Weight Gain and Marriage
By: Yvonne Levy - Certified Personal Trainer and Marriage Educator.
I got married and I got fat.
There – I said it.
Here’s how it happened and how I eventually lost the weight…
My Story of Weight Gain After Marriage
When I was in the “singles market” it was very easy to find the energy and motivation to keep my body in great shape.
Being a fitness professional myself, I looked forward to every single workout, not to mention the possibility that I could “meet someone” at the health club itself.
My diet was impeccable, and I would hardly ever “give in” to temptation and risk blowing off every single bit of effort that I had put into sculpting my figure. After all, I had to “lead by example” – I never knew when a hot, sexy guy would come to take the indoor cycling class I taught at the gym.
Then I met George (my now husband), who happened to be another fitness-fanatic “gym rat,” just like myself.
Our motivation and dedication to staying fit and healthy kicked into an even higher gear as we looked forward to working out together wearing skimpy and tight gym clothes that would let us admire each other’s physiques.
And then, we got married…
When marriage love comes in through the door, health and fitness often go out the window…
It happened to us approximately 2 weeks after we got married. George had gotten an unexpected business opportunity that required us to move immediately across the country. Suddenly we found ourselves in a new place, having to set up a new life routine.
Within a few weeks I had landed a couple of fitness jobs that would allow George and myself to work out at a nearby health club. But as soon as the alarm clock rang at 6:00 AM, we would hit the snooze button and decide to cuddle in bed for an hour. Before we knew it, we both had to get ready to go to work, so there was no time for working out.
We mutually agreed to hit the gym in the evening, but by the time George came back home, we were both exhausted and all we wanted to do was pop open a bottle of wine, relax and enjoy a romantic meal. After all, we were two newlywed lovebirds.
Hitting a downward spiral on the health and fitness department
Months went by and keeping fit became sort of secondary in our married life. Weight lifting sessions got replaced by morning cuddling and our once healthy eating habits got tainted by the regular consumption of sweets, wine and other calorie-rich indulgences. After all, every day was a great day to celebrate our love!
Even though I continued to teach fitness classes, I did so at less than half the volume I was used to before George and I got married. After all, George was doing great on his business engagement and my income wasn’t necessary.
Working out for me became kind of a hassle because I had to do it on my own, and there was nothing to keep me motivated. To make matters worse, I hated being “hit on” by other guys at the gym. So I decided I would only “work out” whenever I taught classes.
Skinny jeans don’t lie
It happened one Saturday afternoon. I tried on my favorite pair of jeans and noticed they were a bit more snug than usual. I blamed it on having had to hit a de-wrinkle cycle on the dryer, but when I tried to sit down (I got lucky this happened while still at home) I heard a loud ripping noise and noticed that my jeans had torn in the back. I was shocked!
George tried to console me by taking me to the store right away to buy new jeans. To my surprise, I tried on dozens of jeans, only to officially discover that I had gone up one whole size! I was in tears.
As we left the store, George confessed that he had weighed himself at the supermarket and noticed he had gained about 2-3 lbs. He thought the scale was off, but now he realized maybe that wasn’t the case.
Sad fact: “Letting yourself go” physically can lead to “letting the marriage go”
The incident with the jeans and the scale hit George and me like a ton of bricks. We realized that if we “let ourselves go,” that could soon lead us to do the same to our marriage. Part of the reason why we got married was the physical attraction we felt for each other, and losing that due to pure laziness would definitely take a toll on our marriage.
It was then and there that we realized why many couples who stop paying attention to their health and appearance the moment they tie the knot, eventually end up disliking each other and perhaps, even getting divorced. Something as little and, apparently frivolous, such as physical attraction is actually an essential component in a healthy marriage.
Making health and fitness a priority is part of Being Happily Married
Don’t get me wrong: This is certainly not about becoming narcissistic and sacrificing precious time with your spouse in order to spend hours in the gym striving for physical perfection.
What I’m suggesting here is pretty much what George and I decided to do:
Together, as a couple, we determined that exercising and eating healthy would be a priority in our lifestyle, simply for the sake of each other and the marriage itself. Sure, that would mean less cuddle time in the morning and limiting wine and sweets to the weekends and holidays, but ultimately it wouldn’t be so hard because we would be doing it together.
Mutual support is essential when incorporating a healthy and fit lifestyle within a marriage. And it is important not just specifically in that area, but also in pretty much everything that the marriage involves. It’s all about both spouses being a team, cheering and motivating each other to reach their goals.
I’ll be the first one to admit that doing this is not always easy, but in the long run it pays off and can be very rewarding. Plus think about it: Just the fact that you and your spouse are doing this together makes it at least a bit easier. Because after all, isn’t doing stuff together as a couple one of the main sources of happiness in a marriage?
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