Happily Ever Fatter? How to Avoid Post-Wedding Weight Gain
How to Have a Fit and Healthy Marriage
Get back on track by planning your meals with your husband and shopping for the week on Sunday, Forberg suggests. You'll end up eating much more healthfully with some advance prep than you will if you get home from work and have to ask each other, "What's for dinner?" Find a few easy, healthy go-to recipes that you both like and keep the pantry stocked with ingredients for those meals so you can whip them up quickly.
Be mindful of how often you eat out, too. "Make your time together revolve around activity instead of food," says Jennifer Cohen, personal trainer for the show Shedding for the Wedding on the CW. Alternate picking a new skill or activity: Your husband signs you both up for golf lessons one month; you arrange dance lessons the next. "You'll bond over these adventures," Cohen says. "They'll help keep the attraction alive, because fitness boosts your sex life, self-esteem, and energy."
Don't feel guilty about staking out your workout time. "It's okay to prioritize your own exercise and healthy eating even if he doesn't," Gannon says. "Your relationship will be more successful and happy if you are personally happy."
Schedule your workouts on your calendar just like you would any other appointment. Establish a Friday-evening or Saturday-morning exercise habit to help keep you honest. "It's often hardest to stay disciplined on Saturday and Sunday," Forberg says. "If you work out early in the weekend, you won't be as tempted to eat the chips your husband keeps in the pantry. You won't want to waste that hard work."
Focus on your own progress and don't be swayed by your guy's bad habits. If he's a chubby hubby, that doesn't mean you have to be his fitness coach or cheerleader. "The best way to motivate your partner is to lead by example," Cohen says. Your couch potato may come around once he sees the positive effect that exercise and eating well have on your energy level, mood, and body.
Even if you can't enlist your husband in your healthy efforts, ask him to help keep you in check. Because I have no willpower around sweets and I'm allergic to nuts, I ask my husband to buy only nutty treats. Forberg told her significant other not to bring ice cream home. "He learned that if he did, I would eat it all," she says. "Now we don't keep it in the house."
Making exercise and healthy eating a priority will help keep you and your marriage fit. "One of the reasons you got together is you're attracted to each other; do not take that for granted," Gannon says. When you need extra motivation, remember how young and energetic you both looked and felt when you first met, Fisher suggests. Vow now to be faithful partners in fitness and in health.Fit Tips from Married Couples
Ryan and Sheila Viers, 32 and 30
Santa Monica, California
Married since 2005
"I taught Sheila how to cook, and she taught me about healthy eating," Ryan says. "Together we've learned how to make meals, like pecan-crusted chicken tenders and steamed broccoli, that taste great and are also good for us."
Nicholas and Andrea Martin, 31 and 30
Married since 2009
"We joined the local kayak club so we could hang out together after work but still get in our exercise while exploring the water," Nicholas says.
Tom and Nina Curley, 37 and 36
Married since 2001
"Tom watches our two young kids while I go to the gym," Nina says. She does the same for him. "Someday we'll be able to work out together again," Tom adds.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2011.
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