By the end of our first year of marriage, Nancy and I were in the worst physical shape we had ever been in; each weighing more than either of us had ever weighed. We never watched what we ate. Nancy cooked some amazing things but most of them were not the healthiest. The only exercise we got was sex, and that was not shedding any pounds for us.
We finally figured out that something had to change. I think the big wake-up call came when we both had more clothes that didn’t fit than ones that did. We were on a limited budget, and weight loss was a better and cheaper idea than buying new clothes.
The big thing for us was that we were totally on the same page and were committed to beat our weight gain together. Nancy cooked healthier foods, and I learned to love what she made. We joined a gym, which was huge for us. I had not worked out consistently since playing high school sports, and Nancy had never really had an exercise plan. Our schedules did not allow us to work out together. I found that working out early in the morning worked best for me. Nancy liked working out a little later in the morning. Even though we went at different times, there was the built-in accountability of each asking, “Did you work out today?”
Working out became a lifestyle for us. Nancy enjoyed classes like aerobics and also used weights. I became a runner and worked with weights. After running in high school, it was hard for me not to get competitive, so I would compete in a few races every year. There have been so many benefits for us in consistently exercising. The obvious one is that we look and feel better. We have more energy and we are healthier. When we get sick or have surgery, we always recover ahead of schedule. The benefits are endless.
What do you need to do? Beginning an exercise program is easy. Being consistent with exercise over a lot of years is difficult, but don’t start there. Start with a three-month plan and then evaluate it. Decide what each of you are going to do. Decide how many days a week you are going to do it. Decide the best time of day for you to exercise. Clear your schedule so nothing interferes. Then exercise. At the end of your three month trial, you both will look better and feel better and because you addressed a problem together, your marriage will be better too!