Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Stay Fit in a Marriage

It has been three years since we were able to take our first "after" photos.  In those three years, my husband and I have continued to face the challenge of staying fit as a marriage couple.  I'm sure this could apply to any couple, but because marriage is where I am coming from, that is what I am going with!

For the most part, my weight stayed the same until a year ago when I had surgery and had to recover from that, restricting me from any exercise.  I then was busy with projects, and due to the physical toll that took on my body, I got sick and stayed sick for three months. This is also when my husband's weight went up.  What does this tell me?  When I am fit, he is fit.  We keep each other healthy.  This could put a lot of pressure on one spouse or the other.  You could look at it as an advantage of having a live-in accountability partner who you love so much you would love to see them succeed as much or more than yourself.  That is huge!  Having a spouse who supports your goals and has his/her own is a must in becoming fit.

Now, I have to say (sorry Hubby!) that my husband is not into fitness and nutrtion like I am.  The numbers of his macro nutrients don't make him giddy like mine do.  However, he has come to realize how good it feels to be healthy and what advantages it plays in our marriage and daily lives.  First of all, we have more energy.  That could mean that we can get up earlier to pray together, read together, or exercise together.  It also means we could have more energy for our kids.  We can be a better example of good health to our kids.  We can show them what it means to take care of the body God gave us.  It causes us to be more responsible and creative with our time.  That could mean being creative in how we fit a workout in or being more active as a family.  And, it's always nice  on our budget to NOT have to buy new clothes because we are growing out of ours!

With all those advantages (and many more) to living as a healthy couple said, it still is a challenge.  So, how do you do it?  Here are just a few things I have learned over these several years of loosing the weight together and keeping it *mostly* off...

How to Stay Fit in a Marriage

  • Don't expect you won't gain some weight back.  When that happens, stop.  Look at how you're eating and how much you are being active.  Be honest with yourselves.  Are you spending the evenings on the couch with too many bowls of ice cream or *ahem* Schwan's Silvermint Ice Cream Bars?   Just because you may have gained 10, 15, or even 20 lbs back does not mean you've fallen off the wagon! It just means your wagon went down a rabbit trail and needs to be steered back in the right direction! And, because you lost the weight before, the chances are, you have an idea of what the right direction is!

  • Make nutrition and exercise doable.  Let's face it, most people are pretty busy.  Add a spouse in the mix, then kids, or grandkids and you've got yourself many schedules and eating habits to include in your daily challenge to stay healthy.  Don't restrict yourself from too many things, unless absolutely medically necessary.  (Carb cycling is wonderful for not restricting yourself and still loosing weight, while gaining muscle and health! Read my post about it here!)  Don't commit to an hour at the gym if you can't.  Don't feel the pressure of having to go to the gym to workout!  Workout at home.  Invest in a few weights or research a HIIT program that requires no equipment so you have absolutely no excuse to get out of exercise.  Make your nutrition and fitness goals to be an everyday lifestyle change.  Something you can do EVERY SINGLE DAY without burden.  

  • Hold each other accountable in a loving way, free of nagging.  If you seem to be sailing smooth when it comes to your eating habits or exercise and your spouse isn't, don't find reason to criticize.  Find opportunity to help.  Ask your spouse, "How can I help you be better?"  When the opportunity comes to just go out and get a burger vs. cooking a meal at home because everyone is tired and hungry, cook the meal together so it goes quicker.  Remind each other of the way you feel after eating a healthy meal at home compared to grabbing a burger in a drive-thru.  

  • Always find ways to build each other up and encourage each other, not tear each other down.  Tearing down could even mean giving into a temptation together.  Be united in your goals to succeed.  Find ways to encourage with words while working out or complementing each other when you notice clothes fitting looser.  

  • Pray for each other.  Praying for fitness of your spouse may seem like a small issue.  But, Christ says to bring everything to him in prayer.  EVERYTHING.  Pray together for each other.  God hears all His people's prayers.  He takes care of the sparrows (Luke 12:24), so why then would we find things in our lives too insignificant to bring to our mighty God in prayer?  

" not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God."  Philippians 4:6

  • And finally, just KEEP GOING.  There will be periods of time with one or both of you will feel the weight of your jobs, your kids, stress in your life----the weight of the world.  There will be days when you can't work out.  There will be days when you are sick and a fast food run seems like the only way to get dinner on the table.  That is okay.  As long as you, as a couple, keep the your goals in mind and know that, even if you are in the place in life where working out or eating healthy doesn't come easy, you can still strive to be the healthiest you can be. Together.  

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