweet bloke had now turned out to be nothing but a cheat. Had we been living a lie? I felt like he'd played me for a complete fool.
Over the next weeks, he text me loads of times.
I'm sorry. I know I've messed up, he wrote. But there was no turning back for me.
Five months on, you can forget healthy chicken casseroles. These days, I'm happiest munching on a greasy pizza with all the toppings... although I've definitely been put off burgers for life!

• Lewis Shepley, 23, says: ‘Yeah, I cheated. It was a girl I met at the gym.'

Emma Seidlecki, 22, Leeds