One of the most common pieces of advice we hear when getting married is “don’t get too comfortable and let yourself go”. It’s a well-meaning (albeit mean) and often true prediction. We should feel comfortable and confident in our relationship to not feel the pressure of looking attractive 24/7, but it is also important to stay healthy to enjoy life together. Your partner says he/she still loves you the way you are, but you don’t feel good in your skin. Changing can be difficult, however you don’t have to do it alone. There are ways that you can get back to feeling good about yourself and strengthen your relationship:
How to Stay Fit AND Nurture Your Relationship
- Make time for your relationship while you take a walk: Everybody knows that making time for each other is vital for a healthy relationship. With the weather getting warmer get your spouse to go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or your favorite park. Use the time to daydream about your next vacation and laugh about how none of the stress of today will matter tomorrow.
- Have more sex: Intimacy in long-term relationships can become less of a priority…below getting “just another 30 minutes of sleep” and “I have 3 full baskets of laundry to fold”. There all kinds of health benefits to sex. Sex not only can burn amazing calories, but also reduce stress and allows for deeper connection. As we get older our sexuality changes, so tell your partner what feels good for you and ask for feedback to keep it fun!
- Plan a couples’ reward for goals achieved: Rewarding yourself for smaller achievements helps keep the motivation and shape good habits so don’t wait until the end result to celebrate. You can use the money you saved by avoiding eating fast-food for hiring a babysitter and having a date night. Don’t forget to give each other praises and honest compliment to boost self-esteem.
- Commit to cooking at least one new healthy recipes together: Each week one of you chooses the meal and both work on it together. Boredom is a killer of any weight-loss plan and marriage so have fun! Making this simple task of cooking a meal a join effort will help you two to stay focus, committed and supported by each other.
- Be a good listener: Your spouse might feel discouraged if the change doesn’t happen fast enough or life events get in the way of a healthy routine. Don’t try and fix the problem…it often makes it worse. Instead, be a good listener. Listen and encourage. Having someone showing empathy for our struggle is a huge help. Stay positive, take the time to review progress and renew the commitment to getting healthier.
It doesn’t matter the shape or size you end up, taking time to care for yourself improves self-esteem and feelings of well-being. When you take this time to also work on your marriage the result is a stronger couple that can face challenges together as a team. When life gives you lemons, make a skinny lemonade and go sit in the sun with your loved one!
About the author: Patricia Cochran is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She is passionate about helping couples and families to feel connected again. In her spare time, she busy with her toddler and enjoying friends and family time.