'Til Fat do us Part
Written by Kate ThomasThere are significant events that happen in our lives that affect our fitness motivation, and marriage is one of them. When you say ‘I do,’ priorities can change and the gym falls further and further down the ‘to do’ list. Pregnancy can encourage weight gain and post-baby life can be even busier. According to Larry Barnum, a Reno-based Marriage and Family Therapist, women statistically put on more weight in the first year than men. When weight gain starts to affect your relationships, more specifically with your spouse, you need to understand why it has happened and what you can do about it.
Many factors come into play that prompt weight gain after marriage, some less obvious than others. Here are some of the most common:
- We are no longer on the prowl
- The ‘perfect’ home life
“I think newlyweds are often trying hard to have the "perfect" home life.” Wycoff said. “So creating three meals a day can be one of those things that we unconsciously think means a good home.”
Those three meals a day, which include dessert, begin to show on the hips and result in weight gain.
- We eat as much as our man
- Two become one
“Each one is silently choosing to not go on a bike ride with her friends, if hubby doesn't bike, or not doing the Zumba class for similar reasons,” Wycoff said.
So by dedicating yourself to each other, in turn, exercise is not top priority anymore.
- Family focused food
- Lots of leftovers
- Comfort eating
It is clear that it is very difficult for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle with so many dynamics working against you. However, if you recognize there is a problem, if your relationships are suffering, then it is your responsibility to take action. Identify the root of the problem and make steps to change towards a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Choose one day a week to cook a fabulous meal for your man with appetizer, entrée and dessert. Show off your culinary excellence and get his taste buds tingling. For the rest of the week, have a salad for lunch and cook a one-course healthy meal for dinner.
- Take smaller portions than your partner. It is very likely that they are not going to notice, because, let’s face it they are men. This way you are being fair to your own metabolism by not overwhelming it with too much food.
- Find a sport that both you and your husband can do together. “As a couple you can do activities together – be together, nudge each other,” Barnum said. Go hiking on the weekend, play tennis at the local club or take a 30-minute walk in the evening after dinner. Find a common ground where you can get active together. Not only will you look great, but the exercise will get your pheromones pumping boosting activity in the bedroom too.
- During pregnancy feel free to eat more. It is your birthright. But remember that as much as you are eating for two, you also need to nourish that little baby and you must eat healthy. You can also preserve many of your exercise regimes until the final stages of pregnancy – think Charlotte in Sex and the City. She ran throughout her pregnancy.
- Compromise is the way to work the family meal times. Once a week you can serve up burgers and fries, maybe as a treat on Fridays for a weekend celebration. The rest of the week, Mom rules in the kitchen and healthy vegetables rule the table. You will be setting a nutritious example for your children and will keep you and your family in perfect health. And put the leftovers in the dog bowl.
“We bring many expectations to marriage that are hidden/silent, created in early life while watching how our parents did things,” Wycoff said. “Sometimes we have incorporated those values without awareness, and again it takes time to sort out what it is that actually works for the couple, meaning two distinct people, trying to live together.”
As partners, if you are feeling low on confidence, you should be there to support each other and help each other to work through problems within your marriage.
“Be caring and connected. Don’t judge each other,” Barnum said.
Talk to each other, pay attention to each other, keep an active sex life and speak encouragingly and compassionately toward each other. Do it together.
B. Misty Wycoff, M.A http://www.bmistywycoff.com/