Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marriage Fat

A couple women mentioned that since they met their husbands, they put on a few pounds AFTER the wedding. I totally get it. The wedding photos are a huge incentive to say "No!" to cupcakes... but like Nicole says, "Unfortunately, I can't really get married every other year to keep that threat of not fitting in the dress in mind." And Sarah @ See Sarah Eat admits, "I got up to my highest weight ever the year following my wedding. So, yeah it is true."

Are you doomed to get fat if you get married?

I've never been married and I used to have a bucket full of issues with the idea of marriage.  One of those issues involved associating wedding vows with a bulging belly (and I don't mean the kind with a bouncy baby inside). It was NOT something I wanted especially with a career in fitness. Now, is that REALITY? Of course not. Not everyone who says "I do" also says "seconds, please!" Hell, you don't have to have another helping as you age to see the numbers on the scale creep up. That's just part of the fun of getting older! (I hope you note my sarcasm here.)

No, I unfairly judged the institution of marriage instead of the lifestyle choices that changed a bit when the women I knew got married. And apparently, I also had a selective memory because I do know several women who have gotten in better shape since they've been married. My sister-in-law looks awesome over ten years after the wedding and three kids later. And both her married sisters have gotten in better shape after getting married and having kids, too. (Congrats to YOU, ladies!!!) But I will say this... a slimmer waistline does not happen by accident.

So, what is the secret? From my years as a fitness coach as well as an observant sister-in-law, I see that the key is planning. A perfect workout time slot is not going to magically present itself in your busy day. Healthy snacks won't just appear at your desk or in your car when a hunger craving tries to derail your weight loss efforts. Just because your sweetheart can eat a huge steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, drink a goblet of soda and have a decadent dessert without self-loathing doesn't mean your body will react the same way (and I doubt he will feel very good eating like that for too long, either).

Studies show that those who keep the weight off have the most success with a morning workout ritual. Do you have one? Do you want one? Are you pushing aside some activity so you can have some quality time with your honey? If you need a little incentive (besides avoiding extra body fat), let me just say that MOST men get more frisky after an exercise session. Just sayin'...

Any other planning ideas that have worked... or NOT worked... for you in the past? I'm definitely taking notes here... because like I said, I USED to have issues with marriage, but I've worked through most of them. I'm actually looking forward to that possibility now.

Health & Happiness,


  1. One planning idea is planning to be single, or unmarried as long as possible. I kid.

    I really ran into trouble when my son's Mom got preggers. You've all heard about it. The cravings..?

    I'd find myself at the drive-through at Jack In The Box at 3 in the morning getting seasoned curly fries, fish n' chips, cheese stuffed peppers and strawberry milkshakes, only to be told on the return home, not to get that stuff any where near her.

    I'd stare at the $16,97 worth of garbage on the counter, just a foot and a half from the trash can where it belonged, and breathe deep, doing everything I could to stuff it into the 35 lb over-weight gullet and gobbler I'd been hauling around for the past three months.

    My kid was 3 before I lost all that extra trimming at my waste. Jeeez.

  2. I can't say I know how it is with the marriage and weight gain, or even relationship weight gain as I have been single for a while..

    What I can say, staying in shape does take a lot of discipline and planning! It has to become a lifestyle as it has for me, and my partner has to share that lifestyle from the beginning. I like to believe that I can eradicate the problem before it happens by making this a lifestyle choice for my partner and I.

    From the get go, even with a woman I am starting to date now she knows how much time I dedicate to my health in exercise (at least 2 hrs a day, 5 days a week minimum). Mornings work best for me, BELIEVE ME.. This took at least a year to get use too, but know I can't start my day without exercising... But more importantly she accepts and wants to be a part of my healthy lifestyle outside of exercise. Studying nutrition and fitness for many years as well I have found that the 70-20-10 rule sums it up the best. 70%- Diet, 20% - exercise, 10%- rest & recovery.

    So.. After being single for so long and maybe deciding to settle down now... Wish me luck and I will continue to update you on my weight loss or gain... haha..

  3. I feel that marriage often equates to comfort. Not in the cushy bed or couch way, but feeling like it's okay to relax. You tend to make more time to snuggle or watch movies (popcorn w/butter!!) or eat out...anything but work out. Not everyone has at least two hours a day to devote to exercise...Patrick. LOL! Tongue-partially-in-cheek, sir, but if you're working out at least two hours a day, gaining weight is probably the least of your concerns, married or not. Your main concern is probably keeping all the girls/guys at bay! Dating is slightly different because, let's face it, she or he could tire of your crap any day and you're on the proverbial curb, so working out and staying fit is higher on the priority list. When you're happily married you usually feel like it's okay to put on a few lbs. or you think you can work it off later...and 'later' never seems to arrive in time. I've always used the old cliché 'all things in moderation'. To me, that's balance and that's the key. Date, get married, whatever, but make room in your day for exercise. Pretty much any kind will do. I mean, if you're going to eat at Denny's, at least walk 3 miles to do so. ;) Maybe you can't work out every single day but there are seven glorius days in the week, and there has to be some time in at least a few of them. I like Patrick's 70-20-10 rule. But, I'd swap the exercise and R&R for sure...only if I can manage to stay away from the chocolate cake. And, let's be honest, it's much harder to make time for exercise! I feel like I need to workout just from all this talk about it!

  4. I am a married full-time working mom of 3. After a few years of not making it to the gym after work (because I was soooooo tired) I had to accept the fact that the only way I would be able to get in a workout was before work. . .at 5:30 A.M.!!! It was really tough at first but I find that working out in the morning gives me a lot of energy for the day and makes me feel really productive. And when I get home I don't have to choose between spending time with the family or going to the gym. It's a win-win! It takes a lot of planning to go from not-so-healthy to healthy, but once you do it, it feels awesome!