marriage TRAINING


It’s that time of the year again – we’re all tired, over-worked, just trying to get through to December 31st and eating whatever we can get our hands on. Weight is on a lot of our minds – which led me to this interesting piece from Reuters – titled “Is Marriage Bad for Your Physical Fitness?”

Hmm, that sounds like a topic for the Angry Trainer…

The study followed roughly 9,000 people over a period of several years and found that both the men and women that had been married suffered a loss in cardiovascular fitness. It also went on to mention that men saw a marked improvement in fitness if they had been divorced. But interestingly, this was not the case for women who also got divorced. I’m surprised as I’ve personally seen many separated women get in the best shape of their lives post marriage – and I think it’s a fairly common scenario that when someone is “back on the market” they tend to worry about their appearance more in hopes of attracting a new mate.

But back to the marriage issue. I have some problems with the report – the study doesn’t give the ages of the participants, or their levels of fitness at the onset of the study. Plus they used a treadmill to gauge each participant’s cardiovascular fitness and I’m not sure that’s the best way to judge a person’s fitness level. But still I agree with the general findings after years of seeing it with my own eyes.

When two people marry, many times they also start a family, buy a house, perhaps focus on building their assets and climbing the corporate ladder – and their time becomes divided amongst all these responsibilities. I know many newlywed people who have a difficult time fitting exercise time in, even if they used to follow a regular regime. I’ve fallen out of touch with many people and have seen them a year or two later and barely recognized them due to their weight gain. Marriage is a huge lifestyle change for many people – so perhaps it’s not surprising they pile on the pounds. But it’s these additional lifestyle changes, rather than marriage per se, that affects most people’s weight…

Lots of couples put on a little weight post marriage but I also know, as I’m sure you do as well, colleagues, friends and family that have truly let themselves go to crap after marriage. Sorry, but it’s true – and honestly I don’t get it! How many women diet for months on end to look their best for their wedding photos, and throw their workouts in the garbage bin? How many people do you know that fall into that scenario, and are you one of them? You should look good, be healthy and fit for LIFE, not just for one day of your life.

One of the biggest issues is that when we’re younger we metabolize food differently, our bodies run faster, and it’s more forgiving when we eat poorly. But as we age if we don’t maintain or try to improve fitness, and if we let our diets run amuck, the pounds will show up very quickly. And the real issue is health, not vanity. When someone is overweight it’s a calling card that say’s “I eat poorly, I don’t exercise, and I’m in poor health!”.

Married, single, divorce or remarried, it doesn’t matter. And in fairness to the research findings, it’s stated that many factors including social, genetic, and habitual can play key roles in one’s exercise downturns. But as I’ve said many times before, anyone has time to fit an exercise program in somewhere in his or her life – no matter how hectic their lifestyle. I do believe the struggles of marriage, raising children and maintaining a household shift your priorities a bit. But the healthier and fitter you are, the better off everything else in your life will be.

So make sure your health is a priority whatever your status is. A person that takes care of himself or herself is always attractive in my book.

But what do you think? Have you found time to exercise despite a busy family life? Or have you gained weight because of marriage? Start weighing in…

12 comments on “CAN MARRIAGE MAKE YOU FAT?

  1. I think you overlooked a major factor, which is when your partner is lazy it gets harder for you to work out to. There will be many times when your partner is sitting on the couch which sure looks v tempting after a hard-day of work and sometimes you opt for the easy way out and join them…and agian…again..and again.

    Also, what I’ve experienced personally and heard from a lot of female friends of mine is that it’s harder for women to eat healthily in a partnership. Most men still like their steaks and fries male dinner and in the end it still is mostly the women who cook it…so are you going to cook 2 meals? Mostly not.

    Third of all, there is also the factor that your partner may not want to you work out, because of the sheer fear of losing your sexy ass again. They may belittle or ridicule your efforts or say things like “oh common, you’ve been to the gym twice a week already, don’t you want to spend some time with me as well?”

    All of these things are of course factors which can be easily navigated, but it is quite a struggle until you are there.

    Rant over 😉

  2. I was talking to my sister on the phone last week (she is also a clean eater) about loved ones’ reactions to our responsable eating. It was a pretty positive chat for once though. Two of my very close friends – who had been nagging,and scolding me for months and months about my “obsession” and being offended when I would take over my chicken/fruit/veggie/compl. carb kit to their house every time they summoned me to have dinner, – some days ago mentioned casually during tea that they wanted to start eating more fruit in their diet and that they had actually gone out and bought some to have all through the day instead of other snacks. They also asked me to translate my eating programme for them. I was so shocked you could have poked me with your little finger and I would have fell off my chair. I was telling my sister that I had never in a million years expected them to (1) actually stop making fun of me (2) want to change. Out of the blue! A few days ago my best friend also unexpectedly asked me to help her stick to a new goal of eating more fruit and less cookies and cakes, I was very happy. We joke about it as if she were in AA and she tells me everyday “One more day that I made it till midnight!” 😀 My sister reminded me that eating is a very social thing, with lots of emotion and relationshships tied to them. When you start eating different, which seems like a very small thing, to them it may seem like you are no longer there, like you have gone, in a sense. They miss you even though you’re right in front of them, just with different stuff on your plate. So it is tough, and sometimes I felt very selfish or mean sticking to my goals and being the only one different on the table – not to mention that IS easier to simply prepare one menu for everyone, especially on hectic days (which are many).
    It’s not any easy issue to navigate, becoming responsable exercise and foodwise whilst dealing with a crazy schedule and also being part of a network of really loving people who you also love and who show each other that love when they prepare meals for one another. I chose to stick to my guns and bear it out, and luckily it is starting to work itself out socially. But I can completely understand why some people end up letting go of their goals for their health, especially with eating clean. It sounds crazy, but my sister and I agree that eating is a very traditional way of peple exchanging love and it is very challenging to renegotiate those social meanings. Again: great post! Eventually I’m going to stop saying that, because it’s completely unnecessary. I have yet to read a poor post of yours.

  3. Hey Berit! I appreciate your kind words : ) I’m still on my journey – and loving it!! 😀 During some field work in 2009 I fell off the bandwagon completely and when I got back to my home, while I wasn’t overweight, I was definitely out of condition with very little muscle tone (I am a woman, but I like a lean and shredded look). Since August of that year I’ve reined myself in once again and here I am today still at it. I recently had a small problem which Alfonso helped me solve – I lost too much body fat which is a serious no-no for girls. So I had to adjust my calorie intake. But it’s all part of the process, which I intend to be a life-long habit. What about you? Are you tapping those goals? 😀

  4. Hi Renelle, I am just at the beginning of my journey, which started around February. I’ve put on about 5-10kg last year due to relationship laziness, which I am looking to lose again. While I never used to be very toned, I have lost this much weight before with a good diet (as in changing of eating habits) and lots of exercise.

    I am currently reading up on nutrition and started a diet journal where I list the food I eat so I can make out how many calories I really consume and where I could maybe try to change my habits. I’ve also started to go running again and follow Zuzanna’s training on for strength which I list in my little journal as well.

    Like you, I also want to create a habit, not a short fitness burst for the summer. The thing that is mostly standing in the way though is: me. I am not very patient, but I always tell myself that these things take time, and while I currently gain weight due to the water in my new muscles (Who can do push ups now? :D) I start to ask myself, when this water will go away.

    What kind of exercises do you do? Do you follow any specific diet?

    I hope Alfonso doesn’t mind us too much flooding his comment section :-)

  5. Hey there, fellow Bodyrocker-ette!! **whooooo** 😀 Yup, I follow Zuzana every other day. As a matter of fact just did The Trainer Who Loved Me workout. Mentally, it was my biggest challenge to date, I don’t know why. I thought of giving up manymanymanymany times. But Ingrid’s comment on the Charlie Sheen post was still in my mind so I made it through to the end. Okay so as to what you asked: (1) I eat clean (2) I workout with Zuzana and also run one maybe twice a week. I am careful with my resting too (3) I also keep exercise journals. I did meal journals until I had the new routine incorporated. (4) I know! Guess who else can do pushups now? Hmmm? Love. It. **haha** (5) I usually leave the weighing for my periodic body evaluations done by professionals, I just concentrate on eating right and exercise (6) I am also very impatient and tend want to results like yesterday but I know that’s not how it works, so when I notice myself getting all uptight and whiney, I just take a deeeeep breath and mentally resettle myself on point no. 5 above (7) Alfonso has some wicked info available online evaluating popular diets as well as offering nutritional tips that I have found spot on. Additionally he is available for any questions. I wish you continued courage and persistence. It. Does. Work. ; )

    Gentle suggestion for Alfonso!: Maybe a chat room on your site for your fans? 😀

    • Hey Renelle. The ATF site is evolving seemingly almost daily. I’m sure a forums/chatroom is in the future. Don’t hesitate to make any suggestions, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

  6. Spot on regarding Alfonso’s page, I think Zuzanas and his play each other off very well. I find his information on nutrition really helpful. I want to do the Halo of Sweat today, as this sounds fun :-) Will check the Charlie Sheen post as well 😉

    • Had to say Hi to my fellow BodyRockers!! Started BRing in September and have seen AMAZING results already. Love Zuzana’s workouts and the Angry trainer too!!
      To answer your question, Alfonso, I am the mother of two (12 and 10 who both have very active lives, involved in sports, etc…games and or practices every day) and I work full-time (read 70-80 hrs per week) as the controller/CFO for 6 companies. I’m also the housekeeper (cooking, dishes, cleaning, laundry, pet caretaker, etc) and I take great care of my darling husband too. Despite all of that…I’ve managed to fit in an hour or more of exercise every day for the last 14 yrs. Without a doubt, if I can do it, anyone can. I was overweight from kindergarten on, topping out at 200 lbs at the age of 20. Decided to get fit, started with Taebo and other exercise tapes, and got down to 135 by the age of 24. I maintained for 10yrs with more of the same cardio-type stuff but never got the reshaping, toning and definition that I really wanted. Now I’ve found that with BodyRock! I’m in the best shape of my life and getting better every day. I will be fit for life! Now come on people, get off the couch and get on it! No excuses! :)

  7. Pingback: Ask Alfonso: Just Married And Out Of Shape! « Angry Trainer Fitness

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